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Insatiable: Meet the Woman Who Loves Doing Porn

The porn star talks about her memoir, smoking crack in BDSM dungeons, and why she's smitten with her work.
 
 
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It is common for mainstream porn stars to explain their choice of profession with some variation on “I just  love sex.” Usually, this sounds like a good P.R. line, the kind indistinguishable from porn dialogue. There’s a fantasy to sell, after all, and talking about economic motivations tends to be a boner-killer (except for men who are into coercion and despair, but that’s another story). When Asa Akira says it, though, I really believe it.

In her new book, “Insatiable: Porn — A Love Story,” the Wicked Pictures contract star and so-called “Anal Queen” writes of her six-year-plus career, “There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I wish I could freeze time and live in this moment forever.” Again, a great line for business! But it’s hard not to believe in her authenticity when she says that she falls in love every time she shoots a scene. “Not necessarily with my partner, but just in general,” she explains. “With the situation. In love with being watched. In love with being on display. In love with being the center of attention.” She adds, “Many people say they disconnect themselves when they have porno sex; I’m the opposite. I’m more present than ever.”

For these reasons, you might say she is the best-case-scenario porn star: a woman performing to fulfill her own erotic desires. In her author’s note, she says, “I started this book hoping to shed a different light on the industry I love so much. Not to say every day is sunshine and flowers, but I don’t feel a healthy, honest voice of someone currently looking from the inside out has been heard.” She makes a point of detailing her stable, privileged childhood growing up in Japan and New York, as well as her years of sobriety, in contrast to negative stereotypes about sex workers. “I had a normal upbringing. My parents are loving, kind, and present. I have no mental disorders,” she writes.

And yet, no person can act as the flawless representative for an entire group of people — and certainly not while writing a memoir worth reading. Luckily, Akira doesn’t try to do that with her book, which is written in the form of essays, unsent letters, diary entries and delightfully dirty haikus (“Home from Trader Joe’s/Was it there that whole time?/Dried cum on my chin”).

She is brutally honest about years of drug use (including the times she smoked crack with a client in a BDSM dungeon), a vague suspicion of childhood sexual abuse, contracting chlamydia, binge-eating and crash-dieting, a painful abortion and cystic acne — just to name a few things. (Oh, also, the time during an anal scene when it seemed like she was bleeding, but it turned out it was the beets she’d had for dinner the night before.) Her honesty is both incredibly endearing and disconcerting (she admits that if she had a gag reflex she would be bulimic, and the book ends without any resolution to her cycle of binging and starving). All of which is to say, her book is a lot like her porn: raw, brutal and always unflinching. As she puts it, “You can only show the inside of your asshole to the world for so long before your filter ceases to exist.”

I spoke with Akira by phone about why pregnant women turned her on as a kid, falling in love with co-stars, and being typecast as an Asian performer.

At the beginning of the book, you write, “I’ve always questioned why I am the way I am … Why am I so sexual? Why do I insist on publicizing my most intimate moments?” What’s the best answer you’ve come up with?

 
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