In the first two chapters of our week-long “PR and Porn” series, we spoke to top publicist Brian Gross about how he made his way in the industry and how his current job fits within the wide and colorful world of public relations. 

Today we are very fortunate to bring you the first part of our conversation with one of the most compelling personalities in the adult entertainment industry: performer, producer, director and Burning Angel Entertainment CEO Joanna Angel.

Like Brian Gross, Joanna Angel–a New Jersey native who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home–didn’t simply wake up one day with grand plans to shake up the adult entertainment industry. In her own words, it was “a bit of an accident—an experiment.”

In his senior year at Rutgers, Joanna’s roommate/business partner Mitch Fontaine noticed that the world of adult entertainment was a bit…monochromatic. Where was the porn for those brave souls who didn’t care for spray-tanned, fake-breasted starlets? Joanna explains:

“My roommate brought up the idea. I knew nothing about porn, sales or web design…I was an English major. But it was like a fire in my brain went off when he said ‘lets start a porn site’, and it drove me to want to turn it into something.”

After a little technical prep and creative brainstorming, their site, Burning Angel, went live.

“When it started, a lot people (my friends, my family) said ‘What the f**k did you just do?’ I remember thinking, I have two choices right now: Either take it down, move on and never speak of it again, or make it the coolest site ever.”

“That’s how it started. The stigma against porn drove me to succeed.”

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