JJ: Welcome to Inside the Porn. It's great to feature someone that everyone with a taste for BBW porn will recognise.
So tell me how did you get into the adult industry?
Kitty: I've been involved in one form or another since I was 18! I've always had a complex relationship to sex, and a complex relationship to money - being in the adult industry can be a fast track method for unpacking and unpicking those complexities. I became an erotic model because I wanted to gain an appreciation for my body. I became a professional dominatrix because I wanted to explore the therapeutic aspects of BDSM. I became an escort because I wanted to delve into the diverse world of human sexuality. Porn came last, interestingly enough, and I became a porn performer because I wanted to share and embody all the things I learned doing other forms of sex work to the world at large.
JJ: You're obviously the kind of person who sets out a clear path and follows it until you achieve what you want.
What's the best thing about the industry?
Kitty: Honestly, I think the best thing I've gained from this industry is the sense of community with other industry workers, especially women. I grew up distrusting other women due to internalized misogyny, believing that women were "fake" or "catty". Being involved in this industry has given me a sense of compassion for other women and the issues we navigate, particularly as sexual beings, and a sense of solidarity.
JJ: It's great that's the experience you have within the industry. More people should be like you.
What's the worst thing about the industry?
Kitty: I think stigma is probably the hardest thing. There's still a lot of belief in a whore hierarchy within the adult industry- strippers are better than porn stars are better than escorts, etc etc etc. And I think that belief leads to a lot of infighting and competition when really, we're all dealing with some of the same major issues - capitalism, patriarchy, slutshaming, white supremacy, cissexism. I'm all for having intense discussions about how to be ethical in the adult industry, and that will often lead to some pretty bitter back and forths, which is ok... I just wish we felt more solidarity to fighting against that which oppresses ALL of us.
JJ: I think that if you're involved in the adult industry in any way then you should all be fighting together instead of fighting with each other.
What's the funniest thing to happen to you whilst working?
Kitty: There's so many ridiculous things that can happen, especially during a shoot! I think most recently I was doing a porn scene with Eliza Allure, sitting on top of her and teasing her with a piece of pizza. I asked her if she wanted it, and she said in this adorably distressed voice, "yes, but there's a wig hair on it!" I laughed and laughed. Whoops! I kept it in the clip though. PORN REALNESS
JJ: Hahaha that's hilarious. Well sometime reality is what the viewers want to see.
What are you doing at the moment work wise?
Kitty: I work as the Mistress of Marketing and Social Media for an intersectional feminist magazine, HARLOT Magazine, that centers marginalized voices and particularly sex workers. I also still perform in porn, and am producing my own content as well here and there. I've pulled away from porn as my main career, seeing it now as more of an artistic outlet than a primary moneymaker. I like the flexibility that affords me.
JJ: It's great that you are giving a vice to the marginalised through your work. And I'm glad to hear you'll still be filming some porn.
Where can people find you online?
Kitty: I write at kittystryker.com, though I mostly spend my time on Twitter and Facebook... in between hardcore gaming sessions. I've written for Harlot, Buzzfeed, the Guardian, Huffington Post... lots of places! I have an Instagram as well, if you like selfies of me in lingerie. And photos of cats.
JJ: Wow, you're all over the place. I'm pretty sure my readers already follow you but I'm sure the ones that don't will be soon.
What's the best thing about sex?
Kitty: The possibility for shared vulnerability, I think. Even when you're doing something that seems trite, like boy/girl missionary position POV, or something that seems intense, like a deepthroating gagging scene, there's vulnerability and trust there (I mean, ideally, I suppose). I love vulnerability, both my own and seeing it in others. You know how a dog bares its belly as a way of showing trust? I feel like sex is that, even when we don't intend it to be, and I revel in and celebrate that.
JJ: That's a way of looking at sex that I guess I hadn't really seen before. It's a great thing to be able to appreciate. And what really turns you on?
Kitty: Novelty! I know, that seems like a trite answer. But I love being surprised by new things (with consent of course). I really like strange roleplays and dressing up (I'm part of a performance group called Rococo.co, which is a French aristocracy startup), and I love experimental toys like the Ovipositor. I used to engage in a reasonable amount of clown sex. What can I say? I like my sex weird and playful.
JJ: Well that is certainly out there and something that I certainly wasn't expecting. Clown sex is one I've always been puzzled by but it obviously does it for some haha.
Well now I'm really looking forward to this answer. What's your favourite film?
Kitty: Ok, well, I'm actually kind of a porn connoisseur, so my favourite ADULT film would be Fashionistas by Evil Angel. Rocco Siffredi and Belladonna lit a fire in my heart to do porn, to accept myself as a kinky person, and it actually had a plot that kept me intrigued. It's where I kind of fell in love with the porn industry, to be honest. The NON adult film that impacted me the most would be The Magdalene Sisters, a movie about Magdalene laundries in 1960's Ireland. I wrote a paper about them for university - the fact that they were started as social outreach to train sex workers in other life skills, but got corrupted into a way to control women's bodies, really hit me hard.
JJ: Well there couldn't be two more different films. The Magdalene Sisters was a very well done film that I think didn't get as much plaudits as it should have. And the Fashionistas is a movie that people have recommended to me a couple of times and I've still not gotten round to watching it.
What's your favourite holiday destination?
Kitty: Oh, that's so hard to choose. I love Maui, Hawaii for the warm waters, the whales, the warm sands and the snorkeling. It's a place I can go and really feel forced to relax, which, as a workaholic, is really important for me!
JJ: I can relate to that. Being forced to relax is something that needs to happen to me or is happily work nonstop.
Tell me one thing about yourself that I wouldn't realise just by looking at you?
Kitty: I'm a pretty open book, haha! I don't know that I have a lot of secrets. I'm really, really into text based adventure games, and I guess that level of hardcore nerdiness might surprise some people- I've beaten every version of Zork out there.
JJ: Well being a hardcore nerd is something I wouldn't have guessed. And it's awesome that you embrace it.
What's been your biggest achievement in life or work?
Kitty: I just finished mastering my first feature DVD, "Here Kitty Kitty". I had help from the studio I used to work for with editing and filming, but I did the casting, direction, and creating the master DVD on my own. I also chose the music, which is by local artist and friend Unwoman (who amusingly was also a PA on one of the shoots!) I'm looking forward to finally having the DVD printed up and for sale, packaged up with a handmade zine, at BBWCon this summer. I've fought hard to create this and I'm really proud of the result.
JJ: I'm excited about BBWCon this year. I'll have to come by your stand and pick up a copy of the dvd.
What's been the most challenging thing you've had to overcome?
Kitty: I think splitting up with the porn studio I had been with for 2 1/2 years has been among the most challenging. The producer was not only my boss, but someone I considered a friend - I was promoted to head of production... and fired a month later for some pretty unprofessional reasons. I think learning how to navigate the issues of a business that is political, personal, and also needs to be financially viable/responsible has been hugely important to me. It sucks to have lost a friend in that process, but it's also underlined to me the importance of the porn industry being an ethically run business, with accountability and structure. Now we're battling over the copyright to my work, and that's probably going to be my biggest challenge to date! Thankfully I'm a fiend for paperwork and recordkeeping
JJ: That must have been a very difficult period for you. Losing a friend over business is always a hard thing. But hopefully you'll get you work back and you can move forward.
What's the best thing a fan has done for you?
Kitty: I have incredible fans and I'm very grateful for how present they are for me. They don't shirk from my politics or talk over my experiences, and I find that validating and empowering. I'd say the best thing a couple of fans have done for me have been when they message me out of the blue years later to support my current projects, or to thank me for the impact I've had on their lives. I know sex work isn't the only way to change the world, but every time I hear i've changed someone's world, it fills my heart with joy and makes everything worthwhile.
JJ: Having people tell you that you made a positive impact on them must be a very humbling experience. I find the majority of fans of the industry are very switched on to the needs of performers.
What's one bit of advice you'd give to someone who is getting into the industry?
Kitty: Learn about operational security! I know, that seems like a weird thing to tell someone, but other people have written better guides for getting into the adult industry and responsible content creation/exchange. Learning how to maintain your privacy, separating your legal name from your work name, and how to protect yourself against doxxing is something I wish I had known more about when I became a publicly out sex worker, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
JJ: I think they are brilliant links to be looked at if you're thinking about getting into the industry. I think you need to be as switched on as possible nowadays with your security.
What do you think you'll do once you leave the industry?
Kitty: I imagine I'll always have one hand in the adult industry pie, because I feel a fierce love for other sex workers! I can imagine that manifesting in a few different ways for me, however - I might move further into producing, I might become a marketing consultant for marginalized performers, I may follow a legal or psych career path with a focus on the adult industry. I have one book on the way in 2017 on consent culture, and another that's forming about how to leave the world of adult entertainment that allows space for it to have been a complicated experience. I already have a platform as a writer and as a marketer, so those paths feel natural to me!
JJ: Sounds like you've got many options available to you which shows anything is achievable with some hard work and commitment.
Finally, what's the weirdest rumour you've heard about yourself?
Kitty: Apparently the kids at my school had a rumour going around about me that I drank blood and worshipped the Devil. To their credit, I was raised pagan, was very Goth, and didn't MIND people being a bit intimidated by me, so I'm not terribly SURPRISED that they thought this...? More that the rumours were still going 10 years later! Anyway, drinking blood isn't really part of my safer sex practices.
JJ: Hahahaha that's really cracked me up. I've heard some random things but that one I love!!
Thank you so much for being with us today. It's been a brilliant time and you've left me with lots of things to think about. Have a great 2016 and good luck with everything you have going on.