Though fans of twink porn like their boys young, innocent, and smooth, Liam Riley’s been growing out his facial hair, rocking more stylish looks, and trying to embody the persona of an older, more mature New Yorker who knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. When the transformation is complete, it’ll be light years away from the “innocent little twink” image Riley had at Helix Studios and closer to the look and attitude of the other edgy bad boys at CockyBoys, where he was wooed by CEO Jake Jaxson in August of last year. While his early fans might bristle at the thought of such a makeover, Riley is happily embracing it. “I’m not the little boy I used to be,” he tells me excitedly, in reference to both his porn persona and teenage rule-breaking tendencies which included sneaking out, stealing his mom’s car and heading to underground LA parties or ultra-secret hook-ups with straight boys. So far, at CockyBoys, Riley’s appeared in his own video, Meeting Liam, the final scenes of Answered Prayers, and is gearing up to star in the sequel to Max Ryder and Jake Bass’s popular Road Strip movie, only this time with his CockyBoys BFF, Levi Karter. The film will follow the new roommates as they journey to Hustlaball and the Cybersocket Awards, with stops in between. I sat down with Riley a few days after New Year’s to discuss all the changes, his relationship with Jaxson, and the role his parents play in guiding his porn career.
Adam: Liam, You live with Levi Karter, right?
Liam: Yeah. We just got an apartment together in October.What’s it like living with Levi?
I literally couldn’t choose a better roommate. We hang out with each other like non-stop. We work together, go out to the same clubs together. We’re best friends. It’s easy to get along with somebody you live with. But we get our own space, like when I went home to California and he went to where he’s from. Or like, I’ll go upstate and he’ll stay home and vice versa.
So you have your space and then you come back and are besties again?
We’ll always be best friends. Which is great, because I’ve seen horrible roommate situations.
What’s the worst one you’ve ever had?
I haven’t had any but I’ve observed some. My old roommate and me were best friends too. I think I’m an easy person to live with.
What makes you a good roommate?
I’m clean. I’m so OCD when it comes to things. Everything has a spot and place and I always clean up after myself. I feel like nobody ever has a problem living with me.
Is that because of how you were raised or is it something you instilled in yourself?
My mom always had to pick up some stuff, but I did get the over-obsessiveness of cleaning from myself. She always told me to pick up after myself and I was always like, “yeah yeah yeah.”
How many months have you been with Cockyboys now?
I first signed my contract in August but nobody knew about it until October when Meeting Liam came out during Halloween week.
Did you have to keep it a secret from people?
Yeah. I couldn’t tell anybody about it. It was very low profile. I felt like Jake Jaxson wanted everything to just fall into place. Originally it wasn’t supposed to be released, but everybody found out when we were doing the Meet the Morecocks photo shoot and something went up online, and people wondered what I was doing there. That was supposed to be kept a secret, but it was let out of the bag.
How long were you with Helix?
That was another secretive thing. I filmed my first scene in November of 2013, but then nothing was let out until February. Then I had done a scene in January which was the first one to be released. It wasn’t even the first one I had filmed. So my first scene that came out was February 3rd, I wanna say.
So you were only with them less than a year?
Yeah. It was an exclusive six-month contract.
So in August you were able to move on?
Did Jake approach you or did you approach them?
I met Jake before and he was always super nice to me and I came out here for gay pride and we were all partying together and having fun. He told me then, “In the future, just for reference, I would love to work with you, I feel like you have a great energy about you.” Inside I was fan-girling trying to keep it cool. You know? Jake Jaxson is a huge person in the industry and he’s somebody you want to work with. I was like, “You wanna work with l’il old me?”
I wouldn’t picture you as a shrinking violent.
Yeah. I didn’t think too much of it, but towards the end of my contract I was like, “Okay, what do I want to do?” The more I thought about it, I was like, Jake’s a great person to work with, he has a great plan and knows what he’s doing in the industry. I said to myself, it wouldn’t hurt to take a risk and just go for it. I emailed him and we had a phone call about it. He was like, “Is this something you really want to do?” I said, I think it is. He said great. We’ll talk later this week. Then he sent over a contract, said look at it, have your parents look at it. They went over it for me.
Your parents look over your contracts?
So they’re really supportive?
Yeah. They’ll be at Cybersocket.Wow. Do you ever think, this is crazy that I have to involve my parents in my business like this?
It is but then again it’s not. I’ll send my mom my pics not my nudie pics but I’ll ask what do you think? She’ll be like “Oh my god, you look great,” or, “Not my favorite.” She’s really honest. My stepdad sends the contract to his brothers because they’re lawyers and they make sure everything’s okay. He’ll send it to me, and say, “Everything’s good, just go over it and make sure you like what it says.”
And you really don’t think it’s at all weird that your parents are looking over a document that outlines how you’re going to be getting fucked for six months or a year?
I don’t think so. Me and my mom are best friends. I tell her all about my personal stuff. I tell her about boyfriends, boy problems. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for her at this point.
Is she like a “cool mom”?
Yeah. At first she wasn’t upset about it, but she wasn’t all for it. She said,
“I would prefer you did something else.” But she said she was going to be supportive no matter what. Just like with cheerleading, she was always there at my competitions and stuff. She’s always been my main, number one supporter behind me forever and ever.
What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve told your mom about your sex life?
Um, she’s walked in on me, when I was still living at home.
What was her reaction?
It was in the middle of the night, so she walked in and everything was pitch black, and I was like, “Oh my god get out!” She was like, “Oh my god I can’t believe this” and left. The next morning we just laughed about it and acted like nothing ever happened. And then she called me a slut but she was just joking.
What was your life like with her growing up? Was it always easy or did you guys struggle?
Most definitely a struggle. Her and my dad got pregnant super young. They were 16 when they had me. We always had money problems but then they would split up, get back together, split up and get back together. It was always shaky growing up and then my dad passed away. My mom had to take care of all that by herself. I always knew that we weren’t okay financially so when my dad passed away she obviously went through more problems because she had to pay for everything. But she remarried and got a job and now she’s totally fine. We’re all totally fine. I always say things have to get really bad before they get good. Not everybody’s going to have it really easy.
You’re from California, right?
I grew up in Calabasas and then I moved to Miami for cheerleading and I lived there for a year. When I moved home, my family moved to Orange County. My first reaction is to say I’m from the Valley, but I don’t live there anymore.
Despite how you struggled, I have this mental image that throughout your youth you were kind of like jailbait, completely out of control?
Hahahaha. You think???
Am I right?
Yeah. I definitely learned how to relax. I was very social. I really liked the whole socialite life. Growing up, I watched Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie on The Simple Life, and I thought, “that’s something I want in life.” So it was interesting because in high school, I needed to be at everybody’s parties. I always needed to be at every big high school event that was happening. I would take the car in the middle of the night.
And go where?
Sometimes we wouldn’t even do anything. We would just go to the beach and hang out on the lifeguard towers at three o’clock in the morning. It was the cool thing to do. We lived in LA. We could do so much fun stuff and never get caught. There were underage clubs that we would go to. On Tuesday we would go to clubs in Santa Monica. It was interesting.
Who were you screwing?
I always had things for straight guys in school. My whole quest in high school was to hang out with the football players and the baseball team.
Did you get fucked by the football and baseball players?
Tell me about it.
It was scandalous.
Did other people find out?
No. It was a great thing, in cheer too, there were so many straight guys who cheered. It was always a fun thing between gay guys, who could flip who. I hold a pretty good record when it comes to sex with straight guys.
What’s the process? Do you have technique?
No. I think, unlike a lot of my close best friends, it’s easier for me because I come off more feminine to most straight guys, so they get blurred feelings. They’re like, “You’re so similar to a chick, it’s no different if I was to just hook up with you.” I try to use that card.
So you gay it up?
Not gay, where I’m flamboyant. But I’ll definitely be softer with them. It’s easier for me to attract a butch guy like that. My friends always get annoyed that it’s easier for me than it would be for them.
What’s been the hottest experience?
This guy I put in years of work for. He’s one of the hottest guys in cheerleading to this day. I put four years of work in, and it was a great experience. We got really close, to the point where we were best friends. He’s a really well known cheerleader. He would just come sleep over my house all the time.
And he would fuck you every night?
Basically. For the longest time it was the hugest secret, because it was a trust barrier where if I kept it a secret, the more often it would happen. Then eventually I had to tell my best friend, so they know but still to this today nobody in cheerleading knows who it is or anything about it. What makes it so hot is that it’s one of the biggest secrets that I have.
It’s interesting because you are somebody who doesn’t seem like you have a lot of secrets, but for you keeping a secret is perversely hot.
Secrets are definitely a turn-on. Things along those lines I’m into.
Are you mostly turned on by guys your own age?
It varies. Lately I noticed for some reason, my tastes in a lot of things are starting to change. People say it’s
Very normal. Around 25 I started going for twinks when I only used to be into daddies.
My fashion senses are changing, my eating habits are changing. Lately with guys I’m going for the rugged look. Before I only dated guys who looked like me. Other twinks or twunks. Lately I’ve been going through a phase where a little chest hair is sexy. I think it’s New York, something’s in the air.
It’s a different vibe here.
When you were growing up who were your porn idols? I know you mentioned Paris Hilton, and I feel like a lot of young porn performers I talk to grew up idolizing her.
Yeah. She was the it girl and she did both. Jenna Jameson was one of my inspirations. What I respected so much about her was that she saw it as a business and changed the way people viewed it and how models wanted to work in it. It’s fun and giggles but it’s also an industry and you’re employed for a job. It’s your business and brand and name. I respected her a lot for that. I emailed her a few times because I applied to be her assistant. She’s book smart and she knows how to talk to people. I found that so fascinating in her story. I watched her E! documentary. She’s smart but at the same time she makes bad decisions, which everybody does.
She’s gone a little off the deep end –
Lately. But in her prime she was the best.
What about gay porn stars?
Before I did porn I didn’t know so much about it. The easiest way to look at porn was to go to Google and type in keywords to find a video that would get you off really fast. But before Helix I didn’t know there were exclusive models. I didn’t know there were gay porn stars. The first model I ever heard about was Evan Parker, and that’s who I had the huge fascination and crush with. I eventually was like, that’s who I want to work with and who I want to pursue in my life. He was the first actual model that I knew had some kind of exclusive contract and that it was a thing.
Levi’s inspirations were Brent Everett and Brent Corrigan.
I never heard of them growing up. I didn’t watch porn like that. It was once in blue moon.
Porn wasn’t your primary source of getting off because you had straight guys and secret relationships and stuff like that?
When you started with Helix was there a learning curve? Did you walk on set like Dirk Diggler and just lay it out cold in the scene, or were there messy moments not literally…
Never messy moments!
No, but were there complications?
No. It was really easy. I feel like, for some reason, everything in my career has felt like it was planned out in a sense. My first scene was filmed and it was a real cam scene. It was just me and my partner with hidden GoPros around the room. There were no directors or photographers. It was easy, one, because it was me and Evan Parker. I was like, this is my crush. It was losing my virginity in a sense. I had the butterflies and the nerves, but at the same time I was comfortable. It just felt natural to me. The second time, the first few days were just b-roll. But it was a whole production. That’s when Sex on Rouge came out and that’s when everybody first learned who I was. It was a full production, days of b-roll, so I got used to being in front of a camera, and learning how they would light me, and how production would go, and the last day was when we would bang it out. It just all seemed natural to me.
Was there any weirdness when you became friends with Levi, with regards to Evan Parker? I know they used to date.
No. There was no awkwardness because I met Evan before Levi. So that was fine. When I met Levi, I was already over the Evan fascination, so like, by that point he was just somebody who I had worked with. Then me and Levi became really good friends because I came out here with another friend and they were friends. We stayed at Levi’s house and that’s when we became friends. Later on I came out here for Pride and that’s when we got really close. We would talk, text, and Facetime every week or something. Not every day. We would catch up and stay friends.
What’s working with Helix like, vs. working with Cockyboys?
Working for Helix was it was a great experience, I loved it –
Don’t give me the canned answer…
No, no. You’ll see where I’m going. I’m still great friends for everybody. It was a great place to start. They helped me build a name and get somewhere, but the difference with it, was that my whole image at Helix was that I was the innocent little twink who was so adorable. But at Cockyboys, Jake was like “We want to scruff you up. You’re a young man now.” He asked how I felt about growing out facial hair, and I was like, I’ve never done it before but I’m willing to try. if I don’t like it I can shave it off. The difference is that Jake wants – and I totally love it, before I was like, black is so overrated, but in New York I’m like, wow black is in. He’s into everything being chic, and wants to create a more mature looking me. A young adult boy who can relate to a bigger audience. Which I love.
Is there a sense that you’re not so much the innocent boy anymore, but that you’re the bad little boy?
Yeah. That’s great.
It’s more your persona.
Yeah. The rebellious flirty
kid who sneaks out to go to clubs and flip the straight guys.
Yeah. At the same time when I look back at my porn it’s like watching my whole life happen before my eyes. I was a little boy before and now i’m not so much the little boy I used to be. I’m a more mature young adult. That is my life. I was the great little innocent boy, especially in cheerleading, and now I’m breaking into my own person.
Do you feel like Cockyboys is the place for you for a long time, or is it a stepping stone to even greater things?
It’s a great place for years to come, I would say. The chemistry I have between me and Jake and Adrian and Benny is the same relationship I had with my cheer coaches. It feels like home to me.
Yeah and that’s how my coaches were. They invested so much in me and I want to give so much back. I want to make them proud. It’s a great circle that I love to be in. It feels so comfortable. Sometimes I’m not even working and we’ll just go sleep over their house. They’ll treat us like their kids and take us to the movies. It’s very much a family even when we’re not working. Being so far from home it’s great to have a relationship like that because I don’t have my mom here.
Let’s talk boyfriends. Do you have one, do you want one?
No. I was talking to somebody recently. It sucks because I was so invested and I genuinely liked them for the first time in a long time since my other bad relationship, I just like have awful luck with guys. It’s so unfortunate.
What do you mean?
I find the great hookups, straight guys.
But you can’t have relationships with them?
Right. Exactly. So when I have invested relationships with somebody I like, for some reason, things just always happen. Something always happens and it’s so unfortunate but this last guy, I don’t want it to all be about me, but i don’t want to be the last priority. This last thing was like getting to know each other and talk and I kind of see things early and I could see that I wasn’t going to ever be a priority. He’s so into his career and it’s starting up and he works not even in the industry, so he was so busy and never had time to talk to me. It kind of upsets me. I figured it was better to get out now than when I couldn’t.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
To focus on myself.
Ha. This past year I was just so distracted on having a boyfriend and falling in love. I’m such a hopeless romantic and that’s where a lot of my focus went, and then when it didn’t work out I would get so worked up and upset about it. It would drain me out for a few months. Love can be so toxic. This year I really want to focus on finding it sounds cliche but, finding myself. Learning how to not depend on another guy and enjoy what CockyBoys has to offer me this year. Why would I want to get distracted with a guy? My other resolution is to just get ripped and look super hot.
Update: Here’s a new vlog Liam made about “loving yourself.”
Adam Baran is a filmmaker, blogger, former online editor of Butt Magazine and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film. His short film JACKPOT, about a porn-hunting gay teen, won Best Short Film at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and was recently featured on The Huffington Post, Queerty, and Towleroad, among others. He is a features programmer at Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival and NewFest in New York. In his spare time, he complains about things to his friends. “Fisting for Compliments”, his weekly musings about the intersection of sex, art, porn, and history, will appear every Monday on TheSword. You can contact him at Adam@TheSword.com and follow him on Twitter at @ABaran999. Check out his previous columns in the Fisting For Compliments Archive.