• Sex

Frisky Q&A: Adult Film Star Ryan Keely

For all the sex positive writing that I do, I’d never actually talked with someone who worked in the adult entertainment industry for a living. Like a lot of people, I just assumed they all were failed actresses and cokeheads.

That was unfair of me.

Over the summer, I met up with Ryan Keely, an adult film star, Penthouse Pet and Penthouse advice columnist, and an erotic dancer. Ryan, who is originally from Seattle, is as smart as she is beautiful; it’s clear from spending time with her that her heart lies in bringing the joy of sexuality and sensuality to others. Recently, Ryan has been teaching seminars for Porn Star Sex Life, co-founded with Josh Rosenberg, a pick-up artist who created UpYourAttraction.com. I was a little skeptical, too, of Porn Star Sex Life classes. Generally speaking, I think porn gives us stupid role models. The actors and actresses fake great sex and know how to make it look really awesome on screen. Why would we want to emulate that? But Ryan is an approachable educator: she’s had a lot of sex with a lot of partners, both men and women, both onscreen and off, and she is ashamed of nothing. “What it takes to be a porn star is you want to explore your sexuality,” she told me. “The people that are in this industry for the right reasons are people are want to take sex to the next level. We’re sexual athletes.”

I walked away from an afternoon of cake and milk with Ryan thinking, “Damn, I want this girl to be my best friend and I want to sleep with her.” After the jump, Ryan opens up about why missionary is the best sex position for women, her stance on sex positive feminism, why she hates KY Jelly, and her one-woman campaign to bust sexual taboos!

The thing that grosses me out the most is most women don’t know how to wash toilet paper off their junk. You’ll go down on a woman and there will be crusty toilet paper in her folds. Most women, when they get in the shower, they need to gently rub over the p***y and make sure it’s free of debris.

The Frisky: When did you start getting into—

RYAN KEELY:—sex? I’ve always been into sex. When I was, like, 11, I started reading every single sex book I could get my hands on. I read Our Bodies, Ourselves front ways and back ways, like a million times. I’ve been a Dan Savage reader for years and I was 12 when he was doing his radio show on Sunday nights. That taught me a lot about sex: being loving and opening and being nice to people and trying new things. I thought, This is something that is really important for a lot of people and f**ks up a lot of people. Is this a good place for me to go to work? You find a need and you fill it. So, when I was 18, I moved to San Diego — rain [in Seattle] gets really old after 18 years — and I worked at the Hustler store. It’s a sex shop, but it’s really pro-women. It’s in the Gaslamp District, it’s open until right after the bars close and it’s a military town, so you have all these young men with young wives. It’s not your typical porn shop that you think of, dirty old men in trench coats. Though we had those, too!

Wow, so were you thinking in high school that you wanted to get into sex work when you grew up?

It was never a conscious decision at all. I actually didn’t finish high school in the traditional sense. I did a program called Running Start where you take college credits to finish our your high school years. But even that, I was so bored. I was so bored with school. I would read the textbook the first two weeks of class, participate in the debate, and then be so effing bored that I wouldn’t do anything. I would sit in the back of the class and read books. My parents wouldn’t let me go to the alternative school. If I had gone to the alternative school, I probably would have ended up going to Evergreen [College in Washington] and becoming a raging feminist. (laughs) But [getting into sex work] was just a very natural progression. I love learning about sex and I love talking to people about sex. My natural gift is that you can say any crazy sexual thing to me and I’ll say, “Hey, cool! Here’s some literature. Here’s some amazing movies. Here’s a community you can talk to.” That’s always been my forté. … [Sex work] is salacious enough to keep me fascinated and varied enough that my mind is always boggled.

How did you go from working in a sex shop to becoming an adult film actress?

I worked at the store around a year and a half. I met a girl named Haley Page who came in to purchase her own movie. … She hooked me up with a job in a company. They first had me in San Diego, recruiting girls, and I moved up to L.A. to help managing girls. At that time, I was shooting behind-the-scenes stills for websites. I was 19, 20 years old. Except for the girl getting defiled, I’m the only girl on set! Because I was doing this and managing new talent, I ended up being offered my own radio show which ended up being a [porn] DVD review show. So, I was getting to a point where I was tired of managing girls. The problem is there are a few girls in the industry who are very together. But at the time there were a lot of girls supporting their drug habits. At the time, porn was really flush and you could make a lot of money so quickly. I’d have all these girls that would basically make enough money to slack off for a month or two. They’d cancel on shoots and call me at four o’clock in the morning, like, “Oh, I can’t make my 8 a.m. I’ve got — cough, cough — a cold.” I’m, like, you don’t have a cold. You’re up doing speed. That’s why you’re calling at 4 a.m. So I just got really tired of that.

Anyway, I ended up winning a contest. I entered to win a copy of a DVD of a musical porn — a terrible idea — but the grand prize was an all-expenses paid visit to the Kit Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada. So, I was 19 years old. I went out to Carson City, Nevada. I had my dalliance. Actually, the first time I’d ever gone down on a woman was with a prostitute! It was amazing. A no-pressure situation. She was able to coach me through the whole experience, though I had some natural ability, it turns out.

Anyway, so the owner of the company [that held the contest] and I were doing shots and over enough Wild Turkey shots and replays of Poison, I ended up talking him into hiring me. So, I was able to leave managing girls. Over time, my radio show was picked up by Playboy Radio and on weekends, I started working [for the porn company] as a production assistant on adult films. I thought, ‘I really want to shoot something. I have something I want to express.’ So, how do you learn anything? You start at the bottom and work your way up.

What kind of stuff does a P.A. on an adult film do?

I did everything from buy all the craft services and set supplies to holding the “C” light, which is the light used to light up the penetration. I’d move couches. I’d rearrange locations so they’d be better for shooting. I did pretty much everything! There were days they would call me “lube girl” because I’d sit there and swoop in [on set] with the lube and the baby wipes. I never went anywhere with what I call my “rape kit.” [NOTE: This is a joke. A rape kit refers to the evidence that police and medical personnel collect from a sexual assault victim.] It was a crate with bright green gaffe tape, so everything was labeled mine, with multiple kinds of lube, baby wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, trash bags.

Was your intention to become an actress in girl-on-girl adult films eventually?

I’ve always been sexually attracted to women. Although I’d never gone down on a woman until I was 18 years old, I’d had a girl go down on me and I’d been in very passionate situations before. …. [But I was working so hard that ] I realized I’m not getting laid. If I don’t schedule in getting laid, this is not going to happen. So I decided to do girl-on-girl. A, I love having sex with beautiful women and, B, I’m tired of seeing all these beautiful girls fake it. I hate seeing these girls fake it. There’s a lot of girls who are “gay for pay.” They do really sh**ty girl/girl scenes. I was just, like, ‘I hate watching [that], it’s terrible porn.’ [But] I can get paid to have sex with beautiful women? The important thing to remember is at the end of the day, I just want to impress my drinking buddies.

Let’s talk about Porn Star Sex Life.

It’s a sex education program [co-founded with Josh Rosenberg, a pick-up artist with UpYourAttraction.com]. I just break down a lot of myths and I talk about a lot of stuff that people do that’s just terrible in the bedroom. I actually demonstrate touch on life models. I say, “When I touch her like this, see how she responds? Look at her body language.” (she strokes my arm) People think it’s a little salacious, but I can show you better than I can explain.

All these guys spend time and money to learn how to talk to girls. Well, talking to girls is one thing, but once you get them home and you don’t wow them and knock their socks off, you’re not going to get a second date. There are so many little things in the bedroom [a man can do]. One of my most popular seminars is I spend an hour teaching my basic fingering technique, which is literally how to find the clitoris and how to rub the clitoris. You don’t want to bash it. I talk about how men masturbate so differently from women. Men are always changing up their speed and their pressure, whereas women are doing something consistent over a long period of time. I had to explain to people that when you’re fingering girls, it takes consistency and it takes time because it takes women time to orgasm. It’s all about the pre-game. I do a lot about touch. I think that’s the most important thing: someone touches you right and you can come almost instantly, if they’ve done their pre-game properly.

You’re not teaching crazy, hanging-from-the-chandeliers porn star moves, then? It sounds more like basic sex education and basic hookup skills.

I am teaching basic sex education. One of the things I’m also doing is unlearning things people see in porn, because are a lot of stuff that people see in porn movies and try to apply to real life that don’t work. I’m un-teaching the bad things from porn and talking about the good things from porn — like a lot of the male performers do a lot of stretching and keep themselves fit. I have a 10 minute stretching program that I do for the guys, which is all about opening up your hip flexors. I realize how hard men work [in bed]!

Give The Frisky readers some advice then! What’s the best position for women?

I’m bringing missionary back. I’m sick and tired of missionary being boring. Every girl I talk to is, like, “Missionary is amazing as long as there’s variation.” I teach the power pump: the girl is on her back, the man is upright on his knees, her hips are slightly elevated and he does short thrusts. He’s going to have so much pressure on the G-spot side of the p***y. And you still have that eye contact, which is really amazing for connective sex.

You believe in the G-spot then?

I know it exists. As a squirter, I 100 percent believe in it!

Any other good tips for women?

Hygiene.

The thing that grosses me out the most is most women don’t know how to wash toilet paper off their junk. You’ll go down on a woman and there will be crusty toilet paper in her folds. Most women, when they get in the shower, they need to gently rub over the p***y and make sure it’s free of debris.

You’d think most people would know that, but I’ve gone down on a many a woman and been, like, “Ohh …. fingers only!” … Also, you can clear up the taste [of your vagina] with a change in your diet. Add pineapple to your diet. That’s the big porno sex secret. Everyone in porn eats lots of pineapple and drinks lots of pineapple juice, because it makes your fluids taste that much better.

If you could recommend one sex toy for our readers, what would it be?

Silicone-based lube. Lube is your friend. I’m not at all into water-based lube, although there are some awesome ones out there. It is a trial and error thing. Buy pillow packs of lube [one- or two-time use packs] and experiment. Just do not use KY. KY was never designed to be a sexual lubricant. It was designed to provide exactly enough lubricant for a doctor to do a pelvic exam and if you’ve ever had a pelvic exam, you know there’s not a lot of pressure. The thing about lube is it provides a cushion which prevents tissues from tearing, which in turn prevents STDs from spreading. Lube and baby wipes are the two things you need to have in the bedroom.

Baby wipes?

For mopping up messes. Ejaculate, either male or female. Excess lube after the act. Menstrual sex. If you’re having anal sex or menstrual sex, I always say “low lights and baby wipes”! (laughs)

How do you think sexual education in America, especially abstinence-only sex ed, affects how people feel about sex and their bodies?

Abstinence-only education is the worst thing that could possibly happen. It is a travesty. Sweden, for example, has a very low teen pregnancy rate, a very low STD rate, and also has one of the most comprehensive sex ed programs in the world. Also, it is socially acceptable there for teens — whether or not they are having sex with each other — to spend the night at each other’s houses, so [discovering their sexuality is] not a furtive, fumbling in the dark. Abstinence-only sex ed has led to a massive spike in STDs, a massive spike in teen pregnancy, and it has all these teenagers trying sex unsafely so they can remain virgins and be “abstinent.” Abstinence is a beautiful thing; it’s a really great option for some people. But it doesn’t work for everyone.

For the majority of people it doesn’t work for, they are making very poor choices, hurting themselves, hurting their bodies, hurting our economy. If you have a baby at 16 years old, you’re not going to make it through college. If you do, you are very rare. You’re going to have a hard time providing for your child. You’re a strain on the health care system, you’re a strain on the welfare system. At 16 years old, you do not have the tools to care for a child. It brings a whole family down — multiple generations caring for a child that could have been taken care of by handing condoms out at school and talking about the consequences of sex and making abortions more available. … Terrible things are happening in this country because people aren’t comfortable and accepting of their sexuality.

Have you read Ariel Levy’s book, Female Chauvinist Pigs? Amazing book. Girls are taught what is sex, but what is “sexual,” what is “sexy,” what is “pleasure.” Sixteen-year-old girls think sexual pleasure is “the attention I get for being sexy.” That’s what scared me the most. We’re not teaching our kids about what actually feels good in the long run — be sexy, but not sexual. It’s a very confusing message. Then we’re getting all these girls who will be on “Girls Gone Wild,” the Miley Cyruses of the world.

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

Yes and no.

Well, what does “feminism” mean to you?

Equal rights and equal opportunity. I don’t know, there’s so many different definitions of the word “feminist.” I like to define myself as “sex positive and equal opportunity.” Sex positive is something that I live by. But I still like a man to pay for dinner and open doors! I really enjoy that.

Well, some people call themselves “sex positive feminists.”

A lot of feminists are really terrible to people in the sex industry. But feminists also wrote Our Bodies, Ourselves, which really changed the face of sex education.

So, what’s the long-term plan for Ryan Keely?

At some point, I would like to stay home and make babies. (laughs) But I’ll probably teach pole aerobics on the side!

[RyanKeely.com]

Ryan’s new sex advice column, “Dirty Details,” will be in the November issue of Penthouse Forum, on stands October 15th! You can send her sex questions to answer in Penthouse Forum at TheDirtyDetails[at]ffn.com.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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