As pornography transitioned into the adult film "industry," a lot of positive changes happened. It became more of a business, it cleaned up its act, and became more open and inclusive than at any time in its history. But along with those changes came a bit of a personality void among some performers. As it grew into a business, performers began conducting themselves more like business people, and a lot of the fun started to get sucked out of the room. Therefore, it's unbelievably refreshing in this day and age to come across someone like Ashley Fires. Ashley knows that this is a business, and she is extremely savvy in the way that she conducts herself as a businesswoman, but she also knows how to have fun. A lot of fun. She might be the most fun woman in the entire adult film industry. She's not shy about dropping f-bombs, speaking her mind, or pissing into her phone while speaking to a journalist. In other words, she is a breath of fresh air in a world that seems to be taking itself too seriously. I chatted recently with her on the phone to discuss her big, beautiful ass which currently graces the cover of Elegant Angel's Big Wet Asses 23, as well as a number of other things. What I didn't expect is that she would flip the script and begin asking me questions. So read on to find out more about Ashley, and how good she is at getting people to open up, literally and metaphorically.
Tucker Bankshot: When did you first become aware of the adult industry, and did that coincide with you realizing it was something you wanted to do for a living, or were those two separate moments?
Ashley Fires: Oh, good question. Okay, well I wasn’t aware of the adult industry, per se, but I did find a porno when I was about nine years old and I put it in the VCR and… (both laugh), so I definitely was intrigued. Then later I was dancing, I was a dancer while I was in high school, well I was home studied, so after I got kicked out of high school I was on probation and home schooled, and I was going to Vegas and dancing and they had featured dancers, right? So they had these porn girls come, and they had their own dressing room, and they were treated really well, and made all kinds of money, and they were beautiful, and all that kind of good stuff.
Then, my brother was dating a porn girl, and she mostly did girl/girl and fetish, I don’t even remember her stage name, but she made it sound way awesome. So we became friends and she introduced me to my agent, who became my agent for about two years, a woman, this was back in 2003. So yeah, I guess I wasn’t intrigued as much as I was exposed to it, you know? I kind of just saw these people and thought oooooooh! It was also a thing where you think that once you get on set there will be orgies, and rock and roll, and drugs everywhere (both laugh). So I was surprised by how professional it actually was. So yeah, I watched my first porno at nine years old, and then it wasn’t until I was 18 or 19 that I thought, “yeah, I can do that.”
TB: It’s funny, I just talked to James Deen and he talked about this misconception about there being drugs all over the industry, and how that really comes from the 70s when that was really prevalent, but he said, and I’m paraphrasing, “it’s a business now, and you can’t be high when you’re at work.”
AF: No, you can’t. I mean I’ve done it, it’s not pretty (both laugh). Unfortunately, you need a certain surplus of saliva to do what we do (both laugh), you know? You need to have your own ready lube in your mouth, and you can’t have that if you’re stoned out of your mind. It just won’t work.
TB: No, not even close (both laugh). So, as the cover girl for Big Wet Asses 23, you’re joining the likes of Lexi Belle, Tori Black, Eva Angelina, and Jayden James. Do you feel that there’s added pressure on you now, or do you feel like this is the tipping point in your career, so to speak?
AF: That is a great question, you know, I feel like I’m about to peak. I feel like being on the cover of Big Wet Asses #23 makes sense, it totally makes sense for everything that’s going on in my life, and my career, and everything. And plus, I mean, hi, have you seen my ass? (Both laugh) It just cries out to be on an anything “big” cover. I’ve been a big fan of Elegant Angel for years, and the way that they do things, I feel honored to have reached the ranks of these women. And maybe it’s one of those platforms where you spring off of, I don’t know.
When it went away, you know Big Wet Asses went away for a little while, and I remember thinking, awwwww I never even got a chance to be in it! You know, not even thinking about the cover, just thinking that I should have been in that movie, or that series.
TB: Yeah, it’s like your calling.
AF: Right, so being on the cover was just a bonus, like a cherry on top. And I had no idea, I had no idea, I was totally shocked. Sometimes they’ll tell you, you know, “it’s for the cover,” but I remember I had a bruise on my butt. I had this little bruise on my butt because I got a little tipsy four days before that and I fell down, and usually when I fall on my ass it’s like no harm, no foul, there’s plenty of padding to catch me (both laugh). But this left a little mark, and I was thinking that when they said it was for the cover I just went, “Oooooo. Can we photoshop this?” But I had a bikini that kind of covered it, because it was just this little tiny bruise, but I’m kind of OCD about things like that. So I said, “Can we shoot the cover later, the bruise will be done in like five days, can I come back and we’ll shoot the cover then?” And they said, “it’s called photoshop silly, it’s okay.” (Both laugh)
So then I thought, “well, if a woman likes to have rough, consensual sex every now and then, guess what, she’s gonna have a few bruises.” So that’s my stance on it. They always want to know if you’re marked or bruised, and I’m like, “I’m not perfect, I might have some bruises” (both laugh). I do like having sex roughly, often, so yeah I was worried about the bruise, and then I was really funny about the whole cover shoot. It was something that should have taken 20, 30 minutes and I’m like, “Ooo let’s try this, ooo let’s try that,” and I was bugging the photographer, asking if we could move the lights and do it from a different angle, I want to make sure we get my good side, and they were just rolling their eyes like, “Okay Ashley, whatever” (laughs).
TB: Hey, you know your ass better than anyone, right?
AF: Exactly, yeah. It was a lot of fun. Toni (Ribas) is great, I’m so glad he took over this line because he’s not all stressed out, you know? He’s not one of those directors that’s harsh and yelling at you and making you like, “great, yeah, I’m really gonna be able to relax my butthole now, thanks for yelling at me” (both laugh). He’s really great to be on set with, and I have a certain level of ADD that he totally could deal with.
TB: How was it working with Eric Everhard?
AF: Eric is amazing. I’ve only ever had him one other time to myself, just he and I, and that was a really great scene, so I was hoping that this would be as good a scene, if not better, and it was. He actually put me in a position that I’ve never been in before and it was amazing. He had both of my ankles in one hand and it was almost like a piledriver on the couch. He had my ankles pinned behind my head and my ass was up, and he climbed up with one leg on the couch, it was really hot, and really deep, and really intense. Oh! And I squirt, during the scene, I definitely squirt twice. So yeah, it was great, and I’m happy that a really great scene is paired with a really great cover. Because it doesn’t always work out that way.
He’s a veteran pro, but not a veteran pro like some of the dudes. Some of the dudes will fuck you like, “this is for camera and I’m going to fuck you and do my job.” He’s one of those “I want you to feel good performers.” He cares if you cum or not, which is great.
TB: In the press release for BWA 23, you said "I want my fans to jerk their dicks watching it. I’ll know if they do. I’ll feel it in the energy around me. It will feed into my sexiness.” (Ashley begins laughing) Do you believe in a sort of interconnected energy, or “force” if you will, between yourself and your fans that both sides feed off of?
AF: You know what, I do. I really do, because I feel like we’re all connected and I don’t exist without them. Without my fans, who am I? I’m nobody. You think I’m just going to sit at home and tweet pictures of myself? No! I do it for my fans. I do it because the more that they sit at home and jerk their dicks to me, the sexier I become. It’s a beautiful circle that way (laughs). Yeah, I think we’re all connected, I really do. I think that you can manifest good sexual energy, good positive energy just by thinking of someone, you know what I mean?
TB: Absolutely, and it’s an interesting theory, and one that I’d never heard before, and I think it’s a really cool way to look at it.
TB: You quote everyone from Kofi Annan to Margaret Thatcher and Joni Mitchell on your various sites. Are you bothered by the common conception that porn stars are not well-read?
AF: Absolutely. You know, I feel like I’m saddled with that stereotype all the time, and it’s most insulting when people go, “Wow, you’re actually smart.” I’ve met people on airplanes, and I tell them what I do for a living and they’ll go, “I would have never thought that, you seem so intelligent,” and I’m like, “Whoa, wait, hold on. Do you realize how insulting that just was? Come on, don’t say that.” I met someone recently and they asked, “Where did you go to school?” So I was like, “Well, I am an alumni from UC My Tits in California.” And they just looked at me until I said, “No, I did not go to school,” and they said, “Really? You didn’t go to college?” So I say, “Listen, somebody’s intellect is not connected to their education, just to let you know.”
So I feel like there are intelligent businesswomen that maybe are just stereotyped as dumb because they’re adult actresses. But then I also run into ones that are like, “I’m super smart,” and they feel the need to over-perpetuate that, “I’m smart, I have a degree, I read fuckin’ Nietzsche,” or whatever, I hate those girls. Here’s another one, I recently got glasses and everyone asked me, “Are those prescription?” And I’m like, “wait, you think I’m just wearing these to be cute? I want to look smart and studious?” (Both laugh). I have really good vision in one eye, and in the other eye I’m fucked, but it blows my mind that people think that I would do that just to be cute.
So yeah, well-read, and cultured, and intelligent, these may not be words that pop into your mind when you think of an adult actress, or “porn star,” but yeah, some of us are smarter than the dumb sluts we portray (both laugh).
TB: I don’t know where that conception comes from. I guess people just have these stereotypes ingrained in them and they don’t understand that things evolve in the same way that everything else evolves. They think that porn is still stuck in the 70s.
AF: Right… With film. What’s that? (Both laugh)
TB: As an exhibitionist, what is that gives you the thrill? Is it the danger of it like in your ferris wheel story, or the fear of getting caught like in your story about masturbating in Neiman Marcus? So what is it about exhibitionism in particular that you get off on?
AF: (Laughing) You know, there’s so many things. I remember boycotting clothing from a young age. I could not stay dressed. My poor parents had to take me around and pick up my clothes all over the place. It’s liberating. It’s freeing. In a way, being an exhibitionist is like waving a big middle finger at society, like, “You can’t contain this?” (Both laugh). I’ve always felt very free, and proud of my body, and I want to share it, but I also feel like as much of an exhibitionist as I have been, I’m starting to become more and more of a voyeur.
It’s weird, I used to want to shoot everything outdoors, guerrilla style. I did this scene for my website years ago where I got a little buzz and I made my cameraman film me being driven around Hollywood, and I would go up to strangers and just flash them, or pull up my skirt and stick my ass out the window. There’s just something so mischievously rewarding about it, and I can’t put my finger on it, but it does feel good to be like, “I’m not supposed to be doing this right now, but I am, neener, neener, neener!” (Both laugh).
But now I’m more of a voyeur. I’m finding that I’m wanting to watch. I want to see a girl be an exhibitionist. I want to hide and watch somebody have sex. I recently stayed in a hotel on vacation and I brought binoculars with me just in case I could see into someone else’s room or something. So yeah, I’m a total voyeur, but exhibitionism is always going to be there, kind of like the little angel and the little devil.
AF: (Impersonating me) Ummm, thanks for answering the question eight different ways. (Both laugh)
TB: Jesus, do I sound like that? I lost my train of thought.
AF: I found it. Do you want it back?
TB: Yup, there it is, thank you. I appreciate that.
AF: You’re welcome.
TB: So a lot of performers come across in their written correspondence and answers to questions as though they don’t want people to know they’re a part of the adult industry, but you’re really not afraid to be dirty and say really dirty things. Is that just the way you’re wired?
AF: Oh, that’s a good question. Yeah, I feel like it is what it is. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it has to be a duck. And hopefully it tastes good when you cook it (both laugh). I feel like I don’t have a lot of shame about what I do, what I’ve done, what I plan to do, so if I’m not speaking my truth about who I am and what I do, I don’t think that I would be able to feel pride about it. And here’s the thing, you’ve gotta just be matter of fact. Sometimes you just have to say it straight, simple, and with a smile, and you know what? Not only do people respect you, it’s a sexy quality, to be able to talk that way.
TB: Absolutely, I agree with that 100%. It’s funny I guess I just wasn’t ready for it because sometimes you’ll come across this pseudo-intellectualism and you just think, “well that person’s clearly putting on a show.” But you’re just out there, you know?
AF: (Laughs) Like, fuckin’, out past Pluto! Thanks, I appreciate that!
TB: I don’t mean out there like that, I mean that you put yourself out there. You put your personality out there, I don’t mean that you’re a space cadet.
AF: (Laughs) No, I know what you mean, but you know what it is, there’s a fine line. I have to stop myself from over-sharing. I think that people can relate to things like, “Oh my gosh, guess what I just did, I’m such a dumbass, I did something silly,” or whatever. But I have to stop myself sometimes and think, “Wait, that could be misconstrued.” I want to tweet something, I want to share something, I’m very open and vulnerable sometimes and just think, “Well someone may think something else.” As open and as out there as I am, I have to put the brakes to politics, religion, things I really wish that I could speak my mind about but professionally, it would be suicide.
TB: I think that with all social media it’s becoming that way. You can’t change people’s mind about certain things, so there’s no point in even talking about it anymore.
AF: Right, yeah!
TB: "Frack That Ass" might be my new favorite porn title. (Ashley begins laughing) I know that you’re an advocate for climate change awareness. Does this film have a not-so-hidden agenda?
AF: I love it! I think it’s great how we can parallel and parody things in porn, and it’s a way of dealing with certain things by saying, let’s make fun of it and make it sexy (both laugh). But yes, I am a big advocate for people and their comprehension of climate change. It’s like, what did Jon Stewart say? “Oh my god, Fox News acknowledged it, it really is the end of the world!” (Both laugh). So yeah, now we have porno movies called “Frack That Ass.” I don’t know much about actual fracking practices, but I do know that it can be dangerous much like anal sex (both laugh), if not done right.
TB: Is that the tagline for the movie? Because it should be.
AF: (Laughs) Yeah… Careful, there’s a deep well there (both laugh).
TB: You never know what’s going to come out of there (both laugh).
AF: Exactly! I do think that people should be more aware of their footprint, because we’ve really raped, and pillaged, and fucked over this planet so much that, what else is there left to do but make a parody porn about it?
TB: Hey, you know, you’re raising awareness, you know? Whatever delivery system you happen to have for your message, you’re still getting your message out there. So, why not, honestly?
AF: Sex sells, right?
TB: Exactly, and not to go down this road too much, but I’m sure that there are plenty of crazy climate change deniers that are also, maybe, closeted sex addicts.
AF: Oh yeah, I mean, no, are you kidding? It’s so weird that… I’m going to urinate while we’re on the phone, I hope you don’t mind.
TB: Oh no, absolutely not, and I will be sure to transcribe that as well.
AF: Oh good, you should. Hang on, do you want to hear it? (Ashley is now holding the phone close enough that I can hear her urinating, and I am laughing. This goes on for approximately 20 seconds).
TB: Awesome, thank you.
AF: Yeah, that’s Starbucks right there, it kind of smells like coffee too.
TB: Fantastic, that’s a first for me, thank you, I appreciate that.
AF: (Laughs) Yeah, I do it often on my blog, that’s another thing, potty tips. Oh my goodness, who knew that would be so popular, but I get requests every day. Every single day from people on Twitter, via e-mail, on my website, “could you piss more and then post it on Twitter? Thanks!” Tumblr; everyone wants the potty pictures. Can I ask you a question?
TB: Absolutely, yeah.
AF: Do you have a favorite performer?
TB: You know, I don’t. Here’s the thing, and this is weird and it’s going to sound strange, but I don’t know maybe you’ve heard it all at this point in time. I prefer to go on a scene by scene basis. When I see something that looks really hot to me, I will gravitate toward that. So there’s a lot of performers that I like, but it’s not one of those things where I have to see everything that they do.
AF: Right, right, so you have preferences but not anyone that you have to check in with and see what they’re up to, and buy them a fuckin’ gift from amazon. I got you.
TB: Right, yeah. I’m sort of, I don’t know if I’m unique in that regard but that’s just sort of the way that I’m wired, and it’s the way I’m wired with movies as well. I don’t have a favorite movie star, I don’t have a favorite genre of movies…
AF: … Or a favorite song for that matter.
AF: I feel the same way, there’s so many to choose from, right?
TB: Yeah, exactly. I don’t feel that there’s a need to pigeonhole my desires in such a way that I’m maybe cutting myself off from something that I could potentially appealing or interesting.
AF: I usually ask, when I’m being interviewed, I’ll ask, “what do you jerk off to,” and I don’t know if that’s too personal, can I ask you that?
TB: No, not at all. (I then begin making noises like I regret saying yes to this). This is going to sound so… Here’s the thing, I need to set the scene for you, and I can’t believe I’m doing this but…
AF: (Laughing) If you’re not comfortable…
TB: Hey, I mean, what’s fair is fair, and I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t. I did not get a lot of play in high school.
TB: Yeah, I know, shocking right? So, the way that I get turned on is by stuff that seems to people to be very high school-ish, like hand jobs, blow jobs, and tit jobs.
AF: Nice! Those are a few of my favorite things.
TB: I don’t know why it is, but I think that’s what it is, is that I didn’t have my big sexual awakening during that period when those things were all that was happening. So, I sort of missed the boat, and by the time I got married it was right into sex, and everything else was just sort of like, “Well why do you want to do this when we could just have sex?”
AF: Right, no, I feel the same way. I feel like I skipped a whole lot. I went from kissing girls to kissing boys to sex. I did give a lot of blow jobs, but I missed all that. I gave, like, zero hand jobs until I was 21, I’m not even kidding you. But now, it’s like, “Oh my God, I totally missed this part,” and getting finger banged or kissing someone is like, “Whoa! How come I never did this before?” Yeah, I feel like I reverted back to a teenager at age 21. I totally understand what you’re saying.
TB: Yeah, it’s weird, and I’ve always thought that and said that, it’s something that turns me on because I just missed the boat on it.
AF: Yeah, there’s something so, like, cute about it, it’s not necessarily innocent, but yeah, I know what you mean.
TB: Right, it’s sort of like regression therapy almost.
AF: (Laughing) You are funny! I did not expect to laugh so much today, honestly! Usually it’s really dry and boring, and I just go to my automated responses.
TB: Right, well, you guys do a ton of interviews and it’s not like you want to continue answering the same questions over and over again, and our readers aren’t going to want to read the interview if it’s ten questions that have been asked a hundred times before, what’s the fuckin’ point of even doing an interview?
TB: I do have one more question, and unfortunately it is sort of straightforward, but is there anything else you’d like your fans to know, or perhaps anyone who’s discovering you for the first time?
AF: Yes! I want everyone to see my personal proclivities on my studio site, Clips4Sale.com/5177. I choose the talent, I direct, my husband has directed me for so long, and helped me learn how to direct, which is really hard for someone with ADD, because you get like, “Ooo, ooo, now I want you to do this, and now I want you to do that!” And the performers and the talents are just looking at you (both laugh). So yeah, I’m getting more into directing, and almost everything on there is something that has turned me on.
Some of it’s a little taboo, some of it’s a little strange, but when you’ve been in porn for as long as I have, the normal shit doesn’t do it anymore. So yeah, check out my studio, and yeah… Please keep jerking it for me. And you know, I would love it if more couples reached out to me. Every time that I get a couple that meets me at a convention, or writes me an e-mail, I’m stoked, I’m like, “Yes! That’s a beautiful thing!” It makes my year, it makes my heart smile. So yeah, just keep jerking it!