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She scrolled through Craigslist ads, agreeing to a “sketchy” bikini modeling shoot when she was 14. She first worked as a teacher’s assistant at a preschool, but quickly realized she “hated it, hated the responsibility of it.” Then she landed an internship at the high-fashion magazine V. Thanks to one chance encounter after graduation, her life would change forever. ” “It was like if you want to be an actress and [‘Kids’ director] Larry Clark approaches you,” she says.She answered an ad for a “masseuse” but chickened out when the parlor’s owner asked her to “practice” on him. “I immediately said, ‘Yes.’ ” That night, she worked a shift as a dominatrix at The Nutcracker Suite on 33rd Street.
Akira attended private preschool at Chelsea Day School.
“Once in a while I think I should go see a shrink to figure this out.
But part of me just doesn’t want to know.” She remembers taking a book out of the library about the reproductive system when she was in first grade and asking her dad, who was clearly uncomfortable with the request, to read it to her. It’s Me, Margaret” — a story of a girl’s sexual awakening, read by multitudes of young women with flashlights under their bed covers — left a “huge impression” on her. Akira was 13 when her family moved back stateside to Downtown Brooklyn and later Clinton Hill.
I’ve become more confident, more empowered, more sure of myself than I’ve ever been,” she writes.
“There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.” Akira (a stage name) says her life story doesn’t fit most porn-star stereotypes.