This is how you do it
Hi, I'm the dummy who fell for a plot to join what was most likely a fake lesbian porno, as chronicled in our feature from our Film Issue. I contacted some real queer porn pros to find out just where I went wrong. If you're a homophobe, sitting at a desk and have a boss you're scared of, or haven't lived long enough to legally know what a dildo is, get out of here right now. Dylan Ryan
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Vice: OK, so I'm a total idiot, right? I bet none of that stuff happens in a for-real pro situation.
Dylan Ryan: Ha ha. Not really. I have met up with directors before to discuss an upcoming production but always with my clothes on and never without someone to accompany me. Girls get swindled all the time, but knock on wood, I never have. At this point in my career I know for sure that if they want you to do anything sexual ahead of time, it's no good. Casting couch stories should stay that way. Stories. If anyone wants me to get naked and get busy, they pay me. Period.
How'd you get started in the biz?
I was working at a sex toy retailer in San Francisco and a co-worker of mine was always daydreaming about starting her own queer porn site. Her ideas were hilarious and totally original (a porn about Rick James' ghost coming back to possess the bodies of lesbians to make them hump) and I was into her fresh take on porn. I told her if she ever got it off the ground that I would be in her first movie. Almost simultaneously I was hanging around with my partner's roommate who is a domme for a site on Kink.com and she asked me to model for them. It was the ideal combo of queer porn and BDSM porn. I was hooked.
Do you have a, er, "straight" job too?
I'm a student in a Master's of Social Work program at a university in Canada. I work with sex workers, primarily street-based prostitutes to work toward decriminalizing prostitution in North America. I do sex work research, develop programs and promote sex education. My "day job" comfortably overlaps my professional life, in that, as a ho myself, I have a vested interest in helping other hos.
That's really nice of you. Do you have your own special "thing"?
I asked my boyfriend to help me think about what my "thing" was and he said, "You take it like a champ." So there you go. I think I'm known for being into my "work" and for being easy to work with. I don't act a diva and I have a good time when I'm working. People who have seen my work would probably attest to my boyfriend's assertion... I really can "take it."
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Nice! Are you actually turned on when you're working?
I am, but it's different than the kind of turned on I am in my personal life. When I'm working it's fun and feels good but I'm aware that there are other people there and that there are cameras. I am playing to the audience and I'm thinking about being performative and giving the audience what they want. Sometimes I zone out and focus on the pleasure but I'm always in work mode and certain elements are different, like drinking for instance. I don't drink when I'm shooting but booze is part of my personal sex life. There is the professional boundary and its a work kind of fun. Like enjoying being an accountant during the day but having a different kind of fun going home and doing addition over a glass of wine with your honeybun. Same elements, different experience.
When working, how do you figure out who's going to be doing what?
It depends. Sometimes the director expresses their vision or decides what sex acts they really want to show. By and large though, I've been lucky that I get to work with directors that are into the performers' pleasure and into us being into each other. Just like the "Director" that you met, people I have worked with want genuine chemistry and genuine orgasms if they can get 'em, so they are usually flexible to what I want to do or feel in the mood for that day.
You do performance art too, and it's pretty similar to your porn. What's the difference?
In my performance art, I am going for more of a shock factor. My work is about pushing people to engage with their long-held beliefs about sex work and sex workers and then forcing them to re-think them in a direct and sometimes intense way. When I'm shooting, I often do shocking things and a good portion of the sex I have on camera is kinky and somewhat non-normative. In my performance art I like to expand upon that while smashing through the audience/performer barrier. I like to bring people into the action, unsettle the comfortable boundary of just watching sex and explore new ideas about what sex work has been, is and what it can be.
Ever rope a partner into it with you like I did? (God, so dumb.)
Ha ha. I actually have "roped" my boyfriend into it. He has shot with me three times. He goes by Trucker Cash and he's super hot. When I'm shooting with other people, he is completely supportive. I'm not going to lie, its been a bit of a rough journey to us being totally copacetic with all aspects of porn in our relationship and we have boundaries and things that I don't do often or at all for the sake of our relationship. That being said, it is incredibly hard to find a partnership that is healthy around one partner's sex work and I feel very lucky that mine has gotten to such a solid place. And I love shooting with him. It blurs that professional/personal boundary in a way that shooting with other people doesn't, and I think that makes for some fucking hot porn.
What's the sickest thing you've encountered on-set?
There are a lot of fluids getting slung around in this line of work and sometimes it gets a little out of control. I wouldn't use the word "gross" because most of the things bodies do are natural, but I will say that getting cum in my eye usually squicks me some. It stings! Also, working on sets that are dirty can make for some interesting situations... dog hair in the puss, trying not to fuck near pigeon poop on an outside shoot... Making porn is never boring and I imagine I'm a lot more non-plussed now then I used to be. Now it's all just another day at the office.
Hi, aren't I a dipshit?
Syd Blakovich: What happened to you was so whack. I really hope this is not commonplace. I have never been exposed to a situation at all like this. I hope it was a rare breed of fucked up, I really do. I suppose this is most certainly why having an agent is really important, to avoid douches like this guy. My favorite quote I've seen off the Adult Industry Medical web site is that "you don't have to fuck to get the job, fucking is the job." Basically if anyone wants to see you fuck before they hire you, that's bullshit. I don't ask the plumber to fix shit at my house for free to judge their abilities in order to determine if I really will hire them. I really recommend asking people that you might know that are in the business about the business before getting into it. $7,000 is a ridiculous amount of money for g/g--maybe if it was a gang bang or bukkake... If it sounds to good to be true, it is.
How else will I know if I'm being taken for a ride, so to speak? Most reputable companies will require a recent AIM STD test within the last 30 days of all their performers if it is expected that you are going to do any kind of fluid exchange with them. These are things everyone should know, especially folk who are interested in getting into porn in a safe and positive way.
Thanks for the tips. How'd you get started in the biz?
My interest in porn started off academic when I wrote my thesis on the intersections of porn and fine art photography that was becoming visible during the National Endowment of the Arts crisis of the early 90s. Right after I graduated from college, I began interning for On Our Backs magazine, which was the only hardcore dyke porn mag at the time. I soon started working at Good Vibrations, which then was a women-owned cooperative of sex toys and porn. Here is where I met my co-producer, director, and founder of Pink & White Productions, Shine Louise Houston. I started doing marketing and creative direction for her and her films and came on board as a producer as well. I still do these things and am the web manager for CrashPadSeries.com. I started working for her executive producer Blowfish Video a few years back who handle the distribution of her films along with selling sex toys.
Total immersion. I have more sex toys than any human really ever needs after working over six years in the adult biz. The same year I started co-producing for Pink & White Productions, I also started working in front of the camera and am in their first video, The Crash Pad, which won "Best Dyke Sex Scene" at the First Feminist Porn Awards.
Congratulations. Do you have your own special "thing"? Special? Well I guess I am one of the few butch presenting performers in mainstream LA porn. I am a womanizer and complete asshole--at least my on-screen character is. I can handle a strap on like I was born with it, LOVE fisting, can make myself squirt on command, have numerous people tell me they love me after we do a scene together, know how to choke people out with my legs and can touch the bottom of my chin with my tongue. I also love fucking.
Want to go for Mexican? Just kidding. Are you actually turned on when you're working? Short answer: Yes. Again, I love fucking: in front of a camera, in a bar bathroom, gangbang in a hotel room bath tub, on a bed of roses, I don't care where, I'm into it. Especially when it's with hot people and I get to do what I want to do to them.
How do you decide who's doing what? I have been blessed with working with some really open-minded directors who just let the performers do their things, what makes them feel good and sexy. I have no desire to work for directors who want to micromanage the way I like to fuck--that is the most unsexy thing ever. I usually will check in with my co-star before I shoot and find out what they like, what turns them on, etc. I am definitely more aggressive and toppy so I will take charge most the time. I also identify as a switch, and if a person is confident and intelligent I have no problem subbing for them.
OK, I was gonna ask about that because you seem super tough. Are women you work with ever intimidated by this? Sometimes, but usually their boyfriends are more intimated by me. I haven't decided if I like this or not yet.
I'd assume you'd ditch anyone immediately who has any issue with what you do, but sometimes you can't help who you fall for. Ever catch any slack from the ladies? Everyone in my life is very supportive of me, my career, and lifestyle. I am 100 percent out with it to my family, partners, and friends. And you are right, if anyone had major issue with it, they probably wouldn't be in my life. One of my partners (we are celebrating our ten-year anniversary this year) is the total opposite of me. She works with kids' non-profits, hates being in front of a camera, and does hippie retreats. She sometimes shakes her head at me and asks me why I am so crazy, but she definitely brags about me to her family sometimes, which is a little awkward. One of my other partners also works in the sex industry and we have shot several times together.
You're poly! You rope lots of people into the pornos with you? I love getting to shoot with friends and lovers because it makes the work so much more fun and meaningful. Most of the people in my life are pretty strong-willed bitches, roping people in is not worth the effort or the effect. Either they want to do it and will, or they don't and won't. I like people who know what they want.
What's the nastiest fucking thing you've encountered on-set? So I am down with a lot of shit, but I have a personal phobia of vomit. It's psychological I guess, but a few months ago I was doing a strap-on scene and getting a BJ and she took it too far and yacked on my dick. I paused briefly and in a split second decision decided to keep fucking. Damage was done, I was already traumatized and stopping wasn't doing to change that; plus, it would have interrupted the momentum. I decided to take my disgust and channel it into fury so I brutally fucked her face and whatever other part of her body I got a hold of. I had to smear the vomit into her face so it would show on camera and every time I kissed her I could taste it, so I ended up shoving her head between two couches. Severe! Now keep in mind we spoke before the scene and I won't have done anything that she had a problem with. This was supposed to be a rough scene so I felt comfortable taking it there and she loved it. If it had been a soft, love-make-y scene, I would have stopped and helped her clean up, but I rarely if ever get booked for those.
Vice: Clearly I started the wrong way. How'd you make it happen? Madison Young: I first entered into the adult industry in 2002. I had just started my feminist art gallery, Femina Potens.... As an artist and activist I felt that porn was the perfect way to document our sexual culture. Porn allows me to carry my activism and education as a sexual activist and educator into the mainstream, kinky, and queer porn industry. I'm able to create and participate in porn that exhibits genuine connection, pleasure, communication and orgasms. My first film in the adult industry was G - Marks the Spot.... After that I started shooting for the legendary Kink.com. I quickly gained recognition from their sites and started traveling the world as a full-time bondage and fetish model.
Do you have a day job too? I own two companies, Madison Young Productions, which is my own porn company that produces internet content for MadisonBound.com and around eight films a year. The second company that I own and run is my non-profit community art space Femina Potens Art Gallery, an organization that I support with my work in the adult industry. I often ask the question at panels and interviews "How many Anal Scenes does it take to build a Feminist Art Space?"
That's a good question! Here's another: Do you have your own special thing? I'm mostly known as San Francisco's Bondage "It" Girl or the Kinky Girl Next Door. I've been dubbed one of the Top Ten Bondage Models in the industry and the Best SM Suspension Model. I'm well known for being into rough sex, a masochist, and for the suspension rope bondage that I do in my films. I'm also known as the feminist porn star that does Anal for Art.
Are you actually turned on when you're working? Yes, I'm very turned on while I'm working. If you're not turned on I don't think you should be in this industry. I make sure to communicate with my scene partner before the scene regarding their likes and dislikes in regards to sex. I love connecting with new partners on camera, opening myself up to them, sharing erotic energy with new individuals, and testing boundaries and pleasure levels. I take pride in exhibiting real authentic orgasms and sexual connection in front of the camera.
When working, how do you decide who's doing what? Is it the director's choice? It really depends on the scene or the film. Usually the director has a location and scenario together. Sometimes the directors have very specific shots that they want that are part of the story line. When it gets to the sex it is usually mostly freeform. Some directors know that they need a certain amount of positions for the scene and some directors want the sex to be more organic than that. Usually you will be directed--especially if you are new or unaware of the camera--to angle the action toward the camera or to engage in sexual positions in which the camera can see the action.
When you're directing, do you put yourself in scenes too? Yes, often I'm both performing and directing. This can get tricky. But I've found that using a monitor is very helpful in directing the videographer while I'm performing so that I can direct what shots I want to capture. Performing and sex are visceral, primal body actions and directing is very cerebral so it is sometimes difficult to jump back and forth but I love the challenge. Someone this weekend referred to me as the Woody Allen of porn in regards to my performer/director position. The great thing about directing my own works is having complete control over my image and the imagery that I'm participating in. I'm able to make my sexiest fantasies a reality and able to help make other women and men's sexual fantasies a reality as well.
Do you find that others prefer to put you in scenarios that you'd never put yourself in? Directors might put me in scenarios that I wouldn't have come up with on my own but there is always a way to find eroticism in any consensual fetish or fantasy. I really enjoy being in odd situations and making them hot and erotically charged.
When you're in a relationship, do your partners support your endeavors? Six years ago I was in a relationship with someone who had jealousy issues around my work. We ended up ending the relationship after two years. I'm now in a loving relationship of four years. We are both in the industry. The majority of the people that I date or engage with in sexual play outside of our relationship are also in the industry and I often work with these people on screen as well.
What's the grossest thing you've encountered on-set? I don't really think that anything in regards to sex or bodily fluids is gross. I do believe that non-consent is gross. I think it is gross when I see really young girls in the industry just for the money who aren't engaging on screen and have yet to discover their own sense of self or build their core sexual self.
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Vice: Hi Jiz Lee! I'm a total idiot, right? I bet none of that shit happens to you pros.
Jiz Lee: I read your story... yeah... "Wow, that was wild." My version would have stopped at the $7,000 offer. No one pays that much for amateurs. You got pawned.
Oops. I assume your start was much nicer. [It was] part word-of-mouth, part being at the right place at the right time. I was just starting to date my co-star of my first film. I met her while art currating her erotic photography. My pick-up line, "I'd love to model for you some time," was returned by hers: "My friend Shine [Louise Houston] is directing a film, would you be interested?" It was love and porn at first sight.
Aw, cute! Do you have a "day job" too? Yeah, I now have a nine to five in web production and also do freelance marketing. SF is an expensive city, gotta make rent somehow. Mainstream porn can pay well, but indie stuff--the stuff I like to do--doesn't really cut it. Also, while "pros" shoot two to three shoots a week, I shoot something like once a month. Some of the more recent scenes I've done have allowed me to pay off my student loan--which is only fitting, because I graduated from a women's college, ha! Thanks to working with Belladonna on Strapped Dykes, I now have enough for LASIK eye surgery. Money is awesome.
That is true. Speaking of being able to see, I saw this photo on your site of like five hands in one vagina. I call it the "Starfish." Is there an actual name for that move? How do you remember who's who there? Starfish! Oooh, nice I'm gonna use that! There were five people there and I have no idea whose hands are whos. I know who was in the room though, does that count? My idea for that image was for my cunt to be so surrounded and stretched by wet latex gloves that all that remained was a big gaping black hole. I'll settle for starfish.
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Cool. Do you have your own special "thing"? I love my cunt spread open and I love fisting. I also enjoy soaking the bed with ejaculate. I squirt quite a lot, hence my name "Jiz Lee." The act of expelling fluid during sex is fucking cool, I'm all about it. (Pssst.)
So you're sincerely turned on when you're working. Yes, and I wouldn't do it any other way. Being turned on and having a good time filming is one of the [major] reasons I do what I do. I also do it consciously knowing that I represent queer homo hapa faggy soft-butch dykes. So much of mainstream porn is all lipstick heteronormative beauty. Sure, that's great if that's what you want, but when hardly anyone else looks otherwise, it gets tired. I'm interested in seeing folks who look like me and my lovers.
I gotta admit, I really like that girlie-girlie stuff. But please, go on. Even down to aesthetics like hair--I have hair, and I like the way it looks. Every now and then I'll shave it 'cause I want to play, not because that's the way beauty has to be. I'd say "Fuck The Man" but lots of straight dudes dig my work and my hairy asshole. I have words for them: All my pubes are my feelers, and the hair around my asshole is my wizard. And it is very, very wise. Some folks say that "disco bush" is back in style. Mine is "disco gutter."
So it's totally fine I didn't shave! What a bunch of bitches. Anyway, when working, how do you decide who's doing what? Ninety-nine percent of the time it's completely up to me and my co-star(s). Every now and then a director has a particular idea happen, like a position or something. I like having an artistic sexual liscense to do what I want, and coming up with fantasies with co-stars, whether pre-planned or off the cuff, is one of the hottest parts of fucking someone.
When you're in a relationship, do your lovers/partners support your endeavors? I've met all my most recent lovers through porn. I'm in a few open relationships right now. It's really the way to go. I'm a slut and wouldn't be into someone who couldn't accept that aspect of my sex drive. Gotta be free to be me!
Yeah! I credit my wanton ways to the act of opening up my monogymous relationship of four years. As soon as I started sleeping around openly, I discovered all these new tricks about my body, like I could get fisted AND that I could squirt buckets. I had the best summer ever, fucking in bars and wetting the beds of San Francisco. When the opportunity to do real queer porn came, doing it was an obvious outlet for my new sexual super power.
Sounds fun. What's the ickiest thing you've encountered on-set? Just a little piece of poo. A sliver slipped out as I was gushing about a gallon of cum into my co-star Shawn's mouth while hovering over her. I came so hard a small slice slipped out and rested on her forehead.
Oops! I noticed it as I was finished and sleathly wiped it off while giving her a kiss. The director didn't even see it happen. Not that exciting...
Oh no, not at all. Oh, and enimas are gross. I've tried doing them a couple times before sex scenes and they suck. I had last-minute fucked-up diahrea drips right before my scene with Belladonna and if I hadn't done those stupid enemas, I might have gotten my ass gaped, goddammit. I'm pretty regular. I eat fiber and my stool is healthy. Damn if doing enemas makes your shit watery and unpredictable! Don't do them if you want to have hot anal sex. They're totally not worth it. Eat your fiber and time that shit.
Thanks for the tips!