This article originally ran in the February 2016 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see the digital edition.
Home State: Michigan | Height: 5-foot-5 | Age: 20 | Weight: 110 pounds | Measurements: 34A-24-35 | Hair: Blond | Eyes: Blue
Look out, mainstream world: there's a brain lurking behind the beauty of 20-year-old newbie Rachel James—and she intends to use it!
"What I actually really like about porn is the people, the open-mindedness, and nobody's judgmental because they've seen it all," James said when talking about how working in adult has opened her mind and dashed some preconceptions. "It brings you a sense of comfort with yourself and it's really helped me find out who I am and what I like and don't like and how to stand up for myself, and I also saw the most beautiful souls that I've ever seen in my entire life. There's just nobody out there like that, and it just gave me a passion to work with more, and then I fell in love with the art of photography and the lighting and the cameras."
Indeed, porn is a far cry from her former profession: traveling around the country selling timeshare condos.
"I was very good at selling timeshares," she noted, "but I ended up traveling to Chicago in November of 2014, and I was working outside at the time, and it drove me nuts because it was freezing, negative 23 degrees, and I was working too much for nothing, and my dreams bothered me every day, so I looked for an outlet—and obviously, like a lot of girls, I found a Craigslist ad saying, 'Free flight to Miami,' and I took it. I've been on my own for three years now; I'm 20 and I had nothing to lose, so I figured, why not try and face my fears and do something I've always been thinking about; otherwise, I'll always be unfulfilled."
Most of the pre-porn sex Rachel was having was of the girl/girl variety, but according to her, working in the industry has opened her eyes—wide!
"I look like a classic white girl," she admitted, "and I always told myself I would never do interracial, I would never do anal, and I didn't push myself past my limits. I was a newbie when I came to the porn industry, where people really started to pull me out of my comfort zone, and I did a black scene with Blacked.com, which was my first IR, with Flash Brown. I was so nervous and I thought at that point I couldn't be nervous anymore before my scene, but I was all sweaty hands and shaking and I couldn't eat, because I'm really small and his you-know-what is huge, but he didn't hurt me. He knew what he was doing, and it turned out wonderful, and the content that Greg Lansky from Blacked.com shot was really beautiful; it was like a mini-movie."
Another of her favorite scenes was in the movie Our Morning Ritual, with Alice Green and Jordan Ash.
"It was my first boy/girl/girl scene, and I am definitely fascinated with women more than men in my personal life, but to have both the penetration of a man and the essence of a woman at the same time, it was very powerful for me and I think it was the first time I really had an actual orgasm on screen and I couldn't hold it back. It's memorable, and it was one of the first scenes I did."
And who would she like to work with that she hasn't yet?
"Raven Rockette," she answered immediately. "I really would love—I would kill to work with her. And James Deen. I had one pussylicking scene with James Deen but it was very short and wasn't the full effect, so it was a tease, but I would love to work with James Deen and I would love to work with Raven Rockette."
Rachel's private life is fairly quiet.
"I'm kind of a homebody, to be honest," she shyly admitted. "I grew out of my partying stage. I like to read non-fiction, things about history—I've been reading up on the Holocaust because I'm Jewish; not by religion but by name and ethnicity—and things about science and philosophy. I play the bongos and I also snowboard, so those are some of my hobbies and interests. If I had more free time, I would be doing more of those things.
"I'm also very interested in photography; not with people so much and nudity, but more of people and their general reactions: them being them. You catch them in the moment of them being true to themselves; that's what I love, when they don't know they're being captured. I do black-and-white film roll photography, and that's also fun."
We also asked Rachel if she had any sort of philosophy of life that she lived by—and the answer was surprising.
"My favorite quote is actually from a movie called Joe Dirt: 'Life's a garden; dig it.' I know it's short and to some it might sound senseless, but life is where you grow. If you don't dig into everything that you possibly can, you won't grow. Do everything you possibly can; push past your limits; build a landscape, a masterpiece of your life and have something to say for it."
In the far future, after her porn career is over, Rachel said she'd like to open a wedding planning service—and she thinks her current agency mentor, Mark Schechter (ATMLA), may be able to help her do it.
"I love Mark. He and the others at the agency have been phenomenal. They helped me with not just my work; they helped me with my private life and my financial situations, and they guide me in the right directions; they really do. They're my mentors."
Book her at ATMLA and follow her on Twitter: RachelJames_XXX.