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Jesse Jane, porn star, discusses iPhones and 3-D movies at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. ((Peter Nowak/CBC))

LAS VEGAS — Technology and pornography have had a long, mutually beneficial relationship, with each depending on the other for growth. From smaller film cameras to VCRs to the internet, the porn business has relied on technology to reach its audience in increasingly personal ways. The technology makers, on the other hand, have needed the adult industry to buy their goods early to fuel further development and their eventual goal of reaching a larger, mainstream market.

Digital Playground, one of the bigger U.S. adult entertainment companies based in California's San Fernando valley — also known as "porn valley" — prides itself on being one of the first of the early technology adopters. The company, founded in 1993 by University of Southern California film student Ali Joone, was the first movie studio — adult or mainstream — to shoot a high-definition film (Island Fever 3 in 2004).

The company also prides itself on raising the bar in adult film production. Its Pirates: Stagnetti's Revenge release last September cost a record $10 million US to make and, besides the requisite X-rated sex scenes, features full-on plot, character development, dialogue and even special effects.

Jesse Jane, star of Pirates and current industry "it" girl, discussed the relationship between porn and technology with CBCNews.ca at the recent Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

CBCNews.ca: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into the business and why?

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas and I moved around a lot because my dad was in the Air Force. I currently live in Oklahoma.

This is my sixth year in the business, and I got into it by actually contacting Digital Playground. I liked porn and I wanted to be a porn star. They were really high quality, really classy, and I liked their product, and I wanted to be a part of it. I've always wanted to be a sex symbol, so I contacted them and asked, "How do I become a porn star?" They told me to e-mail some pictures, and I did, and the same day they called me back and said, "Hey, we've got a ticket for you to come down to L.A.. Let's talk."

So I flew to L.A. the next day and met with [company founders] Joone and Samantha Lewis, and the next day I had a contract. They had never seen me naked and never seen me perform a scene, and I had never done anything like that before. I had never been a stripper, I just worked at Hooters, and I was a Hawaiian Tropic model, but I knew what I wanted. I'm a very sexual person.

Lucky for me I've never been exposed to anything bad. I work with the No. 1 company, and they treat me really well, and still six years later, I'm having the time of my life. There's always new things — we travel the world, I only shoot five or six movies a year so I don't overshoot, and I still really enjoy it.

CBCNews.ca: With technology as advanced as it is, there's a lot of opportunities for actresses like yourself to go into business for yourself, as we've seen with several other adult stars. How much longer do you want to be a contract star? Do you see yourself doing something on your own in the future?

Definitely not. I'm partners with Digital Playground, and I get to experience a lot of things with them … I'm always [getting] a percentage [of film revenue]. When you run your own company, you lose a lot of contacts. I have contacts all around the world, but you have to learn a lot more about the business.

Don't get me wrong — I go on the business trips with them, I'm very smart and I get it, but why ruin something when I have good contacts and good distribution? They market me like nobody can market me, and they treat me good. It's not like I'm not making good money. Anything new that comes up, I'm definitely a part of with a percentage. We're going to make our own toy line this year, and we'll even have a Pirates line. I'm going to be part of making the mouldings for that line and wherever we go to pick them out. I really get to do a lot of stuff, so I'm not really ever excluded from anything.

And another thing about running your own company — those people that do it aren't as popular now as they used to be. Why risk that when I have such a good thing going on?

CBCNews.ca: So in your career, you've seen high-definition video come in. How has that changed what you do? There have been stories about actresses having to get surgery redone and that sort of thing.

A lot of people were worried about it, but in all honesty, it's the best thing that's happened to us, because a lot of women are now more comfortable watching porn because they see we're not these fancy characters. Every girl has a flaw. Guys feel like we're more realistic, we're not these blown-up things. When they meet you, you really look like that in person. You're not getting a "whoa, you don't look like that on film!"

You would think that in this business your job is your body and that many girls would take care of it, but a lot of them wouldn't because you can cheat with this lighting or that angle. Now it makes the girls work hard, and it's good for them. They'll actually work out now and eat better, or not sit there and drink. They take care of themselves because their skin will break out. It's a more realistic picture.

CBCNews.ca: Besides high-definition, what other technologies are you seeing that are notable or interesting?

There's always new stuff going on. Just in toys, they're always coming up with these inventions like Sybians and crazy machines to have sex with or get tied up with.

Now we're shooting on the Red [digital HD] cameras — I think Digital Playground is the only one — and we have all the Blu-ray coming out.   I'm learning with my little camera and my website, where I'm able to upload daily diary videos, which is fun. Technology is getting a lot easier to make things more personal with your fans. They like the daily clips. Now we can watch porn with our iPhones, and in the next month or two, with Digital Playground we're going to be able to stream, Twitter and live iChat on our website from our iPhones.

'Now we can watch porn with our iPhones, and in the next month or two, with Digital Playground we're going to be able to stream, Twitter and live iChat on our website from our iPhones.' —Jesse Jane

There's always something new coming up with technology in this business, which makes it really cool, really personal and convenient. If you travel a lot, like some of us girls do … I love my iPhone because I can sit there and check my e-mail and update my website from my phone while I'm sitting there waiting at the airport.  Who knows what's going to be next? I'm curious about what's next.

CBCNews.ca: Why is the industry so quick to adopt new technology?

I honestly don't know, I think they just want to be the first ones. They want to keep up with it because they want people to keep buying their product. So when new stuff comes out, people will buy it again. So it's almost like they're selling different pieces of the same product in a different way. That could be part of it — it's good money.

CBCNews.ca: One of the technologies that got a big buzz over at the Consumer Electronics Show was 3-D television. Joone was telling us he's thinking about doing a 3-D movie — has he said anything to you about it?

No, but honestly I've been travelling so much that I haven't seen anybody. But I think 3-D porn would be cool! Can you imagine a penis flying at you? Or … the boobs are popping out of the screen at you? That would be a lot of fun, almost like a game.

I'm sure Joone is on top of that, and if we do it, I think 3-D porn would be awesome!

CBCNews.ca: Porn has been moving mainstream for some time now, particularly in the past 10 years or so. How much more acceptable do you think it is today?

It's much more acceptable these days. Sex is not such a taboo word. Everybody is [still somewhat] afraid of sex, but we need to be more like Europe, where everybody is open about their sexuality. Sex is everywhere, everyone has sex, it's beautiful, it's natural, it's art. Just keep it away from kids, at least be over 18.

A lot of people who complain are the ones who are afraid of their sexuality, they don't have a good sex life, or they're uncomfortable and have no self-confidence with themselves, so they want to put the downer on everyone else. It's the ones who are not getting laid at home and who are worried about their husbands or are so uncomfortable about themselves because they've let themselves go. They look for porn and everything becomes our fault.