This story contains sexually explicit material that may be NSFW. 

Earlier this month, the adult-film star Siri hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. As is the case with most porn-star Q&As, Siri mostly fielded softball questions about the business and her personal life. Does she watch her own porn? Yup, with her husband. Does she fake orgasms on camera? Actually, not often. Did anything surprise her about porn when she first entered the industry? She’s got a detailed (and NSFW) response.

At one point, however, the conversation took a marked turn:


 

Her response was intended in jest. (“I thought, ‘Well, let’s get this started on a light-hearted note,’” Siri told me later.) But many redditors on the thread didn’t see it that way, interpreting the comment as hostile and accusatory. The response in defense of piracy was swift and vitriolic:


 

By the end of the AMA, Siri had received more than 1,800 comments. Many of them were clearly from fans who regularly streamed pirated content and didn’t appreciate being made to feel guilty for doing so. “People were downvoting my other answers and attacking me personally because they didn’t like my stance on piracy,” Siri said.

Prior to her AMA, Siri was somewhat familiar with the Reddit community, but she didn’t expect her comments to be met with such vitriol. Really, she was stating the economic realities of the adult film industry rather than expressing her opinion on torrenting. No matter how you slice it, free tube sites featuring pirated content are making it increasingly difficult for performers like her to earn a living.

“The response from some people on that thread was very much just this entitlement that many people seem to have, that ‘if porn is free, I’m just gonna take it,’” she said. “They say, ‘All you do is walk on set and get fucked and then leave, so it’s not like your job is that hard. I suppose the mentality is that the content, being porn, is not worth anything anyway. That performers are not worth anything anyway.”

It’s not surprising that redditors would vociferously defend their right to masturbate to Siri for free. What is interesting about this animosity is that Siri is one of the most beloved adult film stars on the Internet.

She’s immensely popular on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, as well as the social Q&A website Quora, where she was named one of the top writers of 2013.

With her delicate Nordic features, natural 32H breasts, and hair the color of Elmo’s fur, Siri (website NSFW) looks like an adult film star conceived on deviantART: at once quirky and conventionally gorgeous, with the outrageous proportions of a manga heroine. She’s also a self-described comic book and tech nerd, who regularly gushes about Harry Potter, her top eight iPhone apps, and cosplaying as her favorite superhero, Power Girl.

Photo via Siri
 

The phrase “nerdiest girl in porn” is, to some extent, a well-worn trope at this point. But if there ever were an adult film star to fit the bill, it’s Siri. When I Skyped with her the other day, she cheerfully gestured off-camera to what she referred to as “a Harry Potter shrine,” featuring the wand of her favorite character, Luna Lovegood. And there’s nothing she loves more than sharing her interests with her fans: “I’m obsessed with the idea of being accessible” to them, she said.

Siri’s popularity on Twitter and Vine—she has more than 75,000 followers on both platforms—is especially notable considering how long she’s been in porn. Born in Minnesota, Siri decided to enter the adult industry right after graduating college, going live with her Siri Twitter account in June 2011.

It was four months before the eponymous iOS voice assistant went on the market. For the record, there is no relationship between the two. Siri is short for Sigrid, a name that means “beautiful victory” in old Norse.

Early in 2012, Siri moved with her husband from Texas to the San Fernando Valley to launch her porn career (they met on OkCupid and are proudly nonmonogamous). Almost immediately, she signed with an adult agency and shot her first scene for the production company Reality Kings. Since then, she’s been nominated for numerous awards, including AVN’s Best Starlet 2013 and Best Boobs and Hottest Ass this year.   

As one of the top writers for Quora, Siri also represents herself as something of an adult industry ambassador to the mainstream, or “civilian,” world. She frequently (and patiently) answers questions from outsiders about life in porn valley, such as “Do porn producers hold auditions to have free sex?” and “Are all adult performers on drugs?” (The answer to both, by the way, is no. Siri said during her time in the industry, she’s only seen one performer use drugs.)

“If someone asks me a question, I’ll answer it, no matter how many times I’ve heard it,” she said. “There are all these incredibly outdated misconceptions about the adult industry, so I feel kinda like it’s my duty to address them.”

Last year, Siri launched her YouTube channel, Siri’s Porn Star Diary, which has more than 5,000 subscribers.

“I’ve always been a fan of vlogs, and I didn’t know of any porn stars who did one on a regular basis, so I thought, hey, let’s do a porn star diary,” she added. While she’ll sometimes use the channel as an opportunity to plug an upcoming project or shoot, for the most part Siri’s Porn Star Diary is safe for work (her blog, however, is not). Many videos are of Siri doing makeup tutorials (“I get a lot of requests from female fans on Instagram, asking how I do my makeup,” she says), or plugging her favorite apps, or prancercising.

Siri is also extremely popular on Vine (NSFW), where she has 75,000 followers (enough to prompt a shoutout on Joe Rogan’s podcast last August). Like her YouTube channel, Siri’s Vine is notable for its mix of SFW and NSFW content: While she posts clips of herself shaking her ass or showing off her bruised breasts after rough sex, many of the vines are goofy clips of her applying makeup or singing along to Journey at karaoke. One devoted fan even created a YouTube compilation of her finest Vine moments.

Siri’s social media activity is actually not that unique in the porn world. Most performers are fairly active on Twitter and Instagram, attempting to drive traffic to their website by posting naked selfies, custom clips, or sneak peeks from an upcoming scene. While Siri does that, too, she seems to have touched on a rather novel approach to cultivating an online fan base: by posting YouTube videos of herself singing about knitting, or a Vine of her spinning around in a desk chair. She wants her fans to see her as a real person with real quirks and passions, rather than a “chick” “getting her pussy pounded” on a tube site.

“I don’t consider [interacting with fans] a strategy, per se; I’m just really nice,” she said. “But in a way it does help a little bit to counteract the effects of piracy and the product we make being cheapened by it. Because even if a fan watches my stuff for free, if I can connect with them on a more personal level, on Twitter and Instagram and YouTube, the more likely they’ll see me as a person, and the more likely they will be into the idea of supporting my career and putting their money where their mouths are.”

Thanks to the adult industry’s financial woes, Siri is dubious that in a few years, she and her fellow performers will have careers to support at all. Although she produces and edits her own content and appears on livecam—though not as frequently as other performers do—she’s concerned that the industry at large has not evolved enough to keep pace with the changing times and that fans have become too accustomed to streaming porn for free to even think about supporting their favorite performers.

“The industry has been made up of recorded content for the longest time, and that’s what most of us think of our jobs as being,” she said “And that’s what I like most: performing on camera. So it is kind of saddening to look to the future and think that in 10 years what I’m doing now may not even be around anymore, or not as I know it.”

Of course Siri isn’t the only one who worries about piracy’s effect on her line of work. Director Lee Roy Myers, who runs the website Woodrocket.com (NSFW), shares the same concerns. “I think that what she is saying is correct” he said. "Piracy is burning down the porn industry as is." But he holds out hope that as long as there are viewers willing to support companies like his website, which are adopting nontraditional models of selling original content (like giving it away for free, and then directing consumers to their sponsors), “a new type of porn industry can rise from the ashes.”

Siri says that piracy “has seriously affected my ability to make a living,” and she estimates that she sends DCMA takedown notices to tube sites at least once a day.

“Performers have to work much more than twice as hard than they did 10 years ago to make a living,” she said. “I love my job, but I also think I would really like to be able to do my job, and not have to waste my time sending takedowns to torrents and tube sites because all my stuff is getting stolen.”

All this is why the response from the community on Reddit was so disheartening to Siri: She knows that for every fan who follows her on Vine and subscribes to her YouTube channel and legally pays for her content, she’ll have to contend with 10 more, vociferously championing their right to watch her fuck for free.

“I think the worst thing about the tube site format is that it’s changed the way that fans look at porn," Siri said. "It’s cheapened porn to the point where most people don’t even think it’s worth paying for anymore.

“That’s why I’m so vocal about piracy. Because all it takes is a fan who’s neutral or maybe leaning toward not supporting free porn or tube sites, and maybe getting him to change his mind.”

In the future, Siri has plans to direct and act more in features, both porn and mainstream. (She appeared in her first mainstream role, in the low-budget horror comedy Ooga Booga, last May.) But for now, her primary mission is to convince her fans that porn is worth something; that the people who make it are worth something; and that she, as a performer, is worth something. And just like Power Girl, her cosplay superheroine, she’ll keep wielding her scepter and fighting, one vine or tweet or DCMA takedown notice at a time.

Photo from the 2014 AVN Awards, via Fitzgerald Multimedia