Everyone is caught up in the struggle. The struggle is real. Those who find themselves having gone down a creative path which led them into the oftentimes daunting realm of adult entertainment know all about the struggle. Their struggles are often rooted in the dark thick soils of anxiety, intra-colleague competition, and relevance. And while this can be said about almost anyone with any job, such struggles for adult entertainers are generally predicated on personal appearance and feelings-or lack thereof-of self worth that is constantly metric’d out. Indeed, it is true that this is the life they have chosen; however, personal choices adults make do not ever negate one’s feelings or humanity regardless of how they find themselves trying to survive in the jungle that is the free market while also trying to enjoy the finite amount of time we all have on this floating rock.
I recently sat down and spoke with L.A.-based adult entertainer, content producer, myfreecams.com webcam personality, animal lover, single mom, and go-getting hustler with big dreams, one Aria Foxx. We discuss the struggle as well as a whole lot more, because Aria is not shy.
Aria offers us a peek at life behind the green pixel curtain of myfreecams.com, a website where she performs on a semi-regular to regular basis, and describes for us her own unique experience as a webcam model, how it can be hard, and why it’s not for everyone. She also touches on some other subjects related to the business and finance related side of pornography and webcamming most people might not generally consider. We even get into her recent photo shoot for a potential spread with Suicide Girls.
Another topic on Aria’s mind was Netflix’s new docu-series “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.” The Rashida Jones-produced series has been taking a lot of heat recently in how it depicts the already stigmatized world of adult entertainment. As an industry insider, Aria Foxx certainly knows a thing or two about the business and didn’t particularly care for “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On,” in spite of its intentions. Read her take on the series, what bothered her specifically, why, all of that and a whole lot more. Buckle up.
INTRODUCING ARIA FOXX
AQ: I’m here with adult entertainment content producer and myfreecams.com web model Aria Foxx. So, first, I do want to thank you for taking some time out to have this talk.
FOXX: Oh, of course.
AQ: I also want to thank you because I know you’ve had kind of a crazy week this week. So I almost don’t even know where I should start with you. But first of all, let me ask this, how long have you been cam modeling?
FOXX: Just over two years now. I started on Valentine’s Day, 2015.
AQ: So in those two years what are some of the challenges that you’ve had to face that you’d even feel comfortable discussing?
FOXX: Well, I mean, having to battle being a single mom and finding a schedule that would work for me that would still allow me to keep my personal life and my work life separate while also finding enough time for me to be productive when I am webcam modeling. If I work a nightshift, I will sometimes only sleep two or three hours in a day. I’d get up to be a mom, and then when I’d put him down to go to sleep I’d get ready to cam, cam all night, get those few hours of sleep and then he’d be up a couple of hours later.
AQ: You’ve just touched on something else that seems to be a common concern amongst many people in your industry, in that one of the struggles is that you find yourself doing what you can to keep your cam life separate from your day-to-day life. And you’ve been doing this long enough now to know that that, in a lot of ways, is virtually impossible to do because of how the internet is so all-encompassing. The internet will find out, in one way or the other. And you were kind of traumatized by someone early on, weren’t you?
FOXX: Yes. It was a troll-hacker-person.
AQ: And he really scared you.
FOXX: Yeah, he claimed he was trying to help me, but he posed as someone who knew me. He knew my real name.
AQ: Could you tell the story and describe what happened?
FOXX: I was sitting on cam, it was about a week after I had first started broadcasting, and it was a little slow. Nobody was really tipping but people were talking and then all of a sudden someone came in and said, “Hi, my real name.” I kind of just sat there wide-eyed not really knowing how to respond. Then I kind of freaked out a little bit, like, “What the fuck? How do you know my real name?” He said he went to high school with me. Then he said a bunch of other things that I can’t completely remember, but I ended up having a private conversation with that person and he revealed that he didn’t actually know me, but what he had done was take one of the images that I had uploaded to my myfreecams profile and reverse image searched it on Google and found my real name and all of that information that went along with that. He said he was just trying to point out flaws in my security.
AQ: So he was pretending to be what you’d call a white hat hacker, in a sense, as opposed to a black hat hacker. They’ll hack corporations and when they find the holes they’ll reveal it to them, like, “Hey, you have a vulnerability here.” White hat hackers can be helpful, as opposed to black hat hackers, because the black hat hacker will often have nefarious intentions, whereas the white hat hacker is just trying to game the system, beat it, and then let you know he beat it so nobody else can beat you like he or she just did. But like you said, he was a troll, because he was looking for the thrill of scaring you in the middle of your session.
FOXX: I mean, I reacted pretty harshly. I logged off fairly quickly after that and took an axe to all of my profiles and pages and anything that tied me to my given name. I deleted it all. My given name doesn’t exist on the Internet anymore. I think maybe there are a few pictures floating around on Google that I can’t seem to remove, but that’s it.
AQ: Was there any other fallout?
FOXX: Well, I will say that ultimately it was probably a good thing in disguise that it happened long term. But it also did end up to leading to me being outed in my hometown and me being ousted out of an attachment parenting group I used to be a co-manager of with my friend. And needless to say, a lot of the professional parents didn’t agree with my current career choice. So that didn’t end very well for me. So I don’t even bother having a personal facebook anymore, either.
AQ: Angry disgruntled parents on the warpath can be an impossible tide to fight back against. How did you handle that situation when you found yourself up against it?
FOXX: Yeah. Well, I just kind of assumed the personality of “Aria Foxx.” I am still me, but I don’t go by that name anymore. And so I just don’t talk to any of those people anymore, because, they’re just- they’re very close-minded. They’re not open to hearing about how any of this actually works. They would rather just hang on to their preconceived notions about what the adult industry is.
AQ: That’s something that I’d like to talk about and discuss, how stigmatized the adult industry and pornography is. It all seems to stem from some interpretations and ideologies of ancient obsolete scriptures. And it seems to really be hindering society in a lot of ways. It seems to me that what anybody does when they get involved in pornography, it’s not anything that needs to be stigmatized. And sure, there’s no room for children when it comes to pornography, but, you wouldn’t give your child a bottle of tequila or they keys to the new motorboat either.
FOXX: Right. There have to boundaries. There has to be. But just because something is inappropriate for children, I mean, that does not mean that the person should be deemed as inappropriate to society. But it is what it is.
ARIA FOXX’S EXPERIENCE AS A SUICIDE GIRL HOPEFUL
AQ: You’ve recently had an opportunity to do a photo shoot as a Suicide Girl hopeful.
FOXX: Yes! It was so exciting.
AQ: Suicide Girls is a well known brand in the photographic alt-art scene. What can you tell us about your experience with them so far?
FOXX: Well, first, I’ve known about Suicide Girls for a long time. I actually applied to be a Suicide Girl hopeful eleven years ago. But I never had my set accepted that I self-shot back then. So I just put the idea out of my head for a long time. That was until recently, within the past few months, I’ve had a lot of people from the myfreecams community point out that I would be a good fit to that website. And I kind of just pushed it away until one day I was on my Instagram and one of their model recruiters, Rambo, she messaged me and thought that I would be a good fit. And of course, when a pretty girl gives you a compliment like that you take it a little more seriously.
AQ: And her name is Rambo. So she’s not fucking around with a name like that.
FOXX: Yes, that’s her Instagram name; sincerelyrambo! And she’s so pretty, and she’s been so nice to me, and she’s been answering all of my questions, she’s been great. She then had me set up with a photographer in Hollywood that they use from time to time with their models. His Instagram is LabRatPhoto, and his photos are amazing! At the end of our shoot that day I had him take some Poloroids of me, just kind of candidly, and they’re actually the best Poloroids I’ve ever had done. So I was extremely happy with the photo shoot, we had a lot of fun that day. I’m still waiting to see the set, but like I said, I am excited. I hope it all works out.
AQ: I’ve seen some of those Poloroids on your twitter … and they are really really good. So it was a professional. I mean, there is an art to the Polaroid, a lost art really-
AQ: It’s kind of coming back now, especially when you see what talented people can do with a Polaroid.
FOXX: He was amazing. And so nice, and very warm and personable, and to me that really matters in a photographer.
AQ: So this experience with Suicide Girls was a positive one, and you’re still hoping that this photoset will get launched.
FOXX: In the next month or so. I’m not really sure of the date. When it’s posted for member review I will post the link and everything on my twitter so everyone can go view it … I’m really nervous, but excited, too. I’m anxious for everyone to see it.
AQ: Suicide Girls has been around for awhile now, they’re something of a sub-cultureal phenomenon. They do certainly seem to have had an influence in not just alternative culture, but mainstream culture as well. For a long time, as recently as the late nineties and maybe even a little bit into the early twenty-first century, there was also a stigma against girls who had large visible tattoos. That stigma has to a large degree dissolved somewhat over the past decade-and-a-half, and it would seem, to me anyway, that pornography has had some roll in this reshaping of our cultural norms, but for sure Suicide Girls has played a role in it as well. It has to be credited for that.
FOXX: Oh, yeah. For sure. There was always a stigma even against girls with big tattoos getting booked in mainstream porn for a long time. It makes me so so happy that now girls who have large tattoos are getting booked. … I’m getting my left sleeve and my back piece done soon.
AQ: So that’s something you wouldn’t have considered five to ten years ago then?
FOXX: Right, but also because I wasn’t able to afford it then. It’s a lot of money if you want good artwork done, especially when you’re nervous because you rely on your appearance to make a living. But the stigma against tattoos is still part of the adult industry, I feel. It’s still there, but maybe not how it once was.
AQ: As a consumer, or let’s say, a viewer of pornography, I kind of like the girl who might be tatted up. But as someone who is an insider when it comes to adult industry and alternative forms of artistic expression when it comes to porn, why do you think that stigma exists?
FOXX: I do think there are a lot of guys who like the idea of a tattooed girl, or a pierced girl, but I do think the general demographic-when it comes to people who purchase porn-they want the girl next door look to be able to project their own fantasy into the porn that they’re watching. And for that to occur oftentimes it means that the girl needs to be natural-looking. That usually then might mean that the girl can’t have tattoos or different colored hair.
AQ: But, as we’ve been saying, the way culture has shifted and changed, thanks in part to something like suicidegirls.com, the girl next door might have a bunch of tattoos. So it does seem that there is a new ethic in society, even at a global level, when it comes to this new aesthetic in so far as personal expression goes.
ARIA FOXX ON WORKING FOR MYFREECAMS
AQ: Speaking of sub-culture phenomenons, let’s go back to myfreecams.com. How did that become something that you saw as a good fit for you?
FOXX: Well, to start from the very beginning. I had the idea when I was sitting around with a friend discussing the idea-on and off-that maybe I wanted to shoot porn now. I’m a sexual kind of girl and I thought that it could be fun to shoot porn. And of course the rates don’t hurt either. So my friend who works in the industry-not as a performer-he recommended that I try camming. And I was like, well, what’s camming? So he logged onto myfreecams and he started to show me a couple of models that were online at the time and I was immediately struck by how beautiful they were; they were sexy, they were dancing around, laughing, interacting with their chat room. And then I noticed that they were getting tipped. Now at first, I thought they were making a dollar per token. And so I watched this girl get tipped five thousand tokens. So I was like, “Holy shit! Somebody just gave her five thousand dollars?!”
AQ: That’s funny.
FOXX: Yeah, my friend was like, “No, they’re around ten cents apiece and the model makes the equivalent of a nickel per each token earned, so it was actually around fifty dollars.
AQ: Which isn’t too shabby.
FOXX: No, not at all.
AQ: When did you decide that this was something that I can do, and this is something that I want to do?
FOXX: So right away I was like, this is real interesting and exciting, but I was still thinking “Can I be naked in front of people like this, can I really do it, or is this just a silly thing I like thinking about?” So I started watching a few different models regularly before I turned on my cam.
AQ: Who were the models that you watched?
FOXX: NevAmore and LomeliLovelace. And Lomeli was actually the very first top model to take a minute and answer my questions about being a model. I’ve always appreciated that.
AQ: Now let me ask you, based on your experience, how would you describe the relationships that exist between the cam models? Because essentially you’re all competing against one another. Do you find that more often than not they are helpful with each other? Because, while you’re all essentially colleagues, at the same time it seems easy to understand that it might be against a performer’s better judgment to help someone else who is essentially their competition. So how would you say the models treat each other?
FOXX: I do think generally they all treat each other well and with support and certainly with respect. Look, obviously this industry is full of girls who are between eighteen and twenty-somethings, so there’s bound to be some drama that flares up and there will be cattiness. It will happen. But all in all, we really do strive to support each other when and how we can and to be a community, because if we’re not there for each other as cam models we could all end up just getting torn down. There are already enough people out there who stigmatize us, look down on us, troll us every day and try to disgrace us over the job choice that we’ve taken. So if we’re just pitted against each other all of the time then there’s no community left.
AQ: And if there’s no community left then obviously there’s a whole lot less money to be made.
FOXX: Oh, yeah.
AQ: So for sure it would be to everyone’s benefit for everyone to at least appear to play nice with each other. But do you think it’s mostly all for show or that there really is a strong sorority-like bond in this cam girl sisterhood, which does at least seem to be the case to those who follow a few of you?
FOXX: No, I feel it is a true sisterhood. But look, there are obviously shit-starters in the sisterhood, but we don’t have to let it poison the whole community. And so, we don’t. We’re all out on the same limb, so we’re generally protective and supportive of each other. So I do think the community is very supportive, especially with a lot of the top models. I will also say that I do remember when I first started there was a lot of drama going on with some of the girls, and, yes, it was kind of shocking to me as a new cam girl to see that they will sometimes tear into each other like that. So it undoubtedly occurs. But so what? These kinds of things just happen and if and when they do it’s the exception, not the rule.
AQ: So it is a sisterhood. It’s not all for show.
FOXX: Right. We’ve all been pretty supportive to and supported by more than one cam girl in our time if you’ve done thins long enough. Even by, like I said, top models. Obviously I’ve never been considered a “top” model on myfreecams, yet. I haven’t even finished in the Top 250. The highest rank I’ve ever had was 942. But those girls in the Top 250 have still taken their time out to talk to me about structure and consistency and improving content on your own, because producing all of these things on your own isn’t easy.
AQ: For sure. And as we all know, in 2017, as has been the case for a number of years now, content is everything.
FOXX: Yes. And there is definitely a learning curve. And so only having been a cam girl for two years as opposed to some girls who’ve been here for five to seven, because they started when they were eighteen or nineteen, I’m still under or behind that curve in a lot of ways even now. So it’s really really nice when those girls take the time out to help someone else out improve their game.
ARIA FOXX ON INTERNET TROLLS
AQ: What about the trolling that goes on? Anybody who does anything on the internet, it doesn’t matter what it is, you are low-hanging fruit for someone to come along and try to fuck with you.
FOXX: Right. And it happened to me the other day.
AQ: Yeah, so as a cam girl you do seem to have it worse, because not only are you doing something on the internet, you’re doing it live, and sometimes you’re doing it scantily clad or completely naked. And clearly not everyone is always comfortable in their own skin.
FOXX: Myself included.
AQ: There might be something else going on in their life that makes someone more vulnerable from one day as compared to the next. And look- every job has its trolls. Whether you’re working retail, work at a parking garage, Dunkin’ Donuts- but someone who makes a living performing live pornography or just being nude in general, the likelihood of encountering trolls is exponentially increased.
FOXX: Yeah. It really is.
AQ: So you have to take that as a given. There’s no way to stop all the trolls. It’s just what we as humans do. And for sure, if you cannot handle it, well, it seems like for those people they might be better off doing something else. Now, there are ways in which you can limit it. And that seems to be one of the good things about myfreecams.com, they have a tiered-system that seems like a good way in which you can limit and screen out would-be trolls.
FOXX: Trolling can be a stresser, yeah, especially if you’re not used to that kind of treatment while working to make that kind of revenue. It can definitely stress you out, make you more competitive towards other girls, or less inclined to be friendly with people your chat room. But you’re right, myfreecams offers us a lot to help us, and not only when it comes to trolls.
AQ: There definitely seems to be instances where a user on the site, a heavy hitter, so to speak, someone like that might be inclined to drop heavy tips on one model and then drop a heavy tip on another model, and those two models might know each other, and then it’s very easy for drama between those two performers to occur that way, wouldn’t there?
FOXX: Of course, to a certain extent. But then did you ever think that this member might also know that? Perhaps that’s what he wants.
AQ: It’s a good point.
FOXX: But yes, there are people who might try to do it anonymously, too. That’s an option. And then the one performer could still tell the other perfomer if they both know each other. So, yeah, there’s sometimes politicking involved.
AQ: It’s just the nature of the beast.
FOXX: For sure. People can and will form little alliances and thinking that they’re best friends with somebody. But then ten minutes later their shit is all over twitter and you’re left going, “What the fuck just happened?” It’ll happen. But again, it’s the exception. It’s nowhere close to being the rule.
AQ: Still, it can be a jungle out there.
FOXX: The jungle is real.
AQ: That’s what I say to a new high school graduate: “Welcome to the jungle.”
FOXX: You can say that to anybody who does anything competitive.
AQ: Yes, particularly on the internet. And that’s kind of what makes myfreecams.com interesting, but at the same time it’s something that does seem to be hard on the talent.
AQ: The metrics, the way that cam site is built to function, the law of the jungle has been ingeniously interwoven and embedded into the machine. And at the same time, there’s also a spectator-sport component for the paying user members.
AQ: There does seem to be an old-time bread and circus aspect to myfreecams.com. Maybe other cam sites as well, but the only one I’m familiar with is myfreecams. Now you’ve mentioned you never finished in the “Top 250.” For those who don’t know, on the myfreecams.com website, to make the Top 250 is a big deal. It helps in how the site will promote you, but there are also cash bonuses involved, correct?
FOXX: I think if you finish in the Top 250 you get fifty dollar bonus. To finish in the Top 250 is more of an honor. The cash bonus is just a little side.
AQ: Right, but fifty dollars is fifty dollars. As the great Bobby “The Brain” Heenan once said, “If you don’t think money can buy happiness, give me fifty dollars and watch me smile.”
ARIA FOXX TALKS BUSINESS
AQ: The website definitely generates a lot of money.
FOXX: Yeah, but here’s the thing. Someone could see that and say, “Holy shit, that model made fifty thousand dollars in one month! Fuck! blah blah blah.” Okay, first, you have to take out expenses, and that can be anything from your beauty upkeep, and that includes your hair, replenishing makeup items that you will need, getting a facial, taking care of your skin, getting new outfits, maybe you need to get a new light bulb because one of your photo lights burned out. But then you also have to think about prizes you might make for tippers.
AQ: That does seem to be a common feature on that website, too. Yes, a lot of the girls will entice their customers by offering prizes and give-aways. It can be something you can download, but also something you might mail them directly.
FOXX: Absolutely. And if it’s something that you give them in the mail then you’re really the one who is paying for that to be mailed.
AQ: Yeah, I guess saying, “Hey! Congrats you won the prize by way of your tip, now tip me more to cover the postage,” that really doesn’t sound very good.
FOXX: It really doesn’t. Even getting your nails done. I’ve noticed that I actually make more when my nails are done as opposed to when they’re not.
FOXX: And then you have to put away thirty percent of your earnings for the end of the year because then you have to pay taxes.
AQ: Have you found that any of what you’ve just mentioned is tax deductable?
FOXX: Oh, of course! The things I write off- there is so much stuff.
AQ: And they’re legitimate. They’re not loopholes.
FOXX: Right. Yes. There’s such a wide range of things that we can deduct. Anything that’s considered a business expense, from our laptops to maybe a new bed frame, a new mattress, even sex toys.
AQ: Okay, wait a minute. Time out. Time out now. Sex toys and new bed frames?
AQ: And your ISP expense, new software and hardware, any of that, for sure, all of that most definitely should be deducted from your earnings.
FOXX: Yup. There’s much more, too. We can write off a case of Red Bull that we bought to be able to spend all night on cam-
AQ: Whoa! Whoa! Now you’re getting crazy.
FOXX: Okay, let me give you an example. I’ve seen a performer tweeting out the question: “Can I write off the Red Bull that I used to fill up the kiddie pool that I used to take a bath on camera?”
AQ: Oh my god.
FOXX: Her guy said yes you can, because it was a business expense that she used in a performance to make money at her job.
AQ: That is brilliant. You got me. It’s true. And whether or not she earned money that day for that performance is irrelevant. But she did do it with the intent of earning money or doing something that may lead to future earnings.
FOXX: Exactly. So last year, when I filed my taxes I ended up writing off my leather bed frame, my laptop, cameras that I had to purchase; I even ended up writing off two pounds of glitter, and around three hundred dollars worth of sex toys, and also the film I use to put in my Polaroid camera. My colored flux light bulbs are thirty six dollars apiece, I can write off half of those. So that’s good. That saved me a lot of money, actually. I took all of my receipts and I figured out how many pairs of eyelashes I bought that year.
AQ: Glitter as well?
FOXX: Yes, I calculated how many packs of glitter I bought. And when I did the math, it was about two pounds of glitter.
AQ: So the lesson here is: save those receipts.
FOXX: Yes, and keep track of the mileage of going to and from another cam girl’s house. Keep track of everything!
AQ: And that’s really important information you shared. Especially for someone who’s not as experienced, whatever you make, keep a third of it on the side and don’t touch it, because the tax season comes around every year.
FOXX: Right. But also, let’s say you do make Top 250 one month, it doesn’t meant you will again. You can’t just depend on that kind of money. My personal advice would be don’t take on more expenses than you think you can make in a week. If you can’t afford your rent using a quarter of your monthly income, then you probably shouldn’t rent from that place. But, that being said, if you live in a place like San Francisco, L.A., New York, Miami, those places are very expensive and I totally understand if you’re working to live in those places, because I am doing the same thing.
ARIA FOXX ON SACRIFICE AND KEEPING HERSELF DIVERSIFIED
AQ: So if a new or prospective would-be cam model were reading this right now, what else would you say?
FOXX: You need to know how to add other things to your income. I am not just a cam model. I have shot a couple of porno scenes. I also have my own website. I’m also on sexpanther.com, so I take sexting and I take phone sex calls. I also film custom videos, I take pictures, I sell panties, I sell socks, I also sold a pair of my leggings once before. So there are a lot of different ways of making money in this industry than just sitting on cam. You really have to think about what you’re going to do.
AQ: So keeping yourself diversified is key, you’d say.
FOXX: Right. But the biggest thing is own your own content. Own. Your. Content. If you negotiate with a company and you can make the model rate, cool; go do that. But also make sure you’re doing things on the side outside of those shoots. Maybe you cam, and you do porn, and you want to have your own website – and always know your demographic, know who it is, and try to reach other demographics, the ones you’re not reaching.
AQ: Always look to diversify your portfolio.
FOXX: Yes, so if you’re in porn and webcam modeling, maybe you have a couple of scenes out there but you don’t want to go full blown into porn, which sometimes happens because it’s fun and when you get a lot of bookings it’s really easy to depend on those.
AQ: One thing that I’d like to throw into that though is that it seems that a lot of people who do get into camming do it because they’re not “people persons” and they have no desire to get into the pornographic video industry per se. But, as you said, that doesn’t mean they still shouldn’t be trying to do other things.
FOXX: Another thing I wanted to elaborate on is something else I’m doing this year. I really really wanted to start shooting more porn scenes, but that won’t be until later this year. And that’s for a few different reasons. Some are personal. The other is I’m rebranding my website. … And I’m focusing on hiring my own male and female talent and, like I said, I do hope to start shooting this year.
AQ: It seems like you hit on a magic word, when you talk about cultivating your own brand. If you’re a cam model, you are your own brand, and in 2017, to compete you really have to brand yourself. You’re competing against so much. Not just other models on the site, but other forms of media as well: video games, the TV, a movie. So cultivating a brand and turning it into something more, that seems to be like something that would be so key. But with that comes the difficult reality of trying to skirt both sides of the fence, where you’re trying to keep your online life and your personal life separate. It’s hard to brand yourself as successfully if you’re not going to go balls-to-the-wall.
FOXX: You touched on something, you touched on family knowing. Let me just say this very clearly to anyone who is paying attention: if you want to be in the adult industry, if you want to cam and be nude on the internet, that lasts forever. It will always still be out there somewhere. So if you think this is going to be something you want to do, there has to be a time where you come out to your family or friends. You have to be able to talk to them before it becomes a rumor or issues around from where it is you’re from. It will always sound a lot better coming straight from you where you’re explaining your thought process.
AQ: It’s a perilous leap that almost has to be taken it seems. Like sticking your foot in a pool and feeling how cold the water might be. Sometimes it might just be better to jump in, you’re saying?
FOXX: Yes. And depending on your family there’s no guarantee it will have a happy outcome either. When I told my mom, she didn’t understand. I tried to explain it to her, she seemed to grasp it a little better, but the only thing she could say was, “Is this what I want for my daughter? No. Am I glad that you are happy and you found a niche where you can work and make a living? Yes, of course. Am I going to support you? Always.” But, let’s be honest. That wasn’t what actually happened. But as someone in the adult industry, telling her mom, it was what I wanted and needed to hear in that moment. Unfortunately, as it turned out, that wasn’t how she really felt and so I don’t really talk to anyone in my family anymore on either side.
AQ: That’s a rough sacrifice that comes with having made a commitment to that lifestyle. And again, it goes back to that stigma. This stigma that exists and is ingrained in our society, to its detriment I believe. And so now someone such as yourself has no relationship with your family because of this stigma.
ARIA FOXX ON NETFLIX’S “HOT GIRL’S WANTED: TURNED ON”
AQ: So I’d like to get into this Netflix series that’s been causing a lot of issues. I know you have a lot to say about this series “Hot Girls Wanted.”
FOXX: “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.“
AQ: Oh, “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.” One thousand pardons. Now, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this series. So, Aria, you say you’ve seen every single episode.
FOXX: I have.
AQ: Just to clarify, I have not seen a single episode of this series. However, I did see the original documentary that came out I think two years ago now.
FOXX: [makes a derogatory noise of disapproval]
AQ: Yeah, I was not impressed by it. I wouldn’t say it was terrible, but-
FOXX: It was terrible.
AQ: … well, okay then. But so what do you think about this new series?
FOXX: Let me start off by saying everything I do have to say is solely my own opinion. … I have not discussed this with other girls, I have not really talked to anyone else about this, this is just my first take.
AQ: Okay, so this is all just your first take. But please, go on.
FOXX: So the very first episode had the interview with Holly Randall and her mom, and I actually became very emotional watching that and listening to her talk about how the industry has changed so much. I wasn’t part of the industry when it was booming and girls were getting booked all of the time. She gave an example that, for Playboy, it would take a week or two to shoot a centerfold model and make sure that it’s completely perfect. Nowadays you have to shoot two or three centerfold models in one day. The funding isn’t there anymore because people aren’t paying anymore for the content that they’re watching. They’re just taking it off of tube sites. And that is just clips of something. It’s not the whole piece that was created. … I was extremely impressed with how Holly portrayed herself in the industry and how it’s changed. I also have to say that I am still quite a newbie when it comes to how the mainstream adult industry operates. I feel like I have quite a bit of information, but not enough to elaborate more on that. But then the second episode started.
AQ: And that’s where you really began to see a problem with the series?
FOXX: Yeah. They talked more about camming and how some girls will enter the industry and use camming as a side avenue. And to be honest that’s exactly what I tried to do when I shot a couple of scenes myself for a smaller studio, but it doesn’t always work out that way. They made it look like a lot of the girls that get brought into this just get sucked up into the negative side industry. And sometimes that does happen, but I didn’t like that they put that in the same episode that dealt with the camming. To me I think that it should have been explained in a different light.
AQ: Okay, as someone who has not seen the series let me ask you a question. Would you say that it’s fair to say that one of your criticisms is that this series, which seems to have been produced by people interested in promoting the well-being of young women who get in the industry, but did so by painting the entire the adult industry as a predatory in nature?
FOXX: I think that they were trying to show a little bit of that, but I also think they were trying to portray the industry as not being populated or run by very ethical people when there are agents out there that will take care of you and do have your best interests at heart. So I didn’t like how they went about depicting that side of the business at all. I also think that the producers of this documentary- well- see, it said in an article I read about Salena Storm, she said she thought this documentary was supposed to be about female empowerment. That’s what she was told. And also Salena Storm thought that it would depict how some of the talent are empowered by doing this type of work, and how some of us are independent financially, we’re our own bosses and we create our own future. But they didn’t depict any of that at all. They portrayed us as girls who need agents and how we are not really sure about the direction we’ve taken and unsure of how this could affect our future. In my opinion, it really made all of the girls look like they were uneducated in the industry that they were working in, which is not the case at all.
AQ: Do you have any specific instances you can’t point to.
FOXX: Well, no. I’m not necessarily naming out Bailey, she was the main character in that second episode and I think that she did a great job trying to convey her side of the story. I do believe that the producers probably cut and took what they wanted from it because it probably wasn’t Rashida [Jones]’s vision. It seems like she and the other producers wanted to make it look like we’re doing this because either we’re damaged, we don’t have other options, or we’re just rebel type girls who absent-mindedly want to do this kind of work.
AQ: Would you say that it also tries to portray them as being taken advantage of middle men?
FOXX: To an extent. But I think that it just mostly made us look damaged, and I had a real issue with that. I didn’t like that it gave me that kind of a feeling, because a lot of us actually are empowered by what we do. A lot of also do actually choose to do this over other things. It’s not like we’re all doing this because we don’t have other options. Pornography isn’t what you do just because you’ve hit a dead end in the road, especially if you look at some of the top cam girls. I know a lot of them have bachelor’s or master’s degrees but they choose to do this because this is what makes them happy and this is what they’re good at and they’re extremely professional at creating professional content that is aesthetically pleasing and can turn you on.
AQ: There are some talented individuals who are cam models, for sure.
FOXX: Yeah, but you don’t see any of that in this series. And so it made me really really upset when they talk down about this industry. And then it floats into the third episode where they’re talking about mainstream porn production and how people may not make it like they used to … but they interviewed a producer from England, I can’t recall the name, but she said something that really stuck with me. And I’m not sure how to feel about it now, but she was saying that she doesn’t agree with the way we shoot porn in the States. That it’s very rough, more so dominant-minded than sensual. … She said that the industry is lacking that and it makes her sad. And part of me kind of agrees, that there isn’t porn being made in that way, like if people are familiar with the industry, in an X-Art glamour-type porn way. There isn’t a whole lot of that anymore, it’s true. But it is still being produced. Even now, you have vixen, and tushy, and blacked, and they’re all done in a more glamorous and sensuous light. There are a few other sites that are trying to do the same thing.
AQ: So ultimately though you could see why this British producer from the series had something of a point, ultimately you disagree with her?
FOXX: Right. I didn’t agree with her take either. I could see why she might say what she did, but I didn’t agree with it. She’s unaware of a lot of the pornography that’s being produced in the States. Yeah there’s a lot of kink.com-type of content out there and a lot of other forms of porn that can be lumped into that category, and that’s all fine.
AQ: And just to clarify your position, it’s not that you’re saying there’s something wrong with that style, correct?
FOXX: Not at all. I just feel there’s a misperception. And there are also a lot of independent content producers, like what cam girls produce. Some of them might be girls who used to work in porn that aren’t filming scenes as often, so they might be working on their own websites, and they’re creating content that is very sensual that people do actually want to buy.
AQ: And also, to be fair, a site like kink.com, they do produce good work. And it is rough, which is sort of the point. It would seem to me, that as pornography has evolved people just want to see what the next level has to offer. Everyone knows what the pornographic content being produced in the seventies, eighties, and nineties was like. But once broadband internet service became the norm, everyone wanted to see the game get upped. And kink.com, and all of the other content producers like it accomplished that. So to me, it didn’t seem like they were in business to treat people brutally, or harshly-what they were doing is they were filling a void, because clearly a lot of people are excited by that kind of material.
AQ: And it’s not like they’re drafting people into service.
FOXX: Not at all. And I like a lot of those things myself. That’s why it kind of made me upset to see it being portrayed in such a negative way.
AQ: Yeah, it’s all consenting adults.
FOXX: I’m extremely submissive. And so I enjoy being dominated, I enjoy bondage; I enjoy BDSM-type sessions.
AQ: And so to sort of bring this back around to you, you’ve already stated that you would like to be a content producer yourself, and perhaps this kind of BDSM-style content would be what you want to produce, as might many other people, because you, or they, enjoy it. Not because you’re being influenced by some dark Illuminati overlord in the shadows pulling your strings. And for someone to piss on that, it does seem like a shitty deal.
AQ: Isn’t there supposed to be a rule that you don’t shit on someone’s kink; so long as it isn’t something illegal?
FOXX: Kink shaming is not good at all.
AQ: So it’s a bad docu-series you’d say?
FOXX: I don’t know. But I do just feel that it did a bad job at a lot of things. It didn’t dip into any of the empowering aspects of what a lot of us do. It’s not letting the public know that there is also that side of the industry as well. Was it bad, I mean, it’s not even for me to say. I would say that I see how they did try to provide information about different parts of the industry, but it wasn’t very complete. So I didn’t really enjoy it. It was a good concept, but badly executed. That’s all.
ARIA FOXX TALKS THE FUTURE
AQ: Thank you, Aria. We pretty much covered everything that I did want to get into. So before we wrap it there’s just a final question or two I’d like to ask before you have to go. But so first of all, you’ve talked about having a website.
FOXX: I do!
AQ: What’s the deal with this website?
FOXX: It’s running now and it has content on it, it’s ariafoxx.com. And I’m still working on shooting more content, it hasn’t been added yet. The new content should be launching June 1st. So I still have a little over a month before I’m completely ready to start launching new things.
AQ: So this will be the final question, but so, most of us, we spend our lives trying to figure out a purpose or what it is we want to do. Now you seem like somebody who has goals in mind and you are striving to achieve some very specific things. So what is it that you would like to achieve as a result of all this work, all of the blood, sweat, and tears you invest into your work. What is the end goal to all of this?
FOXX: Well, I had an incident; a troll came into my room a few days ago. And it did affect me at the time. But I want to thank that troll. He did make me feel silly for overreacting the way that I did, but that whole incident also reminded me of a few things. First, he reminded me that I do love myself and, secondly, that I do have more goals in life outside of just camming and pornography. Now the reason that I started camming was to give my son a better life but also to invest in the dreams that I’ve had for the last ten years. And I’m just now starting to be able to come up with the idea, and plans, and also overhead that it takes to be able to do those things.
AQ: What things?
FOXX: Well, I’m not quite at that place yet, but I have the plans in place because over the last six months or so things have been a super-struggle for me … but eventually I will retire from performing on cam and I will go solely into producing content, but also into growing.
AQ: Growing? I should have seen that coming.
FOXX: Yes, I’m hoping to take some of the revenue from web camming towards this main goal of opening a head shop, and also, I’ve always wanted to own and grow my own medical marijuana operation. I’ve been planning this for quite a long time.
AQ: That’s an ambitious endeavor.
FOXX: I’ll be very honest, when I very first started to cam, I thought, like so many other girls, that this was going to be a quick-get-lots-of-money venture where I wouldn’t have to do it very long. So I’ve actually been planning both of those ideas for the last few years. I’ve been studying different plant science books, horticulture books, and I am really really interested in genetic splicing. … Whether it’s marijuana plants, or roses, or orchids, I really enjoy plant genetics. So that’s really been a big thing for me and I’d really love to take more school when it comes to all of that. So when I first started to cam all of those things were at the forefront of my mind, but over those years I have come to realize how much work all of that will take. Which is fine, I love what I do; I have no plans on retiring anytime soon.
AQ: Well, with that, I think we should let you go. I very much appreciate your honesty, your generosity, and of course you time. Thank you so much.
FOXX: Oh you’re welcome, of course.