Everyone knows Amelia G runs the Blue Blood empire and also does some of the photography and writing for it. Here on APN, we’ve featured photographs she has shot for Blue Blood many times and we’ve mentioned her writing once or twice. (You can also see the interview we did with Amelia G five years ago — Ed.) I write for APN and I have all the old Blue Blood print magazines from the 90’s in plastic bags with cardboard backing, so I thought I was pretty aware and I still found a lot on Amelia G’s new AmeliaG.com site to both inform and entertain me. In addition to running the business end of Blue Blood and working as an editor for many projects, Amelia G has had hundreds of photo sets published and thousands of articles. Amelia G has done writing and/or photography for all the major adult publishing houses including Playboy, Penthouse, Flynt, Crescent, Magna, and AVN, plus niche magazines including Marquis, On Our Backs, Skin Two, Tattoo Teasers, Fetish, Extreme Fetish, $pread, and of course Blue Blood. Her fiction has appeared in Best American Erotica, Best S/M Erotica, and Best Women’s Erotica and dozens more books. But she still took time out of her busy schedule to give APN this exclusive interview.
APN: Blue Blood magazine in print was really ground zero for jump-starting the whole altporn genre and you’ve managed to maintain a top ranking for Blue Blood for more than sixteen years. To what do you credit your remarkable success and longevity?
AG: Thanks. I always hope the universe will smile on me for hard work and doing the right thing, and sometimes it does. A big advantage Blue Blood had in coming to the web is that the magazine was always subscription-driven and we had free sites for the community for years before we launched our first membership site. We actually had paid members before we had even actually launched the first pay site because we tested out a banner rotation for a few minutes and people saw it. I really appreciate the support we’ve gotten over the years and try to really put a lot back into the scene and into having really great creative work on all my sites.
APN: Okay, so, in your bio on your new personal site, your thesis subject really jumped out at me. You wrote your thesis at Wesleyan University on vampire legends as a paradigm for aggressive human sexuality?
AG: I sure did. Kind of funny that it seemed sort of shocking, and outrageous, and possibly frivolous to be writing about that sort of topic, at a school like that, but it actually did turn out to be relevant to my job. The name Blue Blood is sort of a play on words with the blood for vampires and gothic spookyness and the blue meaning erotic as in blue movies, but the blue blood phrase overall connoting a certain tastefulness and strength. Especially in 1992, when I founded Blue Blood, it was very common for alt-identified people to feel like they had to accept second class citizen status. So the strength aspect is really important to the core manifesto for me. The most important message I would like readers or members to get from Blue Blood is that purple hair or tattoos or having kinky sex or otherwise living flamboyantly does not mean you are not entitled to the rewards of the larger society.
AG: The very first issue of Blue Blood, my friend Fish wrote a how-to article for safe bloodplay. Fish is a tattoo artist now and he was a military medic then, so he’s educated on the subject, but we got so many angry letters about that article. Blue Blood magazine even showed condoms in shoots and the article was about how to do bloodplay safely, so I’m very safety conscious, but some people just do not understand that it is not the extremity of a sexual practice which makes it unsafe. Unfortunately, in the internet distribution channel, we’ve been forced to move away from anything with blood in it.
APN: How does publishing on the internet instead of in print change whether you can have bloodplay?
AG: A lot of people get all caught up with definitions of genre based on what is and is not shown, but what can be shown in media is very dependent on distribution channel. For example, it did not used to be possible to show penetration in a magazine and be distributed on any newsstands outside of adult bookstores. Online, penetration makes no difference in where something can be seen. By contrast, if a web site accepts credit cards for memberships, they are likely to run into difficulties having any blood content. We’ve had to remove photo sets which showed only topless nudity where the girl was playing with blood made of vanilla-flavored corn syrup and food coloring because it was deemed extreme violence. If you watch Skinemax or cable channels like that, you can’t see penetration, but every other flick is a horror-themed excuse to douse topless women with fake blood. So it is not really that some distribution channels allow more and some allow less; they are just different.
AG: I love magazines. I still contribute to print projects and still create print projects. I love getting to hold a finished magazine in my hand. But the wonderful thing about the internet is that it is possible to go directly to the people who get it, without having to go through some distributor who hasn’t cracked an adult magazine in twenty years and thinks having tattoos is something that only teenagers would do. Despite a few restrictions on things like bloodplay, I find the internet easier from a distro standpoint. I think it is harder from a community standpoint. Back in the all print days, there used to be a lot of events where publishers would get together and we all traded quarter page ads with each and that is less the case for web publishers in this demographic.
APN: How do you feel about how altporn has evolved?
AG: Well, for one thing, I prefer the expression counterculture erotica to altporn, but I think altporn has definitely become the term for subculture-infused erotic media. In some respects, things are much easier today because being offbeat and being naked on camera have both been really destigmatized most places. In some respects, things being easier means
that there are a small percentage of people who decide they want to make altporn who don’t really have the sense of community or individuality which would once have definitely been there. Most people in it are cool, but it has become more difficult to recognize who I have things in common with now, because, for example, there are people who just dress a certain way to be accepted and they don’t really care about personal freedom or get what it is all about.
APN: Your personal pics section on AmeliaG.com is really funny and I spotted so many famous people with you in there. Is your life basically a twenty-four hour party where you go from Hummer limo to book reading to art show to nightclub to fab afterparty?
AG: When I actually do take a moment to go out on the town, I like to make it count. I’m really a workaholic, but I think a gallery of like fifteen shots of me holding a camera and seventy of me sitting at a computer would have been less entertaining than eighty-five of me having fun.
APN: My favorite part of your new AmeliaG.com site is the professional photography portfolio you have on there. I love that you have members of the Misfits, Genitorturers, and Marilyn Manson in there with altstars like Voltaire, Bella Vendetta, and my future wife April Flores and it somehow seems all of a piece. How do you choose who you are going to shoot?
AG: As an artist, it is really important to me that my work be seen, so I like to have an idea of where a shoot might be published. A few hundred people a week apply to appear on the various Blue Blood sites, including BlueBlood.com, BarelyEvil.com, GothicSluts.com, and RubberDollies.com in particular, and there is a submission form on BlueBloodPhoto.com. I, of course, publish other people’s photography even more often than my own on BlueBlood.com etc. and there are only so many hours in the day, but I do photograph select people from the Blue Blood apps. I do take commissions from publications, record labels, and such. In general, I most enjoy photographing people who have a certain spark, star quality, individuality, personal style, and passion for self-expression. Hotness is good, but there needs to be hotness with unique self-expression. After all, I think avoiding just conforming to someone else’s aesthetic is important to being alt.
APN: Thanks so much for your time. Congrats on the launch of AmeliaG.com. It looks fabulous, it is fun to look at, and it is really informative.
AG: Thank you for the interview and the kind words.