by Rock ‘n Roll Ghost
I’m guilty, I admit it. I was smitten by Ryan Keely from a picture her publicist, an associate of mine going back at least a decade, posted of her on Facebook. I succumbed to my base animal desires and asked him if Keely was available for an interview. Turned out I was in luck. But now the hard part: what do I talk about with a woman I knew nothing about aside from the fact that she was very attractive and involved in the “adult” business?
Turns out, Keely is not in any way some dumb bimbo or a tortured soul who wound up in “porn” because Uncle Tommy played with her in ways a relative shouldn’t. Keely is a self-educated, but highly attuned sex education expert – someone who, until recently, had a company specializing in sexual education seminars that went across the country teaching people the ins and outs of their sexuality. She’s a voracious reader, not only on her given subject, but of classic literature, comic books (or graphic novels, however you wish to refer to them) and pure trash.
Keely also trained intensively for eight years in theater, as well as volunteering behind the scenes at numerous theater festivals in Seattle. Her acting talents will soon be displayed in her first forays into “straight” film. The first, from actor Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, JFK), Pennhurst, Keely will play a “sexy ghost”, the other, Girls Gone Dead, a horror film featuring scream queen Linnea Quigley. “It’s a really fun way to mix things up,” Keely says about switching from her work in “adult” film to “straight” film and her other activities.
In addition to her acting gigs, Keely was recently hired to head up Fleshlight’s Girls Division in their business development department, where she’ll work on developing and marketing “marital aids” targeted at women. Her website, Ryan Keely.com – (warning: NSFW & must be 18 or older). The site features weekly photo and video updates, downloadable videos and much, much more.
This weekend Keely is in Cologne, Germany for Gamescom, the largest trade fair for interactive games and entertainment to promote Saints Row: The Third, an upcoming action-adventure game from THQ.
And as if all of this wasn’t enough, Keely continues to write her monthly advice column for Penthouse magazine (where she was runner up for Pet of the Year in 2010), The Dirty Details. Nothing makes her happy than helping others work through issues of any kind they may have with sex and sexuality. Keely loves to exercise (hiking, biking, yoga, pilates), cook and drink fancy, fancy beers. “I’m one of those personalities that needs to be constantly evolving and challenging myself,” Keely says. I’ll continue to keep an eye out on her evolution.
Rock ‘n Roll Ghost: With regards to the advice column – how did you get approached for that and what’s your background in sex education?
Ryan Keely: I’ve always taught sex ed. I’m definitely self-educated. I haven’t seen fit to go to college yet. I’m much more interested in an honorary degree than earning one. (laughs) I started working with women and couples at a very early age in San Diego where part of my job was being exceptionally knowledgeable on all of the sex products and books on the market and learning to apply that knowledge to each individual couple. From that, my passion and interest has always grown and remained solid. The past year, just because of popular request, seeing my body of work, Penthouse asked me to write the column, which I now do exclusively. I sold my company doing seminars because I don’t have time, but I’d love to go back and do that in the future.
What about doing the seminars spoke to you or makes you want to return to it again?
Ryan Keely: I love dealing with individuals on a one-on-one, face-to-face basis. And as much as I love doing my column I don’t get enough interaction with people with highly specific problems. Sometimes a sex problem takes more than thirteen hundred to fifteen hundred words I have of column space.
Do you find, in writing the column, that you have questions you need to ask back to the person submitting them?
Ryan Keely: All the time. I look really hard and try to find a focused, all inclusive answer that can help people through the majority of the situation. I always encourage people to follow up.
Ryan Keely: Absolutely. I’m not perfect and the best part of my column is that it’s always pushing me to learn about things that I wouldn’t necessarily know about on my own. I have an extensive collection of sex education books. I ask other experts as well to come up with a solid answer. That’s what I love about my column.
I have to imagine it feels good to help people. Even nowadays when there’s more freedom in talking about things, people are still closed up on the subject.
Ryan Keely: People are more comfortable talking about a sex act, it doesn’t mean that they’re actually more comfortable WITH the sex act. I feel that a lot of people are putting on a big show about talking about sexuality when they’re not as comfortable with it as they like people to believe they are. I think that’s caused by a large rift in the sex education system and the sexuality on TV. What’s really inspired me in my sex education and in the great books that I’ve read is to connect sexuality with spirituality and I believe that’s a message that’s not being taught anywhere.
Ryan Keely: Sex is an incredibly intense and incredibly spiritual experience. Very few people scream out God’s name anywhere except in the bedroom. No matter what high power or lack of a high power you believe in, it’s a moving experience, and one that can shake you to your core. Treating it like something that’s cheap, I don’t think necessarily respects the act in the way that it should be. Although I am no longer a Catholic and currently claim Atheism as my religion, I was raised Catholic and I was raised in the Catholic tradition. One of the things I loved about going to Catholic school and Catholic sex education is that they taught the reason that you abstain until marriage is that your sexuality is such an amazing, powerful gift that it shouldn’t be cheapened by throwing it around. And it was so spiritual and so intense that it should only be shared with one special person. Clearly I don’t believe that by being an adult performer. (laughs) I do think that there’s some truth in the fact that our sexuality is a special gift and should be respected.
Do you ever recoil at some of the less reputable people that you may have to deal with in the industry?
Ryan Keely: No matter what job have, no matter what industry you work in there’s going to be parts of it you don’t like. You take the good with the bad. The one reason I keep working in adult…I was in a taxi cab with Jiz Lee, who is an amazing transgender performer, and we were talking about another performer. And normally when girls talk about another girl, they’re tearing her down. But in this instance we could think of nothing but nice things to say about that girl. And in 95 – 98% of the conversations I have about other women in this industry, it’s ‘oh my gosh, she’s amazing, she’s wonderful, I can’t wait to work with her.’ And in no other industry do you have that solidarity between women and that much support. I couldn’t work in fashion or any other industry and get that on a daily basis.