WHACK! Jessica Drake! Thanks so much for giving us a little slice of your very busy schedule! You are one of the adult industry’s most consistently popular performers, with a truckload of AVN awards and nominations to your name; writing, directing, and performing credits; and a reputation as one of the industry’s coolest, calmest, most down-to-earth figures. We’re in awe! But seriously, what do you think is the key to your stunning success (aside form your stunning good looks, that is)?
jessica drake Thanks for your kind words. I think I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I came into the industry at a great time and met some really amazing people who showed me the ropes. I took my decision to do porn very seriously, and at the same time I promised myself I wouldn’t do things I wasn’t comfortable with. I took it slow at first, and then I was signed as a contract girl for Wicked Pictures. That was the defining moment—I was being courted by two other companies, but when I met with Steve O, the owner of Wicked, I knew I belonged there. I’m so in love with my job and people can tell I’m not just going through the paces.
W! We’ve read all over the place that you prefer to have your name spelled in all lower-case letters. Are you a fan of e.e. cummings? (Actually, I wonder if he ever did porn. Because that’s a great porn name.) If not, what’s your reasoning for the lowercasing?
jd It’s actually not a tremendously exciting story. In a nutshell (pun intended) I was three months into the business, a company wanted me to sign for them at a show, so they made posters for me. Guys started lining up for my autograph, but I had never signed “jessica drake” before, so the first few times were awkward and I hated the way my signature looked. That night I practiced over and over again, until I scribbled a lowercase j & d. I liked the way it looked much better, so I kept it like that. It drives spell checkers nuts.
W! Our Editorial Director, j. vegas, does the same thing with his many writing personas. Maybe you two should get together some time…
[Editor’s note: this is where awkward silence goes…]
You have become kind of an unofficial spokesperson for the adult industry in mainstream media outlets; you’ve been on talk shows and radio shows and done many interviews. You often make a point of stating that not everyone in the porn world is addicted to drugs or the product of an abusive childhood. Why do you think these stereotypes about people in the adult industry continue to hold sway over the mainstream public despite the protests of people like yourself?
jd The old adage is true—“One bad apple spoils the bunch.” The public perception is that we’re are all so damaged and abused, but I think that there are people in all walks of life that come with issues and have baggage. Porn is a very public profession, and the media waits for a disaster and latches onto it. There was a time in the beginning that I avoided mainstream media interviews, but then I thought that they can actually be a great opportunity to prove people wrong. That’s why I agreed to do the Tyra Banks show, among others. I got great feedback afterward.
W! What do you think the industry can or should, or can’t or should not, do to combat these stereotypes? Do you think that they hurt the industry, or the general public, or both?
jd That’s a tough one…I think that today’s performers should try to consider the impact of their comments and actions on and off camera. I think we should continue to put performers forward that can represent our industry, and not give those who are acting out as much attention as we do.
W! Growing up in Texas, (where I’ve been led to understand the people are very conservative) did you see many small-minded attitudes about sex? How did your more open-minded and well-adjusted attitude toward sex come about in the midst of it?
jd When I was growing up, even before I lost my virginity, I knew I was “different.” It wasn’t OK to be gay or bi in my town, so when I had a crush on my best friend, I hid it for quite awhile… but once my hormones became too crazy, all hell broke loose, really. I wasn’t promiscuous, I only had a couple of boyfriends, but I had LOTS of sex. I had a three-way pretty early—like the third time I ever had sex! For the most part, I just did my own thing, and let Texas catch up. ; )
W! What made you decide that the adult industry was the right place for you, and that you would stay there?
jd Lots of thinking! I was stripping my way through college (no, really, girls do that!) and was working at a club that hired features on the weekends. I thought that I could be a feature, then realized that if I did magazines or contests that I would make more money and have a bigger name. I was fortunate enough to meet some really great people who offered full disclosure about the biz—I thought long and hard (pun intended) and first did some magazines, Playboy TV, HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime softcore movies. About six months later, I was offered a role in an adult movie. I took it…No regrets since then, and I really wouldn’t change a thing. But I think the one thing I did that helped me the most was that I put so much thought into doing it before I actually did it, and I was sure I’d turn it into a long career. I never knew I’d have quite so much success, though.
W! Since you are contracted with Wicked, the only big condom-mandatory studio, what do you think about all the controversy going on over condom-mandatory legislation in Sacramento? Any legislation wouldn’t really affect you, personally, but how do you think it would affect the industry?
jd Well, I really have an opinion on this one. For me, I choose to be 100% condom only. It’s important to me to work with a condom, and I think it also sends a safe-sex message to fans as well. That being said, I do NOT think that the government should be able to force performers to use condoms. That seems to be a very personal choice. I make an informed decision, and I think that everyone should be able to as well.
W! Speaking of Wicked, they have allowed you a huge amount of creative freedom as a performer, writer, and director. You’ve spoken highly of the company at every turn, and it seems fair to say that you truly, completely, love your job. What are you working on now?
jd They are SO good to me! I love how it’s like a family. I get lots of encouragement. Not only am I performing in movies (I do seven a year that I star in) but I’ve also been writing for three years, and last year I started directing. My latest is just being edited now. It’s called 3 Days in June and I wrote it, starred in it, AND directed it. That was a HUGE undertaking, but it turned out really well. I truly love my job. I love having such a great, solidly branded company behind me, and I’m proud to represent them. I’m the newest addition to The Pleasure Chest here in LA, where I’m giving monthly seminars on sex and relationship issues to men & women, I just started writing a column for LA After Dark, and as of April 12, I am hosting a weekly radio show for Playboy Radio. I’m holding a contest on Twitter right now to choose the name. Not only do I have all this going on, I’m also running my site (www.jessicadrake.com) and doing conventions and personal appearances all over the world! I’d love to clone me…
W! We’d like to offer a suggestion for your Playboy Radio show: WHACK! Magazine Rocks. …with Jessica Drake. What do you think?
jd hahahaha, love it, great product placement, lol.
Editor’s Note: Translation: “plug your own shit, bitches.”
W! Actually, we’re looking for T-shirt slogans for our merchandising. Any suggestions for us?
jd “We’ll WHACK! you off!”
W! And lastly, any websites, projects, appearances, or general jessica drakeness you’d like to plug?
jd I’m doing a LIVE CHAT with my partner in crime Alektra Blue on April 13th only for members of Wicked’s site!
—Interview conducted by our most lascivious of ribald reporters, Miss Lagsalot.