Caramel: Congratulations on the launch of WendySummers.com! I was already a fan of your webcam site Wendy TG Next Door and I’m glad it’s still up and running, but how does it feel to have your own official website, too now?
Wendy: Trippy. Since I shot my first promotional pictures for iFriends, it was always in the back of my head that I’d end up creating a solo website. But I always imagined it being an unpolished amateur sort of thing. But to my surprise, enough folks dug the work I was doing on my iFriends platform that there was suddenly a budget for shooting. It was easier to have someone behind the camera other than me, so I sought out professional
producers — it really brought things up to a different level. When the opportunity came up to join the Grooby Network, it seemed like an ideal fit.
To see the website up now, is mind-blowing. This is something I’ve created from the ground up. I’ve been lucky to get to work with some amazing talent to make this happen. Producers like Remy, Tony Vee, Sergio and Kevin Moore; Performers like Sadie Hawkins, Christian XXX, and Tempest; my unsung copywriter Naughty Quill — each brought something which helped shape the site. But largely this website is me — I’ve had no companies financing my work; no producers whispering in my ear “Your site should look like this.” I’m trusting my instincts on this one and judging by fan response, I’ve been on the right track.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone in the Industry that I’m NOT the typical TS performer. I’m older, I’m not particularly glam, and I’m definitely quirky. But it’s those very attributes which place me outside the Industry which have made my website appealing to many. I had a sit-down out in LA with Steven Grooby, the owner of Grooby Productions and he described the website as a cheezy throwback to eighties porn. I’d call it High-concept LOL.
However you want to view it, the website is imbued with my personality; there’s life and fun in these sets. These aren’t sets named by the color of the lingerie I’m wearing. In my mind, TS porn takes itself way too fucking seriously. A pretty face, on a pretty set getting a pretty fuck. Now don’t get me wrong: THAT’s a formula that sells. Companies like Grooby and SMC wouldn’t have their longevity if they weren’t “doing it right”. But it doesn’t ALL have to be that.
I try to find some level of “truth” in the sets I do. In pretentious-art-world we call that verisimilitude. Porn is all about creating a fantasy image which gets the viewer off. But what happens when you start moving the line of fantasy closer and closer to the reality? From the invasive social media of Facebook and Twitter, to reality TV programs booming in the mainstream, we’ve become a voyeur society.
By letting the reality of my life shine through (be it my love of geeky stuff in sets like “Captain Cavegirl” or “Set Phasers to Cum”, expressions of my own desires to have someone special in my life — “Movie Night”, or just self indulgent explorations of shit I love — “Grinding with You aka Coffee porn”), I’m adding another layer to the typical wank and fuck fests folks are used to seeing. A few years back I read an article about Sasha Grey during her peak in porn and the author posited her ability to make the viewer feel like she really dug what she was doing was why so many found her hot. By making these sets fun for me to shoot, I’m finding I show that level of enthusiasm on film.
Caramel: A year ago, before you became one of the better known faces on iFriends, you were the first TS invited into their Adult Star Program and one of the first chat hosts in it, also. Those are some pretty big milestones.
Wendy: It was cool to be the person who brought those gender walls down. iFriends is a fairly unique microcosm since unlike pornography there isn’t quite the same segregation of the genders. While TS’s have their own section on the website, iFriends didn’t restrict our appearance in their top hosts list. That lead to a unique situation where typically heterosexual fans were discovering my feed — I was a gateway drug. More frequently my traffic correlates with the top “Girls Home Alone” rather than the other TS hosts. iFriends took a chance and began promoting me like their top genetic women to the benefit of both them and myself. It’s opened folks eyes a little wider to the possibilities of a cross-over market.
To folks in the know, there’s a large amount of speculation that the cross-over market between transsexual and heterosexual porn exists. But past efforts to try to tap into that have failed due to a lack of understanding of the true interplay between these markets. Coupled with the transphobia which still pervades elements of the adult entertainment business it’s no wonder many are afraid to explore this untapped market. Folks eyes are slowly opening up to the potential, and I think the iFriends model may provide clues on how to make this work on a broader scale.
Caramel: This year in Las Vegas you met and worked with Wendy Williams, TS Jesse, Tiffany Starr, Michelle Austin and n L.A. you met Morgan Bailey, Hazel Tucker, Eva Lin, Joanna Jet, Buddy Wood and Jizelle Moore. So a year ago, did you picture yourself in L.A. shooting porn with many of the biggest names in the adult industry, being nominated for two Tranny Awards (“Best Non-Typical Model” and “Up and Cummer”) and also nominated for Shemale Yum “Model of The Year”?
Wendy: Fuck no. It’s humbling. I work in my own little corner of TS porn. I’m fairly isolated on the East Coast. I’m not involved with most of the larger production companies so I don’t often shoot with other “names” in the field. But to be sitting around bullshitting with those folks and hearing “yeah I know who you are” it’s like how the fuck did that happen? Most of the names you mentioned are inspirations for me, so I’ve got the little fangirl inside me giggling every time I sit down to chat with one of them.
The Tranny Awards nominations to me are a true affirmation of just how far, as an outsider, I’ve managed to come in such a short time. Those nominations were fan driven — at the time of the nomination process I think only three sets which I shot for other companies were actually released and eligible. The joke is everyone gets one nomination so they don’t feel left out. To get two with so little work out — I’d like to think that means I’m doing something right in the eyes of fans.
In my mind the real test will be 2012… by then my website and my unique work will be very visible. If fans respond then as they have now, I’ll have found my tiny little corner of the Industry.
Caramel: I understand that you were thinking if you got a Tranny Award 2011 nomination, it would have been for “Best Non-Typical Model of 2011”. But you didn’t expect the “Up and Cummer” nomination. Why was your nomination in that category a surprise for you?
Wendy: I think the more appropriate question is WHY was I nominated for that – LOL. I can start with the fact, so little of my work was out there and most of it was under the aesthetics of the major companies — I don’t feel like those sets really sold my brand well. Couple that with the very reasons why I was nominated for “the Non-Typical” (or as I call it the Tranny Porn “Shortbus” award), its a bit of a mind-fuck that anyone thinks I’ve got long-term potential in this Industry. Yet my fans nominated me for it… I’m not really sure what the hell I’m tapping into to inspire that kind of fan support but I’m definitely grateful.
Caramel: I love the way you take mundane things and sexualize them and I immediately recognized where the “TG Next Door” nickname came from. I also love that you’ve worked your own personal interests into your adult content, i.e., cooking, comic books and science fiction. What drives you to create porn like that?
Wendy: As we talked earlier, I feel that personality adds another level to the eroticism of a scene from that voyeuristic viewpoint. But even more so, it makes the scenes fun for me to shoot. I don’t need to do porn. I’ve got a full-time corporate job. Even if that ever falls through, I could make a living doing webcam full-time. I shoot porn because I love it. So if I can make a scene more playful by incorporating my interests then fuck yeah!
By the same token the “mundane” things element is an intellectual challenge. How do I take something which is entirely non-sexual, like coffee, and make it erotic? It’s an art and it gives me a little something more to chew on as I’m producing porn.
Maybe it’s my background in both the technical and administrative side of professional theater — my porn does carry an element of “art” to it. Creation has always been a major part of my life and my personality and in many ways my “Prop Porn” style is all about that. Typically when I’ve worked with a new Producer for my website, I end up in the “art vs porn” debate. I talk high art, I perform low porn… LOL. Until I can get the folks I’m working with to understand that intersection, there tends to be a bit of worry. But when the light goes off in their heads, there’s suddenly a new enthusiasm for what I am doing.
While in LA I shot a fucking amazing scene with Tempest of TS-Rockdolls. While my outside appearance is sweet & innocent, hers is rotten and corrupt. Immediately we conceived of a “Garden of Eden – Corruption of Eve” scene. Her producer, Ecstatic, was a bit nervous when I announced I was coming to the shoot with vines. But once he watched Tempest and I block out the look and the beats of the scene, he relaxed and now calls it one of the best scenes he’s ever shot.
Caramel: You’ve been pleasing a lot of your fetish fans, also. When you began working with the foot fetish producer Sergio, were you already aware that there was such a large TS foot fetish niche audience and that you’d flip out so many admirers with your pretty peds?
Wendy: Not only did I have no clue there was such a market, I also didn’t realize how into foot fetish I would personally be. It all happened accidentally… I had one webcam fan who asked me to shoot a set. That was a hit and like my iFriends performances was getting play outside the TS porn market, so I sought out Sergio. He started to educate me in the fetish and the more I learned, the more I dug it. There’s nothing like getting my toes sucked on. It’s funny because I’m now actively seeking ways to sneak my feet into sets, even when they aren’t the focus. Thankfully a lot of my co-stars have been humoring me LOL.
Caramel: Will you be doing more BDSM-themed content as well?
Wendy: Given I’ve yet to meet a (legal) kink I don’t enjoy, there will definitely be more content coming. In the short term I’ve a guided masturbation/dominatrix set on tap as well as some more foot fetish and Wet & Messy shoots. Beyond that, I have a tendency to keep quiet about my upcoming sets, but we have some very knotty things coming once the stars get aligned. I’m a take charge kind of gal, so I’m sure some of what you’ll see by year-end will be electric.
Caramel: You’ve named the amazing Brittany St. Jordan and the great Grooby Productions photographers Tony Vee of NYC and Remy of Virginia as mentors and friends. How did they help with your transition from web cam fame to website notoriety?
Wendy: Brittany St. Jordan had roughly the same path I did, started as a webcam host before venturing into porn. So her willingness to share her experience and helping me find my footing was invaluable. Webcam is a very different beast than porn.
Being very good at one doesn’t necessarily translate to being good at the other. Even though both rely on video, in webcam you’re dealing with a fixed camera. As a performer you’re responsible for composing and maintaining the focus of your shot. With porn, its more about making yourself available to the videographer. Add on top of that the additional set of skills required for modeling and you’re in another zip code. I was lucky to be able to work with two such experienced producers; they really gave me a crash course in the basics of porn. I honestly think having them on board elevated the quality of my work immensely.
Caramel: I love your work with the gorgeous Sadie Hawkins of Stay Kinky on iFriends and at Shemale Strokers. Actually I’ve never seen hotter transbian hardcore sex on film. How did the two of you meet and when did you begin working together?
Wendy: Initially Sadie started following me on Twitter. We decided to meet up for coffee and we immediately hit it off. From the first moment, it was clear the kind of talent she had, and with how our personalities clicked there was instant chemistry. I had been talking with Sammy Mancini from Shemale Strokers about shooting a TS/TS Hardcore scene and I knew Sadie was the perfect choice. Thankfully Sammy did too. LOL
The chemistry between us has been so good we ended up shooting a slew of content together for WendySummers.com before she headed off to the West Coast. As it stands I think I have more footage of her than any of the companies – but given her talent I don’t expect that will last long LOL. We launched my website with one of those sets, “Managed” and we have two others which we’ll release later this year.
Caramel: Was Christian XXX the first male porn star you ever worked with?
Wendy: He has been — that’s more an issue of circumstance than anything. My long time fans will tell you about my Hardcore curse LOL. For my first six months, every time I had a hardcore scene lined up to shoot, something would interfere: Earthquake, Hurricane, one guy came down with mono… but I think in the end it worked out. Being pared with someone as experienced as Christian worked out well. He really knows his craft… nothing like getting tossed around on set by him LOL.
That being said, East Coast based male talent is rougher to come by… I’m always looking for in-shape males who think they have what it takes to shoot porn. Interested applicants in Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia or Norfolk/ Virginia Beach should feel free to reach out to me LOL.
Caramel: Moving on to an entirely different topic, what sort of cooking are you best at and being that you’re both domesticated and hot, why the hell are you single?
Wendy: Hahaha with me it always ends up in the kitchen, doesn’t it? I’m the Martha Stewart of Tranny Porn, I guess. Like in the bedroom, I’m pretty versatile ;). I have the style of cooking that’s more improvisation than recipe driven so it’s usually more about what’s in the fridge than anything. I’m celiac which means I have to avoid wheat and gluten so I rely very heavily on fresh produce for cooking. I tend to like cooking with sauteed spinach and beans. My actual meals are typically some sort of fusion between Indian, Mexican and Stir Frys. Beyond that I love to bake. Having to use non-traditional flours can make that a challenge but I’ve gotten pretty good with it. I make muffins to die for.
Why am I single? LOL… largely my choice at the moment. I’m having too much fun being single. Lately I’ll admit I’m starting to feel like I may be at a point where I am ready to share my life with someone… I just haven’t found that person yet.
Caramel: What is your sexual preference?
Wendy: Yes. I prefer sex. Oh wait – not what you meant… LOL. I’m truly bisexual. To me, biology of a person is largely irrelevant — if I connect with who someone, that’s what tends to get my motor running. I think in my life I’ve dated pretty much every gender combination out there: men, women, transmen, transwomen — I think only someone who is intersexed is missing from my list. Interested intersex applicants in Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia or Norfolk/ Virginia Beach should feel free to reach out to me LOL.
Caramel: You’re 5’7″ and a slender 150lbs. What do you do to keep fit?
Wendy: I keep fit by having anorexic thoughts :p. Largely that’s under control with me, but I do watch very closely what I eat. When I have time I love to Mountain Bike for exercise, but free time has become so infrequent that’s been tough to do.
Caramel: How old were you when you first realized you were different from other
Wendy: Well that’s a loaded question LOL. Um let’s see.. when I was 4 and at 12. At four, I first remember having thoughts that I was a girl. The pretty much got squelched out of me, but when I hit puberty it became an issue again. At 12 I started to develop breasts – it was a confusing puberty to be sure. I was stick thin and my parents and doctors lied to me — they claimed the development was just I was fat (yeah wonder where the anorexic thoughts come from — thanks Mom!). School was weird; everyone knew I was different and I was ostracized for it, but by the same token, people were so afraid to acknowledge it, they avoided the topic of my body like the plague. I’m lucky I had a good home life — I suspect had I not had that stability, I would have been another statistic. I grew up in a house full of love and humor… it’s made me a very upbeat person.
Caramel: You’re not planning on breast augmentation or SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery), correct?
Wendy: Given, I’ve had my entire life getting used to being in a mixed body, I don’t think I have quite the same drive most transsexuals have to align my body. For me transition has been far more about my place in the world, rather than a physical transformation. So I don’t think I will ever have either surgery.
That being said, I’ve been struggling greatly over the past year with some major hormone issues which have largely kept me off of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Observant fans from my early days will likely have recognized I’ve lost significant breast mass over the past year. If medically I need to stay off HRT in the long term, then I might consider some sort of augmentation but definitely I would stay within the “natural range”.
Caramel: You’re far too young to begin worrying about what you’re going to do when you retire from modeling and performing, but when the time comes, what do you consider doing for a living?
Wendy: Retire? Fuck no! LOL. Honestly, I see the rest of my years being spent in porn on a business level. I come from a strong business background having worked in corporate finance, marketing and data management. Those are skills transferable to any endeavor. Most of what I’m making from webcam and porn has been dropped into several business ventures — wendysummers.com is just the first to have rolled out. In a lot of ways I’ve been looking at the careers of folks in both porn and webcamming who’ve experienced true longevity and trying to learn from their successes. So far things are moving along according to plan and I’m thrilled how fortunate I’ve been so far.
Caramel: We’ve already discussed some of your interests, but what sort of music do you listen to and what do you like to read?
Wendy: My musical tastes are just all over the place. Classic rock, alternative, hip hop, rap, comedy, musicals, classical music, lounge, and jazz are all in my daily playlist. Reading is a bit more focused LOL. I’m a huge fan of comic books and graphic novels — among my current favorites are Atomic Robo; Mouse Guard; anything with artwork by Scottie Young; Wolverine and the X-Men; and Avengers Academy. I also read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels and when I’m feeling intellectual, I tend to read academic works on Comparative Mythology. The common thread is I love epic tales, in any form. Oh and if I feel trashy occasionally I indulge in chick lit.
Caramel: Do you like art and visiting museums? I’m asking because of your creativity.
Wendy: Very much so – I’m a little more interested in sculpture than painting, but it all holds my interest. Show me an impressive composition, an innovative use of line or a brilliant spattering of color and I’m entertained for hours… literally. None of my friends will go to art museums with me because I can spend hours on a single piece that captures my eye. LOL if I like something I really dig getting into the details of it — getting to know the piece of art like an old lover. To study the little lines, the tiny details intimately knowing all the crevices… you get the drift.
Caramel: Yes, I do. What advice might you have for new potential TS starlets who want to
break into the industry?
Wendy: Three things. If you want longevity, figure out what sets you apart from everyone else. There’s new faces each year who will be younger, prettier and more willing to do things you won’t. Anyone who has lasted more than a few years has an identity, a niche, which they own. Figure out what yours is and own it.
Second, diversify your efforts in Adult Entertainment… most can’t live on just porn; don’t just model for others, but develop and monetize content of your own; learn how to webcam; learn about affiliate programs. A little bit of work in all these areas can yield a sustainable income.
Third, interact with your fans. Being open and friendly with them… they are the ones who bring you success; it has nothing to do with you. Give them with the same respect you’d treat a friend with.