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C.J. Asher Interviews Kelly Shibari, Penthouse’s First Plus Size Model

KellyShibarHeadshotThe words “trailblazer,” “ambitious” and “accomplished” are rarely used by mainstream media when describing those who work in adult entertainment, but certainly all of them apply to Kelly Shibari. Not only is Kelly an award-winning adult film actress and Penthouse’s first plus size model, but she’s also CEO of public relations and social media company ThePRSMGroup. I recently had the chance to chat with Kelly about her remarkable career and some of the amazing accomplishments she’s had from her work in the adult entertainment industry.

C.J. Asher – First of all, thank you for this interview! Tell me a little about yourself and your background, Kelly.

Kelly Shibari – Thanks for interviewing me! I’m currently forty-three, and born / raised in Japan until I was fifteen. I entered college in the American South right before I turned sixteen. I have degrees in business communication, accounting and technical theatre, with concentrations in set / lighting design and stage management.

C.J. Asher – How did you first get into the adult entertainment industry?

Kelly Shibari – After college, I had been a roadie for a few regional and national tours and lived in New York. When my parents retired and moved to Vegas, I moved there to be closer to them. Unfortunately, Vegas in the early 2000’s wasn’t for me so, before I thought I would move back to New York, I opted to give L.A. a try, where I ended up staying for fifteen years. In that time, I was a Prop Master, Art Director, and Production Designer for a variety of infomercials, commercials, television and film. In 2007, though, the Writer’s Strike extended beyond just writers to include crew, actors, and Teamsters. A friend of mine, who was a weapons wrangler for mainstream films, suggested I try my hand at porn, as he and his girlfriend did some work in the adult industry. After my initial reaction that there weren’t any fat girls in porn (LOL), I decided to send my photos in and see if a company might be interested. I really intended to be in the industry for a year or two as a sabbatical, but I’ve ended up being in the business for almost ten years now.

KellyShibari_IsabelDresler6

Image by Isabel Dresler

C.J. Asher – Congratulations on being Penthouse Magazine’s first plus size model! How were you approached by Penthouse and what was the experience like?

Kelly Shibari – Thank you so much! Penthouse had initially approved a feature interview of me in their offshoot magazine, Penthouse Forum. When that issue sold out quickly, Penthouse provided the criteria for how I could be in their main magazine. It took a year or so to get into Penthouse Forum, and another year to get into Penthouse. I’m so honored to be featured!

C.J. Asher – What other adult entertainment work have you done besides Penthouse?

Kelly Shibari – I’ve tried my hand at shooting, producing, writing and directing, but have learned that operating a camera is definitely not in my wheelhouse. I’m also much better as a technical writer than that of fiction. I would love to get back into directing and producing, but for now, I’m really happy being a publicist and marketer for my clients.

C.J. Asher – In addition to being a performer yourself, you are also CEO of ThePRSMGroup, a public relations and communications company in L.A. Tell me about ThePRSMGroup, such as the clients you serve and what services you provide.

Kelly Shibari – ThePRSMGroup is a public relations and social media marketing company, particularly for pleasure products companies and DVD distribution firms. I write press releases and provide wire services for my clients, as well as coordinate social media mentions, schedule interviews (written as well as audio/visual) and advise on collaborations and other marketing angles for my clients. They, in turn, are also able to leverage my social media follower base, who are mostly adult product consumers. I do occasionally take on performer clients, but not as a general rule – there are plenty of other publicists who are much better versed in those areas than I am.

C.J. Asher – What television shows are you into right now?

Kelly Shibari – I love anything that involves solving a problem. In addition to shows like Sherlock, Bones, Law and Order, House of Lies, House of Cards, and Scandal, I also enjoy Shark Tank, The Profit, and similar business/marketing-based programs. And then I obviously love SNL, @midnight, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and The Daily Show – with Jon Stewart, of course, and I love Trevor Noah. I rarely watch the shows when they’re live, though – thank goodness for Hulu and Netflix!

KellyShibari_HausOfSe7enB

Image by HausOfSe7enB

C.J. Asher – What are your favorite industry-related events, such as industry conventions and gentlemen’s club appearances?

Kelly Shibari – I love them all – my year is filled with them. The year usually goes like this: ANME, XBIZ, ANE, AEE, ILS, ANME, ILS, NightMoves, EXXXOTICA, and then starting all over again. Occasionally I’ll also include The Phoenix Forum. There are also a few international shows I have on my wish list – Expomark and eroFame are the two big ones.

C.J. Asher – What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an adult film actress?

Kelly Shibari – I can only speak from the perspective of a plus size performer, since it is rather different from mainstream performers. I did write an article for xoJane specifically for BBW performers who had been messaging me about getting into the industry, titled “What It’s Really Like to Be a Plus-Size Porn Model — (First Of All, It Won’t Make You Rich),” which has been positively received by veteran performers and, obviously, not well received by new performers, who still have yet to learn how the industry works in the long term.

C.J. Asher – How has being in the adult entertainment industry impacted your personal and professional life? Do family and friends know you’re an adult film actress and what do they think about it?

Kelly Shibari – It’s certainly made me more confident in both my size and my sexuality. I think I’ve tried more different kinds of kink/sex in a shorter amount of time than a non-performer, so I have a stronger understanding of what I like and what I don’t like. Being a performer also means I’ve been judged as well as celebrated, so I’ve become much more resilient when it comes to drama and bullying, which makes it easier for me to advise women and men who might be less confident about their bodies. My parents know – I’m the odd one who asked them before I got into the business. My boyfriend knows, of course – as does his mom. Friends? I suppose everyone on my social networks know. I’m kind of a hermit, so my circle has always been rather small. They’re all amazing and nonjudgmental, which has been fantastic.

C.J. Asher – What awards have you received?

Kelly Shibari – I’ve received the following awards:
2011 Honored Website, Feminist Porn Awards (PaddedKINK.com)
2012 Fetish Site of the Year, BBWFanFest (PaddedKINK.com)
2013 BBW Performer of the Year at EXXXOTICA’s fan-based awards, The Fannys
2013 Best BBW Performer, NightMoves Awards
2013 Top 10 Crush Object List, Fleshbot
2014 BBW Performer of the Year at EXXXOTICA’s fan-based awards, The Fannys
2014 Best BBW Performer, NightMoves Awards
2015 BBW Performer of the Year, Inked Awards
2015 Smutty Schoolteacher of the Year, Feminist Porn Awards (Guide to Wicked Sex: Plus Size)
2015 Specialty Release of the Year, XBIZ Awards (Guide to Wicked Sex: Plus Size)
2016 Person of the Year, The Sexpose

C.J. Asher – What other items of note have you accomplished?

Kelly Shibari – I was hand-selected by director Jonas Akerlund to appear in rock group Rammstein’s music video for Mein Land. I’ve also had a limited-edition Fleshlight made of me. I’m also in the series finale for Sons of Anarchy. Of course, Penthouse Forum and Penthouse have been huge groundbreaking things for me, and I’ve recently been asked to be a Coordinator for Mensa’s western regional conference, for their adult track.

KS_SonsOfAnarchy

Image from Sons of Anarchy

C.J. Asher – Do you feel that, as a woman, working as an adult film actress is empowering or exploiting?

Kelly Shibari – Well, I do agree that pornography is labelling, exploitative, and objectifying by nature – it’s a medium which asks consumers to be a voyeur for the purposes of sexual gratification, and oftentimes masturbation and sex with a partner or partners. For me, there’s an inherent power in knowing that my performances have inspired people to have orgasms – so for me, it’s both. It’s not mutually exclusive.

C.J. Asher – What’s the nicest compliment or rudest comment you’ve ever received from a fan?

Kelly Shibari – The nicest is always when a couple contacts me to let me know that my work has helped them feel more confident about their own bodies, as well as when they let me know they watch my scenes together because I have a relatable body which is having so much fun. Rude comments are aplenty – they’re usually from people who aren’t fans, but occasionally I’ll get a comment from a fan who is interested in having sex with me – and they’re particularly blunt about what they want. I always let them know that my job is as an actress, and my job is to perform so well that they have their own orgasm, but I’m not available to help them in person. I’ve found that even if people are rude, oftentimes it’s because they just aren’t familiar with how to talk to a porn performer – so educating them that I’m pretty much an ordinary girl reminds them to be politer. As a result, I probably have some of the politest and supportive fans in the industry, and for that I’m so thankful!

C.J. Asher – What social media sites can your fans visit you at? Please provide links!

Kelly Shibari – Absolutely. I’m easily reached on Twitter and Facebook. I do have an Instagram and Tumblr, but I’m so bad at using them 😉

About cjasher (920 Articles)
C.J. Asher is a blogger on various subject matters and trending topics related to sexuality, such as prostitution, women's rights, sex trafficking and LGBT issues as well as the adult entertainment industry, having interviewed celebrities such as Dennis Hof and Joanna Angel. C.J. currently resides in Philadelphia, PA and his blog can be found at CJAsher.com.

1 Comment on C.J. Asher Interviews Kelly Shibari, Penthouse’s First Plus Size Model

  1. kelly shibari es una modelo muy bella

    Like

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