[Interview] Sex Week: Joanna Angel - The Pioneer
If you missed the memo, Joanna Angel is kind of a big deal. Actually, a really big deal. After starting her company, Burning Angel, in college with her roommate, Angel went from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the industry as a pioneer of the alternative porn genre. To be clear, Alt Porn isn’t “just” porn. It’s a movement. The college graduate sat down with TWV to talk about her beginnings, why women shouldn’t be afraid of porn and why nothing—and we do mean NOTHING—in the industry is ever “degrading.”
The Well Versed: You’ve been around a long time. Can you talk about some changes in the industry?
Joanna Angel: It’s gotten a lot smaller with the piracy and the economy crash. Five years ago, I felt like here were a thousand companies. Now there are like ten. It’s sad, but I think it’s brought some positives. It got too saturated. There were too many people watching and not enough paying for it. The people left are all very smart and motivated. A couple years ago, people were just throwing shit together. Everybody was just buying a camera, filming people fuck and throwing it up somewhere. We’re getting to a place where it’s more quality than quantity.
TWV: How has that effected what you do?
JA: As much as people like to think porn is an addiction, nobody is buying porn over groceries. People don’t have as much expendable income.
TWV: We’re seeing a generation of new consumers that have grown up thinking porn is supposed to be free, how do you talk to younger people or what would you say to them about why they should buy?
JA: It sucks. When I was younger, when people turned 18 they would go buy a Penthouse or Hustler.
TWV: It was like a rite of passage.
JA: Right. People need to know that if they continue to enjoy porn, music and movies for free, it’s not going to be there one day. If you have any respect or regard for things to continue, you need to pay for it. That’s a hard thing when you get it for free, but its wrong and it’s hurting people.
TWV: Can you talk about the quality difference between what you can buy versus what you get for free?
JA: I don’t download free porn.
TWV: Or at least what you’ve heard.
JA: When you buy a membership to Burning Angel, you can interact with the girl, you can have a profile, you can blog. It’s like a membership to a club. If you like Burning Angel, you like a certain style of girls. You can see them all in one place, we have different formats and we try to give some added benefits that are more than just porn. We want people to feel like they’re a part of something that’s more than just downloading a movie.