Interview with pornstar James Deen

It’s only when I start dialling James Deen’s number that I realise the irony of where I’m calling from – a ‘70s-themed shag room, complete with shagpile carpeted walls (relax, it’s one of the meeting rooms at the office – we’ve also got a world domination boardroom decked out in mahogany panelling, and a ‘50s-themed kitchen). Deen is a farcry from the moustachioed ‘70s sleaze and overly buff pornstars we’ve come to associate with the adult film industry. Dubbed as ‘the well hung boy next door’ by that infamous GQprofile, Deen’s described himself as being “like a guy a chick might actually meet in a bar.” In a nutshell, James Deen is perhaps the most accessible pornstar going around. He’s infiltrated watercooler conversation while still making hardcore porn.

Out here for Sexpo, we catch up with Deen to talk going off script, personal boundaries, why learning about sex from porn isn’t a good idea and making porn “as real as you can legally get.”

AH: Let’s get down to it. You’ve said you have sex on camera 360 days of the year. What do you do on the other five days?
JD: I don’t really do anything. I really like all my jobs and everything that I do. I’ve managed to turn all of my hobbies and any recreational activities – whether it be sexual or leisure – into some sort of career path. For instance, I really love food, so thus creates James Deen Loves Food, which is a little web series me and the guys from have. If I am ever doing nothing, I’m usually laying around, watching TV, and relaxing.

AH: Do you ever go off-script when filming?
JD: Sometimes. As far as adult films there rarely is, if ever, a set script of, ‘You’re going to do this position, and this position, and this position.’ Most of the time it’s very open to the performer’s interpretation of what they want to do. Now and then there are people who want to shoot that way where it’s planned out and usually if that’s what the director wants to do, that’s what the director gets.

There isn’t really off script. As far as improv and stuff like that, there are scripts sometimes with actual dialogue and such, and sometimes those you go a little off script because you might want to make something up or do the character a little different or stuff like that. For the most part, it’s all pretty light-hearted and easy and fun.

AH: Do you do many continuous shots, or is more disjointed while filming?
JD: It all depends on the type of production. People forget there are a lot of different types of adult films that are created, and with every different director and every different type of movie there’s a different type of style or feel. Sometimes they want you to go all the way through, sometimes they want you to start and stop and plan things out a little more intricately. It all depends on what it is that you are creating.

You’re quite up front about what you will and won’t do. Is that kind of honesty and having a code something that’s important in your line of work?
JD: It’s important in all lines of work and all aspects of life. Personal boundaries are a very important thing and they don’t apply just to the adult industry. It’s very easy in the adult film industry to specify and talk about them because everybody is so open about sex and sexuality. But personal boundaries about what people are comfortable with, regardless of whether it’s drinking a beer or having anal sex, everybody should be resistant to peer pressure and honest with themselves. [They] should be comfortable to say if this is something they do or do not want to do depending on what it is.

If they don’t want to do it they shouldn’t have to, and there shouldn’t be any argument or conversation. The words, ‘I’m uncomfortable,’ or, ‘I don’t want to,’ should be enough. I try to apply that mentality to all aspects of my life, not just sex but everything. Like we were talking about beer and peer pressure – somebody wants you to get drunk and you have to drive – it’s okay to say, ‘No, I need to be responsible and sober.’ No one should make other people feel bad or mock others for someone not wanting to do something. No one should push anyone’s boundaries beyond their comfort level.

AH: A lot of people think porn negatively effects how teens, particularly young boys, learn and perceive sex. What do you think about it?
JD: I think people need to stop looking at adult films for sexual education. That’s something that needs to be discussed and addressed in a more healthy environment, where people can actually give the proper education in regards to sex and sexuality. The adult entertainment industry is, as it says, entertainment. It’s not made for educational purposes. If people are trying to get their education from adult films that is an issue there. Rather than focus on the effect of [watching porn] may be, it’s more productive to focus on the issue that people are learning about sex and sexuality from an entertainment source. You wouldn’t learn to drive from watching Taledega Nights or The Bourne Identity – that’s not where you should get that sort of education. There’d be people driving down stairwells and trying to jump over things. It would be very, very bad all round.

I think people forget that sex in the adult film industry is entertainment. It’s entertainment for a certain part of the brain which is a sexual part, so people associate watching that entertainment piece with actually being involved in sex and incorporated into their sex lives and they use that entertainment for various things and then that line gets blurred and it shouldn’t get blurred. It should be very distinct. People should know that this is entertainment and it’s okay to watch as entertainment, but it’s not something that people should be learning their sexual values, or etiquette or practices from – it’s not real. It’s like, ‘I’m not a doctor, I just play one on TV.’

AH: Yeah, I know growing up myself – I went to an all girls catholic school and it was quite restrictive. It makes young people feel ashamed and like they can’t talk about it.
JD: Yeah, which is not productive. It’s this vicious cycle. It’s important that people learn and discuss these things, and communicate. But that’s my opinion.


AH: So what do you think about the rise in sites dedicated to couples sharing their homemade movies with other couples?
JD: Well, most of them are fake (laughs), I can tell you that. I’ve been in some of those. It’s like, ‘Okay, you guys pretend to be a couple and have sex.’ I have a whole website (seriously NSFW) – you can check it out and feel free to write some plugs about that (laughs) – where it’s pretty much as real as you can legally get. I take model applications from women that would like to shoot a scene, and I discuss with them what’s going to happen and talk about it beforehand. But there’s still paperwork, there’s still testing, I get their IDs. It’s still very discussed and thought through. So even though on camera I might be just turning the camera on and we’re in a car and talking, and we end up going back to my house and having sex like these couple-style movies, every party is involved and they know where the end product is going.

I think it’s fine people are just creating their own movies to upload them on to the internet to share with the world – there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s pretty cool sexuality is evolving to that state where people are happy to share their most intimate part of themselves with the world, but as long as it’s consensual and everybody’s on the same page – more power to ‘em.

Originally published 08 November 2013 on

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