SOCIETY

10 Questions With Jessica Drake, the Realest Porn Star We’ve Ever Met

SOCIETY
Apr 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM ET

You may not know her by name, but you would probably recognize her face or her, um, more-sensitive body parts. Jessica Drake—a 39-year-old, 5-foot-9 blond powerhouse—has starred in no fewer than 312 pornographic films. In her 13 years in the adult film industry, Drake, who works with Wicked Pictures, has won more than 16 industry awards. Her most recent film, a sexy parody of Snow White in which she plays the Evil Queen, is the first time she has portrayed a villain and will probably get her another Adult Video News award (the Oscars of porn).

In addition to being a contract performer, she also writes and directs adult content. Three years ago, she started a line of instructional DVDs called “Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex.” And if this weren’t enough, Drake also teaches sex education workshops and is starring in an upcoming reality TV show about her life, accurately called Love, Jessica, which will premiere on The Movie Network Sunday, May 11 and on Movie Central in fall 2014.

Ironically, for someone who has sex on camera and just filmed a 10-episode docu-series (which she describes as “a pretty fair, realistic representation” of all aspects of her life), Drake doesn’t like to discuss her personal life in interviews. We managed to get her to tell us that she lives with her partner, Brad Armstrong, who’s also in the business and was once married to Jenna Jameson, as well as their two “amazing” small dogs.

Drake spoke to Vocativ over the phone from her L.A. home before she was set to head to New York City for a weekend promoting the “Snow White XXX” release. And while she might chastise us for saying so, this woman of many talents was a surprise: She was actually really nice, very well-spoken and down-to-earth. Need proof? Below, you’ll find some of Drake’s insights on failed sex education programs in the U.S., the difference between real sex and porn sex, and her charity trips to Africa.

1. How did you start in the business and how old were you?

I was 24. I was in Texas. I was stripping and also going to college. I started with a liberal arts degree because I thought I should go to school, and then I took Intro to Psych and I changed my major to psychology. But then I quit about a year and a half after that. I wanted to be a feature entertainer—someone who dances in character in clubs. And I started meeting people in the adult industry. It was much different than I expected; it was run much more like a business. It took me about a year before I did my first movie, and I was very, very comfortable with it.

2. So you star in, write and direct adult films, but why did you decide to get into teaching sex education?

There is definitely a gap in modern-day, realistic sex education. I think there are certain things that have been left out, whether we’ve been taught or not taught as kids by our parents or by programs in our schools. I’m trying to bridge that gap and talk to as many people as I can. I do seminars and workshops, I speak at universities, so a little bit of everything.

3. What are some things you find lacking?

From my personal standpoint, when I was taught about sex it was: penis and vagina; don’t have sex or you’re going to get pregnant; don’t have sex or you’re going to catch a disease and die. No explanation about the fact that sex is pleasurable. Nothing about masturbation. It was very fear-based. I think it’s a combination of not really having enough resources for people and also that, unfortunately for this generation growing up, the only reference to sex or sex ed is downloading free porn on the Internet. I mean, obviously I love porn. I make porn. I perform in porn. I direct it. I think it’s really necessary that we differentiate between “Hey, this is porn, this is something for entertainment, this is a fantasy” versus “This is what sex in your personal life might look like.”

4. What? Porn sex isn’t close to real sex?

I think a lot of the time there isn’t enough foreplay in porn. Performers are automatically ready for just about anything. Also, I think sex is not as linear as it is portrayed in adult movies. It doesn’t necessarily go: kissing, kissing, oral sex, position, position. You know? It’s often such a combination. You go back and do something else and do something else. It’s a mix of a lot of different things.

5. Speaking of the fantasy of porn, we want to debunk some porn star stereotypes. What are some of the major ones you’ve encountered?

One of the most popular opinions is that it’s one big party. They think we all drink, we all do drugs and we all have sex with everyone, and that’s really not how it is. I would say the majority of the time, I hesitate to use the word “normal,” but we’re pretty normal people.

6. What about you personally? Do you ever feel like you’ve been judged unfairly because of what you do?

Oh, definitely. I was fortunate enough when I started in this business to have people be up front with me and say, “Look, this will alter the way people look at you forever.” And so it was something that I thought about very carefully. Even to this day, I don’t tell people what I do for a living sometimes, and if they do know what I do for a living I don’t get much further with them because of that. They’re definitely going to judge me in accordance with the stereotypes about the industry. It’s very frustrating, but it’s reality. I just live my life. I let people get to know me or not, whatever.

7. Why do you think that is?

I think the media sensationalizes the bad apples in the bunch because that’s what sells the stories. People love a train wreck. It’s exciting for people. People look at others’ misfortune or mistakes to make them feel better, and I definitely think the media, to some degree, is really responsible for sensationalizing the bad. A lot of us are hesitant to do mainstream interviews because of their slant. They can say, “Oh, we want to talk to you about the industry,” but then it turns out to be a bad piece. It’s something we’re all aware of.

8. You’ve done a huge amount of adult films. Have any favorites?

My all-time favorite movie is Fallen; I did it five years ago and it was a real acting movie. The majority of movies for Wicked are very plot-driven, with better story lines, bigger budgets and cooler locations. A movie I did recently, which was kind of along the same lines, is Underworld. And that’s huge, to get all three. I’m also really excited about playing the Evil Queen in Snow White, because I’ve never played a character like that before.

9. You mentioned your partner to me before. Is there any jealousy or tension with the fact that you both have sex with other people for a living?

No, it’s a professional thing. I knew before I was in the industry that I was not a jealous person by nature, as long as there is communication. When I got into the industry, that was something I had already been through and thought about and considered. It isn’t really an issue with either one of us. When we’re on set, it’s business, we’re working and we have jobs to do.

10. After everything, are you happy with the decision you made 13 years ago to enter the adult industry?

I am very happy. It’s afforded me a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The travel is a huge one. I’ve been able to see the world in a way that I would have never been able to. South Africa was a very pivotal trip for me, and I’ve been to South Africa many times now. But that first time was special. I had always worked with smaller local charity organizations, and when I started working with international organizations, it really changed the way that I looked at the world. It’s something very special to me.