Slutever’s resident porn-spert Vera Papisova talks with adult performer Lily LaBeau about the difference between having sex for the camera and having sex for personal pleasure. (Turns out there are a lot of differences…) Drawing by Maggie Dunlap.
I recently had a chance to talk to Lily LaBeau, an adult performer who is currently taking a break from porn to work on a documentary about her life behind the porn scene. She is also one of the women who recently bravely spoke out about the harassment she faced from fellow porn star James Deen. I first knew I wanted to talk to Lily during an interview with Sarah Beall, the Madame Curator at MakeLoveNotPorn.TV. She told me Lily is one of the handful of porn stars who contributes “real world sex” videos. MLNP is a streaming website that is changing the game by offering something new called real world sex, where real couples upload videos of their best moments in the bedroom (or the forrest or their car or wherever). Real world sex claims to be different from amateur porn because the term “amateur” implies that only porn stars know how to have good sex. The streaming service has proven this of course isn’t true with the growing collection of very beautiful, sometimes hilarious, and always hot sex videos found on their site.
So, on my quest to find out the difference between porn sex and real world sex, I talk to Lily over gluten-free scones and coffee.
Vera: Are “porn sex” and “real world sex” the same thing?
Lily: Right now I’m actually working on something to showcase the difference between having porn sex and having sex for pleasure. You could call it a personal challenge for MakeLoveNotPorn. Basically, in my personal time, I want to shoot sex scenes with porn stars who I love to have sex with, in order to show people: this is how we actually have sex in our real lives. The sex isn’t simple or boring, but it’s just for our pleasure, it’s just for fun. We’re not worrying about cameras or about what angles look good. It’s just about being weird and perverted together. So I’m hoping the viewers like that.
I heard a story about how you were too sore from work to have vaginal intercourse with your boyfriend at the time, so you made a video of him introducing you to anal.
Yes! Danny Wylde and I were in a relationship. He’d been in the business for 5 years and had dated a female performer before me, so he understood everything. For example, sometimes you work a lot and your pussy gets sore—plain and simple. But you still want to have sex, you still want to be close, and you still want to be perverted together, and you find ways to do that. So we made it special and he came in my ass. I don’t do that on camera, but he was my personal partner so we were completely knowing and comfortable with each other.
What’s the biggest difference between shooting a porn scene and shooting real world sex?
The thing with shooting porn is that people always have roles. Porn has roles, it has genres, it has fetishes. You’re shooting for a specific audience, a target market. That’s how you make happy customers. With MakeLoveNotPorn, all the rules go out the window, and it’s just about having fun and doing what feels good. I remember talking to Cindy [Gallop] and she was like “I don’t care if it’s fisting, I don’t care if it’s lazy sex. I just want to see you having fun with your partner.” I love that in real world sex that you can take your time kissing and smushing each other with your bodies and not worrying about, like, “Okay we need at least this many positions in this many minutes.” You can just take your time to get turned on.
“I think it’s important when you are being vulnerable to the world that you get paid in return. And you have to feel like you’re doing it for a reason.
Can you really make money from posting on MLNP? Or is this more for fun? I know MakeLoveNotPorn.TV is like YouTube where they split the profit with the video uploader.
The way I look at it is: it’s great that you can be as silly or serious as you want, and it can turn into a really nice chunk of money for you. It really is profitable. I think it’s important when you are being vulnerable to the world that you get paid in return. And you have to feel like you’re doing it for a reason. A lot of porn stars don’t necessarily want to make love—or, at least they don’t want to do it on camera. So MLNP offers an alternative. As a sex worker, first and foremost I make money off my body. And within that, a sex workers will find their niche and the thing they specifically like. That’s why we [adult performers] are independent contractors; we live a life we like. I like the making love, I like real world sex, I like the mushy kissing and breathing. I love taking my time and having beautiful love making sessions, and I don’t get that from porn.
Do you think giving everyday couples the opportunity to make money from sex is destigmatizing sex work?
Yes, it’s helping. It’s all helping. Anything you can do to say “sex is okay” and “let’s share in it” and “it’s alright let’s talk about it”—all of that is helping. There’s a huge stigma around sex, let alone sex work and making money off of it. So I think MLNP is great. Cindy [Gallop] is so funny, she’s always trying to convince people to make these real world sex videos. I think it just takes having one or two people with more of a known name to make the consider it.
“Anything you can do to say “sex is okay” and “let’s share in it” and “it’s alright let’s talk about it”—all of that is helping.”
What do you wish people asked you about more?
One of my projects for the year is to film my life, all the funny and silly bits, all the serious bits, and to put it together into a documentary. The real purpose is that I feel like I can’t communicate with my close family, especially my dad, that yes, I do porn. Porn is what fuels my life, but look at the life that it’s fueling. I love my life so much, and it’s hard sometimes, because I don’t know how to share it. I’m also really creative, so I’m doing this project to kind of give my own soul a voice, and say “Look at what I’ve done for myself in the last five years: I’ve traveled, I’ve met amazing people, and I’ve had amazing conversations about sex.” I see the world on a whole different level than most, and I have no one to talk to about it. So I’m going to make a documentary about it.