Dana Vespoli is a woman who has her head on straight and I am very proud of her. She has come out of her past drug episode to direct highly sensual films as well as be a good mom. One can say that Dana is for real. She enjoys real sex, real passion, and real people. It's not a surprise that she has become one of the best all-girl performers and directors in the business. So, to my fellow colleague, I suspect that your best works are yet to come.
Hi Dana, it is great that you have been directing erotic lesbian films in recent times. You definitely have your own kind of style as compared to other successful directors who make all-girl adult movies. Could you tell us your vision on what you want the viewers to come away with during and after watching one of your directed scenes?
When people watch the movies I make, I'd like them to feel really present and conscious. Beyond feeling turned on or getting off, I enjoy porn that makes me feel like I'm witnessing something very private and personal. I got into this business as a voyeur; as someone that likes to watch and also orchestrates situations that turn me on. Being able to shoot something that feels authentic and creates a visceral response doesn't happen all the time, but when it does happen, it is enormously gratifying. Conversely, there are plenty of people that hate the stuff I love! When I returned to the industry last year, I decided to be really honest about my work; to stay true to what I love and be less concerned about what I think the consumer expects. That is not to say that I want to completely ignore what the consumer likes, but I have to have some of me in the product. That means you are going to see a lot of fetishy stuff, and a lot of intensity.
You have directed films for the studios Filly Films and Sweetheart Video. Will you still be directing movies for both production companies? How did these opportunities come along for you? As to Mile High Media, will you be directing any of their boy-girl series too?
I will continue directing for both companies although for Filly, I will be primarily doing gonzo movies. As for boy/girl movies, I shoot for both Red Light District and Combat Zone; again all gonzo. The only non-gonzo stuff I shoot is for Sweetheart. I am incredibly fortunate to be directing again. I had taken a long hiatus in 2009, focusing on being a parent to my three young boys. After they got older, I was itching to shoot again. Dion Guiarruso approached me about shooting for his new company, which was Filly, and I jumped at the opportunity. It was like starting over: I had to get used to shooting with a new camera, and I learned to take my own stills. Once I began shooting and performing again, I worked for Nica Noelle who introduced me to Jon Blitt at Mile High Media, and he gave me a shot at shooting for Sweetheart. I'm very grateful to be shooting for these great companies.
One major aspect that you love to include in many of your girl on girl performances is the kink factor. What is it about kinkiness and some rough play that really turns you on?
That's a tough question, because I really don't know how else to be. I didn't know I was kinky until other people told me that I was. Most of the kink stuff in my scenes has to do with armpits, feet, spanking, ass play, etc. I don't know, when I'm with someone I want "in", I want all of them; their smell, saliva, sweat, tears. In the moment I want to become one with them, as corny as that sounds. The rough play is just part of it; about being really present with your partner. You can't be anywhere else, but where you are when your partner is slapping you across the face and demanding your full attention. There has to be deep kissing and eye contact, though. There has to be some love. See? I'm getting turned on just thinking about it.
Even though you have performed and directed all sorts of adult films in the past, why did you decide to pretty much concentrate on the girl on girl genre nowadays?
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I hadn't decided to concentrate strictly on the girl/girl genre. It just sort of happened that way; by virtue of Sweetheart being a girl/girl studio, and Filly being my way back into the business. As it turns out, I happen to love shooting the lesbian stuff, and adore the women I shoot. These women inspire me, and I love creating scenarios that bring out the best in them.
It appears that more and more adult studios are making couples friendly films with real passion and sensuality. What are your thoughts on this fascinating trend? It appears that they are finally aware of this particular audience who may not be interested in the hard core gonzo material.
I am a huge fan of the real passion, seduction and sensuality as well as the gonzo, and it has been very satisfying to write scripts and create situations where the girls/women slowly kiss and take their time building into the sex. It's funny, because a long time ago John Leslie, who was a mentor to me when I began in the business, sat down with me and we had a conversation about the future of porn movies. He'd said, "We have girls getting beaten nearly to death in scenes now, and everyone doing triple anal and using baseball bats...where do we go from here?" I had suggested that maybe there would be a sort of renaissance, where kissing and holding each other would seem exotic. Maybe that's where we are.
How long have you been in the industry? What have been your most pleasurable moments so far? What has been your least pleasurable?
I've been in the industry, off and on, in varying capacities for nine years. I recently performed boy/girl again after six years, which was exciting. My most pleasurable moments have been both in directing and performing. Some are: working for John Leslie, Joey Silvera, New Sensations/Digital Sin, Nica Noelle, Belladonna, Kink, and performing with James Deen after having not done a b/g scene in six years. The times I've worked with Karlie Montana, Samantha Ryan, Celeste Star, Sovereign Syre, and Sinn Sage as a performer and a director have been incredible, writing scripts and shooting with people like James Avalon and Kevin Moore. I love that I'm always learning, and discovering new things about myself in the process. My least pleasurable moments have been going through a bad cocaine period where virtually all my scenes in 2005 show me under the influence. It was a bad time in my life, and forever captured on tape/film. At the same time, when I see it, it just reminds me how far I've come. I also didn't enjoy the time I did a 5-on-1. I'd wondered if I'd like being gang banged and learned that it is way too claustrophobic for me to handle. Haha.
How did you get into the adult industry?
I was a consumer of porn and a fan since I was a teenager. I was also a fan of Radley Metzger, and Catherine Breillat, who had made some amazing movies focusing on female sexuality and desire, and I also loved the writing of Mary Gaitskill. I had tossed around the idea of doing porn and making porn since after graduating college and working at Mitchell Brother's as a girl/girl performer. I ended up meeting a lot of porn stars, and, after moving to L.A. and working behind the scenes on some softcore movies, I decided to go for it.
What traits of a woman do you admire most? What makes a woman sexy? What traits of a man do you admire most? What makes a man sexy?
I like healthy, robust women. I am drawn to R. Crumb style bodies: big butts, strong legs, good skin, clear eyes and good teeth. I have a Darwin approach to girls: I like them fit and fertile. I like them smart and funny, too. My ideal is a woman like Asa Akira. I always loved her look, but when she opened her mouth and started talking, I was drawn in by her intelligence, and self-deprecating humor. As for men, I like guys that can make me laugh, are smart and perverted. I'm less interested in muscle. I like ambitious men that are a little removed and very funny. Rahm Emanuel is my idea of the perfect man. I would fuck him senseless.
What has been the biggest surprise for you about the adult industry?
That's a tough question. I'm not sure what the biggest surprise has been. Probably that it is just that: a business. A lot of civilians have this crazy idea that it's run by the mob and girls are manipulated and held prisoner, forced to do things against their will. I didn't come into it believing that necessarily, but I did expect slightly more nefarious machinations at work, and then was surprised at how mundane everything actually was. I'm not saying that some fucked up shit doesn't happen, but I was fortunate enough to find myself on the other side. There is a lot of kindness here, too. I discovered that when I was in the process of getting off coke, a lot of people in the business called me and offered to help. I guess the biggest surprise is that it can be incredibly ordinary, which is comforting.
What are some of the most striking changes that you have noticed in the adult industry from since you had started out in this industry?
Well, along with everyone else, seeing how piracy has gutted the Hell out of the business, but I don't think it will kill it. I think that the industry will transform and everyone will figure out where they fit in. People will wear new and different hats, so to speak. I'm a glass-is-half-full person: I believe we will make everything work.
Are there any other particular industry talent (actors, actresses, directors, studios) who you want to work very badly with and why? What would be your dream scene?
I'm obsessed with Princess Donna from . She is the director/creator of , and . I have no idea what we would do together, since I can't handle gang bangs or being tied up. As kinky as I am, I'm also incredibly phobic and sensitive. Anyway, her intensity makes me crazy. I would love to do some latex, medical fetish stuff with her. I also want to work with Aiden Ashley, which is something I can probably set up for this month. I want to do more boy/girl for Sweet Sinner, and I'd love to work with/for Rocco Siffredi one day. Oh, and any time I can work with, or shoot James Deen I am happy.
How were you as a kid growing up?
I was an intense kid. I was quiet, drew a lot, felt hyper sexual, but never talked about it. Early on I was preoccupied with fetishes. I wondered what compelled men to ejaculate into women's shoes. I think I asked my mom about it, and she was always really frank with me. She said, "some people have different fetishes." She also told me, "when you discover sex, I think you're going to like it a lot." I'm not sure if she banked on me liking it THIS much. She just shakes her head at me now. As a teenager, I wore a lot of black, smoked cigarettes and read philosophy, as you might expect. Although, I listened to an insane amount of disco, lest you think I was dark and emo. I did well in school and hung out with artsy kids.
What are your hobbies and interests? If I saw you singing inside of your car, what songs would you be rocking out to?
First of all, if you ever see me driving by in my car, chances are very good that I WILL be singing. It will probably be The Commodores. It might also be Radiohead, or Led Zeppelin, or George Harrison or T.I. It depends. As for hobbies and interests, I like to read, but I work so much that I rarely have time to myself. When I'm not working, I'm spending time with my kids playing, helping my oldest with his homework, and cuddling them. The marriage between the work that I do and being a mom has been a tricky one. I think that Manuel (my children's father) and I have done well at striking a balance. In the odd times I do have time to myself, I watch movies, read, exercise, or make out with cute people in hotel rooms throughout the Los Angeles area.
What is your favorite thing about being an adult performer?
What is your shoe size?
Are you an animal lover? Do you have any pets?
Sure, I love animals. My children have guinea pigs. I clean the cage and feed them…of course.
Are there any web sites or future projects that you would like to promote? What are you currently working on film wise?
My directorial debut from Sweetheart is just out: Lesbian Adventures: Older Women/Younger Girls 2, as well as my Sweetheart performing debut: Lesbian Truth Or Dare 7. Plus, I’m one of your newest bloggers—so keep an eye out for my next blog post here!