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Asian Provocation #1 — Ron Hades — On being the only asian male dom sex worker in Germany

Asian Provocation #1 — Ron Hades — On being the only asian male dom sex worker in Germany
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Project

Asian Provocation #1 — Ron Hades — On being the only asian male dom sex worker in Germany

Guest

A conversation with the only asian male dom sex worker in Germany, about his asian diasporic experiences, sex work, asian masculinity and ideas of home.

Ron Hades’ website

Listen on Apple Podcast:

Watch on Youtube with Subtitles

Transcript

Ron Hades 0:06
A lot of people find that it’s funny that Asian male dominate other people. That alone itself, it shows the statement of the society.

Ayoto Ataraxia 0:19
Few months ago, I was browsing the internet, specifically dominatrix services in Berlin. I came across the page of Ron Hadees. I see an Asian man dressed in different beautiful attires, described as a meditative bondage instructor, and a sensual BDSM master. This piqued my interest. Who is this man? I’ve never seen or heard of Asian male Dom before. Why not? Why is this so strange for me? There’s been several strange questions I’ve discovered myself asking.

When I was younger. I wondered, why do I not see Asian men in the Western media? And if so, why are they painted in such a negative light? Why does it feel so taboo and rare to see an Asian man with anyone other than an Asian woman? Why is it strange to see an Asian man as a sexual being? Why is it strange to see an Asian man with a black woman with a white woman with another man? Can Asian men be sexually dominant, sexually assertive? Why are Asian men considered by default, effeminate, weak, small, asexual? I wanted to prove myself wrong. I wanted to show myself that these strange observations and experiences which is my own observational bias, I wanted to disprove the systemic racism. I wanted to disprove the ideas of bamboo ceiling, because I did not want to believe in any of this. I did not want to admit to the pain and negative experiences I was going through. I did not want to give them more power or light. But repression never really works.

A few weeks ago, I was having lunch. And I saw a friend who I knew worked with Ron Hades. I asked if she could put me in touch. I asked the taboo subject of where Ron Hades was from. The difficult and frustrating question of, “but where you really from?” This friend had an elegant answer. And responded with, “He doesn’t really like to be reduced to a singular country of origin.” And of course, I knew better. But this is what I sound like. And yet, I realized how much longing there is for me to connect with souls like this, to understand and to witness, ultimately, myself.

So here’s my podcast, Asian Provocation. This is a place where I’d like to share with you my conversations and discoveries, about Asian diasporic experiences. It is my hope that through sharing these conversations that I can learn about myself, and that perhaps you too, can find something to relate to. Here’s the first conversation of the series with Ron Hades.

Ron Hades 3:23
A lot of people think because we are sex workers and which is a marginalized group. And we get a lot of discrimination from the society. So we supposed to know better what it means to discriminate other group. But sadly, it happens quite a lot in our group that we discriminate each other. And my job is to make our group better placed people can more join the group and improved together in a good way. And there was just way too drama today and

Ayoto Ataraxia 4:04
how many people comes together for these meetings?

Ron Hades 1:20
and it wasn’t a meeting like someone posted something in the forum, and just got out of proportion. And someone was complaining about transphobic text for the workshop for trans people and this kind of thing. And, and it was actually kind of discriminating the text itself. And so we had to, you know, we moderate them and then people talk with us a little bit and just happening all via text, it’s so exhausting

Ayoto Ataraxia 2:00
Yeah, this, I think it’s also getting a lot of these things is so overwhelming in terms of keeping up with all the different aspects and things to keep in mind of all the different forms of discrimination. And then you kind of I find, it’s also just being human. And there is a lot of just day to day, it’s work as well.

Ron Hades 2:26
Yeah, it is. And it’s Same thing happens everywhere. And for example, like in the black community, a lot of Asian people are going getting racist attack, or a lot of like battling happened to Asian from black people. And with the Black Lives Matters movement, a lot of asians was really, they were really angry. Also, they also agreed, and we have to do that. But they will also in the other hand, angry, because we didn’t feel like that we was seeing we were seen by the society, even though we are also going through the exact same shit. And so there was like, there is some discrimination between Asian people and black people, Asian people in the Middle Eastern people. There’s like so many like, discrimination each other and we chose a kind of funny and that a lot of Asian males, they are discriminated very because of masculinity by Arabic people or Turkish people. And just because we look a little bit more softer than they they do doesn’t mean that we are feminine. Just because we are wearing some more fancy clothes, not only gray and black and brown. That doesn’t mean that we are homosexual or more feminine, and we don’t have masculinity. And it happens to sit like all in a different shade. And it’s so sad that we don’t just acknowledge that we should know better, because we have been through all different kinds of discrimination. You just have to think slightly in a different way. This could also hurt other people. Instead of just saying bad thing.

Ayoto Ataraxia 4:25
Yeah, there’s the kind of invisible cross over of masculinity and race and Asian masculinity is I just I’ve been so curious about this topic. I mean, one, I’m an asian male. And on this topic, it’s just so it’s so at the same time, it’s so common. I mean, I think there’s also the issue about Asian men in Asia versus Asian diaspora. Different places, right? Yeah, that’s true. And how, how do we how do people talk about this, and also the topic about femininity, I find this also to be a very difficult conversation and not just with people that are ignorant, I find even people who are in the sex positive community or people who are very, quote unquote, liberal or woke that, you know, people that I think should know better, especially about assumptions or about discrimination. But on for me, I just say like, I’ve experienced people that would just throw assumptions or racist remarks that is so subtle or micro aggressive. And I think when it comes to say, a black person, or a trans person, we might be much more sensitive. Now, I don’t think people are less discriminatory, just that they’re more sensitive. But it almost feels for me that Asian men, I think it starts with our conversation.

Ron Hades 5:59
it’s also more with trans people and black people about discrimination, what happens there, it’s more beatable than what it happens with Asian males masculinity. And for me, personally, most of people, they don’t even realize that they are discriminating me. And even if I explain them, what it means to me, a lot of people don’t even get it. And, and it is frustrating and one point where and when I start to compare my stories to the others. A lot of people just think it’s not that serious. It is serious. For me, that’s all that matters. And I am expressing my needs of that. I don’t want to be treated like that. And it is a difficult topic.

Ayoto Ataraxia 7:05
Yeah, I find it interesting, because it’s a bit ironic too that, for me, it was studying about feminism, I was studying about African diaspora. I was studying about sociology and all these aspects. But then when I realized my own pain, my own frustrations and anger because of these thinking and these way of development. But then I realized when I put my hand up and say actually, holy shit, I’ve been going through crazy shit. And I’ve been feeling depressed. I’ve been feeling all kinds of angst and frustration and history. And I look at all these things. And I, I see the pattern across different countries of people like us. And yet, when we say it, maybe it’s going to change because I also feel like there’s, in these last few years, maybe more discussion, and maybe here, you know, we’re talking about it. So I wanted to ask you about how it is for you at work, maybe even more curious about outside of work. Can you talk about like when people project femininity or other aspects? Like do you relate to that? Or like, how do you connect to some of these thoughts?

Ron Hades 8:21
in the work field, since I work as dominant sex worker, and as I mentioned, I am only one and only Asian male dominant sex worker in Germany. And so far, I know. A lot of people I see have enough customer and clients that I can but a lot of people find that it’s funny, that Asian male dominate other people. that alone itself, it shows the statement of the society, why Asian man cannot be a dominant person. In terms of BDSM, I don’t need to, I don’t want to be kneeling on in front of other people just because I’m Asian. I like to express my dominant side. And in terms of them that at the beginning of my work, when I studied sex work, I was having a hard time to find myself in it a little bit. Because when you when you say dominance, or dominance, they’re all like some words and you think about in your head, and I don’t belong in the category, most of it. But I am still dominant in my way. And I’m more nurturing, I’m more sensitive, I’m more empathetic, and yeah, but you can still be a dominant person without being that much of a guy. And at the beginning, I was having a hard time to find myself in that. Because the most of the pictures that I seen the society or the or the pictures or from the media, it’s just like only like a one way pictures as male dominant, big and masculine and with a beard and they never smile, and those kind of like a cliché. And the one point I just say, you know what, I have the feminine side in me. And I have masculine side in me. It’s just a like a different shape. And I just want to do what I do what I’m good at it. And since I decided in the way Actually, yeah, it got better. And reviews from my clients also improved. And I always had more clients, because they want to experience a dominant side and that type of masculinity from me, and then this cliché, yeah.

Ayoto Ataraxia 11:10
I’m curious to ask you about the process. And also, maybe, if you’ve seen some, you know, during your process of figuring yourself out how that connects to your, perhaps your childhood experiences or transition into adulthood? And if there was some things that you mentioned that it was troubling or difficult for you to come to terms with that, like, what was what was the mindset before and what was the catalyst that brought you to the other side?

Ron Hades 11:41
So basically, all my childhood now what I had to hear from my parents, or from my family, was you have to be more manly. So I grew up in an old kind of normal family of a traditional conservative family in Korea. And I was the first son of the generation. So that means I have to carry the legacy of the family in that way. And, and what I was interested in, even when I was little, I was into singing. And for a long time, they allowed me to do it. And one point they didn’t a lot me to do it, or they didn’t do it, they hated it, that I did it because it wasn’t manly enough. And then after that, I was interested in Korean culinary school, like a cooking school. And they were they hated it. Every idea that I had they hated it every idea. The funny thing is, a lot of famous singers, they also male and they also straight males and or gay males there are a lot of masculine males. And also, like the most famous chefs, they also all males,

Ayoto Ataraxia 13:06
I would even say they’re hyper male

Ron Hades 13:09
Yeah, it’s like really many male watch. Yeah. And then they saw that in a way of it’s not many enough. And I wasn’t even allowed to go into the kitchen. Because it’s not a man’s job. So I grew up with the ideas and everything what I do what I did, they said it’s not enough. It’s not enough. It’s not enough. And my sister used to knit, but she was really bad at it. But somehow I was just sitting there next to my sister and I used to hang out with my sister’s friends a lot. And then I just started doing it also with her. And weirdly, I was really good at it. And I did a lot of knitting and crocheting and this kind of thing. The “woman” thing,

Ayoto Ataraxia 14:07
Right, you did everything wrong.

Ron Hades 14:08
I did everything wrong. My father hated me in that kind of context.

Ayoto Ataraxia 14:16
What did your mother think?

Ron Hades 14:19
It’s a little bit different, difficult to say, because my mother left when I was like three and a half my biological mother and since after he married like so many times. So the mother figures and my stepmother is a part of the last one. They didn’t really care what I did. They only care about my father’s money. So yeah, they wasn’t like a cliché. So everything one idea was like not enough and I need to be pushed up a little bit and I wasn’t sure when I, I didn’t understand what it means. Because I also played sports. I also did running. And I also played basketball. And I always play soccer or in the school. And I also played table tennis. I also like this other stuff, too. And so because of that, and the whole, my childhood, I was called out more feminine. Like a girly guy, or girly boy. And I was also interested in fashion, because I loved beautiful things. And yeah, and then everything like a combined like in the social norm, I was out of the out of the ordinary, and I grew up in a really small village. So you, every people, every children in the village, go to the same kindergarten, same elementary school, same Middle School. So since their parents also have the kind of thing, if someone’s a little bit more girly than the other day also start to picking up and start to bully a little bit. And that made me a little bit different person in a way. So when I went to high school, I changed myself a little bit. So in terms of butch it up a little bit, and I became one of those cliché, bullies.

I was picking at other kids and then yeah, did some violent step and bullying other kids. Even though inside of me, I knew it was wrong. And they are not different. They were just a little bit different. And I also wanted to be just a little bit different. And it was a hard that it affected me, it affected all my life. And when I first came here, I came here as a masculine form. And then all of a sudden, like, I was not masculine enough. So like, Wow. Okay. I was like, very confused in the beginning. And the one point that you know, what, I came to believe in, because I want to, I wanted to live freely as possible and don’t fucking care about other people, what they think about me. So I start to wear whatever I want, and really colorful stuff. And, and nine years ago, not many guys in Berlin were like, really short, hot, hot pants, or, and hot pants with a big t shirts. It wasn’t in fashion in Berlin. And yeah, I was just walking around in pink, and like really hot pink shorts. And, and with white socks, and sneakers, I didn’t care I loved. And I did. I just enjoyed, like every moment. And at the beginning, it was also a little bit easier, to be honest, because I didn’t understand German that much.

Ayoto Ataraxia 18:39
You know, I had the same feeling too like, at the beginning. It’s almost sad to lose that because I was so… I didn’t care. And everything was great. And I didn’t know. I knew, but I didn’t really know. And now I really know what people think. But maybe I don’t know.

Ron Hades 18:55
what the funny thing is, with what how German people talks about good thing or bad thing, they always talk in the same tone and same way. So if you don’t understand you have no fucking idea what they’re talking about. And so I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. And after one and a half years, two years, I started to understand a lot on the street. I kinda disliked that and and also, like, I had to work in Neukölln which is the main area for Turkish people. And 80% of my racism experience discrimination experience that I had in Berlin I had mostly Arabic or Turkish people. At one point I was just sick of it. And so in the last three years, I changed myself a lot. I gained like 16 kilograms from now I now I weigh like 84 something like that. And before that, like, early 60? It was a conscious choice. Yeah. And the funny thing is, I also see and feel the difference. Since then I also work a little bit more. I also wear more man clothes than before. And it definitely feel as or experienced that differently, less discrimination on the street. And people don’t picking on me on the street.

Ayoto Ataraxia 19:32
And how does that make you feel though?

Ron Hades 20:40
it’s in a way really sad. But also in a way really satisfying. And I think it’s I just go through every few years, in a different phase. I think now I’m having another this man phase, masculine phase, probably will also change again, that I want to express my femininity more. But for now, in my skin, I feel good about myself in this clothes and in this body. And yeah, so but as you said, I said, it makes me sad some time, then I had to change my figure and my fashion completely to be more accepted in this society.

Ayoto Ataraxia 21:34
This idea that we live in a very free society, depending on the person, right? It’s really not free for everybody. But I also feel, I feel some resentment to with this, like, I also had iterations of my life and kind of really have to think about the social engineering of my surroundings and get very good with that. But then there’s, this resentment just builds and builds until I, I’m just sick and tired of it, you know, because it’s, it. I also feel bit punished, for example, if there are people that met me on some iteration, and that’s the way that they have me understood or like me for that iteration. And the moment I change just for even clothing, you know, one day to the next. And suddenly, I’m not this model minority, you know, masculine or whatever thing, I’ve shattered their fantasy and just one clothing change, they want to punish you, and it’s like, hey! well, how dare you?

Ron Hades 22:39
They’re also like, the asian cliché.

Ayoto Ataraxia 22:48
I like to talk about when you started? Or was there a transition time? How did you get into sex work? How did you find yourself and navigate through that, and that was it that was the first period during that phase?

Ron Hades 23:05
So BDSM itself, I was interested for a very long time and sex work. I’m doing it since almost three years now. And at the beginning, before I studied it, I was I was having a very bad depression at the time. And I had a burnout from previous job.

I couldn’t stay there anymore. I was working at Uniqlo and hated so much. And they are trying to produce a lot of product in a more eco friendly and more fair way. Fair Trade way. But the people who works on the shop floor, they really literally works like slaves. And they don’t get paid that well. And there’s a constant, like a task. And it’s really shitty and the hierarchy that culture, that I hate, hate hate so much. And yeah, I had a huge problem with one of my boss, and she violated so many different law about the human rights and workers rights. And in the end, I was so sick at home, I couldn’t even go out and I couldn’t even go to a grocery store because I have like a huge phobia about human. And so I was just at home for a while and a friend of mine. She is one of the owner of the studio where I’m working where I work now. And she just asked me and you are good at it and why just don’t you try. We just talked about it. And then she asked me also, if I could join one of the sessions, blah, blah, blah. So I need to keep a person session as a gift from my friend. So I enjoyed that moment very well, it was a really healthy setup. I couldn’t set the boundaries that I have that I can plan properly about the whole situation. And somehow it felt right in the moment, and after the session. Yes, she asked me Yeah, it was really good. I heard the person was really happy about that. And so you know how it works. You also confident enough, that you can do that. And why don’t you just do it.

Ayoto Ataraxia 25:55
Could you describe the session?

Ron Hades 25:57
It was a it was, like, really sadistic sessions. Like pure corporal punishment, and so much impact play and humiliation. And so basically, I have

Ayoto Ataraxia 26:15
a full menu.

Ron Hades 26:16
Yeah, so it’s a basically all my anger that I had from my previous job, I just vomited it out on the person.

Ayoto Ataraxia 26:25
With it, everyone’s happy,

Ron Hades 26:26
everyone’s happy. I was like, so happy about that situation. And so like, this is it, this is how I can survive in this shitty world. And then I just decided, you know, what, if I, if I don’t try it, then I will never know if I’m gonna like it or not, at least I can try. It’s as if you work as a sex worker, you work as self employed person, so you can start and quit any time how you want. So I just did it. And I just did it. And now you went well, quite nicely. Do it a really well. Much, much better than I expected. Because at the beginning, I was also worried about me being Asian? Because no question if you just start something new, you do kind of a little bit of research on the field, which I also did. I couldn’t find a single asian, male dominant sex worker in Germany.

Ayoto Ataraxia 27:38
And what about Europe? Other others?

Ron Hades 27:43
I think there are one person in Paris. Otherwise, that’s about it. And there are some in Asia, of course, but there are not so many overall. And there are in general not many Asian me person who works in the sex industry, also in the porn. And they like to different regions. Because asian, a lot of asian people, they grew up in a different culture. So they are not really confident about that. And also second reason, they are not really welcome in the sex industry in a way because of the masculinity or size of the penis, or whatever. So it changes the last few years, of course, but it was a different and so I wasn’t sure if it’s a good idea that I start to doing it as a dominant sex worker or not. And the one good thing that I just trust myself was since I do shibari bondage it came up a little bit more authentic because I’m Asian. So the cliché Yeah, exactly. And then at the beginning of a half year, I also didn’t sell myself as Asian I just because I didn’t like it because of why I should do that. And then the one point you know what, actually it’s sex work is about the cliché. And I just started to sell myself as one and only asian dom and stuff like that. And actually got better.

This cliché. Yes, I hate it, but

Ayoto Ataraxia 29:36
what do you hate about it?

Ron Hades 29:39
Because I in general, like I don’t like to put myself in that category. I am Asian. Yes, but that doesn’t define me who I am. And most of my German friends they say I am more German than they and they are German. And I look asian, but there are not so many asian thing about my personality. And for me, me as a person first comes my personality as who am and it has nothing to do with Asian or my culture or my masculinity or anything. It’s just like who I am. It’s not what I represent in the society. And, and I don’t like when people see me in some category first, before they get to know me.

Ayoto Ataraxia 30:39
It’s the funny thing, we seem to want to put people like we observe the phenology of people, let’s say you’re, I don’t know, skin color or ethnic background. But then we never go beyond that. And then that comes with the whole package of whatever clichés that they have in their mind, of propaganda, of history, whatever nonsense in the last movie they saw. And now you have to be that person.

Ron Hades 31:10
Yeah, it’s an every time when people ask me where I from, I say, I’m from Korea, and they just instantly talking about kimchi and Korean restaurants in Berlin. I’m so sick of it. Yeah. Because, yeah, it is my culture, but I just met you, you don’t even know me. And I don’t want to talk about this shallow thing with you another 15 minutes. If I have to, kill me now,

Ayoto Ataraxia 31:37
Have you noticed that this, this situation, I mean, you’re quite forward kind of person. And like that, I wonder, for me that. I noticed. Like the times in my life when I I try to assimilate more, I try to be more accommodating to a white person’s ideals or, you know, idea of me. But then as I get more comfortable with myself, and what I think is okay, not okay, knowing my boundaries, it starts to get more and more upsetting for people. And it’s, if I’m not even upset with the conversation, I’m just saying, hey, that’s not cool. This is not what I’m about. And I like to tell you that it’s funny because I should be the I should be the one upset. But as sure the other person is then getting almost emotional, that I’m saying these things.

Ron Hades 32:32
For me, there is a clear reason why they do that. And the moment that I when I meet people, when people ask me where I am, where I’m from, I just say I’m from this planet. And sometimes they asked me, yeah, but we are all from where we are all from this planet. And yeah, but where you are really from, you should get by now that I don’t want to talk about it. And it because they think instantly when I pointed a point this kind of thing out, that means they they are racists or they put their personal values of this matter in front of them rather than just see the fact itself. Or the only fact that you have to think about in the situation is that you don’t want to talk about this with you. It has nothing to do with you per se and a lot of people don’t just get it why that is so important for the other person. And I had a horrible childhood and one really, really horrible childhood in Korea and my sister is on the family who has left in Korea and the rest of them are dead or I don’t have a contact with them. So I associate myself with a Korea more in a negative way than positive I don’t even have I never even had like a homesick since I live in Berlin since 10 years. I never had it and I would not have it. And I would never go back there to live there. I will visit my sister once a while and every time I just go there as a tourist. I just enjoy myself and don’t give a fuck about other people and and just come back to Berlin where my home is. And yeah, it’s for me when people ask me about where I’m from. The first and the feeling that I have in me it’s just this a little anxiety. I have to remind myself of where I’m from, and because they’re not like always just following up questions, which are extremely personal and I just don’t want to talk about it with you. And since I first I’m not so sure if I’m ever gonna see your again in my life or not. And no, there is no value in that. And in our society, in my opinion, we are so false to ask other people all this information questions to start the conversation.

And we don’t need to ask these questions to able to have a conversation if you’re really interested in the person, and you can just talk about it. And I go, oh, how was your day? And then, Hey, how are you? How was your day instead of, “Hi, where are you from?” And sometimes they even asked me that question before even ask my name and so like Oh, no. And it’s a hard, it’s a hard but I always said like really clear boundary, I don’t want to talk about it.

Where I explained them in a really well thought way. So people listen, why I don’t want to talk about it.

Ayoto Ataraxia 36:33
It takes time and energy, and you have to have time and energy.

Ron Hades 36:38
If you do it, like few times, you see if it’s worth it or not. And because then I cannot change the world. But the thing that I can change is the people around me, and that I meet personally, and just a little hope that I have is if I change the single person one by one, maybe they will also do the same with the other people, then it’s not going to change overnight. But maybe in 10 years, maybe in 20 years, it will change. And it also has changed a lot since since 60s or 80s. It’s totally different now. And can you can you imagine like in 80s cultural appropriation people talking about? Like, what?!

Ayoto Ataraxia 37:34
Personally, even like, five years ago, you know, I think there’s a lot of, I mean, some things have changed and some things hasn’t. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just superficial, you know, it’s just the time that’s gonna pass, but tell me about Ron Hades, how did you come with this iteration?

Ron Hades 37:55
So, they are like a little bit different side. in me, as I mentioned earlier, I am very nurturing and more empathetic and more emotional. And, but there are also very dark side of me, which is like extremely sadist. Whenever when I keep other pain, other people pain, I feel like really deep down this huge catharsis in me that something is move my body and my soul and my mind in gives me like, deep, very deep satisfaction. So I knew that thing from the beginning that I have this, like a two phase side. And so I want it. So my, normal name and not sex worker name is Whoa, ah, whoa, whoa. And I still wanted to have something some name, which is short. So I asked around people and the guy I’m looking for my sex worker name. What can I choose? What’s I asked around, and then my best friend, and I, we were talking about it. And he said, What about Ron? And so I like that. And I like that. And so that’s how I get, not how I got the Ron. And when I studied sex work, I had to write a lot of text about myself and this kind of thing. And I’m really horrible at writing. And so I asked my friends Theo, if he could help me to write some text about it. So basically, he interviewed me and from the interview here wrote my text. And when we were thinking about what kind of name should we take? What kind of name? Could it fit with this old text? And he just say, what about Hades is the god of the Underworld. So you have the friendly neighborhood guy, Ron in the front. And in the back, you have Hades. So that’s how I came up with Ron Hades. And thankfully, there are not so many Ron Hades, who actually their name is actually Ron Hades, there are some people who has that name.

But there are not so many. So at least there’s a non in Europe. So it’s a nice to have that kind of like spatial name. Also advertisement reason, and that’s how I came up with my name.

Ayoto Ataraxia 41:02
And when people come to you, is it How is it in the studio to people come to specifically? Or do they assign people to different workers.

Ron Hades 41:13
And as I said, the like every person who works in our studio, we work at individually. Sorry, so the studio where I work, it’s basically co working space. So we just pay the rent, to time the reuse. And that’s about it. So they see it a little bit of marketing from their side, but they don’t assign client to us. So I have to talk to client every time by myself, and they also contact me directly. Not the studio, out to the people,

Ayoto Ataraxia 41:54
power to the people.

Ron Hades 41:55
Yeah, I also saw like mine client. I don’t select my client of their ethnicity because not about their color, or body shape, or age or anything or not even agenda. I only see if they are really willing to communicate with me. And their behavior. I put a lot of value in that. So I pick also my client a little bit in a picky way,

Ayoto Ataraxia 42:27
how do you tell? Is it just through emails or and

Ron Hades 42:30
from the messages or emails, or how they send the kind of feels already, Like, there are some people just who doesn’t have a deep respect of me, and I don’t want to see someone just because of money.

Ayoto Ataraxia 42:49
No, did you have some of that experience at the beginning?

Ron Hades 42:54
They’re also like a one, a few situation that I had to, there was one situation that I had to kick someone out. Because I set clear boundary and the person didn’t bite and that person violated the boundaries more than two times and I said, Stop. I said, This is my limits. And yeah, now you just dress up, and you need to leave now. And yeah, of course, the person was really angry today. Yeah, kick the person out. But yeah.

Ayoto Ataraxia 43:30
Did you ever feel in a situation where you can’t handle it or when it gets too much

Ron Hades 43:36
does a good thing about working as a dominant sex workers and you always have control. So you always have a mostly you have a power over other people or person or client, so it’s a little bit easier.

And there’s as a male. It’s also a little bit different than working as a female. I never had that situation where I feel unsafe, or, but to be fair, I also don’t do outcalls or in the home visiting or whatever. I only work in the studio. Nowhere else. So it’s always like a safe environment. Then other places.

Ayoto Ataraxia 44:23
Do you feel now though, with all this cathartic work, do you feel there might be a point where you run out of juice run out of energy with come into like your first experience where there was such a big overwhelming frustration from Uniqlo?

Ron Hades 44:39
The good trick about myself. do you know Hulk? The Avengers, Hulk? So one of the Avengers movie Hulk and the people asking him what’s what’s your secret? and to not release the Hulk, or how can you release the Hulk so fast and this kind of thing. And he said, I’m always angry. The truth is, I’m not always angry but since and I had a really rough childhood, I can have unlimited resource when it comes to the anger. And but thing is it’s also not really about the anger, the first time it was about the anger, but mostly it’s not really about the anger itself. And

it’s also really nurturing in a way that I’m giving them something that they also like, and but in a more safe way. And, but they also like some clients who spit on my face, to just trigger me that I get more aggressive. And sometimes I just let them do it. And sometimes I just close their mouths. But it also happens, and then they get like a really angry Ron Hades.

Ayoto Ataraxia 46:19
Do you still have space outside of work to play in these kind of areas and concepts? Or do you get overwhelmed?

Ron Hades 46:30
to be honest, not so much. First, if you work as professional, you also get really picky about who you choose. And you also don’t, I also don’t want to educate other people outside of work all the time. And, and that happens quite easily. If you play BDSM in as a professional person in a private way. So

Ayoto Ataraxia 47:06
because you come with a lot of authority

Ron Hades 47:08
in you also comes with a lot of knowledge. And, for example, Me Myself, I I’m always learning something new, like a new beginning new workshop and learning new skills in a proper way. And so that then the amount of the knowledge for most of people who works a professional is different than private person who doesn’t have that x who doesn’t have access to this knowledge. And when and there’s also ways, a certain type of expectation from other people. Because I work as a professional, and that I have to be in seven senses in a way or did I have to keep them also some service or something? No. So I kind of gave up privately.

Especially also in the corner at the moment. And I’m happy with that happened sometimes that that I made someone happy happened something but I also have a partner at home. So no, no, I’m fine with not having play parties or in play partners in private.

Ayoto Ataraxia 48:38
Are you in a longer relationship with with a one individual? How is that?

Ron Hades 48:43
Um, we’ve been together? Two months, two years, eight months or something like that. So yeah, it is actually the longest relationship that I’ve had. At the beginning, we also had that Dom-Sub dynamic. We kind of gave up now. Because it was also hard for me to deliver that role all the time and kind of effected our relationship, and now at the moment, we are trying to find more ourselves in our relationship. And also me myself.

Ayoto Ataraxia 49:34
Do you live together? Yeah. That’s a that’s such a different thing, isn’t it? Like? There’s also just basic stuff learn together.

Dealing with kitchen things.

Ron Hades 49:47
Oh, yeah. But at the beginning, it was also really hard with my partner talk about racism.

Ayoto Ataraxia 49:55
What’s the ethnic background?

Ron Hades 49:58
He’s he Italian. White Italian, his father’s Catholic and he’s not Catholic. But a lot of time, what he finds racism is for me like, extreme stuff. And what I’m talking about racism is select daily stuff. And yeah, he couldn’t understand why, at the beginning and over the time since he really sees it directly what it does to me. He also has a more empathy and he also sees when the it is the daily racism happens now, and he couldn’t see it. He couldn’t understand it. And even though he loves me so much, but he still couldn’t see it. And in the context, I was thinking about he’s my partner is my boyfriend, but it was also hard for him to see that. But how, imagine how hard that is for the strangers? Basically, they don’t give a fuck!

Ayoto Ataraxia 51:11
I’ve had many of the same experience where it just it’s so crazy because it’s, there’s so much love for so much intimacy, and yet, and so much incentive to understand. But still so, so invisible somehow.

Ron Hades 51:30
Yeah, sadly, yes.

Ayoto Ataraxia 52:54
the things that I’m interested in to the people are not so much boxed in this commercial, consistent, repetitive thing, it just gets so boring,

Ron Hades 53:03
I think that also has really a lot to do with the masculinity, especially in Asia, or at least in Korea. Once when you get older after university, when you start to work, and in the society, there are like some certain way how you have to dressed as a male in certain age. And that’s also interesting point of how I see me getting older and how I see the masculinity in me. And in also in the society because as a little boy, and you have to fulfill the masculinity as a little boy and, and masculinity you have to fulfill as the male is a totally different thing. And it’s also a factor, why does it have to change every time and who does who the fuck decide that?

Ayoto Ataraxia 54:00
this is so ridiculous. I mean, I actually, I have I’ve been re-discovering my own masculinity, I have to say, you know, I would say most of my life, I’ve quite happy to embrace femininity and feminine sides. And, you know, I actually, when I grew up, I was also very much into fashion. And, you know, I just I enjoyed being with women more, I enjoyed feminine things. But at the same time, I just think it’s, there’s so much also positive things in masculinity. And I think even for boys turning into men, it just takes I don’t know, I think for me, it took time to kind of figure out what I liked about that. And what it means for me and I find this also the pressure in society from everybody, men and women of … I’m also the first son of the first son, sp I know all about that! And it’s funny when I was a kid, my mom would tell me all kinds of … it was actually I felt like I had much more pressure from my mom about being a man. And then she had an Asian… but it’s not even Asian. This is total nonsense, because, you know, so for example, we had discussions about hair. Right? And she would, if it’s, I mean, she always had something to say, if it’s too short, if it’s too long, either it’s never man enough. It’s such nonsense. And I was thinking, like, and she’s like, Oh, you have to hold on, like, different history, men have long hair everywhere.

Ron Hades 55:40
In Korea, in until beginning of the 1900s. They had to have a long hair.

Ayoto Ataraxia 55:48
Yeah, otherwise, you’re not a man.

Ron Hades 55:50
if you have like really short hair? That means like, you’re really bottom class of the society, So all the noble families and then people in higher places, they always had the long hair. And they had the men bun.

Ayoto Ataraxia 56:08
Yeah, I mean, I think the sad part is I think there’s the aspect of colonialization though, this kind of Western, in international concept of, you know, a man is a man in a suit and short hair. And I think just also the success of advertising.

Unknown Speaker 56:26
White people ruin everything. White people ruin the asian culture. White people ruined masculinity. There like some funny moments. Where I say to other people, I don’t like this because I feel really emasculated. I just say it. Because that’s I how I feel. And sometimes I even say to myself, “That’s ridiculous.”

Ayoto Ataraxia 56:57
Yeah. Why it’s funny.

Unknown Speaker 56:58
Like, there was no such a thing of like… I cannot think of a good example.

Ayoto Ataraxia 57:04
I think it depends. I had one recently, where someone looked at me and said, “Oh, you look so… you look like a woman.” And first off, I mean, that they I felt really good, and that I was wearing a long coat and I had my hair out. And I had a mask on. And in general, I, I like it when I look feminine. I don’t have a problem with it. But it was the way that she said it. That really pissed me off. And it was this there was the layer of assumption. And, you know, that’s something that I think I should decide for myself, or you could think of you can think whatever you want. But the way she said like, you look like a woman. Okay, was a bit like…Why? Why I think she’s Is it like, the first reason, you know, Yeah, I know. Personally, she’s, I just think she’s racist. And then even this is I find that really interesting, like, so I’ve been talking, I’ve been meeting some people online. Other Asian men that are thinking and talking about some of these subjects. And I’ve been calling them up and interviewing them. And what I find interesting is, when we talk about these things, I find Asians have this fear. And maybe you spoke a little bit about this last time, like the fear of like, well, how public do I want this? And the fear of speaking up about the prejudice and the frustration and it’s like, oh, even though we are the ones getting the shit.

Ron Hades 58:35
Yes, and I totally get that. And I think it’s also kind of like, in a way, fear of even if I open up myself, you will do nothing. And maybe people people laugh about it, even though I open up something really heavy. And and look for a lot of people they just don’t want to be in public. Yeah. Even though it’s just voice, when you can also just say it on without name. But yeah, I can I can relate to it. And if I think about it now, and how could I have accepted and like this situation or how… until four or five years, if you asked me like four or five years ago, I probably would have said no to this interview, probably. And since I work as a sex worker with my face out. I don’t really care. Of course, I talk about stuff more consciously because my face is But I just don’t care about my voices out and my voice is getting out or my faces getting our video is getting No, I just don’t scare, I don’t, it doesn’t have to be scared about it anymore. Because I’ve just done it so much. And but I can, I can understand that many people don’t want to do it, where they don’t see the value in that. And that’s the sad part, if they don’t see the value in the in the world changing the world together. For me, that means also they don’t see the problem that much, or they just partially, you know, they can leave with the fact

Ayoto Ataraxia 1:00:48
I’ve been thinking that it’s it also depends on their own securities in terms of support or systems no? like when I was working in in more corporate situations, they would be sitting there, will be racist situations. And I would, I would be scared to say, hey, this person is being very offensive to me, like I’m the one getting hurt, but I’m scared to speak out about it to rock the boat. And I would say I was scared because I felt this could impact my work. This could impact my position, to show weakness.

Ron Hades 1:01:27
Yes, definitely. I am one of the lucky one that I have, like all different privilege. I had so many German friends or European friends who supported me in all different way. And I never had to stay in a job where I hated it. Because I couldn’t find I could find a job another day. And I could find the job through other friends and stuff like that. So I never had to worry about it that much. Only place where I did it was in Uniqlo. In the end, it got me sick. And and in there. I also opened up myself about it. And and yeah, I also did some legal actions and stuff like that. And yeah, it was good. But it made me sick. And but other other than that, yeah, there is no situation that I have to shut up. And nothing my opinion, it was a really privileged in that context that I just could say whatever I want, and that I can say also political mind, me being Asian and what it what it is important to me and what it is about the masculinity in that like what I’m doing with you now. And yeah, I just had the privilege that I could do it. And I can also understand when other people doesn’t have the privilege, and they are so scared. And so they don’t even dare to open up themselves. But what I can say to them is there is always an option they can There are also some organizations where they can come to get a help. And there are enough good people in the world where they can open up themselves about their problem. Even…Yeah, and nowadays and talking about the masculinity it’s not the big problem. Because there are so much bigger things going on but as a different colored asian male person which in European to be honest in European country cultures, agent males masculinity don’t they don’t even accept as masculinity. So it is a big problem enough so we can talk about it and people can get support. And so they just should speak up a little bit more and yeah, yeah, gather around.

Ayoto Ataraxia 1:04:24
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, for me, too. I wouldn’t have done this five years ago, even two years ago, even one year ago. I think I mean, for me, it was starting to see other people doing this work and talking about it. And again, that gave me also strength and, you know, inspiration to, to share and i think i think a part of me is also trying to speak to some kind of younger version of myself. Someone that like if I would have liked to hear something like this Because I think when I started to hear some of these voices, I cried a lot, you know, hearing somebody similar and saying, sharing those experiences that I don’t hear so often, in general media and literature or films, and it was just so good because it’s these kind of situations or people, it’s probably also more common than it is than I realized. It’s just I don’t hear it, I don’t see it. And so, hopefully, I think if one person enjoys this, then it’s good enough.

Ron Hades 1:05:36
Yeah, it’s it’s important work because we have to live in both sides. In your family, with Asian people, you have to be masculine, and you are the masculine figure. But if you live in European society, outside of the house, you’re not masculine enough. So you have to constantly fight with yourself in in the outside of the world and in in your home. You just have to improve yourself like constantly or you also you also so… just confused. Like, where where am I? Who am I? And maybe there would be a movie about it. I don’t know. I hope one day

Ayoto Ataraxia 1:06:18
Yeah, so so split about this. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, you’re a movie already in its own making.

Ron Hades 1:06:27
Tthanks for having me here. It was wonderful to talk about asian male masculinity

Ayoto Ataraxia 1:06:42
That was Ron Hades. You can find out more about his work on his website, ronhades.com or follow him on Twitter, @Ron_Hades. I have the links in the description as well. You’re listening to the Asian Provocation. And this is your host Ayoto Ataraxia. You can subscribe to this podcast on any of your favorite podcast catchers. And now, here’s a preview of next week’s episode.

Mia Tu 1:07:09
In saying that, my mom thinks I’m an alien. Every once in a while. She’ll just be like, “I think you’re actually not human. You’re like, your phone.” So I don’t think you’re totally she’s like “you’re from this other planet. And you don’t really belong. here, you do so many weird things. And the fact that you’re allergic to everything here on Earth, like you get rashes. Like you don’t belong here. You’re like an alien.” And she’s looking at me like she’s totally serious. “I’m like, you don’t actually believe that. Do you?”

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