I was a good kid, creative, adventurous, lots of time outdoors. I’m from Maui, Hawai`i, and spent most of my time either trodding around upcountry or down at the beaches in Kihei side or Paia. I always had sand in my scalp. Favorite activities involved building elaborate forts and tunnels in the cane grass of an abandoned lot with other neighborhood boys. I also liked swimming deep underwater along coral reefs and holding my breath as long as I could; it’s a whole different world down there.
Half the photos I have show me with a big toothless smile and lots of Shaka Brah. I drew a lot and performed with a Hula Halau at tourist events.
I also loved horses; and at one point my mother had a horse (named Rootbeer because he could drink soda from a bottle) and I’d jump on him bareback with a makeshift rope halter as reins and ride him in the pineapple fields. Having lived in the Bay Area now for the past 10 years makes those days seem like another lifetime ago, but I try to visit my `ohana at least once a year and it always takes me back to my childhood.
The earliest career I aspired to when I was younger was to be a veterinarian. I grew up around a lot of farmland and animals from dogs and cats to horses, chickens, cows. Lots of tailless geckos and fallen baby birds. I later wanted to be an artist and won a lot of art contests when I was in grade school. I had aspirations of being a writer as well.
I was 1st chair French Horn in junior high in a county-wide select band and also through high school, touring concerts on other islands. At one point, I wanted to be an experimental and jazz hornist. I later coached swim classes and was an Assistant Aquatic Director.
I loved dance theater and ended up majoring in dance (with a theater minor) in college. Dancer, Performance Artist…then I went into the non-profit sector and was an Executive Director as well as Board President and Advisor to several arts orgs before heading into web design… but then we’re getting closer to what I’m doing nowadays.
I am a very passionate and driven person, and jump from one aspiration to the next! I don’t really plan ahead too much, just make sure I’m solid where I’m at and enjoying what I’m doing at the moment. I like teaching myself new things and think of myself as very well-rounded.
The first porn scene I shot was with a lover and it was a very special shoot; emotional and extremely significant. Looking back it’s still one of my favorite performances, though there have been a few more that I feel were equally emotional and personally important.
I’ve had an organic approach to my work, in that I try to work with the best of intentions. I like to meet directors and co-stars before working with them so that I can make sure they are good people too. I end up with great friends who I can trust.
I’ve met some of the most brilliant and supportive friends through porn. Each project is a choice for me to do, and I make my decision based not in an agent, but if it is interesting to me, whether it is queer, artsy, indie, kinky, or important in it’s own way.
Recognition has been just as significant as the projects I’ve been a part of. Being awarded several times at the Feminist Porn Awards and later named their “Boundary Breaker” has impacted my career and fueled my fire. And being nominated for an AVN Award for Best New Web Star was also a really unique occasion that brought a lot of visibility and helped me prioritize my interests in the business.
Porn is a side project of mine which I do occasionally and have a rewarding time finding both challenges (such as being true to myself) and enjoyable experiences.
Every now and then I have a whole weekend free and I get to sit on the couch and veg out to bad television.
I’m inspired by ways we share our lives with one another, particularly online. The internet has a lot of power; it has the potential to start revolutions and to save thousands. Niche markets and minority communities are surprisingly strong in social media, which is gaining more and more accessibility and popularity. I think online accountability will cause us to be more transparent with our actions and intentions, whether we are individuals or corporations.
CAR ALARMS. If I hear one, no matter how far away, it distracts me to no end and all I can think is beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep… Fuck! They make me want to throw rocks!
(What makes me laugh?) Surprise Kitty, and its many parodies. And videos my brother shares with me of my little nephew playing.
I try to keep things as real as possible, and maybe because of this, I’m pretty unique. I don’t fake it. I genuinely engage with my co-stars and have a fun and positive attitude. I also have a different look, and I’m the only ‘out’ androgynous-identified performer in both indie and mainstream that I know of who identifies as gender-queer. I’m also pretty vocal online, sharing a lot of myself with others and taking the time to do interviews and reply to messages. I have a lot of interests that I pull into my work, including sex education and art.
I’ve also done some creative projects such as my Karma Pervs fundraiser, where I raise money for sex-positive, queer and kink-friendly organizations. I feel like porn has given me a lot of outlets and I have been getting back a lot of what I’ve put into it. I find it exciting.
Every day, I get a message from someone who was able to learn something about themselves, feel more confident about their gender or sexuality, or otherwise grow from my influence. It’s pretty incredible, and I cherish and save every message. I often cry. This may be another thing which distinguishes me from other porn performers, in that I work in a small genre of queer pornography, which is a lot about representation and sex-positive community. I have tremendous support from my friends, family, and fans. I feel empowered.
People who are anti-pornography have a limited image of what pornography is, which often incorporates sex-negative judgement and misinformation. However the truth is that, like most things in life, porn isn’t all good or all bad. It’s more complex than a simple yes or no answer.
I feel confident in the progressive part of the industry I’m involved with, and can honestly say it’s brought a lot of joy and strength to many people, and especially myself. Maybe if they saw the kind of porn I’m referring to, or if they found a kind of porn they liked, they’d have a different opinion.
I used to think “porn” was a four-letter word too, but then saw films I could relate to. (In a theater in San Francisco with a bunch of other queers. Christopher Lee’s “Sex: Flesh in Blood” was one such film, as was SIR Productions “Sugar High Glitter City”) It opened my mind and now I believe I’m doing the same.
Recently my playlist has included independent Bay Area artists like Goapele, and I love Jawaiian music. I like to relax to background music like Joan Jeanrenaud or Lou Harrison. My music taste is eclectic. I’m doing a hip hop dance performance at a queer event (Queerly Beloved) in San Francisco in a few weeks and have been listening to Jessie J’s “Do it Like a Dude” on repeat.
–Interview by Alex Gross