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Issue 11.1 : Featured Article

The Boys of Bel Ami

By Danny Valle

    The first time I went into a gay video store, I felt overwhelmed by the huge selection of titles. Frankly, I could’ve rented everything in the store, but they had a five rental max policy, so I had to be very picky about what I would choose. In between the S&M and Wrestling aisles I stumbled upon the Bel Ami section. What can I say? I was amazed. I had never seen so many beautiful naked men in my life. After narrowing it down to a couple of videos, I finally decided to rent Frisky Summer. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed! In fact, throughout more than ten years of watching Bel Ami films, I’ve never been let down. In honor of this outstanding studio, I’ll take a closer look at some of Bel Ami’s most memorable performers. In no particular order, here we go.

ION DAVIDOV
The first time I saw Ion was in Frisky Summer. I remember being stunned that a man of his beauty wasn’t a mainstream model. Seriously – how in the world do certain people end up being so beautiful? With his striking eyes, killer six-pack, and a huge dick that didn’t know the meaning of the word limp, I soon pegged Ion as the ideal man. And that was just when he was stripping. I practically fainted once he started fucking another guy who was just as hot. It appears that Ion now owns his own tattoo shop in Western Europe. Time to plan a vacation!

JOHAN PAULIK
My infatuation with Ion was so consuming that I had barely noticed Johan. It wasn’t until I watched An American in Prague that I really came (cough) to appreciate him. There was something exotic about him that I could never quite place, and when it came time for the pop-shot, the boy always delivered. Not only was there an explosion every single time he came, but his overall enthusiasm for sex was remarkable. Today at 34-years-of age, Johan has taken up the helm behind-the-scenes as a producer and director. His recent directorial credits include Johan's Journal: Sun Kissed and Too Many Boys.

LUKAS RIDGESTON
Almost immediately, I began renting every Bel Ami film I could find. I was searching for more titles with Johan and Ion when I stumbled upon Lukas’ Stories. Not only did it star Johan, but it also starred a guy whose eyes looked so striking that I thought they were photoshopped. In fact, I didn’t even think it was a real person. This is definitely one of those movies that caused a horniness overload. I had to concentrate on keeping my finger off the fast-forward button just to see what would happen next. In one scene, there are dozens of naked guys on a ship having sex in one of the biggest group scenes I’d ever seen. But the one person I wanted to see was Lukas, and he didn’t disappoint. Not only were his eyes a crystal blue, but he was also downright beautiful from every angle. If he had wavy hair, I would have sworn that he was the same model Michelangelo used to sculpt David. You can imagine my utter excitement when Johan and Lukas teamed up for one of gay porn’s best scenes in history. In 2000, both Johan and Lukas were inducted into the GayVN Hall of Fame. In 2006, Lukas returned to the screen in the film The Private Life of Tim Hamilton, but since then he’s decided to work behind-the-scenes as a director and a cameraman.

SEBASIAN BONNET
It’s hard to pick out my favorite guys in such a vast pantheon of hot men, but one model that always stands out is Sebastian Bonnet. Sebastian has a boy-next-door appeal – that is, if the boy next door happens to be a model for Abercrombie and Fitch! His Bel Ami career began in 1996 with the release of Frisky Summer 2 and has been going strong ever since. He was in several titles last year, including Johan's Journal: Sun Kissed and Personal Trainers Part 11. Sebastian also works full time in the post-production unit and spends his time editing and pre-editing all of Bel Ami’s major releases. He’s also credited with training the second generation of Bel Ami models – a job most people would kill to have.

BRANDON MANILOW
Brandon made his first appearance at the tender age of nineteen in the film Personal Trainers 5. Since then he has appeared in about a dozen films, including a barebacking scene he shot with his ex-boyfriend (and fellow Bel Ami model) Alex Orioli that is only available to website members. Brandon has been described as a true farmboy, and it’s been reported that Bel Ami’s filming schedule has been interrupted several times in order for him to help his family with their harvest. A perennial top, he is also described as a boy with a permanent hard-on.

ALEX ORIOLI
With his chiseled good looks and his insatiable sexual appetite, Alex is just plain fun to watch. He’s also one of those rare performers who look at ease both topping and bottoming. Of course, when you’ve dated someone like Brandon Manilow – who sports a nine incher – taking anything smaller must be a breeze. The two share a particularly noteworthy scene in The Private Life of Brandon Manilow.

JOSH ELLIOT
If there is anyone who can definitely be considered a second-generation model it’s this blond beauty. Josh joined the Bel Ami team in 2002 and has appeared in hit films like Greek Holiday, and Graffiti. Josh is one of those guys who started off shy, but has really grown into his own after his time with the company. It’s even reported that he badgered George Duroy (owner/producer/ director) to let him do more topping scenes. Fortunately for us, he got his wish – and you can see how skilled a top he has become in one of his most recent films, The Private Life of Josh Elliot. It’s rumored that after spending some time studying in Australia he came back with a taste for sex that’s a little rougher than the stuff Bel Ami usually releases.

PAUL VALERY
Paul is someone who I could easily see playing a role in a popular teen TV series. He’s got a down to Earth appeal and innocent good looks – but that’s nothing compared to what he has dangling between his legs. You’d never suspect that such a normal-looking guy would have such an enormous cock. If it weren’t so sensationally hot, it might be comical. The refreshing thing about Paul isn’t necessarily what he does in bed. But don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with him in that respect. It’s just,  the dialogue that comes out of his mouth... I was particularly taken by his very honest approach to his scene with Ralph Woods in French Kiss.

DANO SULIK
Although some have said that Dano is a “sex pig”, George Duray disagrees and says that Dano is more specifically a “sex-machine.” He is said to be one of the most reliable porn performers ever to work for Bel Ami and is noted for his tremendous sexual stamina. As of 2007, he had retired from acting and was working second camera for Internet episodes – but you can see him in many Bel Ami films, including many of the Training Session series.

    It’s obvious that Bel Ami is a wonderful company to work for. Otherwise, why would so many retired models stick around? But imagine working there… I don’t think I’d be able to handle it! Here’s hoping we get to see a reunion film sometime in the near future!
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