Tag Archives: “Female Performer of the Year

AEE 2019: Porn Stars on Camming. Whitney Wright

by Rich Moreland, April 2019

This is the first in a series on porn stars and camming from the 2019 AVN trade show in Las Vegas.

Whitney Wright is an established star. At this year’s AVN extravaganza she received noms for Best Actress in a Feature and Featurette and a nom for Female Performer of the Year. It doesn’t get better than that.

Early in the week of the trade show, I was privileged to interview Whitney.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

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Whitney Wright entered porn in 2016, but not without a warmup!

“I used to go swingers’ clubs and resorts before I ever did porn or dancing,” she says, thanks to a guy she was dating at the time. He expanded her sex education.

“We ended up hiring a girl he knew who worked as an escort and she was so sweet. After that I was like, ‘I wanna do all the things now, that was so much fun,’ so we ended up going to strip clubs and to nudist resorts that had these crazy swinger parties.”

Is it any wonder the Oklahoma Christian school grad made the transition into porn?

Working for Nickels

How would you describe camming?

“It’s a hustle,” Whitney says, and she understands how that is game played. “Mine is mainstream porn and before that it was stripping and I loved it.”

However, she doesn’t believe camming is for her.

“I don’t think I could get into camming but there are some girls who do and they love it and make good money at it.”

The former nursing student comments that camming is having an influence in porn.

“Sometimes there’s this weird dynamic between mainstream porn stars and cam girls because they’re looked at as different ends of the spectrum. Sometimes I hear cam girls say ‘Oh, I don’t do mainstream porn or boy-girl scenes.’ And then there are some mainstream girls that are like ‘Well, I don’t like [to] work for nickels.’ That’s a phrase I’ve actually heard several times.”

It appears that collecting tokens as payment for online performances is off putting for some girls. But Whitney believes there’s money to be made.

“[The tokens] might start off as a little bit, but they add up. A lot of my friends cam and they have their regulars. They prefer it (camming) sometimes to shooting a scene because they can just stay home and drink wine and just talk to people.”

Whitney offers a further perspective.

“We’re all in the same pot, you know? Whether you’re a dancer or an escort or a mainstream porn actress, cam girl, whatever you do. It’s all sex work.

“It can be lucrative and a great idea, especially [for] girls that think they want to start mainstream porn and work for top studios.”

If they are uncertain about that, then camming is a good way to wade into the adult waters.

“They can see how they like that end of things. If they want more, then the doors always open.”

Capitalizing on Our Bodies

Is there is a division between traditional porn and camming?

There is, Whitney believes, and states what I’ve come to take as the gospel.

“A cam girl is a porn girl and we all have fans. [We’re] capitalizing on our bodies for money whether shooting for a studio like Gamma or on MyFreeCams or any kind of cam site. They’re getting a percentage of what you’re making but you’re also making money off your supporters and the people who are viewing your show.”

Nevertheless, Whitney recognizes that there are performers who view camming and shooting scenes “as a total division.”

“Some girls do look down on the other category and it comes from both sides. I’m friends with cam girls and I totally respect what they do. Because in my mind I could never do that. It just seems like a lot of work and time invested.”

The unpredictability of a cammer’s income from night to night is “disheartening” for Whitney.  “I can’t really imagine that,” the Speigler girl says.

But she admits that there are mainstream girls who make it work and earn “great money.”

“They can make their day rate just by being on cam for a few hours. They love it because they can stay home and be content and comfortable.”

“But for me, I like seeing my calendar fill up with bookings and scenes. I like performing on camera and gaining notoriety and recognition from my peers and my fans and directors and other studios. But that’s what I want.”

Mainstream Porn

Because of the influence of the cam girl, is porn as we know it disappearing?

“I don’t think there could ever be an end to traditional porn,” Whitney declares. “I don’t see [studio shot porn] going anywhere anytime soon.”

But she does admit that the landscape is changing.

“I see a number of people complain that some girls stop shooting for the studios completely. They can shoot on their Snapchat or their OnlyFans.”

The result, according to doe-eyed brunette, is change that can be disconcerting for some fans. They lament that their favorite girl is shooting “phone porn” or “homemade quality” stuff instead of scenes.

Porn models should keep in mind that fans do appreciate studio quality . . . “the clear images, the wides, [and] the zoom-ins.”

Of course, there are fans that “like homemade videos and POV stuff,” she concedes, but we should remind ourselves that “a lot of them like well-made scenes and films and the features” as well.

“They love it, and I love making it,” Whitney Wright laughs.

 

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“No One is Famous in Porn?”

Nina Hartley talks feminism and respect

by Rich Moreland, January 2012

I just returned from four days in Las Vegas. It’s January and that means the Adult Entertainment Expo, the industry’s annual festival and awards show, made its way onto my calendar again.

While there I had dinner with some interesting people at an upscale Italian restaurant near the Strip. Among them was Bill Margold, founder of Protecting Adult Welfare and a veteran of the business; David Bertolino, off Broadway producer of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal; and adult film performer, Tara Lynn Foxx, about whom I have written in the past.

Tara is not a newcomer to the business.  She entered three years ago at eighteen, an age too tender to fully understand her decision.

Conversation turned to being famous in porn and Margold asked Tara if that was one of her goals. Knowing Bill, he was probing Tara to measure her commitment to the industry. She replied with an enthusiastic “yes,” though she appeared to be slightly uncomfortable with the question.

My thoughts drifted momentarily away from the table talk to what “famous” means in an industry that defines acting as a set up for fornication. A bit of searching for a definitive idea as it applies to pornography danced through my mind’s neural networks.

Two names popped up, Nina Hartley and Bobbi Starr, superstar women of separate generations and feminists in a business that is not considered receptive to empowered women.

I had the pleasure on this trip of interviewing Nina in person, though we knew each other from emails. She is the definition of “famous” when it comes to adult film, I believe, if such a thing exists. To say that she bowled me over is putting a soft spin on our chat. Total force, total domination of an hour’s time.

On Friday, I interrupted Bobbi Starr while she was signing on the floor of the Hard Rock Hotel ballroom. I wanted to say hello and my impatience took over, so I politely drew her attention away from a fan. As is her habit, Bobbi gave me that charming smile. She has a talent for this. We exchanged a few words and I mentioned that I wasn’t seeking an interview, this was just a quick “how are you.” She has been generous with her time in the past, but my intrusion at the moment was blocking her fans and I know how important they are to her. We made arrangements to visit later.

Nina and Bobbi, what can they teach us about fame?

Making everyone else seemingly disappear when she turns her eyes to you is an ingredient in being famous.

Leaving you with the feeling that you are the focus of her entire moment is an ingredient in being famous.

Speaking intelligently and voicing an empowerment is an ingredient in being famous.

Nina does these things really well, as does Bobbi. But few do.

In fact, the real issue is respect. Genuine fame follows respect.

At the Saturday night awards show, Bobbi finally garnered “Female Performer of the Year,” a deserved honor that has eluded her. Bobbi is a director now, as well as a performer, and you can read an earlier entry on her on this blog. To suggest that she is a living legend is an understatement. She, like Nina, is a wily veteran who has forged her own path in a business that can be filled with misrepresentations, sleaze, and shady behaviors.

Most important, both women operate under Nina Hartley’s in-your-face feminist tenet, “my body, my rules.”

Nina and Bobbi have paid their dues and have earned the right to speak their minds. Trust me, both will when openings are offered. Earning respect, Nina suggests, in a business that is primarily an “ole boy network” is a mighty task. Women are valued for their “hotness,” but not necessarily for their input into the day-to-day operation of making and distributing film. This is not to say that women are non-existent at the production level, Nina points out, but being a performer is a different scenario. The money flows to the top. Profit is made off the performers, not for the performers.

Incidentally, Nina commented that many men in the business “have women issues.” They don’t necessarily “want women as companions,” as in building a long-term relationships. They are perpetually dating, rarely settling down. Nina believes this male state of mind inhibits respect. She did concede, however, that attitudes are slowly changing. Bobbi’s new career opportunity behind the camera supports her assertion.

Though Nina is not involved in the business end of adult film, I can guarantee you she is respected, as is Bobbi. Why? From my limited knowledge, I can cobble together an answer.

First and foremost, respect is earned as veteran performer and director, Veronica Hart, told me. Porn is a business; making money is its reason to be. Nina and Bobbi are moneymakers because they demonstrate a control of their personal sexual agency that exceeds that of most women who ever walked onto a set. When on camera, they orchestrate the scene in fashion that dictates the flow of the other performers.

Both of them do the things that everyone in a business setting is expected to demonstrate. Show up on time ready to work; take responsibility for on-the-job performance; transform the word “dependable” into a personal mantra; and make every performance the best it can be at the moment. Of course, the pornography industry is not an ordinary corporate environment nor is it a bureaucracy where a person is a cog in a machine. Not everything is believed; not everyone is honest. Promises are made and can vaporize instantly. And, as Nina said, she’s always unemployed until the next shoot. That’s the norm.

By now, the table conversation had moved on and I made my way back into it, but not before one final thought.

Where does this leave the definition of famous in porn?

Mention Nina Hartley and Bobbi Starr to others in adult film and compliments are immediate. Both women are dynamic and their presence in a room lights up your senses. Their energy is infectious. Their personal opinions are valued. The proof hangs around during an industry event; someone will always be nearby with mic in hand, seeking an interview. That’s respect.

Will Tara Lynn Foxx earn such accolades and consequently become famous? Too early to tell, but I think she is on her way, if ever so slowly. She is dynamic in an interview and she is exploring empowerment. That’s a start.

But it takes awhile. Nina entered the business in 1984, the year after Bobbi was born. Bobbi is nearing thirty, moving into her seventh year in the industry. She has indicated to me she will leave adult film one day, but that may far off.

Longevity in porn is rare. Can a woman gain fame without it? Sure, but who admires the likes of Traci Lords?

At her tender age, TLF is just beginning. She has the ability and the brains to make it happen, it remains to be seen if time is at her back.

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Three years ago I asked Bobbi the same question Margold posed to Tara. Bobbi’s response is one I have yet to hear repeated.

I remember it to this day.

“No one is famous in porn,” she said.

I disagree. There are an iconic few and I have the good fortune to know two of them.

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