IT HAPPENED TO ME: I'm The First Ever Plus-Size Model On The Cover Of Penthouse Forum

I’ve always striven to be the “first” to do things, and to do things when people tell you that you can’t.

May 5, 2014 at 11:00am | Leave a comment

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Courtesy of Kelly Shibari

“Dear Penthouse.” That’s how so many of those iconic, erotic letters go. “I never thought it would happen to me” is part of what makes Penthouse’s readership a community of readers and writers -– a group of sapiosexual exhibitionists and voyeurs.

For 49 years (Penthouse’s flagship mag launched in 1965), the magazine and the letters contained within also featured men and women in various stages of sex. All the models were drop-dead gorgeous -- and slender.

But this month, the magazine decided to feature me -– a plus size porn star.

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Courtesy Penthouse Forum

I mean, I’ve always striven to be the “first” to do things and to do things when people tell me that I can’t.

The thing about the adult industry is that it’s all meant to be fantasy.

Your job is to create exaggerated, erotic scenarios for the purpose of people to watch and be inspired to masturbate or have sex with a partner. That’s the point of porn. Being an erotic fantasy entertainer means you’re part of a larger spectrum of a huge group of performers, who appeal to a large variety of fans.

Everyone has what they like, and it's never universal: big boobs, barely legal, Latina, Asian, interracial, anal, BDSM, clowns, little people, blondes, brunettes, redheads -- and plus size (also known as BBW, Big Beautiful Women). And even within that, every fan has a performer or two they prefer over the others. So within that landscape, it’s impossible to claim that you’re the best or the prettiest, even if your ego may want you to.

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Courtesy Joey Silvera/Evil Angel Video

All you can do is do the best job you can and hope that enough people like you. It’s a lot like life -– you can’t please everyone, so you should concentrate on pleasing the people who like you to the best of your ability.

But one thing you CAN try for is be the first to do something. There’s a concept called “Blue Ocean Strategy.” I didn’t have a name for what it is I have done for years until I heard Scott Taylor, the owner of the production company New Sensations, mention it during a keynote speech at an adult industry conference. Google it. It’s good stuff.

So many people these days, unfortunately, tend to be followers/sheeple/bandwagoners -- people who don’t do the research, but see something being successful for someone else and want to copy it, hoping for a similar result. But finding things no one has ever done before, and trying to do it (and failing and winning and failing and learning and winning -- it’s a never-ending cycle) has been something that gets my juices flowing, and literally gives me a lady boner.

Why do what’s already been done?

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Courtesy Lou Roole

So when I was asked by Penthouse Forum if I would be interested in being interviewed for their magazine, and then asked if I would want to be on the cover, of course I jumped at the chance. I grew up on Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler -– and loved the beautiful women pictured within its covers -- but never thought I’d be “men’s magazine” quality. I’m plus sized. For that reason alone, I never thought I’d ever see myself there. In a society where people of size are often the butt of the joke, being considered “sexy” is something so many sadly don’t see in themselves.

The whole thing has been, and still is, hyper surreal.

If you are unsatisfied with the current media message that in order to be considered sexy, you have to fit into the mainstream media definition (slender, toned, plastic, augmented, photoshopped, whatever), this is a victory. It tells men's magazines everywhere -– the bastion of mainstream erotic fantasy –- how women of all sizes and shapes, colors and looks are worth showcasing. If magazines that make their money on presenting the hottest, sexiest women (even if it’s only a physical representation) are willing to feature women of size, it’ll show mainstream media (fashion, entertainment, etc.) that they should consider doing the same.

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Courtesy Kelly Shibari

I’m not overly political. There are plenty of other people who do it much better than I. But I do know this journey to breaking mainstream media portrayals of beauty is a group effort -– and a step in the right direction. “Dear Penthouse, I never thought it would happen to me,” has never been as personal as it is right now.