A gender studies degree from UCLA, 4 years experience in the adult industry and her own production company on her resume, Tasha Reign has big plans for the future of porn.
Born Rachel Swimmer and raised in Laguna Beach, California, the 25-year-old adult actress hopes to normalize the industry as a medium of entertainment and to show how much porn stars have in common with the average person.
Why Tasha Reign?
I picked the name Tasha Reign because I used to strip at a club called Silver Reign in Santa Monica. I took the name from there because I thought it was powerful and sexy. I just brainstormed the name Tasha, actually, with my girlfriends from home and with my mom. We just thought that sounded really good together.
Her work schedule
I actually don’t shoot that often. This month I’ve probably shot a couple times a week or maybe once a week, or danced once a week. I do work from home. I have a production company that I have to make phone calls for, and do all that kind of stuff with, but in terms of actually being in a movie or in a shoot, or dancing, it’s really just a few times a week at the most.
I mean, at the beginning of my career, it was a definitely a lot more than that. I did a lot of work in the beginning and now the work that I do is more selective, so I just kind of decide whether or not it’s something worth shooting, if it financially makes sense, if I want to work for that company… also the industry’s shifted. I’ve been in it for four years or so and it’s definitely shifted. Piracy and a lot of different things contribute to slowing down business. I think work is a lot more limited, so I’m lucky that I still get to work.
How to prep for a porn scene
I have to be careful of the way I look, and work out, and tan and hair and nails and all of that type of stuff. For an anal scene, I definitely have to prepare myself physically and mentally for the next day because I don’t do anal very much. There are many different things that I have to do looks-wise. If it’s just a girl-girl scene, I don’t really have to do much, other than just make sure I have a clean test, and show up on time and bring whatever they want me to bring. It’s a lot more complicated when it’s for my own company, which I do appreciate and like, but at the same time, it’s a lot easier to just show up and give a good performance, because that’s what I love doing!
How long does a scene take to shoot?
It depends. If it’s just one internet scene, it could only take one day. You get there at 8 am for hair and make up. You’re probably out of the chair by 10:30, and then you need to get in something called “pretty girls,” which are just photos of yourself alone, then from 11:30 to 12, you’ll have something called sex stills with the other performer, then you’ll have a lunch break and then from there, you might shoot dialogue and an intro scene for a few more hours, then by the time you’ve shot an hour of hard-core and then another hour of soft-core, you could be out by really late at night.
So it could be an all day thing. If it’s a movie, that will start early in the morning and go into the evening, like we’ll have shoots at 3 in the morning, and then come back to set at 10 in the morning, so it’s crazy, we work really hard for several days to shoot a movie.
On ‘Pretty Girls’
It starts with the outfit that you’re going to wear in the scene, then lingerie underneath it, and then down to nude. We call those “pretty girls.”
On Storylines, Stills and ‘Pop Shots’
They’re the actual sex that you’re going to be having, the five or six positions that you’re going to be doing with your scene partner in the same location. We do something called “storyline,” which is pictures of what’s going on in the scene in the intro, and then during, and then after. The intro could be dialogue or anything—if you’re talking to someone, or walking into a room, or sitting down on a couch, or dancing at a party, whatever the scene is. Then the sex stills come after that, which could be blowjob, doggie, cowgirl, whatever ones that your director chooses. And then “pop shot” pictures, of when the guy will cum.
Her first anal scene
I have a couple scenes that I really love from my own site and movies. One with Peter North was my first anal scene. I think that’s a really cool scene. I love a movie I shot called Pony Tails, and that was released in February. All the scenes in there are really great, I’m really proud of it, and it’s really different from any other movie I’ve ever shot. I’ve done double penetration for a movie called “Streaker Girls” which is a movie I also made for Reign Productions [her production company]. I just think a lot of the firsts are always fun. Sometimes it’s an actual first on camera, or just a first in adult and it’s really special.
So double penetration?
It’s actually my favorite. I’ve only really done it once because it’s something that you don’t really do. People always say to do things at home before you do them on camera, but unless you have a crazy sex life at home, it’d be hard to calculate that one. I’m sure I could get some performers to come over, but I never did, and did it for the first time on camera, and it was so much fun. It’s my favorite thing to do.
I definitely douche before every scene. I think it isn’t good if you do it all the time, because it might not be healthy if you’re doing it 24/7, but it’s important for you to feel comfortable and for you to make sure your scene partner feels comfortable and you want to make you smell good and taste good and all of the things that go into having sex.
How to brainstorm for porn plots
The most important thing is to be in touch with your own sexuality, and think, “okay, is this something that would excite other people? Sometimes I don’t even think about other people. I just think about what would make me happy. What’s my fantasy? A huge part of it is what would turn me on, but another part is also what I like to look at. It depends on the mood I’m in. I like to have creative scenarios and things that are different and unique.
My latest film, “Daddy’s Little Groupie” was really cute. It’s about these rock stars in LA, and my dad in the movie works for one of them and brings me up to their house, and I hook up with one of the rock guys, and I hook up with another girl who’s a rock star, and then there’s some wife-swapping in there, and it was pretty different and dirty. I like to do things on the edge.
Do you identify with the feminist porn movement?
Sometimes I don’t like to identify with feminism, because I think that people are so critical, but lately, especially after graduation, I kind of feel like I shouldn’t let anybody else take that away from me, and I definitely feel like [performing in pornography] is something that I’m proud of.
I empower myself when I have sex because I want to do it. It’s my conscious choice. I just really want to normalize sexuality and pornography as a medium for entertainment. So a lot of feminist ideals go into my work, whether it’s just making sure that I enjoy what I do or that I send a positive message out when I’m doing a scene, and that doesn’t mean the scene has to be a gentle nice scene, it just means that I wanted to be there, and I chose to be there and I enjoyed myself.
I feel like I stay true to myself and I do what makes me happy.
Her profession is not a secret
My family and friends definitely know what I do because I’ve been in this business for four years and I’m very outspoken about it. I write for all sort of outlets, from Al Jazeera to OC Weekly. That’s part of me being a feminist. I try not to hide it. I want everyone to know that I’m proud of what I do and try to make it something that it is a norm for other people too.
On the Duke porn star: ‘People wanted to sensationalize something that really wasn’t very sensational at all’
What happened was that she was verbally harassed. Her classmates made her feel uncomfortable about her career and I don’t think she fully understood the repercussions of being an adult actress in society, especially at such a privileged institution like Duke. Unfortunately, she got a lot of media attention, and she wasn’t prepared for that. All of my coworkers have faced discrimination and a lot of [adult actors] go to colleges. A lot of people can’t tell their families and friends because of judgment. Duke as an institution is so privileged and so elite, so it’s really more of a socioeconomic issue.
People wanted to sensationalize something that really wasn’t very sensational at all. She and I have actually spoken a lot and she’s awesome. I think that she just wasn’t ready for that type of exposure and also people didn’t treat her the way she should have been treated. But I think she helps to bring about a really valuable discussion. Everybody talks about this, whether it’s negative or positive, people have been talking about it and reaching out and bringing awareness to a minority group, which is the adult industry, and going “Oh, so we can’t treat these people like they’re this other thing that doesn’t deserve rights.”
I think in a way, we produce certain stereotypes that perpetuated negative things and ideas about porn stars, but at the same time, I think it’s also diverted the typical idea of what an adult actress in 2014 is.
~ Tasha Reign on Being a Porn Star in 2014 [Interview] ~