You’ve spent eight years in the adult industry. By now you should have received a purple heart for all the wonderful services you’ve provided our great industry. Has the business been good to you in the last eight years?
I am actually celebrating 13 years which is crazy, if we are talking about the adult industry as a whole and not exclusively movies. I started as a Pro-Submissive at The World Famous Chateau at 18 and from there I did Pro-Domme work, escorted and then started nude modeling. I believe I was around 21 when I told my agent I was ready to try my first B/G scene. The industry has been great to me in the sense that I came from being dirt poor, sleeping in cars and abandoned apartment buildings to getting my own swanky apartment in Studio City. I was just joking with a couple other veteran performers that I never felt as rich in my entire life then I did in 2003-ish! And getting to experience my ENTIRE 20’s, in the business, traveling and trying new things instead of sitting in an office? Yes. I never had to struggle for money in my twenties. I loved my job and the industry is the reason for that. I will never regret making that decision. I did leave Porn Valley hardcore in 2004 and only did scenes for my first solo girl site “Sharing Paris” which I did for the company “Naughty at Home.” I also traveled all over the country 2 weeks out of the month fetish modeling. I started my own fetish company with my partner Alex Bettinger. I moved back to Los Angeles and came back to hardcore in 2007 for about a year and a half before deciding to do my own thing, really fetish specifically, where I felt the most at home. But I couldn’t be working for myself now if I didn’t ever do movies and get fans so I will always be very grateful to the industry for allowing me to live the crazy ass life I have so far.
As a veteran of the business, I’m sure you have plenty of insight to share about the industry. In your opinion, what do you believe is lacking in adult entertainment today?
You know. I’ve watched the industry change so many times and so completely over the years. Even though I am shooting videos for myself and movies for my company I feel disconnected from the mainstream adult film industry today. It’s just different and sometimes I have no idea what’s going on. I guess just work volume? LOL In the early 2000’s there was just SO much work. Like I would turn down shoots to give my poor girl parts a rest! I would be on set and girls would ask me how many other scenes I was shooting THAT DAY. There was just so much work for everyone. Via social media I have seen girls I always considered big stars struggling hard for work, not getting booked. That’s so weird to me but that’s just the way it is. Unless you are one of the few girls I would consider porn STARS (which I never call myself), it’s kind of like…you enjoy your peak, whatever it is, and then you find ways to continue to make money on your name as long as you can and if you are lucky like me, you have insanely loyal fans who continue to support you no matter what you do.
When it comes to being a BDSM Submissive, you could write the book. Unfortunately, E.L.James beat you to it. What are your thoughts about this Fifty Shades of Grey craze and do you think it accurately represents the BDSM Sub/Dom community and lifestyle?
Oh god. haha. I don’t think I know one member of the BDSM community that is happy with that book/movie. And it definitely doesn’t represent the community accurately or even a community at all. I did actually read the first two books. I was curious. The third I threw right into the trash. There are some great books on BDSM out there. If someone wants to learn there are also websites, workshops. A lot more resources then when I started for sure! The film “The Secretary” is probably one of my favorite mainstream representations of what a BDSM relationship is like, or at least the power exchange I enjoy. It’s not all dark dungeons and latex, you know?
What are the common misconceptions people have about the BDSM lifestyle? I’m not heavy into BDSM, but there is something about being tied up, having all control taken from you, submitting completely to another person that I find incredibly erotic. What is it about giving up all control that is such a turn on?
Misconceptions: That we are sick, crazy, mentally ill. That we all have had fucked up childhoods. Some did. Some didn’t. Just like everyone else in every other kid of community. That BDSM people are all about casual sex, sex parties, orgies, clubbing, polyamory. All that stuff goes on, for sure. But there are also people who live totally “traditional” lives, are monogamous, etc, that just happen to get off on power exchange and that’s what it is for me. Power. Exchange. I have been a submissive most of my career. Giving up power, letting go and putting your complete trust in someone else. That is intense. I would go in to “sub space” a lot and it’s like getting high. It’s addictive. Now in recent years I have started to explore my dominant side. I have started to find pleasure in that. Having someone under My control. It’s intense, it’s scary, what if you hurt them? It’s thrilling when you can control someone with a look or a touch. You are never more vulnerable and naked and that is a turn on. I now identify as a TRUE switch and I think that’s cool cause I think they are rare. I now get equal pleasure from both sides and that is fairly new for me. I am always still learning new things about myself. Every time I think I have seen it all in the business of sex I am so so wrong.
Aside from being an adult performer, you have quite the resume when it comes to abnormal experiences and adventures. You performed in a circus sideshow troupe, where you acquired skills such as fire and light bulb eating, walking on glass & a bed of nails! Not your everyday hobbies. Name three NORMAL hobbies (if possible) that you enjoy doing?
Yeah I have done some stuff! I have lots of normal hobbies too though, yes. I am a crazy dog rescue chick for life. I love hip-hop and making music on my computer. I love weapons from shooting guns to archery and stunt fighting. And anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I am a proud hardcore WWE fan!
You have an incredible and loyal fan base that continues to grow. Have you had any incidents with fans overstepping boundaries? Any dangerous experiences involving fans/stalkers and how did you handle the situation?
My fans are amazing. Intelligent. Funny. But. YES. I had a crazy stalker that posted my home address on the internet. My home was burglarized shortly after. I have had endless death threats. I have had fans threaten to murder me at conventions and had to have security. I have had fans show up at my PO box in person. I have been threatened with rape, burning in hell, etc. The absolute best way to handle them, and I learned this the hard way, is to completely ignore them. They want attention and they want to feel like they are someone of importance in your life even if it’s negative. And if you ignore them you are depriving them of their goal to get your attention and eventually they realize they can’t get to you and move on. Ideally.
You have a lot of life experience for someone your age, which makes you wiser than the average bear. What does it take to hold your attention when you meet someone new? What are traits that you look for when it comes to friendships and/or relationships?
They HAVE to be funny. They have to make me laugh. They have to be able to laugh at themselves and get me and that I am laughing at myself when I say a lot of things online. Some people just get me and some don’t. I enjoy being around intelligent people. I dropped out of high-school so I admire educated people. They have to have a heart like mine…loyal. There are people I love unconditionally, like my best friend. There’s literally nothing she could do to make me not love her. I don’t let many people close to me but the ones I do I love them like they are my blood. No friends, all family. If they are causing me anxiety, making me feel bad about myself, competitive with me, gossiping behind my back, they are not my real friends and I cut them out and move on. This is a new thing for me and it’s been wildly effective in lowering my stress.
With so many new girls coming into the industry, what does it take to stand out and make a name for yourself and be successful? How do you know when you’ve “made it” in this industry and what business advice would you give to the new girls?
There are ALWAYS going to be new waves of younger, prettier girls coming into the business. I think you stand out when you realize being hot is just not enough. If I was ONLY a body to look at maybe I would feel degraded. But my fans like the person I am. And I would NOT have lasted this long if I didn’t have a strong personality that appealed to them. I know this. So my advice would be to build a brand, not just sit around and wait for your agent to call you for a scene. IF longevity matters. I’ve known girls that want to come in, make money, get out and that’s totally fine, to each their own. But to last you have to have a personality that is appealing and people fall in love with YOU, the perfomer. Make a website. Be active on Twitter. Interact with your fans. That’s what works for me. The performers that stand out to be are the ones who are funny, intelligent and work hard to market themselves and their personalities. Wolf Hudson, Stoya, Asa Akira, James Deen come to mind as far as a few mainstream porn performers. Yes they are very very pretty but people love THEM because they are who they are. They are opinionated, intelligent and/or built a strong brand.
In your opinion, what are some positive changes the adult industry could make that would better the lives and work of male/female performers?
Stop fighting with each other. That goes for performers, directors and producers. Some producers are more drama than the performers especially in fetish and BDSM.
What are some major mistakes that you see new female talent making?
Fighting with other girls on Twitter. Your fans and customers are watching. Keep it real but don’t talk shit about other performers, producers, directors on Twitter. It only makes the person ranting look bad. We all slip up here and there, people on Twitter can make you crazy but I think we need to remember we are selling FANTASY and in the business of creating fantasies, yes you can keep it “too real.”
You’ve already accomplished so much, have plenty of sites, a household name, you’ve traveled all over…What goals do you have yet to accomplish? Do you hope to do more mainstream work?
Yes! I am currently pursuing more mainstream work. I continue to make a living running my websites and clip stores, but I would love to do more mainstream work, comedic, fighting stunts, weapons stunts. I want to be the female Danny Trejo or Vin Diesel like, “badass tattooed fighting chick.” I have no delusions about being a leading lady type, I would be VERY happy just doing cool B movies or stunt work. I am working on acquiring more skills for my resume like archery and Krav Maga. I am starting Improv classes. I will definitely always be working in the entertainment industry in some capacity. There is nothing else I have ever wanted to do.
What is the hardest thing about being a porn star?
Trying to get out. Trying to fit in with non-porn people. The blind hate. People hate you because of what you do when you work in adult. People who have never met you, don’t know you, or think they know you because of your Twitter feed which is business, not the real me. It hurts to be judged like that. It hurts especially when women hate. Because you are like “hey, we should be on the same side!.” But it’s the way it is. The stigma. I hate it. Men feel like they can talk to you differently. They feel the right to say things to me they would never say to someone who worked at say, Starbucks. Dating is HARD. I only dated other performers or directors because they were the only ones that really understood me, I felt. But sometimes you fall for someone in another biz and have to meet their friends, etc and suddenly you realize what you do is shocking for some people. In the adult industry it’s easy to live in your own bubble where people are tolerant and you can talk about butt-holes loudly in public. Emails from Jesus freaks. Fans turning on you because you changed your look or don’t look 18 anymore. But, you get thick skin. 13 years of being called “whore” “slut” “hooker” and you start to either not care or own it. We are all fucking whores. I just get to have more fun and people fucking hate it.
What advice would you give a guy wanting to date a porn star? What is it about the adult entertainment industry that makes dating & relationships so difficult & have you ever dated a fellow performer? If so, does dating within the industry make relationships any easier?
Oops I just spoke a lot about that in the last couple questions but yes, I have dated other performers. I find dating within the industry to be easier because you both “get” that it’s like, a job. But it’s also a small industry so there are only so many people you can date, and then they have likely dated 20 other people you know and it can all get very messy. I think relationships are just freaking hard, no matter what business you’re in.
Last but not least, please feel free to shamelessly plug any projects, mainstream or otherwise or scenes you have coming up. Post your twitter, Facebook, Tumblr…Let us know about any charities your passionate about or blogs…etc:
OH I WILL. haha. My official website: ParisKennedy.com
I am VERY active on Twitter. @pariskennedy
Check out the MAINSTREAM comedic web series I will be co-starring in: @CYKUofficial on Twitter. You will find links to our promo and teaser videos. We just finished a very successful Indiegogo campaign and will start shooting Season 1 next month.
I shoot custom videos, do private SKYPE shows and sell shoot memorabilia. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My companies sexy pro-wrestling fantasy promotion, X-Club Wrestling at prostylefantasies.com