AKA: Akira Lee
Born: January 2, 1986
Ethnicity: Asian, Japanese
Asa Akira (born January 3, 1985) is an American pornographic actress and adult film director.
Akira was born in Manhattan, New York, the only child of Japanese parents. She lived in SoHo and moved to Tokyo at age 9 when her father, a portrait photographer, was relocated there for work. She returned to the United States at age 13 and moved to Downtown Brooklyn and later Clinton Hill.
Akira was able to secure a scholarship to attend United Nations International School in Manhattan because her grandfather was a Japanese diplomat for 45 years. She wasn’t invited to return in her sophomore year because she received poor grades, so she enrolled in Washington Irving High School in Gramercy Park. She transferred to City-As-School for her senior year.
Akira began working as a dominatrix when she was 19 years old. She later worked as a stripper at the Hustler Club in New York. In 2006–07 she was a regular on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show and was known as the “Show Whore”. She met pornographic actress Gina Lynn on the show and she offered her porn work. Her first boy-girl scene was with Travis Knight for Gina Lynn Productions, after having already done several girl-girl scenes, mainly with Lynn. She then signed a contract with Voyeur Media before becoming a freelancer six months later. Asa is her real first name, which means “morning” in Japanese, and the last name in her stage name was taken from the anime film Akira.
Approximately one out of every three scenes Akira does involves Asian fetish roles, such as portraying a mail-order bride or a masseuse, covering her naked body in sushi, or wearing a kimono.
Akira received several award nominations for her role in David Aaron Clark’s 2009 film, Pure, in which she plays a telephonist at a fetish dungeon who has an affair with the head-mistress’ husband.
In 2011, she became a Fleshlight Girl. Her Fleshlight won the 2012 TLA Raw Award for “Best Sex Toy”.
Akira co-hosted the 30th Annual AVN Awards alongside pornographic actress Jesse Jane and comedian April Macie.] She won the AVN Female Performer of the Year Award that night. She was also the most awarded person during that ceremony.
In 2013, she made her directorial debut with Elegant Angel’s Gangbanged 6.
On October 9, 2013, Akira announced that she signed an exclusive performing contract with Wicked Pictures. Her debut film as a contract performer for the company was Asa Is Wicked.
Akira is a Spiegler Girl and represented by the Spiegler Agency.
Akira made a cameo appearance in the mainstream film Starlet.
In January 2014, Akira, Dana DeArmond, Chanel Preston, and Jessie Andrews were featured in a Cosmopolitan magazine article titled “4 Porn Stars on How They Stay Fit.” The article was inspired by actress Gabrielle Union’s comment made on Conan O’Brien’s talk show about striving to follow the fitness routines of the porn stars she saw at her gym.
In February 2014, Akira was a guest on Dr. Drew Pinsky’s radio show Loveline.
In 2011, Complex ranked Akira fourth on their list of “The Top 100 Hottest Porn Stars Right Now” and at sixth on their list of “The Top 50 Hottest Asian Porn Stars of All Time”. LA Weekly ranked her third on their list of “10 Innovative Porn Stars Who Could Be the Next Sasha Grey” in 2013. She was also placed on CNBC’s yearly list “The Dirty Dozen”, the site’s annual ranking of the adult industry’s most popular and successful stars in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
In 2013 Akira and artist David Choe started a free online podcast featuring 90-minute episodes called DVDASA. It is aimed at a young adult audience, with its goal being to help youth with their problems related to sexuality, career, relationships, etc.
Akira wrote a memoir titled Insatiable: Porn—A Love Story which was released in May 2014 by Grove Press. In July 2015, she signed a contract with Cleis Press to publish her second book, a collection of essays, which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2016.
In 2015, Akira replaced Belle Knox as the host of The Sex Factor, an upcoming reality show where eight men and eight women compete for a $1 million prize and a three-year porn contract.
On April 6, 2015 The Hundreds started releasing episodes for a series titled Hobbies with Asa Akira, which features Akira trying out different activities such as tattooing, boxing, taxidermy, and ice sculpting.
Akira states that she is sexually attracted to both men and “girls that look like boys”. She dislikes being called bisexual, claiming to lean towards heterosexuality but to still be uncertain. She was once engaged to pornographic actor Rocco Reed. In December 2012, she married pornographic actor and director Toni Ribas. She states that aside from their on-screen work, their relationship is monogamous.
Akira identifies as a feminist.