May 10, 2017 06:39pm
Jacky St. James: I Do Care
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland
Jacky St. James: I Do Care - An interview by Rich Moreland
Recently I chatted with director Jacky St. James who is currently shooting for Sweet Sinner/Mile High Media. It was a business decision, she told me, but her connections with her long-time employer, New Sensations, remain in tact. In fact, she has a future project scheduled for the studio.
I recently reviewed her Sweet Sinner production, Darker Side of Desire, and asked Jacky if that film had any connections with her New Sensations' Emma Marx series now considered a porn classic. That question led to a discussion of her Showtime experience (the six-part Submission series aired last May on HBO) and her feminism.
Here is part of our conversation.
First, Jacky explains that Emma Marx is really "an extension of everything I do because I do a lot of BDSM." In Darker Side she sticks with that winning formula. The film's messages are the same ones we see in Emma and Showtime, she says, "the idea that it's okay to be deviant and to pursue your fantasies."
The East Coast native goes on to say that BDSM and the sexual explorations that emanate from it "are things that exist in me anyway" and "those ideas will always hit the page" in her scripts.
But with Jacky there's more to consider because certain themes recur in all her films.
She believes "it's okay to be different and make choices that aren't status quo." But that does not mean, however, that every choice is a good one. In fact, sometimes her female characters make decisions that do not always turn out to be the most beneficial for them. "Maybe those aren't good but, you know, that's real life. We make bad choices," she says.
It's well known that Jacky St. James is a feminist. Adult film has several, in fact. Currently active women such as ��", Casey Calvert, Joanna Angel, Dana Vespoli, Angela White, Ela Darling, and Tasha Reign head the list. Feminism in the industry means all things that spell equality such as exercising personal choice and consent, another important theme in Jacky's work.
The thirty-something explains,
"I believe that women have an equal place with exploring their sexuality and their fantasies as men. Whatever the fantasy, no matter how deviant, it is okay [if] everybody is consenting and certainly okay for women to enjoy their sexuality."
That's the on-screen narrative, of course. Does feminism have another application before the camera is turned on?
Absolutely, Jacky implies. Casting is a prime example and she takes it seriously. "I always check with the women [I've booked] to make sure they are okay with working with [the male talent that day]... To make sure they are happy and comfortable."
She does offer a caveat because feminism in the business always seems to be a matter of debate.
"I don't want to say that anything produced by a woman is feminist."
Obviously, Jacky implies, there are men who also operate with feminist principles. What is important in her view is this, "at the end of the day there is an equal playing field and there isn't one gender that is more dominant than the other."
Of course, it's easy to talk about a level playing field in front of the camera. Performers should respect each other and expect the same from the director. But what happens when the camera is put away and discussions about what to shoot next, how to market the product, and distribute whatever profits are accrued, take place?
From talking with Jacky over the years, I know these things are important. I believe what many feminists in porn are saying is that it's the boardroom that still needs work and, though Jacky mentioned this only in passing, it's often all about the money and how much of it flows to female directors and writers.
Regardless of her successes, shortcomings, or income, for Jacky the bottom line is still principle.
"It's important that I am a woman and that I do care," she says, and "I want to do the best job I can."
In the end, Jacky declares that she wants to bring something to the porn table. "My view of sexuality and my view of how I think things can be and should be" in the industry mean the most, she says.
That is why Jacky St. James is considered one of, if not the most important, women in adult today.