“My life hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t change anything”
OnlyFans performer Robert Royal (31) isn’t affraid to admit: “I was a huge fucking asshole in my teens.”
Words by Caspar Pisters, all photos courtesy by Robert Royal
“I’m at a point in my life that I had never imagined. Porn was never really on my radar, I wasn’t into it much. I liked filming during sex, it turns me on. But these were just little home videos, for my eyes or to share with someone that I’m into.
I used to be a stylist and makeup artist. I was pretty successful and I enjoyed it. Then corona came and I needed to do something. Because all my jobs got canceled until further notice. People I knew had started OnlyFans accounts. I was texting with some of them and they were making good money. In April 2020, just after the pandemic kicked in, I started my own. It was the best choice I ever made in my career.
“Right-wing thinking people, that’s the environment in which I grew up.”
I decided to commit myself one hundred percent. If you’re going to do it, you have to do it right, or it will not be successful. I’ve made some out-of-the-box choices in my life before, I always speak about these things to my family and friends first. I want them to hear it from me, rather than some other source. My brother, when I told him, laughed. He said: ‘I was waiting for this moment. You are so sexual, it was just a matter of time’. He’s nine years older than me, we have our birthday on the same day.
My other two brothers are also cool with it. One is eight and one eleven years older. My dad is a fan of me I would say, haha. He thinks I do the coolest things with my life, traveling the world and being me. He knows everything that I do, I send him my interviews always. He’s super proud of it and even shows it around at the bar where he works, in the town where I grew up.
I’m from Steiermark in Austria, a small industrial town, some ten thousand people live there. It’s quite conservative. Right-wing thinking people, that’s the environment in which I grew up.
“Losing my mom at age ten was like the carpet being pulled from under my feet.”
Even my own family tends more towards right-wing politics. I’m very, very close with my dad and brothers, so it can sometimes feel really double. How can they support all these organizations that are against me? I stopped trying to educate them because it’s impossible. People are very stubborn in their beliefs. When something really bothers me, I speak up. But I don’t feel I always have to. They have their way of thinking, they are happy that I’m successful, healthy, and enjoying my life.
My growing up was difficult. When I was two years old, my parents split up. I stayed with my mom, my brothers with my dad. My mom died in a car accident when I was ten years old. All of a sudden I had to move in with my dad. Until then I only ever saw him once every second weekend, or less if he had to work. I didn’t have the connection with my father that I had with my mom. Losing her was like the carpet being pulled from under my feet, it was a horrible period.
Death has been a big thing in my life anyways. Soon after my mom, one by one all my grandparents died. Even some kids my age at the time passed, from alcohol and drugs and stupid things.
People in the countryside are bored. They start experimenting with hard drugs at a very young age. I wasn’t really tempted at that age. I smoked weed, but I didn’t start experimenting with heavier substances until I felt ready for it.
“In boarding school I learned my profession, I’m a metal worker.”
I was a horrible teenager though, I did everything I could to make my dad not happy. I was fucking stubborn, a huge asshole. He sent me to a boys-only boarding school at age 16. Kids there… they were psychos. Me, compared to them, I was an angel. A lot of these guys ended up in prison. Crazy, fucked up things happened. There were so many fights, I saw a lot of blood, and smashed-in teeth. Boys that got raped. Usually, the new kids were treated as slaves, you had to do everything for the older guys. I knew one of the older guys and he protected me, it’s how I got my status and made it through.
I was so frustrated when I was there, but looking back, my dad was definitely right to send me there. It’s where I learned my profession btw, I’m a metal worker.
My being gay, throughout my youth, came up a lot, but it wasn’t something I had figured out myself. I wasn’t harassed much because of my older brothers, they had quite a reputation in town. I was lucky that way because some other guys had a really hard time.
“Telling my dad and brothers I’m gay was a turning point in our relationship.”
After boarding school, at age 19, I moved to Vienna. I started going out, I met my first boyfriend. Finally, I could collect the courage to put my dad and my brothers in one room and tell them I’m gay. They often joked about gays, but they said: Robert, we always knew, don’t be ashamed, we love you. It was a turning point in my relationship with them. I could now speak openly and be me, no more hiding or filtering what I say.
I’m making more money now than with my previous job, but in a way that’s so much more fun. And finally, I’m my own boss, in charge of my own creative expression, which was my dream. It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t change anything in my life. The ways of the universe shaped me into the person that I am today, and I’m very happy with the way I am.”