Jincey Lumpkin, Creator/JuicyPinkBox
A security-guard examines my credentials, takes a hard look at me, then steps aside, sweeping the length of his enormous arm into the dark doorway in a silent, “Right this way.” I see her immediately, the subject of my next piece. She’s going over notes on a hip little device, but must’ve felt my gaze.
She stands to greet me in the underlit warehouse — the site of an erotica convention that is hosting her as keynote speaker — and I’m immediately hit with the unmistakable power of a woman put together. Her dark, thick curls hold their perfectly coiffed posture alongside a pale, flawless face. A mesmer of full lips stained the color of backlit blood smile in greeting. I am suddenly self-conscious that I hadn’t the foresight to style myself with such aplomb. I manage a smile, one leg somehow making its way in front of the other.
The archetypal little black dress hugs the hourglass she calls home rather hypnotically and a beautifully manicured hand reaches for mine in welcome. I like to believe she instinctively picks up on my nerves as she sits back down in a relaxed posture.
“Thank you so much for the Coke,” she says. (Before I arrived, she texted that she’d kill for one.)
“Are you kidding me?” I respond, thanking her for agreeing to chat for a minute about our next issue. I launch right in. “I suppose I’ve come to the right one to talk about feminine lesbians,” I observe. “I do have to warn you, though, that I’ve never taken any women’s studies classes or read any longform on feminism, so I’m sure what I’m about to ask is eight kinds of wrong in that regard.” She waves a hand.
“I’ve never had any women’s studies classes either,” she says, to my comfort. “I mean, I’ve experienced a lot as a woman, and I do go and research the subject from time to time — especially in preparation for lectures — so, it’s actually something I’m still learning about, as well.”
“I just want to examine femininity from different standpoints and find out what it means from various angles,” I tell her. “I know that femininity has its own power, but what does that mean, exactly?” Her look suggests I go on.
“Well, for example, when I think about male power, I instantly think physical strength and social standing. When I think about power in women, my mind immediately goes — is this sexist? — to their physical beauty.”
“Beauty certainly carries quite a bit of power,” she tells me. “Female beauty is highly commercialized — we have an entire industry devoted to the cultivation and maintenance of it.”
Jincey knows it well, being the CSO (Chief Sexy Officer) of Juicy Pink Box, a lesbian-run adult entertainment company geared toward audiovisual stimulation aimed to appeal specifically to lesbians. Dubbed the “Hugh Hefner of lesbian porn,” she’s created an empire devoted to the lesbian sex aesthetic that runs the gamut of cis/trans, femme/butch, top/bottom, and so on. A former Wall Street attorney, she left the business to pursue her passions — a good move. The sex-positive entrepreneur has been featured everywhere from “20/20” to “Sway in the Morning,” and is a Huffington Post regular.
“What you’re talking about with male ‘power,’ Berlin, is really more the concept of ‘male privilege.” I feel my face burn with controversy. “The idea that men, by sheer virtue of them being male, have certain advantages we have difficulty obtaining.”
“How do you personally get around that?” I ask.
“Honestly, the more I learn about the world and about people, the more I want to move away from the constructs of gender we’ve put in place. The more we reinforce ideas about ‘real men’ and ‘real women,’ the more we force ourselves into boxes that don’t fit.” She leans in. “I guess what I’m saying is f*ck feminine power. How about we just go after the same power?” I can’t argue with that … not that I want to.
“Someone brought up an interesting point to me recently,” I tell her, “someone being a femme lesbian … heels, skirts, all that womanly stuff … and she says she often feels invisible to other lesbians. Now, me? I’m thinking ‘Why do people need to know your sexuality, mama?’ These chicks should be approaching you regardless. That’s what I’ve always done. Or — and here’s a concept — approach them.’”
“I’ve absolutely been in a situation where I felt invisible as a femme lesbian!” she says. “When I was younger and went to gay bars, everyone assumed I was straight and wouldn’t talk to me! Because I look very traditionally feminine, pretty much everyone assumes I’m not gay.” She smiles. “I think you have to get bold and just go up to women.”
“That’s what you do?” I smile back.
“I walk right up to a woman I think is hot and say, ‘Can I buy you a drink?’” Now I’m burning with curiosity.
“What kind of woman?” I ask. “What’s your type?”
And without hesitation: “Great tits. High sex drive. Ambition. Humor. Positive outlook on life. But no type, really — it’s about chemistry.” Amen.
“Do you find that men and women watch porn for the same reasons?”
“YES!” she laugh-shouts. “To f*cking jerk off!”
“Ok, well some porn geared toward the dudes has these horrific scenes that serve the dark side of the male libido … bukkake, painful acts … is there a female-driven version of that dark side?”
“Lots of my female friends watch hardcore gang-bang and porn <supposedly> geared toward dudes,” she responds, stretching out the s-word. “I don’t think it’s a problem for women to watch anything they want to watch. I just like that Juicy Pink Box offers an alternative.”
Curious? See what it’s all about at JuicyPinkBox.com
JUSTINE JOLI, arthouse/fetish-film actress
Her long legs folded up on the couch, red hair lazily twisted into a bun atop her head, Justine Joli reaches for a shawl. She’s lean, pale, and settling in beneath the olive-colored fabric in her L.A. apartment. The Missouri-born bisexual bombshell turns her eyes my way again, and this time they’re alight with mischief. From beneath the covers, two slender arms reappear — one with a lighter, the other with a joint. She raises a brow, strikes the flint, and proceeds.
“I don’t think of myself as really feminine and I don’t think my friends do either,” she says, sweeping ashes off her Star Wars Stormtrooper tee. “I’m kind of gender-neutral, honestly. I mean look at me!” She holds up a leg clothed in a stretchy green fabric. “I’ve tried checking out men who are into really feminine things for a few tips and tricks, but for the most part, I still don’t completely get the definition of femininity.”
But it’s hard to know what she means by any of this. To look at her in her element, one would see a figure who’s comfortable in a number of adornments that the feminine enjoy: hair that’s been fussed over, cheekbones tinted in exotic shades, high-gloss lips, faux-lashes over alluringly painted eyes, and accessories that dangle from every corner of her body that will have them. Given the ‘girly’ stuff, there’s still another aspect of Justine that’s impossible to hide: her aggressiveness.
“I’ve been accused of acting like an alpha-male,” she says through the plume of pot-smoke she’s exhaled. “But why am I acting like an alpha-male when I summon my alpha-female in
I hold a hand up to decline the joint. “You got an example?” I ask.
“For example, I have no problem walking up to a woman and being upfront about it. I’ll just come out with it: ‘I would love to take you home and have sex with you.’ Some people have a problem with that — I don’t. [Being sexually straightforward] is not a guy thing.”
And I can’t say I’m surprised; we’ve talked about this before, being sex-positive. It’s one of the finer things a woman can take back from a society that’s worked so hard to repress it. The twice-made Penthouse Pet has used her prowess to her advantage, having been in the adult film industry since her late teens. Her portfolio consists of mostly fetish and art-house films and she’s known for her insistence on working strictly with women in front of the camera.
“I understand duality, though. I can catch a fish, gut it, scale it, then toss it over the coals of a fire I built.” She sits upright. “But at the same time, I’m the woman who will leave your ass behind if you’re making me late to a red-carpet event I’m dressed to kill for.”
She gets up, grabs an open bottle of white from the fridge, and pulls the cork out the rest of the way with her teeth. Flipping open a cabinet, she grabs a Mason jar — a Southern staple — for the occasion.
“I should be putting sweet tea in this thing,” she says, but pronounces it ‘swate tay,’ mocking my Southern accent terribly. I tut-tut and shake my head.
“That’s a muscadine jelly jar, boo,” I correct her.
“Well, it’s a wine jar now.” She purses her lips in a display of sass while dumping wine into a muscadine jelly jar. “What’s the magazine about this issue?” she asks, returning. I tell her it’s an exploration of femininity in people, regardless of one’s sexual assignment.
“It can get confusing,” I admit. “Because what exactly is femininity? Where does it live?”
She folds back up on the couch. “Some people in our community don’t get it, either, so …” she trails. “Some go out of their way to push some kind of … ultra-feminine agenda, but end up going overboard and doing horrifying things that don’t look good on feminine women or men. Being catty, backbiting, shit like that. That’s not what being feminine is about to me. The over-the-top stuff is all wrong,” she says, brows furrowing slightly. “There’s a difference between portraying femininity and being a cartoon. Women are often very covert when they’re catty; it’s hidden in body language and eye contact.” She talks about a popular reality TV show where female impersonators act less-than-cordial with one another. “What’s funny is that you expect women — especially models — to act like bitches [toward one another], but we’re very supportive. We constantly compliment and lift each other up, so I don’t understand certain representations of femininity that I see in the media.”
“Are you a feminist?” I implore.
“I’m a feminist, but in the sane sense that I feel women should be paid equally.” She side-eyes me. “Kind of ironic, though, seeing as how I have the only job on the planet where women are paid more than men.”
Check out her latest at JustineJoli.com