Erika Jordan is brushing her brown hair in her bathroom while telling me about feet. She’s wearing a light-colored princess costume—from The Princess and the Frog—for a Halloween party she’s preparing to attend with her infant son. This is why she’s talking to me in the bathroom. Jordan, who lives in Long Beach, has her very young son, custom-video business and sex-therapy work occupying all her time, so the best way she could accommodate my interview request was with a Skype session from her bathroom while she prepared to go out.
Scheduling the session was far more difficult than I had anticipated. I knew she was extremely busy because it seems she’s constantly posting a photo or meme or something on Instagram (@ErikaJordan). And she’s always busy doing something, especially involving her Custom Dream Models (CDM) video business, which is why I wasn’t too surprised to get the following email while trying to set up a Skype time:
“I have been on hold to shoot a video for CDM with [model] Skylar Rene,” she wrote. “I am checking my P.O. box today, and if the 2 gallons of oil and kiddy pool are there, I have to shoot tomorrow in Tustin.”
In any case, we finally set up a time, which is how we came to talking about feet—specifically, the very focused needs of one of her regular video clients.
“We get a lot of repeat customers,” Jordan says. “We have one guy who gets a video every four months. It’s just an hour straight of feet. You would think that 20 to 30 minutes would be enough, but he’s adamant about it being 60 minutes. And most of the time, he picks the same model.”
In addition to running a company that produces custom videos, Jordan also works as a sex therapist for her online company Virtualsexpert.com. She learned how to do this at Loveology University, a West Hollywood-based online “sexology” training school founded in 2007 by Dr. Ava Cadell, who is herself a former model and B-movie actress.
“Erika was one of my smartest students,” Cadell says. “She’s a highly intelligent person who is hungry for knowledge. I’m very proud of her.”
Jordan still models, and because she also works as a health coach and fitness trainer, she often goes to the gym. Somewhere in all this, she’s taking college classes to get her master’s degree in clinical psychology and cares for her son. Her YouTube page has dozens of comedy bits, relationship advice, demo reels, and even a public-access-cable commercial she shot last year for Yorba Linda attorney Jeffrey Wilens, publicizing a class-action lawsuit he won against some Orange County motel owners who were screwing over the poor people who were staying there long-term. Oh, and every now and then, Jordan takes to Twitter to blast President Donald Trump.
“I am always told that as a public figure, I’m not supposed to have a political opinion so I don’t alienate a demographic of my fan base,” she says. “But I honestly can’t help myself on occasion when it comes to Trump. He’s mentally unstable, a pathological liar and has no right to be in politics. And I definitely get a little pushback when I post my opinion.”
But at the heart of Jordan’s work—all of it—is love. “I love love,” Jordan says in a YouTube video explaining why she created Virtualsexpert.com. “Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated not only with love itself, but [also] what creates love; what are the traits that attract us to a person, and how to heal from a break-up; how to find the right person for you—not just go after the people that you’re blindly attracted to.”
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Born in Ansbach, Germany, in 1982, Jordan and her family moved to Arizona when she was very young. It was not a happy childhood, she has said in another of her many YouTube videos. In fact, in her 2017 video titled “The Diary of a Playboy Bunny Turned Love Coach,” Jordan says her parents didn’t like each other and, at age 12, she was thrilled when they divorced.
Jordan said her home life made her “desperate for attention” when she was in middle school—so much so that, she says, she lost her virginity when she was 13 to a boy who told her she was pretty after a school recital. She moved out on her own when she turned 18, but, she says, “What I really wanted was a family.”
Ironically, given the strife at home, Jordan chose to go into B-movies because of her mother. Or rather, she says, she went into acting because she didn’t want to end up like her mother—a young woman who dreamed of being an artist but had to sideline that to raise a baby with a man she didn’t even like. Jordan’s plan was to basically live her life as she wanted in her young adult years, getting into Playboy and appearing in movies with tons of nudity and simulated sex, then settle down and raise a family later.
Jordan wasted little time. In fact, she was just 19 when she made her first movie, Attack of the Virgin Mummies. Jordan and two other white actresses play ancient Egyptian princesses who are killed by some evil guy, then are somehow reborn in contemporary Los Angeles, where the evil guy is now an evil mummy, so the princesses—who are now mummies, and whom I should probably mention are completely nude for most of the movie—have to destroy him with kickboxing. “It was hilarious and involved a martial-arts scene in which I had to fight the mummy on a stripper stage,” Jordan recalls.
Getting a start in Hollywood was rough. “I had been in theater throughout my childhood, so I ended up auditioning almost right away when I moved to Los Angeles,” Jordan says. “For the first six months, I was living out of a U-Haul, working seven days a week at a strip club to save up for a home, car and boobs, although not in that order. After I got settled, I started my career with Playboy. From The Weekend Flash to Totally Busted to Canoga Park and The Playboy Morning Show, I fell in love with sexy, funny style.”
Jordan has appeared in Playboy eight times and hosted or co-hosted a couple of Playboy TV shows. She has also acted in movies such as Piranhaconda, Avalanche Sharks and All American Bikini Car Wash. “I really liked After Midnight,” Jordan says. “It was one of the only movies I’ve done in which I was actually interested in reading the whole script and finding out what happens to all the other characters. Stretch with Jessica Alba and Chris Pine was also great, but that’s mostly because of the residuals.”
As far as B-movie acting was going, Jordan’s career flourished. But her plan to not make the same choices as her mother proved incompatible with her dream of starting a family. “A lot of guys don’t want to date a girl who’s been on Cinemax and HBO,” Jordan says in her 2017 biographical video. Her possible career choices outside of acting and modeling also became limited. “I can’t wake up tomorrow and be an elementary-school teacher. It means that any occupation I go into, I would have to deal with the ramifications of my past.”
In Jordan’s case, she decided to deal with those ramifications by embracing her past.
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Custom Dream Models, which Jordan runs with a partner who has extensive Hollywood special-effects experience (because he still works in the mainstream film industry, she asked that we not name him), has been in business since 2003. But I only heard of the whole customized-adult-video industry a couple of years ago. It was the 2017 podcast The Butterfly Effect, written by Jon Ronson and produced by Lina Misitzis, that first alerted me to the world of “bespoke porn,” adult videos custom-made for individual clients and their individual fetishes. The whole podcast dealt with how the internet has radically changed the entire porn industry, making it virtually impossible for most actors and directors to make anything close to the money they were earning before. That led to the rise of what Ronson called the “sweet and adorable world” of bespoke porn in a 2017 Daily Telegraph story on the podcast.
This fascinated me. In fact, when I finished listening to The Butterfly Effect, I commissioned a video of my own from Jordan’s company (neither Jordan nor her company appeared in The Butterfly Effect). Titled “Strange Video Request,” the comedy is about seven minutes long. While it doesn’t contain sex or nudity, it does feature three bikini-clad actresses—including Jordan, who was a few months pregnant at the time—discussing the merits of an unusual custom-video script that had just arrived.
I wrote the script in about a day, then submitted it. Jordan wrote back a few days later, suggested a few rewrites to tighten it up and keep the budget manageable, and agreed to my request to post the completed video on YouTube (usually, companies such as Jordan’s expressly forbid customers from posting their videos online). I wanted to see if Jordan’s little company could, for just a few hundred dollars, actually make a true short film.
Jordan set the film at an LA mansion she was already using for another client’s video, and she shot it in what looked like one take after she finished that video. The result clearly achieved everything I’d hoped for, but Jordan dashed any thought I had that what I sent her was in any way strange or even unique. In fact, as far as custom-video requests go, it’s quite pedestrian.
She says oil-wrestling videos are the most popular requests, but those can take a toll on her body. “Oh, yeah!” Jordan responds when I ask if she has ever gotten injured doing wrestling videos. “I have a bad shoulder, so I tend to hurt it when doing stunts or wrestling. Some of the boxing, wrestling, MMA is fake, and occasionally, it’s not. I did a match with [model and actress] Cali Logan that was 100 percent real, and it was exhausting, not to mention my shoulder kept me down for almost a week after that. Sometimes, when doing a stunt, I don’t land correctly and injure myself that way, or I bruise my foot with a kick, but for the most part, I’m unscathed.”
But there are also plenty of customers who make more unusual requests than simply seeing two models grapple in baby oil. “My favorite is that we have a customer who does sci-fi movies,” Jordan says. One of those movies is about a shark that only attacks girls in bikinis, so the way girls save themselves is by removing their bikinis.
Another customer requested a full sequel to a previous movie Jordan had made. “We did a sequel to Bikini Avengers, a movie I did for HBO/Cinemax,” Jordan says. “We used the same costumes and same talent that was in the movie. We rented a beautiful mansion on the top of a hill. It used a lot of visual effects, but there’s nothing my partner can’t do.”
Then there’s the customer who loves eyes. Like, really, really loves eyes. “There was a guy who wanted a 30-minute video of just the model’s pupils while she was talking,” Jordan says. “Just the pupils. In the video, she’s talking about how mesmerizing her pupils were.”
The cost for all this can vary widely. About the cheapest video Jordan has done was a mere clip, which cost $150. The more actresses, locations, special-effects requirements, sex and nudity you ask for, the higher the price. Jordan didn’t have the exact figures in front of her when I asked, but she estimated that the guy who ordered the Bikini Avengers sequel paid between $7,000 and $8,000 for his custom video. “This particular customer wanted a sequel, but [he] also wanted to incorporate a hardcore scene into it,” Jordan explains. “That drastically brought up the price.”
Even given the cost, it’s a really great value when you consider the customer has basically just produced an actual movie. Of course, you also have to take into account that the whole spectacle was for the customer’s eyes only. Because of the hardcore nature of many of these privately produced films, as well as the fact that many actresses make them with the understanding they won’t be made public, customers are generally forbidden from posting them publicly.
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In her 2017 biographical video, Jordan says that she’s had “years and years of therapy”—which is understandable, given what she’s said about her childhood. But she’s also said—and I still can’t get over how incredible this sounds given that Jordan isn’t even 40—that she’s “been on over a thousand first dates.”
Asked how this was even possible, Jordan responds that she’s been on “every online-dating website there is” and hired “a lot of matchmakers.”
“That sounds pretty expensive,” I naively say.
“Most matchmakers don’t charge pretty girls,” Jordan says.
Jordan says she benefits from her dating history in her work as a relationship coach at her website Virtualsexpert.com. Doled out via numerous videos on her YouTube page—with titles such as “How to Get Sex When Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant,” “Sex Postures for Small Penises” and “Fingering 101”—her advice often centers on confidence: Figure out who you are first, what you want out of life and a relationship, be happy with that person, and then start looking for someone else.
Of course, in 2015, Jordan also filmed a slightly less serious advice video for SexSearch.com titled “How to Have Sex With a Canadian.” In it, Jordan performs many different—and humorous—acts designed to seduce a Canadian man, including putting on lingerie and singing the Canadian national anthem. “If you sound anything like me, he’ll have sex with you just to get you to stop singing,” Jordan says in the video.
Cadell, whose school helped train Jordan in sexology, couldn’t say enough nice things about her. “We have hundreds of students graduating every year from all over the world,” Cadell says. “Erika stood out. I hadn’t met her, yet she was emailing me constantly—not only asking questions, but also giving constructive criticism, which I truly love.”
In today’s world of relationship advice and “sexology,” Cadell is a legend. The author of 10 books and countless magazine articles, Cadell travels around the world hosting seminars and giving talks that aim to remove shame and guilt from people’s sex lives. Her “go-to line” for women, which she included in her 2015 Marie Claire article “Why I Became a Sexologist,” is epic: “God would not have given you a clitoris with its 8,000 nerve fibers if she didn’t want you to play with it, since it has no function other than pleasure.”
“I love to mentor people who want to do what I do,” Cadell says. “Erika’s good with people, good with the media. She can write, and she’s beautiful. I’ve had a few really beautiful students who thought they could rely on their physical looks. They didn’t do the work, and I refused to mentor them.”
That Jordan’s clientele is mostly men shouldn’t be too surprising. “I get [clients with] erectile dysfunction quite a bit,” Jordan says. “I get a lot of guys in their 20s who haven’t lost their virginity yet and are worried about that. Or they can find girls to date but can’t keep them around.”
To help them, Jordan uses a few tools that were science fiction when I was in my 20s. One is what she calls a “mock date,” which she conducts via Skype. “It really helps me see what they’re doing wrong,” she says. “A lot of guys are nervous, not able to be confident and calm when there’s silence in a conversation. They may come across as needy and insecure, and that tends to turn most people off. A lot of them think being a dick gets the girl. But a lot of times, the dick is just the guy who aggressively pursued the woman.”
After the mock date, Jordan will write a page-long report for the client on what he’s doing right and wrong. She’ll also tag along on a client’s date—though only by text—as what she calls a “virtual wing girl.”
“I have done actual wing-girl stuff,” she says, referring to a friend who tags along on a date to assist the person trying to meet someone. “But some guys just want someone they can text. I just like to get them to tune in and get out of their head. A lot of people have trouble because of a lack of self-esteem. A lot of people are desperate to go out. A woman can see what’s going on.”
Talking to Jordan, it’s clear to me that though she has a lot of seemingly unrelated jobs—actor, custom-video director, relationship coach—they all mesh from time to time and in the unlikeliest places. For instance, it had never occurred to me that her custom videos could also serve a therapeutic role.
“Custom Dream Models has a little of that, without meaning to do so,” Jordan says. “One guy had a wife who passed away, and he asked for a model who kind of looked like her. In the video, she tells him that his particular fetish was okay.”
“That’s kind of sad,” I say.
“Yeah,” she says. “But it helped him heal.”
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.