Jade Starr InterviewOne of my first postings for this blog was a short plot synopsis for Candy from Strangers. The plot involves two young women who have put up a web site featuring still photographs, video and web diaries to help pay their way through art college.
As part of the research I did for the book, I visited a number of sites set up by young women to get a sense for the kind of things they put on them, what they wrote about themselves and to get an overall feel for how the “wish list” and subscription mechanics worked. One thing I determined from the research was that I wanted my characters’ site to be Goth-influenced, and that in turn led me to a site called Gothic Babe of the Week, which features photos of, well, Gothic babes.
A woman on the site named Jade Starr caught my eye (she was Gothic Babe of the week for March 31st, 2002 ), and I followed the link to her personal site, http://www.jadestarr.com/. That site has gotten a lot “steamier” (as Jade puts it) since I first discovered it, but it was clear to me that she’d been very successful in developing a large and loyal fan base and it impressed me as a good prototypical model to draw upon in describing my characters’ site in Candy from Strangers.
I contacted Jade recently and asked her if she’d be willing to be interviewed for the blog and she very graciously agreed. Here are her answers to my questions about the experience of having a pay site for fans.
How did you get started putting pictures and content about yourself on the web?
I started putting up pictures of myself in about 2001. At the time, I also ran a fan site for a favorite band of mine and I started to like the attention it brought me, so I began doing more shoots and eventually started a pay site that only had something like three galleries! It was really cheap to join then and all my pics were very amateurish.
What do you like about it?
I love being adored! I can't help it! I grew up without much attention in school and I guess that’s why I crave it so much now. Plus I love having sex with beautiful women!
What don't you like?
The only thing I really don't like is that—just as with any job in the entertainment business—there are shady people who will try to tell you that you should be doing more, and they continue to try to get you to cross boundaries you have set for yourself. Plus, I hate dealing with catty soft-core models who look down on the more adult-oriented performers. People are very two faced in this scene … they'll be nice to your face and then you find out they've been trashing you all over town!
Have you ever had a bad experience with a fan?
Not anything extreme since I've just been modeling, but I had a few stalkers when I was stripping in Georgia (my home state). Even that was nothing really dangerous, although I've known plenty of girls who got themselves into more serious situations with obsessive fans. I've just always been more careful.
Do you have rules or boundaries that you set for your interactions with fans?
Yes! I have no problem with people writing me with their comments, but if they are ever rude or just too crude I discontinue speaking to them. When I danced I never gave out personal information about myself and I rarely even gave out my number. I also make it clear to fans that I am here as a fantasy and that even if they buy me gifts they are not getting me! I never lead people on because that is where most trouble starts for models.
What did your friends and family say when you got started? What do they say now?
I lost most of my old friends … if you want to call them that. I had a lot of friends who just weren't as open minded as they should have been. I still talk to only a few people from the little town I came from. As far as my family goes, most of them do not know … only my sisters know. My parents found out I was stripping a few years back and they completely freaked, so I'm more than positive they could not handle knowing I am also an adult performer.
Do people that you meet in other spheres of your life treat you differently when they find you have a site?
For the most part no, although I have a lot of people who just can't believe it because when people meet me I can be very quiet and shy. They just don’t expect me to be the type of girl who has sex for a living and runs a website.
Do you make a full time living from the site?
I do not make a full time living from just my site. I wish! Most of my money comes from movies I do and modeling for adult websites.
Are fans more likely to subscribe or buy things from your wish list?
Fans are definitely more likely to subscribe because—let’s face it—most people don’t want to spend money with nothing in return! However, to encourage wish list purchases I always offer rewards. Usually I offer a subscription to my site of equal value to what they’ve bought, or if they buy me something extra special, then I will send them things like custom videos, panties, exclusive pics, etc.
I first noticed your pictures on the "Gothic Babe of the Week" site. Are you into the Goth scene?
I would say I'm definitely into the Goth scene, though I am not a Goth girl. I'm more of a rock chick. I dress in a lot of black and I dress skimpy, but I like to explore many different looks in my modeling.
Do you do the web design/maintenance yourself or do you work with someone?
I do everything completely by myself!
How do you select the photographers with whom you work?
I am extremely picky with my photographers. There are a lot of creeps out there, so I really screen them beforehand. If I'm doing trade work for content for my website, then I make sure their photos fit the look I want. I make sure they are ok with my contract terms for working with me, and I always insist on bringing an assistant to the shoot. If I'm doing a paid shoot and I've never heard of the person, then I bring an escort. But if they are established, I sometimes go without one.