October 18, 2009
I’d been interested in interviewing Jasmine for a year after seeing her photos and movies at several leading websites but when she launched her own official website, Jasmine Jewels, I knew I’d have to get in contact with her. Ironically, she’d read some of my interviews and I was glad to find that she enjoyed them. I didn’t just want to know about her career but everything that led her to her status today as a major Internet presence. I didn’t want to ask a slew of softball questions and Jasmine’s replies to my questions are candid, generous and delightfully sexy. So here we go!
Caramel: How old were you when you first thought to yourself that you should have been physically born female?
Jasmine: Once I started grammar school I realized I didn’t identify with boys or prescribe to typical boy behavior. A very supportive aunt called me her little mystical creature and that term sort of got me through grammar and middle school. Once I entered high school, I realized I didn’t really identify with the gay kids either. So I sort of settled in with the goth kids, labeling myself as gender fucked.
Caramel: There was a long period in your life when you chose celibacy. Why did you decide to go that route?
Jasmine: My original transition was around age 19. I was still a virgin at that time for whatever reasons. I wasn’t attracted to the type of man that was attracted to me (if that makes any sense). I didn’t like girls all that much either so dating and sex wasn’t important to me. I was quite reclusive and preferred to sit around and read or draw. Then I met a girl who enjoyed my “androgynous” nature and we were in a non-sexual relationship for several years. She had a child which we co-parented for the first 4 years of her life. The biological mother had drinking and drug problems and I found myself to be a single parent for the next 14 years. It didn’t seem fair to my daughter to be raised by a “gender fucked” parent. I felt selfish and decided to put my transition aside until further notice.
Caramel: Wow. So many people are frustrated when they have to put their social lives on the shelf for their children. You put you whole life on the standby. I can’t even imagine that sort of sacrifice.
When you’re at home alone, what are some of your favorite pastimes?
Jasmine: I spend a lot of time on the computer fussing with my website and various online classes. I also love to read. I don’t own a television, not that I am opposed to TV. I just don’t have the attention span for it.
Caramel: You’ve got a frame and measurements other girls would kill and die for; 5’7, 132lbs, 34C-26-36. How do you keep yourself in optimum physical condition?
Jasmine: A typical day for me at home is taking a walk in the morning, some stretching, Pilates or yoga then some fruit and reading. I believe staying in good physical health is more of a lifestyle choice than anything else. In the past I spent many hours in the gym. For the past several years I have focused primarily on Pilates and dance to maintain my physique. Nutrition is 50% of it as well. I rarely exercise these days with my travel schedule being so hectic but I eat to live, I don’t live to eat so at least 5 days per week I eat mostly whole and organic foods. 1-2 days each week i eat not so great foods. I avoid fast food restaurants at all costs.
Caramel: Can you tell me something about your corporate background?
Jasmine: After a short career in the U.S. Navy, I begged a cousin for a job selling computers. I felt lucky to have the job because it was so much fun. I didn’t care about the money and, never pressured anyone to buy anything. Sales just magically came. 5 years of that and I stopped having fun. A job recruiter contacted me for a sales position with a major Japanese manufacturer.
I was hired to sell color printing equipment to the corporate world. To eliminate big runs of color brochure output and bring print on demand capabilities in house. The sales position lead to a sales manager position, then I was promoted to Director of Sales for the Western region.
After 5 years of solid performance I was recruited by another Japanese manufacturer to head their new digital pre-press division. I had great success building a sales team and was quickly promoted to director marketing for a 13 state Midwest region. My job was to increase market share throughout the region. So I spent most of my time driving through the region investing most of my budget into various small independent dealers. I resigned from that position after a very successful 4 year career.
Caramel: At what point did you tell yourself you were just about finished with the corporate world and decide to begin your transition?
Jasmine: I stopped having fun. I have always said the day I stop having fun was the day I would seek work elsewhere. I always told struggling sales and marketing associates if you do not enjoy your job, you should seek more suitable work. I originally planned on staying in the corporate world during and after my transition. I actually started my transition just before joining the 2nd Japanese manufacturer. Leaving the corporate world was a separate decision I made towards the end of my corporate career.
Caramel: At your website, of which I’m a proud member, I’ve seen you performing with other women as well as men. Do you consider yourself bisexual?
Jasmine: In the past, seldom has my sexual interest in a person been based on his/her gender. While I enjoy spending occasional bedroom time with a genetically born female, my true passion is a hot one on one sexual encounter with a guy. I love the gushy stuff, but as a sexually evolved female, I mostly prefer the company of a man.
Caramel: What’s your ideal type of guy like?
Jasmine: My ideal guy is mature and successful, intelligent and most importantly, independent. Basically I like a guy that is confident in whom he is and can give me the space I need to practice photography, advocacy, website and porn production and various activities I enjoy. From a sexual standpoint, I like a guy that takes charge in (and out) of the bedroom. I prefer a man that does all the fucking behind closed doors. I prefer to be treated like a lady in and out of the bedroom as well.
Caramel: You’re an accomplished photographer and I’ve seen that you’ve not only modeled for SMC Revenue, but have shot some awesome photo sets for the company, including Mimi Plastique, Kelly Shore, Violet, Natalia Coxxx and Morgan Bailey. How did you go from model to employee at the Tgirl-Network?
Jasmine: Isabele, the owner of SheMale-Club had given me a lot of work on her main site prior to our partnership of my solo site. I had been taking pictures of my escort friends for their websites and advertisements with great results. So I mentioned to Isabelle I felt confident with a camera in my hand and asked her for a chance to shoot picture sets for her. I sent her a portfolio of various pretty girl photos I had taken the month before of several models. Isabelle thought I had talent and ordered a shoot of Astrid Shay. The first shoot was a disaster as I had purchased a new lens and different lighting than I was familiar with. Both Isabelle and Astrid remained quite patient with me as the 2nd shoot of Astrid came out much better than the first.
Caramel: How do you get your models to pose the way you want them to if say perhaps, her don’t know how to pose well on their own?
Jasmine: I try start them in a comfortable, very casual stances then get a few shots to test the lighting. I briefly study what I see in the frame. I’ll instruct her to emphasize what I see as “highlights” to the photo. When I see a hot pose, I encourage movement from there and I express when I see something really hot. So I’ll say things like, pop your hip more to the right or, lift your shoulder closer to your chin blah blah blah. Sometimes I have to physically position the model as some poses seem quite unnatural.
Caramel: How did you first hook up with Morgan Bailey to do her classic SheMale-Club photos?
Jasmine: Actually Nick, SheMale-Club’s master photographer, shot Morgan’s classic photo sets and video. Morgan is very popular on Club and it’s members cannot get enough of her. Since both Morgan and I lived in Chicago at the time, Isabelle, the owner of SheMale-Club requested I shoot Morgan in a few pic sets and a video. I was already a fan and was very eager to meet the infamous rock and roll party girl.
Caramel: This is a beautiful girl but how did you do it all without photoshop?
Jasmine: Let me first say this. I cannot make a girl look more beautiful on film than she looks in the flesh, in person. The best I can do is to be able to capture what I see through my lens, and have it. Morgan is a stunning girl. I know my lighting and I understand my camera. If Morgan looked any less beautiful in my pic sets than she does in real life, I have failed her as a photographer. Besides, I don’t own photoshop nor do I have any knowledge of photo editing software.
Caramel: Did you ever have any mentors during the course of your transition?
Jasmine: Most of my friends are genetic females who were very supportive and accepting of my gender variance however, I did not know any transsexuals until the past few years. I never hung out in the GLBT community so I really didn’t know any other girls like me. I kinda just did my own thing my way because I didn’t read the rule book on how to transition.
Caramel: Sadly, don’t think that rule book has been published yet. Let me know if I can order it from Amazon someday. That would save a lot of us a lot so much grief and soul-searching.
Have you been particularly inspired by other women, both genetically born female and transsexuals?
Jasmine: Before starting a porn career I would say most of the women who inspired me were genetically born female friends and personalities; various women I met during my corporate career and various famous women as well. My artistic inspiration was mainly Camille Claudel, a sculptor whom I felt was brilliant at her craft. Camille was also an internally tortured soul and for some reason i feel her pain. For strength and courage I would say Scheherazade has been very inspirational to me.
Caramel: Are you a fatalist?
Jasmine: I believe I am probably an anti-fatalist actually. I believe life is a perpetual manifestation of one’s self. I believe fate equates ultimately to death and, so far I am unaware of anyone who has (permanently) beat death. I believe we are in complete control of our destiny. Every little interaction with people can change our path/direction and so we have to make daily choices from there. Fate (death) is another story but if there is a way to beat it, I’ll find it.
Caramel: I understand that you’re studio Jas Studio and Production is in Chicago but you often travel to L.A. and NYC. Is there a city you prefer over another?
Jasmine: I would say my favorite city between them changes frequently. Currently LA is my favorite, particularly because winter hits hard in Chicago and NYC. Also being in the porn industry now, many of my friends are in LA. But for the most part when I visit each city, it becomes my favorite while I am there. Must be kind of like a “love the one you’re with” thing.
Each city has it’s own advantages as well as disadvantages. I grew up in Chicago and I’m quite comfortable there. Many of my resources are in Chicago as well and much of the activism work I do is also conducted there. But I hate the winter. Im not a big fan of weather under 60 degrees for the most part. Los Angeles always gets my creative thought process going and I always feel inspired when in LA. I love the strength and confidence the coast gives me as well as so many things to do and see, all within a reasonable distance away.
I lived in Los Angeles for 8 years and it took a couple years to acquire a “taste” for LA. Once you figure out how to navigate Los Angeles (I am not a big fan of LA traffic) its just a fantastic place to be. I have only been visiting NYC for less than 2 years and still getting to know the city. NYC is a very exciting city to me based on the energy I gain between its diverse visitors motivates me to work hard, give the energy and drive and the diversity of NYC . But most of all I love the men of NYC. I don’t know why. Hard working breed of men.
Caramel: I love LA but was born in NYC and it’s such a totally different vibe. NYC men are indeed hard working, not that LA men aren’t. On an average, where West Coast men are more metrosexual, East Coast men are grittier. It’s a generalization but I think that if most women looking for an old school tough guy and had to choose sight unseen, most would opt for the New Yorker.
I first saw you online in a set from Sammi Mancini’s Shemale Strokers. Danielle Foxxx (Sex Change Tranny) has been working her camera a lot at Strokers and I was wondering if you ever share tips on photography with Danielle since you’re buddies?
Jasmine: Danielle has been a great influence to me both as a performer and as a photographer. I learned a lot about framing from Danielle and have shared with her my secrets on lighting and camera settings.
Caramel: You have an incredibly sexy voice and when you make movies, your particular brand of sex talk, and also sighs and moans are cherished by your fans. It’s not always easy for transsexuals to achieve a womanly voice. Did you ever have to train your voice to sound as ultra-feminine as it is now?
Jasmine: I haven’t really done much to train my voice. I’ve struggled through the voice training DVD’s but I found them difficult and the end result (for me) was a very manufactured voice rather than an organic voice. To keep my voice natural, I listen to female radio personalities on NPR (national public radio) I’ve found female radio personalities on these types of programs are generally lower pitched than most genetic women and, quite sexy. So yes, on occasion I’ll be sitting in my car driving as I talk and repeat things like the weather or traffic report or I mimic what the female radio reporter is talking about.
Caramel: Would you consider yourself as “bossy?” and/or sexually dominant?
Jasmine: I would consider myself to have control issues. I generally assume a more aggressive position with a lover Although I prefer to be the lady in bed, I enjoy challenging a man’s dominance. I love men that do the fucking however, most submit and from that point, I get quite controlling and bossy.
Caramel: Do you have fans who ask you to lactate for them in person as well as for your website?
Jasmine:Yes it seems to be a very popular request. That’s one of those things I forget about in the passion of being with a lover. My nipples are one of my main start buttons and I love when they are played with. I have had several lovers express lactose intolerance however for the most part, I think many of my fans enjoy it.
Caramel: I hope you won’t be taken aback when I say that you’re a refreshingly down-to-earth person. You could be riding on a star trip like so many popular models do, but instead, you’re very humble. Why is it that you’re so approachable, friendly and generous when those traits are often so hard to find?
Jasmine: Actually I take it as a compliment. In the big picture, I love what I do and the people I work with and, I feel quite blessed with the support coming from my admirers and my fans. I remain true to myself and my fans and work partners accept me for who I am. How could I be anything other than thankful and approachable?