I tracked down Karla Lane at the AdultTime booth for AVN Expo, just as she had finishing her signing for the day. Karla is an outstanding sweetheart among the many kind people I met that week. Her easy nature and beaming smile quickly made me feel like an old friend. I’m not alone- Karla calls herself “Your digital GF for 14 years” on her Twitter and she really embodies that role. Her genuine love and appreciation for the people who came to see her at the booth was evident in every warm hug she gave out. Longtime fans, as well as scores of performers, were thrilled to reunite with her and soak up some of that glow. I was happy to steal it for a brief moment and get to talk polyamory, feathered dinosaurs and other f-words with my favorite girl next door.
ESME: Thank you so much for talking to me! I’m always interested in first beginnings. Was porn an industry you sought out, or did you happen upon it?
KARLA LANE: I sought it out even before I was even supposed to seek it out. I started a day after my eighteenth birthday, so there had to be a little more research done before that. I don’t know, I’ve always just liked porn! I lived in L.A., I knew what it was about. It wasn’t like a foreign concept.
E: Were you in a relationship when you started?
KL: Yes! I was with my then boyfriend, now husband of 11 years.
E: Oh, wow!
KL: So he was always my biggest supporter- he’s still my biggest supporter. We’re in a poly relationship, so right now I’m literally looking at my boyfriend while my husband’s driving here from L.A. Teamwork!
E: And you talked to Nighthawk, who’s my boyfriend, about our poly relationship- we’re in the same boat!
KL: I love it!
E: So how does non-monogamy in your professional life shape your personal relationships?
KL: It gives me more flexibility. Sometimes it gets a little more difficult, because you have to have everybody’s permission, like, “Hey, is it okay to do this on camera?” And it might be okay with A or B, but C may be like, “ix-nay!” So, it’s kind of a balancing act.
E: Okay, interesting. How would you describe your aesthetic and how you approach sex in your scenes?
KL: Very much “the girl next door.” I want it to be so any girl that’s walking through this convention can feel she can be doing the same thing- in her relationships, with her partners. And that it isn’t a foreign concept to see the girl on top, or reverse, or going down. We’re so used to seeing the smaller performers go all butt-crazy, why is it so “off” to see a plus-size or curvier girl do the same thing? If they can do it, I can do it too…and sometimes I can do it a little better! All I’m saying is I’m working that confidence.
E: Yeah! That’s great. What’s a scene you’ve done that you think showcases who you are or the reasons you got into the industry?
KL: Probably the scene I’m going to be shooting in a few weeks. We’re shooting a new project for AdultTime’s series “Shape of Beauty” and I’m going to be performing with two of my good friends, one of whom is this handsome guy with amazing abs. I’m excited because we are able to build everything from the ground up. It’s exciting to see that our wardrobe, our looks, our creation, our setup is all under our control and what we find sexy. We’re basically going to use him as a human sex doll.
E: Oh, that’s awesome! I love that.
KL: Yeah, he’s just there. He’s there for our pleasure.
E: Ugh, that’s going to be a great scene. I look forward to that. Um, alright…Ice Cube says on a good day, he doesn’t even have to use his AK. Describe what a good day in your life would look like. [I didn’t even get a pity giggle for this, my most contrived question setup.]
KL: A good day would be getting woken up by my chickens, going out and collecting eggs, before it gets too late- because if I want breakfast at 8, and those bitches haven’t laid eggs yet, I’m like, I’m waiting… I would go online and communicate with my fans, and work on my website and things like that. I would have dinner with family and friends and just chill, then go home and have great sex.
E: Yeah! That’s good! What made you decide to get pet chickens? I love that.
KL: You know what? For being a plus-size girl, I really care about what I put in my body. I want to say about 90% of the food I eat is all organic. I really focus on having the best quality food, and if I can control one resource- what the chickens eat, what they do, I know I’m putting a good food in my body. Also, they’re cute pets! They’re little dinosaurs.
E: Aw, yeah! That’s true!
KL: They’re like little fucking dinosaurs! They’ll eat each other if necessary.
E: What’s one thing you wished all fans knew about the industry or performers?
KL: Porn isn’t free. If you’re not paying for it, we’re not making it. Easy as that. You want to see new stuff? Please pay for it. Please keep us going. It could be, you know, signing up for a membership or signing up for the girl’s individual website. Whatever it is, whoever you want to support, just do it.
E: Just do it. Simple as that. If you could fix an issue within the industry, what would it be?
E: Yeah, exactly! Alright, so you’re comfortable with calling yourself fat and your genre BBW. What are the reasons you think it’s important to claim those labels for yourself?
Karla Lane: I don’t want those labels to be used as a negative. I make a lot of money being the fat girl in the room. I don’t want people to look at “fat” as a bad word. Fat is a way to describe me, and it’s not a bad way to describe me. It’s an “f-word” that isn’t a bad f-word.
KL: So if I can claim the word and be okay with saying it out loud, I will say “I’m a fat girl.” I’m a round, fat girl. Every girl that’s, say, 20 pounds over their recommended BMI is considered fat, obese, blah blah blah- that doesn’t mean they’re not sexy. That doesn’t mean that they’re not attractive. That doesn’t mean anything like that! So if we can get rid of the idea that “fat” is bad…
E: Right. It’s just an adjective.
KL: And I can ride that cock just as hard as the rest of the girls. I got this.
E: Fuck yeah! Alright, you’ve been practicing poly a long time. So what do you think is the most rewarding aspect of having multiple partners and what is the most challenging?
KL: The most rewarding aspect is to have multiple partners, to have people who support you. One may not be able to catch the ball completely, but somebody else can. And the most difficult aspect is also the same thing. It’s having them all support you at the same time and you’re like, “oh my god, I need to breathe.”
E: I feel that so hard.
KL: That’s when you need a day by yourself at the Korean spa- I’ll see you in a few hours, don’t text me, don’t call me, I love you, bye.
E: Sometimes you need an outlet. Also, you just started a catering company in addition to your career in adult. What is the benefit of having outside work?
KL: Your sanity! This is hard, to be “on” all the time. We are literally smiling 24/7 if we’re in front of a camera. We have a bad day, everybody hears about it. So, I have my bad days when I’m not on set. Everybody only sees the cheery side, they don’t see when I have a cloud of grey over my head.
E: Yeah! And why do you practice meditation?
KL: Sanity, again. Seriously, it’s just having peace of mind. From what I’ve read about modern meditation, we’re so bombarded with everything at once. Everything’s at our fingertips. If we take a second to just breathe and just be in our space, versus letting everything else control us, it’s better overall.
E: Definitely. Okay, last question. You’ve mentioned an interest in sex education and books on that topic. What are some you can recommend?
KL: Sex at Dawn by Cacilda Jethá and Christopher Ryan is one of my favorites and goes into the historic evidence for why we have sex in certain ways. I also loved Opening Up, The Ethical Slut, More Than Two and The Smart Girl’s Guide to Polyamory. I’m a big audiobook girl because I’m always doing other things, so I can multitask really easily. And I just love the idea of having as much information as I can. The more information I have and the smarter I get, the more I feel like I can control my relationships and be more connecting- even with fans, even with my partners, even with family. The more you have, the more you are able to give!
E: Exactly. Alright, thank you so much! It was great to meet you!
KL: It was great to meet you too!
I thought that might be the last time I would see Karla for a while, but I was pleasantly surprised. We sat next to each other at the AVN Awards and I couldn’t have asked for a better neighbor. Karla gave me the seating chart breakdown (Mean Girls Janis Ian style) and warned me to be ready when Cardi B invited all the girls up during her performance. I don’t think I was capable of that mad dash to the stage without an enthusiastic partner. After we returned to our seats, I saw the ecstatic shock and pride on her face when her Niche Performer of the Year title was announced. She looked like a lilac princess, jumping for joy in her gorgeous tulle dress. Karla’s passion for her work was an unstoppable force this year, and with the many groundbreaking projects she has coming up, she’ll be captivating fans for a long time to come.