Part 1: An Industry of Knowledge
The Industry was forever been changed with the introduction of a camera. Now, this camera did more than take pictures and record video. What this little gadget did was also create a new type of industry. I can not say that a new genre was created because it is so much more than that. What was truly shaped with the implementation of “cams” and “cam shows” was a new world where people could interreact and share their sexuality in ways like never before. This new form of entertainment produced a term called: Cam Girls. These entertainers are people that come from all walks of life, from every city, every state. Just like porn stars, they are women who have a personal life and a world outside of the realm of being entertainers. Up until now, there has honestly been a line in the sand in the adult industry that is invisible to the naked eye. On one side, and this was a side I was on for a very long time, is the large production companies that create adult films. The true creators of the modern industry. A long and stoic history is how the wonder you see today was truly created by performers who were persecuted and terrorized by society in the 1960’s through the 1980’s. On the other side of the line are the cam models. Women and men who I truly believe we do not know enough about even though they bring us into their lives and living rooms every day. For far too long, both sides have seen the other side as something so opposite that unity has truly been a four-letter word when talking about “cam models” and porn stars but times, they are a changing. Ginger Banks, honestly, a woman who will go down as the first truly legendary cam performer, has crossed that line and begun to start making adult films. This jump has caused a lot of talks to swirl within the adult industry on all sides. Some good, some bad but what is at the core of this jump is a woman that I think few have ever gotten to understand. That is what my goal was with Ginger and this interview. Ginger and I have worked on promo before and what a joy she is to work with. She has been a woman who always came through when she said she would, and she is truly a woman, who showed me the side of “camming” that I had so blindly missed in the past. It is that reason that I had to bring the fans this interview, to speak of her groundbreaking film and to show the fans, who Ginger Banks really is……
Don Juan DeMarko: The thing that I am learning about you, the cam performer that you are, you are a hybrid of beauty. You are opening people’s eyes to things that they never knew existed. I mean this, you did that with me. I had that stigma for a long time and I kid you not, you are going to kick my ass for this, I was the guy who would say, “a cam performer cannot be this, a cam performer cannot be that. I have learned that I was full of shit, a cam performer works hard.
Ginger Banks: Well, I always believe, you can not yell at people for not knowing something and it drives me crazy. The environment we create with negativity, it can become something you can not change if you allow it to consume and control you. If you ever admit that you are wrong and people will use that against you due to such things. I always believe that people are allowed to not know things. As long as you are willing to learn and can move towards a change once you learn something you did not know, that is what matters.
Don Juan DeMarko: You are an angel darlin’ I mean that, …...
Ginger Banks: Well, sometimes all people want to do is jerk their own egos off. That is why I do not air my dirty laundry with anything I have ever been a part of and I have seen a lot over the years. To me, when you use something like twitter against somebody and you create this type of mob mentality, nothing good happens. Nothing ever good has come from mob mentality. I know that must be the last resort for some people sometimes. Sometimes you must cross certain avenues and other people can feel any way they want to about that. My prerogative is to try and handle it any other way than anger and aggression. I know that networking is a very powerful thing right now. How do you change a mind, one thing I know, it is not by sending your hundreds of thousands of twitter followers to hound them.
Don Juan DeMarko: Ginger, you know with every step you take in this business and everything new I get to learn about you when we get together like this, I must say, you have turned into one of my heroines darlin’. Like Angela White, I see you and her bridging this industry into something grand. Making it part of the culture. I truly believe that. You have a lot on your side because sexuality, it is a part of every single one of us as human beings.
Ginger Banks: TOTALLY! It is as natural as our basic instincts like hunger or thirst. Sex is something that is a necessity for life and I think it is very sad that it gets pushed to the side with so many people. It is something when you hide and bury it, that feeling makes us hurt deep down. To me, it is just crazy. It is a part of you! It is a part of you! If people just embraced that, the world would be better.
Don Juan DeMarko: I agree, one thing that I do know. Most people who know me, know I split time between two worlds as far as work goes. One of my favorite stories will always be from a person I use to work with, this amazing sixty-one-year-old widow. When she discovered who I was in the adult world and what I do, she talked about taking trips to exotic lands and indulging in debauchery left and right and I told her, “good for you, you should always be going on sexual adventures, that is truly living.” I think that more people should be like my dear friend.
Ginger Banks: Oh, I know, I think a lot of couples do that and I think that is so funny because it is the biggest secret to them that they enjoy things that we all do. I tell so many people just like your friend, “it is OK to be yourself.”
Don Juan DeMarko: Yes! You said it. Isn’t that the truth? If you were to look at her from afar Ginger, she is a very conservative person. She is the full stereotype with the short haircut and I love her to death for it. I am glad that her knowing who I am has helped her to be more one with who she is in that way. She tells me all these dirty little secrets and I love hearing every single story because it shows her true beauty and love.
Ginger Banks: Yes, she has no one else to talk to about it. (We both begin laughing at the irony)
Don Juan DeMarko: She tells me all the time, “you have made my life happier” and I tell her, “darlin’ you have done that to yourself. Because when you are open to sexuality, you are simply discovering who you are at your core.
Ginger Banks: It is so true.
Don Juan DeMarko: OK, time for the fun shit. I always ask this of all the talent I meet. How did you get started in this amazing business of ours?
Ginger Banks: Well, I was in college and one day I was just messing around on the computer on campus, checking out some websites. I came upon some sites like Chat Roulette and a lot of the older chat sites that no longer exist, and I had a friend that I had met on there. She was a female and she started working on MyFreeCams.com and I had put the thought in my head, “I can do that.” I was basically going to get naked for free on there. It was then that I started doing my research. I remember working for a studio at first. I had a manager and I was employed fully by this studio and he was nice and after a while, I stopped working for him because I was seeing that I could do everything on my own. I am lucky Don. I found out later that my friend ended up working for that studio and she could not ask me for advice on anything because no one knew that I was doing the cam model thing. So that is how I began my journey. I have been doing webcamming for eight years now. I started making clips as soon as ManyVids.com came out. That is when I began making a lot more videos and other things like that. It was right after my first AVN that I started thinking about doing porn. During that time, I had seen a lot of Greg Lansky’s work and he messaged me on twitter. It was then that I knew that I could really do this. That I could make these films. Greg is a really well-known person obviously. So, once I knew that I could work with him, I began to talk to my husband and I do not think he could understand that. We ended up splitting and when I left him, Evil Angel reached out to me about this documentary and it was exactly what I was looking for. My true mission is to end the stigma that surrounds our industry. I think it is important to show everyone that there are people in this industry who are smart. I want to show everyone that people choose this job too. It is not always a sad story that brings us here. That is just the one thing that blows my mind so many people think that all of us in this industry are forced into this work, that all of us did not choose it. I think my decision to do that documentary would help that in so many ways.
Don Juan DeMarko: Awesome, you know, you and I we run the same campaign. I have your back on this because I think it is wonderful, I really do.
Ginger Banks: We need allies. If only sex workers would speak out about it, that is when we will begin to see some change. It is cool though because what I am seeing these days is that a lot more people are starting to speak out about what they do and how they got here, and things are starting to change. I have hope Don because I look back in history and I see how homosexuals use to be treated 20 years ago and that gives me a lot of hope. I am a realist, I see that there are many places in the world that it has not changed, there is only so much change that I can affect. I simply just want people to not be ashamed of their jobs. Because we are artists, we are entertainers and having a giant stigma attached to you while you are trying to make art, it is hard. Once a person gets rid of that and you embrace that, you will discover something better within. You will be able to explore yourself sexually and not worry about things like, “oh my God, is someone from my hometown going to see this and judge me because of it?” You know? I have a long road ahead of me, but I have a plan for every step of that journey Don.
Don Juan DeMarko: I love that you are a planner. You know, when I learned that you were going to school to be an engineer I simply was blown away and I got the biggest smile on my face. Mercedes Carrera, one of the most stunning porn stars in the world, she was an engineer before she got into the business…….
Ginger Banks: Oh, I know. She is amazing. She is so smart. She is so outspoken and intelligent. She is one of the most beautiful models on the planet as well. Oh, my goodness she is so beautiful.
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Don Juan DeMarko: The thing that is so amazing about her is that she is always pursuing knowledge. I have heard that she has one of the most impressive libraries. I told her I just want to visit it and live within the confines of the books. You said it to a tee darlin’ and I shit you not, one of the things about this business when I got into it, I met the most beautiful people within it and I said that I am never going to leave. Honestly, I have never met the amount of amazing beautiful spirits that I have met in this business anywhere else in time. They have all become my family.
Ginger Banks: Seriously, I definitely feel a huge sense of comradery for my sex worker family. It is so weird. I was watching this YouTube video the other day and let’s just a pretty famous actor talked about how he did sex work when he first moved out to Hollywood. I instantly had that feeling like, “yep, part of the family.” It is truly like it does not matter. For I think all of us have felt that shame, have felt that judgment from others in the outside looking in. We are all truly family.
Don Juan DeMarko: I think the world of what you do, Ginger, you are truly a hero to me with all you do. People have told me I get a little exuberant, I am a human B-12 shot and I seriously have to say thank you for doing what you do in this business for others. I simply cannot wait to shake your hand and give you a great big hug.
Ginger Banks: Are you going to be at AVN this year?
Don Juan DeMarko: Yes, I will indeed.
Ginger Banks: Than I think that would be as perfect a time as any. That would be awesome Don.
Don Juan DeMarko: Well Ginger, you and I, we are on the same type of crusade in a sense. I think that the media side is capable of so much more. Of creating this excellence that created all these great awards shows back in the day. I think with performers like you, who are rooted in the true essence of what this business, I think the media and the performers and production can band together again and create a whole new world, just like when the modern industry we know was getting formed in the 1990’s.
Ginger Banks: Don, you are such an inspiration. If you need help with anything, please do not be afraid to reach out. You seem like the type of person I would love to collaborate with and I appreciate everything you do for this business as well and everything you have to say about the industry.
Don Juan DeMarko: Awww, that truly means a lot to me. One of our mutual friends told me, she says, “you are just going to love her Don, she is your cup of tea.”
Ginger Banks: (We share a very hardy laugh.) I am so glad that I had a chance to meet Angela. I met her right around the same time that I met Alejandro from XBIZ. It was a couple of years ago and I ended up getting invited to The Magic Castle in LA. She has always been so nice. She is so down to earth for someone with that big of a following and that is something that I try and emulate. Because truthfully, I have always hated meeting people who think they are better than you in any way. It is almost like the Twitter followers have gone to their head. “Calm down,” Twitter is not everything. There have been times where I see that happen too and life is just to short to deal with people like that who let things go to their head. It can be something hard to deal with when you have hundreds of thousands of people telling you that you are amazing, that you are the best. People that try and actively hold your ego down and starve it basically. Thinking you are better than someone else never comes across good to most people.
Don Juan DeMarko: Oh, I feel you. I shit you not, the beautiful thing about Angela, is that she truly cares. She is someone who says what she means always, and her heart is as genuine as it gets in this business. There is a story I will share with the readers. When I was getting to know Angela, she did something that I will never forget. I was going through some rough times like we all do but I was pressing on and trying to basically get through the bad times during the holidays. It was Angela White, who on New Year’s, texts me to make sure that I am doing OK and texts to ask how I am doing and that she was thinking of me and sending love as a friend. I did not even have my immediate family even text to say Happy New Year and here is my new friend Angela, sending me a message on New Year’s from Greg Lansky’s boat. That touched my heart. It is something that honestly made me strive harder in all that I was doing in life right then. It made me grow as a human being that love she sent.
Ginger Banks: That is amazing and that is something you will never forget. It is people like that who spark change in the world in so many ways. They make you want to work to have what they do, an outlook that is so warm and beautiful. She is truly a person who makes you stop and think so that your actions take you to the place of happiness she is in.
Don Juan DeMarko: My girl, she is the same way. When I met her, I truly fell in love in a heartbeat. She is a woman who is a big nerd like I am, and she is so warm and beautiful. She teaches me things I never knew about love and I find that so beautiful about this business.
Ginger Banks: That is so adorable. I am going to be doing something along those same lines in a few days. I will get to see someone who was very special in my life as well and I am going to be doing the Howard Stern Show and I am so nervous. You made me think when you talked about your girl how we all change when it comes to this business and the people in it. The next few days are something that I do look forward to as well, because it is funny how your attractions can change so quickly. One minute, you are infatuated with someone and the next you are not, and I think that is natural. Now, as I get ready to head to do the Howard Stern show and I will see this person, I want to have sex with them again. Isn’t that funny? (We both chuckle)
Don Juan DeMarko: Ahh, the mysteries of love. They are something so beautiful, aren’t they? This is how I know that Ginger Banks’ soul mate does exist out there in this world. Why all of us have that perfect mate, well as close to perfection as one can get. Me, when I meet a girl, I fall for her and I mean I fall hard. I am a man who will stay loyal to her no matter what. I yearn for her approval, for her embrace but the truth of the matter is, I do not mind when my girl is with other people, I do not. I feel that grip of love, where she is happy and yes, sometimes another man or another woman can bring her a happiness that is not a happiness from me. She was the most honest person I had ever pursued when I asked her if she wanted to date other people and she said, “I am dating other people…” and before I could let her speak another word I just interrupted her as quickly as I could because that honesty, it is something I had never seen. That is how I knew I had found the one. I really mean that. The best thing of that honesty, I told her that I was going to sweep her off her feet and try and make myself the only boyfriend. Our love for each other, it grows and grows. She is proof that there is someone who fits you like a puzzle piece. I told her, you are who you are, and you should be allowed to always be who you are in this life.
Ginger Banks: That is amazing. YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!
Don Juan DeMarko: Now, you are going to love this one. This is the question I have been dying to ask you since day one. You are an eight-year veteran, which in my book that means you are a fucking badass. Most people who try their luck in this business can not entertain the masses for eight months, let alone eight years. What I would love to know is, how has this industry shaped you as an independent woman?
Ginger Banks: Ooooohhh, I mean fuck, this business has completely given me the ability to be an independent woman. I think for myself because I do not have to consider the opinions of my boss, or someone who might hire me you know even for a scene, that is one of the aspects of working for myself for so long that is beneficial that I have built my own platform. So even if there was one company that did not want to work with me that would not be too big of a deal. It means a great deal to me to be able to have that freedom with what I do in this business. Of course, if every production company did not want to shoot with me that would be a problem but having my own product to fall back on, that is a great feeling. This business has allowed me to explore so many things sexually. That is something very important to me. I feel like some people can go their entire lives, having never explored who they are and what sexuality can bring them in their day to day lives. I do not think I was able to explore that all the way until I was in this business which allowed me to discover who I am. Most opinions that are shared in a relationship are skewed. You must be in a relationship that is almost perfect to not face that head-on. You must be able to face yourself in so many ways. If your boyfriend is saying, “that girl is too much of a slut because she fucks two guys at the same time.” You are probably going to be less open with your partner if you have a strong desire to have a threesome with two men.
This Industry gives me a lot of extra time to just think about things. To think about how the world works, to think about ways to make it a better place. I truly appreciate that, no I am very serious Don. I think so many people, they go to work every day, and their schedule is hectic and crazy that they do not get the time to think about such things that are truly vital to life. There are so many times that I have had those extra free hours, minutes and seconds to be able to apply thought to something I am doing and make a positive adjustment or see things another way. That is all due to this industry.
Don Juan DeMarko: Yes, this is simply a wealth of knowledge. I remember reading this great interview you were a part of and you spoke of threesomes like this. See, this is how I know that your fella, he is out there still. When I first began trying to sweep my girl off her feet we spoke about the same thing. A threesome with another guy for her. She told me, “so you are not one of those guys who if you cross swords, you are not going to run amuck in a homophobic hysteria then?” I told her, “never in a million years. She was not used to hearing that from the man who is trying to win her heart. I could see her side of the statement so well. Us men, yes, we are morons in many instances. She is a bisexual woman and she said there are just too many instances where the guy wants the other girl to join the party but the mention of another guy joining the mix, of that spells trouble with so many short-sided men. That is true. I told her, “I want you to reach the threshold of thresholds.” That is what a partner does. Makes his lover happy in every way possible. I remember she said right there, “can we go get married?” (We both start laughing) I had already asked her to marry me the week before. That is literally how we began as friends and started our pathway to become lovers. I had told her “balls on me, we are cool babe, as long as I am in the mix and get to see you smiling, we are all good madam.”
Ginger Banks: Oh my God, we need to have guys put that in their bio on dating sites, “do not mind balls on me during a threesome.” (We are running short on breath from laughing.)
Don Juan DeMarko: See, this is how you know that your fella is out there somewhere!
Ginger Banks: More communication, just more communication that is the key. I had an ex who used to say that the difference between straight culture and gay culture is that gay men are like, “what are you into?” I think there may be some truth to that because I have never had anyone ask me that before I had sex with them. “What are you into?” I want a guy, who since I have been single just ask me if he can cum in my mouth. There have been some moments where I had to stop my male pursuer and say, “why did you just do that?” I literally had to scold him a bit and say, “you have to ask!” The only thing I can think of is that they have seen my videos and they assume that since I love anal, that I would be into that as well. NO!!! The only thing I can think of, is that perhaps they think that I am such a slut that I am into everything, right? I mean come on. I mean, there are some things that I just have to speak up on.
Don Juan DeMarko: Oh my God, you said it all right there darlin’. My girl, she always calls me the lesbian cupid. Well, I had a friend in the business call me that as well recently, so I was like damn, hell yeah, that does fit. (We bust out laughing.) She tells me, you are a lesbian in a man’s body. (Gingers starts laughing so loud.) No, no truthfully, I think the science would prove it. I do have a woman’s brain I believe because I shit you not, I do not know how men operate sometimes. I am really blessed you know, ……..
Ginger Banks: I am so empathetic. You get pleasure from your seeing your girl get pleasure and that is something that may even surpass us, Don. I mean, there are a lot of empathetic dudes out there and I think that maybe at times they can tune us ladies out and just not listen.
Don Juan DeMarko: Oh, my goodness, you said it. I am the non-performer over here. I have had times where in the past, there have been good times, we were with good people and the night was leading to some end of the night fun. So we begin to get things rolling and it is such a mood killer when the guy who will be joining starts to say, “what happens if this happens,….. what should we do in this scenario.” I am like “Jesus fuck, this is over before it even gets started because some guys do not get it and I have to say, “just because your dick touches another man’s dick, that does not make you gay.” Ugh, it is frustrating.
Ginger Banks: YES!!! “I AM NOT ATTRACTED TO ANOTHER MAN!” Oh, you are not lying. You then must convince them of so many things. I mean, it is just like how a transgender person would identify as female. They have something that is apart of their being that has them identity more so with their femininity then having a dick and that does not mean you are gay. That is not how it works; a wiener does not mean that I am gay now. There is just so much hatred out there. I mean men can be very cruel. I see it all the time in the way they call break each other down and call another man gay as if it were a bad thing. It is just recently that it is starting to not happen. I saw this tweet the other day, where this person said, “I just realized that I want to have sex with two bi-sexual men at some point, then you do not have to worry about that at all.” You should have seen Don, the reply’s, they were so positive and very supportive. There was even an old industry guy who said that he was in total shock of all of these responses in a positive way. He was saying, “I have to be honest, I thought I was going to click on this tweet to reply and see a bunch of homophobic comments and there were none!” I think that was amazing to see and perhaps the people that were once against it are beginning to maybe understand what homosexuality is and see that it is not something bad. I tell this to people all the time, it is OK if you get turned on when you see two guys like that. It is what I usually say to these people who are extremely homophobic. There is no other explanation for it in this day and age, I am sorry. None at all! You must be able to roll with the punches. You do have to be able to wish those people well because negativity is like a fucking disease. I think there will always be moments where things can get to you. That comes with any situation, but I refuse to let anything keep me from moving forward. This project and this film, I am so glad that I did them. It is sometimes when you face such negativity that it makes you regret some things. I felt it, anyone would but I feel the positivity to keep fighting for it and taking my career to even bigger places.
Don Juan DeMarko: Yes babe, keep fighting for it. This is no bullshit, I guarantee you, there were a lot of people who were rooting for you to fail with that film. Because, and you know this probably better than I do, there are a lot of people who do not give cam girls the time of day or do not want to see this kind of growth and change in the industry. There are many people who have told me, “A cam girl is not a real performer.” I shit you not when I saw you step onto that set, I was just in awe. I saw that you knew where the camera was, that you understood how to move with it to make the shot flow, she could understand the motion of the slow pan, how to stay in the moment, I said to myself, “that is a performer.” ….. and she is a rookie performer, no fucking way! I think that scared a lot of people in the business because you did something that even I once believed that a “cam girl” would fail at. Because a lot of them who were banking on the negative side of things did not know what to say when you pulled off such great performances. You simply wowed them all. It is something I think that will end this stigma between cam girls and porn stars.
Ginger Banks: Ahhhhhhh! You said it, Don, it is something that I want to change, and it is what all the negative people want to have happen. They want us all to be at each other’s throats and against each other. That is how negativity can destroy you and the world around you. I think there are some people who do not want us to stand together. I had asked APAC before I did my Evil Angel Film if I could be apart of the group and they said: “no, you have to have been in a professionally made adult film.” Then they changed it. Now cam performers can join APAC and we need everyone to come together. We can accomplish so much more when we all come together. It is the power to bargain and negotiate. It is a power in this business to be one unit.
Don Juan DeMarko: Darlin’ I think that is the catalyst for it. I think bringing in cam performers to really create something grand were one day there is healthcare in the industry and dare I say, perhaps there could be salary and wages on certain levels depending on what you do and keeping those high dollar contracts for the superstars who make this business shine in their own ways, just like you. I think we can all come together on so much of this. That would truly be a grand day.
Ginger Banks: Totally! This reminds me of a memory that I will never forget that pertains to that very thing Don. I was talking to a performer a while back at the Phoenix Forum and I was telling her about sex work in America and how things are changing in terms of how the public sees us. I told her that one day, sex workers will have those same types of rights that every other worker has, and she tells me, “that will never happen, people will only think of us as cum dumpsters.” She kept going on and on about all these negative things. I was with some friends attending the forum and they made it aware to me how that negativity can keep a person from even wanting to try and they were right but I told them in defense of this performer, “she has been in the industry for six years, she has been told a million times, by a million people that there is an eighteen-year-old in the wings, ready to take your place” and they hear that over and over and over again of course they are going to be scorned, they are going to be fearful and negativity will be a part of their business mind. That is why negativity is like a disease Don. It is why I push for this positive change……
With that ladies and gentlemen, we end part one of this interview. This is only half of the story. Ginger and I sat down around a month ago to discuss these very important issues in the industry and I myself was blown away by the heart, conviction, and passion for this woman and the adult industry. She is a warrior and like any true warrior, her battle is ever ongoing. On July 31st right as we were wrapping up this interview. Ginger became apart of the FSC. A place where her knowledge and fight would be put to good use. As AVN and XBIZ approach, there is a buzz for her film to make quite a splash but the thing that will stand out the most for me no matter what is how Ginger opened my eyes to the world of the cam performer.” Ginger showed me a desire that is truly inside the heart of every performer to make this industry better. Ginger is a revolutionary in every meaning of the word. I think Ginger is showing actors and performers that being in this industry is something special. It is a branch of entertainment that deserves more respect then it gets, and I have no doubt that Ginger will be the woman helping to take it places we all never thought possible. For if I could change my view on cam performers, I think perhaps something once deemed impossible can become reality.
Special Thanks to Evil Angel for the Stills from Cam Girls The Movie
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