#DARBusiness: A Sitdown with Sinnamon Love

Today, we at DefineaRevolution.com have the luxury of catching up with a legend, both on and off-screen. Without further ado, I present a #DARBusiness Interview with Sinnamon Love.

1. First and foremost, I wanted to thank you for taking time to be a part of this interview. How's life been treating you?

Life is good. Thanks for asking!

2. Some of our readers had some questions regarding your adult film career, and naturally, the first reader question was what motivated you to get you into the adult film industry?

Money, plain and simple. In The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics and Policies of Producing Pleasure, I talk about getting into the business after a bloody divorce. I was in college carrying 13 units, working 2 jobs as a mall rat and caring for 2 toddlers under the age of 2. I was living in California and the majority of my family was in Michigan so I didn't have a lot of help. Childcare at the time for a child in diapers was $300/ week. My joint custody agreement wouldn’t allow me to return to Michigan with my family where I would have help with the kids, so I struggled to balance work, school, and spending adequate time raising my family.

I was young, 19, and welfare simply wasn't an option for me. I was actually told I would have to get rid of my $775 a month, rent controlled apartment in Santa Monica, quit one of my jobs and move into a poorer neighborhood just to be eligible for welfare and child care assistance. Porn wasn't even remotely on my radar, but it became a viable option which allowed me to provide for my family and finish school on my own terms without living on the dole. I actually kept one job my first 3 years in the business. I walked away with a bachelor's degree in nursing and only took out one $98 student loan during undergrad. It was the best decision I could have made.

3. Of course, in the adult film world, you're a legend, what was it like to be inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame?

It was a long time coming. I watched other stars inducted before me who started after I did. I started campaigning in interviews that I would retire after I was inducted. Took 3 years, but the shit finally worked. I almost missed my induction because I was at the bar during the awards.

4. You've been retired for about 5 years now, correct? What was your reason for retiring and is there ever a chance that you might get back into it?

Yes I have. I always said I would retire when it was no longer profitable or I no longer enjoyed the work. In my last few years, the industry was so severely hit by piracy and the advent of tube sites, I found as a performer it became more challenging to earn a substantial living. I wasn't willing to compete with younger or newer performers who were working for less than industry standard rate. I loved the work, when I was doing it, but it’s just not enticing to me anymore.

At 41, my professional interests have grown. I have directed, produced, performed, managed artists and run my own websites. I diversified my income streams in terms of webcam, phone sex and public appearances. I am simply not as interested in that side of the industry these days. I still work around the industry, but as an academic and writer. I think my talents are better served wielding my pen or in lecture halls at this stage in my life. So no, I cannot see myself returning to performing.

5. Final reader question, what were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and who were your some of your favorite people to work with?

Some of my favorite people to work with were Ethan Hunt, Jean Claude Batiste, Shane Diesel, Mr. Pete, Adrianna Nicole, Aurora Jolie, Jada Fire, Careena Collins, Julian St. Jox, Sean Michaels, Orpheus Black... the list could go on forever. :)

6. Moving on, you considering a lover of hip hop. What entices about the music and culture?

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was actually more into house music and the Minneapolis sound, although hip hop was always in the background. I was in a dance crew in high school. We used to rock in clubs like The Copa in Flint, Michigan where I grew up at 14, walking in without fake ID.
I love the culture, period. I have this affinity for graffiti - I had the privilege of photographing EvitaN during a video shoot at 5 Points before it was demolished and we had DJ JS-1 create a mural in our living room. 

There is nothing like a DJ who knows how to move the crowd. Not to mention, as a poet and writer, lyrics are uber important to me. I fell in love with hip hop late in the game during the 90s, but I definitely rocked to everyone from Grandmaster Flash to Fat Boys as a kid. I'm a grown up, you know? So I remember hip hop being part of early MTV and have grown up with it.

7. If you had to make a list of your favorite rappers, who would be on that list?

KRS-1, Tribe, NWA, Nas, Common, UGK, Outkast, Pharcyde, Aceylone, DOOM. I even like Earl Sweatshirt as far as new kids go. And of course, Jarobi White (laughs)! I am all over the place.

8. Have you had a chance to check out this new Kendrick Lamar album? And, if so, what are your thoughts on it?

I'll be honest, I hate this question. I adore Kendrick. This album isn't as good as 2.0 to me. I am frustrated by Kendrick. Does it bang? Yes. Will it be in my heavy rotation in 3 months? No. Sometimes a song of his I haven't heard in a while will fall into my eardrum and I will be like, "Oh yeah, I love this song, why haven't I played this album in a minute," but for some reason, he lacks that thing that makes me want to play it consistently. It’s like...he's easily forgettable. I hate saying that because I LOVE what he is doing for West Coast hip-hop. I just wish he was more...memorable.

9. You're a writer/author as well. How do you decide what your next project is, as an author?

It varies. Some projects approach me. Often, when people I know are working on anthologies surrounding sex work, pornography, BDSM or pop culture topics such as 50 Shades of Grey, they approach me to include my voice as I am viewed as an authority on these topics. Other times, I feel obligated to write about something I feel passionate about and find a need for it in the marketplace. Currently, I am working on my first anthology as an editor.

I am collecting stories from parents from all over the world who earn their living in varied aspects of the sex industry. I am also working on my first solo project as a writer on financial and retirement planning for sex workers. Everyone always wants to know how to get in the business, no one every asks how to get out. My own decision to retire sparked the latter. My entire career sparked the first.

10. You've been tackling quite a few issues, being an advocate for being for better sex education and also standing up for feminism. What gives you such passion for those issues?

I consider myself to be a 1950s Housewife Feminist. Neither of my grandmothers worked a day after the got married, but both were educated. One was a nurse, the other a teacher. My family is particularly religious, with very traditional beliefs surrounding traditional gender roles so needless to say, much of that stuck with me.

I'm a black woman who grew up in a working class union town, but was smart enough, and had the proper influences at home to be afforded a superior education and was instilled the belief I could pursue whatever I choose. As I grew up, I saw the disparity amongst pay for women of color in the workplace, and an overall lack of opportunities in communities if color. The Feminist movement has largely excluded women of color for many years, and many men are miseducated as to what feminism means. I think it’s important to show people what sex-positive feminism looks like. This isn't first wave feminism which most people associate with sentiments of disdain for men, pornography or sex work.

As for sex education, I think it’s important to reach out to generations of miseducated women of color to give them, and their children proper sex education. Black women still make up the rising population of new HIV infections, and access to information is often thwarted by community standards and religious views. For young people today, HIV isn't real. They don't have an uncle or friend who died from GRID or AIDS. If we do not properly educate our community, we can and will see the virus return. Indiana just reported an epidemic last week from the state's refusal to implement clean needle exchange programs.

A few days ago a young Black woman turned herself in for infecting 50 partners with HIV. Let's not even forget dumpster babies and teen pregnancy. This includes conversations with the elderly about HIV, STDs, condoms, options in hormone replacement therapy and lubricants as options after menopause, breast and prostate health. The information is out there, but we have to insure the people have access to it. It is irresponsible not to.

11. Now, being a hip hop lover and such a fan of the culture, I noticed you and Jarobi (of A Tribe Called Quest) are together. How did that all come about and is it surreal for you to be in love with an original member of quite possibly the greatest hip hop group ever?

Believe it or not, we met in a nightclub here in New York. Well, actually it was a lounge. We were both attending Toca Tuesdays, Tony Touch's weekly party at Sutra Lounge. A mutual friend introduced us. 

Truth is, we had mutual friends dating back 20 years; it just took the Universe that long to put us in the same space at the same time. I think it’s more surreal for people on the outside looking in that we are together. Even though I am fully aware of who he is, and his contribution to ATCQ, I don't think about it. We are partners - so that means paying bills, caring for one another when we are sick, and co-parenting our grandson. My focus is more on washing his clothes and cooking him dinner than on who he is publicly. Yes, there are perks to being able to get into dope parties and having fly gear sent to us, but that was happening long before he came into my life.

We are evenly yolked as the saying goes. I love that we are together at this stage in our careers where I can watch him create masterpieces both in the kitchen and the booth. I am his biggest fan and cheerleader. The same goes for his as support of me. He has been in the audience at my book signings and lectures, and pushed me to meet writing deadlines. We are like any other couple, we just happen to have easily recognizable names and faces.

12. Being a father myself, and seeing my mother's eyes light up when I speak of my daughter, I have to ask: How do you enjoy being a grandmother? How rewarding is that for you?
Omigod, I love it. My grandson Art is an old soul who has definitely been here before. He has some health concerns that as a teen mother, my daughter isn't prepared to manage - so we adopted him. We feel strongly that she needs to graduate high school this June, go on to college and pursue her craft. She is a brilliant illustrator and aims to be a graphic novelist/ comic book artist. Being that we are both artists, we support her dream.

We aren't the first grandparents to raise grandchildren, and we won't be the last. The difference is I won't tell her to take a job doing something she hates just because she is a parent now. We believe in her talent and want to see her follow her passion. I love every minute of being a grandmother. I get all the benefits of having a new baby without going through all the late night cravings, weight gain and labor pains.

13. You're an activist for autism. Why is that cause so important to you and what would you like to see done to provide more awareness?

My 21-year-old son is on the spectrum. It hasn't been an easy road, but advocating for him has taught me so much. I strive to make the world a better place for him. Dialogue is vital to help continue breaking down the stigma of Autism and other developmental delays or mental illness in our community.

14. With the recent events in Ferguson, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and virtually everywhere in America, what's your feelings towards current race relations and the murders of our young black men at the hands of the police?

What can I say that hasn't already been said by others? I'm angry. I'm ashamed our government isn't prosecuting more of these perpetrators of violence against our men. I fear for my son who largely appears to be a neurotypical person, that his actions might lead him to be gunned down by some trigger happy cop. I worry about all the men in my life. I can only hope things don't get worse before they get better.

15. Last question, when it’s all said done, what do you want your legacy to be?

I hope people look at me and see someone who redefines their idea of what it means to be a woman, a wife, a mother or a sex worker. I want people to see my happiness and be encouraged to have the courage to be truly happy and live life on their own terms. I just want to be happy man. I have a beautiful family, I have a big heart and I hope to spread as much love and knowledge as humanly possible. I strive to live a good life every day; I eat well, listen to good music, feed my brain, body and spirit with things that enhance the quality of my life. That's it. Nothing complicated.


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