There’s more to porn…
While the once-taboo act of self-indulgence has now turned into the multi-billion dollar porn industry, many still struggle with the nuances of sex-positive feminism.
As one of the most notable names and most recognizable faces in the game, Asa Akira is a pivotal part of the movement to normalize not just porn, but female versatility all around.
“We don’t always allow women to be a lot of different things. You’re either a mother or you’re a slut, or you’re a businesswoman. Those three things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”
They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. Still, when some first hear that a woman is a “porn star,” preconceived notions of sexual delinquency may be the first to come to mind.
Akira’s entire career demolishes the stereotype. She’s transcended her creativity from off the screen to directing, writing three books, hosting the Pornhub podcast, and even walking the runway at NYFW.
The KH Squad chopped it up with the playmaker herself this past Valentine’s Day at Pornhub’s Pop-Up shop in New York to find out what’s really good with her grind as a creative.
The Hub (yeah that one)
If you weren’t up on the game, just peeping the line of fans waiting to see the “Anal Queen” proves how much Akira is loved.
While your typical meet-and-greet may just include an awkward thumbs-up picture, meeting Asa hit differently. The Pornhub ambassador embraced, kissed, signed boobs and posed for fans in such a warm way she felt more like a homegirl.
In 2019, there were over 42 billion visits to Pornhub.com, proving that watching porn is beyond normal, even when on your private browser.
The adult industry has thrived in representing the incalculable fetishes that turn people on. Still, struggles with diversity and non-stereotypical representation of talent exist.
Pornhub is a recognized leader in the industry. They have presented challenging narratives for both on-screen explicit content and non-endemic partnerships. Hell, even the drill scene made its way to the platform.
The website has even taken a step further creatively. It wasn’t too long ago when they established their Visionaries Director’s Club that features debut films by unexpected guest directors to diversify porn production.
Through Pornhub’s club, they help create more varied content. They also keep multiple types of viewers in mind to appeal to their diverse global audience.
Their visionaries are artists who are out there becoming voices for change for the next generation. They are artists creating genre-defying content.
The video featured our homegirl Asa Akira alongside Abella Danger, Kira Noir, Jesse Prather, Remy Cruze, Venus Lux, and Chanel Santini.
In another, Bella Thorne brought her creative vision to life in “Her & Him.” Asa has worked with lots of porn companies but this is the first one where they’re adamant about including women of color.
She spoke on how Pornhub is changing adult content:
“I’m really really grateful to Porn Hub for not just putting me out there but sexual women in general. They’re always very, very, very pro-women, especially pro women of color.”
“I think that’s really cool and necessary. It sucks that it’s necessary. That they have to make a point to do it, but they’re doing it and I think that’s cool.
The organization also recently collaborated with designer, Namilia for their AW ‘20 NYFW show, Herotiica. Akira with multiple adult stars of Asian descent strutted down the catwalk.
Akira herself peacocked in a decadent all-black transformer outfit equipped with wings that bore the phrase “COCKWRECKER” on them.
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Their fits not only represented a fire collab but they were a feminist statement aimed to help shift narratives around women in the adult industry and female sexuality.
“Anytime we cross the mainstream with porn culture, it’s just a really good positive thing. We can normalize sex a little bit more…”
“I think it’s really unhealthy the way society sees sexuality, especially in women. We’re told that sexuality is dirty and being horny is gross and I would really like that to not be a thing very soon.”
The First Kink
A native-New Yorker, Akira’s appreciation and outspokenness about her sexuality started young. Growing up in New York with an esteemed photographer, she was often his subject and soon began to familiarize being on camera with love.
Akira grew up hearing the same negative sentiments we’ve all heard about female hypersexuality and masturbation. Yet, her curiosity continued to grow.
She became a dominatrix at 19 and transitioned to stripping at Larry Flint’s Hustler Club. In time, she began to record cam-solo videos and once she starred in her first girl-on-boy scene the rest was history.
Akira’s popularity grew for her memorable anal and double penetration scene. Thus far, her dope appeal has won her multiple awards including an AVN’s Best Anal Sex Scene award.
Akira’s innate creative desire led her to start branching out of just on-camera work. She wanted to use her platform to help broaden perspectives on feminism and sexuality.
With her personal success aside, she’s adamant about supporting other stars and dismantling the boundaries placed on adult stars.
“A lot of other porn stars are doing so much cool shit right now and I think it’s such a win for everyone when someone does something cool.”
Keeping it creative as a new mother
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If all that wasn’t a big enough flex, Akira is also a new mom. Still, it was a milestone that challenged her “do it all” creative mindset. She expressed how she felt in the first stages of motherhood,
“It’s always been really easy for me to compartmentalize different things and have multiple things going at once, until I had a baby. It all went to shit for the first six months. I think I had not a creative cell in my brain and it really freaked me out.”
“I’m always used to doing a lot of things and I like to get a lot of fulfillment out of work, so it really really scared me when I thought I didn’t have that anymore.
Many wouldn’t associate motherhood with the adult industry; for some reason, our minds tend to place the two in separate categories.
Society places such hard borders of different avenues of life that we get too comfortable in doing what’s expected versus doing what we actually love.
So can a woman be a badass, head-giving porn star and a tender loving mother? Fuck yes!
Akira’s creative rut settled out and she has found a proper balance in being a new mother and an entrepreneur. She just wishes more women were transparent with such perils.
It’s hard out here for women, especially women of color, no matter what industry you’re in. If we talked more about the unpretty, un-instagrammable moments it would help other women not feel isolated.
“All I wanted to do was spend time with my baby. And it scared me because I was like, ‘I guess that’s it for me. I can’t have a career now.'”
Asa continued to express her come back,
“It started coming back and I’m fully back in it now but I kind of wish people talked about it because it was scary, not knowing. But if someone had told me, ‘hey, just so you know, that might happen,’ I wouldn’t have been so scared.”
More than anything, Akira wants to raise her son to appreciate and value the endless capabilities of women and distance him away from traditional sexism tropes that most of us are accustom to.
“I want him to grow up seeing a woman who’s doing everything she wants to. I didn’t grow up like that… A lot of our generation didn’t grow up like that. “
“For me, the inspiration just comes from wanting to show him that women can do everything just like men. That’s my driving force right now.”
Did it Hurt?
You might be wondering, what happens “down there” after having a baby? According to Akira, the first time after giving birth was slightly painful…but the good type of pain you know?
She told us it hurt but it wasn’t the worst. Akira also mentioned it was kind of like having sex with like, the hugest penis you’ve ever had sex with.
So it wasn’t unbearable, it wasn’t like the first time she had sex in general or anything but it was weirdly more sensitive.
Wanna know Asa’s advice for creatives on the come-up?