He is Berlin’s most desired bachelor on social media – We wanted to get to know the man behind the Insta-fame.
iHeartBerlin named the 30-year-old Brit one of Berlin’s most fearless Sexfluencers fighting for sex-positivity online. Don’t mistake his overtly sexual images for empty thirst traps, this man is more than just bum and bulge. The Instagram-famous artist wants to create something meaningful where others remain shallow.
145,000 follow the New Berliners account on Instagram, almost 50,000 more since the last time we featured him last year. What is it that makes JustSamMorris so undeniably fascinating? Is it the former dancer’s tight body, the 1970’ s-daddy-mustache or his angel-like singing voice while topless playing the Ukulele? Or is it the possibility to get even closer to this exclusive fantasy if you are willing to pay the price of his members-only website?
When we got a hold of the busy traveler on the phone, just arriving back from a trip to the Versace Mansion in Miami (you can admire the artistic results on his Insta 😉 ), we get to know a man quite different from the muscle-packed stud, we know from his feed. Shy, humbled, and not afraid to be vulnerable – a hopeless romantic caught in the persona of everybody’s favorite bed fantasy.
We wanted to know more about the photographer’s struggles, his reflections, and future perspectives.
photos: Sam Morris
When I look up online what Sam Morris was up to in 2014, I find out that you were mainly a musician, not a photographer. Now, you’re everybody’s favorite Insta-boyfriend shooting risky images. How did this change happen?
(Laughs) Where to start?… I always wanted to be an artist. I’ve adapted and moved so much throughout my twenties but all of these steps made me able to create what I can I create. If you had told me when I was 20, I’d be in Berlin when I’m 30 creating erotic art, I’d be like OH FUCK! It wasn’t planned, you know. I was really hungry for knowledge, I didn’t want to just sit in my room. I was doing music but alongside the music, I was always working as a photographer and for an agency doing castings and advertisement. All that helped me to set my own company because I had all that knowledge about photography, marketing, editing, just generally running a business.
When did your photography start being more provocative?
I came out of a really long relationship during the time I was making music and afterwards, I had really low self-esteem, and couldn’t express my sexuality properly. I needed to find my sexual person, so I started playing around more in my photography. I’ve been doing portraits and self-portraits all my teens and then they became more exhibitionist. I didn’t want to guard myself anymore.
You are Insta-famous, but that is kind of an empty description, right? Does Insta-fame mean anything to you?
Insta-fame is a way to get my work seen and get opportunities in life. For me, it’s not just to feel famous. But I feel like I got to a point where it has defined my self-worth to an unhealthy level. I know a lot of others Instagrammers whose actual life and self-worth depend on their Instagram account. It starts to go so deep into your skin, you can’t imagine life without it. Which is absolutely nuts! I don’t get many Instagrammers. Why are you growing a following? Do you have any work you want to share? What are you doing it for? Everyone’s so bothered about what’s gonna get likes. Nothing’s real anymore because everyone just wants to please other people. I just wanna do what I do and not give a fuck!
I saw you once post something like: When they want JustSam but then they’re just in bed with Sam. Is that the negative influence Insta-fame takes on your personal life?
I think it was Marilyn Monroe who left the house and said: I have to be her now. And this is how I often feel on Social Media. I don’t think I’m the same person, I just never created another name. You can create a person online that you will be or that you like the idea of and in real life you are someone else. JustSam is an art creation, someone who people look up to, admire and think is super confident and doesn’t give a fuck. But the lines between that person I created and the actual person behind it blur even for me sometimes and it makes me mistrust people. I don’t know if they want to spend time with me or with the guy from Instagram. I have to be like: This is the real Sam, and hope that’s that what they’re here for.
You recently deleted dozens of images from your account because Instagram changed their guidelines. How do you manage to showcase queer erotic art on a conservative platform like Instagram?
I’m always walking a very thin line on the Instagram set of rules and I am probably one of those who take the most risks. I always adapt and play with the rules as much as I can. When they changed them recently, I deleted everything that wasn’t in between these guidelines because I don’t want to give them an excuse to delete my account. That would be disastrous for me.
If everybody plays the game, will it ever change?
Honestly, I just see it becoming more intense. It starts with everyone playing by Apple’s rules. That’s how Tumblr ended up so strict because they deleted it from the App Store, It’s the same with Instagram and Facebook. Even Grindr has become more strict when it comes to censorship because they’re answering to Apple. We’re living in such a weird time…
Will uncensored content soon only be on sites like yours or on OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a legal disaster. It’s essentially a website where anyone is allowed to publish a picture of someone getting fucked without a release form or ID. The safe way to do it is to have your own website. There are many people contacting me who are inspired by it, but it’s fucking hard. It’s not like setting up an OnlyFans account.
You are quite a recent Berliner. Does the city influence your work at all?
There’s this highly sexual energy here that inspires me. I like how grounded Berlin is. It feels like the least judgmental place on earth. So, you can create real shit. And when you go to places like LA, Miami, or NY people enjoy your work because it has that sense of grittiness that you can’t get there.
Our exhibition Uncensored Berlin in December 2018 was the first time that you presented your work in a gallery space among other photographers. How was that experience for you?
There is so much talent in Berlin. It’s a scarier place to showcase my photographs, especially when it comes to nudes because everyone is doing them in Berlin and doing them well. So, I was super nervous about Uncensored Berlin. Only because there were so many photographers alongside me that I really respect. I felt very much like the new kid on the block. But after the exhibition, I got invited to show my photo work at ArtGaysel in Miami later this year which is amazing and something I’ve been wanting to do. That people would actually buy and own my photography in print makes it much more accessible and opens up so many new possibilities for my work.
Would you consider your work porn?
I don’t use the word porn, but there are elements of porn in my work. I play with many elements; queerness, masculinity, femininity, porn. It is a representation of me and how I express myself in real life. I like to over-romanticize the mundane. I’m like a super romantic anyway. I want it to be very opulent and beautiful. I just follow my instincts, go off my mood and create from that.