Curvy, Confident, and Canny - Kelly Shibari: The Woman with a Cap Full of Feathers

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I first saw Kelly at the International Lingerie Show (ILS), modeling the sexy plus size harness ‘Bella,’ by one of my favorite brands - Spareparts® HardWear.  Kelly Shibari is an adult film star that began her entertainment career with production of Hollywood films. This amazing woman breaks so many of the negative stereotypes about adult film stars, and plus size women.  She is intelligent, holds multiple degrees, is confident, sexy, humble, and wasn’t raised in a broken home.  I like to call her the “Jackie-of-all- trades,” as she’s done it all continues breaking through the same barriers holding so many others back.  What I found to be most impressive is her level of authenticity and openness, and the positivity and confidence she exudes. 
           
During the interview we discussed being plus size, her sexuality, her take on masturbation, her favorite toys, her experience being 2 time winner of ‘The Fannys,’ life on and off-screen, upcoming projects, her collection of feathers, and much more.  Here are some highlights from the interview:

Kelly on being 2-Time Winner of ‘The Fannys’:
            Toni:    Congratulations on your recent win of “The Fannys.”  How has this                          experience been for you?

            Kelly:  It has been an awesome and humbling experience.  
  • This is a fan-based award Kelly believes she achieved by being so connected with her fans by talking to them all the time on social media. Kelly has a huge fan-base on Instagram, more than 10,000 followers on Facebook, and more than 65,000 followers on Twitter.

Kelly on being Plus Size:
            Toni:    What are some stereotypes you’ve overcome within the industry?

            Kelly:  In general, the industry has been more accepting of plus size performers over the past 4 or 5 years.  This is my 7th year in the industry and during my first couple years, especially before social media, it was more-or-less a fetish-side niche done by a few companies whose primary focus was big-busted women. Now, with the huge growth of social media, so many have become more open and ‘out-of-the- closet' with their love for bigger women. Currently, award companies that once lumped bbw (big beautiful women) porn with specialty categories, such as clown porn and foot fetish, now include it as its own separate category…with the exception of a few which I’m hoping changes soon!

            Toni:    What internal and external challenges do you still face being plus size?

            Kelly:  I’ve always been a plus size girl.  My time within the industry as a performer, in  terms of fans, has been very positive; this actually helps with my self-esteem.  Not that I had horribly low self-esteem before, but there is a definite difference between being out in the real world, having boyfriends, having been a kid and been teased and bullied about being fat, and then suddenly being in movies and on the internet, and having hundreds of thousands of fans email and tell you that you’re their  fantasy person.  This is a different type of validation.  On the other hand, you don’t necessarily solicit this type of attention when it comes to other emotional levels of attachment, such as a boyfriend or husband, and you hope the person likes you for not only physical reasons, but other reasons as well. 
*     
  •           Within the industry­­ Kelly is comfortable with any plus-sized positive term.  Personally, Kelly prefers chubby or curvy! Kelly is the only Asian and curvy adult film star.  She was also the only plus size woman to have been molded for the limited edition, Fleshlight.  Recently, Kelly co-created jessica drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex: Plus Size.  This is the first ever educational video on plus size sex, something Kelly has wanted to do for 4 years. The video is set to be released around summertime.

Kelly, Outside of Performing:
            Toni:    So being that I originally met you at ILS, how did you get involved with Spareparts® HardWear? (A hit brand in the LGBTQ community)

            Kelly:  Spareparts® HardWear distributes through a couple companies.  The main one (Entrenue), which is sort of a boutique and high-end one, works with several companies that use a sales training company called STEME (Steme.biz) to teach retail staff, and I handle their PR and social media.  Well, the owner of STEME contacted me about Sparparts® HardWear looking for a model to promote their new plus size harness, Bella. 
*        
  •       Most novelty companies won’t use adult performers to promote product because they want to be able to target mainstream clients.  Spareparts® HardWear chose Kelly and made her the “face/body” of Bella.  Currently, she is the model on their box.  For two years now Spareparts® HardWear has hired Kelly as a live model for their plus size harness, Bella, at ILS.

            Toni:    Speaking of novelties, what’s your take on adult pleasure products?  Are you a fan of toys?

            Kelly: I love toys! I have always been a big fan of masturbation!  I’ve been masturbating since I was 9.  I’ve always been very much in touch with my body, how it works, and how certain things are pleasurable.  I’m also a nerd, so I like trying new gadgets.  A lot of the things I try don’t work, for me, but I’m more of a clitoral person.  (Although I recently found out I can squirt!)  But I’ve always been a big fan of vibrators.

            Toni:    So what are your top 3 favorite toys?

            Kelly:  Shibari Wands HALO is number 1.  I tested it for the first time and thought, ‘This is the best thing ever!’ Some of the original wand vibrators are so strong, it feels like they might burn my clit off. The HALO is strong enough to get me off in 0-60, without the worry of too much stimulation.  I can use it with a partner, but I really enjoy it by myself. 

                        Because I’ve recently learned how to squirt, I was introduced to the G-Spot Lollipop.   It looks, literally, like a toy baton, and it's low-tech but works every time. If you're looking to squirt, that’s a product that works almost every time.
 


                        I’m also a fan of Liberator, and all the different wedges, for a variety of  reasons.  I love the Wanda, which you attach a Shibari Wand type toy too and ride it.  It’s great when you’re playing with a partner because you can do a lot of forced orgasm type play.


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          Toni:    Speaking of partner play, you identify as bisexual.  Tell me about your sexual  preference?

           Kelly:  The interesting thing about being in porn is that it has given me an accelerated experience of doing all the things that would take other people years to figure out if they actually like or not, in a controlled and safe environment, where everyone is tested.  When I first started out 7 years ago I was completely bisexual (I used to date women).  I have found over the years that I have a pretty masculine, hetero-normative mindset.  I love guys.  My personal sexual preference is heterosexual, but I do love women for play.  I love strip clubs, and I love having a play partner.  Currently,  I consider myself mostly hetero, with a desire to play with women on the side.
           
            Toni:    When you retire from performing what do you want to do, would you remain in the       adult industry?

            Kelly:   I absolutely love this industry.  With all of its weird chaos and drama, I am still a big fan of this industry.  I’ve always been in some segment of entertainment since college, and this is just something that I have naturally fallen into. I think segwaying away from performing when that time comes is not going to be very difficult.  Right now the majority of my work is in PR and marketing.

  • Kelly was a roadie for rock n’ roll tours, and was then a production designer for mainstream Hollywood films and commercials.

            Toni:    What feathers haven’t you collected that you would like to collect? What can we look forward to coming up?

            Kelly:  I'm kind of running out of things to check off my list.  At a certain point you say ‘wow, what haven’t I done sexually that I still want to do?’  I haven’t done porn anal.  This is different than regular anal with an average sized penis.  I am currently working on a project where I get to do that for the first time.  I’m extremely nervous. I’ve done plenty of girl/girl anal with toys on camera, but it’s different when it’s attached to a human body.
                         
                         As for upcoming projects, once the educational film is out I will work on promoting that.  I really enjoy doing PR and marketing because every week is a different project, so that will continue.

  •  Kelly Shibari does PR and marketing, modeling for companies like Spareparts® HardWear, work with adult novelty manufactures, blogging, editing, and more. Later today, Kelly will be showcased on the cover of Penthouse Forum. 

It was such a pleasure to interview such an intelligent and awe-inspiring woman.  At one point during the interview Kelly talked about a saying in her family, “It doesn’t really matter what line of work a potential girlfriend is in; if she acts like a lady you treat her like a lady, if she acts like trash you treat her like trash.”  In all that she does she takes pride in doing it with class, and her collection of feathers in her cap is proof of this.  Personally, I can say I have met so many that supposedly fit into mainstreams classification of “professional” that have less class than she.  We need more Kelly’s in the adult industry to help break the stereotypes that accompany it.   

Connect with Kelly Shibari:
 
Websites: kellyshibarixxx.com, Paddedkink.com, ThePRSMgroup.com
Facebook: KellyShibari
Twitter: KellyShibari

ILS Review

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It was such a pleasure to meet other HPPPA members, network, view new and existing product, and hang out with old friends.  If you weren't able to attend ILS or HPPPA events you missed out.  In just a few days: We had a panel discussion with Scott Watkins (Doc Johnson),  Lulu Daniels  (NS Novelties), and Loren Levy (President of Classic Erotica); we got product presentations from Doc Johnson, Classic Erotica, Closet Collection Toys, Revel Body, System Jo, Spareparts Hardware, Semenette, New York Toy Collective, and Divine Toys; we had informative presentations from our very own founder Tamara Payton Bell and Member Liaison, Kim Varner; we hosted our first ever Kink and Bondage night with demonstrations from XRBrand, Sportsheets, and our member Erotasies; we celebrated together with our annual HPPPA POP event; we networked, laughed, danced, got April fooled, and shared in genuine camaraderie.

I am both pleased and honored to be part of such an amazing association.

In the weeks coming please look forward to pictures and information taken and shared throughout the show, a 3-part BDSM informational series, show specials, product reviews, and upcoming ideas and information regarding our next years "10 year anniversary" show at ILS.  This will be an event you DO NOT want to miss!

A special thank you to everyone on the management team that helped make every event possible, each person and company that gave presentations, and members that attended and contributed to our successful events.

In addition, HPPPA was featured in a story in XBiz News.  Check it out here!



Why to Attend a Tradeshow

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The other day someone asked me "Why do you attend trade-shows?"  I know a few of the reasons, but with ILS right around the corner, what better time to maximize my potential and consider all the ways I can benefit from attending trade shows.  Here are some reasons.  Feel free to comment with some of your own.

*Easily compare product, price, and services.  With so many companies competing for your business all in one area, take the time to compare and choose what company offers what YOU are looking for.

*See whats out there.  Even the best of the best can't keep up with all the new product coming out.  If it isn't displayed, ask the venders, "what new products can our consumers expect coming up."  Even if it is yet to be released, this allows you to brainstorm ways to introduce your new product, or see what direction the market is headed.

*Network, network, network! Not just with venders but with other attendees.  There are so many benifits to networking...This could be its own topic.

*Use your senses.  With so many products and limited information when ordering (especially in this business) its so hard to know what your going to get.  How many times have you thought you were ordering one thing, and ended up with something different?  It happens to all of us.  Take a list of products you have been considering.  Chances are, it's displayed somewhere at the trade-show.  Even without the list, take the time to look, touch, taste, smell, and hear different products.  Even if you chose not to order now you'll know what to order in the future.

*Save money.  Most venders are offering trade-show specials, free shipping, or discounts for first time buyers.  Take advantage of this savings by attending the trade-show.

*Get educated.  A lot of times venders will have seminars, trainings, or presentations.  Take advantage and increase your knowledge about the products you are offering your consumers.

*Have fun. Yes it's about business, but why not have fun too!

Come Join Us!

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 Are you ready for the International Lingerie Show?
The show is held bi-annually in Las Vegas, NV. 

We have a wonderful line up for you this upcoming show.  Among the HPPPA events will be
its first ever "Kink and Bondage Lab!"  This will be held the first evening of the International Lingerie Show (ILS), and you do not want to miss it!

March 31, 2014

Featuring:

Sportsheets, XRBrand, and Erotasies. 

Learn about Electro Play, Rope Bondage, and more!




Booking Flights 101

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With the International Lingerie Show approaching in a few weeks I'm sure there is still lots to do and check off your list.  For those of you that haven't gotten your tickets yet...here are some tips for you to remember when purchasing.  After much research here are the top 5 bits of information that I found most helpful.

Tip #1- The best time to purchase your ticket is on Tuesdays.  Airlines that have specials post them Monday evening, so often times other airlines will match or attempt to compete with these sales, posting their specials on Tuesday.

Tip #2- The best window to purchase is between 16-45 days.  The absolute worst time is within one week and more than 4 months out.  Once you hit the 4 month window, start checking flights once a week to catch the best deal.  Research shows that on average flights go down by $50 and up by $300, so checking frequently will increase your chances of a better deal.

Tip #3- Be Flexible.  So you would like to leave on a Friday and return on a Sunday?  This is (most often) the most expensive days to fly.  Consider extending your stay by a day or two.  While you may save money in flight fees, keep in mind that by staying extra days you may be spending more on hotel or rental car fees, so be sure to take outside costs into account. 

Tip #4- Utilize free tools.  Already set on what airlines you are going to travel with?  There are countless sites that will do the research for you by checking numerous flights by numerous airlines.  Even if you think you have the cheapest airline, in addition to checking prices directly on their site, utilize the free sites that compare prices...You may be surprised to find that getting your tickets indirectly may save you money.

Tip $5- Consider ALL fees.  You go to book a flight through a 3rd party source and find that one airline is $50 cheaper than another.  Before you click on the "buy now" button, check the fine print.  Some airlines have additional/higher fee's than others.  (This can include checking baggage, 3rd party fees, taxes, etc...)This can increase your bottom line cost very quickly.  Also, some airlines charge more to check bags if you wait to pay at the airport. 


Overall with careful planing you can save money on your next flight....Just be sure to utilize different sources to maximize you savings.