Porn Valley’s Gold Star Lesbian

This was part of the certification trialI've been calling myself "Porn Valley's Gold Star Lesbian" since I figured out that it was something that set me apart from other performers. When I first got into porn, I used "Lily Cade: Not The Girl Next Door" for about five minutes (on my myspace. Yes, I know.  I'm dating myself) in response to having been told that I needed to be more "girl next door" if I wanted to work. It's never been a goal of mine to be just like everyone else, but there are a lot of non GND girls. There are not a lot of "gold star lesbians" or lesbians in general, so I went with something that really did set me apart.

I got into porn immediately following the passage of Prop 8. I remember being on set, making "lesbian" porn, and having the other ladies on set not know what I was talking about. They were aware, vaguely, of some gay marriage something-or-other, but had confused it with the brief San Fransisco only gay marriages that had been invalidated in 2004. This issue just wasn't important to these ladies. Even though they loved having sex with women and were good at it, they were not lesbians. They were never going to marry a woman, so they didn't care about this issue that I had fought so hard for. It was kind of sobering. Lily, honey, this is porn. It's not about your politics (which isn't to say the ladies on set were not on my side - they were, and they felt bad about what CA had done when I explained it, but it didn't matter to them in the same visceral way it mattered to me).

As I become more a part of the porn world, I realized that being a lesbian in lesbian porn was super rare. Queer porn had more alternative types (and certainly more politically conscious types) but actually didn't have prolific lesbians either.  In college, the fact that I'd never fucked a dude didn't really matter. I never made an issue of it. I wasn't the only gold star lesbian I knew. In porn, though, it made me different so I started calling myself "Porn Valley's Gold Star Lesbian" on social media.

Six years later, I think I've been very successful at attaching that phrase to my name, although I'm not entirely certain that people know what it means. I think a lot of guys think it has something to do with being the best, like "gold medal lesbian". Maybe there was a contest that I won. Maybe it's a certification process. My haircut, number of cats, fondness for boots, and, oh, the whole fucking ladies thing, is enough to receive the star. Ultimately, I don't really care...I just care if people want to watch my porn. Being a "real" lesbian is part of my marketing - here's something you can't get elsewhere boys and girls. Here's a lady who only likes ladies. Here's how a real dyke does it.

It has come to my attention that the same cadre of queer porn people who consider me transphobic for not hiring pre op MTF transsexuals to be in my lesbian porn (sigh) also think that "gold star lesbian" is an offensive term. Apparently I'm "elitist". Of course, when we market ourselves as a product, we want to point out ways our product is better than other products. It doesn't mean I really think I'm better, as a human being or a lesbian, than other people. It's about selling stuff. In my case, the stuff I sell is me. I do think I'm pretty awesome and that my porn is pretty awesome - but I don't think everyone else sucks for not being me. Hell, if they were, I wouldn't stand out. No one in "straight" porn has ever been offended by my marketing, I think because they are part of the same world as I am and our paradigms for understanding that world are closer.

Anyway, I wanted to hear your thoughts, LilyCade.com fans. What do you think of "Porn Valley's Gold Star Lesbian"? Does it bother you? Does it confuse you? Do you think it's cool?

11 comments:

  1. I think it is a great way to set yourself apart in your market.
    I do admit, I did (and maybe still do) equate “Gold Star” with “best” (like I am any sort of judge!) but it also means something else. It also means to me at least “authentic”.

    I like that you do what you love and it shows on screen.

  2. Lily,
    You’re the best, plain and simple. Your scenes are real, not some fake shit you see elsewhere. I’ve never seen a chick as good with a strap-on as you are. You can tell you really get into it and the girls you are fucking get into it cause you’re so good. Somebody on Twitter today remarked that you were lucky for getting to shoot a scene with Char Stokely. My first thought was no, Char’s the lucky one because she’s going to get the fucking of her life. That’s what makes you the best!!! You know you’re good and so do the girls you’re with. You keep any damn title you want. You’ve earned it!!

  3. I agree with you 100%. When I watch Lesbian porn I want to see a real dyke make real love to a real womman with real passion so I love watching your work. I do not want to see a penis in your porn even on a person who looks like a woman otherwise. No one should ever force you (or anyone else) to have sex with someone they do not want to. And to insist you should add anyone or anything to your porn is censorship which is a bad thing. There is plenty of work for trans performers if they look for it. I love your work. I love your passion and I love your convictions. So you will never have sex with me? I don’t know any straight female porn actresses who will either. So I will continue to enjoy watching you. Thanks for sharing that with us, your fans.

  4. Nope, I love the term gold star lesbian, because I’m one too, lmao. We’re like freaking rarities. What I’m curious about is whether or not it was actually a term that dykes used in L.A. BEFORE the L-word. I never heard anyone say it before the L-word, but I’m from across the country. Since you’re from L.A. I’m hoping you can let me know, lol..

    1. So the L Word and the LA Lesbian scene at the time had this sort of weird incestuous relationship. It was never entirely clear which was leading the other. They fed each other. It was sort of an odd thing to be around, how this show both displayed this scene to the world, but also kind of defined it back to itself.

      I’m really not sure if “gold star” was around before the L Word. It’s been too long for me to remember.

      1. Aww, that’s too bad. I was hoping that someone could finally solve the mystery of the origin of “gold-star” for me. But seriously though, don’t you think the kerfluffle over the term “gold-star lesbian” means that you should do “The L Word” parody porn? ;- ) Okay I’m kidding, but I can’t lie and say that I wouldn’t REALLY love to see your take on that show as someone who actually lived in L.A. while it was on. And I’d DIE to see who you would pick to be “Shane” and how a parody “Shane” would be portrayed. In fact, I think almost every woman with a PULSE would die to see any kind of “Shane” again, all my straight female friends (and cousins, and my very straight sister) were in LOVE with her. ;- )

  5. I love your tagline. The other day I was complaining to a friend of mine that the majority of “lesbian” porn does not involve lesbians. I have lost count of the number of disappointing scenes that have made it quite obvious that the women involved were acting. I told my friend that it was “lesbian porn for straight men” because I simply couldn’t imagine two actual lesbians having sex that way. I’m sorry but 4 inch long fingernails will not be going inside me, ever… The response to my comments was an introduction to a company called Girlfriends Films and an assessment that they made porn for women.

    After being fortunate enough to watch one of your scenes, I discovered your tagline. It was not confusing for me in the least. I happened to see that particular episode of The L Word in question, it was in one of the season 3 episodes if I remember correctly. In any case, the meaning was crystal clear to me. What it meant to me was “this woman is an honest to goddess lesbian, buy her stuff”.

    I have no idea who would be giving you grief over the use of “Porn Valley’s Gold Star Lesbian” as your tagline, but I’m guessing the same people who are offended by the use of the word dyke. That reminds me of a comedian on this season of Last Comic Standing who said when someone asked him about his ethnicity and he replied that he was Japanese, they told him the term was Asian-American. His response was hilarious. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend myself.”

    You are labeling yourself using a tagline that identifies you as who you are. I can honestly say that it has garnered you a new fan. Lesbian porn for lesbians by lesbians, what a wonderful and amazing concept. I only wish that I had learned about you five years ago. Thank you for sharing yourself in the way that you have.

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