Interviews With The Involved: Kelly Shibari

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Interviews With The Involved: Kelly Shibari

 

Kelly Shibari

Kelly Shibari’s Bio:

Kelly Shibari is a Japanese-Irish adult model, fetish performer and porn star. She is singularly the only plus-sized Asian-American porn performer in the American pornographic industry. Kelly boasts an impressive 67,000+ Twitter follower count, the most of any plus-sized performer on the social network.

 Kelly has performed in projects with Evil Angel, Zero Tolerance, Evasive Angles, Rodney Moore, Devil’s Film, New Sensations, and Red Light District, amongst many others, and has been nominated numerous times for adult industry awards. Kelly was featured as the first-ever pull-out centerfold for AVN Magazine in its only issue to address BBW pornography. She has also appeared in a non-sex role, in the Wicked Pictures feature Summer Lovin’, as Asa Akira’s mother. The role required Kelly to speak in Japanese, in which she is fluent.

 Kelly received acclaim in 2010 with BBW kink site PaddedKINK, which won a 2011 Feminist Porn Award for its efforts to bring plus-sized kink and fetish to the public.

 Acclaimed director Jonas Akerlund hand-picked Kelly for a prominent role as a confident, sexy, plus-sized beach bunny in the music video for German industrial/metal band Rammstein’s Mein Land, which debuted on Friday, 11/11/11. Kelly was also featured in a promotional campaign for the world premiere, adding to her international appeal. Kelly continued her industry takeover with the introduction of the first-ever BBW Fleshlight. Molded after her own vulva, the limited-edition BBW version of the #1 selling men’s sex toy was unveiled on July 2, 2012 until the fall of the same year.

 Kelly has written for several adult industry sites, including XBIZ, HotMoviesForHer, AllAdultNetwork, and CAM4. She was also a featured guest editor on ex-Gawker Media site Fleshbot’s Kelly Shibari Week; her article on plus size sexuality and pornography on Jane Pratt’s SAY MEDIA site, xojane, was one of the site’s most popular articles.

 Kelly runs a PR and marketing consultancy for the adult industry, The PRSM Group, and has spoken at numerous adult and mainstream conventions on the use of social media as a marketing and branding tool for the adult industry, including AVN, XBIZ, Inbound Marketing Summit, and BlogWorldExpo. Kelly was hired in 2013 as the Executive of Social and Media Relations for premiere industry firm FineAssMarketing.

 

Originally from Japan, Kelly currently calls the West Coast her home and constantly confuses her colleagues with her old-fashioned, Eastern sensibilities.

 

LINKS

Twitter http://twitter.com/kellyshibari Facebook http://facebook.com/kellyshibari LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyshibari

Fan site: http://KellyShibariXXX.com Fetish site: http://PaddedKINK.com PR/Marketing company sites: , 

The Interview With Kelly:

1. As an advocate of sex positivity, what do you see as the single biggest issue facing advocates of sex positivity and safer, healthier, smarter sex? What steps do you think can be taken to fix this issue?

I think that advocacy in any area comes with inherent issues, especially if it doesn’t conform to societal “rules.” Most people don’t accept that larger people can be healthy, you know? When it’s only a popular belief within a smaller group, then convincing the general public that what media and the health industry has been telling them all these years may have problems is hard. The only thing you can do is to keep proving them that your opinions have some merit. In my case, my belief is that people who are a bit bigger than a Victoria Secret model can still be sexy, healthy, confident, and happy…

Society has told us for generations that fat = unhealthy, slovenly, lazy, dirty, gross…and definitely not sexy. By talking about it, and showing that plus size people (men AND women) have healthy, rewarding sex lives – that’s the best way to prove them wrong. Just the fact that we’re starting to see projects about size positivity and “healthy at any size” projects – and even something like AVN finally acknowledging that BBW is a sex performance category worthy of an award separate from “Specialty” are signs that we’re making progress. There will still be groups and comedians and douchebags in general (haha) that are anti-fat. And there will always be a segment of the populations that DOES prefer slender sex partners.  The acknowledgment that plus size CAN be a preference for both men and women, is really important.

I think the important thing is accepting that everyone has different preferences – and that each person’s preference is ok.

I think it’s ok that some people out there prefer slender, or muscular, or chubby, or fat. I think what’s important is to make sure that people don’t get chastised for their preferences.

2. What was the biggest struggle you overcame in the sex industry?

My struggle, if you want to call it that, is trying to convince “fat acceptance” groups that condemning people who like slender people is equally as bad as telling people who bully fat people are bad. So many BBW “communities” go out of their way to self-segregate. They only go to BBW events, only hold BBW parties, etc. The problem is that when a slender guy or girl goes to those things, sometimes they’re told they’re not welcome. That’s just as horrible as going to a non-BBW club and being told they’re too fat to enter.

 So, it’s not really a “struggle” – I think it’s more of a concern. I get why it started that way – it was a way to have events that made BBWs not feel excluded, in a safe, fun environment. But as those walls start getting broken down, I’d prefer groups start having “all sizes” events, you know… but perhaps I’m being utopian.

3. If you could change anything you’ve done through the course of your career, what would it be? What is the significance of said event or period?

 

I’ve had a really interesting life, with a variety of different careers before getting into adult entertainment, and then into advocacy. Even if I wanted to get into this line of work 10 years before I actually did, I think everything happens for a reason, and I wasn’t meant to get into xxx until my mid-30s.

If I have any regrets, it probably would have been that I was too eager, too gullible, in the beginning. The adult industry isn’t all wine and roses, of course. There have been errors in judgment when it came to working with people I don’t think I would have if I weren’t so – innocent? Then again, those mistakes are really just a hands-on education, so maybe that’s not really a regret either… I mean I could have grudges, or regrets;  there’s no real upside to that, you know?

You end up realizing that people come into your life for a reason. Sometimes it’s to make your life better. Sometimes it’s to teach you something. My negative experiences have only made me stronger, and I’ve got so much to be thankful for these days – it’s wasted space to dwell on the negative. It’s interesting – I’ve tried all sorts of things over the years I’ve been in XXX. Some things really worked out… Some stuff didn’t. I was lucky that the recession allowed me to test and educate myself on a variety of things, because now that things are fiscally better, I’m able to apply what I learned for a real career.

I’d rather just cast a wide net and try a lot of things – throw them all up and see what sticks – than just do 1 thing at a time. Life’s too short to put all your eggs into one basket and hope that 1 thing will carry you. What happens when it doesn’t? You have to have several irons in the fire, always 🙂

Eventually, what happens (at least in my case) is that I’m able to make a living doing a few things, and that income allows me to work on passion projects that may not bring in an income, or at least not what would pay bills, but you just keep sticking to it and eventually people see you beyond the performer persona. These days, it seems that people see the marketing thing before the performer aspect, so it’s been an interesting change. Depends on the crowd, but I’m very happy these days. So: My work allows me to play and my play enhances my work… it’s mutually beneficial.

4. Who is your favorite author, erotic or non?

Hmmmm. When I was younger, it was a lot of Agatha Christie and Stephen King. That transitioned into Patricia Cornwell as I got older. I guess I’ve always liked murder mysteries, psychological thrillers, that sort of thing. Oh – also a lot of Anne Rice, including her erotic work. These days, I haven’t had much time to sit and read, but I do have a couple of books from people I’ve met that are on my nightstand waiting for me to tackle them. Maybe over the holidays when media slows down.

5. What is one thing you wish you could just explain to the world and have everyone understand instantly? Why would you choose that one thing over any other?

That just because someone is in the adult entertainment industry, that it doesn’t mean they’re on drugs, or come from a bad family background, or were abused as a kid. Or that they’re dropouts with nothing better to offer the world than being naked on film.  I mean, there are damaged people in all walks of life…. stockbrokers with drug habits and hard-working blue collar workers who are alcoholics, and people that would rather be artists but “had” to become a doctor or a lawyer because their families forced them into it.

As more adult performers start revealing that they’re more than a naked body, and branching out into things that are more about the world than just performance, they’ll just organically set themselves apart from what society considers “the norm.”  In my case, I naturally just don’t do a lot of public events; I’m not much of a partier… but I do a lot of nerdy things, and that shows when I’m online!

6. Who in the industry inspires you? What about them does so?

I’m inspired by people that branch out and prove that they’re more than just a pretty face. For that, it includes legends like Nina Hartley and Ginger Lynn. It also includes current superstars like jessica drake (Edit to add: I realize jessica’s name is lowercase. Kelly made sure I understood it is supposed to be!). I’m inspired by strong women who are able to continue to reinvent themselves – it’s not about size, age, or anything else. It’s about a track record, how they’ve dealt with adversity, and how compassionate they are towards the world as a whole. They don’t settle for just one thing, or a career hiccup, or if people don’t like them. They don’t give a f*ck, and they just keep doing bigger and better things every time I see them. They’re amazing people, and I admire and respect them greatly. Oh – one more thing about inspiration. I admire all three of those women because they’re also so accessible to their fans. I know too many performers who self-pedastalize (if that’s a word, haha). I’m just a girl who’s a perv. There’s not much different between me and my fans, and without them I’m nothing, you know? I’m so appreciative when they take the time to follow me or say hi, or come to a convention.

7. What do you wish someone would have taught you when you were just learning about sex and sexuality?

That sex isn’t always love. I had, and still do, have a strong emotional attachment to sex. I’m not polyamorous – I’m emotionally monogamous. But sex is sometimes entertainment, like the sex I have on camera. It’s a performance, and I try to entertain my fans as much as possible. I figure I’m doing a disservice if I wasn’t. But I don’t use porn as a way to get laid, if that makes sense. Yes, there will be chemistry on set, but that’s nothing like the sex I have in my private life. In a way, being in xxx has made me less of an emotional slut, because I’ve been able to distinguish between entertainment sex and relationship sex. Sex in general was not a taboo topic growing up, but I guess I wish someone would have told me that not all sex is relationship sex… but when you do have real relationship sex, it’s amazing.

I guess these days I don’t just jump in bed with anyone I’m attracted to. I need to be romanced into relationship sex. Having entertainment sex allows me to make a distinction. I don’t need to “get” someone to like me just because I’m willing to jump into bed. I did so much of that when I was in my twenties. I’m pickier now – maybe because I’m also more confident these days.




There are 3 comments

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  1. Wicked Wahine

    What a fabulous interview! I am so impressed by both the thoughtful questions, but by her equally thoughtful answers. I knew so little about Kelly before reading this and I am impressed by her achievements, as well as really liking what she has to say! I found myself doing a lot of head nodding and saying “YES! she gets it!” She has a way of conveying her ideals and thoughts without sounding preachy or condescending, yet she still gets her message across; I appreciate someone who can walk that tightrope.

    I have said this before, but I will say it again, I think these interviews are a real asset to your site, Mr Will and I hope to see even more of these interesting people doing them in the future. You know, another thing I really like about Kelly is that she accepted your request to be interviewed and approached it as professionally as any other business event. That tells me a lot about her as a person and I am glad I now know more about her.


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