by Rich Moreland, November 2014
“Over the years she has been one of the most beautiful and passionate performers in girl/girl and she brings all those talents to the boy/girl game,” Elegant Angel general manager Graham Travis tells XBIZ in August, 2012. He is talking about Karlie Montana, a ten-year veteran of the adult film business whose sparkling career hovers just beneath porn’s noise and glitz.
Karlie is the type of performer an industry writer “stumbles upon” through reviewing films. Her name rarely comes up in conversation because the dazzling twenty-eight year old is sinfully guilty of hiding her light under a bushel, as the old Biblical saying goes.
Not surprisingly, finding Karlie took a bit of effort on the part of this writer. Inquiries among industry friends finally yielded her contact information and she was gracious to grant an interview.
What to make of this “star” who goes about her business in an orderly resolute way, the sure sign of a blue-collar work ethic? Make no mistake, Karlie Montana is not seduced by fleeting glamor like so many gullible young women who give porn a shot then bail after a few months. She could never afford to be. Longevity was always her plan and that meant passing up quick money for a steady income.
“I have lasted this long because I paced myself,” the 5’7″ stunner says. “I’ve taken my time in this business. Fame was never my goal, stability was.”
Taking a moment to reflect, Karlie reemphasizes being grounded and taking care of herself. “The one thing I appreciate from this business is the financially stability it has given me.” That’s wisdom in an industry that seduces “stars” who are often ill-equipped to manage instant attention. A director once characterized most girls as way too young to negotiate their way through the adult film business, making $20,000 a month and ending up with $21,000 worth of debt from wasteful spending. Like hamsters on wheels, they turn over their days booking whatever comes along because they have no plan, no anchor.
In fact, Karlie broke into porn at eighteen, the earliest age legally possible and her story at first seems to fit the misinformed image that porn girls are desperate creatures without resources. In this respect, Karlie’s background feeds the public’s perception of porn as an entangler of young women living on the fringes of decent society.
Part of Karlie may appear to offer credence to this perception, though a closer look dispels any assumption that she was ever victimized by the industry or her own lack of control over her career.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Karlie moved to Southern California where she started working at age sixteen serving up ice cream. “I grew up in the “Valley,” she says, speaking of the San Fernando Valley on the far side of the iconic Hollywood sign. “So porn has always been around.” Indeed, Karlie saw her share as an adolescent.
Her developing years were not easy. “I was a teen runaway and a high school dropout,” she remembers. Cashing in on her street smarts, the amply built performer used her situation to her advantage by celebrating a fondness for showing off her physical assets.
“I’ve always been an exhibitionist. I love flashing people at the street races!” Karlie exclaims with a wink. Soon after she reached the magical eighteen, a modeling agent connected with the industry contacted her and the red-haired seductress turned her free-flowing sexuality into a career. “Porn truly gave me a way to be financially stable,” Karlie repeats with appreciation. “Without it I don’t know where I would be.”
A Life Changing Decision
Decades ago when the venerable Jim South was porn’s most well-known agent, girls were advised to not jump right into the roughest and nastiest sex. They began with solo shoots (magazine photos for the most part), then accumulated some girl/girl scenes before plunging into the hardcore action that will follow them until the end of days.
It was a gradual process that accustomed performers to the unforgiving demands of adult film.
Karlie used this formula to move from porn’s wading pool into the deep end. “I didn’t start doing boy/girl right away, I’ve taken my time in this business,” she says with measured confidence before touching on her shooting history.
“I started in 2004 as a girl/girl and solo performer. I did girl/girl for eight years before I decided to transition to boy/girl. I was twenty-five when I did my first boy/girl. I felt at that point I was grown enough to make a life changing decision. To me there is a huge difference between girl/girl and boy/girl and the lifelong impact that goes along with it.”
When asked to elaborate on her fondness for girl/girl, Karlie explains that personal taste (pun intended) is the key. “It’s all I wanted to do,” she says. Though she remained single, men were always around. “I had a few relationships in those eight years,” she adds. So, unlike some porn girls who stop doing the opposite sex on-screen when they enter into a steady relationship, Karlie’s decision “wasn’t for a man,” she jokes.
Essentially, it was a business move that reflected Karlie Montana’s understanding of economics and the concept of scarcity. “Because I held out for so long, people were willing to pay for something fans have been dying to see. As a result, I had one of the highest boy/girl rates around.” Porn girls can be plenty smart in this regard, don’t forget Allie Haze and Jessie Andrews who finally did anal on film after establishing themselves in the business and waiting for demand to build.
Karlie’s patience paid off. “I waited for so long because [hardcore] is a big deal.” Boy/girl is “very different,” she explains. “I wanted it to be a decision that I was completely sure of and doing for the right reasons and ready for the impact it had on my life.”
Karlie’s foray into explicit penetrative sex was rewarding, but short-lived. “I have now returned to girl/girl because it’s what I’m happiest doing.” So for her fans, the boy/girl shoots are limited and destined to become a library in their own right.
There are further issues in her decision, however. Karlie admits that “boy/girl takes a lot from you physically and emotionally. It’s hard on your body and affects all areas of your life.” She comments that during her boy/girl time she was in a committed relationship. Home life can take a hit when a significant other is doing penetrative sex on film; the personal sense of vulnerability that results can be difficult to manage.
So, where is Karlie today? “At this point in my life I want to be happy and healthy and enjoy what I do for work,” she says, then humorously declares that for her fans, all is not lost. “There’s content out of me sucking and fucking to last for the rest of my life.” Enough for all.
Referencing her close friendships in the industry, most of whom are photographers and filmmakers (Dana Vespoli, Rick Shameless, Dani Daniels, Tammy Sands, and Stormy Daniels head a list she describes as “real relationships.”), Karlie understands the value of support and carries this over to her own directing gigs. As a performer, she has learned that being in the director’s chair means “treating the talent like humans and not robots.”
As in any business, people bring their home issues to work. “Sometimes people have a bad day. It’s not easy to disconnect from your personal life problems and walk on a set and give your all to a scene,” Karlie says. “So for me as a director, it is important to let the talent know that I care about them as people and want them to enjoy their time with me on set. That’s how you get happy faces!”
When pressed about her future, Karlie Montana not surprisingly points toward directing, a path to which many performers aspire. With her work ethic, success is bound to come her way.
* * * * *
In the second part of the Karlie Montana story we’ll take a look at her preferences on-screen and how she perceives some of the issues facing porn today. In the meantime, for more pics and information catch up with Karlie on Facebook and twitter.