If you’re the type of thoughtful gentleman who takes the time to actually visit the website of his favorite adult film star, cam model or stripper, you may have noticed she has an Amazon Wish List. And you may have wondered: Does anyone actually ever use this thing? The answer is, yes, yes, yes, oh, god, yes…
Many adult entertainers have predictable items on their lists, such as sex toys, lingerie and high heels; others have less overtly sexual items.
A now-retired girl-on-girl performer, Joli’s wish list is comprised of a number of decidedly non-sexual items such as camping gear, food and luggage.
“My body is very specific,” she said. “Most lingerie bought off of the Internet just isn’t going to fit me. So it just didn’t make sense to list a bunch of underwear that wasn’t going to fit me.”
On the other hand, she’s an avid camper, gamer and anime fan. So two years ago, when a friend encouraged her to set up a wish list, she decided it was time to update her gear.
At first she didn’t expect to get anything. She just thought “Why not?” Not long after, she received a $100 Irish breakfast set. She’s still going through all the tea that came with it. Joli says she’s not exactly being showered with gifts, but they do trickle in.
“I wake up one morning, and something arrives. That’s great,” she said.
Whenever she gets an item, she tries to take a video of herself unboxing it or wearing it in public.
Ryan Keely is a friend of Joli’s who also has a wish list. Also retired, she says that she missed the boat a bit.
“I got into porn a little too late, and my website wasn’t ever going to be profitable,” she said.
Still, she was giving away content on Twitter while trying to grow her brand, so she also figured, “Why not?”
“It didn’t seem like too big of an ask to put a wish list together,” she said. “Everything on my list is something that I truly wanted.”
Keely’s wish list is filled with exercise equipment, books and camping gear, the last of which she calls her “zombie apocalypse supplies.”
“The lingerie on Amazon isn’t very nice,” she says, “and you can only have so many glass dildos.”
Perhaps the strangest item on her list isn’t anything exotic: it’s an extra-long power cable for a Schwinn exercise bike.
When Keely was active in the industry, she would get between one and three gifts in a month. Now that she’s retired she received gifts on Christmas and her birthday, around 10 a year total.
“I’m not making myself as available as I used to, so I don’t feel as comfortable asking people to send me presents,” she said.
Keely does not do unboxing videos, photo shoots or anything else when she gets a gift.
“To me, a gift is just that – a gift. There’s no quid pro quo involved,” she said.
Neither Keely nor Joli receive hugely expensive gifts. The most expensive gift that Joli ever received was a PlayStation. Keely received a couple of rare art photograph books and a pair of Ray-Bans but mostly just gets items for her zombie apocalypse survival kit.
Gift-giving doesn’t get nearly as weird as one might think. Joli’s lone experience with a weird fan wasn’t through Amazon. It was a guy who wanted to invest in her new business selling weed-infused beef jerky. Even when a guy bought her half the stuff on her list, he contacted her first to ask if she really wanted the gifts and was eminently respectful.
Keely has had fans spend more money on her than she thought was appropriate and said she didn’t feel comfortable accepting more gifts.
Strangely, we couldn’t find any men willing to go on record as being wish list Santa Clauses. However, we did talk to a self-described “hardcore lesbian” who only buys gifts for Keely. We’re going to call our hardcore lesbian friend Megan.
“I like buying people gifts. I always have,” Megan said.
When asked why she buys gifts for Keely, she’s pretty direct and simple about it.
“Because she’s pretty. It’s not like she knows me or we’ll ever be friends,” Megan said. “It’s just something nice to do for her.”
Megan purchased Keely a couple of items from her zombie apocalypse list as well as a book on costuming and lipstick. She tends to bundle gifts together.
Once the gift is sent, Megan considers the interaction over.
“The other day I was wondering if she was actually using that costuming book I sent her,” Megan said. “But it’s not my business what she does with it. She can throw it in a box for all I care. The fact that I gave it to her is what made me happy. I was almost going to ask her if I could buy her anything before she made her list.”
Any tax implications of adult entertainment gift-giving are solely on the gifter, not the giftee. Adam Libman is a tax accountant based in Southern California. He says that you can gift your favorite entertainer up to $14,000 worth of stuff every year. Anything beyond that goes into your lifetime gift allowance, which is currently $5.3 million. Anything above $5.3 million is taxed at 40 percent.
Libman said that the gift tax is a way to prevent wealthy families from finding a loophole in the inheritance tax code.
“It’s a way of preventing a small group of very wealthy families from ruling the United States, even though they do,” he said.
Libman points out one potential problem for gifters: If you live in a “community property” state, you can’t legally claim the camping gear you just bought your favorite porn star as a gift unless your wife agrees.
Why do people give gifts to adult entertainment stars, as opposed to Hollywood actors, professional athletes or elected officials? Joli believes it’s a way of creating a connection.
“You can’t really get memorabilia from me, and I don’t do conventions anymore,” she said. “It’s their way of maintaining a relationship.”
Keely likens it to men in a strip club, saying, “It’s like tipping a dancer.”
Megan has yet another take.
“I think people want to spoil porn stars because they’re doing something for our enjoyment,” she said. “It perpetuates the dream that she could be mine if I buy her enough stuff.”
She quickly clarified that that’s not what she thinks but rather what she thinks drives men.