The Difference Between Porn Sex and Your Sex, According to Adult Star Jessica Drake

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A few months back, I was listening to Slate‘s (excellent) “Working” podcast, on which people in various professions—from screenwriter to refrigerator repairman—explain in detail what they do and what a typical day’s like. I found most of them fairly interesting, but I was particularly struck by an episode featuring Jessica Drake, a top adult actress and director who didn’t only enlighten listeners about the porn biz, but impressed me personally with how articulate and frank she was about what working in the industry’s really like—especially for a woman.

I knew StyleCaster’s Second Annual Summer of Sex was approaching, and I desperately wanted to chat with her, too, and hear more about what she had to say. That I did last week by phone, and—not surprisingly—I learned quite a bit, namely how open adult actors are about porn not being a wholly realistic representation of what sex is.

Below, some enlightening takeaways from my conversation with Drake, including the differences between the sex you see in adult films and the sex you’re having at home, how technology’s changed the porn industry, the craziest thing a male fan’s ever done, and (lots) more.

Let’s jump right in. Obviously, on a basic level, we all know there’s a different between porn sex and at-home sex, but from your perspective, what are the biggest ones?
Okay—foreplay, that’s one of the most important things. In porn you don’t see enough foreplay. You don’t see the effort it takes to actually warm someone up and get them ready for sex and make it as good an experience as it could be.

Another thing: Women do not spontaneously orgasm. It’s all in the editing. The majority of women out in the world are [having orgasms] by clitoral stimulation alone—I think it’s over 80 percent—and in adult movies, you see it happening every whichaway. I think women need to be let off the hook as far as that goes and not expect spontaneous orgasm from initial penetration.

Also, [I’ve had] people come up to me at signings or workshops and say “we can’t manage anal sex, we can’t pull this off.” Anal sex is not as easy as it’s portrayed in adult movies. That’s because you’re seeing the magic, not the warm-up or the pre-sex or anything that goes into it other than what they’re editing for the finished product, which [often] leaves people to think that it should be so much easier than it really is. In actuality, it’s a process for sure.

On our end, some sex scenes will be shot in an hour and a half, but you’re only seeing fifteen or twenty minutes. You’re seeing a finished product made for fantasy and entertainment.

[In porn], guys are expected to be super-performers and have all this stamina when in actuality, regular people having off-camera sex probably only want to have it for ten or twenty minutes as opposed to marathon sessions.

What’s the effect of technology and social media been on porn industry, in your opinion?
I don’t think we had a problem differentiating between porn being watched for fantasy and at-home sex until technology spread porn like wildfire. Now, in some instances, [porn] is people’s only exposure to sex, and I think that’s when I started to see it become an issue.

Has technology done great things for me? Yeah, of course. It’s gotten me more exposure, [it helps me] connect with fans. The drawbacks—because it’s so easily accessible—people think it’s a realistic representation of sex, and also piracy. Those are the worst things tech has done to our industry

On the Slate podcast, you talk about having complete control over who you shoot with, and the scenes you do. Is that always the case?
I have a very picky and pretty short list of people I like to work with. When I first started in the industry everyone did, but over the years people have gotten more lax, and there are people who aren’t as discerning as I am, but that’s my comfort zone. I work with people who I know, and who I have some degree of chemistry with.

At the end of the day, it can feel like a job. It’s fun at times—I love the acting portion, and I love the sex—but sometimes you get tired. I need somebody I’m really compatible with and someone who’s really respectful. If they meet the criteria, they get on the list.

You say respectful. What kind of behavior isn’t considered respectful? 
Respecting my boundaries on camera and off camera. I want to do a terrific scene and have them say “that was great, see ya next time!” and not be smarmy with me.

What are your favorite types of scenes to shoot? 
I like group scenes because if you’re trying something with one person and it doesn’t work, you have options. They can be a lot of fun and it can be a great way to introduce someone new to my list.

What’s the craziest thing a fan’s ever done? You must have some wild stories. 
I was doing a feature dancing gig at a club in Philadelphia, and at the end of my show I do giveaways. Hats, tees, posters, and I hadn’t even gotten to the DVD yet and one of the guys [near the stage] starting waving his prosthetic leg in the air, that’s how bad he wanted the giveaway. what was I going to do? I walked right to him and I gave it to him. That was it. How do you respond to that!

How did you first get into the adult film business? You can give me the abridged version. 
[Porn] wasn’t particularly something I was always interested in but I was interested in being a feature dancer for quite awhile. I was dancing and going to college at the same time and ended up meeting people in the adult industry and, over the course of a year, got to know them and came onto a set.

It was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I, like most other people had some preconceived notions, and I was very comfortable with the environment and made the decision to [try a movie] and I took to it. I was fortunate enough to sign a contract with Wicked Pictures which really is the pinnacle of adult companies. I couldn’t be happier where I am. Since signing with them, I went on to write and direct and still perform, and do sex ed.

In your industry, what the real keys to success?
Success is very subjective. What are your goals? Do you want to make a ton of money, do you want to make a name? That’s the most important thing. Have a plan and figure out what success means to you. Pay your taxes, save your money.

Let’s say a young women is interested in getting in to porn. Give her your elevator pitch.
I would not give her the elevator pitch. During my time in the business, I’ve never persuaded anyone to get into porn. I think it’s a very heavy decision, a huge life-changing decision, and the advice I’d give is to make sure they understand that—especially now with social media and technology—you can’t hide from it. It will definitely follow you forever.

That being said, that girl in the elevator, if she really wants to do it, she needs to do her research. Do your due diligence. Research companies you want to work for. I’m not saying people shouldn’t get in the business, I’m just saying I won’t persuade them to do it.

Jessica Drake is an an adult performer, director, Wicked Pictures contract star, and sex educator. She is also the creator of Jessica Drake‘s Guide to Wicked Sex instruction series.

 

 

 

 

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