Interview with Kiri Kelly
Jameslovebirch: Your interview in the book Different Loving by Gloria Brame reveals you were a confirmed masochist from an early age. That is, someone who gets erotic pleasure from punishment, including self-spanking. In Spanking, Spanking, and More you play a young girl caught self-spanking while reading an erotic book. Is this is a coincidence or something you came up with?
Kiri Kelly: I believe I did base it on that earlier experience. I would also like to clarify that I would no longer consider myself as a "masochist". If I used that term, it was because I was still new to the terminology of BDSM. I view a masochist as someone who gets pleasure from pain itself, but I consider myself more of a sensualist. I enjoy sensations. I prefer play that starts with a sufficient "warm up" to desensitize the skin, and then I enjoy the increase of sensation, and obviously can take quite a bit! But when it starts as JUST pain, I don't like it.
JL: In Spanking, Spanking and More and Hitchiker 3, I believe, you briefly show a dominant side and punish Tanya Foxx. Are there other times you played a disciplinarian or dominatrix role?
Kiri: Tanya was one of my favorites to work with. The videos that Jay Dee and I produced together for Harmony and B&D Pleasures, we chose the actresses that we wanted to work with, and Tanya was at the top of the list. You will see her and I in many videos together. She was not only a great actress and could do whatever was required for bondage, but she was sincerely a nice person and a joy to work with.
There were some... The most prominent in my mind was when I played the evil Nazi scientist Dr. Freidastein in B&D Pleasure's Nancy Crew meets Dr. Freidastein [with Jay Dee, Greta Carlson, and Whitney Prescott]. I was the director as well and with the huge crew that we had, it was a lot easier managing the set walking around in a black leather uniform than in my usual lingerie! I was also the first person to ever tie up Whitney Prescott in Home Maid Video's Her First Time, at the start of her fetish career.
JL: You've taken many fast and furious Hall of Fame spankings (Sore Subject and Hitchiker II come to mind). Was this done just for the videos or do they reflect the level of intensity you enjoy getting off camera as well?
Kiri: As I mentioned above, I prefer a nice long warm up. I can take much more in the long run, and enjoy it so much more.
JL: I've seen you in so many intense, hard-hitting scenes. Were these always pleasurable for you or were there times when it hurt like hell but you held on for the sake of the film?
Kiri: Pretty much most of the time, it hurt like hell, since there isn't time for sufficient "warm up" in the videos. There were of course times when there was sufficient enough of a build for me to really enjoy it, such as Shadow Lane's Hard Discipline.
JL: What was it like working for Nu-West? Why did they spell your name Kyrie, and what went wrong with the controversial Kyrie’s Last Session?
Kiri: First, I'll start with my name. When I was first asked to give a stage name, I actually chose Kyrie Kalista (Kyrie from the Mister Mister song that was popular at the time, and Kalista had a personal significance). But it was Harmony that spelled my name Kiri and changed the last name to Kelly, which they thought sounded better. Since Harmony and their publication Bondage Life were so popular, it seemed too late to try to correct it, so I just stuck with it. Over the years, my name was misspelled quite a few times, but since I found out after the product was released, there wasn't much I could do about it.
As for Nu-West, the majority of the time that I worked for them was fine. The experience was usually predictable... Same warehouse/studio location, basic sets, Ed Lee always there with an assistant or two. Pretty straight forward as to what we were going to do. Was most enjoyable when I was able to work with actresses that I knew and liked, such as Mistress Stephanie Locke or Eve Howard.
As for what went wrong... in looking back, I think that it was Ed Lee's intention to "break" me or try to get me to say "mercy," because I was very specific with him when we first started working together that I never say "mercy". My submissive pride just won't let me say it. I told him that I will make it known when something is too much.
The night of the video, there weren't any assistants present, as there always were before. This was the only time that it was JUST him and me there. During the course of the video, I had reached my limit, but had endeavored to get it across to him in such a way as to let him close the scene properly. Having had the experience of editing videos myself, I knew that it was difficult to edit videos that stopped abruptly, and I was trying to be professional. So, when he got close to me to be within earshot, I would whisper to him that I had enough and to close the scene. He responded by stepping back and saying, "so you want more?" Eventually he had me in tears, which was the first time that he had ever seen me cry on a set. But he still kept at it. Whenever he came close I kept repeating to stop, but he kept on. By the end, I understood what the term "in shock" meant. I felt barely coherent and it took me many hours to come "out of it". Considering that I begged repeatedly for him to stop and most importantly, was bruised for 3 months afterwards (which put me out of work for 3 months) I feel justified in saying that it was excessive, and because he chose to ignore my repeated requests and tears, I have to assume that it was intentional.
JL: In the '80s and early '90s, what did the average performer make for being a sub in a CP video – and were bonuses offered for taking an especially severe session?
Kiri: Most bondage and CP videos paid about $300-$350 for the day. Spanking videos would take less time and could be over within a couple hours or less. Bondage videos would be at least a few hours to possibly all day, depending on the complexity of the video. For extra severe CP videos, I would get $500. I must also mention that Shadow Lane paid their models the best, no matter what the severity.
JL: Several performers went on to write, direct, and produce their own videos (Jennifer Brooks, Chelsea Pfeiffer, Eve Howard, Jacqueline Omerta, et al.). You directed a couple videos. Have you ever wanted to do more behind-the-camera creative work?
Kiri: I was always a part of the creative team with Jay Dee. We would write the stories together. He was great at coming up with the concepts and I would flush out a script, plan the costumes, sets, props, etc... He would usually handle the directorial role, but we were a team in producing the rest of the video. So, even though I didn't get directorial credit for most of my videos, I had a significant role in the production for many of them. Currently, I find myself drawn to more photographic work behind the camera instead of video work.
JL: Some fetish stars also appear in mainstream B-movies under aliases. Greta Carlson (as Sherri Graham), Desi d'Angelo (as Jasae), et al. Have you ever done that?
Kiri: Only had a couple experiences outside the fetish industry. I was an extra in a Madonna video. And was an extra in the bar scenes in Curse of the Catwoman (a John Leslie film – which was fun to watch being made!) [Ed: This is a 1991 porno film from VCA starring Selena Steele.]
JL: Which Madonna video are you in and how did that come about?
Kiri: There was a contest held on MTV at the time for her song "True Blue". The video I was in was one of the finalists and did get some airplay at the time on MTV, but it wasn't the final video that won. And if I remember right, it was through Stephanie Locke, who knew someone that got us in as extras. We were dressed in 50's style clothes and it was filmed in a diner.
JL: Tell me about working with Alexis Payne. Is she a close friend and how did you meet?
Kiri: There was an instant chemistry between Alexis and I the first time that we worked together. It was on a video set – I can't remember the name of the video, but I believe it was filmed by H.O.M. I always looked forward to working with her and would cast her in videos with me, wherever possible. As a matter of fact, I would say that I had a major crush on her, which is why I chose her to be in my last video, Hard Discipline. I miss her dearly and hope that she is enjoying a happy life, wherever she is.
JL: Do you enjoy watching contemporary CP or BDSM videos? Any favorite titles, performers, or companies?
Kiri: I can't say that I have watched much of the current videos. I have the opportunity to go to plenty of local "munches" or parties, and find enough enjoyment from watching or participating in live scenes.
JL: Is there anything you wanted to try in a CP/BDSM film but never got the chance?
Kiri: I had wanted to do a CP film that went straight for an hour or more, with no breaks. So many videos shoot a scene, then stop for a break, then shoot another, then break, etc... I wanted the viewer to know that this was continuing non-stop for the entire time. The closest that I got was my final video for Shadow Lane, Hard Discipline. It was my intention do do that very thing, but Eve Howard wanted to have at least one costume change, so we shot the video in two 45 minute segments, with one break.
JL: Have you ever wanted to start your own production company making and selling fetish/CP videos?
Kiri: I have toyed with the idea, but have found myself drawn to photography over videos.
JL: Ever consider writing a book about your life and experiences in the industry?
Kiri: I've thought of it, and it is a possibility...
JL: Finally, what have you been doing (or plan to do) since leaving the industry?
Kiri: Have done a variety of things since leaving the industry, from designing jewelry and artwork to working as a Marketing Director. Currently I have my own business as a real estate photographer. I've occasionally had the chance to do some erotic photography, when I have the opportunity to shoot a model. You can see some of these on DeviantArt.com. On a personal note, I am involved in a Poly relationship with a Dominant gentleman and his wife, who is submissive to us both.