By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
This week’s cover models are Atlanta-based Rick and Griff, who has reached social media fame by branching out their brand to many platforms – and now they are getting even more intimate.
For those (few) who don’t know you, please make your introductions.
Our names are Rick and Griff Twombley-King, a married couple who have resided in Atlanta now for over ten years. Rick is a retired professional dancer and acrobat who has performed on stages from Broadway to Cirque du Soleil, and even as Tarzan in Disney’s stage productions around the world. After retiring from the stage, Rick moved to ATL, where he now owns and operates his training company, Rick Twombley Fitness LLC, since 2011. He is also co-owner and CEO of he and Griff’s new enterprise, Two Kings Unlimited. (A play on their hyphenated last name, the Twombley Kings).
Griff is a marketing manager, artist and graphic designer, who graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture from Clemson University. Aa part of his degree, he spent time overseas working in urban planning and on unique projects such as redesigning and modernizing the Nile riverfront in Luxor, Egypt. Griff spent the last several years as a Creative Manager in corporate America but recently retired to dedicate his time as the co-owner and CFO of Two Kings Unlimited.
First off, how are you doing amid this global pandemic?
Since we both work from home full-time, the sheltering in place has not really changed our daily 9-5 too much. The only noticeable change is to our normal social activities. We were lucky that we closed and moved into our new home in February before the shutdowns started, and we were able to build a fully functional gym on our rooftop deck. That in and of itself was a lifesaver. Also, being able to focus on DIY projects around the house and really turn it into our own perfect oasis away from the craziness has been a lifesaver.
Your rise to Insta fame started with musical-inspired clips, and now your feed looks entirely different – how has it been to be in the middle of it all?
That fun, Disney/broadway/goofy entertainment stuff has always been a part of our brand and still is. In fact, we just posted a car karaoke video on all our social media outlets. Part of what makes us stand out from the crowd is that we’re not just “this thing” or “that thing.” We don’t fit into any box, but instead, have our fingers in all the boxes (Giggity). We try to always infuse every interest, talent, creative idea personality into our work. Being one note or only good at one thing isn’t generally a key to success. But if you can figure out how to be even MODERATELY good at a LOT of things, you can achieve quite a bit of success. It’s called “hustle.” And in today’s world climate, you’ve got to understand how to hustle if you want to get ahead.
You have also ventured into other – perhaps naughtier – areas of social media. How did that come about?
In 2017, a good friend of ours asked if we’d heard of the site Onlyfans, which we hadn’t. Rick looked into it, and we decided to give that a try to experiment and see what we were comfortable sharing with our fans (which ended up being just about everything). At first, we stuck mostly to scantily clad workout videos, nutritional/cooking demos, sexy photography, etc. But then we realized there was much more potential to make a space where our fans can still see the latter, but also see a lot deeper into our personal lives and build a connection and feel as if they’re a part of our more “intimate” moments. And at the end of the day, there’s nothing we do on Onlyfans or JustforFans for a subscription that we (and a lot of gay men) haven’t been doing on Scruff and Grindr for free, for years. Plus, we’ve always been very sex-positive and confident, have built a large social media following who seem to like the sexier side we show, so the Onlyfans/JustForFans thing and Rick and Griff ended up being a very successful marriage. As of now, our Onlyfans and JustforforFans pages combined have around 4500 subscribers and continues to grow every month.
Speaking of naughty, your next venture is sex toys. Where do you even begin?
Our followers began asking if we would ever consider developing any sort of merchandise. Inquiries ranged from prints of our photos to t-shirts, workout gear, our erotic playing card set, calendars… but the most requests have always been for sex toys molded from our own, uh…attributes. The potential for success in providing something like that to our followers, who also enjoy watching us on our different platforms, seemed too good to pass up. A friend of ours who works in special effects and making prosthetics and such for the film industry approached us and offered to do it, so we said ‘what the hell’ and went for it! The first “batch” of stock sold out in under a week, and we are currently taking backorders while we wait on our fourth batch to be delivered. We are also in production with our own line of onesies, a series of calendars, the erotic playing cards, and our prize project: an erotic coffee table book featuring images from photographers like Mike Ruiz, Michael Stokes, and Mack Sturgis, among others.
So uhm, did you try your sex toy on yourself?
Now that you have bared it all – what’s next for Griff and Rick?
What’s next for us? The sky’s the limit, really. We have our merchandising and other major projects in the pipeline. There are a few TV shows we’ve been offered and are considering. We’re also continuing to grow our social media platforms and fan pages so that we can bring our followers the content they love. We’re also busy in our “normal” life (which is the 99.99% of our time no one sees on social media). We’ve been designing our new home, spending quality time with our two kitties Willow and Ripley, and keeping our main focus where it really belongs: on each other and the friends and family who continue to support us on this crazy journey.
Anything you’d like to add?
We explore a lot of themes across or social platforms. One being the reality that a genuine, fun-loving married couple can also be sexual beings who are not ashamed about celebrating and showcasing the erotic elements that are a huge ingredient in the winning recipe. Our “brand” also addresses how heteronormativity and societal expectations can negatively affect all of us in the gay community. We try our best to be role models to anyone struggling to find their authentic self or where they “fit in” by living our lives very unapologetically, transparently, and with a huge love of adventure. We just hope that we can inspire one person who feels ‘trapped’ or pressured to conform to expectations to do the same, embrace their inherent power, and not be shoved into the boxes society wants them to fit into.