Vanessa Del Rio
XXX Film/Video Superstar
Sophie's Mentertainment® Issue May/June 1997
Sophie: Vanessa, hi. It's Sophie. How are you ?
Vanessa Del Rio
Vanessa Del RioVanessa: Good. I was just about getting ready to work out but I figured I'd wait for your call and then do it afterwards.
Sophie: Great. What do you do as a work-out?
Vanessa: Everything. I do the treadmill, I do weights. I have a Bowflex.
Sophie: How long do you work out?
Vanessa: Two hours, sometimes just an hour.
Sophie: What are your statistics. How tall are you?
Vanessa: I'm 5' 6". I'm forty...oh, I have my measurements downstairs. I always lie about the waist, so forget about it. Let's see, 45...
Sophie: That's your bust?
Vanessa: Yea. Somewhere in the 30-31 waist, and about 40 hips.
Sophie: I've seen a few pictures where you were small. And on recent pictures you are very busty.
Vanessa: I guess we get bigger as we age. I think I've been every possible shape. You know, you can't please all of the people all of the time, just some, some of the time.
VANESSA ON STRIPPING...
Sophie: When did you start all this adult stuff?
Vanessa: In 1974 I started making movies, but I had already been working as a go-go dancer. I started out as a computer programmer, but that didn't last because I was not the nine to five type.
Sophie: Are you originally from New York?
Vanessa: Yes. Born in Harlem.
Sophie: Where did you dance as a go-go dancer?
Vanessa: All over. You know, you get your assignments and they send you all over Manhattan and Queens.
Sophie: Were you topless at the time?
Vanessa: Yes. Let me think, that's going way back. Some were topless and some were totally nude. That's when all you needed was a bag full of g-strings, so you traveled light.
Sophie: Some of these girls that became features never danced before and they don't know how to dance.
Vanessa: You mean, they do movies just to get a feature name and then they go and they feature? I know a lot of dancers that had big grief because girls from the movies were getting paid more, no acts, they didn't know how to dance... The strippers that had spent thousands of dollars on their costumes were complaining that it wasn't fair. But, you know, it's all about the draw. But, I dance very well, if I do say so myself. And I strip the old fashioned way. It's about teasing. You can't give it to them all at once. I've actually seen girls take their bottoms off before they even take their tops off. They're giving away the whole goods the minute they get up there.
Sophie: I like the sentence, "You can't give it to them all at once."
Vanessa: Yea. I've seen some of them—as soon as they get up on stage they hike their skirts up and they either take off a g-string or they don't have one on to begin with and they still have their bras on, and I think that's a little backwards. Fast and backwards.
Sophie: I have seen once a girl make an awful lot of money. She wore some kind of a dress that was very slinky and had nothing underneath and she was just flashing.
Vanessa: Well, see, that's tease. If you can't really see it all and you just flash real quick, there's tease involved there. It's also a lot of attitude. If you come across with a very coy, sexy teasing attitude, guys love that, instead of the really aggressive. I saw one girl and she was actually hitting the guys in the face with her breasts. I found that kind of interesting. (laugh). I guess they say that you've got to have a gimmick.
Sophie: How do you dance that's teasing?
Vanessa: I wear a lot of things so that I can peel the clothes off. It's better when a woman just teasingly takes off piece by piece and becomes more and more naked. But then again, they don't have that long to dance nowadays anyway. They give them maybe two songs, so they've got these two songs to make all their money and you can't have much of an act in two quick songs.
Sophie: Every club is different. Most clubs you don't have the stage for yourself; you share it with other girls, so then it's even more difficult. I remember the last time you did a show in North Jersey at a place called Fantasie's at the time and it was about six or seven years ago. I didn't have a chance to see you then. So you work out two hours a day? you must be strong.
Vanessa: Well I just recently started doing it again. I had stopped for a few years. I stopped about two years ago and have just recently started again. I'm doing it more to tone down, firm up and slim down. I'm not looking to win any prizes.
Sophie: So that ambition is gone.
Vanessa: It's very hard to do it to that level. It has to be a real burning passion. You have to want it so badly that your whole life is encompassed by what you eat, what you do, how long you work out. You're constantly thinking about it.
ON THE WEB...
Sophie: So what did you fill up your life with?
Vanessa: I have a fan club and I'm getting ready to go on the web with my own page and then start my fan club on the web, and do live chats.
Sophie: On the Web? Does anybody else do that?
Vanessa: I don't know. There are a lot of girls that have web pages but I think they basically just sell their movies or something. I don't think they're doing live chats like I'm going to do.
Sophie: But you mean live chats by typing?
Sophie: So like a chat room that is all about you?
Vanessa: Yes. I want to take an approach where it's more of a mistress thing. I don't want it to be just about sex, pure sex. Instead it's going to be more like role playing and being more in control of the conversation. But, I have to actually get on there before I can actually talk about what I'm going to do, because I'm not sure.
Sophie: You've never chatted before?
Vanessa: No I haven't.
Sophie: You may want to try it first, see what works for you. I do an awful lot of chatting on the Internet and at the moment it's repetitious.
Vanessa: Yes, that's what I'm saying. I don't want to be there doing the same thing all the time. I'm not saying it's not about sex, because it is about sex. But I want something more stimulating instead of repetitive things like, "How big are your tits" or "What kind of panties are you wearing"? I don't mind that but I just want to encompass more than just that.
Sophie: Right. You don't want anything that has building block answers where you can just cut and paste.
Vanessa: Yes. I want to be interested. I want to be stimulated as well. I don't want it to be automatic. I want it fresh and interesting because then it will keep it fresh and interesting for everybody else.
ON DOING MOVIES...
Sophie: When did you do a movie last?
Vanessa: Oh, about.....
Sophie: You do still remember, right?
Vanessa: Oh, sure. I did it for about twelve years, I hope it's not a lost memory.
Sophie: I want to compare this chatting to sex and I want to see if doing movies and having sex in front of the camera with different partners is stimulating.
Vanessa: Oh yes. I mean you can't last in the business if it's not exciting. You have to feel something.
Sophie: Sometimes it's not even possible to feel it when somebody really means sex just for the sake of sex. So what do you have to possess? What special ability do you need to be able to generate yourself?
Vanessa: Well, there's got to be a certain part of you that's an exhibitionist. That is sexual to begin with, so once you start getting into it, you just naturally get into it because you have a sexuality that's expressing itself. I can't remember moments that I was thinking that I'd rather be someplace else. In the moment there is an adrenaline that's going on, and you're acting and you're enjoying yourself, so you have to be in the moment. That's what I think it takes.
Sophie: Does a man have to be desiring you just to get an erection?
Vanessa: No, I have heard a guy say that if he's not into the girl he's got to think about something else. The guys, I've got to give it to them. They've got to get it up in front of all these people. The guys have the harder job. A woman can fake it. She puts on high heels and stockings and she can prance around and fake being sexy just by looking sexy. With a guy, he actually has to show that he's turned on. So I give the guys credit because they can get hard-ons just being there, even if the girl doesn't turn them on. So that's a feat in itself, and they get paid less. This is the one area where women get paid more than men, and the men have to really put out.
Sophie: Why do you think that is?
Vanessa: It's because of the woman that the movie is being done for, I mean, unless you're doing gay films. That's what sells. It's men who are buying it. They're buying the women to see them in sex acts.
Sophie: So it's again a draw issue, right?.
Vanessa: Right. I don't think they're buying it for the guys. The guys have to be there though, because the viewers are imagining that they are that guy. So in essence the guy is just a piece of meat that's being used. Maybe the reason that there are so many problems, is because this is the only business where women actually are in control, if they know how to take the control. It's the woman who's getting paid more, it's the woman that commands the attention, she's in control. In other words, it's because of her that they're doing the movie. And the guy is just there to fulfill the fantasy of the guy that's buying the movie. I'm just looking at it facetiously like that. In essence, he's the one that has to do all the work, because putting on high heels and stockings isn't work to us, it's part of us. He's not really working that hard either, but he's got to actually have a hard-on. So that to me is tough.
Sophie: I probably couldn't get it up.
Vanessa: But yet these guys that do it have been around for years. They're like sex machines, I suppose. But you know what I found interesting? The last time I did movies, and I haven't done movies in a while — the last bunch in 1985-1986, and I happened to notice that the guys' balls were smaller than I remembered and I think that's because they use them so much, they're constantly using them in a way that they can always get hard-ons. That was a silly observation on my part, but just an observation. I just happened to think—tooling at this guy's balls—that his balls were smaller than I remembered and it's because he makes so many movies.
Sophie: So when you make movies, you have way more sex than you would in the normal course of life, right?
Vanessa: No, not necessarily, because in the twelve years that I did movies I only did about 100, maybe 120. And that may sound like a lot, but nowadays, they'll do that many in two years. When I was in it, it wasn't something I did all the time. I didn't like to work all the time because I didn't want to wear out my sexuality and I didn't want to be overexposed.
Sophie: So the 120 was 120 movies?
Vanessa: Well that includes the little quick 8mm ones and the full features. So between all of them, I only did about 120. But then what they did was take little clips and then make another movie out of that, so it may seem like I did a lot more.
Sophie: So having sex 120 times in ten years is not so horribly much then?
Vanessa: No, even more than that is not so horribly much.
Sophie: Right. So it's not like one after the other? Because in a normal movie they would take and re-take and take again, and that could be very tiring...
Vanessa: Yes, well, in the course of a day you have to keep at it. I remember there was one small company, or group of people, that used to do loops and were known for wearing out the actors. He would just keep shooting. I actually saw this girl, just her face, and it was like, "Can we just get out of here?" And it was funny because the camera was behind her so they couldn't see her face and the guy is fucking her from behind and I was looking on because I was behind the scenes and she had the most disgusted look on her face, and the cameras couldn't see. She literally had her chin on her hand, almost like strumming her fingers, and she just looked totally disgusted, just like, "All right already." And the guy's just going at it and going at it. And sometimes what happens is that if you do that for too long, the guy can't come. He has a hard-on, but he can't come, because it's so much stop and start that it almost gets stuck on hard-on and the guy (the producer) would take full advantage of that and just shoot from every conceivable angle to get all this footage.
Sophie: That must also be painful, because there is no more lubricant...
Vanessa: Well, you know, they stop and lubricate.
Sophie: Ha-ha. What do they do to lubricate?
Vanessa: They say, "Auw, I'm dry, get me some k-y." At that time they used k-y or better yet, Albuline cream. I don't even know if they sell it any more that make-up remover. It stays very lubricated for a long time whereas k-y would get real tacky.
Sophie: No, I never needed lubricant, ha-ha.
Vanessa: Well, if you're on a set all day long.
Sophie: Well actually I lied. There was one boyfriend who was really much more sexual than I was. I was just like, "Oh, please... Enough"
JASMIN ST. CLAIRE
Sophie: This girl, Jasmin St. Claire, who did this movie with three hundred guys, what did she have to do to be able to even just physically go through that? What do you think?
Vanessa: I don't know, grit her teeth? I have no idea. I guess it was a stunt, like how outrageous can you get, in order for people to notice you and book you as a feature or whatever.
Sophie: She was performing on Staten Island a couple of weeks ago, and she got on the Howard Stern show, etc. But she doesn't necessarily look like anything special, but it did get her some level of recognition.
Vanessa: Right, but I mean, whoa, can you top this?
Sophie: She's trying to.
Vanessa: You know, there was another girl that I think had two hundred and fifty, and then this girl topped her. But I heard that it wasn't three hundred different guys. A couple of guys went a couple of times and she counts that as a new guy. Again, a piece of meat. Forget the face, if you go that's one time, if you go again, that's two times. You can't notice who's on you, so it just becomes the act itself, and you just count how many times. If you get ten guys, and they each do it thirty times a piece, that's three hundred guys.
Sophie: I don't think anybody can do it thirty times. They want to show the cum shots.
Vanessa: Okay, not thirty times, maybe ten.
Sophie: I don't know anybody that can do it ten times, do you?
Vanessa: Well, no, maybe five. It keeps coming down now, right?
Sophie: Okay, going towards reality.
Vanessa: Okay, we're lucky if we get two, right?
Vanessa: Some guys can, some guys can't.
Sophie: Yea, I had "one." (ha-ha) The very first time they look like studs. I don't know what happens to a man's brain when they get together with the woman for the first time. But by the second time it's like an old story. Well, anyway, that's fine with me.
THE CONTEST ON THE 29TH...
Sophie: So what else do you suggest that I ask you, because you know yourself more than I do? Is there anything that you would like people to know, or do you have a strong opinion about something, or a purpose that you go for? They got you to be the hostess for this event on the 29th, right?
Sophie: Now, this will get you out there, and maybe there will be people who only come because of you, right? And then either they stay for the main event or they don't, but you like to be liked, right?
Vanessa: Oh sure. All performers want to be applauded, want to be liked. You want to be adored and loved and you just want to see a crowd in front of you clapping.
Sophie: Do you have a lot of opportunities?
Vanessa: I was on the dance circuit for a while, I still do a little bit but not much. I do video store signings and they get pretty crowded. The stores to me are fun in particular because you stand there and a big crowd of guys come and they are just standing there in front of you just staring at you, and I sometimes think to myself that this would be weird for some people, being the center of attention in fluorescent light in a store, as opposed to on a stage, where you are performing and the bright lights are only on you. There are no lights going off, there are no costumes, you're not performing...you're just standing there. So, my sense of humor has really developed in these situations because... what are you going to do? They're staring at you, you're staring at them and somebody should say something, and it's interesting what you can get out of yourself to make a conversation with a bunch of men just staring at you, really intimidated. But yet they come, literally, (ha-ha), which makes it fun. I like to break the ice in those situations and get them talking. Very few of them are jerks that will come up and be really aggressive. They are basically intimidated, they're like little boys. It's fun to just try and start a conversation. I sometimes feel that I have to be a comedienne of sorts and I think that's why my sense of humor has come out, from those situations.
Sophie: That's wonderful. Well, you actually are very bubbly. It's refreshing. I can see you smiling and laughing and just having a great time, and that's great. It's very rare. People don't have much of a good time any more, right?
Vanessa: People do take life too seriously.
MORE ABOUT THE CONTEST ON THE 29TH...
Vanessa: We should talk more about this contest.
Sophie: What do you know about this contest?
Vanessa: Not much. It's at Broadway II in Queens, and it's going to be exotic, Hispanic and Black. There are two prizes I think. The most exotic Black dancer and the most exotic Hispanic dancer.
Sophie: You know I'm trying to negotiate to Webcast it. To have cameras on location and directly broadcast it to the Web. We can set the camera's picture quality so that people on their computers will only see girls moving, and no faces. We have done it that way before, in a club, and it works. The girls are not recognizable and I don't need a model release. And Webcast it simultaneously, the night of the contest. Lloyd, one of the promoters asked you to do this gig?
Vanessa: To do the whole contest? Yes. He got in touch with me and he wanted me to host it. I think it's perfect because I'm Hispanic and I don't think there are enough Hispanic clubs that are showcased that are in the forefront of doing something that's as publicized as the most exotic Black dancer and the most exotic Hispanic dancer.
Sophie: I think that in general, courage is missing from this industry.
Vanessa: Well that's because society built that. So that little guilt complex runs through the whole industry. No matter how courageous you want to be, there is still something that holds you back. I think that we are courageous just by being there, trying to, anyway.
Sophie: Is there any area of the world that you know where people think differently? The Carnival in Brazil is a celebration of sexuality among others. And there is nothing to hide there. I mean we are all sexual and it's fun and it's wonderful and it's something to celebrate. Now when you say Hispanic club that showcases, I don't care what it showcases, but I think it should showcase the joy. But all I see in Hispanic clubs is being very commercial, very boring, and I think that's a mistake. I think dancing is fun and I think having sexual thoughts is great, very invigorating.
Vanessa: Actually, it's life.
Vanessa: It was nice talking to you.
Sophie: You too. It was fun.
Vanessa: Thanks very much.