Keni Styles- A Male Porn Actor Who's Asian...Go Figure
--on the web
The following is from an www.sfgate.com article about the stereotypes involving the size of an Asian man's dick...
"There's exactly one marquee-profile Asian male working in the U.S. straight porn industry today -- and he's a European import. British-raised and of Thai descent, Keni Styles first broke onto the big-time smut scene at the end of 2007, finding steady work in the porn capitals of Eastern Europe; his performances drew enough attention to warrant a nomination as Best Male Newcomer at the 2009 AVN Awards, the "Porn Oscars."
Distributor Evil Angel footed the bill for Styles to come to the U.S. for the first time to attend the awards in Las Vegas, which proved to be an eye-opening experience.
"Evil Angel put me up in fancy hotel, I got a VIP pass to everything in the city, and I had a great time," says Styles.
"I didn't win, but what blew my mind was the reaction I got here in the States. Everywhere I went, it was 'Wow, he's Asian!' Producers, directors, all the top performers -- they all wanted to work with me, even though they didn't have a clue who I was, because I was this strange and marvelous thing, a male porn actor who was Asian."
It was Styles's first introduction to the peculiarities of race and sexuality in the United States: "It was quite bizarre -- I had gorgeous women coming up to me purring, 'You know, I've never had sex with an Asian guy.' And I joked, 'You're not worried I might have a tiny [penis]?' And they just laughed and said, 'You wanna do it or not?'"
Since then, he's moved to Los Angeles, and established himself as one of the industry's rising stars; this year, he was nominated for three AVN Awards, including Best Actor, and has worked more or less non-stop.
"I get tons of e-mails from Asian guys who want to get into porn, and I always e-mail them back saying, 'If you really did, you'd be doing it,'" he says. "Nothing is blocking anyone from getting into this business -- Asian, white, or black."
It's obviously not an industry for everyone -- the physical challenges are demanding, the lifestyle can be grueling and, for those prone to the worst temptations, self-destructive. But Styles thinks that the real barrier Asian men face, in porn and in society, is in no small part self-created.
"I often interact a lot with Asian American guys in online forums, talking about the issues they face. And many of them really feel hard done by American culture -- they feel unattractive, they feel defeated," says Styles. "While I have a lot of empathy, there's a sense in which this is self-inflicted. I didn't grow up in the States; I don't know first-hand what they've been through. But I can say, I didn't have an easy street of it myself, and you know, I've overcome."
Styles isn't kidding. Born in Thailand to a single mother, a sex worker who Styles says he's cut ties with ("We tried reconnecting when I was younger; it just didn't work out"), he moved with her to the U.K. when she married a British national; the marriage broke up, and she returned to Thailand, leaving young Keni in the care of an orphanage, where he lived until he was 16. After a few years in a halfway house, where he admits he got in "a bit of trouble with the law," he joined the British Army at the recommendation of his probation officer.
"I was in Bosnia, in Kosovo twice, then in Iraq for two tours of duty," he says, recalling his seven years in the infantry. "When my unit was told to prep for a third back-to-back tour of Iraq, which was insane, I'd had enough and decided to quit."
But Styles already knew there wasn't much opportunity in stiff-necked England for a Thai kid with no family and a history of institutional care and legal trouble. Although he'd been a regional boxing champion as a teen, he was passed over for selection to Team Britain in the Junior Olympics largely, he says, due to concerns that he "wasn't the right face" to represent Mother England.
After leaving the army, he found himself with nowhere to go and nothing in his pockets; his only resources were athleticism, stamina, a love of sex -- he says he lost his virginity at age 13 -- and a lack of shame, something he says the close-quarters living of his orphanage childhood and military adult years ground out of him.
To Styles, the decision to start doing porn was only natural. "I hadn't really thought about it until then, but my life up until then was like the best boot camp in the world if you wanted to be a porn star," he laughs. "And it turned out I loved it. I love being on film. I love the sex. What's not to love? I have sex with gorgeous women every day and I get paid for it!"
That said, Styles has other ambitions as well; he's launching a reality TV show called "The Lucky Asian Guy," focusing on his behind-the-scene adventures in porn, which will air in Europe and possibly on Playboy TV in the States; he's an active blogger, and is building a sizable community of fans, both male and female.
"I enjoy what I'm doing, but my ultimate goal is to have the money to open a very quiet, exclusive island bungalow resort in Thailand, where I can become an old Asian man, smoking weed on the beach and standing around with my shirt unbuttoned making cocktails for happy holidaymakers," he laughs. "And even if I don't, I have my military pension. So I don't care if my d*ck fell off tomorrow, I'm fine and I'll be happy."
Indeed, for someone who works with it every day, Styles's attitude toward his penis is remarkably blase. "The whole size issue is ridiculous," he says. You don't just [have sex] with your penis, you use your whole body, your attitude, your presence. The moment you say, 'Oh, I'm X inches long,' you've let society win the battle of thinking it matters. And it just doesn't. I'm not the biggest there is, and I'm not the smallest, but I've never measured my penis against anything other than a girl's vagina. If it fits and she's happy, I'm happy."