How can a porn star be shy? Is it possible? That's almost like a hitman being squeamish about blood. A dentist shivering at the whirl of a drill. A baker getting nauseated at the sight of dough. Well, AVN's Web Starlet of the Year Catalina Cruz hardly gets nauseated in the presence of maple bars or custard pies, so to speak. But she is a very soft-spoken, fairly private person who, by contrast, simply loves meeting her worldwide throng of fans, all of whom watch her regularly having sex with her husband and other attractive young women on CatalinaCruz.com.
That said, as the svelte yet buxom Catalina is getting her hair and makeup done around 10 a.m. at a nondescript house in Porn Valley for an exclusive AVN photo shoot - shortly after stepping off a jet from Arizona and being whisked up into the Encino hills for said shoot - she speaks somewhat demurely, nervously even, as if giving her first-ever interview.
"It was actually just before I left for this shoot that it happened," she embarrassedly recalled. "I mean, I didn't check in any of my bags at Phoenix Airport, and I was going through airport security when this security guy started checking my smaller bag and was about to pull out a glass dildo. Omigod. There were tons of people in line behind me. So I said to him [in desperate, pleading voice], ‘Please, please can you ...?' And he's like, ‘Well .... What is it?' And I said [whispering], ‘It's a glass dildo.' And he tells me, ‘OK, I'm glad that you told me, because I was going to start pulling everything out.' That was one of my bags.
"And in the other bag I totally forgot I had my AVN Award tightly tucked away in it," she continues.
"So this same security guy is going through my second bag, finds my award all wrapped up and strange-looking, and he's thinking probably that it's a brick of cocaine or something. So as he's turning it around and looking curiously at it, I'm like [whispering], ‘That's, like ... an award.' So what does he do? He unwraps it, looks at the award, turns it over, reads the inscription, and says out loud, ‘Web Starlet of the Year!'" She laughed as she recalled the scene. "Then he tells me, in just as booming a voice: ‘Well, congratulations!' ‘Thanks,' I tell him. I mean, at that point I just wanted to crawl into a little hole."
But crawl into a hole she doesn't.
Far from it.
Instead, the olive-skinned beauty continues getting herself even more beautiful by the hands of the industrious makeup artiste, so that our "shy girl" can stand wondrously naked before a full photo crew and proudly hold that same controversial (at least among airport security) AVN Award.
Actually, you'd swear this little pepper pot was an exotic Latina - especially with an ethnic name like Catalina Cruz. She does, indeed, bear some resemblance to that luscious, deliciously photogenic Spanish-born movie star Penelope Cruz, hence Cat's nom de porn. But - surprise, surprise - our Web starlet hasn't a single drop o' Spanish blood in her. In fact, she's German and Slovenian. Additionally, far from being reared in sun-kissed España, she was born (on September 14, 1979) and raised in the Midwestern state of Ohio; more specifically, in the semi-rural city of Brunswick, not too far off from crappy old Cleveland.
And like many a porn starlet out there, Catalina was raised in a largely one-parent household.
"My mother and father got divorced when I was in the second grade," Catalina recalled, "so I lived mostly with my mom. She worked really hard to take care of my brother and me, sometimes working two or three jobs at one time."
Catalina also recalled, with no little degree of humility, that she wasn't the most disciplined child. Or teenager, for that matter.
"When I was in elementary I used to always get into trouble for talking too much. I think it was me just being too much of a social butterfly. And I was sort of a wild child in high school, too; got into too much drinking. But I grew out of it. Not a healthy lifestyle, for sure, especially in this business. You have to keep fit and can't be a party animal if you really want to hang on to your success."
And fit Catalina most definitely is.
Hard to believe, too, that this same total exhibitionist used to work at a modest job in an Ohio advertising company (where she met her husband 11 years ago), after which she worked for a Japanese international trade company. Catalina was far from happy, though, sitting behind a desk, instead yearning to do something different with her life - other than fade into bureaucratic obscurity.
So she began modeling on the side. Just as a hobby. Well, it started out as a hobby. That is, her husband and she had been playing around at home, taking candid and glamour pics of Cat for the fun of it, until the two found some online glamour sites where more adventurous models could upload their photos. So they did, uploading a host of amateur, non-nude pictures of pretty little Cat.
That's when the e-mails started streaming in.
Sundry local photographers wanted to shoot the striking brunette for their portfolios, with our girl ultimately hooking up with a lens man in Cleveland who managed (bless him) to convince Catalina to go topless in some outdoor shots. Yet she (shhh! shhh!) kept the topless shoot a total secret from hubby. But, as fate would have it, the secret was short-lived. What was hubby's reaction after finding out about his wife's bodacious tata X-periment? Jealously? Anger? Threats of divorce?
Quite the contrary.
"He was actually OK with it," Cat endearingly remembered, "and we ended up laughing about the whole thing. And since my husband had a background in Web design back in the '90s - before the whole Internet thing really exploded - we decided, ‘Hey, let's try this.' At first it just started out as an online portfolio, then we gathered up what little money we had and opened up processing for Visa/MasterCard. And it just took off from there.
"I mean, so far the boy-girl stuff on my website has only been with my husband. But the members all know that, and they're really OK with it."
Aside from the nasty boy-girl, girl-girl, and girl-girl-boy antics, the website also showcases Catalina's oral prowess, our girl having been royally dubbed the Web's "Queen of Fellatio." Suck on that! She's actually done four blowjob movies for Adam & Eve since then. But it's on her website that she pulls out all the stops, doing four to five live shows a month, including extended Q&A sessions with fans, as well fantasy-board interaction with members, and even offers behind-the-scenes goodies on a regular basis.
Cat and her husband - who relocated to Arizona five years ago - also manage other porn starlets' websites, to which members of her own site have instant access. And vice versa. (Still with us?) In fact, Cat and her husband just added Cuban cutie/former-Vivid-girl Lela Star to their rockin' network of fantasy girls.
Whew! A lotta work, to be sure. In fact, according to Mrs. Cruz, it's a seven-day-a-week job, sometimes involving "many sleepless nights."
So, how to wind down?
Catalina has various relaxation potions up her sleeve. As examples, she loves to go out dancing, enjoys partaking in outdoor activities, as well as being with her family. Oh, we almost forgot: She also likes gambling (every three months or so) in Vegas, taking her chances at the slots and getting in some animated games o' blackjack.
"Being so close to Las Vegas can be dangerous," Cat admitted with a mischievous smile. "Sin City temptations, you know," she added, cracking up and causing the makeup artiste to lose her place on Cruz's face. Naughty little Cat.
But forget about the makeup. Forget about the gamblin'. What we're dying to know is: Do the fans ever have a chance to actually meet darling Catalina in the flesh as opposed to just seeing her in cyberspace? Cat responded with a hearty "Yes!" She positively adores going to conventions to meet with fans, including the last AVN convention (conveniently located in Vegas, to fully fortify Cruz's gambling dalliances).
But sometimes, according to Cat, certain aficionados can get, well, a bit carried away.
"Not too long ago, I went on a cruise vacation and one of my members happened to be on the ship. And I really do love meeting my fans, but this guy like SCREAMED my name on the deck. And I was with my whole family. And there were like other families around and everything ...." She herself lets out a scream-like burst of uncontrolled laughter. "But, hey, I still love meeting my fans. All I ask is a little discretion if we meet in a public place."
Not to worry, gents. The Queen of Fellatio isn't displaying any unseemly star temperament. Far from it. She fully realizes that it's the fans who put her on the map.
And kept her there.
"True. I think a lot of us forget that they're the ones who keep all of us going. Without members and fans, there's nothing. And, you know, I do realize that eventually all good things do come to an end. But it's just so much fun, I can't imagine life without me having sex on my website."
Spoken like a true shy girl, to be sure.
This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of AVN Online. To subscribe, visit AVNMediaNetwork.com/subscribe