I am the only two-time winner of the title Miss Nude Galaxy. At the contest, I was invited to pose for men’s magazines and adult movies. I was the first actress to be under exclusive contract to perform only for one company and Caribbean Films was very good to me. The movies were shot on 35mm Panavision and I wrote the first movie I did, as well as many more, including a film adaptation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In September of 1984, I appeared in Penthouse magazine along with Miss America Vanessa Williams and Traci Lords. It remains the largest selling men’s magazine ever. After working for Caribbean Films for several years, I moved on and signed with Vivid Video.
I released an album with SRO Records called Two Sides of Hyapatia Lee. One side of the record was country music and the other was comedy songs. One of my tracks, Rub-A-Dub-Dub, made it to number three on the Dr. Demento Funny Five. A few years later, I put together my own band of musicians to play my original music and put out an album called Double Euphoric. We played all over southern California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. It was around this time that my husband and I got divorced and it was ugly. I found it necessary to separate myself from him entirely and I moved back to Indiana. Not wanting to give up my music, I put together another band and we played the east coast and the Midwest. Eventually, I fell in love with the guitar player and we settled down for a while.
I wrote my first book, an autobiography, in 2000. The Secret Lives of Hyapatia Lee is a no-holds-barred look at my life and the adult movie business in which I was involved. It also details my childhood abuse and subsequent struggle with depression.
To describe myself, I am a registered member of the Southeastern Cherokee Council, Inc., 5’5″ tall, 38-26-36 with long black hair and brown eyes.
What prompted you to join the adult industry?
I joined the industry after seeing that such beautiful women as Seka, Annette Heaven, Kelly Nichols and Veronica Hart were involved. I was a dancer in gentlemen’s clubs and after winning the Miss Nude Galaxy contest, I decided to get involved in the industry for the fun and increase in salary it would bring.
I know that you still follow the industry, how would you say it has changed since you left, beyond the obvious?
It is rather disappointing to see what the majority of the industry is producing today. When I made movies we tried to appeal to couples and produce a movie with good production value, something like a regular Hollywood film that wasn’t afraid to pull the sheets back during the sex scenes. I doubt many couples enjoy most of what is being churned out today. When I see women giving head and they are gagging, it makes me think they don’t know how to do it correctly. Furthermore, the sounds induce vomiting.
You have written some books, the latest being Native Stregnth: The First Step on the Path to an Indomitable Life, what can you tell us about this book and what inspired you to write it?
I wrote Native Strength – The First Step on the Path to an Indomitable Life after becoming disappointed in the mental health care system. I sought alternatives to psychiatric drugs and endless talk therapy. Simply sharing my feelings with a therapist was doing no good and was a waste of time and money. There had to be tools for finding happiness on my own. I studied for decades with medicine men and women of different tribes to learn a system that has been available for centuries. It has helped me considerably. I was made the Blessed Woman for the Lost River band of the Cherokees in Mitchell, IN by their chief, George Miller and was able to apply what I had learned to help the people there. When someone in my family I love dearly went through some of the same things I did as a child, I decided to write a book so that she could have these medicine wheels and lessons to reflect on throughout her life. It soon became apparent that there was just too much information for one book and I decided to break the information down into more easily understood segments. Native Strength is the first step one must take to understand this new way of thinking in order for the rest of the information to make sense.
Do you have any other books planned in the near future?
I plan to write a series devoted to this complete system for dealing with abuse, depression, grief, anger, and the entire spectrum of human emotions in a way that helps us to evolve and not be dominated by others or circumstances beyond our control. We can take a challenge and learn from it, we can be a blade of grass that bends with the wind, rather than trying to resist or breaking. These many wheels of emotional maturity give a clear picture of what an evolved soul looks like and how to identify one who is using negative energy. The teachings show us a path to this ideal. Many of us may hold in our minds the picture of the “stoic Indian”. What I learned is not only how to submit without complaint to unavoidable necessities, but to gain valuable insight from the experiences as well.
You are also a pro-cannabis advocate and you write for High Life Magazine. How did you get involved with them and what kind of stuff do you write for them.
I write for High Times magazine, my article is called Stoner Sex and appears online on the High Times Facebook page. It is an advice column. Cannabis, or marijuana, as well as many other “teaching plants”, have been used by Native Americans for centuries to heal both physical and mental ailments. These are far safer than contemporary psychiatric pharmaceuticals with little or no side effects. Due to the circumstances that made marijuana illegal, we are just now re-discovering its’ many attributes. Not only does it cure cancer, stop epileptic seizures and hundreds of other debilitating conditions, it helps with PTSD, ADHD, and depression, to name just a few. The Cherokees call it Ga-tun-la-ti and say the star people from the planet of the same name brought it here, knowing we could not survive without it. The plant can also replace crude oil as it can be used to make plastics, oil, gasoline, diesel, textiles, paper and much more. I could go on and on, but anyone who is interested can read more on my blog at hyapatialee.wordpress.com or in my book Native Strength or in the book The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer. I am most interested in its’ use in mental health and my book describes exercises one can do with cannabis.
I am not only an activist in the cannabis community but also the Native American community. The recent uproar over the Dakota access pipeline has been most impressive, with over 500 nations (tribes) coming together to protect the right to clean water for all of us. Hawaiian and Aztec representatives traveled thousands of miles to help their brothers and sisters confront their oppressors in Dakota with mirrors so they could see what they had become. Troopers could not bear to look at their reflection. Native Strength shows us how to look at our own lives before we get to the point where we are embarrassed by our own reflection.
I’ve never asked this before but I am curious as to how you came up with your name.
The name Hyapatia is inspired by Hypatia, the Greek mathematician who was murdered outside of the library of Alexandria protecting the books. I always admired her, one of the first feminists in that culture. I added the “a” after the “y” to make my first name unique. Native America was gynecentric or matrileal. Lineage was handed down through the mother, rather than the father as it is in our predominant culture. My first husband, Bud, took my last name, Lee, as is traditional in our culture. This name has been handed down in my family and can be traced back to the Dawes rolls of the 1800’s. Women were often chiefs and warriors in traditional Native society.
If money wasn’t an issue and you decided to come back for one last movie, what would you want to do?
If money wasn’t an issue and I came back for one last movie, what would I do? That is a difficult question. As a writer of most of my films, I was able to fulfill so many of my personal fantasies, that I really don’t have a bucket list.
Do you have a favorite movie that you had done in your past?
My favorite movie was The Ribald Tales of Canterbury. It is still the most expensive X-rated movie ever done. Some people think that title belongs to Caligula, but that movie was never actually rated, so it doesn’t count, in my humble opinion. A close second would be The Masseuse. Working with Randy Spears was marvelous.
What sort of things do you like to do when you aren’t working? Any hobbies?
Right now I am very focused on my writing and promoting my book, but in the past, I have had many hobbies. I love to dance in pow-wows and I made my own deerskin dress, fully beaded moccasins, and other accessories to my regalia. I am very spiritual and enjoy conducting sweat lodges, using my chanupa (sacred prayer pipe), and Sun dancing. I have even woven Navajo style rugs on a traditional loom. Weaving and beading will give you a deep respect for the people! I have lived off the land, butchered my own deer, stretched and curing the skin on a homemade frame. I have harvested berries and made pies and meals for my children in the campfire of my 18″ tipi on my land in southern Indiana. I wanted to experience what life was like back before Columbus and share that with my children. After our excursions, we would return to our 5 bedroom home and pool, but it was important to me that they not take things for granted and be able to survive on their own if needed. I taught my children to speak the language of our ancestors and I do my best to keep my culture alive. This is my life’s purpose.
Are there any projects or special events coming up that you would like to promote, if so please do so?
I would like to promote my book Native Strength – The First Step on the Path to an Indomitable Life, available now on amazon.com and AuthorHouse.com, and my Stoner Sex article for High Times that comes out the first of every week on their Facebook page. People can write to me at Sex@HighTimes.com. Please follow me on twitter for current events and appearances. You can catch excerpts from the book on hyapatialee.wordpress.com, on my YouTube channel and on my Amazon Author page. I can also be found on LinkedIn. Thank you very much!