|Justine Joli has won over an increasing number of fans with her winning combination of genuine smile, bold red hair, and chameleonesque ability to look like a naughty schoolgirl, an innocent, or an over-the-top Goth girl. Fresh from her role as Glamourcon Girl of the Year, Joli is making movies, selling her panties online and looking for her next adventure.
Starring in movies such as Tristan
Taormino's House of Ass, she's brought her stellar talent to the
world of girl-on-girl action. The 25-year-old bisexual anime fan has
made her own path in porn, choosing to only perform girl-girl and
looking to maximize the possibilities for adventures, sexual and otherwise.
She recently spoke to Eros Zine about her first porn shoot (with her
mom as chaperone!), naked skydiving, and how to spank her until she
Eros Zine: How did you get started in porn?
Justine Joli: It's a funny story; the guy who scouted me wanted to have a threesome! I was planning to go to school to become a criminal psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker to help with troubled teens at a community college and then go to UCLA. I was working at a store called Sexcessories at the Galleria. One day I went to the bathroom and this guy asked if I was interested in modeling, and I figured I could do both at the same time. That was in 2000. I brought my mom to my first shoot.
At first I thought this is gonna be a whole lot of fun, but I did two internet sets with two separate companies. They flooded the web with those photos. When I went to a Star Trek convention two weeks after I got into the industry, the guy behind me said to this guy I had a crush on, "Do you know who that was? That was Swan, she's a porn star." This meant I couldn't go out and do the things that I wanted to do without being recognized.
But I wouldn't have done anything differently. That made it very very real to me: you can stop now and pretend it never happened or continue and do something cool with this.
In porn, my sexuality was a good thing, a very good thing. I grew up in a repressed Catholic home. When I started, I was still having sex with my shirt on cause I was uncomfortable being naked. This was a way to have this freedom of being comfortable being near another person being nude. I was so ashamed of my body and the industry helped me with that, it gave me self confidence and opened me up sexually.
I always had sex in public places, though. I was a tagger in St. Louis, I was a graffiti artist, my tagger name was Live. It's funny because with my ex, we'd be fucked up on klonopin or acid or pot and we'd get finished doing a piece at 5 am. and it was always near train stations. We'd fuck in train stations and buildings. I started having sex when I was 16, and I've been an exhibitionist since then.
Eros Zine: Was your first shoot what you expected?
Justine Joli: I was terrified for my first shoot. The first four I did were solo and then I did my first threeway for photos. They didn't start me out gradually, doing solos for six months. My agent worked me six days a week for six months doing photo work alone. But I'm a workaholic, I work really well under pressure. I was having fun, I was into girls, always have been, since I was 16. It was really nice to be able to explore that and experience that without the connotation it would've had in the Midwest.
My brother walked in on me when I was making out with a girl once, and I thought he was going to have a meltdown. He was like, "My own fucking sister is gay, I can't believe this." They almost disowned me for it. It was nice to come to LA, where there is no stigma. I could explore, and if it went bad I could say, let's not do this again, which is so amazing to find in the industry. I don't think there are any negative connotations here at all, everything's done in a safe and sane manner, we're tested, and you never have to do anything outside your comfort level.
Eros Zine: You only do girl/girl scenes; was that something you planned from the start?
Justine Joli: I'm not comfortable doing boy/girl. I've only done girls. In the beginning, there was no plan, I just jumped in feet first, trying to figure out how the whole thing works, who the top dogs are. It was more or less finding my way as I go by the seat of my pants, it wasn't a conscious decision.
Everyone had pounded into my head from day one, if you are uncomfortable, do not do it. If you're a little unsure, you need to take a step back, it'll show on film and you're gonna look like you're scared as opposed to having a good time. So not only do I have a good time with it, I've made a career out of it.
Eros Zine: How often do you work?
Justine Joli: I work a lot. We usually try to take 10 days
out of the month for shoots, for companies and people like Vivid,
Wicked, Andrew Blake, Michael
Ninn. The other 20 days it's for me. But I'm basically working
all the time, 18 day runs, 18 days on, 4 days off.
I have to go a lot of places. I live in a very nice junction. I don't live in West LA and I don't live in the Valley, I live between the two. If I'm going to West LA or to Venice Beach, that's an hour and a half drive for me, as far as getting to the Valley it's about an hour. It depends on who I'm working for; if I'm working for myself, they're in Hollywood or NoHo or Mt. Vernon.
The bulk of my focus right now is my website and it has been for about a year. I'm focusing hard on that; it's my pet project. I've got really great ideas and I always have to have a project. Ever since I got my makeup degree, I've been dying to keep myself in projects, like doing makeup on myself. I try to keep it so that it's mostly fun to do my website. I make more money from my website than I do working for other people.
Eros Zine: Is there a difference between the shoots you do for your site and for other people?
Justine Joli: When I work for other people, I have a no list,
and only one of the girls on my no list is still on my no list and
she won't work with me either, so I'm safe. As far as myself, I handpick
those bitches and when I'm working for other people, I don't care.
I always give them a list of my preferred girls. The ones that I pick
for my shoots (moans) are Aria
Giovanni, Kimberly Kane, Celeste Starr, Heather Vandeven, Jelena
Jensen, Aimee Sweet, Adrianna Gage. It's the way that our chemistry
reacts on film.
Eros Zine: What's your favorite of the movies you've done?
Justine Joli: Whatever I'm working on now. I just did this
movie with Octavio
Winkytiki. There are karate fight scenes and it's just amazing
and the girl who comes and saves us geishas, she has her haircut and
dyed to match Ghost in the Shell. She's not bi, I don't think.
Out of luck on that one, I'm always falling in love with the wrong
Eros Zine: Tell me something about you that would surprise people.
Justine Joli: Here are two things: I'm a bad lay the first time around cause I have to get to know you and what you like. The second thing I'm a recluse and I'm very shy. When I'm not out working, I stay in my house and play Playstation all day. I just overcome it when I'm working. I guard my private life very much, so when I take off the Justine face, I no longer have to be Justine. At heart, I really am a nerd with no communication skills, though doing exhibitions for years has brought me out of it.
I couldn't really get a date before I was 20 because I was massively shy, and then I went to New Zealand for three months. I had to learn how to talk to people, they wouldn't talk to me; I would sit at a table by myself for hours.
Eros Zine: How does your onscreen sex life differ from your personal life?
Justine Joli: If I didn't do it in my private life, I wouldn't be able to bring it on film. If you're not comfortable with doing bondage, it shows, immediately. For me, I'm a hardcore sub, I love canings, floggings, whippings. I like thumpy things, but I like more thud, the cane is a sharp stroke but I also like to be flogged till I'm red.
I have this fantasy where I'm brushing my mistress's hair and French braid it and then having her spank me with the brush; I'm just a fucking freak.
Eros Zine: So you're exclusively a sub?
Justine Joli: I'm both. I can only do that with someone who can go there; there's a difference. You can teach someone how to be dominant, but they have to be a little sadistic to start with. I've tried this before, and the guy just tied me up wrong. I've tried to teach people before, but if you're not a little sadistic, you can't relish the tears of a woman who's crying because it's such a release, not crying cause it's painful, you're crying because it feels so good that you're about to come, it's releasing everything within your body, it's complete freedom within confinement.
Eros Zine: It seems almost illogical.
Justine Joli: There is a logic behind it -- think about it. This is a healthy way to get it out; there's nothing wrong with wanting to paddle a girl, but if you're doing it in an unhealthy manner, that's like serial killer shit. If you're coming from a healthy and loving place, it's an awesome thing, I've been with doms who are coming from a bad place. The pain should never take away from the torture. There's a certain logic in it. Everyone's wired differently so some people like regular vanilla sex, some people like a little toy action, some people like to be tied up and beaten -- different strokes for different folks. I pretty much like it all.
I can top to a woman who's really ready to submit to me. I've only done it once, but I know I'm sadistic; I loved watching her cry. When I used my nails to her redden her flesh, she got goosebumps. I threw her down on the bed and fucked the crap out of her, she was screaming my name. I like topping women who enjoy it.
Eros Zine: You were recently in Nylon magazine and are very into clothes. How would you describe your sense of fashion?
Justine Joli: You know what's really fucked up? I pay someone to dress me, I have a very different style of fashion. I mix it with the current European fashion as well as punk rock. I do crazy '80s stuff. I have someone who sees that vision. I see things that are twisted and dark not just with a twinge of nasty.
I love glamour but sometimes to me it doesn't make sense, I pay a stylist who dresses me for the glamour. For me, my favorite is being that crazy goth girl, with the fauxhawk and dark eyes, the heroin look. I love stuff like that, I can't decide on either one.
I have a fucked up fashion sense, you can see it in some of the beginning photos, what I thought was fashionable got progressively better cause I hired people to buy for me. Sometimes I've gotta swallow my pride.
Eros Zine: You have so many different looks that sometimes it's hard to recognize that it's you in your photos.
Justine Joli: I'm a chameleon. Personally I dig it, it's saved my ass, not being recognized, I do actually wear glasses, so I can hide, that's another great thing, because I change my hair color so often, but it's gonna be the same color for the next few years. I like that I can do that. I didn't realize I could until Dave Naz -- he was the first person to do that with me.
Dave's style is very natural, no makeup, so when he said he wanted to put a lot of black eyeliner on me, he's like "I see you as this fucked up goth punk," I was like "Can we?" It was like Christmas had come early.
We're going to be sticking with a cross between glamour and fashion, a sleek '90s look.
Eros Zine: What do you have coming up?
Justine Joli: I'm starting to dance, at a local club in LA, then I do my first feature in New York and then I fly out for a two-week vacation; I haven't had a vacation in three years. On the horizon is more feature dancing, conventions and my website, those are the three major things that are on my mind and what I'm gonna be pushing.
I'm going to be dancing and also want to do naked skydiving and naked bungee jumping, things I think guys would like to see. I'm gonna roll, by myself, even if I cry, and I'm gonna put it in the footage. I want them to feel very visceral because I'm absolutely terrified of heights, but I've naked bungee jumped once before. We'll be doing this in New Zealand.
Eros Zine: Do you get recognized a lot?
Justine Joli: I have been recognized a total of four times in my six-year career, once by Maynard from Tool. The last time was by the chick who works at the wine department at my local grocery store. This store's been around for three years and she finally came to me the other day and said, "Here's a nice bottle of Riesling," my favorite wine from New Zealand. She said, "Thank you so very much Justine for all of the pleasant nights. I have known who you were for three years, if you need anything, just ask."
Every single time, I have not been wearing my glasses. I need them to see so I have prescription contacts, and wear contacts when I work.
I'm prepared for what's gonna happen if I start getting recognized more. When that guy recognized me at that Star Trek convention, I realized if I ever get bigger, this is what I'm gonna have to do. They're the reason you have a job, you can't just go, "ugh," you've gotta be cool to your fans.
I remember the majority of my fans. One of my favorite fans, and he has been for years, I see at Glamourcon and at Erotica LA, Comic Con. He's always so respectful, he doesn't try to monopolize my time -- I can get carried away with fans. I do see a lot of new faces but I do remember every single one that comes and says hello.
There's this couple and they're part of my Yahoo Group, I see them every year at AVN. I can never remember their names. They like girl-girl -- well, he doesn't but she does so it's really hot for her to think about the idea of being with another woman; it had never occurred to her. That was the biggest compliment that a fan could ever give me, to say you inspired me. I hope she got a lot of orgasms out of it too.
It doesn't scare me unless you're shadowing me in a store, that's not alright, when they creepily follow you around, that scares me instead of just coming up and saying "I'm a huge fan of you, where's your next convention?" I'll even talk to them, I love meeting my fans, as long as they're cool about it.
Eros Zine Do you have any favorite fans?
Justine Joli: Fuck yeah, and they give me the greatest gifts. On the series Angel, there's an episode where Angel gets turned into a puppet. They reproduced 1,000 of the puppet that were on the show and one of my fans happened to have two of the puppets and he gave me one, that was the coolest gift. We're gonna start a wish list and a list of things I would like and a place for fans to send me stuff.
Eros Zine: What are your long term plans?
Justine Joli: I eventually will do my own Cannes Film Festival film, a feature. I'm a huge comic person and huge science fiction fan, so probably somewhere in that vein. That's what I'm planning on, making regular cinema if I can. If I can't, invest in property, invest in my mutual funds, make sure that I'm set up for retirement one way or the other.
Eros Zine: Thanks, Justine! Fans of Justine Joli can find out more about her at justinejoli.com. Thanks to Michael Ninn, Dave Naz, Consensual Media and VCA Pictures for providing the photos of Justine that accompany this article.