Riley Reid On Fame, Memes and Going Mainstream

This is the February 2019 cover story of AVN magazine. Click here for the full digital edition.

LOS ANGELES—Riley Reid remembers having a five-year plan for her journey into adult entertainment.

“When I initially started I had a goal in mind that was only to be in the industry for five years,” Reid recalls. “And then on my five-year mark was when I won like eight awards at AVN and became a Fleshlight Girl.

“I was kind of like, well, I guess I’m not stopping now because I feel like I’m only starting at this point.”

Reid’s AVN coronation came in January 2016. Fast forward to January 2019 and the now 27-year-old native of Miami without question has become one of the most famous porn stars in the world.

The superstar performer continues to take care of business, too, making a smooth transition into a savvy entrepreneur who is in control of her brand, executive producing and directing AVN-nominated scenes for her official website, ReidMyLips, as well as collaborating with other artists.

Now the subject of tens of thousands of raunchy internet memes based on screenshots of her in various stages of pleasure during sex scenes, Reid at press time in January had amassed 840 million video views on the adult industry’s most trafficked platform, Pornhub, where she had 761K subscribers to her channel and has been entrenched in the Top 5 Most Popular Porn Star rankings for more than three years.

The 2016 AVN Female Performer of the Year hasn’t stopped winning either. On January 26 in Las Vegas at the 36th AVN Awards at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, she captured her 17th and 18th trophies—for the fan-voted Favorite Porn Star Website and Social Media Star awards. It’s no wonder why Reid has racked up 1.1 million followers on Twitter, while her main Instagram account was followed by more than a million prior to it being deleted—her backup account @notbaconbooty had a following of 309K on just 21 posts in late January.

“I didn’t ever plan on this becoming my career, but when I hit that five-year mark that’s when I realized it has become my career and if I want to really excel—which I have already—then I should only pursue it further, which is why I continued,” Reid explains.

“And when I saw how I achieved all that—and not even necessarily really trying—it made me even want to strive harder and see what I was even capable of. Because at that point I was just kind of having fun.

“So it’s only been in the more recent years that I’ve tried to develop my brand specifically and have branched off doing my own website, creating ReidMyLips and having more than just Riley Reid. It’s been amazing.

“I didn’t know or expect any of this success to be able to be achieved. And I’m very fortunate, honestly. I just feel like I’m fortunate. I made good decisions along the way somehow. I think when you stay true to yourself things just maybe naturally fall into place or something … I don’t know…”


These days Reid tends to get recognized a lot when she’s in public. When she arrived at Coffee Bean in the Encino area of the San Fernando Valley for our interview, she managed to avoid being spotted while incognito in black sunglasses, a blue denim shirtdress and pink-and-white Nike sneakers.

“It’s definitely really bizarre,” Reid admits. “I definitely feel really fortunate because of the type of fame that I have. I’m famous enough but I’m like this taboo fame. I get the perks of being famous without having like paparazzi stalk me. There’s certain elements of it … like I wouldn’t want to be any more famous.

“I don’t want to not be able to be at Coffee Bean with you right now. … There is an element of it where porn helps keep it where people don’t really want to talk about it or whatever. But I still get recognized everywhere I go. Every country I go to. Even at the gym—girls, boys, young, old, fat, skinny, every ethnicity. It’s like every range of person, which is really crazy to me.

“I don’t know … It hasn’t been a negative impact in my life because like I said, I don’t have crazy paparazzi or horrible things like this. So as famous as I am it’s like a chill one.”

Reid’s most viral meme may be “Oh Fuck, Put It Back In.” But if that is No. 1, her “Oh Fuck Yeah, Spread It” one isn’t far behind.

“That’s like one of the newer ones,” she jokes. “I laugh. I love it … It’s so funny to me. I meet some fans on the internet and they’re like, ‘I didn’t know you do porn. You’re a meme star.’

“People think I make them. People think I’m this meme person, which is hilarious to me. I think it’s amazing. None of them are insulting to me or anything. I don’t feel I’m getting a lot of hate or anything like that. I like it. I think it’s fun. I encourage it.”

As Reid continues to build her empire—her premium Snapchat account through FanCentro has emerged as her main source of monthly income—she is becoming a natural ambassador for the industry, opening doors for mainstream artists to collaborate with her, whether it’s as a guest creative director for a ReidMyLips production or in other ways.

Last year she appeared on notorious YouTuber Logan Paul’s “Inpaulsive” podcast, which had 2.6 million views on YouTube a month ago; internationally known DJ and record producer Diplo attended the 2019 AVN Awards because of his acquaintance with Reid; and actor Macaulay Culkin tweeted a joke at her about the Oscars robbing her of the “DP” award.

“I’m trying to integrate these worlds into our porn world,” says Reid, who adds that even noted mathematician Eric Weinstein—managing director of Thiel Capital—has started a dialogue with her.

“... I’m so baffled. I get to help to break these walls down and I feel so flattered.”

She says her Yeezy sweatshirt—a collaboration with Kanye West that launched at the Pornhub Awards in September—introduced her to a larger audience.

“I do feel like after the Yeezy thing that was like a total different shift and I became even more accepted,” Reid says.

Through it all, Reid remains a sweetheart in person—whether she’s on the set, at a convention or at the gym.

Her longtime agent Mark Spiegler tells AVN directors like to hire Reid not only because of her bankable performances, but also because “she’s just so nice.”

“Spiegler always tells me being nice gets you a long way and I agree,” Reid says. “But I think it’s also just being true. I’m not just fake nice. I don’t know how to fake it.”


But ReidMyLips remains her baby; she invests a lot of time into planning for it.

“I try to shoot as much as possible. It is really hard—collaborating. Sometimes shoots fall through. I’m also really specific about what I’m shooting—from like every detail. I’m trying to narrow down the exact outfits and I’ll wait until I find the right outfit,” Reid explains. “So sometimes I won’t book a scene until I’ve gotten everything I want because I know how particular I am about everything.

“I try to take a lot of creative time into what I do because I care about the outcome. Then recently I’ve been really interested in collaborating with different artists, like mainstream people on Instagram. Maybe they don’t even have a lot of followers or whatever but I’m attracted to their aesthetics. So I’ve reached out to a lot of different people to have them be a creative director for my scenes—to kind of co-direct.”

Reid says many have expressed interest in being part of anything she’s doing.

“Like my insane asylum shoot was something where I had a creative director come into it. I was like, ‘I love your work. This is my concept shoot that I want to do. Will you help me do this?’

“... She’s a mainstream girl who shoots fun photography. I had been following her for four years actually. Then she finally contacted me saying she wanted to do a project with me.”

Reid continues, “It wasn’t until recently that I could really afford to put more money into my shoots. At the time when I first started following her I couldn’t afford to even hire her if I wanted to and she couldn’t afford my rate. And we weren’t available to cross trade. Finally, it’s come to the point where we’ve been able to do cross promo and we worked together. But there’s a variety of other people. … I just try to pick all these fun, random creatives that inspire me so that I can shoot fun things.

“... I definitely want to go away from what I’ve been shooting because it’s going to make me feel more creatively free.”

Reid says as much as she loves creating her own porn, she still loves shooting for other companies, too.

“I don’t want to stop shooting for other companies,” she adds. “But I do recognize that my time is more valuable not on set.”

Her "after-party" gangbang—when she gets carried away by six guys—for Greg Lansky's Blacked Raw also turned into a viral meme last year.

“That I was not expecting. Greg made it sound like he thought it was going to be huge and he was right,” Reid says. “I didn’t think that it really was that crazy big of a deal. It was exhausting; they had me dancing for a long time. It was a whole thing … And I had a great time. It was actually one of my best gangbangs. We broke the bed actually.

“It was a good time. But when it came out and I saw the internet I did not expect that kind of response. I just thought it would be the regular naughty response. It literally kind of became a meme. It went off; it was crazy.”

Reid works out with her personal trainer two or three times a week for up to three hours at a time. She says a lot of women approach her at the gym; her trainer is also a high school soccer coach who says his entire team knows her.

“He says they always ask about me,” Reid jokes.

When Reid isn’t working, she loves cooking and spending time with her dog.

“I Snapchat a lot. Even just my daily life. I always say it’s the reality show I never got,” Reid says with a smile. “I’m always just thinking of whatever my next thing is. … I feel like the work thing is never off necessarily, even when I’m at the gym.”

She’s also a foodie.

“I have a crazy food list,” Reid says. She maintains an extensive list of her favorite restaurants—organized by the type of food, such as “Italian, Vegetarian, Burgers, Brunch and Indian”—in her phone. “I love to eat gourmet, delicious food.”

“I’m crazy organized,” Reid continues. “I’m a crazy person. If you saw my linen closet, it matches. I’m very neat. Everything has a place. I have no junk drawer at my house...”




Photography by Keith Ryan