Pillow Talk: Jessica Drake on Using Her Career in Porn as a Platform for Sex Ed

Jessica DrakeEXPAND
Jessica Drake
Wicked Pictures

Jenny Block is the writer of the Observer's new sex column, Pillow Talk. She has published three books on the topic, The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex, O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm, and Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage

San Antonio native Jessica Drake is one of the most successful porn stars working today. As exclusive talent for Wicked Pictures, she stars in six movies a year, with shoots lasting anywhere from three days to two weeks. She's usually in more than three scenes per movie.

Drake's career in porn has turned her into quite the entrepreneur. She runs all of her own social media, using it to promote products such as Wicked's line of vegan lubricants and enhancers called Wicked Sensual Care. Drake also has plans to relaunch her radio show, In Bed with Jessica Drake, as a podcast. 

But while she can inspire all sorts of naughty thoughts with her work in porn, Drake is even more inspiring when it comes to the field of sex education. I talked with Drake about working in porn and her ambitions as a sex educator. 

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Block: What is the public’s biggest misconception about porn stars?
Drake: Where do I start? Based on things that I hear or experience, the more popular myths are that we were sexually abused as children; that we are alcoholics or drug addicts; that we have sex with everyone,; and that porn was a "last resort." I have also been told things like, "Wow, you're so smart for a porn star!" Or, "You're so ... normal." Both of these statements are not actual compliments, and tend to infuriate me.

Block: People often say that porn is great as entertainment but terrible as educational material. Do you believe that’s true?
Drake: I couldn't agree more. We have young people growing up whose only reference to sex is porn. Porn can be an amazing tool, but the things we see onscreen may not directly translate to your personal experience. Porn is fantasy. Porn is for entertainment. It also amplifies a need for realistic sex education and a way for viewers to navigate what they see onscreen.

Block: When did you first become interested in sex ed?
Drake: About five years ago, I started to notice that more and more people were seeking out realistic sex information. They were reaching out to me for sex tips, but also for more basic things. I spotted that need right away and reevaluated my career path. I love helping people, I've been a sexual inspiration for years ... but this is a different thing. The entire world needs it.

Block: Why is sex ed so important to you? Why is it so important to us as a society?
Drake: Like many people, I didn't get good sex ed growing up. What I got was very fear-based and shamed my budding sexuality. I want better for everyone else. As a society, the lack of sex education impacts teen pregnancy, STI/HIV rates, creates and forwards social stigmas, and is a barrier to progress. It's cliché, but knowledge truly is power.

When people have a clearer understanding of their bodies and their sexualities, they can make better, more educated decisions about what is right for them. Consent and boundaries are also intricately woven into people's belief systems very early on, and we need much work in those areas.

Block: In what way are you involved in sex ed?
Drake: I created and directed a line of educational movies called Jessica Drake's Guide to Wicked Sex ... [it's] informative and appealing to people looking to explore and expand their sexuality. I teach seminars and workshops worldwide incorporating many of those movies. I speak at universities. I do personal appearances. I regularly write for StyleCaster and freelance for other sites. I attend conferences and conventions as an educator, and I also seek out and assist non-profit organizations that are based in sexual health and wellness education. I also come with a ready-made fan base that I've established in over a decade of being a very well-known adult actress, and I like to say I use my powers for good.

Block: Do you think sex ed should be in schools? If so, at what age do you believe it should begin?
Drake: I think sex ed should absolutely be taught in schools. And at home. It's important that it begin [early]. As children first start to grow and develop, they have natural curiosities about their bodies. They deserve honest answers and realistic explanations. This is when we lay the groundwork for healthy sex lives.

Block: What is the most important thing you believe women need to know about sex?
Drake: We deserve pleasure. We are beautiful as we are. There should be no shame attached.

Block: And men?
Drake: We deserve pleasure. We are good enough. There should be no shame attached. As a feminist, my experience is that we talk about equality in all other areas. But I think sexual equality is of the utmost importance. As long as we can praise a man for having a high number of sexual partners and condemn a woman for the same thing, we have a big problem.

Block: What is your best tip when it comes to sex?
Drake
: Masturbate! It's the best way to get to know your own body, and that comes first. Literally.

Block: If you could tell people one thing about the porn industry, what would you tell them?
Drake
: Porn can be an amazing resource. And please pay for your porn.

For more information on Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex, visit guidetowickedsex.com.


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