Joe with some girls who are, presumably, about to go wild. Photos courtesy of Joe Francis.
Joe Francis is the 39-year-old guy responsible for those Girls Gone Wild videos, which means he basically invented modern-day spring break. If you’ve ever had a good time in a sunny locale between the months of March and June, chances are Joe was directly responsible for it. I called him to get the inside scoop on girls showing their boobs on the beach, what it’s like to hang with A.C. Slater, and all the objects he’s witnessed being slid into ladies’ vaginal cavities. But most importantly I wanted to thank him, which I forgot to do because I was so excited, so I’ll do it now: Thank you, Joe Francis, for touching so many bright young minds and making the world a better place.
VICE: You went on your first spring break while you were in college, right?
Joe Francis: Yeah, and it was quite an experience.
Where did you go?
Mexico. I saw a lot of things that I’ve incorporated into the Girls Gone Wild brand in the last 16 years. Spring break is an excuse for people to lower their inhibitions. It provides a great reason to do lots of things that you really want to do but wouldn’t ordinarily. It provides people a justification, specifically women, to go back home and be like, “Eh, it was spring break.” It’s like a way to wash everything away, from a moral standpoint.
Do some of the women you film for Girls Gone Wild later regret it?
You know, not as many as you would think. It’s really counterintuitive. It’s like, if you do something, it’s your choice. If you’re doing Girls Gone Wild, you know what you’re getting into. We have a remorse policy, and we’ve always had that.
What’s a remorse policy?
It gives the girl who’s been filmed the opportunity to call any time after or before it’s released, even if she’s signed a release, and be taken out of the video.
Oh, that’s good.
Yeah! There’s a 1-800 number on the website. It’s a very easy thing to do, and out of the hundred-plus thousand girls who have been shot, very few have used it.
Can you narrow that down to a percentage?
Way under 1 percent have ever requested to be removed.
Will you be celebrating spring break this year?
I will be attending. This year will be my 21st spring break.
Are you going to be having some kind of anniversary party?
Actually, I’m going with my friend Lance Bass. We’re going to Mexico.
Can you talk me through what a typical spring break is like for Joe Francis?
There is no such thing as a typical spring break! [laughs] If there were such a thing as a typical spring break, then Girls Gone Wild wouldn’t be here! [laughs] It’s always a different experience. The music changes, the acts change, the venues change, the people change; therefore, the experience is never the same. Is this too cerebral for you?
No. It’s not too cerebral… at all. Has the way the kids party at spring break evolved over the years? Are they partying harder nowadays, or has it remained consistent?
The wealthier kids definitely party harder. There’s an income divide among spring breakers these days. There are very wealthy kids who go to some of these more expensive, higher-end locations who party hard and are able to purchase large amounts of alcohol and drugs that some of the other kids, from different socioeconomic backgrounds, don’t necessarily have access to. I really am an expert on spring break though; you came to the right place. I can give you a full analysis.
Joe on a boat with more girls who, like most of the young ladies he meets, are about to go wild, are going wild, or have just finished going wild and are returning to their resting position.
Would you say it’s fair to call you “the King of Spring Break”?
You know, I would hate to have the title the King of Spring Break...
How about “Spring Break Historian”?
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen a girl do during spring break?
It would probably be illegal for me to tell you that. I have seen it all! And every time I think I’ve seen it all I go, “Oh my God, I have not seen that before!”
What’s the wildest legal thing you can tell us about?
Oh boy, I don’t know where to begin. This could be a very long interview. I’ll tell you some fun stuff. I’ve seen every possible sexual thing imaginable. I’ve seen ten 18- and 19-year-old sorority girls all of a sudden get naked and have fun with each other in one room. I have seen it all.
Is there one particular story that stands out, though? I’d love to hear something more specific, without getting anyone in trouble of course.
I used to travel and invite my celebrity friends, so I’ve done spring break with Snoop Dogg a couple of times and Lil Jon and Mario Lopez. I’ve done it with so many different people over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me what happens. They’re all different experiences. Just one great experience after another.
I heard a story about you and a girl with a glass bottle?
[laughs] Yeah, that was in Florida. This girl wanted to take a Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottle and insert it into her vaginal cavity, and really wanted us to film it. I thought that was a very interesting experience.
Have you ever seen “1 Man 1 Jar”?
No, what is that?
It’s a video where a guy puts a glass jar into his ass, and it breaks.
[laughs] I’m googling that right now!
Is that ever a concern for you, when a young lady is inserting a glass bottle into herself?
It’s a Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottle. I’m sure she’s had bigger things than that up there. You know, babies come out of a vagina.
What’s the largest thing you’ve seen inserted into a vaginal cavity?
I would say a large Coke bottle, probably.
You’ve been extremely successful with women. What kind of tips do you have for single guys on spring break?
You don’t need a lot of tips on spring break. I think it’s pretty easy, and that’s what always attracted me to it. Inhibitions go out the window. Just go out there and be yourself.
What if yourself is a total loser?
Then go out there and be somebody else. There’s plenty of alcohol on spring break, and any guy, even if he’s not on his game, can close a deal. Girls will do things on spring break they wouldn’t normally do at their schools. They’re away from home, parents, boyfriends, away from their lives. There’s a lot of sun, and sun physiologically increases your sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen, and it causes this sexualized environment where it’s easy to get laid.
So there isn’t one story that stands out in your head, where you were just like, “I can’t believe that happened”?
I have a hundred spring break stories that I can’t believe happened, but they all did.
Please share one with me.
Glen, there’s so many. You know what, let me tell you a great one: I was with my buddy Mario Lopez, and we took a whole bunch of friends and we went to every single spot. It was just one of the most phenomenal times ever, because we just did not stop. It was just phenomenal.
How long did the phenomenon last?
Probably two weeks. It was pretty good, hopping place to place on my plane. It was great.
Thank you again, Joe. You are a gentleman and a scholar.
*DISCLAIMER: Of course I wanted to interview Joe for this issue, but when I sent my request in to his people I was told that he'd only consent if I agreed, in writing, to double-pinkie-swear over a poster of John Belushi wearing a college sweatshirt and chugging a bottle of Jack Daniel's that VICE wouldn't write anything negative about him whatsoever. I am a man of my word.
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