I get asked about my sexuality a lot. Sometimes I answer, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the answer is serious, sometimes the answer is simply to annoy the querent. People are quite obsessed with my sexual preferences these days. I always sense that the real question they’re asking is, “What is your relationship to penises? Penises kind of define you, so I need to know.”
I have sex with men and women, I do scenes with men and women, but then I say that I’m a lesbian.
The question is really just a prelude, an opening gambit, so that they may tell me what my sexual preference is. That I’m bisexual, or straight, or gay for pay, or whatever else.
The real answer is: I don’t care.
But let me point some shit out to you…
1. You can’t say, “You’re gay because you say or do x,y and z.” (Well you can say it, but it isn’t true.) The reality is, you’re not in the position to give or take away someone else’s sexuality. You’re not that powerful, though you may want to be. A person’s sexuality is determined in their own mind and can shift from moment to moment.
2. The only thing you can really say is, “If I said or did x,y, and z, I wouldn’t consider myself gay because I’ve decided to confine my sexuality in specific ways.” Now that would be honest.
3. Asking someone about their sexual preferences is actually about you, not the other person, what you’re really asking them is “How do I relate to you because I only know how to relate to people based on my sexual relationship to them.”
Kind of makes you sound like a dick.
And that’s what I think you are when you ask me this question, or makes statements like “Oh, so you’re bisexual.”
No. That’s not what I said. That’s what you said. Why are you even bothering to talk to me at all if you only want to hear something that is going to reaffirm what you’ve already decided?
Why not grow a fucking backbone and own your own asshole behavior and continue shoving people into your neat little boxes without apology or posturing?
That I could actually kind of respect. I’ve always been the girl who wanted to fuck the villain of the film.
So really, and I mean this in the politest way possible my questioning friend; why don’t you go fuck yourself?
I don’t know if I always liked to be dominated and just never knew it because I was so repressed, or if the love of it is a product of the person that I have become over time. Nothing is more satisfying or comforting than being in the hands of a masterful Dom. Being rigged into rope bondage is as relaxing to me as getting a massage. I can’t explain it.
These photos are amazing. They’re a little different. I’m not wearing makeup and I’m vulnerable. I enjoy that from time to time as a model and as a performer, I like to experience things and I want to be depicted feeling those experiences, not experiencing them perfectly.
The third and final installment in the Lesbian Guidance Counselor series will drop August 1st. I believe I’m the only g/g performer to ever have her own series of videos…it was a unique honor to have the opportunity to play Sophie Hobbs, a girl who can’t quite grow up.
My porn anniversary falls on Bastille Day…and since Joshua Darling and I don’t really need much of an excuse to have a photo shoot, we thought it would be fun to do one to commemorate….This shoot represents the artistic process and compromise.
Example: I wanted to do a shoot where I was dressed up as Madame Sans-Culotte being DP’d by two Francois Sagat dildos. I imagined calling it “The Storming of the Bastille.”
Josh was dubious, he wonders why I always have to have something in my ass. I was insistent that this wasn’t gratuitous anal, but rather a symbolic representation of Franco-American relations.
The French went bankrupt helping the Americans gain independence from the British. This was on the understanding that once the Americans were free, we would only trade with the French. Instead what happened was that, we got our freedom from taxation without representation and then went on to trade almost exclusively with the British. Eventually France lost all of its money and in the midst of two very harsh winters found itself starving at the foot of the table of a decaying aristocracy. Then they beheaded everyone and Napoleon legalized incest and sodomy…something like that.
Josh wanted to do something with more scale, something more artistic. So here is our humble compromise. A tribute to Bastille Day as well as a moment to commemorate my two years in the adult industry.
Joshua Darling and I took a trip to Malibu to pay tribute to this great nation, where I might hold the flag in the soft embrace of my Sovereignty. Where I might celebrate that Sovereignty by revealing my naked body (which it is actually illegal to do, these are actually photographs of a crime in progress, but like our Founding Fathers, the only difference between Freedom Fighting and Terrorism, is whether or not the person doing it is an American).
Here is a practical guide for porn girls/escorts/strippers/cam girls about what you should and should not spend your money on. It is very simple. If any of these ideas intrigue you, people have written tons of books and web guides and everything else to get your ass wherever you want to be.
Things you should not spend your money on:
You shouldn’t spend money on your man, or on maintaining your man or on getting a man. You shouldn’t spend your time trying to chase after sugar daddies either. Let me tell you why. One day that mother fucker will wake up and leave you…even in marriages to women who aren’t sex workers the divorce rate is 1 in 2. Those are not good odds. Let’s be practical. You can earn for yourself, and that motherfucker can earn for himself too. Your relationship will be better for it. You are more confident when you are financially independent. When you are confident, you are a better partner. When one partner supports the other financially, it is an inevitability that feelings of contempt, despair and resentment will build. I’m keeping this short and sweet, but that’s the bottom line.
The problem with sugar daddies is that you are living in a gilded cage. You are forcing yourself to tolerate men that for the most part you don’t love and don’t really like in order to maintain your lifestyle. It’s not good for you emotionally to fake the kind of intimacy this requires. You will permanently damage your heart and its ability to form and maintain quality relationships in your personal life. It is like losing the ability to orgasm or taste food. You really don’t want to risk this kind of psychological injury.
Drugs are bad. I used to be addicted to crystal meth. Ask a friend whose been on drugs about The Darkness. They will explain this further. Read Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross and listen to the Nine Inch Nails Fragile recordings and you might get an idea of the abyss that you will find yourself residing in.
And I was a lucky one. I didn’t lose any teeth, prostitute myself, or go to jail.
Here today, gone tomorrow. By the time you know that something is fashionable or a status symbol of the wealthy, it is already passe to those very people you are trying to be like. They’re all laughing at you. No, really, they are laughing so hard at your basic ass. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Disdain what you cannot have. We can’t all be trust fund children. Trust me, you don’t want to be like most of them anyway. They tend to be insufferable, desperately unhappy, and pathologically unable to love or feel pleasure.
Things you Should Spend Your Money On:
I’m a little biased. I was an overachiever. I grew up in poverty and was led to believe that the only thing that could lift me out of it was an education. I graduated early from highschool. By the time I was 21, I was in my second year of graduate school. I don’t regret a second of it.
One, it is something that you can’t lose when the “housing bubble” bursts or assets go toxic. It is with you for life. Two, and more importantly I think, it enriches your experience of life. When you have an understanding of politics, history, society, and the arts, the world you encounter will be more enjoyable to you. You can actually appreciate what’s going on around you. It’s like the difference between keeping your foreskin or getting a circumcision.
Being an autodidact is fine (but for the love of God don’t become a dilettante), it’s great if you love to read or educate yourself, but there is something about going to school and encountering structured study, about being made to study things that you don’t care about, that gives breadth to your understanding, not just depth of your particular areas of interest. More than that, you learn to discern shit form shinola, and you are going to need that skill for the rest of your life if you want to survive.
You’ll never regret spending your money to travel to different countries, to go see your favorite band, to go to Burning Man. You’re creating memories that will sustain you through the hard times.
Listen, you are going to have to start thinking about how to make your money work for you. I used to hang with a drug dealer (whatever, I came from some rough neighborhoods). He was quizzing a runner about how much he should charge for a certain amount of product. The runner said “I don’t know. I’m not good at math.” The dealer said, “If you’re going to have a habit like this, you better get good at math.”
If you’re going to be a sex worker, you are not going to have a retirement plan and health insurance (unless you work for Kink.com. They do provide workers comp if you’re injured on the job at The Armory). You need to accept responsibility for these things. You don’t need a business degree. Most of your questions can be answered by spending a few hours on the internet. Every successful business person I’ve talked to has told me the best policy is to just sort of jump into starting your business, and the pertinent questions will present themselves.
My grandfather used to always say to me: “You’re a beautiful girl, but someday a man is going to want to talk with you. Will you have something to say?”
The point being, someday the scenes will become sparse, the clients will dwindle…gravity will take hold. You have to accept the reality that you will not do this forever and that if you want to have an empire, you have to fucking build it. I know most of you think you’ll just marry an Emperor, but keep in mind you could wast half your lifetime trying to figure out which ones aren’t wearing any clothes.
Remember ladies: To love the King is not bad, but a King that loves you is far better.
Sometimes I get really weird mail. Sometimes I get really offensive mail. Sometimes I get really uplifting mail. And sometimes I get this:
Conversation started March 1
I just watched some of ur movies and they r really great I LOVE ur eyes. I just noticed that u fake it alot, and was wondering do u find it hard to get there or do u just not let urself? I apologize if thats somethung u would rather not say I was just curious.
I thought I should apologize for my last message, I didnt mean to come off mean or cocky or anything I think you have amazing eyes so i couldnt help but watch them so it just made me wonder what you were thinking.
I know your probably not getting these but I gotta ask you have you ever seen Amy Lee from Evanescence?You both have same eyes.
Hard not to think you’re an asshole when you come out of the gate assuming I’m faking it. Have a nice day.
When I was 6 I got raped and he made me feel like I liked it, when I was 8 I was in a really bad car accident that left me in a body cast for 6 months after I spent 6 months in the hospital first. I was alone until I was 15 and i found a girl who was 18 that I just couldnt be without, after being with her for ten years I watched her drown in a dam, then I spent the next ten years on vodka.After going through that I have been taking care of my nieces and nephews for the last 8n years now I take care of my 90 year old grandmother. I found your pic on you tube and i was attracted to you. so I just wanted to explain why I ask you what I did because most of my life i have had to do that . I really am sorry and I hope you can forgive me.
You should try a support group. It would probably be helpful for you to connect with people in your real life.
No, thnx. and good luck to you,Bye
I dont know why it matters so much but I need u to know that I really am sorry for being so forward im not like and dont know why I did but i felt lonely i guess. I truly am sorry.
A few things in looking at this. One I come off like an asshole. I battle with this. With the amount of shit that gets hurled at you as an adult performer, it is difficult to always know at the beginning of a conversation when compassion is called for. Moreover, these aren’t that uncommon for me. What disturbs me is that there are probably countless people out there, interacting this way, seeking help from those of us that are completely unqualified to give it.
It’s the paradox of my position.
The strangest part of being in porn is the way people just ham-handedly try to hand off their sexuality to you, like its your job, like its your job to care, etc.
I also have come to realize what a sexual wasteland most people find themselves in. I’ve come to feel like a character in an H.P. Lovecraft novel anymore, and civilians are these weird alien beings and I’m wandering in the borderlands of their psychosexual landscape.
Next time you get mad at me for not tweeting back or being curt…please refer to the above exchange and realize that its nothing personal, but this is the kind of thing I get handed on a weekly basis.
I did debate with myself about posting this exchange, as it might be exploiting this person, who for as much as I can tell from her FB profile etc, is indeed real…but I figured I expose myself for the asshole I can be as much as she is exposed, so it was kind of fair game.
People try to tell you that if you do porn as a woman society will judge you and treat you as less than. Having been a woman in porn and academia, I can tell you that’s a joke. Society will judge you as a woman and treat you as less than no matter what you do for a living. At least porn pays better and you get the pleasure of fucking instead of always feeling fucked.
The only right reason to enter any profession is because you want to. There is suffering, consequence, and struggle in life no matter what choices you make. Be a samurai, expect to be destroyed in battle, and then enter action with boldness.
So I directed my first movie! It’s for Filly Films and its called Sovereign Syre’s Lesbian Surrender. It’s a performer showcase of myself, which is a bit bold, I admit, but in any future directing endeavors, I hope to remain entirely behind the camera. For this first time I got the chance to write all my own scenarios, and since I had the opportunity to play any roles I wanted as long as I was casting and directing, I took it.
In this movie I play the kinds of characters I don’t typically get to play in a series of vignettes that I wrote. I have a fetish for the overwrought perfectionist, the repressed Christian woman, the Stepford Wife…In these scenarios I explore themes of surrender to forbidden lesbian impulses. I basically took the chance to play out the fantasies and sex acts that excite me….so yes, this is a selfish proposition, but I think it’s going to be one where the audience wins.
I cast gorgeous girls that I love working with and I had Dana Vespoli there to shoot camera and stills. Dana and I get each other on “a cellular level” as she puts it, and she’s one of the only people I can think of that I trust absolutely. She was really able to capture what I wanted on the first go.
I really feel that this project is something unique.
Well I KNOW it does, because Ela Darling performs her first anal scene in the movie. I was very honored to have her give me something so special and I think the scene really earned it.
Here are some preview pictures from the movie. I should have a street date and a trailer for you soon.
When I first started modeling in 2009, I responded to my first casting call. This is the email I got back:
Please understand that I will NEVER attempt to persuade you, or try to “talk you” into doing anything. Philosophically I just don’t agree with that approach. My art is VERY Sexual, but the sexuality must come naturally from my girls, and that only happens after they relax, and they realize I have no “hidden agenda” for them, and then I can comfortably start teaching them to have very advanced orgasms.
My girls have lots of real orgasms when we shoot, usually 30 to 40 a day (this is for real) – and I make sure of that by using Hitachi Magic Wands, Eroscillators, Sybian Sex Machines, PES Electro Sex, and Phallix Glass, etc. to teach my models how to have advanced orgasms – that is why they glow in my pictures!
I am the antithesis of “gonzo” porn! I am always telling girls to stay away from the Bang Bus, Captain Stabbin, and all that usual FL based gonzo crap. Those guys just want to use girls up and spit them out.
I want classy erotic girls who I can teach and train to become long term stars, and I already know that when I teach a new model to expand her sexual horizons and her sexual possibilities by teaching her to have advanced orgasms, she will keep coming back to me to shoot over and over.
Once again, I create Sexual Art.
Yes, the orgasms are real. So is the art.
I really like the photo you sent. You are beautiful.
The more you do your research on “porn people” and compare them to what I do, you will see that I’m not just a rarity. I am alone.
This is NOT a hard line to tow. You just have to be VERY selective who you shoot with. That’s all.
The first naked photos of me on the internet. From 2009, when I started “modeling.”
There’s always just too much to do, and not enough time to do it in. I have to get a time organizer or something…though I feel like you have to be a philosopher or a number theorist to be qualified to actually use on of those things correctly.
Only a poet would really have the credentials to prioritize activities….so I guess I have no excuse.
I’m the March J-Grrl at Juliland.com. Go join the site and watch me play!
The furthest western point of the European continent is the Pointe du Raz in France. It forms one arm of the Baie des Trépassés, that roughly tranlates to the Bay of the Dead or Deadman’s Bay. It’s a long story, but it has to do with Ankou and a ghost ship or maybe folk etymology.
In Gaspésie, the furthest eastern point of the American continent, there is also a Trepassey Bay. Same rough story. Same French sensibility.
I’m working on my novel lately, so these things become significant.
I bought a new scarf last night in DTLA. I spend a lot of time there lately with Ela Darling, because I like to be around beautiful wonderful people.
You know a conversation is going well, when someone pulls out a napkin and pen and starts to chart out the nature of all human interaction and behavior for you. I met one of the most interesting people I know this weekend in Las Vegas.
I’m glad to say that its impossible to describe exactly what was said or how such a feat was accomplished.
Salope:French slang. Slut, whore, cunt, bitch, etc.
Solipsist: Someone who subscribes to solipsistic philosophy, which, in a nutshell says that all experience is essentially centered around our individual consciousness. In other words, all that really exists is what you perceive. The world revolves around you, an on and on.
What is the heart chakra about?
I’m not going to lie. Usually the first thing I think when I look in the mirror is that I want to be thinner and more attractive. At this point its merely out of laziness. My face and my body are my business and it would make business a lot easier…and I’ve really been putting myself through the paces lately.
I’m more overwhelmed by the feeling that all of us are fat, that I’m surrounded by fat, that I’m suffocating in a weird fat suit. I feel like a snake splitting open its old skin. You get the idea.
Maybe its just that I’m in a period of sloughing off. I’m not sure. I know that lately I’m inundated with memories of the past, especially the most painful parts of it.
I shot for brazzers the other day. I totally stole my super expensive costume. I think it was taken from an unfinished design by Coco Chanel and finished by Vera Wang. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
New York has never been about restraint for me. Well, to be honest, nothing is really about restraint for me, except being forcibly restrained during sex, in which case, I need to be restrained…but getting back to NYC.
I went to NYC to be part of the first Darling House Live Salon. My girlfriend wanted me to play a sexy Jesus in her opening burlesque acts, so while I was there, in addition to running a salon with Buck Angel, Lux Alptraum, and Stoya, I also made my burlesque debut.
This trip for me was really more about seeing Rosebud again though, and this time we’ve vowed to see each other more often lest the distance get the best of us.
Some things are just too personal to write about.
I will say this, its much harder find a regular person to fuck out here in LA. It’s not that its hard for me to find someone to have sex with. It’s easy to get someone to fuck you. I actually wish more women understood that you don’t have to be beautiful or perfect to fuck any one you want. It’s just that my tastes are very specific, so I’m rarely impassioned by anyone.
It’s not like Rosebud, she got me right away.
In the immortal words of FEAR: I just wanna fuck some sluts. I love, livin’ in the city.
These are some excerpts from an interview I did for Whack! magazine a few months ago.
W: Do you feel perfection in people is a turn-off? Do you feel like a person with some vices, faults, scars and blemishes would be more attractive, more interesting?
SS: I like both. I like a perfect looking specimen and I like an interesting specimen. The problem is, beautiful people tend to also have shit personalities, so they immediately become staggeringly ugly because they’ve adopted all of these unfortunate traits.
The worst is that they feel they are only valued for their looks so they view themselves as a
commodity. A commodity too valuable to give away of course, so they tend to be lonely, predatory, and unfaithful. Of course, viewing yourself as a piece of capital is dehumanizing. I find that most of these people are very bored and very neurotic because they have very few interests outside of maintaining their looks or maintaining everyone else’s perception of their high value.
It’s especially hard in this industry to stay grounded, because people are very quick to flatter you and feed your head with endless bullshit about how great you are until you feel like you’re practically curing cancer. I feel like the work we do here can be important, that it can have sacred purpose. However, we are not curing cancer or feeding starving children in Africa. The cure for the AIDS epidemic is not going to come from being physically perfect.
W: What does ”being content” mean to you? What are the moments where you feel the most content with yourself and your life?
SS: I’ve never actually felt content. I know what they symptoms are, I’ve heard people recite them ad nauseum, but I’ve never really experienced it myself. [redacted] I’m addicted to my ennui and my melancholy. I suppose there is some state of dynamic tension between the having and wanting that I would describe as perfect, and in that sense, content. I’m always striving and always searching.
I used to think that the ultimate goal in life was the avoidance of pain. I thought this was a very honorable and noble way to live. It didn’t get me very far at all. I was a classic overachiever, a junior in college by the time I was nineteen and desperately underwhelming as a human being…I
was so determined to do everything perfectly, to never make mistakes and to experience my life as gracefully as a perfectly locking box. I had already achieved pretty much everything the average/typical/ordinary person is supposed to want by twenty-one…but all the trappings of a “normal” life and all of the obligations they brought just made me feel suffocated.
The problem with the American Dream is that it’s too easily achieved if you have any determination or ambition. It leads to a kind of boredom that metastasizes in your soul like the worst kind of cancer. And you know what? None of it was able to protect me from life’s inevitable outrages and tragedies.
When I was a little girl I used to like to play school with the other kids. Somehow I always ended up playing the teacher, and everyone needed a spanking. I wasn’t happy until there were welts. Large raised weals of red flesh, hot and thrumming under my cold fingertips.
I’ve been on a starvation diet lately. I’m still spending a lot of money at the lingerie shop though. It’s funny to me that when you complain about weight anxiety publicly, people automatically assume you need to be reassured of how beautiful you are. It’s just not true. I’m just complaining about another aspect of my job. Moreover, I think its very arrogant of people to have the attitude of “I think you’re beautiful, so you shouldn’t feel bad about yourself.” I mean, what about how I feel about my body?
I was adopted, so my dad is older than other peoples’ dads. I’m going through some stuff with him, my friends haven’t had to go through yet. I always felt invisible until I met my father. He enrolled me in ballet classes, coached me in soccer, taught me to fight, cover my ass, how to hide in the dark, how to rebuild the engine of a car, and how to find water in the wild.
He was a Marine and was recruited into the S.E.A.L.s.
He took me hiking once and I asked him if he took a cell phone when he normally went out alone. He told me no.
“What’ll you do if you fall and break your leg or something?”
He turned and looked at me in all seriousness.
“I’ll crawl out.”
He suffered from congestive heart failure and was recently diagnosed with cancer. He has to take twelve different medicines every day to keep his heart working, but has drawn the line at treating his cancer. He’d prefer to go out his own way.
Sometimes I catch him out on the property somewhere, just sitting quietly watching the trees.
The other day he turned and looked at me and said, “When you were little, you were so little, but you weren’t afraid of anything. You used to always try to run away. You thought you could just survive on your own in Yosemite. You always just wanted to be in nature. Remember that? Everyone used to tease you in school and you would come home and tell me you were going to live in the woods.”
“I’m certainly in the Wilderness now,” I said.
“I’m not worried,” he said, “if anything happens, you’ll crawl out.”
In the words of the seminal punk band Crass:
“Do we owe them our lives? Of course we fucking do!”
I have a veiled ceiling in my bedroom, it makes me feel like I live in a harem. I also live out in the country in a converted barn. There are lots of drafts, and lots of mice, spiders, cats, squirrels, toads and birds that find there way into my house. About six months ago, while lying in bed, I heard a stirring in the fabric swagged across my ceiling. I figured that some mice had found their way in and that it was time for me to set some traps.
After a few days of this stirring happening at night, something literally fell down onto my bed through a part in the draping overhead; it was a little black kitten. As soon as the kitten, well, she was more like a teenager, fell into my room, I kicked her out. Now this routine went on for a few weeks. She would find her way into the draping on my ceiling through a vent or something, fall onto my bed and then I would kick her out.
Finally one day, when I was very sick, she fell down and I let her stay. She cuddled me on the bed and I was comforted by her. I’m not a cat person, but she had the kind of personality that you normally find in a dog. She can just lay there all day snuggling you and pretty much not make a nuisance of herself. I started to fall in love with her. I thought she was the perfect kitty.
I noticed that she starting to get fat, and quickly figured out that she was pregnant. I named her Madonna. She had her kittens on Mother’s Day and they were sweet and healthy.
Then a few months ago, Madonna got into a fight and the skin and fur on the lower part of her face was ripped off. No one could figure out what had happened. I’d never seen anything like it. I took her to the vet, they gave her antibiotics and she was sent home for us to wait and see.
I caught myself caught. The cat wanted attention, but I was repulsed by her and found it hard to forgive it. I didn’t want her in my room, her hanging flap of fur dragging across my things or rubbing up against my leg. Yet, Madonna couldn’t possibly understand why she was being turned out all of the time, why she was being ignored when all the animals would gather around me at feeding time to get petted.
Her face healed, though now she is permanently disfigured.
Maybe I’m turning into Colette, but watching my little kitty had given me pause for reflection.
I find it more difficult to pet her now. Her face looks weird and in some way it frightens me. Maybe its hardwired into us, maybe its biology that makes it so that we are immediately repulsed by injury or deformity, that it’s in our nature to turn away from any display of genetic error or physical weakness.
If we were part of a nomadic tribe, would I be thinking to abandon her because she is showing signs that I’ll have to care for her, that she won’t be able to pull her own weight?
Is it native, or is it more of a social thing? Did I always find insects repugnant, or was that something I learned over time. When I was eight or nine and couldn’t keep pets in the section 8 housing complexes we were always shifting around in, I would collect snails in jars. I was obsessed with their soft bodies. the eyes at the end of the barbel stalks that sprout from their tiny heads. Even the weird smell of their shells.
I watch Madonna now, with her weird healed face. I can pet her. She can even rub her naked jaw against my hand and lick my fingers and I don’t mind. I watch her, I watch the way that she conducts herself as she always has, like the cat she’s always been. It seems she doesn’t even notice that her face is now different. There is no adaption in her behavior for the way the tiny pink ribbon tip of her tongue always sticks out of her maw.
It reminds me of the time I was on the beach in Honolulu watching a little girl with deformed legs, they were short and folded in on themselves in an odd way that preempted walking. She was building a sand castle, and she was no more than three or four. Too young to know that her deformity was anything to be self-conscious of, any cause of discomfort in others, any thing that warranted her attention.
I looked around and saw that many other grown-ups were staring at her too. We were all looking, all repelled and compelled at the same time. I could see it in their faces like mirrors. I think we were all full of that weird sorrow, knowing that some day this blissful time, this precious ignorant moment of innocence would end.
It’s weird. We are taught to never notice mutations, illness, disfigurements. We are told this is the polite thing to do, but sometimes it feels like a more insidious and primitive thing. We turn our backs, because instead of ignoring the “handicap,” we tend to ignore the person altogether.
I just finished watching a documentary on the state of Art in the era of the internet called Push Pause Play. The documentary consulted a number of artists and thinkers from Robyn to Andrew Keen and attempted to cover mediums from the written word to film, to music, and on. I think the question raised by the documentary that was the most intriguing to me (it didn’t really answer much of anything, excepting the tacked on solution that live performances would save music), was that of how the elitist endeavor of art could survive the radical democratization of all of its mediums.
My first reaction when watching the documentary was one of disdain. I get tired of artists whining about how hard it is to get noticed because ANYONE can make art these days. The knee-jerk response from me is: make quality shit, only do shit you believe in; and the moneys/security/recognition will come. I do relate though, how does one stand out with so many options? How does one survive when anything can be replicated or stolen? The truth is though, as time has proven, when a product is good, people will pay for it, even when they have the option to steal it. The problem of theft tends to be one brought about by the dilemma of too much choice. People just don’t know if something is going to be any good and so they want to make sure their investment is going to be worth it. The secondary problem is that the technology to create art, has made the creation of art so easy that the product is very often quite mediocre.
So what do I mean when I say that the artist should suffer but not the art?
I mean that the technology that makes the creation of art easy, doesn’t make the creation of good art easy. There was a reason why it was hard to get published by a publishing house as an author; there were gatekeepers there that helped to discern good writing from bad. Granted these days everything is free and equal, but the person who wrote 50 Shades of Grey has gotten wealthy off of the production of truly awful prose.
I’m not championing the return of the publishing house determining what is good and bad, but I think that we do have to get comfortable internalizing a certain amount of elitism and judgment. The solution to the problem is one of critical thinking and discernment. The burden is upon us to become elitist in our own consumption.
Many of us feel strange thinking of ourselves as elitists, but I want to remove some level of stigma from that word. The abolitionist movement was elitist, so was the idea of women’s suffrage and atheism. The Age of Reason was brought about by a group of elitists. These elitists realized that democracy was better than monarchy, but they also realized that democracy was useless if the general population didn’t develop the same ability to reason that they had…so the first thing they set about doing (after a few bloody revolutions and a regicide in France) was creating a set legal code and public education.
I think we have to approach what we consume with more care and discernment, but that we must also consider what it is that we are putting out into the collective consciousness with more conscientiousness as well. The answer to the problem is diligence, that we have to be more diligent in what we do and what we create.
I keep hoping that after the malignant digital narcissism of social networking destroys the very concept of fame, art will be left once again with actual artists that do what they do because it is a passion that burns them down to the quick. If we are in the midst of a second Cultural Dark Age, as Andrew Keen believes, I look forward to the Renaissance that must follow.
“She had none of the womanly virtues. Especially did she lack tenderness…She was also a great slut.“– Rebecca West on the Archduchess Sophie
Gonzo came from the journalism term popularized by Hunter S. Thompson. It was meant to convey a more ethnographic perspective in reportage. It simply means there isn’t necessarily a narrative plot, the plot is more about the subjective experience. It doesn’t mean POV or rough per say, but it does generally connote a more immediate pornographic experience.
When I first met Dana Vespoli I was taken with her beauty, intelligence, and raw sexuality. She had been a gonzo girl and anal queen before taking a hiatus to nourish her soul by making a family, and I was one of her first scenes “back” in the business. She played the annoyed boss to my bumbling secretary for Nica Noelle in an Office Seductions release from Sweetheart Video.
I could have never dreamt that we would become like twins, distinct beings, but in so many things, connected by a private language of desire, curiosity, ambition and well…and that indefinable thing that cocoons intense and meaningful relationships between people.
She has become a mentor to me, a dear friend, a dream sister, and more, the kinds of things I can’t share here because they are too intimate, and you couldn’t understand anyway, unless you remember those friends you had in elementary school that you made blood pacts with.
She helped me open my asshole. It may very well be the most intimate relationship I’ve ever had with someone involving my sexuality, although we are not lovers.
Vukojebina: trans. “wolf-fuck”; A place where wolves retire to copulate, a remote, barren, or arduous place.
I’m going to start using this as a diary because I can fancy myself as Anaïs Nin. I’ll start calling myself a diarist and spare myself the shame of ever being labeled a blogger (neither a journalist or a writer, just an asshole with an opinion inbetween).
I posted a picture of my mouth and someone commented that it looked like I had a cold sore. I actually in point of fact, have never had a cold sore, but people think that sometimes in pictures. I don’t have either strain of the herpes virus, but a lot of people do and its nothing to be ashamed of. Its just part of nature and nature is obscene. If I did have a cold sore though, I probably wouldn’t post a photo of it because most people don’t want to look at sores without warning. I brand myself as a sexual person, so posting pictures of my face with visible sores on it wouldn’t be a very clever marketing strategy. It was more of a logic fail on the part of the commenter.
It did inspire me though, to tell you all a story.
The bump or irregularity on my lower lip that I believe the person was referring to, is actually scar tissue. A lifetime ago (doesn’t the past feel like a distant country sometimes? Or is that just my peculiar affliction….), I was completely out of my mind on methamphetamine and thought my lips were actually made of two fat worms that had burrowed under my skin. I tried to dig them out with a sewing needle. I spent close to six hours trying to suss out the bloated grubs I thought were living inside me.
It’s weird how anxiety and adrenalin can numb you to any kind of pain. All I really remember feeling, was how cold my fingers felt. You’re always cold on meth, or too fucking hot. I remember how sticky the blood was making my skin as it tried to dry and congeal.
I watched my best friend slowly pull off her thumbnail with a nail file to get rid of her cuticles. So, my experience was hardly extraordinary.
I should tell this story to girls that I hear about in the industry who are getting “really messed up” on drugs, but I don’t.
There’s no bigger waste of time than trying to talk a junkie out of her habit, except maybe trying to talk a girl out of her abusive husband. I should know, I’ve been both.
The irony to me is that none of this happened while I was doing porn. Instead it happened in the squeaky clean confines of University. This dark phase had come and gone all in the time it takes to rack up a degree. It’s funny, the whole time I was there, no one really cared if I was taking mysterious tumbles down the stairs or using a teener of meth a week to help animate the sagging skeleton of my inner life. As long as I was making grades and writing good poems no one really noticed a thing.
I actually entered the adult industry painfully sober (let’s face it, pain is pretty much the only true teacher), and in the context of a loving, nurturing relationship with a decent man and a long term relationship with an equally gracious woman. My parents are gingerly supportive of my decision to ditch my academic pursuits in favor of a life time dedicated to erotica because they’re not used to seeing me so happy and well adjusted…pretty much ever.
It always frustrates me to hear people malign the adult industry as a place where no one cares, full of outlaws and ne’er-do-wells. That’s not because its not true, but because its said in a way that is meant to distance “their” world, from the “porn world”, as if there’s a lick of difference between the two, when they’re both inhabited by people.
This week for the courtesan project I’m taking a look at the body. While I think the most important focus in an endeavor like this is to round out the mind and expand one’s thinking, the body can’t be neglected.
This is a touchy subject. Some people are insistent that you should seek to love yourself as you are, others that you should try sculpt yourself to fit some standard you consider idea and on and on.
For me, I’m viewing this as something I’m doing to build up my confidence as well as to polish the instrument I use in my trade. I work every day with beautiful women of varying shapes and sizes. All I can say is that I know what my problem areas are, the things that make me self-conscious in a scene and therefore, not as good of a performer. There are also things that make me too self aware in real life. I want to overcome these things on one hand so I look better, but also for the increased confidence that will come from achieving something I’ve set out to do.
I don’t have a hard and fast goal weight or anything. I just want to be doing more physically to effect a body I find enjoyable and beautiful.
I was a ballerina and a soccer player as a child, and even now I run everyday and practice Bikram yoga five to six times a week. Still I wouldn’t say that I have a good body. I’ve never really had a good body (a testament to how much I love food). A male performer once suggested I have body dysmorphia, but this isn’t about him. His pallet is too broad to begin with. He can get hard for anything.
I’ve always been more of a face.
I’m endeavoring to change that. So I joined a gym. I’m going to start lifting weights, and you know, actually training my body. I’m not really looking forward to this, or at least I wasn’t until last night.
I was at the gym and on a cardio machine, and I found myself pushing to work harder and longer, even though my normal tendency is to give up.
I went to the pool to swim laps and challenged myself to do double what I’d set out for. It was a satisfying feeling.
I realize that for me, physical conditioning, is actually mental conditioning. My real weakness is in training my mind to focus and complete things. Even as I write this, I don’t want to be. I’d rather watch youtube videos or write something, or read from a book. It’s just my nature.
I think that this undertaking is going to help transform me in a different way. I may, for the first time, become disciplined.
I figure between yoga, weights, cardio, jogging, and my pole classes, this body is going to start coming together in a way that will make me more confident.
When I started a 60 day challenge in my Bikram, (60 classes in 60 days), I wasn’t sure if I’d do it, and yet, lately, things have felt for me more important, they are weighted with a sense of urgency. As if innately, my frazzled mind understands that this is indeed a time to work.
I passed the challenge, and it made me feel a sense of confidence. I’d been able to complete something that was difficult, with no outside pressure or assistance in achieving that goal.
Something else changed for me too.
When I would start my classes I would hate to look at my body in the mirror. I don’t really enjoy it at all. Yet, but the end of class I would have compassion for myself and my plump legs and round tummy.
It’s about the small victories when it comes to the image of our bodies.
The first phase of my project is to come up with a curriculum. I’m planning on doing this informally and organically. I imagine I will see areas that need improvement, more or less time, or that need to be abandoned all together.
The basic idea is that I should round myself out as a person. I recognize that in some ways I’m turning myself into a dilettante. While this isn’t ideal, in some areas, it will simply have to do. This is a project geared toward myself alone, I’m sharing the process with whomever reads this blog, but by no means am I suggesting that it is a path for anyone else to follow.
This is what works for me. To be quantum mechanical about it, I have to take into account the instrument of observation. I’m an academic, so it is natural to me that this project to become a courtesan (here I mean in the romanticized historical context, but more about that in future entries) would be structured as a course of study full of reading lists, tests, periodic evaluations and culminating events.
I also plan to use the resources around me to expand and develop the scope and vision of this project (force the friends around me who are smarter and more knowledgeable to give me all their secrets). There is no goal toward this project other than enrichment and improvement toward an ideal that I will be developing as I study. I’m planning to attack this project Napoleon style, that is to say fluidly, ready to shift or change course at any time…or like Bruce Lee, you know, be like water.
I’ve come up with a rough outline of courses of study to undertake over the next year. In future entries I’ll discuss each of these areas in detail. I will be working on all of these subjects concurrently, hoping that my work in one will influence the others.
The first outline is such:
1. General knowledge
Current global crisis/conflicts
Great works of literature/music/film/theatre
Art both contemporary and historical
Developing foreign languages
Traveling/exploring natural areas, historical points of interest and museums.
Fashion and developing a personal sense of style.
Fine food and wine.
3. Personal development
Read biographies, memoirs and essays by various bonvivants and wits, and heroes
Practice musical instrument
Learn basic ballroom dances
Develop a reading list of tomes on war, strategy, seduction, psychology etc.
Learn about health/fitness and cultivate better habits.
Develop a reading list from medical texts to de Sade
Great works of erotica/film etc.
This is hardly exhaustive and I plan on developing each area into a detailed syllabus that I can put together. I suppose this will function as a sort of interdisciplinary degree in liberal arts, sexuality, and fine art.
The idea is that as I work through and develop these ideas and begin to study I will be keeping a record here. As I participate in more activities and interact with/interview different people I will be posting not only essays, but images and video…so that the project itself is also a kind of performance art.
The first area that I want to work on, is general knowledge. I’m working to come up with a list of blogs, websites, magazines and journals that I should be keeping up on in regards to world news and events. I’m also going to be consulting with the friends I have around me, whom I come to rely on as experts in areas of politics and topical affairs in developing a reading list of political texts and historical documents I should familiarize myself with, as well as looking to improve my knowledge of geography. I’ll be looking into major issues affecting the globe.
From here I’ll draft a syllabus as it were for the next year of media to study as well as new habits to develop in terms of cultural consumption and also activities I can participate in to fully engage with the subject matter, whether it be attending political events, participating in charity drives etc. I will be posting that list in the next few days. My goal is to have completed a working curriculum and reading list in all of the above areas for the next year by the beginning of October.
I’m not editing this as I’m writing. There’s another time and place for the more thoughtful, careful kind of writing that I’ve been trained to do. This is a blog.
I DO WHAT I WANT!
I’ve been quiet around here. I’ve been going through a personal investigation, trying to find meaning, focus, and a sense of purpose. I think it’s healthy to step back from time to time and re-evaluate and revise what I’m doing and where I’m going and why.
I am about to endeavor on a massive personal project and I am inviting you along.
I’m calling this the “Courtesan Project.”
I’m about to endeavor to become a modern-day courtesan, I use the word courtesan, because I mean to include sexuality in my course of study on courtiery. This is not to say, I’m endeavoring to become a prostitute with wealthy clients, it is more to approach the view of myself as a sex worker with a sense of pride and framed in a historical context that elevates sex work, and the sex worker.
I want to cultivate and grow within myself, a new person….
I want to document this journey of self-discovery and development.
Over the next year I am going to undertake a new method of living, a new way of seeing and being. Perhaps it is the eternal student in me, perhaps it is my rational nature, but I want to DO something different.
This transformation will be firstly psychological and incidentally physical.
I could write five different essays about my motivations, and I will, overtime, contribute those here. But I thought I would include you in the entire process, from the nascent idea, to fruition of my thesis.
How does one endeavor to become a courtesan? What is a courtesan? What should a courtesan be able to do? Why would one want to do this?
These are all questions I’m going to be answering here on a weekly basis.
I’m murdered from time to time in my dreams, by a stranger in an all night laundromat, I’m folding clothes in the flickering light when I notice him casually walking in through the only door out. There is something between us, a familiarity in the way he stares as I feed the machines quarters and clothes, that makes me afraid when I realize there are no windows in this room, and we are stuck like that for a long time, both knowing what we intend to do, but not yet moving.
I used to jog through the streets of Manhattan every morning before dawn. I passed by the eternal flame as I jogged through Battery Park. I would wander past the massive statues that surround the Native American Museum and circle back around to watch the sunrise over the Statue of Liberty.
There’s something about the quietude of the crepuscular hours , when the sky is a deep crystalline blue and the moon is fading to a pale pearl husk up there through the trees or above the glittering buildings. Its so intoxicating, that despite the danger of it, I can’t resist my solitude.
The last day I was in New York I was coming home from my girlfriend’s house in Brooklyn. It was 3:30 in the morning and I was worn out because we’d been making love all night. I was the only one of the subway crossing over to Manhattan. I liked being on the train at that time of day, watching my own reflection in the subway windows. There was of course, always the momentary thrill of each stop, when the doors would open, wondering if a man was going to walk in…if he would be dangerous or mad.
I was walking through the turnstile to exit out into downtown Manhattan as a lone man was coming down the stairs off the streets. There was nothing between us but the stretch of stinking concrete and piss. It was like something out of Irreversible. As he passed through the turnstile he reached out and grabbed my tit. He grabbed me so hard it brought the strap of my dress down.
And I just kept walking.
It’s weird how life does that to you.
A few months later in California, I was jogging and was accosted by a man with a knife. He chased me for a long time, even as I ran from door to door when everyone is still sleeping, pounding on windows and screaming for help. It felt like being stranded in the midst of a black sea with nothing but a void full of monsters beneath me.
It was a kid who finally opened the door for me. His mother was too startled to know what to do.
It wasn’t the first time something like that had happened. A few years before that, a guy had tried to drag me off the bike trial into the bushes to do God knows what. He was brazen too, because it was the middle of the day and the path was full of people trying to enjoy the temperate weather of an autumn afternoon. Him I fought, kicking and punching and spitting. The cops laughed uncomfortably when they took the report. They told me what I’d done was dangerous, that he could have really hurt me.
Still I go running every morning.
It’s not that these things don’t terrify me. They do. It’s just, I’m not willing to change my habits. I don’t want to feel that I’m at war or something, that I’ve got to hide from the enemy… I often imagine that when I do die, it will probably be at the hands of some lunatic with a grudge against women in a dark parking lot or something.
I recently got the chance to work with Asa Akira. I played a maneating woman who really just needs to be eased open and proper fucked by my masseuse Asa. I really like working with Asa, she’s one of the most down to earth performers I’ve had the privilege of diddling. Was that end rhyme or near rhyme or…? I don’t know. Here is the box cover and a gallery of photos of me enjoying the Insatiable Asa.
Modeling is art you guys, and its verrry serious. So serious. I am a fucking artist. Here is a picture of me by Creative Rehab that was taken a week before I came to California to make my way in pr0n.
The first part of a three part interview I did for Whack! magazine is coming out tomorrow. I’m insanely nervous because I was very honest in it and said a lot of brash things because that’s what I do. We’ll see how it goes.
This is an attempt at a natural portrait. People always want to see “natural portraits” of models. Not sure why. If you want to see a real girl, go outside and chat up the towel girl at your gym. I think maybe people are confused about why they buy pornography anymore. Is it a fantasy or reality that they seek?
I think it might have something to do with fatigue. We all put on sexual displays to lure mates. Makeup, digital retouching, lighting, CGI etc, have all made it more difficult to see what you’re really getting. I think people get tired of being bombarded with images of perfection. I think perhaps, they might also get tired of being constantly sexually stimulated.
Advertisers spend a lot of money on figuring out how to subtly appeal to your sexual desires to get you to buy things. I wonder if we wall get tired of having our sexual triggers constantly pulled.
I worked for penthouse’s g/g site danni.com this week. I hung out with Pet of the Year Jenna Rose, who is super gorgeous and cute and everything. Here are some pictures. I played a nurse taking care of a bitchy girl with a cast on. It would be totally unethical to fuck her like I did IRL. Lucky, porn isn’t IRL.
Ps. I’m in love with Brooklyn Lee and will stop at nothing to possess her.
I need a tan, also, I look like a mannequin.
This is me masturbating.
This is me and Jenna Rose as nurse and patient respectively.
My face makeup with an artsty filter to make me look hip. Because I'm a hipster.
I went to shoot with a photographer to be submitted to _________ Magazine. He told me to lose ten pounds and then he’d shoot me, because he needs me at my best. I’m doing it, I’ve already lost four pounds, but for the record, I don’t think me ten pounds lighter is me at my best. Sometimes you have to compromise to get what you want.
Good thing I’m never too fat to cam!
Monica Bellucci face.
Megan Fox face.
What was funny was that he seemed to feel that I didn’t look like the pictures in my portfolio, because when I’d asked him to shoot me for submission to the magazine, he’d looked through my portfolio and wrote me back to say that yes, he would shoot me.
What is ironic, is that when I started modeling I was twenty pounds heavier than I am now. Holly Randall shot me when I was ten pounds heavier than I am now. Half the pictures in my portfolio depict me at being much heavier than I am now. And yet, I had never in my entire career been told to lose weight.
Not because I think I’m thin or perfect, but because I tend to aim for jobs that are made for someone who looks like me, because I don’t have any illusions about where I fit in the scheme of things.
kd Lang is the only woman who makes me feel the way I do when I’m attracted to a man.
From youth to old age, she just gets sexier, like a man. She reminds me of the castrati that used to rule Italy in the seventeenth century. She seems like a man, but that voice, is one of the most incredible voices ever recorded.
I think the word is compelling. You just can’t look away, can’t stop trying to figure out what it is exactly that you’re looking at.
I made a one day turn around trip to Los Angeles yesterday to shoot with Corporate Vampire, photographer Alejandra Guerrero. She’s a lot of fun. She deals in fetish images mainly, latex and tailored suits. She scored a location in the Hollywood Hills with an undisturbed view of the Hollywood sign.
I strapped on a corset and some stilettos, slicked back my hair and donned some red lipstick for the lady.
I think the strangest nude of me ever was captured by my webcam rather unwittingly while I was making my bed up for the show. I look like a weird mannequin.
Before hair and makeup, making up the bed.
After makeup, still in hair.
My first feature, My Sister Celine just came out. It was cool seeing press releases for it on AVN next to a huge blinking AEBN banner with a huge picture of me on it. My life is very surreal right now if you know me and where I come from. Which you can’t and don’t. But this feels real, right?
You can read a write up of my movie by porn scholar Anna B. Volk here: http://darlinghouse.net/beta/annabvolk.
I also have a scene with Skin Diamond that came out today on AEBN for our movie Lesbian Masseuse. You should definitely check that shiz out.
Like how to show off your body in the most flattering way while in the supine position. How to become like a one woman John Stagliano film.
Also, how to get carpet burn on your knees. How do butt tricks.
How to make people want to see your natural tits.
That its always better to be listening to classic rock.
That people love hearing stories about your life.
That cute gets more tips than sexy.
And that garter belts and black lingerie remind men of “trannies.”
The most common compliment for me to get on cam is, “I love small tits!”
I wear a 36C/34D. No one ever referred to my tits as small until I entered the adult industry. No one ever paid me a ________ dollars a pop to take pictures of my pussy back then either, so I guess I can deal with it.
Here you learn about how I used to put on a Russian accent and pretend I was Eastern European to get work as a model when I lived in Manhattan. I wonder if getting a tan and calling myself Brazilian will have the same result out here in Los Angeles.
The awesome thing about working on my own site is the autonomy. It’s tedious to have to edit and retouch all of your own images, and it takes a certain amount of distance to be able to do it without fixating on all the flaws that a camera makes manifest…but man is it rewarding to have complete control over your image. I’m really excited to get a chance to start bringing my own erotic visions to fruition. I used to paint a sigil on my palm every day before I started writing. I made it up. It was the symbol for Saturn combined with the symbol for Neptune. Saturn represents the father and work. Neptune represents dreams and flashes of vision. I took the symbol on as a personal rune to mean “Dreams Made Flesh.”
Here are some preview photos by Joshua Darling from my first set for SovereignSyre.com…which will be launching soon….Special thanks to AVN Award Winning Crystal D Toys.
This Valentine’s Day I’m doing a girl on girl cam show with one of my favorite scene partners and performers Dana Vespoli! Dana and I have great chemistry together so I’m super excited for this show. There will be champagne and chocolate and lots of love <33333333.
Dana is a gonzo icon and has been in over 140 movies. She has a face like a doll and an insatiable appetite. I like it when she turns me out.
The guy who’s been selling me alcohol since I was fifteen just started carding me. He always says, “Hello sweetheart.” Then, “There you go beautiful (insert real name here).” (That’s right, my real name isn’t Sovereign. Although the irony of the sexiness of my real name is an endless sense of amusement for my friends.)
Is that enough parenthetical?
Sometimes now he says, “You drink so much. Maybe too much.”
What’s funny is that for that year when I was hooked on meth, he never once questioned me during my weekly trip to his liquor store to buy a bubbler to smoke my shit (that’s tweaker speak for crystal methamphetamine, a popular recreational drug of choice for women and queers) out of. Never. Said. Shit.
The thing about being a blonde is, guys just want to fuck your ass. When you’re a brunette, they want to eat your pussy THEN fuck your ass.
Life being what it is, I will BRB. I have a lot of work to do launching my site and building out a cam studio. I’m designing all my own banners, watemarks, and graphics. In addition to editing and retouching all my own photosets. That’s a lot of work:
I will return in a few weeks with many meditations of wisdom and a brand new site etc.
I am filming another feature for Nica Noelle this month with newcomer Jennifer Best. I think she’s definitely Muse material, so you will probably being hearing much more about her from Girl Candy Films in the coming months.
I will however be taking a permanent hiatus from the various adult forums. I think that those are places best left for the fans to talk to each other about what they love. Those of you interested in engaging with me, I will be as available as ever here on my blog, through my new site, through my camming, and of course, through good old fashioned email.
So here it is. The box cover of the first movie I ever made. My Sister Celine. I play Celine, a troubled troublemaker who sets her sights on her brother’s fiance, played by Jasmine Jem.
Reserved, slender brunette Beth has just gotten engaged to nice guy Liam, and travels home with him on holiday to meet his family. But when the self-conscious bride-to-be meets her fiancee's sister Celine, she feels an instant connection to the hauntingly beautiful, intense young woman. As Beth's curiosity for her wild sister in law grows, Celine begins a game of psychological chess designed to upset Beth's fragile sexual identity. But does Celine's quest for pleasure mask a dark, disturbing secret? How much is Beth willing to risk to find out? Introducing new lesbian superstar Sovereign Syre in an unforgettable debut performance.
It’s my first box cover, even if it wasn’t my first movie to be released. This will always be first to me. I think the image is a little glamorous given the tone of the film, which was almost more of an independent movie than an adult feature. It’s also funny to see myself in the glamour machine.
vs. real life:
I wish I could show you guys more of the stills from the feature. Perhaps in time some galleries will appear where you can see some of the darker portraits that JM Darling took on set.
This is something I wrote two years ago. It started as an answer to an email from a friend who was soliciting advice from people about what they’d learned so far in life. I ended up writing this, and turning it into an editorial piece for an online magazine I used to be an op/ed writer for.
I think it’s kind of fitting for the new year.
Things I’ve Learned About Other People
1. Most people hide their suffering better than you think, you pass dozens of people a day on the street without any idea how well they’re wearing their tragedies.
2. People’s names are the sweetest sounds they hear. You should make a point of being good at learning and using them.
3. People love to spread their misery around, but not as much as they enjoy being lifted out of it.
4. Being young is not in and of itself an achievement. Neither is being beautiful. But people often treat you as if they are.
5. For a lot of people, music is a reflection of who they are and their relationship to life. Remember that before insulting someone’s favorite band.
6. The Golden Age never existed. People are always trying to get back to a time when things were simpler and better. The world was a far more dangerous place fifty years ago, especially if you were black or a woman or gay or diagnosed with cancer.
7. Most people, whatever their choice of profession, feel like complete novices that are about to be found out as frauds and fakers.
8. Most people love quite helplessly, despite what they would have you believe.
9. Show me the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’ll show you a man who’s bored with taking her to bed. Show me the most devoted husband, and I’ll show you a woman who feels that he’s just not doing enough. A lot of people are never satisfied because…
10. Most people have no idea what they want out of life, let alone how to get it. Most others are still waiting for someone to give them permission.
11. Whatever it is about yourself that you’re trying to hide, it’s usually the first thing someone else notices about you.
12. You should call your mother and tell her you love her. Like most women who decide to marry and have children or help take care of a dying parent, she probably sacrificed a lot of her dreams to be there for you, and she wishes that you appreciated her more for it.
13. If you tell a man about your problems, he assumes you want some sort of help or advice. If you tell a woman about your problems, she assumes you simply want a shoulder to cry on. Women rarely want to be told what to do about a problem, and men rarely want to be coddled through a hard time.
14. Creative people thrive on feedback. You can never give them enough of it, and you will endear yourselves to them mightily if you do it frequently, thoughtfully, and honestly. They understand far better than most think, the value of time.
15. For most people religion is a social commitment more than a spiritual one.
16. A lot of people who consider themselves intelligent can’t properly label all the states on a map, or all the countries in Europe, let alone Africa or the Middle East. Most couldn’t list off the ten commandments, five pillars, or the amendments of the Constitution, and feel that politics are too complicated to bother with understanding, let alone talking about.
17. A lot of Christians have never, and will never, read the Bible. Most of them will conduct their lives exactly as they would if they’d never attended a single church service. It is nearly impossible to tell a Christian from an atheist by their actions alone. Both Christians and atheists will probably find the previous statement offensive.
18. For nearly every crazy idea, you can find a fully credentialed scientist who will back it up.
19. People are more frequently kind and compassionate than they are fooled by our manipulations or lies.
20. Life often works in reverse. People treat strangers more politely than their family or friends. People will ask a friend’s band to play their party for free, will call their best girlfriend to come over and cut their hair without a thought to payment, but would never dream of calling a mechanic they found in the phone book and asking them to donate their time and labor to fix a broken down car.
21. Everyone has done something they would be desperately embarrassed for anyone else to know about.
22. Never joke with a man about his sexual performance, and never joke with a woman about her appearance. No matter how much they make fun of these things in themselves, never, never do it for them. They may laugh along with you, but you’ve just driven a tiny needle into their brain.
23. Most women get married because they want to have a wedding, most men get married because they are ready to settle down with a woman for the rest of their lives. Women, statistically speaking are more likely to suffer clinical depression if married, and initiate upwards of 80% of all divorces citing irreconcilable differences. People expect a significant other to change their lives and make them happy without any conception of how this change will take place. Sort of like assuming a college degree is going to guarantee you security in life without ever thinking of how this can be practically possible. I call this the “If you build it, they will come” approach to romance and one out of every two times it ends in divorce.
24. Most people are worried they’re not having as much fun as they should be. This usually makes men cheat and women nag.
25. When you insult or offend someone, always admit it and apologize promptly, even if it wasn’t your intention or you had no idea. It is always better to be a penitent villain than to appear so socially inept as to not recognize when you’ve hurt the people around you. An evil genius is someone to bring to your side, a blundering fool is someone to keep as far away from you as possible.
This was in a way homage to William S. Burroughs and his famous “Words of Advice for Young People.”
Do you know the difference between satire and parody? Do you get irony? Then chances are, you’re a hipster. Do you <3 ass? Then chances are you’re a human. The great creative minds and Darling House have paired with my ass to bring you this Hipster Holiday PSA :
Here’s a gallery of some candid photos Joshua Darling took of me in a studio in Long Island City. He had just shot a friend in a Cowboy hat with a cigar for a conceptual shoot she wanted. She’s one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met, and she doesn’t care about that very much at all.
The hat was lying around and Josh wanted to test out a new lighting set up. He ended up just taking a bunch of candids of me topless. Everything always ends in being topless.
These were taken at the end of May this year. Enjoy.
Male sexuality is a varied and wondrous thing. I wanted to shoot with Collin J. Rae for a long time because I like the highcontrast and bright colors in his work, and also the vague sense of menace. I’d never shot with a foot fetish photographer before, and I really didn’t know what to expect, if he would be “weird” or not. He was in Manhattan for a few days doing some business, he works in Nashville doing something related to music. He was strange, but in a delightful way, unapologetic in his fetish and covered in tattoos of various friends signatures.
We talked about various models he knew that I was familiar with. The modeling world of nude/fetish/erotica is actually quite small. The same girls traveling across the country meeting men with cameras and various obsessions paying us by the hour to reveal the most intimate parts of ourselves.
Collin said I had a perfect mouth, even though he wasn’t really into lips. He’s the first photographer I let touch me during a shoot. It’s part of his style to have a sort of POV feel, him touching your feet etc. He also touched my lips though, and put his thumb in my mouth. I knew it was probably one of the last independent shoots like that I would do…a month later I was in LA making my first adult movie. I thought it was a nice way to finish that chapter of my life.
Those two years in NYC changed me more than any other thing I’ve done. At some point I will have to sit down and collect all of those stories.
A portrait I did of myself after a long ascetic regimen earlier this year. I’ve always had a thing with mortifying the flesh. I wasn’t even raised Catholic, but I tend to believe that suffering makes you more beautiful. Its me as Rose of Lima. The three biggest sexual icons growing up for me were The Madonna, Rose of Lima, and The Magdalene.
I’m new to porn. I come from a world where photographers consider themselves “auteurs” and are (generally) more comfortable using the word “erotica” than “pornography” when referring to their work, even if it involved me sticking my fingers in my snatch.
Still from Psychopathia.Sexualis by Joshua Darling St. Lucie River, 2009
I’m frequently coming up against my own pretensions when I find myself disheartened over images of me with my pussy spread for the world to see with no attention paid to the zit that no one bothered to stamp out on my ass or the stray hair that’s raised defiantly from the coif on my head. Some part of me is insistent on what I would call the female gaze: I ultimately want something to look beautiful, no matter how intense it is.
Kenn Lichtenwalter: He said his was raised Catholic and though he couldn't imagine what his mother would think, he couldn't resist when he saw the light forming a nimbus around my head.
The divide is clearest to me now that I’m on various forums that cater to the porn connoisseur. First off, I have to say that I don’t think that gaze is something necessarily determined by gender. Director and “Queen of Romance Porn” Nica Noelle would say she doesn’t cater to men or women, but rather to a specific sensibility. That may be true, but she seems to have more vocal female fans than what I see for directors of more “intense” or “explicit” straight pornography.
I do agree with her though. I make lesbian pornography. I have found that for the most part, the type of men and women who consume this kind of pornography have very different tastes than those that consume straight porn. This was clearest to me when on a thread dedicated to me on the Viv Thomas forum, the images that they participants were posting were all my art modeling soft core nudes from when I was working in Manhattan the last two years. People were very clear in their preferences:
Yellow Silk: Imitating the repose of a model on a famous anthology of Lesbian Erotica. This first gift I ever recieved from a woman. By Joshua Darling
“Beautiful photos. And exactly the type of softcore artistic nudes I prefer as opposed to the sex still shots I’d much rather see in moving form in a video.”
Self Portrait in White Panties.
The photos most likely to get attention on the “straight” forums and blogs tend to be the more explicit and glamorous Holly Randall photos. Once more of my movies come out, I’m sure they’ll be the “pretty girls” from my scenes…
Holly Randall, January 2011
I can say I don’t really mind the more explicit stuff. I just appreciate the editing that is done by a photographer that isn’t bogged down by a deadline and isn’t trying to feed in insatiable machine. I think it has to do with perspective, people on lesbian boards, and women in adult in general tend to use the word erotica (Holly Randall and Skin Diamond are two women who come to mind, both describe themselves as “erotic photographer” and “erotic model” respectively) more than men do.
Daniel Vaughn, 2009
George Pitts once described porn to me as “Explicit sexual depictions without sufficient compassion for their subject.” I tend to like it as a definition. I think of porn and erotica as points on a circle, like masturbation and sex…they kind of beget and destroy each other, like the Ouroboros. I think its like trying to debate what is more fundamental, the head or the tail.
This is a post about the female gaze. Occasionally I’m going to be posting about people I consider to be sexy. A few years ago my BFF Cocette used to stay the night all the time and we would sit around listening to music. One of our favorites was Smoov-E, a rapper from the bay area who had rapped with Andre Nickatina and Mac Dre. There was something about his deliberately creepy “character” in his raps…always chasing after barely legal girls he has to drop off “in front of the highschool” as a running gag. He reminds me of Morris Day from the Time crossed with Suga Free.
Some portraits of Cocette:
And now, for some choice Smoov-E: These are videos of him performing his raps “live.”
“I see the truth inside your lies/so I hook the panties to the side.”
Clipboard Full of Game:
Smoov-E like Water
“I fucked your daughter/then I pops my collar.”
Alas, Smoov-E has moved on, transitioning into a rock musician…One Popular Guy.