“Being a porn performer has definitely benefited my oboe playing,” Starr said.
Starr quoted a visiting instructor at San Jose State University, where she studied. “The oboe is the most poignant instrument in the orchestra. You have to believe you are the soloist at all times.”
How does getting fucked on camera with her head in the toilet compare with executing a flawless run in a Beethoven symphony?
“There are crescendos and diminuendos and nuance in both,” Starr said.
Like many porn performers originally from the Bay Area, Starr got her start at Kink.com. A former boyfriend who worked there suggested she try it out, and Starr shot some scenes for the Kink.com site Water Bondage in early 2006.
“I dipped my toe in (with Water Bondage),” Starr said. “And Kink is great for that. The things you do at Kink are almost not sexual but clinical. Viewers want to see a foot, or a leg, or a butt, a butt hole, or things going into that hole. It’s almost not a sexual thing but a clinical one. Girls can get away with just doing Kink.com and no one would ever notice.”
So Starr became a “porn star” once she began traveling to L.A. for a couple of weeks a month, having signed on with agent Mark Spiegler.
“When people found out I played the oboe, they would ask me to use it in scenes, like playing it while sitting on some girl’s face and giving a blowjob,” Starr said. “But Spiegler would say, ‘She has artistic integrity!'”
In Porn Valley, Starr noticed that some performers thought her Kink.com credentials meant that she was a violence magnet, or vice versa.
“What people don’t understand is that, at Kink, you’re filming in 12-minute segments. Some people say, ‘Oh, she’s from Kink; I can beat the living shit out of her.’ Or I’m supposed to be the dominant one in the scene and I’ll be told, ‘Just come out of the gate attacking her like a spider monkey’ and you’re supposed to keep that up all day.”
But Starr soon learned the rhythm and protocol of working in Los Angeles and began to set her own rules. “I used to say, ‘You can do whatever you want to me’ in scenes but now I say, ‘Let’s see where this goes,'” Starr said.
She also admits to exhibiting some Oboe Baggage early on.
“People who play the oboe have big egos,” she said. “I would show up on a set and I wouldn’t like the outfit or the makeup or something, and I’d fret about it.. And then I had an epiphany: I said, ‘These people are paying me to wear this crap. So I’ll wear it with a smile on my face. And if I don’t like the makeup, I’ll just spit on my face and it will look ten times better. And I’ll bring the wardrobe that I want to wear. So I work with the system but keep my options open.”
Like a soloist. I interviewed Starr at her home just before Christmas. I realized later that she was standing up most of the time, as if delivering her rendition of “The Mission.”
Starr constantly looks for balance in two volatile careers. “I used to travel back and forth between San Jose and L.A.,” she said. “They are two very different places. I was going to school up there, I was doing Kink, I was playing the oboe, I was a nanny. And then I’d come down here and I’d be the porn performer. And that separation worked. But then I moved down here.”
Starr had graduated college. Dana DeArmond had introduced her to her current boyfriend, Ssippi, and the two of them began living in sin in a woodsy guest house in Silver Lake.
“I’m more protective of my personal self, because my life is all in one place now. And so I go to the coffee shop down the street and kind of hope that no one recognizes me,” Starr said. “I like leading a double life.”
Starr has shot for Harmony in London and for Evil Angel in Brazil this year. She has also travelled to Prague. Like her friend Belladonna, she is known for hardcore scenes and has the look and attitude that make her accessible to international fans (were Kagney Linn Karter to dye her hair black and affect a world-weary attitude she, too, might be a hit in the Czech Republic).
I asked Starr what a printable pet peeve was (one of the unprintable ones involved certain porn performers hearing she played oboe and then saying that they, too, were musicians, but of less noble instruments).
“When I started at Kink, I really was exloring my sexuality. That’s how Lorele (Lee) and I thought of it. But when I hear someone say ‘I’m exploring my sexuality’ I cringe a little. It seems like something they think they should say.”
Traditionally I ask if a performer’s family knows about her porn career. If the answer is no, I don’t print it. But with Starr I was concerned about the woodwind community.
“It’s not something I would put in the show program,” Starr said. “You have to admit it’s not appropriate. But oboeists are horrible gossips, so I’m sure they know.”
So we know what an oboeist brings to the world of porn, but how does a porn perfomer translate those skills into the operation of the orchestra’s most poignant instrument?
“Doing porn has made me a better music performer,” said Starr. “But you really present your ego through your instrument – whatever it is. I’m just a lot less self-critical. I don’t say, ‘I missed that run in the 23rd measure of the fourth movement of that Telemann piece.
“Porn has made me care less.”
Now that’s apathy you can jerk off to!
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Bobbi Starr – heart in the clouds, head in the toilet; Rocco ravishes L.A.; Kagney Linn Karter by any means necessary
See also: Bobbi Starr on Twitter