Captain Jack interviews Sovereign Syre
I recently had a chance to talk to Girl/Girl superstar Sovereign Syre. She has been in the industry for about 2 years and, at this point, only performs with girls on camera. She’s not opposed to working with guys, it just hasn’t happened yet, which we will discuss. Sovereign has recently started directing and her first offering, Lesbian Surrender from Filly Films, is an outstanding piece of adult entertainment. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Sovereign!
Captain Jack: Tell me about Sovereign Syre. What kind of girl were you growing up, family life, etc.
Sovereign Syre: Wow, that’s a really broad question. I guess I was just the girl next door type. I was a really good student, I played sports, mainly soccer and swimming. I did beauty pageants. I was in academic clubs. I was kind of an All-American all-star. I was really competitive and wanted to be well-rounded. So I guess I was just a normal girl!
CJ: What kind of jobs did you have before you entered the porn industry?
Sovereign: I had a lot of different jobs. I was a full-time student in college. I taught English as a second language as a tutor. I would tutor students from different countries. I spent time as a ballet teacher, I was a bartender/waitress… just typical jobs when you’re putting yourself through school.
CJ: So then how did the move to the adult industry come about?
Sovereign: Well, I quit school to write a book. I was in school on a scholarship for writing. That was my thing, I was a poet. So I wanted to make money doing something that wasn’t going to take up a lot of my time, so that I could write. I was kind of bumming around in Seattle trying to decide what I was going to do. And several people suggested that I shoot for Godsgirls.com. So I looked into it and got paid for doing a couple of photo sets. You start out taking naked photos of yourself and they pay you $60 or $70 for a set. Eventually they fly you out for professional shoots and pay you substantially more money. So I started doing that. And before I even had my first professional shoot, a photographer named Joshua Darling started writing me and we had this immediate love affair. I told him about my book and he told me his story and it was almost like he was someone I had written about in one of my books. So a little later, he flew me out to New York. I bought a book of the 50 best erotic photographers. I looked up everyone who was in New York City and I just sent them all my rates. And half of them wrote back to me and hired me and I just started working. It was crazy! It was something I hadn’t even really thought about and I was working! So basically I fell in love with erotic photography and I got into adult. They took a lot of photos of me and helped me get a lot of work. There’s nothing like having someone in-house that is constantly taking promotionals of you. Because he was in the industry, he could point me in the direction of reputable photographers. He taught me how to check references…basically he taught me to be my own agent.
At that time, there was no discussion of porn. To be honest, when I first started taking naked photos, I thought porn was gross. Because I didn’t consume it, I had these really backward notions of what porn was. I liked erotica and I liked art and I knew there were some things I liked that were very explicit. So I guess even though some of the stuff I liked was porn, I didn’t think of it as evil. (laughs) So I was modeling and I think the first week BangBros called me and wanted to shoot and I was “Oh my God! No!!” (laughs) I was so innocent. (laughs)
Then, a friend of mine, Jesse Lee, she’s an alt-girl, punk girl who works for Burning Angel a lot, had a very bad car accident. And she had these medical bills and my boyfriend at the time wanted to do something for her. So we had 2 big events and got a bunch of photographers to donate prints. We did one in New York and one in LA. So I came out to LA to shoot for Holly Randall and do this event and there were a lot of porn people there. I never really associated with anyone in hardcore and found these people to be really cool. They weren’t outlaws and were really friendly. And I liked that. I met a few people there that did web design for some alt stuff. We became friendly and through Twitter, they set me up with Nica Noelle. And we started tweeting back and forth and she said, “Let’s do a movie around you!” And I was nervous about it, so I called my boyfriend in New York. I told him about it and said I was going to do it, which was a big deal for me at the time. And for 8 months, I was the unofficial contract girl for Nica Noelle. I was working all the time with some top talent so it was fun.
CJ: You kind of answered my next question already. You had a boyfriend but you only do girls on camera, are you bisexual then?
Sovereign: Well, that’s a hard thing for me to define. It’s hard to say. I was in a polyamorous relationship with my boyfriend for two-and-a-half years. We broke up about a year ago but we’re still very good friends. And I’ve had a girlfriend for 3 years and we’re still together. So now I’m exclusively with a girl. So for me, I’m just a really sexual person so I don’t know how to untie that question.
CJ: Do your friends and family know what you do?
Sovereign: Yes, all my friends and family know what I do. Because I grew up in a conservative, smaller town, I kept it a little more secretive. I just didn’t want them to have repercussions because I do porn now. What’s funny is that none of them thought it was weird. (laughs) All of them were like, “yeah, that makes sense for you.” I was always really flirtatious and precocious and all that kind of stuff. So, even though I was a good girl and I wasn’t promiscuous at all, I was very coquettish. So people weren’t surprised that when I came of age that I decided to do this.
CJ: So when you did your first scene for Nica, were you nervous or were you pretty comfortable?
Sovereign: I was super nervous. I was sooo nervous because there’s nothing that prepares you for having sex on camera. And I’m also a very big stage fright person. I wasn’t nervous about doing porn, I was nervous about performing well. So my concerns were more technical. There was no emotional anxiety, it was all related to performance. But that’s kind of my nature.
CJ: So how long did it take you to reach that comfort level?
Sovereign: Pretty fast. But even now I’m growing as a performer which I think sounds strange. Because I think what we do is really simple; we have sex! (laughs) For me, in my private life in the bedroom, I’m really quiet and submissive because I’m kind of reserved. And you can’t do that and be a good performer. And so internally, I guess I’m still struggling with being vocal. It doesn’t come naturally to me so that’s still there. My 3rd scene ever was with Sinn Sage and it was so hot that the paint came off the walls. She was a pro and kind of showed me how to do it. And afterwards, she said, “You’re an incredible performer!” And it just took her saying that and I was like, “Oh, ok. I got this.” I think why I love performing so much is because there’s nothing I do on camera that I wouldn’t do in my personal life. When I’m on camera, I can really abandon myself and that’s why I love doing love porn. I want to do it forever.
CJ: Besides Sinn Sage, do you have any other favorite performers?
Sovereign: Gosh, I like so many girls. Dani Daniels, Lily Labeau, Bailey Blue, Chastity Lynn…Dana DeArmond, I don’t think it’s possible for her to do a bad scene. And Dana Vespoli, we have so much more than just a performer relationship. I love working with Dana. It’s like a collaboration with her.
CJ: So is there anyone out there that you want to work with but haven’t had a chance to yet?
Sovereign: Oh, totally. Remy LaCroix, I’ve never worked with her. Ana Foxx, Riley Reid…there’s so many girls that do girl/girl that I’m wondering why we haven’t worked together yet!
CJ: When you first work with someone new, do you sit down with them and find out what they like and don’t like?
Sovereign: So many girls that do girl/girl are new to the industry. It’s like me and Celeste Star and Dani Daniels and Karlie Montana and Sinn Sage, besides us, it’s very rare that a girl does only girl/girl for more than 6 months. And so most girls that I’m working with, they’re doing girl/girl only and they’re very new, so they don’t know themselves and what they like and don’t like. So it’s a waste of time to ask the question. (laughs) And actually, I don’t like asking any more because then I can just plead ignorance, “oh, I didn’t know!” I’m always hoping that I can turn a girl on to things that she didn’t even know she was into. .
CJ: So what exactly do you like, what gets you off?
Sovereign: I like being scared and I like feeling fully accepted. So anytime I’m with someone like Dana, I’ll feel a little intimidated because I know she’s so amazing. But I like that. I also like the feeling of being in the hands of a professional. As far as fetishes, I like white panties. I like the idea of girls getting other girls using their sexuality. I like the idea of people getting their cages rattled because for me, there’s a lot of erotic tension in repression and shame. In my movies, that’s kind of the whole theme. So I guess for me, my turn-ons are a lot more mental than they are physical.
CJ: A couple of girls have told me that it’s difficult to have an orgasm on camera from girl/girl sex because they have to stay open for the camera and when they cum, they want to close up and you can’t do that in porn. So, saying that, how often do you cum on camera?
Sovereign: I try to get one good one in every scene. So, for me, fairly often, but it wasn’t like that at first. So you have to kind of learn, it’s a kind of psychological barrier. Definitely, the first four or five scenes, it was just impossible. Like the other girls were saying, the female orgasm is very boring to watch. Once it happens, it’s very exciting to watch. A lot of times, it involves a girl laying back with her eyes shut tight for like 20 minutes while someone licks her clitoris. It’s not visually dynamic to watch.
CJ: Do you watch your own scenes?
Sovereign: I can’t. I can barely even look at the pretty girls (photos). I’m so critical of my appearance. So I never watch my own scenes. I can usually watch the trailers but that’s about it. Things we’re doing sexually are so unflattering to your body. If you’re folded in half doing pile driver, obviously your stuff is going to roll up. And girls are so critical of themselves.
CJ: Do you watch other porn?
Sovereign. Yes I do. Now I watch every porn trailer that comes out. I like watching my friends have sex. I tend to like stuff that’s more real. I really enjoy everything Mason shoots. I like Manuel Ferrara’s Raw series. I like hardcore gonzo anal, I think that’s hot.
CJ: How often do you masturbate?
Sovereign: Probably every day, a couple times a day depending on whether or not I’m working.
CJ: Are you ever going to do guys on camera?
Sovereign: I’m not opposed to it. It is something I’m interested in doing. I see my friends doing it and having a really good time. I think it’s maybe the right project hasn’t been presented. I was just in a Manuel Ferrara movie, Bailey Blue Wide Open, and I was in the same scene as he is. So there was a man in the room and it was fine. So I’m not opposed to it, it’s just that the timing hasn’t been right. Even back at the beginning of my career in interviews, I would say that if that’s what people want to see, I would do it. If I felt that’s something the fans were really interested in seeing it…I’m not really sure what the deciding factor would be for me. Like Dani had a lot of fans that really wanted to see that. I think if I knew the fans really wanted to see that, it’d be something I’d think about. I guess because they’re not asking about it all the time, I don’t really think about it.
CJ: What’s your ultimate sexual fantasy and do you want to live it out on camera?
Sovereign: I don’t know if it’s possible. Probably getting DP’d by Rocco Siffrredi, Nacho Vidal and Manuel Ferrara. Something really crazy, that would never happen. (laughs) Something very intense and high energy and very crazy!
CJ: Most people who want to direct do it after being in the industry for 5 or 10 years, yet you did it almost immediately. How did that come about?
Sovereign: I wanted to do it right away but I was the unofficial contract girl for Nica Noelle. So I just followed Nica around. We had a really good relationship. So I had the call out but I didn’t want to violate my exclusivity. I didn’t talk about it with Nica because I felt it could wait. And I’m glad I did. I learned a lot being on Nica’s sets. I learned the importance of a script, the importance of chemistry, what makes actors feel comfortable….Then I started working for other companies. I was ambitious and had these ideas but it wasn’t the right time. But then I came up with Lesbian Surrender, Filly Films gave me their blessing, they gave me a budget and I did it! I know porn’s changing right now but if you’re motivated and ambitious and hard-working…the world is yours! People are more than willing to give you an opportunity if you ask. You just have to humble yourself, I work a lot but that’s because I ask people for work. I want to stay in this industry for a long time and the key to longevity is branching out. It’s involving yourself in as many different aspects of adult as you can. If one revenue stream dries up, you have something else to fall back on. For me, directing and all that stuff, I just love the industry and I want to get my finger in every pie, so to speak. (laughs) It seems to be working so far.
CJ: Is it hard to direct yourself in a scene? Or do you rely on the cameraman to help you out?
Sovereign: I hire camera people that know me really well. So they know exactly what I want. I sit down with them before the scene, talk about the talent and the things I want highlighted, and let them go. In my first movie, everyone knew what the tone was. Everyone was on the same page. I just pick people that know me really well.
CJ: There’s a lot of girls that are well known within the industry as “gay for pay”, are you avoiding those girls for your films?
Sovereign: Everyone wants to show up and have sex with someone who wants to be there. I wouldn’t say “gay for pay” but there are definitely people in the industry who don’t like sex and they’re not open to enjoying it. So I wouldn’t say “gay for pay” but rather “having sex for pay”. I really haven’t encountered that problem. There are certain girls you start thinking about but then you just realize they’re a lousy performer.
CJ: Besides Lesbian Surrender, do you have any other projects that are coming out that you’re directing?
Sovereign: I just wrapped Girls In Heat, so that’s my major project at the moment. I’ve been talking about other projects including with another girl/girl director but I don’t want to jinx anything. I’ve been very blessed; I have a constant stream of work as a performer. I’m constantly blown away that I have all this work and I’m grateful for that. I’ve only been in this for 2 years and it’s been incredible. I have my own series and I think I’m the only girl/girl performer to have had her own series. There’s 3 volumes of a series that’s just me and I was in the first girl/girl feature out of Evil Angel. I’ve had these opportunities and I’m just so grateful. It’s so unexpected. Coming up I have a couple films from Girlfriend Films and I’m on DarlingHouse.net which is where my blog is and you can also see all the other artists that do great erotic photography.
CJ: What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the industry?
Sovereign: Ummm, make sure that they like sex. My main advice would be to stay focused, don’t party too much and save your money. I think when you come into the industry that you should have a financial plan. You’re going to make a lot of money really fast and you have to make that money work for you. People get in here and they forget how hard 8 hours of work is and how little money you get for it. Girls will get in here and make their $1000 or $1200 and they’ll forget that most people have to work a week or two weeks for that kind of money. They don’t understand that if they leave and they get a regular job, it’s going to be really hard to make the same kind of money. They have to realize that the money they earn in 2-5 years has to be stretched out over 10 years. If you come up with a financial plan, this career can be amazing. If you’re smart about it, this can be an amazing industry. You can have a really great time, make a lot of money and really secure your future. So have a financial plan, have a good time and never do anything that you don’t want to do.
CJ: So you said you’d like to do this forever…where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
Sovereign: I definitely want to have a baby, so I see myself doing this for a few more years then go on maternity. Then, when I come back, I definitely want to have my own website and all that stuff, but I want to direct more for Elegant or Evil Angel or Jules Jordan. You know, a major studio where I can be mainly be behind the camera with occasional appearances in front of the camera. I love making art. I don’t see myself performing forever, it’s a small window.
CJ: So where can the fans find you?