The reasons for Peter being a photographer favorite are probably varied, but may center on his shattering of the soft, almost desexualized image that has plagued Asian males for far too long. Standing 5’9”, with an admirably toned, muscular physique, he is also breaking the stereotypes in terms of physicality, including the most notorious one that dwells between the legs. For the record, he is as impressive down below as he is on top.
The popularity of Mr. Le is undeniable, as his 6,221 Facebook fans and 419 Twitter followers can attest, and his images can be viewed in a variety of different Medias. Why content yourself with just modeling when you can compete in body building competitions, be a personal trainer, write 3 books on fitness and nutrition and have your own, sexually charged web site, where members pay monthly to get their daily Peter fix? He can also be found on MenOfColor.blogs.com, Unzipped.net, and Asian week.
And now, in BLISS.
BLISS: You are one of the most recognizable Asian male models working today. How did you get your start?
PETER LEE: On a whim, I decided to take some nude pictures while in college. My photographer friend submitted it to several magazines because he thought I had modeling potential, and I was subsequently featured in Playgirl, Torso, and Freshman.
B: How many other Asian male models were you aware of when you began?
PL: I don’t recall being aware of many Asian male models when I first started in 2000. There was probably one in Playgirl at the time.
B: Every nationality has its own stereotypes attached, and there is a particular one about Asian males that just won’t seem to go away, in spite of evidence to the contrary such as yourself and porn star Brandon Lee. What is your response to this comment?
PL: It’s true. Asian men are often emasculated in the media. They are considered non-sexual, unappealing and nerdy. But in reality, Asian men are fierce. They are strong, attractive and intelligent. And that’s part of my reasoning for creating my website and doing modeling – to debunk the misconceptions about Asian men and show what we’re really like.
B: You are a personal trainer, with an amazing physique. How did you attain the shape you are in and what made you decide to become a trainer?
PL: Initially it was a hobby. I started working out in junior high, got into wrestling in high school and eventually weight training became a natural daily routine. Even when I no longer competed in collegiate sports, I still thrived on the challenge of pushing my body to its limits.
I was known as a gym rat and when people started coming to me for advice on dieting and exercise, I realized I could become a personal trainer and make a living out of something I’m very passionate about – and good at.
B: What do you consider to be your best physical attribute?
PL: A lot of people compliment my abs.
B: No matter what we look like, or how appealing we may be to others, there is usually something that we would like to change about our appearance. Is there anything you ever wished you could change?
PL: I would remove all the permanent scars that I got from wrestling.
B: Where did you grow up?
PL: Bay Area.
B: You come across as very confident, but what were you like when you were younger?
PL: Believe it or not, I was incredibly shy as a young kid. It was hard for me to talk to people. It wasn’t until high school that I found my confidence.
B: You have worked with an impressive list of photographers. What is it about Peter that appeals to them?
PL: I’ve been told that it’s difficult to find an Asian model that is attractive and muscular. Along with those attributes, I’m also extremely easygoing and hardworking – which makes for a fun and fast photo shoot.
B: One of my favorite images of you is by Zedneram, hanging out of a doorway. Do you have a particular favorite?
PL: No. All the photographers I’ve worked with are incredibly talented; they each have a unique style and method that allows them to capture amazing images.
B: Is there a particular photographer that you feel you learned the most from?
PL: Yes, his is name Davy J. Kirkpatrick and he’s in L.A. Working with him extensively has enabled me to learn not only about modeling (posing, angles, facial expressions, etc) but also technical aspects of shooting as well, such as lighting and reflectors. He’s an incredibly talented photographer.
B: You are known for shooting nudes and you have a very appreciative audience for them. What are your feelings on nudity?
PL: I think nudity is beautiful; the human body is beautiful. It’s an art form, and photography is a way for us to appreciate and celebrate it.
B: Some of your work is very erotic, including images of erections. Do you consider them to be artistic or pornographic, and how do you define the difference between the two?
PL: I don’t label my work. I don’t consider it artistic or pornographic. Some people would call it artistic, because it’s another way of expressing oneself – albeit erotically. On the flip side, I’m sure some would argue that it’s pornographic – because they think it was created solely for commercial purposes, to appeal to the masses. It’s all relative. To me, PeterFever.com is about great pictures and great videos that are to be appreciated, no matter how you want to categorize them.
PL: Posing nude has definitely increased my popularity and fan base online as well as in real life. And from that, I’ve been approached by photographers, movie directors and others who have offered me some very promising opportunities.
B: I believe there is a misconception about models who do pose nude or in an erotic state, that they have no boundaries when it comes to photo shoots. Where do you draw the line in terms of what you are willing to do?
PL: I’m comfortable with my body and posing nude, especially with professional photographers whom I’m accustomed to working with. I do whatever I feel in the moment, so long as I’m comfortable with it.
B: Are you aware that you are a sex symbol? If so, what does that mean to you?
PL: Yes. I get a lot of people on Facebook sending me some very kind notes and comments. And the funny thing is that their first note to me is always sexual, asking me to hook up with them in some way. Honestly, I’m flattered. It’s always nice to have people notice you and appreciate you, no matter how popular you are or how many fans you have.
B: As hot as some of your images are, people would assume you are a highly sexual person in your private life. Is this an accurate assumption?
B: Have you ever been tapped to perform in a pornographic movie? If so, is this something you have done, or might possibly consider doing somewhere down the line?
PL: Yes, I have been offered opportunities to be in pornographic movies and so far I have declined them. But there is still a possibility that I might consider it in the future. I don’t like to set limits for myself, and I think it’s always fun to try something new and exciting. So you never know.
B: Let’s talk about your web site, PeterFever.com. What brought about the decision to create the site?
B: What can members expect from you site, as opposed to what they may get at another site?
PL: Me! My nude pictures and videos are exclusively featured on PeterFever.com. I think it’s also rare to find a muscular Asian man who is comfortable in his skin and is willing to bare all, regardless of what site it is. I try especially hard to incorporate a little bit of everything on my website and mix it up frequently with the pictures and videos – with interesting themes, concepts, storylines – things that make it worthwhile to subscribe to and visit frequently.
B: How is the site doing and how much time is involved in keeping it current?
PL: The site is doing really well. Because of the popularity and growth, we are in the process of revamping the site and even considering more frequent updates, such as three times a month.
The time involved in keeping it current varies from week to week, but it definitely takes a lot of work.
B: Do you handle everything on the site yourself, or do you have help?
PL: I have a great team of people who handle the photography, the website layout, the marketing – folks who are really dedicated and deserve a lot of the credit for PeterFever’s popularity.
B: Our creations are like our children, especially when time is invested. What part of the site makes you most proud?
PL: I’m proud that PeterFever has a lot of fans. I get a lot of positive feedback and it’s great to know that people love the site.
B: Aside from yourself, who do you think are the top 3 Asian male models, in terms of representing the kinds of images you’d like to see more of?
PL: Guy Tang, Jeremy Tang and Jeffierce are big names to look for. I think you’ll see a lot more of them in the near future.
B: Let’s talk about the photographers, since you’ve worked with so many. Who would you place in your personal top 3 and why?
PL: I think all the photographers I’ve worked with are amazing. I can’t choose just three, because they all have personal styles and strengths that they use to create different but equally compelling pictures.
B: Going through your portfolio, it’s hard to believe that you haven’t taken every type of image imaginable, but is there an idea or concept that you are interested in, but have yet to try?
PL: I think it would be great to do more photo shoots involving water. So far, though, it’s always a challenge because I end up sinking instead of staying on a pose long enough for a picture.
Of course, it would also be great to travel to different areas of the world for photo shoots, too.
B: What advice would you give a new model who wants to be the next Peter Le?
PL: Work hard. Be humble. And have fun.
B: What is the best lesson you’ve learned in the industry?
PL: You can’t trust everybody. If you’re popular or making a lot of money, there will always be people who are out to take advantage of you. You have to be discerning and cautious enough to only associate yourself with good people, and people who are genuinely concerned about your well-being and career.
PL: I haven’t had any disappointments in modeling, but I will say that I’ve been disappointed with the fitness industry. I compete in bodybuilding shows and am constantly amazed by how many athletes find it necessary to use steroids. And it’s no surprise that they end up winning at the shows, even though they’re using illegal substances. This is unfair for people like me, who rely on personal strength and sheer determination to achieve a certain physique. Even though there are natural bodybuilding shows (which I also choose to compete in), I think there needs to be more of a focus on achieving results naturally – instead of relying on substances and essentially cheating – and then having judges condone that behavior.
B: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
PL: I see myself doing a lot of traveling and exploring.
B: Just for fun, can you list 5 things that you couldn’t live without?
PL: My dog PJ, my backpack, my video camera, my peanut butter sandwiches and my toothbrush (personal hygiene is important!).
B: Can you name 5 things that even the people close to you would be surprised to know?
PL: It’s a bad habit, but I flush the toilet in the middle of peeing.
I twitch a lot while I sleep.
I sing in the car.
I always sleep with two blankets.
I’m thinking of adopting another dog.
B: What’s next for Peter, in terms of projects, shoots or plans?
PL: I can’t give away the secrets now, but I can say there are a lot of projects in the works. I’m very excited. Something new will be unveiled by the end of this year – and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
B: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer questions for me. Do you have any last words?
PL: I just want to thank all my fans for all their support and encouragement. I really appreciate all the positive notes and comments. Keep them coming!
©2010 Sean Dibble
Do you want to have a physique like Peters? Buy his books:
Peter Le Contact and Info:http://www.peterfever.com/
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DestinAsian Image by Guy Tang