Nikki Benz poses on a blue couch.

Interview: Catching Up With Nikki Benz

Nikki Benz jokes about getting older, but she’s still the high-spirited, sociable, energetic star fans have known for 20 years. The last decade has been transformative for her, as power has shifted toward performers themselves. To check in about the latest in the life of this indefatigable star, we had a phone conversation earlier this month, in which Benz covered her breast enhancement, studio practices and camaraderie, independent content, the infamous Skittles scene, watersports, and much more.

Editor’s note: the following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

 

Adult Empire: Your breast enhancement, tell us a little bit about that. What’s the behind-the-scenes story of that new look?

Nikki Benz: So I actually had to do it for medical reasons. I was having a lot of pain, like excruciating pain for a year. And my schedule is so hectic, though, that like I never really took care of it. And I finally set time aside to do it. And I have really bad scar tissue built up. And so my implants moved up. And they were trying to almost like move out of my body, because they were being like squeezed out of my body. That’s why the pain was there. So that was the reason why.

And because that was happening, they moved up, right, but the skin was still hanging on the bottom. That’s why I went a little bit bigger to kind of fill in the skin cells, so they look nice and proper now, whereas before they were starting to be deformed slightly. I know a lot of people are probably like, Oh, why did you go bigger? Well, I didn’t want to necessarily, but I had to, believe it or not. And it fixed the scar tissue situation. So very happy! And plus, you have to get them redone every 10 years regardless. And it’s been about 11 years. So I was kind of like right on time on the mark.

Nikki Benz gets a breast enhancement.

Adult Empire: I suppose that’s something that a lot of people don’t know, that there is a maintenance of that kind of cosmetic enhancement. It’s not just “get it done once and you’re good for the rest of your life” kind of situation.

Nikki Benz: Exactly. Because a lot of things can happen and like some people wait 20 years to get them replaced. And you shouldn’t do that. So I did it. Because I was in pain, I had to do it. Like my own body forced me to redo it. So we’re good now.

Adult Empire: So when it comes to your look, in general, I’m sure you must have fans making all sorts of suggestions at times. “I’d love to see you with this look or that look.” Do you factor that kind of thing in at all? Or do you just kind of follow your heart and what you want to do and kind of say [to] fans, you know, you’re going to take Nikki Benz as she is.

Nikki Benz: I definitely do what I want, because it’s my own body, and my own finances that pay for me to look the way I look, so I definitely entertain the fans’ suggestions. But if I listened to everybody, I would look like a freak. I would have a rainbow color for hair and three different boobies. I love my fans. They’re amazing. I feel like, you know, I appreciate when I do surveys once in a while, I’ll say, do you want me brunette or blonde? But at the end of the day? That’s a lot of fun for me to read the responses. But I still do what I want.

Adult Empire: Sometimes studios will shoot a star like you once or twice and then they will kind of make hay from that scene for years and years, repackaging as comps and things like that. So what’s your take on that practice?

Nikki Benz: I don’t like it. I think it’s shady. We want to be taken more seriously as a industry and I think we made a lot of progress, but I don’t see mainstream companies doing that. Imagine if Paramount did that to Tom Cruise or whoever, you know — he shoots one movie and they put that scene in a bunch of different comps. I think it’s shady practices. And you know, I don’t think it’s cool to do. But again, I’m not the one that’s financing that one scene. So I don’t want it to come off wrong. But what I want fans to understand is we don’t get royalties from movies. So it’s bad enough that a lot of these studios lowball us on on our scene rate, but we do it. I love shooting. But then they take that one scene, don’t pay royalties to anybody.

And then they just like repurpose it, and they keep making money off of it and making money off of it. And these studios are not hurting for money. Usually the performers were getting ripped off for a long, long time until [performer-focused platforms] came about and let us kind of like find our true value and like, Oh my God, how much can I make? How much were the studios making off of me? And on top of that, they were repurposing the scene.

So I don’t think it’s honest practices. And I think some studios, maybe it’ll be like in fine print somewhere on the release form. And I understand that part. But I think they should just go away with the whole practice of doing that. It’s also misleading, because some of my fans will be like, you’ve done 700-something movies? I’m like, no, I haven’t. I did the one scene. And then that scene was probably used, like 200 times. Maybe I’m inflating the numbers, but  I haven’t done as many movies as maybe listed on somewhere on the site, because again of practices where they just repurpose the scene over and over and over again. It could be like 10 years down the line, and they’re still using the scene in another DVD. It’s weird to me.

Adult Empire: So you did an interview in 2019, with AVN, where you said, “I hope fans appreciate how hard that adult stars work.” So talk a little bit about that, about the idea that fans have that it’s just this glamorous life of wall-to-wall sex, but [actually] it’s a job. Talk a little bit about the typical workflow, and the challenges of being an adult star.

 

Nikki Benz has 499 movies in her Adult Empire filmography.Nikki Benz: Well, it’s changed from 2019 to now. Even years ago — yeah, my life before was very hectic, it still is now, but the difference is before I was feature dancing, I would land back in LA, like on a Sunday morning, Sunday night — my job is just on the road for four or five days. I have to be on set the next morning.

So it was like this constant like travel, shoot, travel, shoot. It was very tiring. I didn’t sleep a lot. I didn’t eat properly. Now it’s different. Now I have the luxury of being home, which I’m so grateful for.

But everything’s on me now. I’m not going to lie — it is very convenient to work for a company because all you have to do is go get tested and show up, you get your makeup done, all the lighting is set up, there’s a director, there’s talent, and you just have to book, and then you go home. Whereas now everything is on me. Since I produce now it’s like, I have to plan ahead, but the planning is on me. I have to plan the makeup, the videographer, the talent, location, wardrobe.

And then on top of that, I still have to show up on set and actually be that talent. So it is more time-consuming now. But the rewards are greater because I get to have creative control. Not feature dancing — honestly, even though I miss it, it’s a bit of a blessing because I love being home and I’m okay with going and producing and directing. But then I get to come home whereas before, you had to be creative with how you make your income because shooting scenes wasn’t enough. And so feature dancing was very, very lucrative, but you were gone a lot and I’m not going to lie, that kind of like life on the road was really hard.

So even though I feel like it’s I feel like I’m more — I’m not sure if I’m more exhausted now, or if I was more exhausted before. And now I do work longer hours. Like yesterday was my solo day. And what that means is I wake up, my makeup artist comes to my house, does my makeup and hair and I just shoot all day. I’ve shot 16 hours in a day before and it’s very tiring, because it’s just you and the camera, and you’re moving the lights and you’re changing location.

Whereas like I said earlier, if I were to do that on set, I go to set and everything’s done for me. And it’s just easier. It’s still hard work. I guess it requires less brainpower, to be honest. Whereas now everything is just on me. If I fail, any aspect of my day, the day will just fall apart, but I get to be home, and it is a blessing. So definitely not complaining. But I just feel like my workload is more now. But again, very, very grateful. I love producing content. And I love having that creative control. And I also love hearing feedback from fans, if they like a certain solo. It just gives me like fire to create more to expand to be more fancy with stuff.

Adult Empire: Because a lot of performers have said, and it sounds like you’re echoing this, that there’s been a lot more power given to the actors in the industry in the last, say, 10 years.

Nikki Benz: Yeah. And honestly, thank God, because we do work hard. And I feel like before advancement of like platforms like OnlyFans, Loyal Fans, and the plethora, we were kind of at the mercy of the studio. And even though it was great to work for most studios — not all because there’s bad apples in the industry — but it was just we didn’t have the controls in my hands. And I love that because I also feel safer when I’m producing because I know exactly what’s going to happen. And I know exactly who’s going to be on set. And I want everybody on set on my side because I’m paying them. So there’s no surprises, right?

Adult Empire: What would you say is the most unglamorous aspect of pornstar life?

Well, you know what, let’s get down and dirty, right? Getting tested. And not everybody loves needles. It’s not fun. And we have to get tested every 14 days, sometimes every seven days, which is I’m so glad for that. I’m okay with that. But it’s not glamorous driving every week or every two weeks getting a needle in your arm. It’s not cute. And I know a lot of performers hate needles, right? So it’s like they’re not looking forward to it. I don’t mind them. I’m not excited about it, but I don’t pass out.

I think also, you know, if you’re like an anal queen, the prep work that goes into cleaning out: you’re supposed to not eat for certain amount of hours. It’s work. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes grit that goes into it, but the fans don’t get to see and thank god because they don’t need to see that because they would be so turned off. They just need to see the final pretty package wrapped in a beautiful shiny bow. Like they don’t need to know what’s going on behind the scenes. But a lot can happen behind the scenes. Like for example, a lot of my fans were on me — “Nikki, you’ve never shot with an Asian actor.” And I had to think about it. I’m like, they’re right.

But you also have to remember most of my career, the studios are picking out actors, not me. And there weren’t really a lot of Asian performers to begin with, and there really aren’t. So I listen to them. I booked my location. I booked my makeup, right? I booked everything. And then the agent of that performer calls me the day before my shoot ends like oh, he’s canceling. Something’s wrong with him. He can’t do the shoot. But stuff like that happens and fan know that, you know, and it’s like, oh, man, so then I lose out. I have to lose out on paying everybody because I can still go into work and make it a solo day. But if I don’t do that, I still have to pay people kill fees. Because it’s not their fault the talent cancelled and stuff like that happens.

There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes movement that happens that again fans are never going to know, because why would they? But I guess like last-minute cancellations, testing is not fun. And then like, if you do certain type of scenes like anal, then you have to like prep for it, which is definitely not glamorous.

Adult Empire: The term gonzo porn was once and perhaps still is a byword in porn, and is something that has evolved over the years. Do you think that’s still a relevant term? And what’s your take on that term?

Nikki Benz: I’m going to speak for me and like a few other performers that I know. But when they shoot a [self-produced scene], it’s typically still gonzo. You’re not going to have a 12 crew on set, like 20 hours shoot day. You’re going to go in and shoot and like be done in like four or five, maybe six hours at the most. And that’s usually gonzo, right? It’s not heavy scripted. It’s like, tiny intro tease. And then it goes into gonzo. I’m not going to shoot a feature. It just makes no sense to do that.

Adult Empire: You’ve shot many movies for studios while also often producing your own original content. Compare and contrast those two types of production experiences.

Nikki Benz: So last year, I shot for Naughty America. I shot five scenes for them. And I’m telling you, it was just such a pleasure shooting for them. Because I love the camaraderie that you have on set. Because at home, I shoot different things. I shoot a lot of solo, and then I shoot with other talent, but mostly it’s solo stuff. So when I’m shooting solo, it gets kind of like very monotonous. I’m by myself all day shooting. Once my makeup artists leaves, it’s just me, but being on set, and having other people there and just like the banter back and forth, and the camaraderie. I really, really enjoy that very, very much. So I do miss that because it’s the best thing. Like it just puts me in a good mood. I love being around great people.

Adult Empire: Do you have any surprising kinks or fetishes that fans might not know so much about?

Nikki Benz: So the male population, you guys are very, very good at fetishes. A lot of guys have all these fetishes. And I feel like maybe women have slightly less. I don’t know, because I don’t know what my fetish is. I’m not speaking for everybody, but I feel like I really don’t know what my fetish is. Do I have one? I don’t know. I know I like lace. But that’s not a fetish. That’s like clothing, you know? But when it comes to sexual fetishes, I don’t know I have one.

Adult Empire: If you just kind of like lace in an everyday manner, I suppose it’s not a fetish, but I don’t know what you’re doing with the lace, so . . .

Nikki Benz: I love wearing it. I think it looks sexy. But like a fetish, like a sexual fetish. I don’t know. I mean, like, I go through stages, like I used to love to threesomes when I used to, shoot for companies, but is it a fetish? Really? I don’t know that it is. Whenever you say fetish, I picture people like smelling feet, or like peeing in the shower. And I have done that. I have done the golden showers with an ex. And it was so hot for a little bit and then I was over it.

Adult Empire: So there was there was an excitement to it the first time, the thrill, but it faded?

Nikki Benz: Yeah, because we were both so into it because it’s like new to us. Believe it or not, I’m not a freak. I’m very normal and very conservative in my life. The most freakish thing I think I’ve ever done was stick Skittles in my ass and have Mike Adriano eat it. But other than that, my scenes are very just like normal mainstream stuff. I don’t do fetish. I don’t do anything crazy. I’ve never been DP’d, gangbanged. It’s not my thing. So outside of adult, I’m just conservative. My friends always make fun of me. They’re like, you have two ways of dressing up, either a stripper or nun. I’m always covered up. I don’t want any attention on me when I’m walking around, you know? I think sometimes people, the fans maybe like think — and some some adult stars are like that. They’re like super sex freaks outside of porn. And more blessings to them. But I’m not. I’m just very normal, as normal as I can be.

Adult Empire: So that Skittles bit that you mentioned, what what was that for? Just give us a little insight into that.

Nikki Benz: It was my first time working with Mike Adriano, I think. And I know he does very outlandish scenes. And I had a talk with him. I’m like, Mike, I don’t know if I’ll be comfortable doing certain things with me that you do with other girls. But I’ll think of something like crazy to do I’ve never done before, and he had Skittles on set. Because girls do a lot of anal on his sets. It’s the only thing they could eat. I don’t know, like gummies and Skittles. You know about that, right? The day of your shoot, you only eat gummy bears. You can still coat your stomach. But you don’t have any food in you. That’s what you do for anal days.

So he had like gummy bears and Skittles. And I’m like, hey, how would you feel about me putting Skittles in my ass and you can eat it out. And he’s like, are you serious? I’m like, yeah. So literally to this day whenever fans come to one of my meetings, like whether I’m feature dancing or whatnot, they bring a bag of Skittles. So they can “taste the rainbow.” It’s so funny. Yeah, that was my wild days. I don’t think I would ever do that now. But who knows?

Adult Empire: So tell us a little bit about your pets. We’ve seen you tweeting about them as well.

Nikki Benz holds her pet.Nikki Benz: Yes, they’re my babies. I love them. I have two Pomeranians, boy and a girl, Ollie and Kiss Me. They’re from South Korea. And they’re just the sweetest little dogs ever. I love them. They’re my kids. They’re literally my kids. I really have a trust formed for them. So if I die tomorrow, two days from now in a car accident — God forbid, right? — they have a trust so somebody is assigned to take care of them and make sure that they’re going to be okay for the rest of their lives. That’s how much I love them.

Adult Empire: So, tell me, if you go to a coffee shop, what’s your  go-to coffee order?

Nikki Benz: I love a caramel macchiato at Starbucks. You can never go wrong like that. And I believe it or not, I like my drinks hot in the summer. Because if you actually look this up, and it’s a fact hot drinks cool you down faster than cold drinks. Because your body actually has to work harder when you’re drinking cold to regulate it and warm it up.

Adult Empire: What does a typical day look like for you?

Nikki Benz: I don’t have a typical day, because every day is different, which is exciting. But I get up early. Before my surgery, I would go and do Pilates in the morning. I can’t do that right now. Because they still have to wait a little bit because of the boobies. But I would do Pilates. You know, it depends. Like if I have a solo day, I’d have my makeup artists come here and do my makeup and hair. She’d leave and I just shoot all day. If I’m shooting with other talent, obviously, I have to prep for that and go to set.

And I feel like the thing is, I don’t really have days off. I know, I don’t shoot every day. But on my day off, I’m still working, like on my laptop on my phone. I’m doing errands that are work-related. So we’re all small business owners. When you own your own  production company, you’re still a small business owner. And so you do you really have a day off? I don’t think so. Because I’m always doing something work-related.

Adult Empire: So if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Nikki Benz: Can I still come back to America?

Adult Empire: You can choose whatever you want.

Nikki Benz: I don’t know, you know? I’m 41, dude. I’m getting up there. You know what I mean? But whatever, Beyonce’s 41. And that bitch is hot. So I’m okay for now. But I am so fortunate that I forced myself every year for my birthday to travel to a different country and experience a different culture. And I would bring my friends with me to because I was the adventurous one that would be like, no, we’re not going to Vegas. Again. We’re not going to Miami. We’re going to Thailand. We’re going to Colombia. We’re going to Greece. I was that friend. But I’m so thankful to do that.

Because to get back to your question, I kind of have gotten to experience a lot of different cultures. And I can say that I would love to live in Greece. That’d be amazing. Part time. Maybe part time in Thailand. I don’t know. I would love to live in Japan part time, too. I mean, as you can see, I can’t just pinpoint one country.

Adult Empire: Is there a food that you would consider a guilty pleasure?

Nikki Benz: Yeah, so I love potatoes. I love mashed potatoes. And I’m Ukrainian and Ukrainians put sour cream on everything. So I love mashed potatoes with sour cream. I can eat that every day. Yum.

Adult Empire: If you had a single piece of advice to give to someone who is getting wanting to get into the industry, what would that be?

Nikki Benz: I think I would say absolutely know your boundaries going into the industry, don’t let somebody pressure you into doing something, don’t let somebody bait and switch you on set. That happened to me. Just know your boundaries and stand by them. It’s just going to be better for everybody. And advice number two, because it’s important. Because I’ve seen girls come in, make a lot of money, and then I don’t know where their money went. And so just be smart with your money, be financially literate.

Adult Empire: It’s a related question, but was there any piece of advice or lesson that you got in your very early days in the industry that was very, very helpful to you?

Nikki Benz: In my early days, it was so different than what it is now. I was always contracted. So I feel like I just had extra protection. It was just like I was in a bubble. And I kind of know what’s going to happen all the time, because you’re under contract, and you kind of just know what your year is going to look like for the next year. But I think I’m going to get back to boundaries, because even then, when I was negotiating my contracts, I made sure I changed or put certain things in, that made me comfortable. And that was a boundary that the company would have to respect.

Adult Empire: What’s coming up next for Nikki Benz? What can fans expect?

Nikki Benz: I haven’t signed the AVN convention in a while. And the last time I was there was when I hosted and then after that fucking COVID broke out. And I haven’t been to AVN on since then. So I’m actually going in 2024, and I’m going to sign for a company. I can’t say who it is just yet. So I’m excited about that. Because I love seeing my fans and meeting new fans. So I’m looking forward to that. I love making my fans happy. And I love getting feedback.

Adult Empire: Do you have any projects coming up that you have in mind that you’d like to tease?

Nikki Benz: So I started this series called Throat Queen, and I’ve had such a good response to it. So far, I have shot volume one and volume two. So I’m going to shoot volume three. But then I realized that the fans like some sort of order as well. So when there’s like a series, they respond really well to it. So I’m going to start a new series and something to do with my boobs, because it’s only right.

Adult Empire: There you go. Yeah, Boob Queen, maybe something like that!

Nikki Benz: Now I have to pay you royalties because you came up with the name!

Adult Empire: There you go. I’ll give you that one gratis. Well, that’s all I have for you. But this has been really great, Nikki!

Nikki Benz: Yeah, it’s been fun!

Browse Nikki Benz porn videos and clips >>

Featured image courtesy Nikki Benz’s official Twitter account

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