Did things on Slutever pick up while you were still in London?
I was writing for Platform and Vice at the time, but when I moved to New York, things started to happen. When I was living in London, my life was so retarded. I was so wasted all the time. [Laughs] At one point, we lived with three drug dealers.
The whole idea of it is to humanize fetish in the media.
I was coming back from Paris, and I didn’t have my visa anymore, so they told me I had to leave. I didn’t get deported in the sense that I couldn’t come back, but I couldn’t come back in 2010. [Laughs] I was kind of depressed leaving London, because I had lived there for seven years, but it was a blessing in disguise. I needed to sort out my life. I was 24, and I realized that, at some point, you just have to not be drunk all the time. [Laughs]
I grew up in upstate New York in this really small town, and returning to New York just felt like the right thing to do.
What are your favorite blogs and magazines?
It’s cliché to say, but one of the only blogs I really follow is Style Rookie, Tavi Gevinson’s blog. It’s so different. One day, she’s going to be like Oprah. What I take from her is honesty. It feels really unfiltered, and I like that.
I also really like this magazine called Richardson. It’s an art/porn magazine essentially, and it only comes out once a year, but they update their website. All the covers are different porn stars. They had Sasha Grey on the cover, and the next one is Belladonna. It’s not a typical magazine that you’d look at to jerk off or something, it’s about porn, the psychology of porn, and what it means in our culture. It has interviews with porn stars about what it's actually like to work in the industry.
I actually interviewed Danny Fields for the next issue, who was a big figure in Punk in the 70s and 80s, but he also made a bunch of porn for fun that never really went anywhere. We went through his archived photographs and polaroids that he never did anything with.
And now we live in a time where you put everything online immediately.
Yeah, and all of these people in the photos were clearly really into it. Danny reminded me, like, “Hellooo, this is before the internet, people weren’t so paranoid about everything.”
So let’s talk about your filmmaking, performance art, and particularly your two TV series. Can you talk about your work with Purple TV and Vice, and what the distinguishing elements are between the two?
Well, I began making really, really, REALLY D.I.Y. videos for my blog called “video memories” and really simple vignettes or talk-to-camera type things. One of the girls from Purple said they were launching Purple TV, and I love their magazine, so of course I said I'd be a part of it. I love it; it’s very French. They gave me the option to do whatever I wanted.
At first, I was really scared, but after I watched Tiny Furniture by Lena Dunham (who’s now making the HBO series, Girls), where the message is that, “Anyone can make a movie, you just need the confidence to do it,” I realized that there are people who do it for no reason. We live in a day and age where you can pick up a camera and make quality films.
For Vice, it’s been in the works for a long time about potentially doing a video series, but we didn’t know what we wanted to do. We flirted with another idea in the beginning, but then realized it was shit, so Vice was like, “Why don’t we just turn your blog into real life? Maybe this is a better angle.” It’s cool because this is the first show they’ve ever done that’s by girls, for girls. Adri Murguia is the director and producer.
Do you write it?
I write all the voice-overs, but it’s really half-written/half-improvised, because you don’t know what people are going to say, of course. I think the whole idea of it is to humanize fetish in the media. When we think of sexual fetish, we think of leather-clad freaks in a dungeon. However, it’s something normal people engage in all the time, whether it’s at home with a boyfriend or hiring a dominatrix. We’re trying to create a dialogue about weird sex and sexual fetish so that it’s less weird to bring it up.