"I'm in love with being on display": Adult film star Asa Akira on her insatiable love of porn

The porn star talks to Salon about her memoir, smoking crack in BDSM dungeons, and why she's smitten with her work

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published May 4, 2014 12:00AM (EDT)
Artwork from the cover of "Insatiable: Porn -- A Love Story"      (Grove/Atlantic)
Artwork from the cover of "Insatiable: Porn -- A Love Story" (Grove/Atlantic)

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 disorde...

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Tracy Clark-Flory

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