Inside Europe’s ‘porn capital’ where Love Island-style scouts are luring ordinary Brits to become X-rated superstars

Inside Europe’s ‘porn capital’ where Love Island-style scouts are luring ordinary Brits to become X-rated superstars
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MILLIONS flock to Budapest every year to marvel at its grand architecture, take a dip in the thermal baths and drink at hip ruin bars.

But aside from visiting its tourist hotspots, many are also flocking to the historic capital for a very different reason – to film pornography. 

Olivia West

The Sun visited Budapest, which has long been regarded as the ‘porn capital’ of Europe. Pictured, an actress gets ready for a scene[/caption]

instagram/princesskiaralord

Kiara Lord, pictured, was ‘scouted’ to become an adult actress in the city[/caption]

Olivia West

The historic city is popular with tourists across Europe[/caption]

Since the fall of communism in 1989, the first city of Hungary has emerged as Europe’s unlikely porn production capital thanks to its low taxes, affordable rents and central landlocked location.

As one performer cheekily puts it: “If you throw a stone in the streets here, you’ll hit a porn star.”

Since lockdown, when thousands turned to OnlyFans for quick cash, the city’s industry has only exploded further, with Love Island-style scouts even tapping up adult content influencers online to persuade them to fly over and pursue a career in full-on pornography.

Racy videos are being filmed in homes, in local parks, on Ferris wheels and even in Airbnbs, by actors and actresses from nations including Australia, Colombia and Russia.

When The Sun visited Budapest to see why more Brits than ever are joining its X-rated underworld, we discovered a sprawling industry that extends far beyond the film sets themselves.

Whole districts of Budapest’s bustling hospitality scene have been taken over by adult entertainers who pack out its bars, cafes and restaurants every day.

High-tech sexual health clinics have opened up to offer QR-code certificates for performers, who stay rent-free in Big Brother-style properties kitted out with cameras in every room.

At a set hidden amongst residential homes in the city’s suburbs, we were introduced to Mannie Coco, 30, from East London, a stripper nervously waiting to film his first porn scenes.

Ahead of the shoot, he told us: “I’m confident I can perform. It’s just a lot.

“It’s way more organised than I expected and a proper full production, it’s different to anything I’ve ever done before. Thankfully, I’m good at rolling with the punches.”


Like many of Budapest’s new wave of performers, Mannie had been found on Twitter thanks to his OnlyFans content and stripping videos.

He was scouted by talent spotter Sabina, the executive director of JulModels, who tells us of the very strict requirements for finding the perfect novices to approach.

She said: “For guys we look for someone in good physical shape, and they can be aged between 18 and 45. 

“If I’m signing an older guy they need to have experience – otherwise we’re not going to invest.

“When it comes to penis size, I’m looking for at least 20cm (7.8inches).”

Sabina’s agency also look for new women to add to their roster of top performers, which includes British talent like actresses Lara Lee and Lenina Crowne.

“The perfect scenario is someone who is pretty with a bit of experience,” she said. 

“I tend to go for natural looks rather than people with lots of plastic surgery, and between 18 and 30 is ideal. 

“I look for girls who haven’t done any hardcore scenes as that can damage their career prospect and if we start slower they have a longer career.”

Olivia West

Mannie was picked for his good looks after being spotted online[/caption]

Olivia West

The city’s bustling restaurants are cafes are popular with both tourists and adult entertainers[/caption]

Olivia West

Thea Jacobs visited Hungary’s capital to see why more Brits than ever are flying out to join its adult industry[/caption]

First day nerves

Before arriving on set Mannie, like any other porn star in Budapest, visited a sexual health clinic like Talent Testing Solutions to be checked for all possible STIs.

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The screenings cover all the possible infections and diseases you could contract from sex, including HIV, and come with a QR code to stop people faking them.

Going forward, Mannie will need to be tested and get clear results every two weeks to be able to work.

He was approved by Sabina because of his incredible body – and his extremely large appendage.

Dark side of pornography

Like every industry, the pornography business has a darker side.

Suicides, drug overdoses and human trafficking form a seedy underbelly, which recently has made headlines in both Europe and the United States.

In January this year, porn star Thania Fields was found dead after sharing that she had experienced “sexual abuse” at the start of her career in porn.

She said at the time: “I have suffered sexual harassment and abuse after starting to create adult content. It’s very strong.

“Many thought that by hiring me they could do what they wanted with me, but then I came home, took a bath and cried.”

Recently deaths in the US include star Angelina Please, Dahila Sky and Olivia Lua.

Former director Tommie McDonald tells us he left the business after being confronted with some horrifying situations.

He says at least two models he knows off killed themselves while he was still producing, and many more simply seemed to disappear.

He said: “Over the years working in the industry, suicides were sadly fairly common.

“Often Eastern European women are brought into the industry at the hands of traffickers and forced into filming porn under threats of violence.

“It’s hard to work in this industry and not have your morals shift because so much goes on.

“I’ve also heard of rape allegations against top producers and suggestions that people have been drugged on set before filming.

“It was also commonplace for a bit in Europe that talent would forge clear tests so they could still work even if they had contacted something.

“There was a HIV outbreak in Europe about five years ago, which thankfully changed the way testing was done.”

Despite having first day nerves, The Sun was later told that he did “10/10” and has since been booked for more shoots with the international porn brand.

Talking a week later, he said: “You haven’t seen the last of me.

“Getting booked again has been a massive confidence boost that I can do this. I don’t there are many black English guys doing this.”

@ava_k_international

British stars like Ava fly over to the city to film sexy scenes with top producers[/caption]

Olivia West

All performers in Budapest are STI tested every two weeks in order to work[/caption]

Olivia West

Sabina is in charge of selecting what talent JulModels takes on[/caption]

Most pornography watched in the UK will be filmed either in the US or in Europe, via Budapest or Prague in the Czech Republic.

Girls typically get paid around £1,000 per scene and the men get between £600 and £800. 

Despite the pay difference, male performers are harder to find because many can’t perform on demand when the cameras are rolling. 

As the battle to find the perfect talent intensifies, agencies are coming up with increasingly novel ways to sweeten the deal.

Girls taken on by JulModels have the option of staying for free in their ‘model house’, with the only catch being that everything they do is livestreamed to fans.

It’s like grand central station here for porn, everyone comes through this city


Dan Leal

There is no requirement to do anything sexual – just living their day-to-day lives is enough for those watching the stream.

Another Brit who decided to ditch his 9-5 job in search of racier pastures is Dimitri Shadow, from London.

He had previously worked as a graphic designer and trainee firefighter, before following some of his pals into pornography.

He told The Sun: “I decided to give this ago maybe two or three years ago because a lot of my friends worked in the industry.

“The rest is history, I’ve not looked back since.”

Olivia West

Julia starred in adult films before she became a director herself for top brands[/caption]

Olivia West

Kiara was found by a talent agent on social media who introduced her to porn[/caption]

Olivia West

Dan Leal has shot both porn both sides of the Atlantic and prefers Budapest for its international talent[/caption]

Traditionally, scouts have searched Eastern Europe for talent, although the recent rise of sites like OnlyFans has seen a surge in Brits and Western performers.

Hungarian star Kiara Lord, 32, has worked in the industry for years after being discovered online and says the industry has changed for the better since she made her first film.

“I was messaged several times by an agent on social media before I agreed to go and meet with them,” she told us. 

“They were very frank about what they wanted so I decided to give it a go. The first time, I felt incredibly awkward, and it was like having an out-of-body experience. I was so nervous that I was light-headed.”

The first time, I felt incredibly awkward, and it was like having an out-of-body experience. I was so nervous that I was light-headed


Kiara Lord

Now Kiara is a pro and much prefers it when a director has planned out every position, rather than asking the talent to “freestyle”.

In reality, filming is very far from sexy as Kiara says she is constantly thinking about her posture, how she looks and if she is being open enough for the camera. 

But she also claims to have seen positive change in the industry for women, and feels more emboldened to speak out if she sees something she doesn’t like. 

She said: “It’s changed a lot since I’ve been doing this. There is more consideration for women now and making sure we feel comfortable. 

“And girls speak out more than they used to when things happen. However, it is still a very male dominated industry.”

Olivia West

Ava runs her own production company in the UK to help other OnlyFans creators[/caption]

Another veteran talent of the Budapest pornography scene is Brit Ava Koxx, who filmed her first scenes in the city a decade ago.

The 38-year-old, who is one of the UK’s highest paid performers, tells us: “I had no idea what to expect. I turned up to set with condoms in hand and not been STI tested.

“They had to delay production to get me tested, but once we went ahead, I took to it like a duck to water.”

The Manchester beauty, who is also one of the tallest girls in the industry at 6ft 2inches, has remarkably only filmed 60 scenes over her decade-long career – a number some actresses will hit in a couple of months. 

When it comes to penis size, I’m looking for at least 20cm (7.8inches)


Sabina

“You can be on set for up to 12 hours a day,” she said. 

“People think it’s easy, but it’s hard work. If a guy can’t get hard or something else goes wrong, it can be a really long day. 

“You have producers telling you to do this position or that position. I don’t think most people could cope with how hard it really is.”

And there is another stereotype Ava is keen to dispel. “Everyone thinks that the adult industry are at it like rabbits even when cameras aren’t rolling, which isn’t true,” she said.

The history of Budapest

Hungary’s capital city is full of rich history and culture, famously boasting a wealth of 80 underground hot springs.

For hundreds of years the urban sprawl existed as three separate towns, Buda, Óbuda, and Pest, which were unified in 1873.

By the time of World War I, Budapest was the capital city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The empire collapsed after the war ended. During World War II much of the city was destroyed by British and American air raids. 

Currently, Budapest is the second-largest city on the Danube and the ninth largest city in Europe over all.

In 2022 6.9million tourists arrived at the airport for holidays. It has 223 museums and galleries, covering local history and that of Europe. 

The city is popular with both budget travellers and those looking for a bustling nightlife for stag and hen dos.

Its Széchenyi Medicinal Bath is the biggest in Europe and caters to health tourism and party goers with a weekend ‘Sparty’. The indoor medicinal baths date from 1913 and the outdoor pools from 1927.

The central area of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the classical architecture of the Hungarian Parliament building and Budapest castle.

It is also home to Europe’s largest Synagogue, The Dohány Street Synagogue, which is the second largest in the world. 

Cuisine on offer includes Turkish staples including pilaf, stuffed cabbage called töltött káposzta and Turkish delight.

More classical Hungarian dishes include Goulash, a meat stew heavy with paprika; Hortobágyi palacsinta, which is a meat filled savoury crepe; and chicken paprikash – chicken simmered in a thick, creamy paprika sauce with homemade pasta called nokedli.

“If we’re not filming, I’m on my phone or having a cuppa. 

“At the end of the day, it’s a job. We’re doing it for money, not just to have constant sex. 

“Do I get turned on, on set? No. Do I get turned on by the influx of cash? Absolutely.”

Olivia West

Ava has been filming adult movies for a decade, and started in Budapest[/caption]

Ava’s friend, female director and former pornstar Julia Grandi, is a big fan of the talent coming out of the UK.

“I like to have more dialogue in the films I produce and that is always easier when working with an English actors or actresses,” she said.

“I love it because it means I can be more creative with my script.

“British performers have a great attitude and I often work with established performers who have made their own content or worked with other producers which means they have great experience.

“I’ve started seeing lots more English girls coming through in the last year as more have started their OnlyFans and they’re moving through into doing more professional porn.”

Getty

Much of the porn watched in the UK is filmed over in Budapest[/caption]

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Stars spend much of their free time in the city enjoying the food and drink on offer[/caption]

Her positive views on Brits are echoed by industry award-winning director Dan Leal, who moved to Budapest in 2016 after filming in the US since 2001.

The 54-year-old American loves the city because he has the choice of top international talent and can therefore be choosy with which models he uses. 

He told The Sun: “It’s like Grand Central station here for porn, everyone comes through this city.

“Budapest relies on international performers, you see talent here from all over the world, including Brits. 

I’m happy I’m living in the porn capital. It’s helping the economy. 


Giorgio, taxi driver

Despite pornography’s seedy reputation, many of the Hungarian locals we encounter don’t have an issue with it. 

Taxi driver Giorgio said: “I’m happy I’m living in the porn capital. It’s helping the economy. 

“The older ladies probably don’t even know what is going on here. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just a movie.”

Olivia West

The Sun visited the house where JulModels allow girls to stay for free[/caption]

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