On the eve of Casey Calvert's 21st birthday, she agonized over sending an email to a complete stranger. The University of Florida co-ed was ready to lose her virginity, and she wanted the experience to be perfect. Despite her sorority-girl-facade, Casey was not looking for Mr. Right to sweep her off her feet and deflower her on a bed of rose pedals. She wanted to be bound and dominated by a man who knew a thing or two about pain. Casey had always felt drawn to the kinkier side of sex, but she had never admitted this preference to anyone—at least not until she hit "send" on that email. With the loss of her virginity, Casey began a sexual journey that would lead to her becoming one of the most versatile performers in porn, able to fill any role, from the most hardcore BDSM slave to an introverted girl next door, both of which she is.
Alfie: You began watching porn at a young age, and now define yourself as kinky. Were you originally drawn to BDSM porn? Was that the first type of porn you encountered?
Casey Calvert: The very first thing I watched was a gay scene because that was what my friend pulled up on the computer. But as soon as she left, I searched for the fetish things I wanted to see.
Alfie: You already had fetishistic preferences before you ever saw porn?
Casey Calvert: 100 percent.
Alfie: How do you think you developed such preferences without first seeing them in porn?
Casey Calvert: If I could ask some all-knowing being one question, that’s what I would want to know. Where the fuck does it come from? I have absolutely no idea.
Alfie: You waited until you were 21 to lose your virginity, as you were waiting for the ideal, fetish experience. How did you orchestrate such an event?
Casey Calvert: I didn’t really break it down step-by-step. I more waited until there was someone I could trust. For me, the experience would have been ruined if I had to tell someone, "this is what I need you to do for me," so I waited until I found someone I knew could do those things without me having to instruct him.
Alfie: You were looking for a good sexual improviser who knew how to work a scene instead of scripting the entire thing yourself?
Casey Calvert: Yeah. At that time, I was still so shy about it. I couldn’t communicate what I wanted. I needed someone who was experienced and could just do those things.
Alfie: So much of BDSM is about restraint, denial, or delayed gratification. Do you think that was part of why you waited so long to lose your virginity? Or was it all about you waiting for the perfect situation?
Casey Calvert: No, it was half that I wanted the perfect scenario and half that I was too shy to tell anyone. It was my big scary, terrible, terrible secret. I could not tell anyone. It would make me uncomfortable physically to think about telling people. So it wasn’t a deliberate game I was playing with myself. It was just my own self consciousness.
Alfie: What broke you of that?
Casey Calvert: I started meeting people. I just sort of bit the bullet and decided I was going to get for myself, for my 21st birthday, the one thing I always wanted. I agonized over an email for a week before I ever reached out to someone I thought might be OK. And then he started introducing me to other people. I met this whole community of people who were into the same things. They seemed to like me. They seemed normal. They told me I was pretty. Very, very slowly I started to accept my own sexuality.
Alfie: What I like about fetish parties is that everyone is so accepting in part because they are all so vulnerable. They are putting themselves out there in a way they would not at a normal bar. It also creates this environment where it’s okay to simply go up and ask someone what they are into.
Casey Calvert: Yes.
Alfie: So how do you meet people at a normal bar or in your personal life?
Casey Calvert: I only meet people in the fetish community. I don’t know how to meet someone at a bar. In high school and college, if a guy asked me out I would go out with him because I thought it took balls to ask me. Today if someone comes up to me at a bar and flirts with me, that’s great. I’ll flirt back. But I don’t know what to do without saying, “tell me what you are into.” I’m really kind of awkward when it comes to that. I am so used to meeting people in a sexual context.
Alfie: Would you ever waste your time going out with someone whose sexual interests you don’t know ahead of time?
Casey Calvert: It depends. I would need the other parts of that person to intrigue me enough to want to get to the point where we could discuss preferences, which has happened before. With me the talk moves pretty quickly to “what are you into?” As soon as people find out what I do, for a while the conversation is dominated by sex.
Alfie: You took you stage name Calvert, from the last name of a college professor at The University of Florida who taught you about first amendment law and pornography. Has that professor since learned about this tribute?
Casey Calvert: Yes. He knows. He thinks it’s fantastic. I’ve lectured in his class. I’ve had a drink with him when he was in L.A. I should probably have realized before I used his name that it would be all over the Internet and he might not be okay with that, but luckily he thinks it’s great.
Alfie: You’re like his intellectual daughter.
Casey Calvert: He teaches and writes about porn. He mostly deals with first amendment stuff. He was very involved in the Larry Flynt trial, Hustler Magazine vs. Falwell.
Alfie: Has having that background in first amendment law made you more marketable to press? Do more mainstream outlets want to talk to you because you can speak intelligently on those issues?
Casey Calvert: It’s not specifically first amendment stuff they want to talk about. It depends on what’s going on. When everyone was talking about measure B, and the industry’s defense was based on the first amendment in that the state could not tell performers what to do with our bodies—which was a violation of our free speech—I did a lot of first amendment speeches then. These days it’s much more like, “Oh you went to college. Cool. We’ll talk to you on a more intellectual level."
Alfie: Recently you’ve released a lot of anal, IR, gangbangs, and fetish scenes. But you also keep getting booked for softer, girl-girl glamour shoots. While some porn stars try to brand themselves as an anal queen or whatever, has your strategy been to be a kind of sexual chameleon, where you can inhabit all these different sexual roles?
Casey Calvert: I think financially it makes the most sense to shoot everything and I like shooting everything. If I felt very strongly that there were certain things that I just don’t enjoy, I wouldn’t shoot those, but I enjoy pretty lesbian glamour stuff as much as I enjoy shooting more hardcore scenes. Frankly, it’s a break for my body to go to work and do the softer stuff. I enjoy that.
Alfie: It’s quite literally softer.
Casey Calvert: Yes. I enjoy those scenes.
Alfie: You wrote an article for The Economist about porn. I’ve sat in on lectures from Robert Jensen, the professor who wrote against the porn industry. He is known for being the most liberal professor at The University of Texas, so I was surprised to see his stance on porn. He argued that tube sites are detrimental. One of your main points was that he was pointing to tube sites as the only example of porn, while he was ignoring all the different types: fetish porn, BDSM porn, queer porn. You argued that this variety provides an outlet for people who might not otherwise have the means to experience their fantasies in real life. Was his view of porn simply too narrow?
Casey Calvert: You can find whatever you want to see on the Internet. Holding up what’s on tube sites as all there is of porn is wrong. Those sites may be the first thing the average college guy comes across when he is looking for porn. But, for those who want something else, they can find that online as well. I think that is a fantastic service that we provide. Talking about porn is like talking about books. The only real similarities between books is that they are filled with words. Like books, every porn scene is different. When you talk about porn, you have to be more specific. You can’t make generalizations.
Read more by Alfie or email him directly at ShawnAlff.com