We spoke to Misti Dawn, the popular 25 year old porn star coined the “nerdiest girl in porn” and as seen on G4TV, ThinkGeek and in a number of major adult productions about the realities of being in the adult industry. We also spoke to her about the work she does, and how as a porn star she has to be entrepreneurial. She’s also a genuine girl gamer, going by the name “MeowMistiDawn” on Xbox Live. Misti gave us some powerful answers, so we’ve left them as they are.
First, we asked Misti about her religious upbringing, and how that impacted on her decision to get in to the adult industry, she told us that she’s always been agnostic and that her family never “pushed religion in to her”. Continuing to say that “…yes id go to church here and there but its kind of the southern family tradition more than it is a following so it did not weigh on my choice to enter porn.” She was however excommunicated officially by the Mormon Church, and Misti I told us how her family was very upset with the church because, “…it was rather hypocritical of them considering some of the other members we had [other adult entertainers]”. She reiterated how “other than a interesting story, it didn’t really cause any waves for me or my family.”
Experiences in the adult industry
Her best experiences in the industry she told us were her “chances to travel and meeting my husband”. Misti Dawn is married to Michael Vargas, who also works as an adult performer. We asked her if this affected her relationship, and Misti told us “…Oh with out a doubt. Porn doesn’t treat you like a solo person once they realise you’re in a relationship.” Interestingly, she told us how She “often has Michael used as leverage against her and vice versa.”
We then asked what her worst experience has been in the adult industry, she said this would be a would be a long list – she elaborated, saying “I would think the root of every bad experience I’ve had comes to everyone not being honest. It’s hard to be honest with others and more so yourself. But I think many things could have been avoided if people would treat it like a job and not a personal vendetta.”
Misti also told us of some of the real pitfalls of working in the adult industry, saying how “Standing up for yourself is a big no”, adding that also “…anyone who works for a porn company will tell you what the consumer wants it irrelevant, its made for what the director wants to see, but thanks to the internet we don’t have only the choice the company puts in front of us.”
Misti went on to tell us how “Porn is very much an issue of control from people and if they have something they can use against you they will try. Luckily he and I have worked out that he will do what he feels right and as will I and we agree to disagree but always support each other. To us the whole porn industry is really just a temporary interesting game of war hammer so in the long run it doesn’t really matter. We have become 100% honest and open with each other because you have to be in porn. I would say it’s made us deal with issues as a couple that takes years for others – so its nice to know early on the are strong.”
Since Misti is tattooed, she is frequently labelled an ‘Alt’ pornstars, to which she commented that “I absolutely hate being labelled ALT. Yes, anytime you have a label you’re pigeon holed and of course you get less work. Two, being tattooed in porn doesn’t matter how much you have but where you have it. So for the mainstream girl with two sleeves is not alt, but when I just had my chest tattoo I was alt. everyone in porn is alt, you have sex on camera, that’s alternative.”
“just being honest about what I like and who I am makes it easier for people to connect with me”
Misti also comes across as genuine personality wise, and she is described by many as the “nerdiest girl in porn“, which works to her advantage in many ways. She tells us that “I’ve always been me, before it was cool I guess you could say?” and this goes with how she feels “…just being honest about what I like and who I am makes it easier for people to connect with me.” Speaking of which – as Misti is a gamer, we asked what her first videogame system was – an Atari and what game she’s most looking forward to right now – Skyrim.
Misti is one of a kind in the adult industry for a number of reasons, and most notably she uses her real name, and has no performer name. This matches her outlook – she tells us how “I don’t really see myself as a porn star but more an person who just shares their life with the world in hopes that someone can relate, live thru my life, or just find enjoyment thru my life experiences.” In another interview, she said that “For me, coming from a small town, I felt there were many things sexually I have always wanted to try and sometimes it is very difficult to make this happen in your personal life due to relationships, personal views, not finding the right people you like that are interested in trying it with, and wanting to make sure it is all safe when it comes to STDs. So for me, doing porn has let me explore all of the things sexually I have wanted to try as well as giving me new ideas.
To anyone that was considering a career in the adult industry, Misti had these words. “Really consider it. It’s impossible to listen before hand, its always hindsight. Just never compromise yourself or your beliefs ever for porn and you will feel better on the other side.”
Pornstars as entrepreneurs
It was also interesting to hear how finding new work is actually relatively hard, and how those in the adult industry actually have to be very entrepreneurial. She told us that finding work is “…very hard now with the economic times” Misti went on to say how “…very few people [in the industry] work regularly which is why you see the same people in every movie regardless of company shooting it. I have and agent and now and again they find me work. A lot I find on my own thru Internet connections mostly. I really just focus on my site and making my own work.”
Like many in the adult industry now, Misti uses Twitter, and she describes how “Twitter is VERY important. Who would have guessed 140 characters could do so much. It drives a lot of traffic to my site, reaches large amounts of people easily, and it a good/bad place to vent as well.”
Something else common amongst pornstars, is their use of an ‘Amazon Wishlist’ – so we asked her what the reasoning was behind this. Misti explained that she “…could go in to explaining the whole financial domination lifestyle but I think you can just Google it to get more info. A lot of fans just like sharing with you, also if you do cam shows or something sometimes instead of money people will send you things off your list. There are a million reasons they exist but they only exist because the fans ask for it. I’m very grateful anytime someone spends their hard earned money on me.”
Misti tells us that future plans for her business include launching another site, ‘Dawn of the Bed’ and running her current site, which are now her only focuses. She also said “…I am returning to school and focusing on what I am doing next.
Is porn exploitation of women?
Another issue that many bring up when discussing pornography is the fact that it’s seen as ‘exploitation’ of women. Misti again had some interesting views on this – she told us that “I would say what you see as the consumer is not the exploitation part at all. The exploited part of porn to women comes from a different area. Women are treated as if they can’t have an opinion or strong stance on anything if they want to work regularly. The industry is really run by a lot of men who feel the need to have control over everything and ever situation. When a woman cant have an opinion but can get in front of the camera having sex and in turn makes your company money, that’s exploitation of any employee.”
Should sex be a taboo?
We also asked Misti if she feels that sex generally should be less of a taboo in society? As we expected, she told us “yes of course”, going on to say that “I think sex shouldn’t be so hidden and then it could become safer – if it weren’t a taboo but at the same time, if it weren’t taboo then the job wouldn’t exist”.
Misti Dawn – a pornstar forever?
It’s clear that Misti doesn’t want to be a pornstar forever; She told us that whilst her grandmother is my biggest role model, and within porn, Kata Kassin, describing how “she came, did her job, made her money, and moved on and made a great life for her self”. When we asked her if being a porn star forever was something she’d consider, she told us that “Oh god now, I’ve never wanted to do this forever. I’ve been out of school for a year and I’m returning in the spring. I want to work in video games I think now that I live in an area of the country that it’s an option. *Insert Jim Halpert from The Office quote here*”.
You can follow Misti Dawns “real life, real time thoughts and experiences daily via twitter, twitter.com/meowmistidawn”, she blogs prolifically, several times a week at meowmistidawn.wordpress.com and releases her new scenes every Tuesday on meowmistidawn.com – she also told us to “watch for her new sensations movie coming out soon about gamer girls”.
Since we interviewed Misti, she has announced the launch of Pwned By Girls, which will feature topless playthroughs, reviews, profiles, and other hardcore gaming coverage. The site will star Misti Dawn along with Alana Evans. According to Escapist Magazine , “Evans came up with the initial idea to combine pornography and game coverage, and invited Dawn to the project straight away.”, and ccording to Xbiz, “Various other porn stars will help Evans and Dawn host the parties in Dawn’s Nerd Lair, where they will play online games with fans via Xbox Live or PS3 online.”. According to Misti however, she faced some early criticism. On Twitter she said “What ive learned about the girl gamer community.” “…they are not open minded and dont enjoy the idea you can be sexual and a gamer”. What are your opinions on the evidently controversial issue of a ‘girl gamer’ adult website?