A very personal and very fun interview with adult film siren and self-proclaimed nerd, Bobbi Starr. She talks about what it's like to be a women in the adult film industry. Bobbi will break all the stereotypes you think you know about porn.
Be honest when you think of a nerd you think of a person that gets shoved in the lockers in high school the kid who loved science and Star Wars and who could never in a million years get the girl, the cheerleader, the movie starlet or the porn star, right, wrong! What if I told you in some strange sequence of events some cosmic instance there was actually a sexy, popular, talented, intelligent, hot chic that not only dug nerds but was one herself would you believe me?
Meet Bobbi Starr, born April 6, 1983 in Santa Clara, California. Starr is a graduate of San Jose State University, an adult film star, ex-music teacher, professional concert oboist, former nationally ranked swimmer and one hot mutha effin nerd! Oh yes kids it’s on and it’s all about this girl and her obsession with the philosophical, organic, musical, literary, Sci-fi, and adult film industry. She may be a contradiction in terms but what she lacks in the societal norm she makes up for in the unique, beautiful, and fetishy way she appeals to people of every background. Now you might be wondering or saying to yourself self, what else do I need to know about a woman in porn other than seeing her with her clothes off? Think of Bobbi as an onion with many layers and as you begin to pull back those layers it reveals someone who isn't just what we know as a “porn star” but she is completely revamping the way we look at porn and women. She is taking on an industry and changing the way men and women view the chics they see in the movies. You may also be saying to yourself, self, why does Erin know so much about a porn star and do I really wanna know? I stumbled upon Bobbi purely on accident and I swear this much is true the rest however was completely my doing.
I began following her on Twitter because she has a very girl next door type of a look like someone you'd take home to Mom and part of me was drawn to her in that way. Bobbi is natural looking meaning she doesn't plaster herself with makeup she doesn't look anorexic and she does both Jay and Jane who doesn't love a girl who goes both ways. After doing some, (cough) research on her movies I found that she did a lot with women and they weren't just two chics in high heels they were actual movies lesbians would watch. They were emotional depicting her and her partner becoming engaged, they were romantic, sensual, not at all the type of movies you're used to seeing. Classically lesbian pornography has mainly been made by men and is almost never how two women would actually be intimate together. Let’s be honest ladies when was the last time we made love in high heels and makeup or made some of the god awful noises some of those women make. We know male made porn when we see it and it seemed Bobbi really cared about the product she was putting out to the public she cared that her fans were not only satisfied but truly felt she relating to them.
When I started following her on Twitter I wasn't expecting much maybe a tweet here and there about her latest movie something raunchy that would make me blush, but what I'd gotten in just a day of tweets was much different than what I was expecting. Bobbi was tweeting about everything from Star Wars, Glutten free cooking, and construction on her apartment and the latest book she was reading, even I a cynical nerd can honestly say I was shocked. I had a stereotypical view of what I thought a porn star would be like all tits and ass of course and nothing upstairs horrible of me I know, in just a few hours Bobbi had completely changed my mind I was intrigued I had to know more. That's when I can honestly say my mini-obsession began. I made it a point to Google this woman and learn more about her and started tweeting her to see if I could get a response after all this is the age of social media and people do actually tweet their fans from time to time. I'd attracted somewhat of a cheering section some of my followers on twitter were tweeting her to try and get her to respond to me it had become a mission impossible and I was going to be Tom Cruise, without the whole Scientology thing. Alas 4:00 am one morning I get the response I'd been waiting for and of course I was sleeping. Bobbi lives in LA so of course there being a time difference I was in a state of Rem sleep while she was just ushering herself into bed. From there we exchanged tweets and I started to really investigate this woman tried to learn as much as I could about her life I was blown away by her interest in politics, movies, books, and anything else you wanted to throw at her for a conversation.
Bobbi began her career at the age of 23 in San Francisco, California and while it was a decision she took very seriously it was one that she will tell you she has no regrets about. In her early career her movies were mostly bondage and submission scenes for small internet based companies and she slowly graduated into deep throat and anal sex for production companies in Los Angeles. Her modeling has been box covers for many movie companies such as Red Light District Video and Combat Zone. Most of have seen America's Next Top Model and let's be honest how freakin boring is that show! Well I think had I seen America's Next Hot Porn Star I may have watched every season. Bobbi appeared on that show and also blogs for Popporn.com and writes a column for Fox Magazine called, Adventures In Porny Land.
Starr has been quoted as saying she's a pro-sex feminist, “I don't feel degraded because it is my decision. I know that if I did ever feel degraded or feel uncomfortable, all I need to do is say no and it would stop. I don't think something where women have so much control in the situation can be considered degrading towards women.” With her pro-sex feminist attitude, her sexy natural looks and fun outgoing personality comes a very intelligent woman who wants to study pre-med to become a Gynecologist and work primarily in the porn industry where she feels there is a serious lack of female gynecologists. This year, 2011, Bobbi was cast in a mainstream indie movie adaptation of James Sallis's novel, Drive it was met with glowing reviews. CNBC named Bobbi one of the 12 most popular stars in porn and also noted that her breakout role in Drive would turn out to be her crossover into mainstream movies. I told you this woman had many layers this is just the beginning.
I decided that internet searches and other people's quotes of Bobbi's just weren't enough so I reached out to her and had the pleasure of getting an interview with her. You can imagine how awesome that went!
EC: Given the extreme departure you took from teaching, music and swimming what brought you into the adult film industry.
BS: I had a boyfriend in college who did some scenes for Kink. When he told me, it got me interested in porn. I'd never thought of doing porn and back then I was very nerdy and bookish. I was the last person you'd expect to be a porn industry. I was curious about the industry and I did a few scenes myself and when I graduated, I decided to come to Los Angeles to make a go of it.
EC: Being involved in the industry as intimately as you are what do you think are the pros and cons to being an adult film star.
BS: The pros are that I get to satisfy my curiosity when it comes to sexuality. There's a lot of people who live their lives wondering about having sex with another woman, or anal sex or group sex or even rough sex. They wonder what it's like to be with someone who can fuck for a whole hour without a break like Nacho Vidal or Rocco Sifreddi. Most people spend their lives wondering what if. In the porn industry, I find out what it's like. Being able to live without wondering and being able to just do it is a very powerful, very exhilarating thing.
As for the cons, it's dealing with the constant expectations that other people have of who you are. There are a lot of people who project what their beliefs are onto who you are as a porn star. To a feminist who is anti-porn, I'm a victim, I'm someone who's exploited and I can't be doing this out of my own free will. To some fans, I'm someone who needs to be saved from pornography. And to others, I'm just some decadent, dirty, filthy slut that's everything wrong with American society in the 21st century.
What's lost is who I am as a person. They don't want to think that I came into this business out of my own free will. They don't want to think that I'm happy where I am and that I like doing porn. They don't what to think that we don't live in the 1950s anymore, and even the 1950s weren't the ideal they want to believe it is.
EC: When you're home alone just being Bobbi, not the famous porn star, what is the nerdiest thing you love doing.
BS: I love to read. I have a shelf that take up a whole wall of my apartment full of books. If you saw my apartment, which is on the small side, you'd understand what an undertaking it was to fit everything into it.
EC: When did you know you loved both men and women and who do you enjoy doing movies with more.
BS: I realized that I am a person who is more gay than straight and just likes to experiment with men. Porn didn't change me; it made me more of who I was to begin with. I think that's true of everyone else in this business.
I enjoy working with men who are very energetic in their scenes. A perfect example would be Rocco, who I worked with on his comeback movie, "Rocco Ravishes L.A." He's always been a god in my mind, and when we finally worked together it met all my expectations. The whole scene was a blur to me, and I wound up with my head in the toilet, true story.
EC: I know you have a boyfriend who I also follow on Twitter he's awesome, are you two what society considers monogamous or do you get to have a girlfriend too, Kimberly Kane, inquiring lesbians wanna know.
BS: I’m not known to date in the performer pool, I date girls or guys who are either outside of the business or who aren't on camera. The arrangement I've always had was that I am monogamous except for when I'm on set and there is a camera set to record on me.
I know its schizophrenic, but I don't believe that being a porn star gives me a pass to do whatever I want with whoever I want if I'm in a committed relationship. It wouldn't be fair to who I'm dating. I'm not into swinging or anything like that. When I'm home, it's just me and my partner.
EC: How does your family feel about you being in this industry and has anyone in your family ever been confronted by someone who's seen you in a movie.
BS: My family and I have a, don't ask don't tell understanding. However, my mother and I talk about my career decisions in this industry, but when it comes to her health concerns, things get touchy. She wants to make sure the people I work with are protected and safe and that I do what I can to stay safe.
I don't know if anyone's confronted my family directly about what I do. We don't talk about it. However, someone once sent my sister a Facebook message, which was addressed to my brother, saying I'm a whore. It was written as if I had have sex with this person. It understandably creeped my sister out.
EC: You have a cat, very lesbian of you, what's it's name, how old and do you ever think it's plotting to kill you in your sleep. I think my girlfriends cat Lucy does while I'm sleeping.
BS: My cat's name is China. She's a stray I took in and she's 12 years old. But she's been perpetually 8 in my mind for the last 5 years. I'm sure she's plotting to kill me, but then again, they're predators. It's in their nature. I think so long as I keep her well fed I'll stay on her good side. I think.
EC: How do you think social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have changed not only the porn industry but the industry of media in general? Do you find there are pros and cons to this open society we are now living in?
BS: I don't think there's ever been a time where you could get to know someone you've never met before as intimately as you can today through social media. In the past, any interaction the general public had with porn stars and the porn industry was very one-dimensional and only served to further the belief that everyone in the industry lived the life they did on camera.
The problem is that this view of someone's life is still a sliver of which they are and it's still a tiny portion of how much you of your life that you want to show other people. At the end of the day, people still only want to believe what they want to believe about you. To some people it doesn't matter what I write, I'll always be a victim, or I'll always be someone to save or I'll be a despicable creature. I sometimes wonder just how much change social media can affect when it comes against preconceived notions of who I am.
EC: Most artists whether its musicians or actors are staunch critics of file sharing, and porn much like mp3s are being downloaded online illegally, what’s your opinion on this.
BS: It's a very strange problem. I've thought about this for a long time, because you have to remember that I was a musician before I got into porn.
You can't stop people from downloading content through file sharing. If it's not Napster, it's Bittorrent. If it's not Bittorrent its direct downloads. If it's not direct downloads its streaming sites like Redtube. There's no way to put the genie back in the bottle. There are too many smart people trying to figure out new ways of content distribution and too many people who don't want to pay.
The porn industry likes to think it lives in a bottle and that none of the problems of the entertainment industry are theirs. But it is. When movies, music, books just become "content" it becomes a commodity. A commodity is interchangeable and one is as good as the other. This is the problem with mainstream entertainment. When was the last time you saw a movie and came out feeling like it was worth the $13 for the ticket? When was the last time you bought a CD and loved every song on it?
The porn industry has the same problem. There are too many scenes that are being made that just run into each other. Porn is a commodity product. It could have gotten away with those 15 years ago when broadband access was limited and no one knew what file sharing or streaming video was, but that's not the case anymore. The porn industry, if it wants to remain viable, has to produce compelling content — just like the larger mainstream entertainment industry.
EC: The title “Nerd” has become a very socially acceptable name for a person now in fact many people including myself embrace the scarlet letter. Mainstream media has welcomed Nerds with open arms with shows like The Big Bang Theory. What does that title mean to you, how do you define a nerd and do you see yourself as the sexy nerd we all do.
BS: A nerd is someone who pursues intellectual pleasures and is not ashamed of it. Dungeons & Dragons, high order math, computers, these are all hobbies that exist as more abstract concepts than things you can touch or feel.
I think being a nerd is more mainstreamed because we live in a world that is increasingly becoming abstracted and re-contextualized through the internet. Who is anyone anymore? Are you your Twitter feed? You gamer handle, your search history? The truth is you are at once all of that and none of that.
So yes, I am a sexy nerd. My pursuits are intellectual and I take joy in learning new things. But like all things nowadays, that's just part of who I am.
EC: You've been quoted as saying you are a pro-sex feminist can you elaborate on what this means to you and how it affects your movie career.
BS: There's a very vocal portion of the feminist community who believes that the only sort of women get into porn are victims who are further victimized by the porn industry, because it's a patriarchy.
It's a very simplistic view of things. Women hold executive positions in many of the companies I work for. I'm not saying that every performer is a model of emotional and mental stability, but in truth how many people do you know who are? Not everyone, I'm sure, but there are some.
I believe that women should be the equal of men. But I also shouldn't feel that anytime I have sex, it's really rape because I've been brainwashed into thinking I like sex. I also shouldn't feel like because I'm subservient sometimes, that's equal to me being a victim. Sometimes I like being on the bottom. But I also like being on top.
Sex is fun. Those anti-porn feminists should try it and relax sometimes.
EC: You've also been quoted as saying you would like to become a Gynecologist and have a practice within the porn industry where there is a lack of female gynecologists. What do you think this would bring to the industry how would this help and is this still a goal of yours are you close to getting back to school?
BS: There's some back story to that quote. What I said was that there's a lack of medical assistance in the porn industry and the girls in the industry need a gynecologist they can talk to because of the unique aspects of their work. I jokingly said — thought that didn't seem to get across — that I'd do the 10 years of medical school to make that happen.
That being said, I want to talk about the new testing facility that just opened, is now available to talent and is set to take the place of AIM — see www.healingwaveMD.com . It's amazing and a definite step in the right direction. The draw station is also a medical facility so you don't feel like the person that's taking the sample won't know the answers to any questions you have, and if they don't have it they can find someone who can answer your question. I also like what they've done with their database — it maintains the confidentiality of the performers by just stating if they can or can't work — see www.APHSS.org.
EC: What's the difference between female run porn production companies that do girl on girl scenes as opposed to one run by males doing girl on girl scenes. Do you see more of an ability to relate to lesbians by women for women and do you enjoy working with those types of companies more when doing girl on girl movies.
BS: I don't think it matters who runs these companies any more. It makes it seem like there's only one gender in a company and they only hire on the basis of the orientation of their genitalia. There are women at the top of companies like Evil Angel, Vivid and Wicked — and in the case of Girlfriends Films, the owner is a man.
Now, there are some companies that shoot lesbian scenes that are more lipstick and some that are more hardcore. The funny thing is that the really raunchy girl/girl (and boy/girl stuff, for that matter) stuff usually comes from female directors like Belladonna, Mason and now myself.
I enjoy working in all of the scenes I do. I don't take work if I don't think I'll enjoy it. Sexuality is a spectrum and for what I do, it's not just one thing, done this way, with these people.
EC: You did a mainstream movie Drive in 2011 an adaptation of James Sallis's novel. How was that experience, how did you get that role and do you see yourself going after more mainstream movie roles in the future?
BS: It was a great experience. I didn't feel like any less of a cast member and I can't wait to see the movie.
I'd like to do more mainstream movies, but I'm not too keen on being the stripper in the background or the hooker who gets killed by the serial killer. There was depth to the character I played in Drive and it wasn't one of those roles they usually pigeon whole for porn stars who are in mainstream (again, hookers and strippers).
I'm not going to kid myself, though — that's probably going to be most of the sort of mainstream roles most porn stars are going to see for a long time.
EC: Last but certainly not least tell us what's coming up for you next what's in the future for Bobbi Starr.
BS: Well, I've just launched a pay section to my website, BobbiStarr.com. I've been putting up new scenes for the last month and that includes my first attempts at directing.
I've also just joined Evil Angel as one of its prestigious directors. I've had some ideas running around in my head and I'll be happy to finally be able to put them on camera. There isn't much you can do to reinvent sex — it's older than the wheel, after all — but it doesn't mean that there isn't room for creativity and storytelling.
So I think what we've learned from my interview with Bobbi is that you can't always judge a book by it's cover she's living proof. We share a love for books, the nerdy, and of course Star Wars and yet sometimes we live in two different worlds. I've never been a porn star but I can respect a person's decision to be who they want to be and do whatever makes them happy in this life. Bobbi has more than just sex to offer us and I think in the future we'll be seeing more of this siren in the mainstream as she looks to break out into a variety of acting roles.