When striking up a conversation with Lorelei Lee you can tell immediately that this will not be your normal conversation with a run of the mill porn starlet. The first thing that strikes you about Lorelei Lee is that she is smart. I mean really smart. This girl would love to spend an evening at home with a classic book just as much as she enjoys being tied up and fucked mercilessly for your stroking enjoyment. She loves school and the academic process and even has plans to take her passion for performing in the sex industry and bringing it to the academic arena. Put on your thinking caps because in this interview with XRentDVD's Big D, Lorelei Lee discusses the perils of leading a double life, how she made the transition from bondage girl to full blown porn star and how using her mind helps her use her body in porn.
Big D: You got your start in porn doing a lot of fetish stuff for websites but have recently made the transition to adult DVDs. How did that happen that you were able to make the transition?
Lorelei Lee: When I was doing a lot of the fetish stuff in San Francisco there is one site up here that a lot of the girls from L.A. come and work for them as well. I became friends with girls like Dana Dearmond, Annie Cruz. Harmony works for them. Nadia Styles. I met a number of different people who suggested I could call a number of agents. They encouraged me to work in L.A. I have known Adrianna Nicole since we both started working in BDSM maybe four or five years ago. She was working with Mark Spiegler and she suggested that I call him. I did and he said that I should come south. They offered to arrange to drive me to work, I can stay in the townhouse. So I did. (laughs)
Big D: Seeing how you got your start doing the BDSM porn for websites, was that because that was the only types of websites that were up north and you could find work there or were you into the BDSM lifestyle in your personal life and that is what drew you to it?
Lorelei Lee: I wasn't doing any BDSM sex in my personal life before I started working in porn. My first shoot on the web was my first experience as an S and M fiend. That was surprising. (laughs) I didn't know that I was going to like. I was just interested. I was interested in the imagery. I just went in there and did it. I actually didn't know what to expect from the scene at all. They told me sort of vaguely but they weren't quite as organized back then as they are now. My first scene was actually with the owner of the company. We just shot for about four hours. We did four segments. He tied me up. He pretended to kidnap me. He flogged me. Gosh, I don't actually remember everything we did. I really ended up having a good time so I went back. Before then I was modeling and doing nude art modeling. I had done some amateur adult stuff that was solo girl type stuff. I was actually naked on the internet (laughs) when I was 19. That was the first time I ever did a naked photo shoot for So Cal Coeds. Now they are Naughty America. After that I went back to waitressing for two years or something. I just thought it was going to be this crazy thing I had done. Little did I know I would end up making a whole career out of it.
Big D: You mentioned that you never had done any of the BDSM type of sex before you started performing yet your body of work in that genre is rather extensive. What is about being tied up and in a submissive role that made you pursue more work in that arena?
Lorelei Lee: It was challenging for one thing. I definitely enjoyed that part of it. I didn't know what to expect from it. At the time it was unlike anything I had ever physically experienced. I had had a lot of sex. (laughs) The fact that so many things were happening physically and I was blindfolded for part of it… The pain aspect… We didn't do anything that was intensely painful the first day. People always ask about the pain aspect. Nobody likes to stub their toe or drop something heavy on their foot. You need to understand that it is a different kind of pain. You have adrenaline going and especially if you are mixing it with sex. So then there is the pain and the pleasure happening at the same time. My experience came in that context compared to if someone were to come up to you and hit you in the face in a bar during a fight. Maybe it is not totally different. I was just thinking that guys sometimes will go out and get into fights on purpose. I guess girls do it too sometimes. I think some of that is the same type of thing. People just seek out experiences that are going to make their adrenaline flow and be physically excited and surprised.
Big D: Do you find that by being in porn feeds that for you or is it that you get off the fact that other people are watching you have sex or are put in sexual situations?
Lorelei Lee: There is definitely the adrenaline factor and the aspect of doing things that are physically difficult and physically challenging. I like feeling a sense of accomplishment afterwards. I can get the same sense of accomplishment from doing an hour long caining or sticking something really large up my ass. (laughs) Both of those things are difficult in different ways. In that way I think it is similar to people who are athletes. It's just that drive to push yourself. It is also that I definitely get off by being watched and I like performing. I like performing not just in porn but when I was younger I did theater and things like that. I always enjoyed being in front of an audience. Of course there is the part about you are not supposed to let people watch you. I think the fact that I am not supposed to do it makes it pretty exciting to me too.
Big D: You are also a college student and are not just a full time porn star. What other interests do you have outside of working in the adult industry? I get the impression that you have other things going on in your life other than just being consumed by being a porn star.
Lorelei Lee: I definitely have a lot of other things going on. I actually just went back to school about three weeks ago. Over the past year, I spent about two weeks each month, sometimes three weeks of every month, in L.A. working almost everyday. I thought about moving there and I was encouraged to move there but I feel I needed to have my home away from the valley and away from the industry. Porn is obviously a big part of my life and a big part of my identity but it is also important to me to be able to sit down and read books or go to museums. I am actually a creative writing student. I am taking a few different writing classes and I write short stories. I paint and draw and do group art projects with people too. We made a calendar last year where someone took photographs and I wrote a segment about being in porn. The calendar was actually was about porn and people's attitudes about porn.
Big D: Seeing how you are involved in going back to school and are interested in art, reading books, going to museums, etc., do you feel that you are a bit of an outsider to the other girls working in porn? What I mean is that your outside interests of art and culture may not be on the same level with the other porn stars that are more interested in partying and going shoe shopping on their days off?
Lorelei Lee: Every now and then I definitely will meet someone that I do not connect with at work. I think everyone has that experience no matter where you work. I also believe that most performers are interested in at least one other thing other than porn. It is definitely true that people prioritize differently but whenever I am in L.A., my focus is work. I feel like I really do connect with other performers. We'll talk about work. Also I have some really, really good friends who are just smart women. Annette Schwarz, Adrianna Nicole, Princess Donna who actually lives in the Bay Area, Madison Young, Annie Cruz. I don't think I am that different from the other girls that I work with.
Big D: You are a pretty avid reader. What books are you reading and what book would you suggest everyone read that would essentially be a good way to know you?
Lorelei Lee: That's an interesting question. There is probably and entire bibliography that could write my biography as a bibliography. Every few months of my life I feel like I attach myself to a different book. Recently I have been going back to Michael Cunningham. He wrote The Hours, which is based on Virginia Wolfe and Mrs. Galloway. Mrs. Galloway and The Ours were two books that I read one after the other. I definitely felt a strong connection with the female characters. Recently I just finished Underworld by Jonathan Willow. I am not going to necessarily say that I identify with the characters in the books but I don't know… Every time I read a book like that, and that book is probably something like 100 pages or something… any time you spend any amount of time reading a book you tend to look at the world around you through the lens of the chapter you just read. If you want to see the world the way I am seeing the world right now you should read Underworld.
Big D: Going from books and author suggestions, who would be the directors and performers that you connect with the best?
Lorelei Lee: The people that come to mind immediately is that I love to work for Belladonna. I think everyone loves to work with Belladonna. (laughs) Her shoots I know are always going to be fun. Kylie Ireland and Eli Cross are people who I know when I show up on set that it is going to be a good day. I worked for Mason once and I had a really amazing experience. It's funny that I seem to keep naming women, huh?
Big D: I was just about to bring that up that I was seeing a definite pattern of women here. I am not hearing the Jules Jordans or the Joey Silveras of the porn world being mentioned.
Lorelei Lee: (laughs) I do like working for Joey Silvera now that you bring that up. I've never worked for Jules Jordan so I can't say either way. I don't know if I particularly connect with female directors… I don't know, maybe I do feel like I connect with female directors more. That's not to say that I am less likely to have a good time on a set with a male director. I mainly named those women because I have had conversations with them before and after scenes and I get a certain amount of empathy from them. I think that is natural.
Big D: Seeing how you mentioned that you have worked for Joey but not with Jules, are there any other production companies or directors that you would like to work for but have not had the chance yet?
Lorelei Lee: You know, I haven't been to L.A. in three weeks and I know I am going to totally forget and I will think of someone's name later. I would like to work for Jules Jordans. I am sorry but I can't think right now.
Big D: Once you made the transition from doing mainly web site content to shooting primarily for the major DVD companies, did you know what type of commitment this was going to be? Do you have a game plan as to how long you want to stay in and what you plan to get out of it?
Lorelei Lee: Once I started going to L.A. and shooting, I did not have a game plan at all. I was just going to try it out and see what happened. I went for two weeks and then my agent asked me when I was coming back. So I just went back for a few more weeks and I kind of followed that pattern again and again. At this point I did make the decision to go back to school so now I am just trying to fit those things into my life. My plan for now is to go to school half the time for the next semester. That way I can be in L.A. four days a week and I can maintain the same amount of work availability. I am also planning on directing a movie for Buttworks for Kylie Ireland. I actually do not know exactly when that will happen so I will not try to make a prediction. We have been discussing it and it should happen within the next couple of months. I don't have any other long term plans. I don't have plans to retire or anything like that.
Big D: I don't want to compare you to Clark Kent where you are leading a double life but I am sure you are not walking across campus to your creative writing class wearing five inch stripper heels and a leather bustier. Do you try to keep your public porn identity as low profile as you can while you are not in that environment or is porn just too pervasive that you can't escape it? Do you get recognized when you are walking down street?
Lorelei Lee: I don't know if I am able to separate them. It is really funny that you asked this question because I actually have an assignment to write an essay about two divergent aspects of my identity. I was actually deciding on whether this was something I was going to write about. The place that it comes up a lot is in my creative writing classes because I do write about porn. I don't necessarily make myself a character in one of my stories. From reading those you can probably assume that I have some sort of experience. I don't know if people recognize me. I think a lot of the time when people do recognize performers they will not say anything. Maybe they feel awkward or something. I think that is perfectly fine if they don't come up to me if they do recognize me. More than any of that, it is a pretty difficult transition to make because you are working with very different parts of yourself. It is the transition of working with your body to working with your mind. A great example is that this week I did a live show on Tuesday and I had to miss some school for that. When I went back to school on Wednesday I was tired. Another thing is that you go into character when you are performing and all of your energy goes into being physical. It can be a hard transition to go back to thinking about normal distributions in my statistics class. I may still be thinking about the scene I did from the day before. I think that is actually the hardest part about being a porn star and a student.
Big D: With your commitment to going back to school, what do you hope to get out of it once you graduate?
Lorelei Lee: I haven't decided yet. I definitely want to get my BA. I think I want to go to grad school. I love school actually. I love being in school. If I could go to school forever I would probably do that. I have been thinking about going into teaching eventually. Maybe I should say that publicly in an interview that that is my secret ambition. (laughs)
Big D: I can picture it now. The parent / teacher conferences where little Johnny's dad mentioned that he rented one of your movies the night before and jacked off to it.
Lorelei Lee: (laughs) Yeah. I did do some training to be a sex educator and I am definitely interested in the academic side of sex. I think that if I do want to teach I can go in that direction and maybe my career in porn might not be a disadvantage. I do think that a lot of the academic work around sex and sexuality is very academic and separated from people's actual experiences. If I am studying sex, I think in that sense it might be an advantage that I have had a lot of sex. (laughs)
Big D: First job?
Lorelei Lee: I was a babysitter.
Big D: First concert?
Lorelei Lee: I am not sure. I used to go see these guys In Provincetown, Massachusetts called the Sugar Men Three. They were a jazz trio and when I was 14 I used to go see them. They were really amazing. I am not sure if that really counts as a concert.
Big D: First car?
Lorelei Lee: I don't have a drivers license. I have driven a few times and I have my learner's permit but I have never followed through on getting a drivers license
Big D: What's in your CD player right now?
Lorelei Lee: Birdman and Little Wayne
Big D: Favorite food?
Lorelei Lee: Chocolate
Big D: First porn you ever watched?
Lorelei Lee: I never watched porn before I was in porn. Now I have seen a handful of my own scene. I have seen some Belladonna videos but other than that I haven't watched all the much porn.
Big D: Favorite position?
Lorelei Lee: Can I say missionary? It's kind of a boring isn't.
Big D: Go to the movies or go to the ballgame?
Lorelei Lee: I am more than likely to get asked to go to a movie. I don't know anyone that watches sports. I think I would like to go to a ballgame for the novelty of it. I haven't been to one since I was a little kid.
Big D: What modern convenience can you not live without?
Lorelei Lee: My computer. I am embarrassed to say that seeing how I am anti-technology. I do rely on my computer a lot especially to do my writing.
Big D: Favorite mainstream movie?
Lorelei Lee: I just watched This Property is Condemned with Natalie Wood and Robert Redford again. I was bawling while I was watching it and I was convinced that this has always been my favorite movie. I might change my mind next week.
Big D: Favorite vacation spot?
Lorelei Lee: I like New York City
Big D: Person you'd like to meet that you have not met?
Lorelei Lee: Marilyn Monroe . I have always really admired her. My mother really admired her. I have grown up with images of her and watching her movies. My stage name is from one of her most famous movies, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Big D: Place you want to visit but haven't yet?
Lorelei Lee: I think the deep south. I was talking to a few of my friends about taking a road trip across the southern United States. I have been all over the country but I haven't been to that part. I am interested in the ways the people are different.