More than 50,000 people follow Kiefer Cooke and his globe-trotting bottom on Instagram.
He’s a 40-something hairdresser who has lived in Stockholm with his boyfriend Magnus (and dog Kali) for four years. In that time, he’s become a hit on social media – mostly because he gets naked, a lot.
But he never planned on being an Instafamous, rarely-clothed homosexual. He only started sharing his photos because he was bored.
“I moved here in winter and there’s not a huge amount to do in Stockholm in the winter,” he laughs.
And, he insists, it was never his plan to show so much skin. That’s a relatively recent development.
“OK, the basic structure is fairly slutty now, I’m not going to lie. I can’t deny that,” he says. Kiefer blames Instagram for that.
“I was never ‘that guy’, never hugely over confident”
“That’s developed because of what Instagram does to you. The attention you get is very unusual and it’s not attention I’m used to, trust me.
“I was never ‘that guy’, never hugely over confident,” he insists. “People think I am when they meet me but that isn’t the case.”
But there’s more to Kiefer’s Instagram than showing off his bum, nipples and enviable home life. He says he wants to show that getting your kit off and flashing your bits isn’t something just for people in their 20s.
“I had back surgery a few years ago so I’m trying to tie that in with it,” he says.
“Just because you’re not a certain age any more or don’t feel as physically vital as you once did, you can still get your tits out and feel good about yourself.”
But Instagram doesn’t make everyone feel good about themselves. In 2017 it was named the worst social media for young people’s mental health.
Despite his positive experiences (he posed with porn star Francois Sagat and says he gets recognised all over the world), Kiefer understands how Instagram can be damaging to some people.
“Instagram should be about having fun and taking snapshots of your life,” he says.
“For me it’s not meant to be any deeper than that. But the truth is it is more than that.”
“If you’re not old enough to know better, or if you’re not confident enough to have enough belief in yourself to know that doesn’t really matter, I can see why that’s hugely damaging.”
There are even downsides for people with tens of thousands of followers, he reveals. The more people watching, the worse the paranoia when your latest pic flops with the fans.
“When the attention wanes, it’s terrifying,” he says.
“There are moments when I post a picture and if it doesn’t get more than 3000 likes I think I’ve done something wrong and I start to analyze it.”
“I’m just a bored queen who’s going to the gym. It’s not big deal, I’m not a different person.”
He has even run into trouble with mates (and ex boyfriends) about how much of his skin he’s sharing online.
“There have been arguments with a few exes and friends saying ‘who do you think you are?’” Kiefer says.
“But they know who I am, so don’t let this cloud your judgement.
“I’m just a bored queen who’s going to the gym. It’s not a big deal, I’m not a different person.”
“There are times when Magnus will post six pictures and I’m in five of them. I’ll post 20 pictures and he’s in none”
Kiefer admits there have even been fallings out with Magnus when he goes too long without reminding his followers that (sorry boys), he’s taken.
“We have fallen out over Instagram but in the most tragic way,” he laughs.
“There are times when he will post six pictures and I’m in five of them. I’ll post 20 pictures and he’s in none. There’s an element of that but it’s a really trivial argument that doesn’t bear going into in any depth. It’s just like ‘hello, remember me?’”
This reaction, he says, is what has stopped him going one step further and baring all on Only Fans.
“Part of me is like, OK, why not make some coin out of it while the arse is still good enough to do so,” he says.
“But my good friends will see it, or they’d know I was using it and there is a limit for me. So the answer is probably no, although I did consider it.”
But for all the umming and ahhing over Instagram, Kiefer says it’s important to remember what it is: a few photos in an app.
“Use it as a tool for just having a wonderful experience,” he says.
“The meeting people and gaining a little bit of confidence you weren’t overflowing with before? Just know to try and keep it in check.
“I don’t depend on it. If you depend on it, you’re fucked.”