Sheena Shaw and Aiden Starr star in Petting Zoo.

Interview: Sheena Shaw Talks ‘Petting Zoo’

Prepare to look and touch!

Petting Zoo, the new collaboration between directors Aiden Starr and Sheena Shaw, melds the playful spirit of animal costumery with the fierce power dynamics of BDSM. The result is one of the most creative porn projects of the year. In this new interview, co-director Shaw discusses the origins of the movie, its challenges, and much more.

How did the Petting Zoo project come about?

Petting Zoo just happened to come together when I realized I’d already put out a few similarly themed videos. I suppose it’s a lighter version of being a plushy . . .

Talk about your working relationship with Aiden Starr.

I first met Aiden years ago and was terribly impressed by her; I was fortunate to get to know her better years later and that she consented to helping me with Petting Zoo. She’s an amazing person and performer and I have been most gratified by her mentorship.

Did you and Starr have any disagreements, large or small, about the creative direction of the project?

I’m so sorry, but I think both Aiden and I have been doing this long enough to realize that a day on set will just be more pleasant if gonzo is kept organic . . .  Petting Zoo isn’t a feature and we were both terribly easy going about the flow in the scenes.

The movie features some very creative props and outfits. How did you choose them, and where did you find them?

Thank you, as for the props and outfits . . . Etsy is always a fun place to shop for peculiarities for pornos, and as Sophia Burns was most particular about the type of nose hooks that were used, she made the ones we used in the video.

Sploshing is one of the movie’s themes. Tell us how you first encountered sploshing. In what ways does Petting Zoo have a unique take on the theme?

As for sploshing, I think my fetish for sploshing developed as a response to cultural excess . . . I’d engaged in various forms of this fetish periodically throughout life and didn’t know that there was a name for it until I was in my mid twenties (after getting into porn).

What would you envision for a potential sequel to the movie?

Petting Zoo 2 ideally will incorporate more genders.

In your 2014 interview with Fleshbot, you noted that you were always “obsessed with porn.” What directors and stars made the biggest impression on you?

Porn was something I always sought out . . . I was like a bloodhound for porn and the first person who made impression upon me enough to bother learning their name was Belladonna. She just performed in ways that were so extreme and shocking . . . and her lack of hair made her seem all the more vulnerable; I needed to know who that woman was.

Sheena Shaw Wide Open and Deep Inside Sheena Shaw remain two of your most popular movies on Adult Empire. What are your primary memories of those two shoots?

Sheena Shaw Wide Open was shot so quickly and without much preamble or planning. I met Manuel [Ferrara] and I think he decided to make the movie within a few short… weeks (days)? Deep Inside Sheena Shaw just kind of seemed to come naturally? Shooting with Jonni [Darkko] is a dream; he encourages such perversion. You get to go wild and you know it’s going to look great (I hope to do more of it in the future).

What’s the top piece of wisdom you would want to impart to someone entering the industry?

I don’t think I’m qualified to be giving anyone advice . . .  you need a degree for that (and even then). I’m sorry.

Take us through a typical day in your life.

I’m a bi-phasic sleeper who loves to edit, drink coffee, jog on the beach, and stretch out with some yoga. I have cats, who fortunately are gracious enough to let me shoot a scene or four when I like without becoming an on-set hazard.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Oh, I hope to be doing what I’m doing now; that or I’ve a degree or two I think about putting back to use. I’m flexible. There will be cats and coffee.

What is your go-to coffee order?

Tall blonde flat white 🙂

What upcoming projects are you working on?

Well, the cat’s out of the bag with the coming of Gooner School; I hope that won’t be much longer.

What do you feel is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while working in the adult industry?

I’ve always been a proponent for shooting your own stuff. It’s always been a fun outlet for me. I’d do it for free; I enjoy the process.

Watch Petting Zoo >>

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