“Sex with strangers is not something I get off to, it’s the fact I’m being filmed that excites me”
Kylie Ray, porn actress and glamour model, is a self-confessed exhibitionist of sorts, who stumbled into the adult industry by trial and error. Despite not always achieving a breathtaking, spellbinding, raw orgasm at work, ever the professional Kylie, allows the viewer to believe that the nail hits the head at each and every performance.
In an almost parallel spiral of descent into the adult underworld, co-star and model Samantha Bentley, also began her successful career in the glamour world, making a steady progression into open-leg shooting and then porn. “I didn’t even realise I was a ‘pornstar’ until I googled my name and it came up with that!” she tells us, but the ex-page 3 girl has since embraced her new title. However, currently loved up with her musician boyfriend of one year, as of eight months ago Samantha stopped doing boy/girl work for the time being.
Having met her partner whilst already in the industry, we wondered why Samantha’s relatively new relationship has prevented her from continuing in the b/g genre of her career. “I met him through a friend because I wanted a date for the UK Porn Awards, but since being together I’ve become aware that I don’t want my work to endanger his health, or to encroach on our own sex lives. I want to look forward to sex with him like any other couple and to enjoy sex with him for being my man”.
Samantha’s first time performing with a male counterpart was with an experienced porn actor whom she had met in passing once before. As the shoot was organised by a well-known company and the team involved were professionals she felt more mentally prepared for the event and has since gone on to win several awards with the same group. “I knew I could trust them to make it an enjoyable experience and a beautiful scene for me” she says, highlighting the fact that nerves were, of course, amplified. “The vampire shoot with them is the highlight of my career. Producer Rocco said it was the most intense, hard-core thing I have ever shot in my entire career. You’d never guess that in my private life I’m fairly shy. Whereas on set, I’m all about pushing boundaries.”
With Samantha’s story in mind, we wondered if the Ray family have ever discouraged Kylie from work in the past, specifically now in the porn industry. Yet she assures us that her loved ones are comfortable with whatever she does, providing she is safe, professional and that sex is consensual every time. They have made it clear that they are supportive of her choices, but should she ever feel the need to stop it would be a tragedy if she continued unjustly for the money. However, Kylie convinces us that the wages are way beyond the be-all and end-all of why she works in the sex industry.
Both Samantha and Kylie agree that the main misconceptions that stem from their line of work, could not be further from the truth. “We’re not all sluts and STD ridden. I’m 100% faithful to my boyfriend and I get check-ups all the time. When we’re done shooting, the last thing we think about is sex – that’s why I’ve taken 8 months out of b/g for my boyfriend.” says Samantha.
“I am very safe with the people I’m with. I only work with professionals. I do my homework and besides all that it is an industry requirement to get tested for STD’s and other stuff every 2-4 weeks at a minimum. The doctors give you a sexual health certification to say you’re clean. Nobody will book you without it. So it’s a huge lie to say that we are riddled with diseases, just because we’re having sex on tape. The reality is that we’re safer doing porn than those who sleep around with strangers. Sex workers are the most health conscious people around.” says Kylie.
At a basic rate of £300 per scene for Kylie (depending on the obvious variables of what and whom she is doing), the porn industry is one of the few work fields that pays women far more than the men. But being self-employed and working flexible hours has both its pros and cons. The unpredictable nature of an irregular income means that the girls must rely on themselves to research the teams who approach them and the companies that will sell what they shoot. “In this digital day and age, it would be silly not to investigate before signing up to say I’ll do it”, says Kylie “…otherwise you don’t know what you’ll be doing or where that footage will go. I like to see who I’ll be working with in advance of them being stood in front of me”.
Samantha and Kylie say they have to work twice as hard to achieve work, as those who rock up to a 9-5; the perils of self-employment. On set or behind the computer, generating enquiries and responding to them promptly in a timely and orderly manner is a huge part of the freelancing lifestyle. Social media is a blessing in disguise for many self-reliant workers, allowing free networking and publications, as well as promotion.
The wannabe actresses and on-stage extraverts claim that the industry represents the performance arts. “It’s not just sex, it’s an act. I don’t really fancy the people I work with, but I pretend that I do for the plot – my favourite part of any scene is the cheesy acting beforehand.” says Kylie Ray. With creativity clearly in her genetic makeup, Samantha also has a manager for her music and clothing line in collaboration with Read the Label (USA company) for whom she designs prints for and lingerie. “I work every day. Even when I’m not working, I am working – getting my hair done, emails, bookwork etc. The rate of pay for me is anything from £800 up to £1500 for anal. I don’t do hardsports or anything illegal but as far as classic porn goes, I’ve done everything.”
Kylie tells us that for her, being a pornstar equates to empowerment. Not only does she earn more than her male co-stars, have regular check-ups to be in control of her health and call the shots on who she does or doesn’t choose to work with, but she has also opened several doors of opportunity by being a professional in control of her situation. With the BBC currently following her story, she hopes to open the eyes of many on what it means to be a female pornstar living in the UK. “There’s so much negativity around the topic, I want to show what it’s really like”.
“The biggest and genuinely saddest misconception is that we’re all forced into this for easy money.” says Samantha. “But pornstars are some of the hardest working women I know. You have to be intelligent if you want to win awards and get the work.”
“I am what a feminist should be – working in what is deemed to be a man’s world and yet being in control of my own decisions, owning my own house and not needing to do anything that I don’t want to do.”
With both Kyle and Samantha’s self-driven ambitions and desire to transform prejudgements from the sex trade, we believe there’s a lot more left to see of Miss Ray and Miss Bentley, when at first we thought we had seen it all.