"Sometimes people tell me I look familiar and I say, 'You must watch a lot of porn'. They always think I'm joking."
But Ryan James isn't joking. The Australian escort and actor has appeared in roughly 150 adult films and he was more than happy to reveal to news.com.au exactly what life is like as a male porn star.
From how much he gets paid to whether or not he needs 'help' to get it up, here's what he had to say:
Do you get sent a script before you start filming?
It's usually much more disorganised than that. I usually know who I'm working with but in terms of what's actually going to happen in the scene we generally don't know. Sometimes we make it up on the spot. I remember one time we were just sitting around and everyone was hungry so we ordered some pizza and we were trying to figure out what to do for the next scene. Then someone just came up with the idea to make the scene about a pizza delivery boy because we already had the boxes there. It's not very well planned most of the time. But people aren't really watching for the story anyway.
Do you know most of your co-stars?
In Australia the porn community is quite small. A lot of the time I'm working with friends who I've known for years. It can go from being a purely platonic friendship to working with them and then back to being friends. It's a job to have sex with them but outside of the scene you just go back to being friends.
How do you prepare before a shoot?
These days I don't really do anything to prepare. I get told when and where to turn up and I just make sure I've got my bag packed with anything I might need, maybe a few outfits and lube, because that's not always provided.
Do you take any 'pills' before a shoot?
Nearly all men who do porn do [take pills]. If someone is saying they don't they're probably lying. A lot of guys watch porn and think, 'I'd never need to take anything because it's easy to have sex with hot girls.' But the reality is, if they had a chance to do a film, they'd find they can't perform without it.
How many people are on set during filming?
On average it might be two or three, but I've had anywhere from none if it's a POV [point of view] scene ... up to 10 people watching on.
Does the director give you instructions during scenes?
A lot of the time they just let you do what you want to do. You might have a dry run first where they take photos to put up on the website. In the photos you run through the different positions and then when it comes time to do the actual filming, they tell you to go through the same positions from the photos.
At the other end of the spectrum, it's multiple cameras and multiple angles and the director will tell you very specifically what they want from you.
How long are the shoots?
The actual filming can go from anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The average would be about 30 minutes. With Australian companies they'll just try and film for half an hour straight and then they'll edit it down a bit.
In terms of actually being on set, I think my record was 11 hours for one scene. That was in Europe and they were a little bit disorganised and they took a lot time to set up the cameras and fill out forms and do makeup. Most of that 11 hours was me just sitting there doing nothing.
In Australia, how much would you get paid for one scene?
For one scene, which is say a 15 to 20 minute movie, up to $800.
What's the most uncomfortable scene you've filmed?
The one scene where I felt most out of place was in Europe. It was my first time filming there. We drove for seven hours from Budapest to Prague and turned up at this place which was decked out like a nightclub. The scene we were doing, which I didn't really know beforehand, was 50 people in a nightclub. Basically it was a huge orgy. There was an open bar, a DJ, a dance floor. There were about 35 girls, 15 guys and five people walking around with cameras. I had no idea what I was doing there.
Do you ever watch back the videos you've starred in?
I can't. I've tried to watch them before but I just can't do it.
Do you ever get recognised in public?
Not very often and I think if people do recognise me, a lot of the time they don't say anything because they might feel a bit awkward about saying, 'Hey, I've seen your penis on film.' Sometimes people tell me I look familiar and I say, 'You must watch a lot of porn then.' They always think I'm joking.