The New Girl on the Block, Sophia St. James
Interview by Natasha Badanov
Living in Portland and being a PDXer, Sophia St. James is making her way into Indie and Queer porn and the big jump into mainstream porn. This BBW is brash and makes no apologies for what she believes in. I sat down and asked her 15 questions—and she answered them all with enthusiasm you rarely see with other female performers.
How did you get into porn?
I started stripping at 19 and that’s how I got my first view of the sex world. I fell upon an article about Syd Blakovich and didn’t look her up until I had plenty of time on my hands—I broke my knee and couldn’t strip full-time. From there, I applied for Shine Louise Houston’s Pink & White Crash Pad series and got it. Then, I contacted NoFauxxx and Courtney Trouble personally contacted me and asked me to be in her film Bordello, rather than be on her website.
I knew about Belladonna and Nina Hartley, but never thought that I could get into porn—I wasn’t 19, thin nor did I have fake boobs. So, I got my start in Queer porn where it’s a plus to not be a size 4 or have fake boobs—they are very into different ethnicities and love curvy women. My first gig was Into the Attic, a BDSM and kink site based out of Portland—I worked with them twice, before I made Bordello and did the Crash Pad road show.
You’ve been labeled a BBW and Black. What would you prefer people refer to you as, if they had to label you? I’m not one for labels, but you can call me big, curvy, BBW, voluptuous, plumper, or however you want to phrase it, as long as it’s not derogatory. Actually, very little of my heritage is African American—I’m actually West Indian, but you can refer to me as Black.
You have used the term “queer” to describe yourself. Can you explain this? When people find out that I have a female partner they assume I’m gay or lesbian, when I actually consider myself queer. Queer is a new phrase in mainstream porn. I’m into anything that involves lesbian, gay, transgender (male to female or female to male). I wouldn’t consider myself bisexual, but I do like more than just cis females, which are women who are born women (as opposed to trans-women). I am open to all genders and I feel free to explore them all and have sex with all genders.
What sexual act have you not performed on camera that you would like to? Double penetration, and not specifically with two men, but there needs to be two cocks whether they are guys or strap-ons and two actual individuals.
What do you like best about being a performer? I like the freedom and expression that I have and being a performer in one facet or another in my life. I like being able to be able to enjoy myself on camera and the person I’m performing with enjoys themselves. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it. Also, by being a performer, I feel that I educate people and break down stereotypes people have of queers, blacks and BBWs. I like having a professional career and I really enjoy making porn.
You worked with Courtney Trouble. What was that like? It was awesome! She is such a sweetheart, friendly, professional and very helpful (she will answer all your questions). Bordello was my first film and she introduced me to everyone on the set. The set was lighthearted, easygoing and really chill—she really knows how to cast a film and is definitely an inspiration to me, because she is a performer and a queer pornographer. She is one of those people who have enough self confidence and power to do what they want to do and follow what she wants to do, regardless of societal views.
How did you meet Buck Angel? What is your relationship with him? I’m an event promoter producer in Portland and I was doing a Queer Porn Night and wanted to show one of his films. I contacted him about screening movie and he responded that he would love to bring the movie and screen it here. He is one of the most laid back, real individuals that I have ever met and he has no time for BS. He’s a real sweetheart and below the scruffy guy exterior, he’s a teddy bear. Buck is also an inspiration to me. He always tells me not to wait for things to come to me, but to go after it because no one will deliver it to you. I consider him a friend.
How did you choose your porn name? I wanted something that sounded West Indian and that’s where the St. James came from, like the island. Sophia Loren is a true beauty and has never had a ton of plastic, so that’s where the Sophia came from. I meshed the two things together and came up with Sophia St. James.
What performer would you most like to do a scene with and why? I have an entire list, but if I had to narrow down to one, it would be Belladonna, of course, because she is always re-inventing herself and makes the porn SHE wants and changes her looks without regard to possible negative feedback. I would also love to do a scene with Andy San Dimas. She does raw and real sex in her films—her scenes are mad raw and crazy. That would be some fun times there. I’d also like to work with Buck Angel and/or Wolf Hudson.
Favorite sexual position? Doggy. It allows me to have rough, hardcore sex and it’s so invasive. The person behind takes complete control. It also allows for hair pulling, arm around throat, ass smacking and role play. It’s also more anonymous, since you can’t see the person.
You are new to the industry. What are your thoughts on the industry? I speak my mind and I’m raw. I think there are two sides. One side is liberating, awesome, wants to make good films, artistic, fuck films. The people are real and they do it because they like it. Then, there are people who think it’s easy money. It’s just the nature of the beast in all different niches.
I also know that based on my sex, race, size, class and age, there are going to be boundaries and I’m OK with this. I know what my boundaries are as a curvy, black, queer, outspoken, femme. I know the places where I’ll be accepted, but I’m also out to break stereotypes. I’m not going to be the next Jenna Jameson or Belladonna and that’s the reality. I enjoy fucking, so why not make money off it.
What’s up next? This weekend flying out to do Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls 2 with Bleu Productions. Director is Maria Beatty, who does mainly lesbian, fetish and erotica films. I’m excited about it. I’ll be flying down to Tucson to work with her and three others, including Surgeon, who was in the first Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls. I’m also going to make my first film as a director/producer in late June. It’s going to be BDSM/Fetish themed and that’s all I can reveal right now. And on June 12th, I will be performing at Portland Masturbate-a-thon and giving an erotic performance, a type of burlesque/live sex show.
You’re a sex educator. When you go out and teach/lecture what is the thing most people know the least about? Seems like when it comes to anything about the G Spot, most people don’t know how to reach it, where it is or the techniques for orgasms. They don’t know their own bodies. A lot of people don’t understand how their own bodies work. They need to teach themselves more. Should Sex Ed be taught at home or in school? It needs to be taught in both places and start with parents. People don’t want their kids to learn wrong stuff on streets. Really, really educate them about their bodies, the changes and what it all means. Don’t say don’t have sex until you’re married. Talk about the different kinds of sex, masturbation, etc. Schools might not talk about it in depth but it needs to be there. Mainly because there are kids whose parents don’t talk about it at all. Real education isn’t street taught.
Tell us a secret about you that no one knows. I am trained as an expert hand-to-hand combat military fighter, expert marksman on a 9 MM and M16, expert grenade launcher and know my way around a .45 millimeter. No, I’m not a terrorist, but I was in the army for 9 years and still teach self defense classes. Yeah, I’m hardcore.