Tag Archives: Julia Ann

Sarah Vandella: Open to it All

by Rich Moreland, November 2018

This is the final installment of my day with Dan O’Connell. The older woman/younger woman theme of the shoot that afternoon paired Sarah Vandella’s porn maturity with Elsa Jean’s  youthful appeal.

Much to my pleasure, Sarah put aside some time to chat about her career and the importance of seasoned performers in adult film.

All photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

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In the world of adult film, veteran performers are a treasure. Any girl who has shot for over a decade is wise to the tricks of the trade and has incredible staying power. Best of all, she knows how to keep her brand fresh and exciting.

With those thoughts in mind, meet the lovely Sarah Vandella, a pure delight.

On a beautiful fall afternoon, Sarah and I took a few minutes before her scene with Girlfriends Films’ director Dan O’Connell to discuss a subject that permeates porn today: the rise of the cam girl and what that means for the industry as we’ve known it for the last two decades.

Before getting into Sarah’s opinions and insights, a little background info is appropriate.

Born in the early 1980s, Sarah’s parents blessed her with a spontaneous, easygoing attitude that influenced her adolescent years. When adulthood greeted her, the sex industry appeared on Sarah’s agenda. She worked in a porn shop at twenty-one and was dancing at twenty-two.

This engaging beauty shot her first scene in 2007 at the age of twenty-four.

Older, Powerful Woman

We talk about being an over-thirty performer, the MILF image, if you will, by porn standards.

“Since I have entered my thirties, my sex drive and desire has grown into a new area,” Sarah begins. “I’m definitely more open-minded when it comes to certain things than I was in my twenties. Once you have a little experience coming into your thirties, you’re just adding to your resume in terms of being an actress.”

Does this evolution create a better performer?

“I definitely think that women in their thirties can be considered better performers. However, there are some incredibly sexually attuned ladies in their twenties that make just as great performers.

“There’s definitely something to be said for a woman with a little more experience.”

She amplifies her comments by suggesting that an older, powerful woman is pretty sexy, citing the “step mom thing” (a version of MILF) as one of porn more popular taboos.

The New Porn Girls

The conversation shifts to cam girls. Are they the new porn girls?

Sarah’s reaction reflects what I’ve heard from a couple of directors.

“To take any average cam girl and try to turn her into a superstar won’t work,” she says. But the daughter of liberal parents concedes that there are exceptions who have done some “mainstream porn stuff,”, commenting that “the cam girls that turn into performers are the special ones.”

But shooting for studios is demanding and not for everyone.

“I don’t feel that just any basic cam girl can overnight or over a year’s time become the next Ginger Banks. I don’t find that to be reasonable.” [Ginger Banks is a webcam model who produces her own porn vids]

The native New Yorker goes on to say that these girls “have a built-in fan base” and are “available to their fans” online, of course. As a result, some have reached porn star status. “They make their own videos and have them available on their sites.”

Sarah quickly adds a personal note. “I wouldn’t call myself a cam girl because I never cammed until I was a porn star.” Now she does cam “on occasion,” this blonde stunner says.

Intimacy and Connection

Has camming changed the adult business?

“First of all, porn has changed, as you know. We don’t have adult stores anymore. Distributors are dying. Everything is online now. Thank God for fans who still support the websites,” Sarah says.

Technology has forced the adult business to reposition itself. Where does the cam girl fit into this new business model?

“Cam girls provide a certain level of intimacy and connection that not every porn girl has. When you’re camming you’ve got to open yourself to conversation, to sex play, to help instruction, to be that all-around fantasy girl. Porn stars aren’t available to their fans that way.”

As we’ve suggested, camming is much different from shooting video, right?

“Absolutely,” Sarah says. But there is a positive in camming. Fans have high expectations for online models, she points out, and that pressures established porn performers to “keep up with these girls who are giving these fans so much attention.”

To emphasize response, Sarah explains the cam girl advantage.

“They’re just so easily accessible. They’ve made it their priority. I really admire a lot of them, truly. I think they’re hard working girls. They keep their schedule; they never flake. They can’t afford to. It’s their show, their name and their brand, and also their income.

Waiting on Dan.

Empowerment

I suggest that camming may be the ultimate empowerment. Sarah concurs, but insists that camming “can be brutal, just like being a dancer,” the other job that cultivates the personal touch.

From her perspective, it’s not easy dealing with the grind of her three entertainment personas—part time dancer, film actress, and sex worker—Sarah says. However, through it all rewards do show up.

“There’s days when you get to the club and nobody wants a dance from you. Nobody cares that you do porn. Those days are rough. Then you get that one guy who is your biggest fan and he buys ten dances from you and it makes your night.”

It mirrors the online girl’s experience, she believes.

“Much like camming, you can be sitting there in your little room and waiting and waiting. You’re beautiful and you’re ready to go and time keeps on ticking until the next day, and that’s your lucky day.”

This well-established porn model offers one more thought.

“Like we said a few minutes ago camming is the ultimate empowerment in terms of being in control of your finances because you don’t need a studio, you don’t need an agent. You don’t need to get in your car and drive anywhere. It costs you nothing to put make-up on and put on a cute outfit and get your toys ready.”

All in all, she concludes, “I feel a lot of these cam girls are hustlers and want to make their money while they can. They’re smart about it. Those girls never quit and I really admire that.”

Get a Little Messier

Finally, how does Sarah maintain her on-screen freshness because sometimes porn is a yawner in its repetitiveness?

“Indeed. It sure is,” she responds, then describes her formula for success.

“I keep pushing myself and my boundaries as a performer as long as I’m comfortable with them. So, maybe going a little harder, a little rougher, different positions, or going in the opposite direction and being more sensual and connecting more with my partner. Giving that softer side.

“We continuously switch it up and push ourselves in all directions so we’re never doing the same thing.”

I joke about creative oral sex and Sarah comments with humor, “A blow job is still a blow job, but you can do a seductive blow job and a not very seductive blow job.”

Spoken like a true veteran.

“I think that when a girl keeps pushing her boundaries, she tries to go a little harder,” Sarah adds. “Maybe she tries to deep throat a little more, get a little messier with it. As long as you’re showing genuine interest and desire to be there on-set, that’s the key [to staying fresh].

“Yes, oral sex can be repetitive. But if it’s a Riley Reid or a Maddy O’Reilly, you want to keep seeing their new scenes because it’s so fucking hot and you love it,” Sarah notes with appreciative excitement.

What is in her future porn-wise?

“I really admire ladies like Julia Ann and Lisa Ann who have put their time into the business. They have evolved with age.

“So, you never know. I’m open to it all. I would love to have a movie deal, do feature work and/or gonzo. I’m a lifer. I never want to stop,” Sarah proclaims with her dimpled smile that I’m certain her fans have come to love.

Elsa Jean enjoying the afternoon while waiting for her shoot with Sarah.

*          *          *

Sarah Vandella’s porn resume has produced seven AVN Award nominations, an XRCO Award and one from Urban X.

She can be followed on twitter @MssSarahVandella

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Prop 60, Part One: No More Debate

by Rich Moreland, February 2017

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Everyone knows by now that California voters rejected Proposition 60 last November. So, no condoms in adult film going forward!

But questions linger. How important was Prop 60’s defeat and what does it say about political activism in porn?

At the AVN trade show I decided to ask around.

Answers varied, as did opinions, and a sampling appears here.

First, however, performer Casey Calvert provides some background on the issue that has roiled the adult industry.

Measure B to Prop 60

The ruckus over Prop 60 began a few years ago in 2012 just when she entered the business, Casey remembers. The political dustup then was Measure B that required condoms for filmed sex in LA County.

img_0515-2“My first porn shoot was in November 5, 2012. Measure B passed in LA County on Nov 6, 2012, and I watched it on TV and thought, ‘What the fuck did I just get myself into?'”

Little changed, actually. The law was never really enforced, Casey points out.

“They don’t have the money to make sure porn stars are wearing condoms. LA as a political entity and a public service entity is stretched so thin,” the native Floridian explains and adds that the law is still around but is “unenforceable as written.”

Undeterred, the Aids Health Foundation’s  Michael Weinstein, who was behind the initiative, turned his attention statewide. Next came AB 1576 that did what Measure B advocated, Casey continues, and it, too, failed in the state legislature mainly because of cost.

Finally, Weinstein went the ballot route in the election and collected enough signatures to bring his proposal before the voters.

However, it expired at the ballot box because it was flawed.

“The issue with Prop 60 was less about condoms and more about enforcement and how every private citizen in California could sue a porn production company if they watched a movie shot in the state without a condom,” Casey says.

2017-01-18-07-18-13-3Evil Angel owner John Stagliano agrees.

“Prop 60 was a horribly written law,” he says, pointing out that it established Michael Weinstein as “the porn czar” with the power to “prosecute cases and collect his expenses from the state.”

Despite the proposition’s shortcomings, effort and planning was required to ensure its demise.

Political Unity

Unwilling to take chances, the industry fought the initiative. Ela Darling, the current President of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) comments, “APAC and the FSC (Free Speech Coalition) and a large number of performers did everything they could to defeat Prop 60 and we won, we got it!”

Casey Calvert reminds us that this was “the first time that porn stars actually rallied for a cause and we owe a lot of that to the Free Speech Coalition.” She talks about industry people using twitter and doing interviews to get the story out.

“I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post which I heard was very impactful . . . I also spoke on the radio,” Casey adds.

Ela and Casey give performers Julia Ann and SiouxsieQ and Free Speech Coalition’s Eric Leue much credit for organizing and leading the charge.

John Stagliano steps up to put Chanel Preston on the worthy list. “Chanel did some great interviews . . . She was very effective and active [in defeating Prop 60].”

And, everyone thanks California’s Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian Parties and the LGBT organizations for speaking out against Prop 60, a rare instance of political unity.

Activism

Ela talks about the lobbying in Sacramento.

2017-01-18-09-23-25-2“We spoke to legislators, we spoke to Senators . . . anybody who would give us time. Quite a few did. I got to be the voice of the industry to speak to the caucuses and the Democratic convention in Long Beach. It’s been a really big grassroots effort,” she says. Porn people even “led a protest through Hollywood.”

“I’ve never seen the industry aligned so strongly on anything like they did on Prop 60. It was refreshing, it was empowering, and amazing.”

Performer Derrick Pierce presents an unvarnished view of the campaign.

The FSC built a winning coalition of ” both talent and producers and production teams.” People “who are typically fragmented in nature” were on the same political page, Derrick remarks, because “even though we are socially amongst each other we don’t really function in that capacity.”

He characterizes the industry’s victory as a “David versus Goliath” fight.

In doing his part, Derrick went on Facebook to check postings from major media outlets where he found lots of comments.

“I literally went through every negative or misinformed comment and rebutted it. And who knows, maybe it reached five people, but that’s what was needed from every person who had a vested interest in this.”

But he had his doubts. “I’m glad that it was defeated though I was thinking that we were going to get screwed.”

Derrick interprets the victory as more than just a defeat for  poorly written law and its sponsor AHF.

“It wasn’t so much that prop 60 and us moving to Vegas or another place was necessarily the problem, it’s that it set precedent. That’s huge because, there’s no more debate.”

In other words, should similar issues arise with CAL/OSHA and safety regulations,”Now you just have to implement what’s already been said.”

Know the Process

Next Derrick sticks a dagger in the heart of deceit.

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“I would love to see what Weinstein’s real issue is. I know what he’s written and some of the things he’s said and I know who his donors and backers are.”

Moreover, the top male performer understands what spurs politicians and reformers.

“Anything to do with the adult business is a wonderful soapbox. You stand on it and preach to the people this is immoral, we have to protect these people [porn performers] that don’t know any better.”

He also calls out talent to educate themselves.

“Half the people don’t know what our testing process is. You should know because if you’re going to argue the point then you should know what the hell it is we’re doing. [Most performers] don’t know how many tests are done on us every two weeks . . .and they should.

“Know the process and how it works so  you don’t sound like a bumbling idiot when you talk about it.”

Derrick asserts that just screaming performer rights  “doesn’t mean anything” when it comes to debating health issues.

A Reminder of Reality

Finally, Briana Banks brings up a point that may have swayed some voters. She’s happy, of course, with the outcome but there is bit of reality that may have been missed when assessing the defeat of condoms.

Briana shot for the condom-only Vivid for eight years and her movies sold well, she says. But when she put up a recent condom clip she did for her website, her fans panned the scene.

2017-01-19-04-27-29-2“My fans were disgusted. They really were. We’ve put it out there so much of not using condoms that now if you use a condom, people watching porn can’t get past it.”

But there is something else at work here, Briana thinks.

The condom is a shock because of the reality it represents.

“Seeing a condom makes them think of STDs and HIV that they don’t think of when watching a porn movie.”

Condoms remind fans of the risks they take in their own lives, Briana believes. “To watch a porn star use a condom makes them think about the reality of life in general.”

Interesting. Maybe it’s something everybody missed in this battle. Porn is just fantasy and Prop 60 was about to take that away.

For the industry, however, there could be a darker underlying message hidden within this victory. Does it suggest that some fans may unconsciously regard porn performers as expendable?

*          *          *

Next we’ll look at how the defeat of Prop 60 is seen as a game changer for the industry, if indeed it is.

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Try Something New

by Rich Moreland, October, 2013

This the final installment of the Bound by Desire series. In order to appreciate its contribution to the new submission pornography genre, all three films should be viewed in their entirety.

BOUNDBYDESIRE3 DVD-f

Bound by Desire: A Property of Love, is the latest in a series of BDSM romances from Smash Pictures. Part of the rising “submission pornography” genre, this film is a cornucopia of bondage in a single sitting.

The lovely and hard bodied Casey Calvert is the film’s anchor. She’s her husband’s collared slave and they have a mutual admiration society, he wants her to have fun and she wants him to play with other sluts.

Strawberries and Wedded Bliss Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Strawberries and Wedded Bliss
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Enter Casey’s old friend Natasha Nice, a fresh possibility for Casey’s mate (Richie Calhoun) to expand his domming skills.

“You’ll have fun. I want you to try something new,” Casey assures Natasha.

As the film opens, Richie is seducing Natasha over a snack of strawberries. Casey kneels in front of them, offering her back as a human table. There’s a bit of drool leaking around the ball gag in her mouth, very cool. Casey Calvert, an enthusiastic and real life submissive, is at her best at this moment. Her sensual kinkiness will grace the film throughout.

The Table and the Gag. Photo courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Table, the Gag, and the Girl on her Knees
Photo courtesy of Smash Pictures

Everything in this film is mutual and consensual, as BDSM relationships should be. But a newbie requires a little prepping. Casey tells Natasha she and Richie are open minded. She is allowed to have other men if Richie approves. And there’s fairness. Since he “officially collared” her, Richie has abandoned his other subs.

This is marriage, BDSM style.

An uncertain Natasha is interested, but needs convincing. “He beats you and ties you up, and you like it?” she asks to Casey.

It’s all about giving him pleasure, a nonchalant Casey replies. Her satisfaction is in “giving up control.” Casey likes being flogged, the sensation is intoxicating and the sex afterward is “so much more intense.” Natasha’s expression reveals all. She’s stuck in a vanilla groove and the needle needs moving. Her last boyfriend was strictly “missionary,” she laments, and the prospects of something new are enticing.

The Conversation that Convinces Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Conversation that Convinces
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

But there is a small problem. “Aren’t these the type of things that can end marriages?” Natasha suggests.

Casey reassures her about trust and compliments Natasha’s sexiness, all designed to persuade her buxom friend to be a sub for a day.

So while Casey becomes walk away furniture, Richie invites Natasha to participate in a self-indulgent play scenario over strawberries. The amply endowed French actress is game and so is the viewer.

From there the first sex scene of the movie is ready to go. Natasha Nice is a beauty and submits superbly. There are a string of fetishes offered: spanking, blindfolds, rope, paddles, and a brief flash of suspension. Addressing him as “Sir,” Natasha begs for the sexual  intensity Casey craves.

When Natasha is released from her bonds and the sex moves to the bed, the rope marks on her wrists become that delightful touch BDSMers know well.

Four Women

This film accomplishes its task, show BDSM sex in a way couples and women want to see it and try it. Bound by Desire Three does not play to a particular performer though Casey Calvert carries the movie on her back (pun intended) as she demonstrates in the opening scene. Rather, the film plays to the fetish.

Central to Bound‘s meaning is a look at four women, all representing a different aspect of BDSM.

First there is the romantic couple who block out the rest of the world in their own playroom. Allie Haze is trusting and comfortable with her lover Ryan Driller. In one scene she is suspended, flogged, and nailed from the rear. By far the favorite of BDSM fans in this film, the scene alone is worth the price of the DVD.

Allie and Ryan Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Allie and Ryan
Photo Courtesy of Smash PicturesAllie

Then there is Casey, of course, a slave and the kinkiest of all film’s players. Unlike the other girls, the viewer gets the feeling that if her marriage did end, Casey would find another master.

Next is Natasha, the neophyte who is discovering the fetish. We are convinced she will be a convert. Lastly, there is the older woman dominatrix and younger male sub. Julia Ann and Logan Pierce fill this niche.

Of course, any submission porn film must have a contrasting vanilla scene to give the fetish its meaning. In this case, the beautiful Alexis Ford fulfills that role in a well-shot bedroom scene with Johnny Castle.

Alexis and Johnny Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Alexis and Johnny
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Ice Cubes and Riding Crops

“I’m kinky and it takes more to get me going, to satisfy me,” Casey says early in the narrative. She’s quite different from the other girls: Allie took her time getting into the fetish and Natasha, who might one day reach that point, is still a bondage rookie.

In the dining room scene, Natasha and Casey are bound spread-eagled at opposite ends of the table, ball gags an added touch. Richie and Johnny will drink a little wine and play with the submissives using ice cubes on nipples and belly along with deftly placed strikes of riding crops.

Two on the Table Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Two on the Table
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey Calvert’s reactions are authentic, not scripted. She arches her back wantonly with each blow, an energy that signals her satisfaction. Natasha is more subdued. This is a vital contrast in the film; it shows the viewer the difference between a true kinkster and a girl just getting started in BDSM and maybe not sure where it will go.

Later when her turn finally comes to show her sexual skills, Casey concludes the film with its hottest sex scene. She’s a screamer and Johnny Castle will accommodate her with deep penetration. Once again Director Jim Powers gives the viewer rope marks on Casey’s ankles and wrists. He lets BDSMers know he understands their fetish and tells vanilla viewers that a few marks are expected and cherished.

The sex scenes in this film are all good. Allie Haze and Casey Calvert standout with their oral skills, Julia Ann is the perfect MILF, Natasha and Alexis are veterans who know how to frame their bodies for the camera.

But it’s the kink that’s the heart of the matter.

A Muse and a Messenger

Going over the Script: Casey, Richie, and Natasha Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Going over the Script: Casey, Richie, and Natasha
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Good fortune came my way when I had the opportunity to chat with Casey Calvert about making this film. Being a part of the Bound by Desire series was “really a treat” for her.

When I mentioned the submission porn genre, Casey enthusiastically replied, “I loved the opportunity to act out a BDSM fantasy storyline.” She went on to praise the people at Smash for producing “a great series for couples curious about BDSM.”

“As a lifestyler,” Casey added, “I feel honored to be the one to introduce new people to the fetish world.”

In this writer’s view Casey Calvert was the perfect choice for this series. She’s the real deal, a gorgeous kinky performer who doesn’t get enough rough sex and bondage for those who like red marks with their porn. Hopefully, this will change going forward because Casey’s fans want to see her in the perils of bondage having one raging orgasm after another.

She’s the muse and the messenger for the new genre.

The Muse Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Muse of Submission Porn
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

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