[Trans] 2013 Interview with pornstar Koh Masaki

[Translator’s note] This translation is of an interview with Koh Masaki, one of Japan’s most prolific gay porn stars and the first to openly identify as gay in his films and personal life. Appearing in over 200 films between 2009 and 2013, he sadly passed away from complications after a surgery in April 2013. He was in a relationship with the Chinese gogo dancer Tian Tian with whom he was active promoting safe-sex initiatives in China and Taiwan. This interview first appeared in the July 2011 issue of Bádi, but was republished in the September 2013 issue commemorating Koh’s tragic passing. This translation is based upon the 2013 reprint.

pierre giles_koh masaki
Portrait of Koh by Pierre et Giles (2013)

Japan Pornstar –KOH-
A transparent mirror and honesty tinged with grief

A young boy known as “the little dick devil” because he has loved dick ever since the day he was born. He was accepted honestly and upfront as gay by his parents and neighbours. That boy is now flying[1] through the sky to lead the way. And now that man, Koh Masaki, will frankly tell us about himself and his past on his own terms.

Ever since I was little, I really loved dick (laugh). Because I was living in a hot springs resort town, I used to go to the hot springs quite a lot and became very excited when I saw all the men’s dicks and often used to play around with them.[2] I soon gained a reputation for going over and touching a dick whenever I saw one, and there were quite a few men who used to get bigger when I went and touched them. That’s why everyone in the neighbourhood began to call me the “little dick devil” (laugh). Because of this, both my parents and everyone around me often used to say “in the future, that kid is definitely going to fall in love with a man” and I would think to myself “that’s okay, it’s totally fine to fall in love with another man.” Even before I properly realised myself that I was gay, I was brought up in an environment when such things were said to me without malice.

The first time I felt like doing something sexual was in my third year of elementary school. I watched a video that my father had carefully hidden away and became interested in looking at the unfamiliar dicks of the foreign men [in the film] in a somewhat asexual way. Also, there was an Assistant Language Teacher[3] working at the school I was going to at the time. He was a young American guy and one time I went to play at his house and after pleading with him over and over again to show me his dick, he finally let me see it after I promised to keep it a secret. I got really excited and unintentionally began to touch his dick. My teacher also became aroused and… I ended up sucking him off (laugh). Afterwards, I began reading a lot of ero-hon[4] and there were scenes where dicks were getting shoved into asses and I realised that sticking a dick into an ass would feel good too! It was after that experience that I really got into having sex. I would totally suck all of my classmates dry (laughs). At first all we did was suck each other off, but as I started doing basically anything with anyone, I realised that people get off in different ways and began reading lots of magazines and watching lots of films to learn about what kinds of things you could do sexually to get someone off.

My life totally changed when I discovered a copy of Peanuts[5] in a bookstore in my hometown. Inside I found information about Shinjuku Ni-chōme[6] and it was probably around my second year of middle school when I hopped onto a bullet train from Iwate Prefecture to Tokyo and first visited Shinjuku Ni-chōme. To begin with, I just sat around in a nearby park until a voice would call out to me to ask “how much?” At first I didn’t understand what he meant, but after we fucked he gave me a ten thousand yen note. All of a sudden I felt like I had grown up. In my hometown, kids always had to appeal to their parents and have them buy whatever they wanted but here I was able to get delicious food and money under my own power, all by myself. I was able to live my life using the money that I myself had earned. So every weekend, whilst lying to my parents about going to visit my grandmother, I went to Shinjuku Ni-chōme to work as a tachinpo[7] and earn some cash.

After all of that, I entered high school and went on exchange overseas where I got to have a lot of sex with foreign men. Upon returning to Japan, I became a mechanic at an aviation company, but to be honest I was really terrible at mechanics… Around this time, I also came out [as gay] and I began receiving advice about how to become a flight attendant in order to improve my skills. So, whilst attending university in Sapporo, I developed a busy lifestyle with classes in the morning, flights in the evening and work as an attendant on overseas flights during summer holidays. In a little while, I was also working as a “tenant”[8] at a gay bar in Sapporo as well. Whilst I was somehow able to live a comfortable life in this way, the aviation company at which I was still working was absorbed by another larger company and it was decided that I would leave the company.[9] Because at this point I had only really ever thought about continuing to work as a flight attendant, I found myself lacking the energy and courage to really do anything and simply finished up university and then moved to Tokyo.

A little while after having moved to Tokyo, I found an ad in the classifieds in the back of Bádi for work as an urisen.[10] Thinking that perhaps this was a way for me to use my body to earn some cash, I made a phone call full of confidence that this would be the kind of work that I had a lot of experience with. I had an interview for the job and from that very day I started to work. Although this was at a bar in Nakano Shinbashi that no longer exists, this was my first proper job working within this particular industry and I was able to meet a lot of people through my work as an urisen. This led me to really start thinking about sex [in a more professional way].

When it comes to watching and performing sex, there are many situations that exist. I used to watch a lot of European gay porn and I was exposed to extremely acrobatic sexual positions and performances that looked like they felt really good. At the same time, I became very fed up with how boring Japanese gay porn was. I started to think “If it was me, surely I’d be able to show a better performance.” Coincidentally, I received a call from the gay porn company JAPAN PICTURES and it was suddenly decided that I would perform in one of their films. But after trying it out, I found that I wasn’t really able to follow the directions that were coming from left and right. I was completely useless! I received such a huge shock when I realised that doing porn and watching porn were really different things! After that, as I continued to participate [in filming porn], I slowly became able to respond to this feeling.[11] When I felt the presence of the camera, I would get up off my ass and when I was informed that the other model had been shot in such and such a way in a previous film, I would respond with the most appropriate performance I could manage. Moving forward like that, the somewhat gloomy version of myself inside me pulled itself together and began to match [the director’s] expectations. This was the first time that I realised that there was a pro gay pornstar inside of me as well.

Even now, there are those in Japan who say that performing in a gay porn film is embarrassing and shameful. Also, the majority of the performers appearing in films hide their faces[12] and only take on “bottom roles,” with the “top roles” being played by crew members [of the gay porn companies]. Although there are many background reasons for these trends, I am going to stay true to myself and openly throw out my chest with pride in this industry to fulfil my wish to become a pro gay pornstar. In particular, I don’t just want to play some hard-fucking “top role” but wish to play roles where my own personality and intelligence is clear. In that way, I’ll perform “top roles” which are representative of Japan (nihon o taihyō suru).

Is it shameful to perform in adult videos? The only thing that would be shameful would be to appear in a film where you can’t see anyone’s dicks get properly hard (laughs). Since I began working in this industry, I have not felt shame at all. That’s because I am Koh Masaki, the gay pornstar who is representative Japan!

(Bádi, September 2013, pp. 62-63).


[1] There is an untranslatable pun here. The character for Koh (航) also means “fly” (wataru).

[2] Play here does not have a sexual meaning.

[3] One of the many categories of workers who visit Japan as part of the JET Program.

[4] Erotic magazines containing comics and pornographic stories.

[5] A gay comic magazine that began serialization in 1996 that also included nude gravure centerfolds and articles introducing the latest gay pornographic video releases. It ceased publication in 1997.

[6] Tokyo’s historically-significant gay town within which can be found bars, clubs, porn stores and brothels.

[7] A street prostitute.

[8] This implies that he worked as a prostitute here as well, although not as an official employee of the bar.

[9] That is, he was fired.

[10] A man who works at a gay bar and also participates in prostitution and is an official employee of the bar.

[11] That is, he became comfortable with the work and reconciled himself to the differences between watching and doing porn.

[12] Often through mosaicking or through wearing caps and sunglasses.

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