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Cytherea talks motherhood, condoms, The Matrix: Reloaded, and what it’s like to have started a squirting revolution in porn.
This article contains sexually explicit material that may be NSFW.
If you came of age during the early aughts, or what venerable scholars of pornography refer to as the “Kazaa Generation,” you have likely masturbated to Cytherea. Named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite, who was referred to as Cytherea by residents of the Greek cult site Kythira, Cytherea started as an online nude model, entering the adult film industry after an agent stumbled on a Yahoo! fan group devoted to her.
During her time in the industry, Cytherea acquired near-legendary status for her ability to ejaculate voluminous amounts of fluid while having an orgasm. Thanks to this skill, Cytherea is better known by her less classically inspired nom de plumes, “the Squirt Queen,” “Squirtwoman,” or the “Goddess of Gush.” She also developed an addiction to drugs. Then she got pregnant, which led to her quiet exit from the adult industry to get clean in 2006.
Like most female adult performers, a career with a relatively short shelf life, Cytherea’s peak was brief. Yet she managed to amass a rabid fan base during her first few years in the industry, due to her pixie-like appearance and near-athletic performances. (When I texted a friend who was a fan of Cytherea’s oeuvre to tell him I was interviewing her, I received a one-word response: “Wow.”) She’s also widely credited with spawning the trend of female performers squirting in the adult industry, as sociologist Chauntelle Tibbals, Ph.D. explains.
“There is nothing new about female ejaculation; there is, however, something decidedly new about its prevalence and visibility in adult content—this is directly linked to Cytherea,” Tibbals told the Daily Dot via email.
“The handful of studies focusing on average women’s feelings about squirting (and their capacity to do so) all tend to report things like shame and embarrassment, and occasionally acquiescence. In porn, however, squirting is a fairly coveted skill, something many performers have even worked to cultivate. All since Cytherea.”
Since then, Cytherea has gotten clean, gotten married, had two children (her boys are seven and six years old), and settled with her family outside of Las Vegas. Like many adult performers who retire from the industry, she’s returned to porn in various forms, shooting movies sporadically and feature-dancing to connect with her fan base. Her latest venture is on the website AdultVerifiedVideoChat.com, where she’s auctioning off a scene with a fan. (Bidding ends Sept. 30.) The Daily Dot recently got in touch with Cytherea to talk motherhood, condoms, The Matrix: Reloaded, and what it’s like to have started a squirting revolution in porn.
So give me a basic rundown of what you’ve been doing for the past few years.
This is the truth. I got out of the industry in ‘05. I needed a break. I had kids. I had two boys. And I was thinking after my first child that I definitely wasn’t going back to the industry, that it was in my past. Then I had my second one and I thought that was it, and I would never be returning back to the industry. But it was like family to me and I attended a lot of AVNs and stayed in touch with everyone. Then around 2010 someone recognized me on Facebook and I got an overwhelming response from some of my fans begging me to come back and it took a lot of persuasion. Honestly, my body is not the same as it was prior to kids. But I have lost all the weight, even though my midsection area wasn’t the same and I was like a 38DDD and went back to a B cup, and that wasn’t pretty.
I know it’s probably superficial or whatever, but I thought, I can’t go back on film like this, and then someone suggested a fundraiser to put my stuff together, if you want to put it that way. And it surprised me how quickly I raised money and next thing I know I got my surgery done [she had her tummy tucked and her breasts augmented]. I called it putting myself back together.
You were struggling with addiction when you left the industry. Was it difficult coming back and booking jobs?
No, not at all. I’ve partied for years and gotten the full taste of it, and it’s not a desire for me anymore. Once you quit, and you know the difference between being high and being sober, it’s an awakening. You realize a lot of things and I just was out of it. I like my sleep and my food and I love my kids and I think—if I kept looking at my kids and being all high—it’s just something in my life I’ve put behind me, and that was difficult. But I think what was more difficult is coming back and seeing how my industry has changed so dramatically.
The biggest thing for people like me who were in the industry is seeing how many people are out of the industry because of bankruptcy and drugs and things like that. It’s the way things are. When I was in, all the talent—we were a tight-knit family. When we partied, we’d party together, when we’d swing, we’d swing together. If you were in my circle, that’s who my talent would be, because I knew who they were and what they were doing in their personal lives. The industry now is nothing like that. There are a lot more sexually transmitted diseases and I’m noticing some of the veterans, like Mr. Marcus, giving the industry diseases—it’s shocking, I don’t understand it.
How do you feel about the condom mandate, then?
I’m very upset about it. For one, I’m allergic to latex. It’s a real big pain in my ass. I’m already small enough down there that it’s very difficult for me—but it’s my own body, it’s my prerogative, I should choose whether I want to or not. It’s like going to everybody’s household and making them use condoms. I know so many risky jobs and there’s only so much you can do to protect a person. Mainly we are in the adult industry for the fact that we are really not meant for a 9-to-5 job or a job unpacking boxes. We’re meant to do what we’re doing, and we don’t particularly like it when people come in and tell us what to do, especially when these people don’t give two flying fucks about us. They’re just doing it for… it always happens right around when election time comes around. It would be another thing if they’re concerned for us, but they’re not, that’s not the case.
Did you have a 9-to-5 job when you left the industry? Did you try to do that?
No, I was a stay-at-home mom while my husband worked, so that was different. I’d never had anybody take care of me financially so that was interesting. Plus coming from my lifestyle and my work, it was a very big change to being a fulltime mom. It was an experience of the civilian life. It was interesting to see the other end of it.
So why did you go back? And where did the idea for the auction come from?
Obviously it’s any guy’s fantasy to be with his favorite porn star. It’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here. More than anything, my fans are number one to me. Every little one of them, they’ve been so loyal and amazing and respectful to me. I love them, I really do. I was gone from the industry for a very long time, and it’s amazing to be out of the industry for that long and have the fans—they love me to death and they’re so loyal.
I think the idea of an auction in particular is so interesting, though, because some performers have told me there was this stigma attached to performers meeting fans in the past, and now they’re doing scenes with them and escorting with them.
I think a lot of that has to do with the way the industry has changed. Now video sales are not a big part of the industry which has caused lots of people to go bankrupt. It’s just a change of things. A lot of times it was a big no-no to have sex with anyone who wasn’t in the industry. I knew girls who would do it, but it was hush-hush, just like weed was for a while. But now it’s so common that a lot of people just accept it. I’ve always been a very promiscuous girl. I’ve always liked to meet my fans and I enjoy having sex.
Why was it so stigmatized?
In the industry, you know your male talent. I know my male talent. That’s all you have sex with. You don’t have sex with anybody else besides the people in the industry who are being tested. It keeps everything in a contained situation. When you start adding people you don’t know, the tests are not 100 percent whatever. You could have a test and it could come out clean and you could have sex with someone who isn’t tested. There’s a risk in it. You’d be surprised how many people outside the industry have never been tested, who don’t think about this shit until it’s too late. It’s our livelihood.
Have you been with a fan before, off camera?
Yeah, of course I have. Not going to lie and say I haven’t. I have.
Are there any challenges to having sex with civilians that you don’t have with performers?
I’ve noticed a lot of guys can jack-off all they want by themselves and they can get hard and come all they want. But when it comes to meeting the porn star they’ve always dreamt about, they get so excited they start using their brain and then they have wood problems, or they pop too easily. A guy who’s been in the industry for a long time knows the right angles, knows—if you’re doing it privately on camera, the talent knows which ways to hold your body to open up to the camera. Literally, when I’m having sex by my third orgasm I’m just not with it, and it’s pretty much a do-si-do with me. (Laughs) I’m only as good as my male talent, because by the third time I’m like, whew, I’m out of it. It’s nice to have someone who knows what they’re doing.
What do you do when that happens, when a guy is so excited to meet you they can’t stay up?
The only thing you can do is literally become a psychologist, and try to not have them to think about it and make them feel as comfortable as possible. But sometimes there’s just no doing it. I’m very patient, especially with anybody that’s non-industry. Anybody that is industry, I am not. If you are professional, you need to stay professional so I can get my orgasm, get my paycheck, and we can all be happy. I don’t really enjoy my work or my sex if I know one person is messing around.
Do you have an orgasm every time you shoot?
Of course. If I don’t, I’m being bamboozled. (Laughs) There’s something wrong.
That’s surprising to me, because a lot of the performers I talk to, when I ask them if they come every time they shoot, they’ll dance around it for a little bit, maybe, but most of them will be like, “No, not every time.” Do you feel like it’s higher pressure for you, because you’re known for having a very visible, specific kind of orgasm?
Yeah, it is. There are times when I don’t understand my body, and I’m coming and I’m getting wet, but I’m not squirting. It takes a lot out of my body. I need to prepare my body to squirt on film. I drink a lot of protein shakes. I drink a lot of electrolytes. Before the shoot, I drink a lot of water and hydrate myself. I try to wait at least three days before having an orgasm, because like anything, the orgasm is so much more intense because it’s been so long. There’s that build-up. There’s a lot to go into having orgasms that strong and that far. It’s not so much pressure, but sometimes I don’t know why things aren’t going on. And people are like “What the fuck is going on? Why aren’t you squirting?”
I mean, I’ve never squirted. I’m just gonna put that out there. Wouldn’t know how to if my life depended on it.
You probably have and just didn’t know it. Maybe you felt like you had to go to pee. But anyways, what were you going to ask me?
Would you say that there’s, like, a psychological component to doing it?
Oh, yeah, there is. Women are so psychological. We’re so complicated. Especially civilian women. I have tried so hard to understand civilian women and their thinking, because I am wired so differently from every civilian girl I’ve ever come into contact with. I don’t understand it. It’s like, you want to enjoy sex. A lot of women hold back and they don’t tell the person what feels good and what doesn’t. They don’t communicate with them at all. It does have a sensation that at first feels like you have to go pee, and then you go pee, and then after a while you notice it’s not going anywhere, there’s no more pee. The feeling of it right beforehand, it starts amping up, all those feelings, and next thing you know it explodes to the most amazing orgasm. I don’t know how to explain it other than—have you ever seen Matrix Reloaded?
A long time ago.
You know that part where the guy is sitting at the table with his wife, and you look at the blond girl and she’s eating the piece of cake, and they do the whole Matrix thing and the cake explodes? That’s the best way I can explain it. It sounds silly, but I remember seeing that part of The Matrix—’cause I’m a big movie buff—and I was like, “Oh my God, if anyone asks me what it’s like, that’s what I’m going to show ‘em.” I come very hard. I go in my own zone. I’m speechless and non-functional and it’s amazing. And I’ve noticed a lot of times I squirt or gush at home depending on how many fluids I’ve given my body. It’s kind of close to what a guy—if a guy doesn’t drink a lot of water, his come isn’t very healthy and is thick and gross. But if a guy drinks a lot of water and eats well, his come is fluidy and much more healthy. I think it’s very similar, with women’s orgasms.
How do you feel about those experts who say this isn’t a real thing that women can do, that it’s just pee that comes out?
I don’t understand how it works, to be honest with you. I don’t know the whole medical terms. And I’ve seen two different specialists on it. One said he didn’t know what was wrong with me, and the other one agreed with everything the squirt fanatics say. All I know is this: When I have an orgasm, I get extremely wet. And it feels really frickin’ good. I know I pee a whole different way, in how it feels and the consistency and everything. I’ve given up a long time ago to convince people it’s pissing. Fine, whatever. If it’s pissing, it’s pissing, and I piss in two ways, and that’s all there is to it. I don’t know what to say. They can put their haterade away.
Well, it is true that there are a lot of women in porn who fake it nowadays. Especially because it’s become so popular since you entered the industry.
What I’ve noticed about the women in the industry, especially since it started becoming kind of a craze—I completely flipped the industry from the anal craze to the squirting craze. When I first entered the industry, people kept telling me, “Well, you better learn how to do anal,” and I kept saying, “I don’t think so. I guess I’m not lasting very long, because I don’t like anal.” It’s not my cup of tea. And now these girls have to learn how to squirt. There’s only so many girls I can teach in the industry—I mean, I’ve taught a lot of people in my life, women and couples, how to achieve an orgasm now. There’s maybe a few couples I haven’t been able to get to squirt, but I’d say about 90 percent I have made squirt.
Do you think people still have this perception of “Squirting is weird, squirting is gross”? I mean, you’re saying that people pay you to teach them how to do it.
To be honest with you, I think it’s changed quite a bit since I’ve gotten back. I have been told now that I can’t squirt on film, that that’s not the kind of film they’re shooting. I’ve had a lot of stupid-ass talent who, at the end of the shoot, have warmed up to me and I have convinced them of my orgasm. I know a lot of women currently in the industry who are squirting and they are just straight-up pissing. It’s yellow and smelly and it’s very difficult for me to bite my tongue, but I don’t want to make any girl feel… I am very sensitive to women and I don’t want to make them feel bad.
I think on one hand, there was a demand [for squirting] and people knew how to shoot me and when I got back people were dogging my orgasms. I’ve had talent say, “I don’t want to work with her. She pissed.” One guy actually said, “My mama didn’t have me come all the way to this country to be pissed on.” (Laughs) But it’s ignorant people. If you’ve had sex with me—I think a lot of people can see how passionate I am about it, and I’m not faking it, and the fact that you can literally see it. You can literally see the passion and intensity.
Do you think porn has gone from being anti-squirting to pro-squirting and then back to anti-squirting again?
I don’t know about that. I think it was pro-squirting and then when I got back it was anti-squirting, yeah. [Since I’ve returned to the industry] I’ve only done a handful of videos for companies that had to do with squirting. I loved doing Elegant Angel, Squirtwoman. That was an amazing time. It seemed like it was more thorough. Now a director has to learn how to shoot my squirting and not dog me. Some are not interested in the squirting at all, and some don’t really care either way, but that’s not their focus. I mean, I dunno. Who knows.
Why do you think that people loved watching you squirt so much?
I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t watch my videos. I get uncomfortable. But I hear that I have amazing, good porn, jack-off material, I guess you’d say. I think a lot of it has to do with the wow factor of me squirting so much, and a lot of it has to do with my whole body orgasming. It’s real. And I don’t think you see that a lot of times with women in the industry. I’ve watched porn, and honestly I only watch the porn of the talent I will be working with so I understand them better and I know what their niches are, but I feel there are a lot of women in the industry who you can’t tell if they’re enjoying it. I don’t know why they would do it if they didn’t enjoy it, but you can’t tell.
A lot of women talk about squirting like it’s an empowering, almost feminist act, like, “Watch me blow my load like a man.” Do you feel that way at all?
No. Not really. It’s just a really awesome orgasm. The only time I really felt like an empowerment is because a lot of women can’t squirt on guys and guys, they come on your face all day long, and they have the audacity to dog mine? I don’t dog your come, don’t you dog mine, asshole. So I kinda find it exciting that I will find a way to hit them in the face one way or another.
I’ve had sex with one gay-for-pay girl. They’ll do girl-girl but they’re not into girl-girl at all. And it was a horrible scene. I get very upset about that. I never want to have sex with another woman who doesn’t want to have sex with me. It’s such a turnoff for me. I give the men in the industry kudos because I don’t know they do it. A lot of times, they have to kind of work with women that don’t seem like they’re into it or enjoying it, but they still have to go through with the shoot. There aren’t a lot of women in the industry who are like, “Whoo! Let’s get it on! Let’s get down!” Some girls in the industry, in between breaks when you’re shooting a film, a lot of the girls will just stop doing everything. Me, personally, keeping that sexual connection is very important to me mentally and helps immensely with the scene, and that’s why I think a lot of talent enjoy having sex with me. One way or another, we’ll keep a sexual connection together. Whereas a lot of women in the industry, I’ve noticed when the camera turns off they’ll be like, “OK, stop touching me. Get your dick out of me.”
How does it feel to be known for this one thing you can do? Do you ever get tired of being referred to as the Squirt Queen?
Honestly, I don’t think about it too much. Sometimes I worry that people will think of me as a one-trick pony, but I don’t think I am. I’ve heard from a lot of people that it’s not just my squirting. It’s everything I do on film. I wish I enjoyed anal more, because I know my fans really like it, but I don’t like it. I’ve tried it a couple times and it’s not my cup of tea. I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel good. Doesn’t mean I won’t help another girl enjoy anal stuff, but it doesn’t feel good for me, that’s all. I wish I could deep-throat better too. I have a stupid gag reflex thing.
I don’t know what it is and I don’t really want to know. I don’t want to ruin it. But I get a lot of emails from fans and couples who are… there’s not a lot of relationships where your wife watches porn with you. And I’m apparently one of the women whose porn is OK to watch with your wife. I’ve seen couples wear T-shirts when I was feature-dancing saying “I love you, thank you so much, you saved our marriage.” It makes me think I’m not just some girl spreading her legs. I’m actually helping people’s lives.
So now that you’re back in the industry and doing this auction, what are your next steps?
I’m the mother of a soon-to-be six-year-old autistic boy. My oldest is seven. They’re both amazing. The autistic one is obviously a bit more challenging to parent, but it’s very rewarding at the same time. Raising kids is not an easy thing and it doesn’t come with a manual. I really take pride with trying to do the best for my kids and it’s hard keeping a roof over their heads and making the right decisions educationally and trying to manage your career at the same time. Eventually, I will figure out a plan. But I don’t want to be doing porn for the rest of my life. I’m enjoying it right now, and honestly I haven’t filmed in a while, but I enjoy shooting for my fans, I really do.
How do you plan on telling your kids about what you do?
Well, my oldest is seven years old. He’s way too young. He doesn’t need to know that stuff quite yet. Right now, I just tell him Mommy is a model. His school thinks I shoot for a catalogue. The front desk people caught my husband off guard and said, “What catalogue does your wife shoot for?” And he’s like “Huh?” “Mommy’s going bye-bye for work.” That’s all I say. And that’s all they need to know for right now, at that age.
But when he’s old enough, and mature enough to know about it, yeah, I’m not going to hide it. I’m having sex. It’s on film. There’s nothing wrong with what I do. Having sex is not a bad thing. And the way I do it with multiple sex partners, I do it very safely, and I’m as methodical as I can be. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what women do in the industry, I really don’t. And when my son is old enough to handle things like that and handle that kind of information, I will tell him. I’m not ashamed.
EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.