Chris Reynolds Gordon is kind of like Britain's answer to Dan Bilzerian. Only, while the latter made his name playing poker, throwing naked women off roofs, and rapidly becoming Instagram’s most-followed misogynist, Chris has managed to get where he’s at without any of the awkward social media machismo of his American counterpart.
He's been a millionaire; he’s gone broke. He’s owned property around the world; he’s been homeless. He was a junior national 800 meters champion; he’s met with Vladimir Putin about trading rough diamonds. Now, before hitting his 30th birthday, he’s turned his and his friend Eva’s “Heaven SX” concept into one of London’s most popular “elite” sex parties.
In light of the Killing Kittens group—probably the UK’s largest sex party brand—recently inviting Heaven SX into its fold, I thought I’d catch up with Chris to find out how he makes his money.
VICE: Hey, Chris. So, first off, run me through what happens at a Heaven SX party.
Chris Reynolds Gordon: It's like going to any normal bar or club—you have people dressed up looking nice, chatting, laughing, getting to know each other. Then, a little bit later on—at about 12:00 or 1:00 AM, when the mood’s right—the girls will go and get changed into lingerie. It's a bit of an awkward moment, with all the guys chatting and sitting with each other, then all these girls come in looking super hot and the atmosphere changes and people start disappearing.
Why do you call it “elite”?
I went to quite a lot of parties in the past, and everyone was calling them elite. But then you'd see, like, 50- or 60-year-old people who weren’t that attractive. Not that there aren’t attractive people in their 50s and 60s, but these weren't people you'd stereotypically think of as attractive. It's really quite a shallow thing, though, because what is good-looking? Basically, the hottest [people] we wanted to play with just got together—everyone who was a 10 on the hot chart. The average age is also quite young. There's nothing else like it.
How many people do you have applying for each one?
When we have a big party we'll have 100 applications a day for a week or two. And then it will taper off to about 20 or 30. We have selection parties that can be for up to 120, or even 200, people, and then we have actual members’ parties, which are like 30 people. Basically, we’re just going on the shallow: looks. That's why I don't really choose, because I don't think it's fair for one person to cast an opinion on what's hot and what's not.
We've been talking for five minutes and you’ve already mentioned the word “shallow” a couple of times. Do you feel bad about the parties?
Yeah, it's really awkward because obviously it is a shallow thing. But even Tinder is about as shallow as it gets. You don't want to upset anyone, but if you're going to a party for the best-looking people, then unfortunately 95 percent of the people who apply don't actually get in.
So what kind of people are applying?
They're just normal people, like journalists, actors, actresses, models, nurses, doctors, and lawyers. I'd probably say teachers, doctors, nurses, and lawyers are the naughtiest group, to be honest. Especially teachers. We’ve had some parties where guests wore masks and had no mobile phones at all. We've also had one party where we had some very, very VIP people in the acting and music industry.
But it’s mostly couples coming, right? What does that say about attitudes toward relationships?
I think it's saying people are becoming more open and honest. It has positive and negative points; I’ve seen couples where it's brought them closer because they don't need to cheat. If you've got a guy jerking off to porn and he's not thinking of his wife, he's thinking about this girl—but he actually loves his wife and would never run off with anyone. It's kind of the same thing, but they’re present. I’ve seen a couple who were married for six months and they were swinging.
Looking at your Facebook feed you remind me a bit of the British Dan Bilzerian. What do you think of that comparison?
I've heard it said before. Photos that have happened and things that go on… it's very wild for some people who haven't experienced it, but for me it's quite normal.
Before all this you started your career in athletics, right?
Yeah. Pretty much the first day I stepped onto the track I was the fastest 1,500-meter runner in the country. I won several national titles and was faster then Seb Coe and Steve Cram for the age I was at. I was the fastest 1,800-meter runner in Europe for my age at 18. Then I had a massive falling out with my family for a year and a half. Before, my dad was my coach; now, I was sleeping in the back of a car and eating fish and chips. It all went completely out of the window. I fell apart. I was almost suicidal—I couldn't cope with not being the best.
Then you came into money in quite dark circumstances?
Yes. When my mom died—when I was 21—I inherited $600,000, which I invested into training to be a trader. My account skyrocketed, trading FTSE 100 and then FOREX. I did very, very well, and when Lehman Brothers went down I made an astronomical amount of money. I decided to put it all into property. I had six properties in Dubai, four in Morocco, and two in Egypt at the age of 22, and I just wanted to focus on my running. Then this massive recession hit and I lost everything. At the time, I had around a $5.3 million net worth, but being paper rich is very different to having money in the bank. If the economy hadn't crashed as it did, I wouldn't be working right now.
I've seen a photo of you with Russian State Secretary Pavel Borodin. What's that about?
I met Vladimir Putin and Pavel Borodin. I wanted to trade rough diamonds, but I knew nothing about it. This was back when things were good. I had a very good bank manager at the time, but he said he couldn't give me proof of funds, and nobody would talk to me without proof of funds. So I got some very big diamond buyers to give proof of funds, and long story short, I had a state's enquiry that said I was good for $390 million when I was about 23.
I flew to Russia with the documents in my bag, signed off by this bank. I went to the Kremlin and stayed at the President's Hotel, which is where I met Putin and Borodin. We talked in his office; they thought I was this super rich guy—it took a lot of balls to do. It was stupid, but I wanted to be the best, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there.
But you got a bit ahead of yourself?
I was definitely fake-it-before-you-make-it at that point. I was 23 meeting some serious people. But I'd rather do that than say, “What if?” My idea of death is thinking, What if I hadn’t given it my best shot? After I lost my money I was homeless and in and out of youth hostels until eventually things started going well again.
Finally, how big is your sex-party network?
Well, there's one social network with around 8 million in Europe, and another with 16 million. In the UK you've got groups with tens and hundreds of thousands of people just in London. It's beyond belief—you would not believe it. In my contract now I just have to fly to places like Miami, Ibiza, and New York and go to parties and bring people in and help with bringing it forward and making it the best I can make it.
Follow Cass on Twitter