Q&A: Jessa Rhodes Masterminds Like a True Hustler
LOS ANGELES — Jessa Rhodes is a fast-talker, a slick dealing Hustler girl who can redirect the limelight quicker than a prism. That glassblown shine draws instant attention, with enough edgy angles to hook loyal fans.
The Oregon native vaulted from amateur webcammer to Hustler frontwoman in just a few years, electrifying neon L.A. and transforming herself into an all-American sexpot.
In over 150 titles, Rhodes has whipped her golden mane like a drenching dervish dance, reaching cyclone intensity fit to turn desert sands into an oasis. And, she has the acting chops to match that five-alarm sizzle, sporting a 2015 XBIZ Best Supporting Actress trophy for her role in Jacky St. James' "Second Chances" for New Sensations.
Now, it seems like all roads lead to Rhodes, from her visionary plans for a branded clothing line to a fully revamped website featuring high fashion-inspired adult content. Considering how easily she pivots from vanilla gonzo porn to hardcore BDSM, the possibilities are limitless.
XBIZ invited Rhodes to share her dreams and she happily obliged, laying out a richly detailed tapestry for the future.
XBIZ: Tell us about your early days in adult. How did you transition from stripping and nude modeling to webcamming and beyond?
JESSA RHODES: I was born and raised in Oregon, where I first started dancing and I met a dancer who asked if I had a webcam. We ended up webcamming together for a day and during that session, an agent reached out to me from Miami. I had a couple days to think about it. Figured hey, I got nothing to lose. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. And I’ve always been a very sexual, outspoken person, so you know I flew out a few days later. I ended up in L.A. a couple months after and, well, never really left!
XBIZ: What led you to sign with OC Modeling?
RHODES: Well, like any kind of relationship comes and goes, you figure out what you like and what you don’t like, just as when you’re dating a person. I think it’s been four years coming and I’m so happy that I’m with Sandra at OC Modeling because we’ve developed a friendship up until this point. She’s always been mama bear and she’s always been awesome. It just ended up a couple things kind of fell through with the last couple agencies I was with, and I just figured you know what? I’ll give it a shot and see how it goes. And it’s been a complete 180 with my career. She’s amazing, I’m booked every single day. You know, I just bought a brand new car because of her. She’s just been listening to what I want and what I need. Very on top of everything.
XBIZ: In December 2013, you graced the cover of Hustler. You’ve performed in their films, shot a second cover with them recently and were at the grand opening of their Hollywood and Vine store. How has your relationship with Larry Flynt’s empire evolved over the years? What’s next for you and Hustler?
RHODES: Hustler has been really really really good to me and it’s cool to be a part of that because Larry is always someone that I’ve idolized and you know without Larry Flynt standing up to the Supreme Court and doing what he did, we wouldn’t be able to do anything that we do now. And that’s a crazy story that I feel like a lot of adult performers don’t even know. I’ll be like, have you seen the “People vs. Larry Flynt” and they’re like “what is that?” Most people don’t even know why he’s in a wheelchair, so it’s been a really cool ride to be so much a part of a company that I’ve idolized for so many years and somebody that’s just a great human being.
I’ve had a Hustler cover and I’m doing a second one, and I did a spread for a “day in the life” thing where they kind of just follow me around and took some pictures. You know, shooting with them for the video, the content’s been really cool. We’re about to start shooting some more stuff. But the most exciting thing that I’ve been working on with them lately is their summer ad campaign. We just shot the photos at the beach and we had an awesome location. A beach in Malibu. I did put the crew to work that day, because in order to get to where we had to be, we had to go all the way across all of these rocks and up and down to get to this private little area. But of course we’re, you know, kind of running around naked, so it’s important to have privacy! It was cool though, because it’s not nearly as private as a lot of people think it would be, because there were some college kids that came down and were drinking, smoking some weed. And I’m like “do you mind” and they’re like “no, not at all!” as I’m running around topless — they didn’t give a fuck obviously.
But, no it was cool because we got some really really great stuff and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do with the photos because they're basically going to plaster me all over their brands for the next four months or whatever it is — the affiliates, the advertising for the websites, the magazine. The most exciting part, though, is I get a billboard on the Sunset Strip in L.A., in Vegas, in Phoenix and San Antonio. So that’ll be kind of cool since I’ve never been on a billboard. We were all making jokes like, yah, let’s grab some drinks so when it all comes out the whole crew will take a picture beneath the billboard. They’ve been sponsoring me for all kinds of clothes, which is awesome, cause I’ll be at the gym like “yah, I got my Hustler gear on!”
It’s nice to be sponsored by a company that I actually believe in, support and love, ultimately. Like just now I was coming from the office and it’s cool because we’re all kind of running up and down the halls saying “hi” to each other. And we actually have a little project that I came up with today that we may end up doing, where I come in with a video camera and set up a bunch of pranks in the office on all the different floors, so I’m excited to see where that goes. But yah, it’s been a great road. I’ve opened up a couple of the stores with Larry and he’s amazing. Like, we’ll be sitting there and he’ll say something funny — I remember I was signing and my signature’s really big and he looks at me and said, “Jessa, your signature’s really big, you know what that means, right?” And I go, “No, what does that mean Larry,” and he goes, “It means you’re really good in bed,” and I start laughing and then his security guard goes, “Boss, yours is really small, so what does that mean?” And his signature’s like tiny and we’re just busting up laughing. He’s really got a great sense of humor, he’s just funny. So yah, that’s my relationship with them!
XBIZ: Tell us about working with Mason’s Profane Clothing, with whom you once fundraised for Christy Mack. Will you be creating more merch with them?
RHODES: Mason runs Profane Clothing. He’s amazing. What’s cool about his clothes is each t-shirt or whatever it is that he gets the girls to do — say it’s me or Jesse Jane or Nicole Aniston or whatever — each one of his shirts goes to a certain charity of that girl’s choice, or like a percentage of it. You know, it just so happened to be that the timing of my t-shirt coming out was when Christy was going through all that stuff. And so we were like hey, why don’t we put that towards her recovery and her surgeries and stuff. That was a really cool thing to be a part of that, but yah, Mason — he’s amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to shoot with him cause he’s out in Vegas now. I think we’ll have some interesting stuff coming out.
I myself am actually coming out with my own clothing line. I’m pretty excited about that, the last couple of years I’ve designed my own awards show dresses. Trust me, the one for this year’s XBIZ Awards will be fabulous! I’m looking forward to that too. I’m actually in the works designing all that. I’m gonna be working on some hipster clothes, you know — cool elegant type of stuff. It’ll be a wide spectrum of things, but for me I’m like really into baggy sweatpants, the Macklemore look, the “I don’t give a fuck, but I do” look. I’m excited about that. I’m gonna start with website stuff and then my 5-10 year goal is to have an actual boutique and stuff on Hollywood Blvd. It’ll be completely separate from Jessa Rhodes, but I’m using my brand to branch off from that.
XBIZ: Speaking of charitable works, you encourage fans to donate money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. How important is altruism to you?
RHODES: A lot of people forget that we have things like Twitter and social media and a following of people that look up to us. That a big part of being an “adult star” or whatever the fuck you want to call it, is that a lot of people forget that just because we do sex we’re still humans with a heart and we still have dogs to come home to and friends and family and we’re not just these sexual objects that are one-dimensional. I’m a very multi-dimensional person and I feel like that’s important to share with people. Use your influence to help other people pay it forward, more or less. So when I’m asked what my wish list is, I don’t have that, I tell them to please donate to whatever charity they want, so long as they’re legit, and I’ll give them a few options because you never know.
XBIZ: You were named 2015 XBIZ Best Supporting Actress for your work in “Second Chances” from New Sensations. Are there any upcoming films you’d like to highlight where you really show off your acting chops?
RHODES: You know what, thank you guys for giving me that award! I have my XBIZ Award in the living room, and I’m very very thankful for that. And, I’m actually excited, because Jacky St. James and I have another thing coming up. I have decided to shoot my very first boy/boy/girl and my first girl/girl anal, as a DP. It’s all going to be one showcase. I’m going to give you a little bit of the plot. I’m writing the script and I’m coming up with the concepts and all this stuff, and I’m going to help direct it too, with obviously Jacky’s permission we’ve been talking about the whole thing so I kind of want to get on the ball with the behind-the-scenes kind of stuff. So, I’m gonna try to basically co-direct this one with her for Digital Sin but it’s gonna be a cool little concept. The whole thing is basically like one scene after another and it gets darker and darker and darker, I don’t want to give away too much of it yet. But what’s cool is it’s going to tie into, it’s gonna bring back a certain character that starts at the beginning with me and that character’s going to tie into my next showcase for next year for my anal, for my DP and all that. So, it’ll be a sequel thing.
It’ll be really cool to do that cause I’m really into the BDSM type of stuff and weird scenarios. It’s about a girl who’s OCD, and kind of has to have that other part of her life be controlled, so I’m basically writing it about myself. We have an all-star cast, it’ll be myself, Damon Dice and my boy/boy/girl will be with Chad White and Ramon Nomar. And then, Mr. Pete and Chanel Preston are my choices for the anal DP… but we’ll be confirming all this, because I will take nothing less than this being cast. We’re shooting for the beginning of June to get this out before awards season obviously, so I’m really excited a lot of really cool stuff coming up this year. And then we’re obviously going to be working on the second showcase so that will tie into all that.
XBIZ: Will you be doing any major updates or exclusives for your official website down the road?
RHODES: Yes, actually. As of right now, I don’t actually have an official website. I did buy ClubJessaRhodes and JessaRhodesxxx.com a long time ago, but where it’s at now? I have no idea. Probably someone else already bought it. We will be working on all of the content for that. I’m teaming up with Sandra at OC and JC with Pornstar Platinum. We’re going to start shooting content for that in like the next week or two. It’ll have all my Skype, my store where you can buy the stuff I wore in scenes, my DVDs, my magazines, posters, calendars. Things like that.
And I’ll have content on there but I’m not sure what the update’s going to be, if it’s going to be a membership site. I think probably what we’re going to do is for each download just pay for it, instead of a membership thing, I think that’s a little bit more fair, because just in case I don’t have time to keep shooting. So I’m probably going to do it like a clips4sale store, offer custom videos where they can request things to shoot.
XBIZ: You have talked about pursuing an advanced degree in the past, like becoming a vet to breed tigers in Asia and getting your business degree. What are your current educational aspirations?
RHODES: As of right now, the tigers are going to have to wait. Because it is something that I’m very passionate about. But it’s also something that will take a lot of money, a lot of time and something that will probably be more of a retirement thing for me. I’m definitely excited to pursue other things and like I said one of the things that I am pursuing is the fashion stuff. Once I kind of get the ball rolling with all the other projects I’m working on, I’m thinking I’m gonna end up going to school to take a couple fashion courses to really get a good idea of what I’m walking into with the fashion world and know what I’m talking about.
XBIZ: How do you split your time in adult between shoots, feature dancing and the like?
RHODES: So the last like two, two-and-a-half years-ish, I really kind of focused more on the dancing, I was working a lot with Dave at A-List features, still with him. I was going on the road a lot, there was a three-month period where I was literally only home Mondays and Tuesdays. And my dogs hated me for it. I have a Husky and a Pomeranian and they couldn’t be more… they have a lot of separation anxiety. But you know, it kind of wears you down after a while, as much as I love being on the road, meeting the fans, it’s a great thing, you really have to balance it out. So, for me, this year’s really going to be about shooting and keeping that content out there. But I’m probably going to end up toning it down to four gigs a year at the really good clubs. The Hustler clubs, when the magazine comes out.
As far as right now though, shooting content is my main concern. I’m starting to really branch out and do a lot of different types of shoots, which I’m also really excited about because my website is going to have literally everything on it. Like, I’m about to shoot a furry scene. Like I’m not even kidding, it’s going to have femdom, it’s going to have gonzo, it’s going to have features, it’s going to have BDSM, it’s going to have normal content. So I’m pretty excited, we’ll see.
I’ve become a pro at doing men in the ass evidently, so, not that it’s something that I do in my personal life, but you know, it’s fun every now and then. The other day I was riding in a little chariot and I had the guy on all fours with my chariot attached to his ballsack and he had to run around this course while I was whipping him, and telling him what to do, and I was like yah bitch, meow three times as I was like doing him in the ass and I was like yah bitch, say my name, I dare you. It was a lot of fun shooting it. But more importantly, they actually enjoy it.
And I’ve been shooting a lot for MeanBitches Glenn and Femdom Empire and I’m about to go out to Vegas to do a whole vampire fetish thing, so I’m really branching out this year, and I’m very excited about it. No limits, it’s been really fun and I’m not taking it so seriously now, I mean I’m taking it seriously but for the right reasons, versus being like, “Oh, I’m not gonna do this or that,” I’m like, “Dude, bring it at me, I’ll do it.” So, I’m excited.
XBIZ: Would you ever consider producing or directing?
RHODES: Going back to the Jacky project, I’m really one of those people that likes to take things into my own hands and kind of run with things. You know, obviously take criticism and direction from people, but I’m really really wanting to work and focus on my own projects, one of those things actually being the way I shoot — I want it to be different. I recently did a photo shoot with Damon Dice and my vision was to shoot it like a Guess ad or like a Versace kind of thing, but mostly the contrast between black and white. So we got a ’68 Shelby that we’re shooting with and we’re all decked out in leather and it’s very contrast-y, very edgy, very high fashion. So we did a couple different shoots like that and then the other one we did was like a very cool kind of Amazon look where I had this warpaint on my face and this cool body jewelry.
But, what I want to do is kind of twist the vision for porn and direct it into that kind of outlet because when I see a Guess ad like that I think, “Oh my god that’s so sexy, that’s so hot. I would want to see those people fuck.” So for me that’s something that I’m working on with my website is to not only have you know the weird shit, the furries, the gonzo stuff, the normal stuff, but I really want there to be some high fashion type stuff where you can see this and go, “Oh my God, that could be on a billboard ad,” and there’s a sex scene next to it that goes along with it. You know what I mean? So yah, I’m obviously going to be directing for my own site, but eventually at some point I would like to yah, maybe Hustler will let me direct. In the next like five years I definitely want to be behind the camera instead of in front of it.
XBIZ: Give us a glimpse of 2016 for Jessa Rhodes. What’s the game plan, in the short-term and the long-term?
RHODES: All I’m going to say about 2016 is Jessa Rhodes is taking over bitches, boom! So watch out, haha. I’m excited, I’m very focused this year. I have tunnel vision, but in a very healthy way. So anything that doesn’t have to do with me, or where I need to be, I’m like nope! So I’m staying very focused and healthy and I’m excited about life. It’s good.
Featured image courtesy of black candi images and Jessa Rhodes.