THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER

The Real Reason Female Porn Stars Don’t Shoot with Black Guys

It’s more disturbing than you think.

As an active porn star, dating outside the adult industry was difficult. The men I met either resented my sexuality or became enamored with the idea of dating an adult performer. Neither worked out well. I went out on a few dates with a guy that was infatuated with me—only it wasn’t me he wanted; it was my porn star alter ego. Take me to work, let me watch you in action, he’d beg.

For him, my job was a turn-on. For me, there was a sense of security in knowing that after a day’s work there would be no arguments about it later. Quite the opposite, actually: Just hearing about the scenes I filmed that day amped up his libido. His voyeuristic tendencies complemented my chosen profession.

And then: You do black guys?! It was more of an accusation than a question. I didn’t see the issue; that was just another aspect of my job. If I wanted to keep dating him, I’d have to give up banging the black guys at work. I laughed so hard when he offered up this ridiculous ultimatum. It wasn’t black and white—it was sex work. And he was clearly OK with that component.

I was dating a racist and didn’t know it.

Calling him out on the discrimination was offensive, he said. He preferred to call it an “insecurity,” claiming a deep dark fear of never measuring up. I hadn’t thought about that relationship in years, until I saw XXX star Janice Griffith’s recent tweet: “A real reason porn girls won’t shoot with black guys: their boyfriends don’t like it.”

Then the memories came flooding back—as did the questions. I’d always assumed Lil Wayne’s rap in “Knockout,” “Once you go black, you never go back,” was a tongue-in-cheek statement. But maybe porn played a part in perpetuating these stereotypes, with titles like Black Cravings, White Chicks, Big Black Dicks, etc.

“There’s definitely a stigma. Some guys worry, ‘If my girl fucks a black guy she’ll run away with him because his dick’s bigger, he’ll fuck her brains out.’ It’s the myth of, ‘Once you go black, you don’t go back.’ I’ve seen it. I know guys that think that way. It’s naïve to think that doesn’t exist,” says Tee Reel, owner of Ideal Image Models. As one of the rare black agents in the adult entertainment business, Tee Reel believes that company owners themselves have perpetuated these stereotypes. “The way the business approaches it now, it’s not so much a racist position; it’s a business position for content producers to get people to their network,” he says.

From an agent’s perspective, it’s about making the most amount of money while building a brand in the process. “As an agent I don’t want to take someone on board who isn’t willing to work as much as possible. If you’ve got a boyfriend who doesn’t want you fucking black dudes then that’s between you two. It’s your body but there’s no real difference, it’s all in how its marketed,” says Reel.

When curvy blonde Leya Falcon first entered porn six years ago, she was married to a man who supported her career but had one hard rule: no black guys. To please her hubby, she declined interracial scenes (in porn lingo interracial typically means black guy/white girl) for the first few months of her career. “Some people said I was a ‘dodger,’ which is a word for a girl who won’t do black guys. I didn’t like it at all. It was very weird to be entering the industry like that, explaining that I can’t do interracial because I’m married,” says Falcon. “My husband was black and it made him jealous. That was awkward to explain.”

Not wanting to do anything that might take a toll on the marriage, Falcon accepted her now ex-husband’s parameters—a decision she says she now regrets. “I will never again let a man dictate what I will do in my career. If someone’s going to accept you they need to accept all of you,” she says.

“Ironically enough, that dichotomy is tangible and does exist,” offers three-time AVN Male Performer of the Year and Hall of Famer Lexington Steele. Prices for interracial fluctuate, and he’s all too aware of it: “Half the time the rates do not reflect whether it’s interracial or not, but the other half the time you are well aware your rates are being jockeyed.”

“I’m a performer, director, producer, and distributor so I know I’m being jacked. So now I pay a $200 to $400 premium because I’m black?” says Steele. This would most likely be branded discriminatory in other industries, but not in porn.

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Still, as he approaches his twentieth year in the adult entertainment business, Steele has noticed a distinct change in the industry regarding the perception of race among new performers. “The girls of this generation, the 18- to 25-year-olds coming into the industry, are to be commended. It’s a very holistic society,” says Steele. “The girls themselves don’t care whether the guys are black or white, it’s really those that control, as always. The relevance of color is low on their spectrum as opposed to the people making decisions for them—like their agents, boyfriends, husbands, etc.”

Perhaps it’s time to stop letting the men dictate the rules.