Dangerous Curves--XCritic Speaks To The Goddess, April Flores!
Interview By Rob Perez
I was recently asked to send in a list of my top 25 active performers in porn today. My list could not be complete without listing April Flores, a woman who represents the every woman in porn. Outside the fantasy world of porn stars, April more closely resembles the majority of the female population. We watch porn to escape reality and watch the unattainable. But my tastes have always shifted to the real woman, a woman with curves that can be attainable, or at least makes you think you can. No other performer is more real than April Flores.
From the time she made her debut in Evil Pink 2—performing her first scene with Belladonna—April has been an A-list star since day one. She is without question the top BBW performer of all time, working for such major studios as Evil Angel, Vivid, Adam & Eve, Zero Tolerance, Metro and has performed, worked with or has co-starred along other A-list talents like Kimberly Kane, Sasha Grey, Tristan Taormino, Rodney Moore, CJ Wright, and Sunny Lane. She is the first and only plus-size performer to appear on the cover of AVN Magazine. In 2009 Topco released Voluptuous Pussy molded from April, making her the first plus-size performer with her own toy line. She has crossed over to the mainstream world, having appeared on the cover of Bizarre Magazine (twice). Her resume has earned her respect from the entire adult community. Clearly, April is the face of the genre, and one of the primary reasons BBW porn is no longer overlooked but considered a serious, money-making adult category.
I first spoke with April back in 2008 just after the release of her sex documentary Voluptuous Life. A girl/girl only performer at the time, April was already being touted as the new “It” BBW performer. With her unique look and bright personality April was destined to become the first BBW performer to capture the mainstream adult world’s attention. A versatile performer who has appeared in a number of gonzo, big budget features, parodies, kink/BDSM, to more sensually erotic, artistic films, and of course BBW titles, April Flores epitomizes what a true Dangerous Curves woman is!
So tell me what you’re promoting at the moment?
I’verecently written a forward for a book coming out called Curvy Girls, an erotica book based on plus-size characters. I also wrote an essay for an anthology called Fierce Fatties. There’s Tattoo Week at Hedonism from June 2-9. I’m working with Dream Pleasure Tours and they’re taking a group down to Jamaica. It’s a whole week of fun sexy entertainment. It’s for people who are proud of their tattoos and show them off.
Also, the re-release of Alter Ego. It’s available on TLA Cult. It’s actually an art/erotic film. There’s no sex in it but it’s the first film I was in and the first film I collaborated with my husband, Carlos Batts. We shot it in 2004, 2005. We had shot it before I had known I was going to enter the adult industry, so it was more like an experimental art film but it’s definitely erotic. My husband and I have always been shooting since we met. At that time we started to focus more on using a video camera instead of a still camera and that is what became Alter Ego. It’s a voyeuristic look at photo shoots and me interacting with different friends of mine. It’s beautifully done and it is our first film so I think it might be interesting for some of my fans to see where we came from and where I came from as a performer, and to see where I was at that time.
You were the first BBW performer to have a toy molded after her and this time you have the Cyber Skin Pussy Stroker. Can you explain what the stroker is?
It’s a stroker toy and it’s designed for masturbation on a penis. It’s really thick tube and on one side is my pussy and on the other side there’s a hole. It’s open-ended for easy cleaning but also if you put your finger in the hole on the other side of the entry it creates suction. So that’s an added benefit for the guy. [Laughs] The toy itself is designed to look like real folds and flesh. The handle part isn’t thin nor does it look like a handle. It looks like the body extends so the part that you grab is meaty and chubby as well.
What would be a porn film you’d recommend to someone not familiar with your work?
Behind The Red Door would be a good film [to watch] because I’m in a lot of those scenes obviously with different scene partners. I was able to express myself with different types of performances. The other would be Dangerous Curves, my favorite movie. I wrote that film. The whole vision and the whole look of it was mine. That film represents me the most in terms of an artist. It was shot all outdoors. That was shot in 2010.
The last time we spoke in 2008, you were just beginning to become the April Flores you are today. What have been the highlights over the last four years of your career?
Over the last four years the highlights have been that I’ve been able to perform in a lot of movies. I was able to work with Carlos on a lot of them and when we work together it’s really fun because I’m involved from the very beginning and I get to see how each movie is born, and the ideas that go into each film. So if he’s directing I’m a lot more involved in the whole idea of the film, so when I’m shooting I have all that knowledge to use in my performance. Another highlight has been working with Courtney Trouble and the queer community. She’s a director from San Francisco and she’s become a really good friend. She invited me to be in some of her films. I was able to go to San Francisco a lot and make a lot of friends, and be a part of the queer community. I learned a lot about different things and myself as a performer, being able to explore my own sexuality. So working with Courtney was really great. I was able to attend the Feminist Porn Awards two years in a row. I received Hearthrob of the Year in 2010. That was really exciting to be around a really supportive community of people that support your work and get your work, and draw inspiration from your work. That was super rewarding. A million times better than AVN.
Courtney Trouble, April Flores and Kelly Shibari in a scene from Artcore.
Which I believe you’re the only BBW performer ever to be nominated for an AVN.
I’m not sure. I was nominated for Crossover Star last year but I know I’m the first BBW to be on the cover of AVN Magazine.
Would you consider yourself a pioneer because you have accomplished a lot of firsts for BBWs and have done a lot for the BBW community?
[Laughs] It’s really interesting because I entered this industry really slowly, and I was motivated to do sex scenes because I was curious and I wanted to try new things. So it’s really cool that, because of my desire to try something new, it brought this kind of after-effect of breaking down some barriers for plus-size women and hopefully exposing that plus-size women and BBW films are a viable genre, and should be films that need to be made.
You were also nominated for an Icon award at the BBW Fan Fest. How does it feel to be nominated for an Icon award?
It means a lot. My main goal is that I want to show other plus-size women and the world that we are plus-size but we can be sexual and we can be thought of as attractive, and we can express our sexuality. So to be recognized for that is beyond words for me. It feels great.
Thanks to BBW performers such as yourself, Kelly Shibari, Samantha 38G BBW porn has grown but do you feel more needs to be done before it becomes fully recognized and respected by the adult community?
I think a lot of genres and a lot of variations on sexuality have a long way to go before they’re recognized by quote, unquote “the mainstream.” Not just BBW but queer, the more artistic stuff and not just the standard, stereotypical porns. Everyone does their own thing and makes new work, and I think porn could benefit by just being more open-minded to visions that are expressed.
When I interviewed Kelly Shibari I asked why she had a huge following in the queer community. Why do you feel you have a huge following in the queer community?
I think it’s because, with most of my films I haven’t done the formulaic routine like b/g, g/g, inter-racial, anal, whatever. I didn’t follow any of that. I just followed my own sexuality. I’m authentic in my performances and I think the queer community can identify authenticity as oppose to someone who’s there just to be there. I think my activism, being a pioneer the queer community likes that. I identify with queer too. And I don’t think I have a stereotypical look. I’m curvier, my hair is red, I got tattoos. So I think by just being different I’m more attractive to certain people because maybe I look more like them. So when they see me performing in a porn, they think, “That person looks like me.” They can identify with that.
You’ve done typical porn scenes but you’ve done a lot films that are more erotic, artistic, and kinkier. Why are you drawn to that artistic side of erotica?
I like doing both. I like the thrill of just having sex and it just being about the sex, but I like to think of myself as an artist and when I’m performing for film I feel like it’s performance art of sorts. A lot of my peers and my husband, we’re all are artists so naturally I’m more drawn to projects that do have sex and are erotic but also have the underlying goal of making something beautiful and artistic and also making a statement with the project.
You’re pretty well known for the dark stuff especially the scenes you’ve done with Belladonna for her films and BDSM stuff. What draws you to that?
What draws me to that is curiosity and also wanting to keep things interesting as a performer. I like to do things that challenge me and scare me and push my own boundaries. So doing things that are outside my comfort zone are really attractive to me.
Naturally are you more submissive? In your films you tend to be submissive with guys and girls.
Yeah, I am. I was really curious to try to be a dom for a while but it didn’t work out. [Laughs] I’m just naturally a sub.
Why do you enjoy working with Belladonna?
I love working with her because she’s the first person I ever shot with. She’s the first person to invite me to one of her films. She’s a really sweet woman. She’s very sincere and genuine. Every time I shoot with her and Aiden, her husband, I have a great time. It’s straightforward shooting.
Do you credit her with helping you get your name out there?
I credit her with being open-minded enough to consider me for her film. When I met with her it was to shoot pictures for a project that Carlos and I have ongoing. She declined the project but she invited me to be in one of her films and before that I had never even thought about doing porn. But since she offered it, it was something that I said yes to. So I definitely credit her with introducing me to a whole other side of my own self.
And you haven’t looked backed ever since.
[Laughs] It kind of snowballed gradually at my own pace but my career has been a million times more than I would have ever thought because when I shot for Belladonna for Evil Pink 2, I thought it was going to be a one time experience. I never could have imagined any of this happening.
Was your sex documentary, Voluptuous Life, one of the films early in your career that got the name April Flores out there?
I think the name April Flores got out there because of Evil Pink 2 because Belladonna is so huge, and then Voluptuous Life came a little bit after that. And then I was in Kimberly Kane’s Morphine. So I think those three projects got my name out there and got some BBW fans curious as to, “Who is this new person?”
What is your relationship like with Kelly Shibari, you’re co-star in several films, personally and professionally?
Personally she’s a friend of mind. We recently had lunch together and she’s a great friend of mine and an ally of mine. We try to hook each other with work and we just have each other’s best interest in mind. Working with her is fun because she’s a friend and it’s good to work with your friends because you have fun on set and during the scene, but also since you’re friends you have the same goals in mind. you go into the project with a whole other level of respect. So we have a mutual respect and admiration for each other I would say.
I asked Kelly if she considers herself and you the face of BBW porn because even people who don’t follow BBW porn at least know who you and Kelly are. Would you say you two are the top BBW performers today?
Since you’re asking me I guess it’s true. Maybe we’ve gotten a few bigger projects that have given us more exposure. I’m not the type of person that feels totally comfortable saying, “I’m this, I’m this, I’m this.” I don’t even feel comfortable calling myself a pornstar but that’s just me. We both try to stay busy and work on new projects, and I know we both have a really good work ethic. So I’m sure all those things have contributed to us having some success.
Is there a camaraderie between the plus size performers being that it is a small community?
I think that because the plus size community is such a smaller community of women I think we’re spread out throughout the country. So I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting too many of them. I know Kelly and she is my friend, and she lives 10 minutes away from me so we are able to bond and hang out. I’ve met Desiree Devine because she was in Voluptuous Biker Babes, and she was great as well as Bunny De La Cruz who was also in Voluptuous Biker Babes. But beyond that I haven’t really had the chance to meet or bond with any other BBW performers.
Do you believe events like the upcoming BBW Fan Fest will help the genre grow and gain more respect from the industry?
Yeah, I definitely think it will help the genre grown and get recognition and respect. I met the guy who’s running it and putting it together and he was really excited and enthusiastic, and he seemed genuine and passionate about the event. I know that will translate into a successful event for them. I think this will show the BBW community is strong and deserves some funding to make more films. I think it will be a really great time.
Is there anything you feel holds the BBW genre back? In other words, how do you feel about those films where the girl is force fed then is humiliated before having sex?
I haven’t seen those films but I’m not going to say anything bad about a woman who chooses to participate in that type of work. I would hope she is doing it because eating and then being humiliated is something that is a turn on for her. But I have no interest in participating in films that are degrading to women, especially plus size women. I’ve had to turn some films down because I just didn’t feel like they would be representing me as best as I could be represented.
Have you ever turned down a role that you found very degrading?
Just any film that uses my fatness as something that’s negative. I want to work on films that showcase my weight as something positive and good, or not even focus anything on my weight which is the more ideal thing. I’m just a performer in this film just like any other performer. We’re all the same.
What studios, directors and performers do you enjoy working for?
I really love working with Belladonna and of course Carlos my husband. Courtney Trouble, Tristan Taormino in her Rough Sex series. She’s just amazing to watch and be in her presence. To hear the stuff she has to say is really awe inspiring.
In the beginning of your performing career you started out doing girl/girl and now you do boy/girl. What made you want to start performing with men?
I think it was just an evolution as a performer. I was really strict about wanting to have sex with girls because that is what I felt comfortable with. I remember shooting Voluptuous Biker Babes and I had a thing with Bunny De La Cruz and we stop, and then she starts her scene with Jerry. I was watching and I said, “Oh my god, I want to be up there. I want to be having sex with the guy up there.” So it was just a natural progression.
Who do you enjoy working with most, guys or girls?
I love working with guys because it’s always fun but I honestly love working with women more. Our genitals are more fun. You can do more things. It’s a little bit more fun with a pussy.
When it comes time to take your clothes off for a scene, being that you’re a plus-size woman, are you ever self-conscious about it?
No, never. I never do. I love it, I get a thrill from it. It’s exciting, it makes you nervous. I’m an adrenaline junkie but not in the sense of jumping out of airplanes. But I do stuff that is exciting. I never feel nervous.
Do you think fat is a flaw and plus-size women should embrace their curves?
I definitely do not think fat is a flaw and I do think women should try to embrace their curves. I think it’s a lot easier said than done. We as women were attacked with visual images that can make us feel inadequate and inferior all the time. It’s really hard not to let that creep into your mind and make you think, “I’m not worthy, I’m not desirable.” Of course I would want women to embrace their bodies whatever size. I want every woman to like themselves.
Do you see women of size being accepted in the mainstream world?
I think it’s happening super slowly. I think things are changing really, really slowly but they’re changing. Most women are my size so it’s just a matter of time. I guess slow change is better than no change.
But when you see someone like Adele who won six Grammy awards, is that a step in the right direction for women of size?
I would hope so. She won them because she’s talented and I would hope that she’s inspiring plus-size women to feel good about themselves as well. So I guess her presence even being there and doing her thing I hope that’s good.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you plan on continuing to perform?
I definitely have an open mind to any project that comes my way. I see myself conntinuing to expand on the work I’ve done so far and to grow as a performer and as a woman as well. Maybe I can start directing a few projects. That would be challenging and fun. Just continue my evolution as a performer and as a person who likes to express herself in sexual ways. I want to keep growing.
Anything you want to say to your fans reading this on XCritic.com?
Support your favorite stars, buy their movies. Buy my movies and stay tuned for more.
Visit April Flores at her website at fattyd.com. Check out April Flores trailers and follow her on Twitter @fatty_d.
Magazine images courtesy of AVN Media, Bizarre Magazine.
DVD Covers courtesy of Heartcore Films, Adam & Eve, Evil Angel, Vivid.
Sex toy images courtesy of Topco Toys.
Images courtesy of Fatty D, Vivid, C Batts Fly.
Follow me on Twitter @RobGPerez.