Carter Cruise – Bad Girl Gone Good, Kinda

Carter Cruise–Bad Girl Gone Good, Kinda | In episode 60 of Light Culture Podcast, Paper Magazine founder David Hershkovits talks to DJ, social media personality, and former Adult Video Network’s Best New Starlet award winner Carter Cruise.

Carter Cruise is best known for her adult video work, but even though she has retired she still sees it as an essential part of building her brand. From porn star to DJ, recording artist, and beyond, Carter Cruise has a plan she keeps in her wallet. To follow her on IG, you have to agree that Black Lives Matter and sex workers shouldn’t be stigmatized. Carter joins us on Light Culture Podcast to talk about her fanbase, dealing with the stigma of life after porn, and how she got into cannabis.

Read Transcript


David: [00:00:00] 

Wikipedia describes Carter Cruise as an American DJ, singer, music producer, model, and pornographic actor. I would venture to say that she’s even greater than the sum of those parts. She’s a star with a voice. She won’t hesitate to use, her opinions. refreshingly outspoken on a range of subjects from the Catholic Church to pornography, Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter. I’m not sure how the winner of the AVN Awards for the best new starlet, and best actress of 2015, fits in with the adult entertainment industry today, but I plan to ask her. She was built for social media, and I urge everyone to track down her at[@] Carter Cruise account. Where her loyal fans turn on to both her body and her mind. Welcome, Carter. [laughs]

Carter: [00:00:53] 

Thank you. [laughs] I like that. [laughs]

David: [00:00:57] 

That’s good. [laughter] On your Instagram page, you describe yourself as “bad girl, gone good kinda”. [laughter] How do you feel about that today? When did you start that account?

Carter: [00:01:14] 

Actually, I had that Instagram in college. But I deleted most everything, all that content. It’s not there anymore. I kind of- the “bad girl, gone good kinda” is kind of my nod to, you know, obviously, people find me through porn a lot of times. I kinda have gone good, cause I no longer shoot porn. But I wouldn’t consider myself a good girl. And, just wanting to acknowledge my past, and not show any shame for it without not necessarily broadcasting it to companies that want to hire me for other things, you know? You don’t necessarily want to say, “Yeah! I did pornography.” right there on the front, you know? Most people are already gonna know. It’s a little tongue and cheek, cause obviously I don’t think that doing pornography made me a bad person. But, according to most mainstream society, it’s definitely edgy. [laughs]

David: [00:02:26] 

So, you acknowledge that it’s hard to cross over from that. Which was something you knew in the beginning, didn’t you? Isn’t that something you already took into consideration when you first decided to embark on this path?

Carter: [00:02:40] 

Oh, yeah. One hundred percent. I mean, I don’t think anyone can be fully aware of the stigma and the societal impact of doing adult work, until you do it. But I had read, you know, a lot of girls, like, interviews. I was aware of what I was getting into. I knew it was shocking. And I knew that it would be something I would carry for the rest of my life. That was definitely something I was aware of. I think the reality was maybe a little bit harsher than I imagined. But that was a challenge to me, and it’s one thing that drew me to the adult industry. Because I thought, you know, if I can do this and do it well, and make a name for myself and then go on and do other things, I can prove to the world that doing adult work, being proud of your body, sexuality, celebrating that and sharing it with people doesn’t limit you. It doesn’t mean that that’s all you can do, you know? And I think that, a lot of times, people think that. And people do that with everything. I mean, people who are a model and they try to get into something else. Or they’re a musician. Even Kanye, you know, going from music into fashion. You know, a lot of people would be like, “What are you doing? Like, you’re a rapper. Stick to music.” I think it happens in every industry. But, you know, obviously with adult there is this crazy stigma that exists as well. And, I wanted to fight that. And I wanted to prove that that doesn’t really define a person. It’s really part of all of us. And some people just choose to share it.

David: [00:04:30] 

Well, you mentioned Kanye. Of course, you know, he’s running for President now. And he’s actually going around trying to get people to sign up to put him on the ballot. [laughter] Uh. And now they-

Carter: [00:04:41] 

Didn’t he drop out?

David: [00:04:43] 

Oh, no. He’s really back and doing it. And now there are articles coming out saying that the Republicans are working for him. That a lot of the same people that are in the Trump campaign team are working for Kanye to get him on the ballot.

Carter: [00:04:59] 

I have a lot of respect for him in a creative way. And I also understand that he suffers from bipolar, which is something that I’m pretty intimately familiar with. I have a lot of mixed feelings about all- everything he does. Because sometimes it feels like just a grab for attention. Other times it seems like maybe this is a symptom of something deeper that’s going on. I don’t know if pulling into politics when you’re still dealing with your own mental health is necessarily the answer.

David: [00:05:34] 

Well- Well, come on-

Carter: [00:05:34] 

But hopefully he wouldn’t. We’re already dealing with a shit show.

David: [00:05:37] 


Carter: [00:05:38] 

But I do have to respect him for, you know, just pretty much doing whatever he wants. Even though sometimes I might not agree with it, or necessarily support it, uh, I definitely have to respect him just for not caring and doing him all the time. [laughs]

David: [00:06:08] 

But anyway enough about Kanye. [laughter] Kanye though, since we brought him up more as somebody that can do different things and do them well. When you were conceiving of yourself – you changed your name, right? So, it was more like a whole exercise and a business plan, you know, whether you had it written down or not, I don’t know. But, you know, there was this, “I’m presenting this brand.” Doing work in all these different areas, and I’m starting out here. This is where, my start-up is and then I can have all these divisions, and sort of expand from there.

Carter: [00:06:51] 

Yeah, that was always kind of the plan. It was, you know, when I created, you know, Carter Cruise is this persona I never intended to just be a porn name, you know? I knew that I wanted to basically do music and I knew I wanted to do other things. So, that’s always been like a part of it from the very beginning. How can this grow into something else? 

It was very calculated. And I definitely did write things down. I have to write, actually, everything down because I’m very ADHD and if it’s not written down, it’s not getting done. I have to have it physically in front of me. And I, actually, I remember when I first got into the business, I made a little list of goals that I wanted to accomplish. And put that in my wallet. And I really did accomplish all those things. It’s very exciting. But I really did go into it with a plan. And I think everyone should because of the stigma of sex work, and because of the challenged you’ll face trying to do anything else. If you just into it not knowing why or what you plan to do after, I think that’s where a lot of girls and, also guys, but I think for women the stigma is much stronger. They do this and then when they try to move on to other things, and they feel frustrated, then they blame a lot of that on the adult industry.

So, whenever anyone reaches out to me about, “Oh. I’d love to do this. It seems so fun.” I’m like, “You need to have a plan.” You know, this won’t last forever. And there are some people who really can make a career out of it forever. They will go from performing to directing and producing. There are people who can do that. But, you really have to love something to want to do it for that long. I think it’s very important to have that plan. I knew, “I’m gonna do porn for a couple years. I want to hit these goals. And then I’m gonna transition into music, and I want to hit these goals.” Then I have other things I want to do as well. I’m also discovering that, moving into music, the stigma is a little less. Especially in electronic music. A lot of DJs date girls in porn. It’s a party lifestyle. It’s nightlife. People are a lot more accepting and it’s not so much of a judgement. But going into other things, like mainstream acting, is like crazy. It’s one of things where I thought, “Oh. I can eventually go into mainstream acting.” But it’s impossible to even get an audition.

David:  [00:09:57] 

Yeah. It’s hard for everybody, and I feel like you have a great personality and I love what you write on Instagram. And your sense of humor. What you’re doing on Instagram as well. Not just posing yourself in these kind of glamorous situations. [laughter] 

Carter: [00:10:21] 

Instagram is definitely not my social media of choice. It’s more something that I feel like I’m forced to do, because it is kind of the main marketing thing that everyone’s, like, wants to see how many followers you have and like what kind of reach you have. And so, it’s definitely the main social media that people care about. But I’m definitely more of a Twitter girl. I always have been. Cause there’s just so much more space to share your views and have discussion with people. On Instagram, there’s not quite as much, you know? Occasionally, I get a little political or a little outspoken on there. But my Twitter is hundred times more.

David: [00:11:02] 

You’re in a visual medium, obviously. And you can get millions of followers, I expect, if you would play up your body and present it in a way that other women do and lots of followers as a result of that. But you’re doing something a little bit more, odd and off-beat, I think.

Carter: [00:11:21] 

Well, thank you. Sometimes, I question it. Because, the amount of accolades I’ve had in porn, the amount of movies I’ve done, the name I have and that business compared to my social media following is very different. Most girls on my level in the industry have at least twice as many followers, if not more. Obviously, their content is a much more thirsty trappy and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think that that’s great. And that’s what their followers want, right? You come there because you saw this girl in a porn and you want to see her post sexy pictures, and they’re giving their fans what they want. And, I think that’s great. And something, for me, I like taking an occasional nude and, you know, I’m comfortable in my body. But I always wanted to make it clear that you’re not following Carter Cruise, the porn star, you’re following Carter Cruise, the person. And I’m multifaceted and I do other things. And so, by keeping my social media a little bit more off-beat and not so sexy, I think it’s really been great for me. Because my fans have translated really well into other things that I’ve done. Because they’re not just following me just to see me half-naked all the time. Because I never really do that. You can go on Pornhub and see that stuff if you want, but on my socials it’s a lot more clean and a lot more of my personality.  I think I do have more quality followers, but I definitely have less because of it. And it’s always kind of like, [sighs] “Oh, should I like go a little bit more this way, so I like get those numbers up?” But I want to attract people that like me for who I am, and not just for my body. You can like me for that too, but- [laughs]

David: [00:13:19] 

Yeah. Well, at least these photos just feel more real and authentic and intimate. You know, it’s like the way the paparazzi chase a starlet down the street because she’s in her sweatpants. [laughter] And that’s what people don’t see. That’s what they want to see. So, you know-

Carter: [00:13:36] 


David: [00:13:37] 

I think it’s gonna- either way, it’s gonna work out for you. But, you know, as you’re talking about your Twitter and- and Instagram, and the things that you tend to comment about, they’re very touchy subjects, right? In some ways? Because, uh, for example, I alluded to the one about the Catholic Church. [laughter] Uh. Which I was- I’ll quote. “Is cashing in billions of dollars in pandemic relief to save them bankruptcy, due to lawsuit settlements?” And, you know, “Meanwhile, the rest of the people aren’t getting anything.” Right?

Carter: [00:14:09] 


David: [00:14:09] 

“And this is a tax-free institution.” So, you really went to town on this. Though, you know, somebody made a comment, you responded.

Carter: [00:14:17] 

Yeah. [laughs] I kind of had tweeted something about the Catholic Church, and someone brought that to my attention. That they had gotten this Federal aid money. And I didn’t believe at first. You know, I was like, “Where’s your source?” Like, “Let me see this.” And then I find it in, like The New York Times, or whatever, that basically, you know- And it wasn’t just the Catholic Church, it was also a lot of mega churches. And I think like one of these churches, they had bought a private jet at the beginning of this pandemic, but now they’re saying, “We don’t have money. So, we need Federal relief.” Most of this relief is in loans. So it, theoretically, will be paid back, but still, money is money. And if someone gives you a small loan of a billion dollars, you can do a lot with that. I think a lot of people would be happy with a loan of a billion dollars.

David: [00:15:14] 

Oh, yeah.

Carter: [00:15:14] 

So, I was very shocked when I saw that. And I actually just went and rewatched, um, Spotlight, the other day.

David: [00:15:22] 


Carter: [00:15:22] 

I had seen it, you know, a few years ago. And it had come back up on Netlix, so I rewatched it the other day. And it was just wild to me because, you know, in our society, so many people are obsessed with this idea of, there’s some secret pedophile sex ring, you know, going on. 

David: [00:15:39] 

In Hollywood.

Carter: [00:15:41] 

There’re so many different theories, and they’ve existed for forever. And just people are really obsessed with this idea. Obviously, because it’s shocking, and it’s something that everyone can be against. You know, so many things are dual-sided. But, you know, pretty much everyone agrees that hurting a child is wrong. So, it’s this thing that everyone can kind of get on board with. 

David: [00:16:05] 

Apparently not, right? Yeah.

Carter: [00:16:06] 

Yeah. [laughs] Apparently not. It’s very interesting to me that basically we’re always looking for, the secret ring of sex abusers. We’re always looking for, “Oh. This person must be involved.” But it’s just wild to me that basically for centuries, the Catholic Church has allowed this to continue. They’ve hidden it. And they’re still settling cases. And we’re literally giving them free money. [laughs]

David: [00:17:45] 

Sure. And there’s a lot of, um, also talk about, the tax exempt status, and now the Secretary of Education wants to give money to the churches for their schools as well. For their education. It’s, uh, an interesting subject for a lot of different reasons. Are your views welcome in your community? But do you get a lot of push back on it? Especially some of your stronger opinions? From people you might be working with or run into?

Carter: [00:18:23] 

In LA, most people are pretty, you know, progressive and kind of on the same page. And I will say that also because I am so outspoken people are very used to it. I definitely have followers that disagree with me very heavily on things. But they kind of appreciate the way that I talk about things, one thing I noticed during the Black Lives Matter protests, a lot of people were shocked at how many followers they were losing because they were talking about Black Lives Matter. And, you know, I kind of thought, “Well, that’s because you’ve never really talked about these issues until now.” So, most of your followers just think, “Oh, I follow this person for this and that.” And you start posting political stuff, and they’re like, “I’m out.” Whereas, for me, that’s always been something I’ve talked about. 

Even before I was Carter Cruise, my personal Facebook in college, you know, I went to college in the South, and I was much more liberal and progressive than most of the people around me. And I was writing inflammatory posts even then. And, you know, in high school, getting into arguments with my friends parents about organized religion. So, it’s always been who I am, to talk about these things. There’s always someone who will disagree. But as far as my community, and the people that I surround myself with, we are more on the same page. And I do want to have a diverse community. I don’t want to have everyone around me agree. We don’t have to all agree on everything. But there is a certain level of agreement that I require from someone that I want to spend time with or associate with, you know? We don’t necessarily have to agree on economic policies, but can we at least agree that black lives matter? And that sex workers shouldn’t be stigmatized. These are things that are basic moral things to me. I wouldn’t want to associate with anyone who couldn’t agree with that.

David: [00:20:35] 

You mentioned you were in college. So, did you actually start acting in films while in college? 

Carter: [00:20:42] 

Yeah, actually. [laughs] In my last semester I started. And it was actually really crazy because I was a senior, fifth year senior. And I was definitely known on campus. I worked downtown at a bar and I was always out. I was a party girl.

David: [00:21:09] 

A flamboyant, wild girl. Yeah.

Carter: [00:21:11] 

Yeah. I was a party girl. So, it was definitely kind of a thing. And when I first started, you know, it was kind of a little secret at first. But then, of course, it got out. I never really tried to hide it that much. It just wasn’t something I necessarily immediately told everyone.

David: [00:21:26] 


Carter: [00:21:26] 

But it was a big deal. Like, I would go, like, when I first started, I went out to a bar in college and it was wild. Everyone was talking to me. And it was very overwhelming. It’s not something you generally experience as a porn star. Because, people might recognize you, but they very often don’t say anything. It’s not like being a normal celebrity where everyone’s gonna come up to you. A lot of people kind of look at you, and they recognize you, but they’re not gonna say anything. But in my college town, it’s very weird because I was in school, I was in a sorority, people knew me. Suddenly I had this level of celebrity when I was barely even known in the porn world. You know, I maybe shot ten videos, half of them aren’t out. No one in the world knows who I am. But at my college, I’d just get completely overwhelmed by people when I’d go out, cause everyone knows that, “Oh, this girl, you know, at our school is doing porn.”

David: [00:22:25] 

She crossed the line.

Carter: [00:22:26] 

Yeah. [laughs] I will say as far as my sorority, when I first started, it was so shocking. I mean, these are nice southern girls, you know, they’ve never even thought of anything like that. And it was, you know, very shocking and a lot of girls didn’t want anything to do with me. They were so embarrassed. I remember one girl, we don’t look that much alike, but similar, you know? And, I guess, a few people went up to her thinking that she was, and she was so embarrassed that she cried, you know? Because it’s so embarrassing to be mistaken for me.

But, as the years went by, a lot of those girls have really come around. I’ve actually become closer with some of them than I ever was in college. And that girl who, like, cried and was so embarrassed to be confused with me, we had a little chat and she is like a big fan now. She’s really supportive. And so, it’s been really cool to see that change in people. These people that’ve never been exposed to that, and it was so shocking and upsetting, and “this is wrong.” And now they’re all like, “You’re awesome. This is so cool.” And, that makes me feel good that I might not be able to change the world overnight, or ever, but if I can at least change the people in my community. If I can open their minds and change their perspectives, and get them to think about things differently, then I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile with my life.

David: [00:24:00] 

It’s surprising, in fact, because you could’ve totally turned your back on them, burned that bridge. Fuck that. I’m outta here. [laughter] And never actually ever talk to any of them again. I guess you’re kind of a forgiving soul in that way?

Carter: [00:24:16] 

Well, and you know, I understood it. You know, when I first heard that this had happened, that she had been so embarrassed, I really did feel bad. Because, you know, someone else shouldn’t have to live with the stigma of my actions. I made the decision, they had nothing to do with it. But because they’re associated with me, it was obviously put on them. And I did feel bad about that, even though I might disagree with their take. I felt like it’s not fair that they have to live with the consequences of my actions. So, I was very understanding of it, and I think that’s partially why, too, they were able to come around. Because I didn’t just say, “Well, fuck off.'” You know? [laughs] Excuse my French. But I think, you know, that’s very important. People are raised a certain way, and we’re taught things that are so ingrained into our brains, and you can’t expect people to just wake up one day and suddenly have a completely new perspective. That’s never gonna happen. And if you expect that of people, you’ll always be disappointed and you’re never gonna get anywhere. For me, it’s trying to be understanding, empathetic of where these people come from, what they’ve been taught, and how can I help them come to a better perspective in- in a kind and loving way?

David: [00:25:38] 

There’s that famous story of Belle Knox, the Duke University student, who – the story goes – wanted to pay her tuition and this was the easiest way to make some money. Otherwise, she couldn’t be a student. And, you know, everything’s so expensive in University. And you two became friends because you had this other experience. Did you consult with her? Or what happened there?

Carter: [00:26:02] 

Oh. Well, here’s an interesting story that I’ve never, um, I’ve never really spoken about publicly. So [laughs] I feel like now is the time. I don’t know where she is. She’s off doing her own thing. So, basically, it was very interesting. You know, I really thought I could brand myself as, you know, this college girl. I’m just a normal chick. Like, I grew up in the suburbs, I had the most normal life. Like, loving the family. And doing porn, I really am the girl next door. And so, that was the brand that I was going for. And I thought, “This will be interesting.” People will be like, “Oh. This girl’s just like someone I know. She’s my friend, and yet she’s in porn.” So that was kind of the brand that I was going for from the very beginning. 

And, uh, so probably a few months- because she got in shortly after I did. I was still new in the business, but I was starting to get a little bit of a name. And, one day, I’m on set and someone’s like, “Oh, you hear about this girl from North Carolina who’s doing porn?” And it was interesting. No one in the porn industry knew who she was. We were on set and there’s this huge story about her, and yet none of us know who it’s referring to. Because I think at the time she’s only shot a few movies, right? And so, everyone’s like, “Who is this girl that this huge article’s written about.” Who’s apparently a porn star that not a single one of us knows who she is. She wrote some kind of article or something, and that’s what had gone viral. And it was really weird, because at the time I had a Tumblr. And I would write pretty regularly about my experience in sex work, and transitioning into that. And I was reading her thing and I thought, “This is so similar to the things that I wrote on my blog.” You know? It was uncanny, you know? It was so similar, and I just felt kind of robbed. Because suddenly, she’s getting all this attention. And, basically I felt like, “Wait. That was my brand.” You know, I was the college girl who did porn, and then you come in three months later and you’re on these talk shows. Everyone wants to interview her. There’s a LifeTime movie about her. There’s all these things, you know? And I was like, “Wait. I was there first. What happened?” 

So, of course, I felt a lot of resentment towards her. And a lot of girls in the industry did, because, any time there’s someone who basically comes out of nowhere and gets a lot of success, people are gonna feel resentful over that. I was bitching to my parents about it. And my dad, who’s always like the voice of reason, said, you know, “This girl’s probably going through a lot. And you’re probably one of the only people that can really understand, where she’s coming from. So, you know, instead of being jealous and being mean, maybe you need to reach out to her.” And I was like, “You’re right. I’m being a selfish person and only thinking about myself.” And so, I did that.Cause a lot of people were very mean to her and didn’t want anything to do with her. So, I reached out and, super sweet girl. We kind of connected, and I was like, “Hey, you know, I kind of know what you’re going through. And I’m here for support.” Which was very hard for me to do. To kind of let go of my pride. [laughs] When she had taken this thing that I was trying to get. It was very interesting. One day, we were at some kind of convention, I think in New Jersey, and she was there as well. And, we were having a drink one day after the convention, and she told me, she said, “You know, before I got into porn, I was reading your Tumblr and your blog.”

David: [00:29:50] 

Oh, shit. No.

Carter: [00:29:51] 

Yeah! [laughter] And so, she basically said that I was one of the reasons why she got into the business. That was, in a way, very validating to me. Because, for a while, I thought, “Oh my God. How self-involved are you, Carter, that you think that this girl knew about your stupid little Tumblr?” You know? [laughs] Like, “How conceited are you to think that?” So, it was very validating to be like, “Okay, well, she actually did know about it.” Unfortunately, I think, for her, you know, just because she kept it a secret and because she went to a very high-level university, there was all this like controversy and stuff around it. And, you know, obviously blew her up but she wasn’t really happy in the industry. And unfortunately, she really didn’t come out with a positive experience or with much to show for it. I’ve always had a lot of empathy for her, cause, you know, she will always be a huge name even though she only shot a handful of movies, and really wasn’t anyone- most girls just go on and live your life. But because of that media attention, that we all were jealous of she probably won’t be able to really ever live a normal life, and that will always follow her. I haven’t spoken to her in years. But I hope that she’s doing okay and has found some happiness in her life.

David: [00:31:23] 

Cause I thought she was taking on a political role in representing women in the industry. Or trying to work as a lobbyist or something of that nature.

Carter: [00:31:32] 

Yeah. I remember some stuff like that for a while. But I haven’t heard anything about that in a long time. I’m not sure where she is now.

David: [00:31:44] 

Do you have as many women fans as men fans? What do you think?

Carter: [00:31:50] 

[laughs] I wish. But I just think just- No. I don’t think that a single porn girl, you know, any one who’s ever been naked on the Internet, I think you’re gonna have just a larger male following than women. But we were actually talking about this the other day, at my house, because, everyone who lives in my house, we all looked at our Instagram following. And we all have way more male followers. I’m the only one who’s done sex work. And even my boyfriend has more guy followers, and my two girl roommates have more guy followers. And we’re like, “Who do women follow on Instagram? Like, where are they? Who are they following? And I think that’s partially my fault. Because a lot of my fans follow my friends. [laughs] So, they get a lot of male followers. But, I will say, my female followers are very engaged. I think a lot of the males that, you know, you might have eighty percent male followers, but a lot of them are kind of casual. They’re not really too engaged. They just like a selfie. That’s really all they’re there for. Whereas, my female followers are a lot more engaged. I am friends with a lot of them. I literally ended up living with one of them. Of course, the guy watches you in a porn, so he’ll follow you. Um. But it means a lot more, and not to hate on- I love the men, too. You know? But it just means a little more when there’s a chick, kind of, like, “You’re cool.” Cause it’s like, “Aw! Thank you. I know you’re not just thinking that because, you know, you want to have sex with me” I mean, they might, too. But [laughs]

David: [00:33:43] 

And when you’re going back and forth, in the dialogue with your followers, are most of those men too? And do you find that, it turns into a power relationship that they’re trying to exert in the space of social media?

Carter: [00:34:04] 

Not really, to be honest. I feel like people really know my personality because I am so outspoken. And everyone kind of knows the rules of engagement as far as communicating with me. And I mean, of course, I mean, you get the DM requests that are just insane. Like, you know-

David: [00:34:25] 

Oh. Uh oh. Photos.

Carter: [00:34:25] 

Graphic- Yeah. Insane stuff. And I mean, every girl gets them. So, of course those exist. But as far as my male fan fans, you know, they are awesome and they know. Like, you can’t tweet porn at me because if you respond to one of my tweets, and you respond with a porn video, now that’s showing up in my timeline. And I have followers who might not want to see that, you know? I try to keep my stuff safe for work. So, that’s like a big rule. And, if someone does that, I send them a message “Hey, you need to delete that or I’m gonna have to block you.” And everyone’s always like, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” I’m like, “It’s okay. I get it. I’m just trying to keep it clean.” For the most part, everyone knows I expect to be respected and not objectified. And for the most part, I mean, I do obviously get that. I think any woman on the Internet does. But I will say that I have a pretty good experience, um, overall with people being very respectful and, appreciating me for more than just my body and my sexuality.

David: [00:35:42] 

I was gonna ask you if you’re hypersexual when you are not in front of a camera? [laughter] Yes or no? [laughter]

Carter: [00:35:53] 

it’s funny because, there is that idea that, you know, if you do porn, you must be this crazy sex addict. And it’s really funny, because all my girlfriends that I’ve made in the industry, we always laugh about this. Because for the most part, none of us- like, yes, there are some girls who one hundred percent are that way. But for the most part, a lot of us aren’t. Or maybe we started off that way. For me, in college, sex was this exciting thing. I wanted to try everything. I wanted to have sex with everybody. I wanted to know what it was like to have sex with this person. I wanted to try this cool thing, I wanted to experiment. It was an adrenaline rush for me. I’m big on experience. I seek that kind of adrenaline rush from putting myself in new experiences. So, of course, in the beginning, there was probably some of that. But after you’ve done porn for a few years, you’ve kind of experienced it all. I feel like I’ve done pretty much everything. I told one of my girlfriends, she got into the business about a year after me, and she was still in that hyper sexual phase. And I told her, “You’re gonna get bored.” [laughs] She was like, “I would never. I’m such a sexual person.” And, uh, recently, I was talking to her and she was like, “Ugh. Like, just work.” You know? [laughs] 

David: [00:37:26] 

It’s true. Everything becomes work, right?

Carter: [00:37:29] 

It does. It does. And I think it loses some of the excitement. It’s very interesting though, because I think, as a result,I used to only-  I wanted to have crazy sex. I wanted to like have sex with people I didn’t know. I wanted that like excitement and I’ve just like been really, now, I’m just like I know what I like. And it’s not, of course, I still love sex. I’m still a sexual person. But I’m just much more happy with, you know, kind of some vanilla, like, you know, just like make me feel good. Like, loving, cuddling after.


Adult entertainment during the time of Corona now. So, has everything just shut down? Or do you think it’s gonna be very different in the future?

Carter: [00:38:32] 

Yeah. I mean, I think the industry was already changing a lot. Um. Which is one reason why I got out of the business. I do think what’s happening is amazing, as far as Only Fans and girls creating their own content. I think it’s very positive. It puts a lot of power into the performer’s hands. It gives you financial stability, so you don’t feel like you have to shoot a scene that you don’t want to do, because you know you have other income. You can take breaks. Cause, you know, a lot of times, 2014, 2015, you know, when it was kind of like my heyday. I was shooting almost every day. And it can be very wearing on you. And I think it’s important to be able to take breaks. And so, as far as the Only Fans and where this is going, I think the industry is changing a lot already. And Corona has definitely pushed it even further that way, because everything is kind of shut down. And everyone’s really having to rely on their Only Fans. And I think it’s great. It wasn’t for me. I have no desire to basically sit at home and flirt with guys via text or post a lot of masturbation videos. That’s just not my personality. I could do it. But, what was fun for me was going to set and being around people. And like, “Okay. Today, you’re this character.” And you get some ridiculous script that’s just so insane. That was always very fun for me. So, it’s one reason why I distanced myself from the industry. But I think it’s really good and, you know, obviously Corona, as a whole, is terrible. But I think as far as pushing the industry more towards individuals owning their own content is definitely a positive thing.

David: [00:40:24] 

So, you didn’t ever think about directing. Cause I know, uh, you know, like Maggie Gyllenhaal in the TV show, who decides she just wants to get on the other side of the camera and direct movies.

Carter: [00:40:42] 


David: [00:40:43] 

And, uh, you know, you have a lot of different things that you’re interested in, but this isn’t one of them, I guess, right?

Carter: [00:40:50] 

I’d love to direct. Acting has been something that I’ve done my whole life. You know, it’s one of the reasons why I got into porn. “Oh. I can act every day.” I don’t care if there’s like sex involved. It’s going to set, it’s playing a character, and that’s truly my favorite thing to do. But I think directing is kind of like where a lot of my skills lie. And I really like doing it. But as far as pornography, I always felt a little bit disillusioned by the idea of directing it. It’s very formulaic. I will say, like, there are two movies that I really like in pornography, Wasteland and Portrait of a Call Girl. And those were movies- were directed by the same guy. Those are the only two movies he did, and then I don’t know what happened to him. The reason why I got into the business was watching those movies and thinking like, “This is art. It’s beautiful.” I was fast forwarding through the sex to find out what happened in the story. And that was really cool to me. But there’s really not a whole lot of space for that, especially now because of Pornhub and the Tube sites, which basically have taken over the industry by stealing content and putting people out of business. You know, lowering rates. Now there’s really not the same amount of money in mainstream pornography as there used to be. So, they don’t have budgets for these really awesome movies. You have these shoe-string budgets, and a lot of companies, they want it to be formulaic. They want five minutes of dialogue, ten minute sex scene, five minutes of dialogue, ten minute sex scene. Who wants to watch forty minutes of sex in a movie? What? Am I gonna masturbate four times in this movie? [laughter] Like, I’d rather it be like a slow- [laughs]

David: [00:42:46] 

You wanna do like the Quibi. Like the, you know, the Quibi? You know, that short form video that they, uh, put out, you know, that’s like ten minute episodes?

Carter: [00:42:55] 

Yeah. [laughs] Yeah. I know what they are. 

David: [00:42:57] 

That could be something.

Carter: [00:42:59] 

Wasteland was kind like that. Where basically they filmed full sex scenes. So, when you buy the DVD, the extras, you can watch the full, like, twenty, thirty-minute sex scenes. But in the movie, they’re cut to probably five- five-ish minutes. Um. Except for the final scene. So, there’s short sex scenes throughout the movie that build the tension, and then end– if I ever had an opportunity to do a project like that, I would be all over it. I’d be super excited. But I just haven’t really seen anyone do anything like that. And, because of the budget situation, I just don’t know if we will be seeing anything like that in the future. 

David: [00:43:51] 

Well, you never know. I want to ask you one more thing. Because you also speak out in favor of cannabis.

Carter: [00:43:57] 


David: [00:43:57] 

And- and I know you were involved with the Last Prisoner Project.

Carter: [00:44:01] 


David: [00:44:01] 

You, uh, played an event there. So, how does that play in- into your life and in the world, you know, the world that you inhabit? Is that just part of everybody’s lifestyle ?

Carter: [00:44:13] 

It was very interesting moving out here to California. When I first moved out here, I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t know anyone. I think I spent the first few months out here – I wasn’t working a whole lot too, when I first moved out here. And no one really knew who I was. I had a lot of free time, and I didn’t really have a social life. I definitely was introduced to this world of “Oh my God. You can just get edibles.” Like, you know? [laughs]

David: [00:44:43] 

Uh-huh. Yeah.

Carter: [00:44:44] 

And, I remember I gained, uh, I gained a little bit of weight when I first moved out to California, cause I would just eat edibles and then just go to 7-Eleven. And eat 7-Eleven pizza. [laughter] Which is my guilty pleasure.

David: [00:44:57]

Get some more gummy bears too.

Carter: [00:44:59] 

Oh, yes. I love gummy candy. It’s my favorite. And I remember my agent was like, “Mmm. You’re looking a little big.” I was like, “How dare you tell me, like, how I need to look.” And then I saw some pictures of myself and I was like, “Okay. You’re right. Probably need to cut back on the 7-Eleven Pizza.” [laughs]

David: [00:45:16] 

Yeah. But not on the edibles, right?

Carter: [00:45:18] 

No. Not on the edibles. Yeah. I just needed to learn to not consume so much. Marijuana is something I have always found- You know, back in high school, I never really got to experience it too much. Which was probably for the best, your brain is still developing. You know, I had a few little experiences with it. But, you know, whenever I would smoke, it would be this whole, I was so anxious. I remember, you know, you’d always smoke at some random kids house that you barely knew, and you’d get really high, and you don’t know your mouth’s dry. You feel like you’re gonna cough, you forget you’re telling a story. [laughter] You forget what you were saying. You know, and you start having all this anxiety. 

And when I went to college, one of my good friends sold weed. So, I just had as much as I wanted. And, I was able to smoke on my own. And like, you know, just be alone. And, you know, get high. And got comfortable. It’s one of those things. You become comfortable. Like, yeah, I feel different. I try to save it for night time. If I smoke during the day, I’m not quite as productive. [laughs] So, uh, but it’s definitely something I always incorporated in my life. Cause I’m not an anxious person, but I do get stressed about things. I use it as a medicine. I get terrible migraines, and weed is like the only thing that saves me from that. And can get me through that. I’ll get really sick to my stomach. And, so yeah, marijuana can be a fun social thing, but I also really respect it as far as medicine. And actually, I was gonna say, before I jumped in the room, I was listening to your, uh, podcast with Chelsea Leyland.

David: [00:47:12] 

Oh, yeah.

Carter: [00:47:13] 

I wanted to kind of get a feel for your podcast. So, I was listening to that. And it was very interesting to me. I really enjoyed listening to her talk cause, uh, I felt like, as far as the DJing and her advocacy and wanting to basically use her position in order to advocate for something that she felt was important. I felt very connected to that. So, I really enjoyed that podcast.

David: [00:47:37] 

Yeah. There is a connection. Yeah. Thank you.

Carter: [00:47:39] 

Yeah. [laughs] 

David: [00:47:40] 

Appreciate it. Carter Cruise, thank you so much for being on Light Culture today.

Carter: [00:47:45] 

For sure.

David: [00:47:46] 

Real treat.

Carter: [00:47:46] 

Thank you so much for having me.




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