Lily Cade is at the top of the charts when it comes to making and distributing lesbian porn for lesbians. I’ve talked about her features countless times over the year as they just keep coming, and all of us here at HotMoviesForHer.com thought it was about time we get an interview with the lesbian legend herself! She never disappoints.
Authentic Lesbian: Congratulations on all the recognition and mainstream attention you’ve been receiving over the past year! You can’t Google “real lesbian porn” without a Lily Cade scene popping up and, as Porn Valley’s Gold Star Lesbian, that has to be a great feeling. The conversation on lesbian sex and what it looks like is changing and expanding in large part because of your movies. Did you consciously take on the task of producing genuine lesbian porn in an effort to present it accurately or was the mindset to make movies you would want to watch and just see what resulted?
Lily Cade: I’m not going to lie, it does feel great to be me. I’ve been able to make some really awesome movies and showcase beautiful, authentic sex in so many variations. When I first encountered porn, I was really put off by “lesbian” content. It didn’t look like the sex that I had with my lovers. I have sex to connect, and that connection was missing. It was bodies touching, but not souls. It was straight girls putting on a show for men. It offended my young heart, watching this mockery of lesbian love.
While I was at USC, I watched 70s era porno features and fell in love with the work of Radley Metzger. I wanted to make movies like that, but for a lesbian audience. I wanted to push the boundaries of erotic content in cinema. I thought I would go about it from the indie film side. I took my first porn scene on a whim, but I discovered a community and a job that I really loved. As a performer, being genuine and showcasing authentic connection has always been my goal. I saw an unfilled niche and sought to fill it. As a director, I want to create erotic content with characters that feel like real women with whom the viewer can identify, not fantasy creatures that exist only to be consumed. Of course, I make what I like, but I do put a lot of thought into what I’m representing.
AL: Now that you’re being looked at as an authority on lesbian sex within the industry do you ever feel pressured or burdened down by the responsibility that can come along with that?
LC: Honestly, no. I feel a lot of pressure, but it’s about deadlines and how I’m going to get funding to make larger movies and the challenges of being an artist. I get bogged down sometimes by worrying and frustrated by dealing with bullshit.
Last night I went to the XRCO awards. I started chatting up a newbie. My wife tried to bet a guy that I would take her into the bathroom, but he wouldn’t take the bet. I took her to the bathroom, fisting her while looking into her eyes, her body suspended between the stall walls. Back at the party, another model stopped her. “The bathroom? It’s incredible, isn’t it?” I watched them lock eyes and share a moment. This is my life. The sex is the easy part.
AL: Speaking of pressure and responsibility, how do you juggle writing, directing, starring in, and editing your own movies? Does one role trump the others?
LC: I just do it, because no one else will. The hardest part is finding the inspiration. Once I have that, they rest falls into place. The most annoying part is scheduling and dealing with the last minute cancellations and other disasters. As far as which is more important, that’s sort of like asking whether my heart or my lungs are more important to the functioning of my body. I do feel like my performance sometimes suffers when I’m directing myself because I worry about other responsibilities, like whether the set is running on time or where the lights are. During the sex, being in the moment feels natural, but I’ve been focusing on improving my non-sex acting skills and immersing myself in my characters. I consider Heartbreaker vs. Obscura my best performance as an actor, in part because I was able to delegate some of the set running and stay “Heartbreaker” instead of myself.
AL: Gender and sexuality are at the forefront of societal conversations in terms of understanding how people view themselves and want others to view them. As a person who identifies as being somewhere between butch and femme, do you ever find these topics creeping into your work? How much of an influence do they have on your plots and characters?
LC: It’s always been a component of my work, from the very start. I feel this split within myself – butch/femme, virgin/whore, good/bad, boi/girl – sort of both, sort of neither. I like to fuck with people’s expectations. I like to make people question themselves. Men tell me all the time that I make them wish they were a woman. I’m an avatar for my male viewers. I fuck girls the way they wish they could. I fuck girls the way they wish men would.
I joke that I’m “male talent” and my first released scene was a drag role in Elexis Unleashed, in which I played a Victorian era girl pretending to be a boy so she could get a job. As a director, I like to riff on boy/girl plots and characters. One of my first scenes as a director featured Dylan Ryan as a pizza “boy” who turns out to be a girl to the surprise but ultimate delight of India Summer in Hard Working Girls. My features take place in a butch/femme universe, with the boy parts played by girls. I don’t so much talk about gender or issues of identity with my work. I just show these things and let people think about it.
AL: Your first scene ever with Capri Cavanni was lost to the world forever so sadly we won’t get to see it, but what made you answer that Craig’s List ad in the first place? What did you buy with the $200 you made?
LC: I’m pretty sure I put it towards rent or food. I’ve always been very practical. I did put a down payment on a motorcycle for my wife with the money I earned from my first “real” shoots for Sweetheart Video.
AL: You mention in a lot of your interviews that your type is more of an energy that you feel with a woman. So far, who have you worked with that brought the most energy?
LC: I’ve had amazing chemistry with so many women, but if you want to see my deepest on screen connection, watch me with Jess Gatsby in Fuck The Police or at makelovenotporn.tv. Jess and I were dating at the time. She’s this gorgeous, hardbody butch, a type I had been dying to represent in porn for a long time. The Fuck The Police scene was really intense and a highlight of my career, the only time I’ve bottomed for a strap-on on camera. When it was over, Jess and I sat together as the crew put equipment away, our focus still only on each other. I held her and told her that I loved her for the first time. The whole movie is great, but that scene is special.
AL: Cops seem to be an ongoing theme in your work. What is it about that power and abusing it that turns you on so much?
LC: I grew up watching cop shows and started to notice the women in uniform. I had a crush on Olivia Bensen from Law and Order SVU back when I didn’t quite understand what I was feeling. I’m into masculine clothes on women, and police uniforms are a particular favorite. As an artist, I find the police fascinating. Whether the police are “good” or “bad” depends on your position in society. Cops have middle class incomes but life and death power. They can get away with fucked up stuff. It’s a dynamic that lends itself well to porno style exploitation and my black sense of humor.
AL: Officer Cade and Heartbreaker are falling off a cliff and you can only save one, who lives?
LC: Officer Cade is fun at parties. She loves her life. She filters the world through an enormous later of bullshit, but she enjoys it. Heartbreaker doesn’t like herself. She’d be mad at me if I saved her.
AL: You do standup!? I had no idea…how did that start and what’s it like? Is porn a big part of your comedy?
LC: It’s definitely part of it. Porn is a unique world. The office politics and the difference between the show we put on and what’s really happening are funny to me but porn is not the only source of my material.
AL: After 8 years in the adult industry what advice would you give young women, gay and straight, looking for their start?
LC: Porn’s tough. To do it well requires a lot of emotional labor, and neither the money nor the fame are what they used to be. “Mainstream porn,” so to speak, has consolidated as fewer companies compete for a dwindling marketplace. If you’re a traditionally hot girl, you can go to one of the better porno agencies and get a certain number of shoots. Success beyond that requires dedication, and running a brand, and acquiring fans. Porn will shoot whatever sells. If you can prove that you sell, you work. The business of being a “porn star” is not just going to set but interacting with fans, monetizing content, affiliate marketing, appearances, etc. Most girls also webcam, escort, or otherwise sell their services. What worked for me was standing out rather than fitting the mold, and I’ve seen others have success by focusing on creating niche content that fans can’t get elsewhere. If you decide to go into porn, do your research and go in with your eyes open.
The Authentic Lesbian hails from Baltimore City, lives in Philly, and is healthily addicted to everything involving naked women. Follow her on Twitter @authenticlezz1 to watch adorable dog videos and occasionally porn.