Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Interview With Ashley Blue
Check out Ashley Blue on Twitter.
The video is provided courtesy Dave Naz.
Danny: You're Ashley Blue. Or used to be? Are you still performing?
Ashley: Yeah, I still do. I mean, I still do everything on the menu.
But I'm old. I'm 29 years old and I've done everything. Nobody wants to see my old ass in porn anymore.
And that's not up to me. That's for the viewers to decide. And I understand. You get sick of people, and you want new people when it comes to this tasty product that we call porn.
Danny: So you've been a performer in the adult industry for nearly ten years, correct?
Ashley: Since 2002. So I round up when necessary.
Danny: So how old were you in 2002?
Danny: And you've actually won quite a few awards including Performer of the Year in 2004, correct?
Danny: So what are some of the other awards or acknowledgments you've had during your career?
Ashley: My accolades?
I won XRCO Performer of the Year. It was all the same year. One year I won, like, everything. I just won a bunch. They're all sitting on the shelf. Dave [Naz] won't let me put them in the closet. He's like, “No, go put those back there.”
And then I won Most Outrageous Sex Scene, Best Supporting Actress, Best All Girl Sex Scene. Some of them mean very little compared to that Performer of the Year award. I got that first, so everything after that was like a bonus. But I really felt like I got the big trophy.
Danny: So what would you say you're known for in the industry?
Ashley: Like what? Like a certain move?
Danny: No. Like when people think of Ashley Blue, what do they associate with your porn star persona?
Ashley: Girlvert, the series.
Danny: We'll get to that in a little bit. Have you ever performed in pornographic scenes that would be considered rough or even violent?
Ashley: Yes, I have.
Danny: What are some of the activities you've participated in that would fit this description?
Ashley: Violent and rough would be choking, slapping in the face, not just grabbing the hair, but actually being grabbed by your hair and being pulled in different directions. Spitting in the face. I think that covers most of them.
Danny: So you were contracted for three years with a company called JM Productions, right?
Danny: I just briefly looked up some of their history. I mean, they've been faced with legal obscenity charges, they've been accused of being demeaning towards women, etc...
Ashley: Right, but never actually convicted of that.
Danny: Right. I actually read that one of the movies named in that obscenity trial was Gag Factor 15 in which you're depicted performing a throat fucking parody of the torture at Abu Ghraib prison.
Danny: So how do you end up being the contract girl for one of the more controversial companies in the industry?
Ashley: In 2004, they made me official. But I started doing Girlvert movies in 2002. So I had been doing this character, and this one line of movies for a couple years.
Danny: You're the director of these movies?
Ashley: No. The wonderful director is Jim [Lane].
But I did have creative - not control, at all - but I had creative input. Because you just make it all up as you go. Each step you put in front of the other, each cock in the mouth, is improvisation. You're just making it up.
But I was doing that movie, that series, and then they made me their contract girl. When I won performer of the year, I was gonna be a marketable person for the next couple of years. And we had a good relationship. We were really happy. And that was when porn was soaring. So there were a lot of movies to be made.
Danny: I read that you were the director of Girlvert and Lesbian Bukakke. That's not true?
Ashley: I'm not the director of Girlvert. I am the Girlvert, but I'm not the director. The director is way, way better at porn than I am. There will never be a person as good at porn as Jim.
The Lesbian Bukakkes I did direct, supposedly. But Jim basically did that too. He did everything. I just bossed everybody around, and gave everybody a hard time. And I didn't really put much effort into my directing, at that point, in the Lesbian Bukakkes. I didn't really enjoy doing them. I wouldn't even do them. I would just stand around and let everyone else do it.
Danny: How would you characterize the Girlvert series? I mean, what is this all about?
Ashley: The character started out as this runaway girl who is really kind of punk. I wasn't the first Girlvert. It was their other contract girl who kind of fell off the face of the earth. And I was her replacement.
But I couldn't pull off anything punk. Because that's not really me.
I saw this one movie with her, and she had a mohawk and boots on, and that wasn't my thing at all. So we made it into a little girl - like pig tails, high socks, and short skirts. And beyond that, she's just a really tortured person who tortures others, and is very angry. All the things that happen to the Girlvert, she inflicts on other people. So she's kind of like a painful character.
Danny: So you're kind of like the dominant in most of these scenes?
Ashley: There's only been one girl/girl in all of the nineteen Girlverts. And it was like, really boring. Because it was dildos. There's nothing climactic. So they're all boy/girl anal, or DP anal. I interact, but I usually just take the cock out of the mouth.
These movies are not about pleasure. They're about disgusting, humiliating... like, they're mean.
Danny: Can you give an example of one of the scenarios?
Ashley: Okay. In one of the scenarios, I was eating a hamburger at school. And this girl comes up to me and screams, “Meat is murder,” in my ear. So I invite her back to my house for a Save the Squirrels rally.
And when she gets there, I start smacking her with all different kinds of raw meat - like hamburger in the face, like Tommy Burgers in her face, and like chicken bones, and all this meat. I stick it inside her. I put raw chicken inside of this girl's pussy.
And then this guy, this male performer - who just happened to be French - he just comes out dressed like a chef. And he's like, “What do you mean you don't like meat?” And he starts very harshly fucking her in the ass I'm rubbing raw meat all over her face, and like smacking her, and spitting on her, and degrading her.
That's just one that stands out. But they're all like a parody. Everybody knows that they can leave at any time. No one's chained up. If you have a sick sense of humor, then it's funny. But if you don't, you might feel really bad for the people.
Danny: Do you come up with the ideas for these, or is it mostly Jim?
Ashley: We both do. I would say it's totally equal. Because he'll have an idea, and then I'll go, “Yeah, then what if we do this?”
Sometimes I'll have a vision, or Jim will have a vision, and then we just build on that. But it all happens in one or two days. It's not deep.
Danny: Like, what interests you about that type of pornographic content?
Ashley: That it's funny. To me, it's very funny. I like being gross. I like that part. I think the underlying theme is being very funny. It's humor. That's what makes me want to live each day. I need to make myself laugh.
I don't really care. It's not even about being sexy, because these movies are not about being sexy at all. They're funny. And because it's so crazy, it's interesting. And from that being interesting, it becomes sexy again.
It's so out there that it stimulates that part of you that's turned on by somebody who is smart, something that's not obvious. They're not about being typically or conventionally sexy. They go beyond that, and then you can't turn away. Then you're like, “I really like this. I didn't think I like this but...” I don't know. It feeds me.
Danny: Do you know anything about the casting for these productions? How do you go about casting for these movies?
Ashley: Well, every scene is anal, so the girl has to do anal. It's more like a check list. Does she fit into this little story that we have?
It doesn't matter who it is. The more blowup doll they are, sometimes that's better. The more retarded they are, the funnier it is when they're saying lines.
And Jim gets irritated. He's great, but he gets irritated when it takes too long. But I think it's funny.
Danny: So how do you determine, for example, who's more blowup doll? Like, do you know these people beforehand?
Ashely: For Girlvert, it's way better when we don't know the girls because they get mad. They get really mad at me. I can't be mothering them, because then the product's not going to be as good. When I start to worry too much about somebody's feelings, then we're not doing our job as performers. We're just coddling each other, and then the product suffers. It's better to be more disassociated.
Then, with the male performers, I just don't care. They're all there just to be actors. They want to be there.
The girls tend to want to be in the movie, but they don't want to do the things that you have to do to be in the movie.
Like, Jim is like the master of coaching people into doing things. Because he's kind of like a soccer dad. He's kind of like a dad. And I don't have to deal with it. That's why he's the director and not me.
Danny: Have you ever had instances where the performers didn't want to work with each other?
Danny: So what do you do in this type of situation?
Ashley: You just have to replace one of the people. And it doesn't matter who it is. It really varies. But I know this has happened more than once. One time, in particular, it was really bad. And the girl was replaced. She went all crazy and started punching the camera.
Danny: This is because she didn't want to work with the guy?
Ashley: Yeah. She just started getting all ghetto. Like, it was the prison yard. Like we were watching Lock Up or something.
Still, that's really funny looking back on it. It's still a really funny job. It's hilarious. So no matter how bad it gets, as long as no one's dying, it is funny. It makes a good story.
Danny: So you've already mentioned that a lot of times girls don't want to do these things? What happens when the girls don't want to take part in these activities?
Ashley: Well, it's happened to me. I start complaining. You just start bitching about it. This is what I'm saying, first hand. I just start bitching, and saying, “I don't want to do it.” And then if somebody can talk me into it, I end up doing it. And if they can't, then we do something else.
That's what happens with the other girls too. You try to reason. You try to present it differently. And then if you get a refusal, you do something else to replace what you wanted to do. That's where you have to be very good at thinking on your feet. Because you don't want it to be lame. You don't want somebody to watch it and say, “I'm bored.” I see a lot of boring porn, and that makes me really mad. Somebody's gotta be doing something for me, making me interested in it. And then it's sexy.
Danny: I read this book recently by a guy named Chris Hedges, and he's got this chapter in the book that's pretty anti-porn. He mentioned something on the JM Gag Factor website that says, “As many of you will remember, for quite a long time, Superwhore Ashley Blue was the official JM contract whore. But like the sole of an old shoe, porn whores eventually wear out and have to be thrown away. So our way of throwing a retirement party for Ashley was to have her head piston-fucked one last time.” How do you feel about being portrayed as such?
Ashley: It's just a little thing that they wrote. It's meant to be funny. They have a mean sense of humor. I find it funny. It's a joke, because I didn't retire. I still work for JM. It was just something that they wrote. It's just a joke.
I don't feel particularly attacked by that. It's just something that they do. I'm used to it.
Danny: Do you feel like it's degrading towards you or women in general?
Ashley: I don't feel degraded by that. I don't know how to say it, but that's not degrading to me. It's just something so slight. I guess I have a thicker skin than that. I don't put all my value on what people are going to write on websites.
Danny: Have you felt like you ever performed in a scene where you really were degrading another performer?
Ashley: Yeah, I have come home and felt bad. I have. But I have to forgive myself and move on.
I've apologized during scenes too. I know I've definitely been degrading. That's kind of what the Girlvert does.
As I'm yelling at somebody, for instance, calling someone a pig and putting a pig nose on them, and calling them fat and old; things that if somebody were saying that to me, I'd be like, “Fuck.” But caught up in that moment, everybody's just acting. There's a camera rolling.
It doesn't feel real. Like, we're not really doing it. I would not really go up to someone and start yelling at them. It's a fantasy. It's a fantasy that I feel like needs to be out there. Because you can't do that. You can't go up to the police station and get gang banged by all the police in the lobby. There are things that are just not gonna happen. So you need to fantasize about it.
Danny: Have you ever felt degraded?
Ashley: I have felt that way. But I don't feel that way now. I got over it.
That sounds so oversimplified. But I've felt bad coming home from certain scenes, or during the scenes. Like Meatholes. Like with that, I felt bad.
Daniel: Have you ever been in a scene where you really felt you were being taken advantage of?
Ashley: By way of somebody didn't pay me enough? Yeah, I've felt like some people have taken advantage of me with that. By trying to and accomplishing putting me on the spot, and asking me to take less money. That's happened, and I felt like that was kind of rude.
But other than that, it's just something that passes. It's very emotional to have sex. There's still a lot of emotion even when you don't feel connected to the people. It's still kind of who I am. I come home and I feel all these different things. And then a week later, I'll feel different.
It doesn't really matter. I don't feel like I've set the female gender back by doing any of this stuff.
Danny: I have a question, and if you're not comfortable talking about this, that's totally fine. But when you mentioned Meatholes, for example... I've talked to a few other people who talk about Khan Tusion and some of the experiences they've had with him. I actually Googled his name today and there was a short YouTube video of you. Someone's talking to you about Khan Tusion. And you don't necessarily seem happy to have had any contact with this man. Do you want to elaborate on any of that?
Ashley: No, I don't. Thank you.
Danny: That's fine... So you've had some of these experiences where you come home and feel emotional. Maybe there's positive and negative factors associated with that. Did you ever experience one of these sexually submissive roles where you felt safe?
Ashley: Oh yeah. When I think about everything now, it is really safe. Now, I'm older and I see that there are other alternatives. I got into porn. I didn't go down to Santa Monica Boulevard, and try to hook. There are different parts of the sex industry, and selling sex. Porn's a really nice way of doing it because you have everybody around you. No one feels like it's that big of a deal. It's not scary.
It's scary to do something new, but now I don't feel scared at all.
Danny: So would you say you've ever taken on a sexually submissive role in a porn film and actually felt empowered?
Ashley: Yeah. Because if I feel like I can take a lot, I feel stronger. If I can build up, not like muscles, but endurance, like, “Wow,” even if it really hurts, or is very uncomfortable, and I get past that, then I do feel stronger.
Danny: So do you feel like it's possible to be in one of these scenes where you're being degraded - do you think it's also possible to feel empowered in the same scenario?
Ashley: Yeah. Because there's an ending point.
If you can make it to that point where it stops, then you can say, “Yeah. I did do that.” It's like an accomplishment. It's like, “Yeah, I could take that. I did double anal for fifteen minutes.” It's like strength. It's like, “What do you bench? Oh yeah, well I took one that was...” It's just that physically, I feel stronger.
Danny: Is there anything in particular that makes you feel safer to be on this set versus another set? Or are they all kind of the same to you at this point?
Ashley: At this point, I don't feel unsafe. There are sets that are more dirty, and some that are more clean. I don't feel safe sitting on that toilet seat, and I don't feel safe grabbing a water. When I don't want to touch a towel or a person, or a piece of furniture, because it's too disgusting. But other than that, they're all the same.
Danny: What is your opinion on drugs and alcohol on set? Do you think a performer who has had a few drinks or is under the influence of marijuana can still act with informed consent?
Ashley: Yes. Sometimes drugs and alcohol open up your mind. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes they make you the opposite.
But I'm not against them. I know everyone in porn smokes weed. They can all hide other stuff that they do. Unless everyone else is drinking, they won't bring their alcohol out. Some people hide it in their bags. But everybody feels fine. I don't really care what people do.
Danny: What about harder drugs? What if they're on set with methamphetamines or coke or something like that?
Ashley: Just like real life, if that's what you do, then fine. I don't care. I've done it.
Now, I've been on both sides of being really fucked up and really sober. It's kind of amusing. I have to say that it is funny. It is annoying and it costs the directors and producers money when somebody is on weed or something - when they can't remember anything, when they're trying to speak a line and they can't get it right, I think that's funny. I mean, maybe it's not funny, but my first instinct is to laugh at that.
Danny: Have you ever witnessed someone sent home for drug or alcohol use on set?
Danny: You say everyone smokes weed and everyone drinks...
Ashley: Not everyone, but I've never seen anybody be fired for being high, or even drunk. It's up to them. It doesn't require that much to get there. You still have your pretty face. You still have your nice body. You're just having sex. It doesn't require that much. It's mostly how you look.
Danny: But do you think it's really common that most of the performers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol on set?
Ashley: On any set, there will be at least one person. So even if you're on a POV blowjob, one person in the room will probably be on something. Because A: you can. It's totally acceptable, and that's most of it.
And B: people get really emotional when they think about how they don't feel good about themselves because selling sex is not something anybody can feel proud of for some reason. And I don't agree with that. But that's just how society is.
Danny: But what about you? Do you feel proud about selling sex? You said it's not the same for you.
Ashley: I can't just tell everybody how proud I am. I have to keep it to myself. Even with family and friends. It's not a degree that I'm hanging on the wall.
Danny: Do you ever enjoy being called a cunt, whore, slut, bitch or any other derogatory term during sex?
Danny: Do you like to call yourself such things during sex?
Danny: Have you ever called other performers some of these names?
Danny: So what is the particular pleasure you get out of calling yourself these names or being called these names?
Ashley: Well, during a scene, your personality is totally exaggerated. Everything is exaggerated. You want to be constantly saying something to try and turn everybody on, and get to this other place. It's just to be entertaining.
And then, when you say it, when you start saying more of it, you get more into it. You're involving something else other than just touch. You're saying things, and then you're thinking that you're dirty. And you want to use dirty words, and you're doing something that's not allowed, and swearing helps that.
It is funny too. They're just words. They just feel good to say. They're just words, that's why.
Danny: What are your feelings on condom use on straight sets? Do you think they should be provided as a choice?
Ashley: Well, I think that the choice is really up to the producer because they're the ones who have to sell the product. And if no one's gonna buy it, then you can't be paying performers. No one's going to make any money. This is not a public service we do. It's a business. That's not what the people want to see as of now. Maybe that will change in the future. Maybe in a hundred years people will like that.
The bottom line is that it doesn't feel as good, and guys know that. Guys know that when a condom goes on, most of the sensitivity goes too. So if they're seeing that, they're going, “Ah.” They're not getting as much enjoyment as they would want to be. They can't say, “Oh, I would want to be that guy.”
It's not the most fun and intimate way to have sex. It's not your fantasy way of having sex. It's got a condom on it, and it's safe. But it's like, “Great, they're being safe.”
Danny: Other than guys who don't like it, are there any negative factors associated with using condoms for you in particular?
Ashley: I don't know. It's not negative. It's not.
But my answer is, “No,” I don't think it should be an option, because what is it? Is it either condoms and no testing? I think the testing is healthier. I would be kind of scared to just be rolling a condom on somebody. You can do more. All the spit that flies, not just the penetration. I'm more into the testing.
Danny: Are you completely comfortable with the testing standards right now?
Ashley: Yeah. I am completely comfortable with the standards right now. I participate in that. I agree to it. When I do perform in a scene - which isn't very often anymore - I don't feel weird. I feel like, “Oh, there's still a chance I could come down with something,” but I'm not scared.
Danny: You [and Dave Naz] did a project for your book, and you had paid for someone to get a two day test. Is that common for the scenes you do now with anal stuff?
Ashley: Yeah, it is common, because I don't do that much anymore. I've got a slower lifestyle now. We did do that.
Danny: Do you think there are any sexual acts that should never be filmed?
Ashley: No. I can't think of anything that I have seen, and I go, “I wish I hadn't seen that.” I can think of things I would like to see that are not allowed. Like, not allowed on videos because it's obscene. I have seen some things but I know they're not legal. I totally don't mind seeing it, like shit. I like looking at shit.
Danny: There are some companies out there like Kink.com who interview models either before or after, or both. Do you think that effects the scene in any way?
Ashley: No, because when you start fucking, you just forget everything that happened before. Even if somebody was just a total asshole, you forget all about what just happened right before. You have, like, dog memory. Like, “What? Okay.”
You just engage yourself in something else completely. That's why it helps to say things like swear words. You're just getting stuff out that has nothing to do with what happened before, or what's going to happen later.
Danny: Do you think those type of interviews are important for consumers?
Ashley: Yeah, because it's kind of a lead-up to what the person is watching. They get to see what the girl is like before. They get to see this nervousness.
They definitely get something out of it. It is something extra. It adds to the scene, but I don't think the girl gives a fuck what you ask her, or what you tell her to put on. Most of the time, she's just like, “Okay.”
Danny: Do you think consumers should just assume that performers are providing full consent to all activities performed on camera despite lack of things like interviews?
Ashley: Yeah. Always assume that. There's nothing worse than hearing people say, “They're afraid of pornography because of kiddie porn.” They're over eighteen years old. You can't do pornography unless you're eighteen years old. Assume that.
I don't know. That's just annoying that people think that we're forced to be there. Unless you think you're buying one of those hidden video, “caught-on-tape.” If you think that's real, you should probably watch an interview with the girl beforehand, saying that, “No, I know what's going to go on.” People should assume that everything's fine.
Danny: Well, say that you watch a staged rape scenario between two performers you've never met. Would you be comfortable watching this without something like an interview providing consent?
Ashley: It depends on how it was shot. If it was really convincing, I don't know how I would feel. Because I haven't seen that. I guess it just depends. I don't know. Would the camera have to be from the rapist's point of view? That's the only way I would believe it was real. Or maybe not. I don't know.
Danny: I mean, there could be an accomplice, or it could be on a tripod?
Ashley: If it was just some video that was leaked, I would maybe think that it was real. Because I believe in bullshit rumors. I totally believe in those. But if it was a company that selling it, I wouldn't think that it was real.
Danny: What are some of the reasons you wouldn't think that it was real?
Ashley: I don't know. Because I think that they would get in trouble, and they would get sued.
Danny: Do you think that companies that produce rougher content, that they should be held to any higher standards in terms of conveying consent?
Ashley: Sure. If that's what makes people feel better, then okay.
I'm not sure about that. I haven't really given it much thought.
Danny: That's really all the questions I have. Unless you want to add something. If this goes up, maybe you want to pitch your book.
Ashley: Yeah. I don't know how to pitch it.
Danny: So you have a book coming out. What's it called?
Danny: And is it by Ashley Blue or...
Ashley: It's by Oriana Small.
Danny: Where do you think people can find this to purchase it?
Ashley: Oriana Small is me.
It's published by Barnacle. Whoever the publishers distribute to, I'm not sure.
Danny: Do you have a website or...?
Ashley: Dave's website. There's gonna be a Girlvert website.
The book isn't out until Spring. It was going to be released sooner. We were gonna try but legally, we're not ready.
Danny: And this is your memoir?
Ashley: This is my memoir.
Danny: Well, thank you so much for talking to me. I appreciate it.