Since moving to the United States last year, Australia’s Tate Ryder has been like a kid in a candy store. But he knew it was his destiny ever since he was a child — and the final nudge came after he put in some work for BentleyRace.com, a successful company down under.
“It was about a year in after I had done 17 scenes, and I knew that I was better than the performers in Melbourne. I was like, what am I doing here? And I started talking to the director of that company and he was like, ‘You should be with Bel Ami or somewhere big like that overseas in the U.S.’ And I started researching, and I knew I wanted to be there,” Ryder says. “My dad always said to me when I was 13 that I would be somewhere big — like New York or somewhere else in the United States, and here I am. I love the U.S.”
When I say I want something, I just get up and do it. And it seems to work out for me..
He even loves it when it’s cold, like on a brisk weekday in January in Washington, D.C., his first trip to the nation’s capital. “I wanted to know a little bit more about America, and D.C. is really cool. I know a few people here, so I thought I’d come,” he says with a smile, a killer gaze that is permanently affixed to his arresting visage. Ryder is instantly affable, his unaffected demeanor and genuinely friendly nature immediately drawing you in.
He’s had a busy trip: The night before he had a successful live show for his recently launched website TateRyder.com (“It’s about me promoting it now and getting that out there. Then probably around September, I’ll start trying to do my own content”), and he’s about to put his muscles to work with a friend at a popular health club near Dupont Circle — a long ways from Mount Isa, the small country town he grew up in.
“I lived about four hours away from the desert. That was really good in some ways, but really bad in others. I was coming out whether there were gay people around me or not, but the fact there was no gay people around me … I struggled. I felt special, but I felt like I shouldn’t be there because I felt too different, and I felt like there was something wrong with me. But then I moved away and got a scholarship into a full-time ballet school, and I fit in really well,” he says with a laugh.
He danced for about two years before an ankle injury derailed him, and when it didn’t heal properly he had to go to Plan B. “I was always an exhibitionist and I like being on stage. I had always been a performer and always been sexual, but my sexuality really came out after I quit ballet,” he recalls. “I started becoming a little bit of a… not a bad kid, but I was going out dancing at most of the clubs and getting different gigs here and there. I could still dance, but I couldn’t do ballet because it was high impact on the legs, so I started meeting more gay boys and getting in the gay scene. At that time I was doing drugs and drinking; it was just the past year-and-a-half that I became sober.”
Ryder had been in London before moving to Seattle, a decision he made last year after dating fellow performer Trenton Ducati, who won Performer of the Year at the XBIZ Awards in January. The two met on a shoot for Lucas Entertainment in Greece.
“That’s where I met the Tater Tot. There were about 15 people in a cottage house in Mykonos, and in comes Tate with his bags and his earphones and his drama!” Ducati says with affection. “Just a big personality, straight from London all decked out. Everybody’s in just jeans and no shirts, and just kind of rugged… and he’s got a big chain on and Lady Gaga glasses and his hair’s all crazy, and of course he’s got that Australian accent and he’s saying hello to everybody.”
Ducati was instantly taken with Ryder — in fact, he was taken with him before they even met. “Before I ever went to Mykonos, they were casting and sent pictures of some of the people that would be there. And right away when I saw them, I said ‘Oh my God, please get me a scene with this person!’ I was begging, and they were like ‘It’s too late, it’s already been cast.’ So moving forward, I saw him when he got there and I was just like mesmerized,” Ducati says, noting that they quickly warmed up to each other. “He was high anxiety at the time over some things that were going on in his life, and I’m a calmer, older type person, so I was that for him there … calming. And so we clicked.”
Soon afterward, Ryder moved to Seattle. And while the two have since stopped dating, they remain friends — and Ryder holds no regrets for the path he has taken.
“I’ve always been spontaneous,” he says. “When I was 17, I packed my shit and I said, ‘I’m gonna go study more to do ballet.’ And then I got into a company, and after I fell out of the company I moved to Sydney. And after Sydney I was like, ‘I’m gonna pack my shit and go to Melbourne’ and I did it… and then I did the same thing and I was off to London. Then I met Trenton, and a month later I said ‘I’m going to move to the U.S. to be with him.’ So it’s always been like a spontaneous journey for me. When I say I want something, I just get up and do it. And it seems to work out for me.”
The year has been a busy one already for Ryder. In addition to shoots, launching his website, amassing nearly 10,000 Twitter followers (and counting) and being named Mr. Los Angeles Escort of the Year at the Stripper Circus party in February, Ryder has also continued his modeling for gay fashion icon Andrew Christian — practically bursting out of his underwear every day for e-mail subscribers across the globe.
“I think this year will be a very promising year with a lot of scenes,” says Ryder, who has a busy year in front of the camera planned — all the better to indulge in his favorite fetish. “Uncut is my No. 1 fetish, and that will never change. It’s really funny, because up until I was 20, I couldn’t stand it. I don’t really know why that changed. We all change in life, right?”
He also hopes to pick up more tools behind the camera along the way, an eventual eye on directing not out of the question: “You can go do a scene and take away the money, or you can take away more and learn something from the directors that you work with — how to use the lighting, asking questions and stuff like that. It’s an experience for me.” He also wouldn’t mind a side career in DJ’ing to explore his love of music; whatever he decides, he has the support of his family: “They’re supportive as long as I’m sober and happy, and looking after myself and going somewhere in life.”
NakedSword director mr. Pam has worked with Ryder on a few projects, the two sharing an excitable energy.
“He is so wonderful, he just reeks of sex,” she says. “He’s one of those people that should be doing porn. He just loves fucking. When I first saw a picture of him, I just thought he was striking — and he has that little ‘Porn Star’ tattoo across his fingers. He’s just very naturally sexual and young and energetic, and loves porn. Sometimes he can get a little feisty and I have to rein him in, but we always have a great time with him. He’s wonderful, and he loves me, too. He sends me messages on Twitter all the time.”
Feisty? Yep, Ryder admits it. “I do agree with her. I get feisty when I don’t think things are going perfectly right for me, and that can mean anything, really. Like, ‘Why isn’t my hard-on working?!’ Or I’ve fucking douched several hours before the scene and I’m not perfectly clean. That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does I get really mad… and I do get really feisty when they put me with scene partners that I’m not turned on at all by. But hey, that’s porn, and that’s where ‘porn actor’ comes in and you’ve got to work really hard. That’s when people really deserve an award… if you can pull that out — make it work and make it real — that’s what I find really interesting about porn.”
Thankfully, you can’t tell when Ryder isn’t 100 percent attracted to a scene mate — which is why almost all the major studios have enlisted his skills. “He’s a power performer,” says Hot House director Christian Owen. “Tate can be a power bottom and a power top, and he delivers very well. He sells his performance — he’s got high energy, and when he goes on set he is a true performer.”
While in London, Ryder clocked in quality hours at top-notch studios like UK Naked Men and EuroCreme, followed by an exclusive contract with Lucas Entertainment through June of 2012. Since then, he has appeared in hits from Hot House and Falcon, with shoots with Titan, Dominic Ford and Chi Chi LaRue already scheduled.
“Chi Chi has been a friend of mine for the last year, and her supportive attitude and the way she goes about life, it’s really helped me,” Ryder says. “I’m looking forward to working with her in the next week or so, and Christian from Hot House — he’s a great director and he always makes me look the best, no matter what.”
Ryder also smiles wide when told about the affection mr. Pam holds for him, a mutual feeling: “He just oozes sexuality and is just so much fun to fuck, err… wait,” says the director with a laugh, realizing her Freudian slip. “I haven’t fucked him! He just has this gorgeous face and these piercing blue yes, and is just amazing… and that accent!”
The director indulged Ryder for a scene in NakedSword’s “Truck”: “He had been begging me, ‘Please Pam, let me top! I’m always bottoming! Please!’” she recalls, adopting a mock accent (albeit one that sounds more English than Australian). “And I’m like, alright… let’s try this! He’s an amazingly versatile performer, great top, so much fun to photograph, too. He’s just strikingly good looking.”
It was an itch Ryder needed to scratch, although he can’t quite explain it. “I’ve been mostly bottom a lot of my life… well… pretty much my whole life,” he says with a smile. “And only about two years ago, I was so piggy, like I liked everything, even fisting — not so much these days. I like my ass being played with, but there’s something about guys’ asses lately — probably the past four to five months — that I have a fascination for, I don’t know why. So I really want to do more scenes topping. I don’t know if people think it’s strange, coming from a big bottom. But people have told me, ‘You’ve got a great beautiful cock, why not use it?’ And I agree with them.”
Who are we to stand in his way?