Our pal David Goodman over at the recently resurrected BEAR Magazine (yes that BEAR magazine- the one that helped define our culture) had this great career spanning interview with super hot daddy bear Steve Ellis that we just had to share with you. In their conversation they talk about his work in studio porn, on OF/JFF and his latest incarnation as the owner of CockEye Kink. Their conversation is presented in its entirety below. It’s informative, sexy and filled with great photography. Enjoy!
David Goodman: Hi Steve, It’s great to see you again, I think the first time we met was at the very first IBC around ten years ago. Our readers will know you already from the various performances you have done for Bear Films of course!
Steve Ellis: Yes, my Bear Films career started in 2001 when I was approached to do naked photographs for the just getting started Bear Films company for their website. BearFilms had also asked a friend of mine from Seattle to also do photos and he was nervous and asked me to join him. So I was there for (m)oral support, AKA fluffer, and helping him slowly undress for the camera. The photographer commented on how hot it was seeing us make out and asked if we minded if he got the video camera out and filmed. We both agreed and quickly got back to making out and eventually getting naked and fucking. That scene earned the name “Red on Red” as we were both ginger bears and ended up on the first Bear Films DVD release “Fur Frenzy”. From there I did scenes for California Bears, Bear Ruckus, Bear Voyage 2, Bear Essentials, Summer Bear Fest, Hot Bear Sex, and Bear DNA.
DG: Have you worked with other studios?
SE: I did two scenes for two DVDs for ButchBear Studios. Those were called Rough Cuts and Power Tools.
DG: Awesome, I’ll look out for them, also can we see you on OnlyFans?
SE: I do have an OnlyFans and JustForFans account mainly because I have filmed some collaborative contents with such guys as Marc Angelo, Daryl Richter, Seattle Dad, Miles Cumberland, Logan Stanley, Luke Cody and Doctor Nick over the last few years. I have considered adding my own content, but I am already very busy with my custom fetish gear company.
DG: What have been some of the highlights of your on camera career?
SE: I always felt like I had great chemistry with everyone that I did a scene with and a good portion of them are people I still consider friends. I was lucky to be able to have a say in who I worked with and not just get paired with a stranger with whom I may or may not connect have connected. The magic and charm of early Bear Films was that you could really feel that the performers were having a good time and getting off on what they were doing. Even when there was a cheesy plot and dialogue, it was so tongue-in-cheek that the viewer felt like they were also in on the joke and played along.
I’d like to say that I got involved in the gay porn industry when it wasn’t as available to do it nor was it as readily accepted to been seen doing sex acts on the screen. A performer had to really rely on a known studio to provide the work and marketing/exposure to build a brand. To make a living, you really had to be continuously filming because you were being paid once for a single performance and then the studio got to reap the residual benefits of using your image over and over, selling multiple DVDs and then streaming. The way a performer made a living was to do the films for exposure to get a fan base, then become an escort and paid as an “in person” event performer. And while that is still the case, sex work wasn’t as accepted and legitimized as it is becoming today. It still had a way to go because Sex work is legitimate work. But the internet also opened up the opportunity for performers to make their own content and promote it on Twitter, Only Fans and Just For Fans and receive the money directly, in a stable model of recurring payments. It also allowed the performer to connect with their fan-base on a closer level. One thing I have learned is that even after 20 years, I still have loyal fans all over the world who still send me messages and I appreciate reading all of them.
I was active towards the end of the phase where porn was a physical item, such as a print magazine, a VHS tape (yes my first 2 scenes were released on VHS), or DVD. Once the internet came along, it changed how the content was consumed and brought up many of the same issues being discusses in the Actors Guild and Writers Strikes in Hollywood. Who has control over one’s intellectual property (stage name, look, content) and how it gets used, often over and over and who makes money from it. Sadly, most adult film actors got very little to start with and never saw anything else, even though they may become well known and beloved.
DG: Yeah, it’s good to understand the history of the bear porn world, so I appreciate you explaining. Tell me, when did you create Cockeye Kink?
SE: I formed the LLC in the spring of 2018 and came up with the Cockeye Kink Gear brand in the fall of 2018. Things really took off when I started posting my creations on Twitter in 2019.
DG: What led you to creating it as a full company?
SE: I had made a custom harness for myself in the fall of 2017 and when I attended International Bear Convergence (IBC) in February of 2018, I stopped into Rough Trade Gear while wearing my custom harness. It happened to be a Sunday morning and the owner, Adrian, was working, saw my harness and said “Great harness. Where did you get it?” I responded, “I made it.” He said, “Where did you get the metal parts for it?” I said “I made those too. I have access to a waterjet cutting machine where I can design something and cut it out of any material, in this case, stainless steel.” He asked, “Can you cut out my logo?” It was a cigar smoking pig, and of course I answered “Yes, if I had the art file.” So, he emailed me the art file and I cut him parts with his logo, and I built him a standard Bulldog harness.
A couple of weeks passed and it was LA leather Pride, and he wears this new harness out to the festivities. He contacted me after that weekend and said ” I could have sold this harness off my back ten times! You need to go into business so you can make parts for me.” So I decided to start a business, but at first I was only going to make the parts. However, as I got into it more, I noticed that there wasn’t much in the way of adjustability, especially where the pieces were made for bigger guys. That is why I started prototyping my style of adjustable harness, so that if your body changes, up or down, you can still wear the gear in which you had invested.
As I expanded my idea, the more I saw that bigger guys were hesitant to wear fetish harnesses because, in the past, they had not been able to find “off the rack” gear that was made for their size. That’s where my mission statement was formed in which it contains the belief that everyone deserves to feel sexy in gear, no matter the body type. It has been an amazing journey watching many men try on a harness that fits right and then see the light bulb turn on over their head when they look at themselves in the mirror the first time.
DG: Have you provided leather for any title holders?
SE: Yes. I started by donating a title harness to James, Mr. IML 2018. Then Jack, IML 2019; Gael, IML 2022; and Marcus, IML 2023. Since them I have provided ones to past winners Ralph, IML 2017 and David, IML 2016. I have done several title harnesses for regional titles, such as Mr. Gays Days and Mr. GNI. And, I have recently started making metal title medallions and metal title vest patches.
DG: Anyone you are in awe of?
SE: I had been in awe of Ralph Bruneau since seeing him as the IML title winner in 2017 so when he contacted me about making him a title harness, I was excited. The best part of the whole encounter was discovering just how nice and very down-to-earth person he is. I also gained a new friendship as well.
DG: What does the future hold?
SE: I really want to grow my brand and make it recognized around the world. I want to be able to expand into Europe and the UK. I want to have Cockeye Kink kiosks in bigger retails stores like Mr. S Leather, Mr. B, Prowler RED, CloneZone, etc. but I hope to start out having representation in the local kink and fetish store in cities around the US, like DogHouse Leather – Seattle, Sir Rat Leather – Austin, 64Ten – Chicago, LeatherWerks – Ft. Lauderdale or any store that is interested. I am also expanding into more custom, bespoke leather clothing, such as the unique plaid leather shirts and other shirts in unique, limited patterns as well as leather pants, vests, Motorcycle jackets and Muir caps.
DG: Where can your fans see you and or meet you?
SE: Upcoming I will be at Palm Springs Leather Pride, Palm Springs Pride, LA Leather Getaway AKA LA CLAW. In 2024, I plan to be a vendor at the major leather events such as Mid-Atlantic Leather, CLAW, IML etc. but hope to make smaller events such as Smoke Out – Las Vegas, Texas Bear Round Up (TBRU) – Dallas, Austin Kink Weekend, Dore Ally and Folsom Weekends. I also have a Twitter (X) account, for the moment, at @SteveEllisXXX and, as mentioned earlier, JustForFans under the same name.
DG: Thanks Steve, it’s amazing to see how much of a great career you have had, and see Cockeye Kink grow and grow!