PornHub released what basically amounts to a chart of the planet’s porn-viewing habits. Turns out that the majority of porn viewers agree on three things: that it’s most comforting to masturbate to footage of someone from your own country; that “teens” and “milfs” are the only two age ranges acceptable; and that Lisa Ann is the most desirable adult actress on the internet.
The American star – who made her name in Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?, where she played Alaskan bombshell Sarah Palin – is the most searched-for porn star in the world, and the second most popular search term in Britain. She also has a signature Fleshlight model, appeared as “Prostitute #2” in the new GTA and was hailed by Fox News as one of the most powerful people in the adult industry.
I gave Lisa Ann a call to chat about being the world’s favourite porn star.
Results of top searches from various English cities, nearly all featuring Lisa Ann
VICE: Hey Lisa, congrats. So I’m guessing you already knew you were the most popular porn star in the world, right? You didn’t need some stats to tell you that.
Lisa Ann: It’s interesting – I’m surprised at my staying power and I’m impressed by the consistency from me. When you get in an up-swing in a career you’re always looking at it like, ‘Okay, this could also down-swing.’ But the momentum has been so consistent and so fun. People often walk up to me and ask for photos, but I think, ‘It’s just me!’
What is it about your work, do you think, that literally everyone in the world loves so much?
I don’t know! I look at other girls when they’re doing scenes and think ‘Wow, you’re so much better at this than me.’ I don’t know why people like me so much. I’m not that wild, compared to what I see other girls do. I look at myself and think, ‘Wow, you’re kinda boring.’
So no one’s told you why they keep coming back?
I should ask that question on Twitter, but I’d sound super-narcissistic. I’m just like everybody else, you know? Every day I wake up and get on the scale and hope there’s a pound less on my body.
Do you have any ideas for niche regional pornos to cater to all these global fans?
I thought about that this morning… what should I do? I should start studying some of your TV programmes and thinking about what I could do to really connect with those fans. I’m also thinking about trying to find some agents outside the US and see if I can do appearances and meet people. I have to go to these places now that I know I’m so popular!
The results don’t tell us, but what do you reckon your British fans’ favourite film of yours is?
I’m not sure – I don’t know what’s super-popular there. Well, actually, clearly it’s MILF. Let’s talk about that. You’ve got a lot of young college boys watching a lot of older women in porn.
Lisa Ann in Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?
Yeah, it seems like it from the PornHub results.
I’m writing a book right now that’s got a timeline in it about this. Around 2005 was when people started talking about it, 2006 was when it became really relevant on the internet. It created its own niche immediately – the internet dissects the scenes down and suddenly people are watching MILF porn, big boob porn, real boob porn, whatever. Then 2008 was when Palin happened for me. All those things worked together and it just ended up growing.
And you enjoying being the world’s favourite MILF?
I love shooting MILF – it’s fun. We do a nicer scene than the stuff some of the younger girls are still having to do. Your scene is more aggressive when you’re younger, and it just doesn’t make any sense for an 18-year-old boy to be super-aggressive with a 41-year-old girl. I get to be the aggressor. It’s still a comforting thing for me because I’m in control of the scene. I like where it goes and I like the intimidation factor a little bit. I think it’s cute.
What do you think your average British fan looks like?
I picture him to be a sports fan, because everyone knows I’m a huge sports fan – it’s something that I have a lot in common with my fans, and I engage with people a lot about it on Twitter. So yeah, potentially a sports fan and… definitely someone who likes porn.
Sports and porn. Pretty niche. So the majority of people with internet access?
It’s a healthy habit! And one that’s way more accessible now because of the internet. When we were younger we may have looked at our parents’ magazines or dug into their stash, but now it’s so accessible and people are more comfortable to talk about it. Kids aren’t afraid to say “Who’s your favourite porn star?” – they talk about it openly. In a sense that’s very healthy, because they’re able to admit to their friends that they masturbate without being made fun of. Twenty years ago we wouldn’t have talked about this, and I’ve been able to watch the whole world change and open up – it’s been very interesting.
Have you seen much British porn?
No, I haven’t. I need to do my homework on PornHub, I think.
It’s a unique genre of adult entertainment with very low production values, you should check it out. Do you think, say, a video of a swingers’ party in Swansea would go down well in the San Fernando Valley?
I’d love that. I think there’s a market, definitely.
Great, I’ll get onto it. The data from PornHub shows that the most popular search terms in the US were “teen”, “creampie” and “MILF”. Why do you think Americans are particularly fond of these terms?
You don’t want me to answer that. You might not want to print it.
I definitely do.
The US is filled with paedophiles! Everyone wants to come inside their girl, but they’re afraid to get her pregnant. And everyone wants a MILF because they want to have sex with someone who knows what they’re doing for once. The paedophile one is horrible, I know, but there’s this comedian in the US called Bill Burr, and he does a bit on all these American shows like To Catch a Predator and how many there are and just how many predators there are in the States. We have a lot of these people.
Gotcha. Finally, being the elected authority on porn, what’s the future of the porn industry?
You know, we’re in a very interesting place right now, with the condoms being a topic here in LA and with the health crisis in the industry. We’re at a big time of change. I think that when people can accept change and move forward it will all go very smoothly. I understand the pros and the cons of shooting condom porn, and I understand how the production companies and the talent feels on every level. I don’t think it’s ever going to be a bad idea to promote condom use within the world because it’s something that, if we did it and it was still sexy, more young people who are watching us would think, ‘Hey, they’re still having great sex.’ Clearly they think our sex is better because we’re not using condoms. They don’t realise that our sex may just be better because some of us are actresses. Or “mattress actresses”, as I like to call us.
There’s a transition going on, but porn is never going to go anywhere. People love their porn! I can watch a really bad movie that isn’t porn, and I’ll tell my friends, “This movie would be great as a porn.” You watch a chick flick and there are loads of different scenarios that don’t make any sense, but I make them make sense by saying, “After this scene, she’d leave the coffee shop and have sex with all the guys.” Movies are much more fun to watch that way.
Original Interview for January 2014 for Vice Magazine