It’s always fun chopping it up with Amber Rose. Forget the PR coaching and canned statements; Rose is brash, outspoken and fiercely independent. She’s not afraid to poke the Beyhive or air out famous men, as she has with accused rapist Ian Connor.
She’s also a shrewd businesswoman. The 34-year-old stunner, with her signature bleached-blonde buzz cut and curvy physique, has managed to parlay a career as a video vixen into a mini-business empire that includes a clothing line, bestselling book, popular emoji app, TV-hosting gigs, and a plethora of brand sponsorships.
Rose was recently named brand ambassador for LELO, a sex toy company, and the two have joined forces on an Amber Rose-approved line of sex toys for women and men. According to Rose, it’s all part of her mission to shatter as many taboos as possible.
The Daily Beast spoke with the unfiltered Rose about her new sexual gadgets and much, much more.
How are you holding up after [breast reduction] surgery? Is everything going ok?
Yeah, you know, I’m still kind of in slow motion. Tomorrow will be one month since my surgery and the doctor said four to six weeks of relaxation. But I’m getting there! Thank you for asking.
I have some friends who’ve gotten breast reduction surgery as well. What prompted you to get it? Was it mobility problems?
It was hard for me to sleep at night because my boobs were so big, and my boobs are natural, so I always needed a lot of support. My back was starting to hurt really bad, and I couldn’t exercise how I wanted to—I couldn’t jump, I couldn’t run. I was just constantly in pain, so it was that time.
You came out recently and said that your boyfriend, 21 Savage, wasn’t exactly onboard with the procedure. Has he changed his tune at all?
[Laughs] I mean, you know, he really loves my boobs! That was, like, his favorite thing. But he totally supported me and he understands that I had to do what’s best for me, and for my health. He’s a great guy so he’s been very supportive.
So, $10 million is a pretty nice chunk of change for this LELO brand ambassadorship. How did that deal come about?
I don’t know how you know that number! But I’ll answer the second part. I tried LELO products and I’ve never really been big on sex toys, but once I tried the products I was absolutely obsessed and felt, wow, I should really do a collaboration or have my own line through LELO and put it out there for my fans or for anyone who’s had bad experiences with sex toys previously. They’re just really great sex toys, and I wanted to have a little bit of everything in my line for everyone.
What makes LELO’s sex toys rise above the rest of the pack?
I would say the materials, the craftsmanship and the settings. There are many different settings. You can go from super-soft vibrations to really heavy vibrations, and they can accommodate pretty much anyone’s tastes.
Do you have any personal favorites from the line?
I would say every one in my line are my favorites. I have two sex toys in my line for men and I had my assistant try them, and he said that they’re awesome. We have a prostate-stimulator, which looks really cool. It makes me want to have a prostate. And we have another one that’s a penis ring that vibrates. We also have the TIANI 2 for couples, which I’m really excited about because people can get nervous about introducing toys into the relationship and this one is not too intimidating. The GIGI can hit the G-spot due to the way it’s shaped; it’s for clitoral stimulation. And the ORA 2 simulates oral sex.
It’s interesting that you have sex toys for men in the line. I feel like there’s an even greater stigma when it comes to men using sex toys.
Absolutely. I feel like the biggest misconception is that anything that touches a guy’s ass is “gay,” and it’s so stupid, homophobic and a byproduct of our hypermasculine culture. The cool thing about guys is that you guys have a prostate, and a lot of guys are missing out on a lot of pleasure due to their ignorance, so that’s why I wanted to incorporate that sex toy into my line—for guys to open up a bit and expand their horizons.
You do seem like a taboo-shatterer. Do you feel it’s important to shatter the stigma surrounding self-pleasure?
Hell yeah. I feel like, especially with women, from the beginning of time it’s like we’re not allowed to experience physical pleasure. We’re seen as slutty or hoeish, and people go, “Why do you need to have a sex toy? What type of stuff are you into?” And being a woman and a mother, people say, “You can’t possibly want to feel pleasure anymore. You’re a mom! You can’t like sex!” These are things that we constantly have to deal with as women, and I do try to fight against those things because I think they’re complete bullshit.
There is this culture of shame surrounding sex. I’m not sure if you saw the recent New York Times op-ed proposing a ban on porn.
It’s all sexual shaming. I saw that article and was appalled. I’m a huge advocate for porn as well. Porn stars are here for our convenience. Everyone uses them when they want to use them and then throws them away after. We don’t respect them enough, and I think that’s all bullshit. I have a lot of porn stars at my SlutWalk every year. And I feel like, when it comes to sex and masturbation, a lot of people don’t know how to explore their body and porn can help with that.
There’s just a ton of hypocrisy in this country when it comes to porn. The president stands accused of conducting an affair with the porn star Stormy Daniels and sexually harassing another in Jessica Drake, yet many of his right-wing supporters publicly condemn porn—despite the fact that red states consume it the most.
Oh my god, it is all bullshit and frustrates the hell out of me. But, you know, that’s why I try to remain very open to discussing all these issues. I’m passionate about educating people and getting them to the next level. As a society, we’re taught these things. “Oh, he’s a football player or a basketball player, he wouldn’t rape anybody.” “He has money and can get any girl he wants, why would he rape her?” People don’t understand that [rape] isn’t about sex, it’s about power and being in control. These men with power get away with so much shit, and the average Joe who voted Trump will say those things as well, like, “he’s not that guy,” “he wouldn’t do that.” And it’s like, a lot of people are into dark shit. Your public persona when you’re a celebrity is what your publicist or management wants you to be, and when your true colors get exposed your fans go, “Oh my god, who are you?” but that’s who you were the whole time. It’s all fake shit.
The #MeToo movement has led to a reckoning of sorts for Hollywood, but it hasn’t really come for music or hip-hop. What was your experience like navigating the worlds of hip-hop and celebritydom? Have you come across many bad men?
Absolutely. One-hundred percent. Absofuckinlutely. And on the other side, I think there are a lot of guys who’ve been raised to think that this behavior is OK. It’s almost as if they’re ignorant, don’t know any better, and are now getting the shitty end of the stick. There are a lot of guys thinking, “Man—I’ve been doing this for twenty years and nobody said anything to me, so I just thought I could grab ‘em by the pussy whenever I wanted to.” So with our generation now, there also needs to be education—educating our boys and letting them know that that behavior is not OK. The older generation almost didn’t know any better, and now they’re getting caught up in everything and justice is finally being served.
Are there any experiences you’d like to share, or any bad men you’d like to call out?
Umm…I do but…don’t think I should.
I wanted to talk a bit about your pal Blac Chyna, because it was pretty disgusting how she was treated by Rob [Kardashian]—with the slut-shaming, the leaked nude photos, etc. It doesn’t seem like he paid much of a price in the court of public opinion for that.
I think they’re in a lawsuit right now, so that’s why it hasn’t really come to an end yet. She’s still waiting for her justice there. But babe, listen: Chyna has a vagina and is a woman, so not everyone is gonna be on her side; two, she’s a former stripper; three, she has two children—one by a rapper, the other by Rob Kardashian. People will always judge her for those things and will never give her a fair chance, as far as society goes, because this is how fucked up we are as a society. Society will almost always take the guy’s side. She’ll always be painted as a user and a gold-digger and a fucked-up person, when I know Chyna. I know how much she loves Rob from personal experience, and sometimes things just don’t work out. It happens. I’m divorced, so I know how it is, and, from the outside looking in, you can’t just always blame the woman for things just because of her past. She used to be a dancer and she’s an amazing person.
You were pretty ahead of the curve with your SlutWalk. How does it feel, with Time’s Up and Me Too, to have the culture sort of catch up with you?
I’ll be honest: I started my first SlutWalk four years ago, because the first one took about a year to put on, and I was screaming from the rooftops how we need to help each other as women, and I reached out to all these celebrity women to help me. The first year was 2,500 people; the second year 11,000 people; and the third year was 18,000 people. A lot of the famous women I reached out to didn’t want to work with me because of my brand or where I come from or what I stand for, because I speak very openly for the gay boys that get raped, the transsexuals, the strippers, the prostitutes, the porn stars, the college kids, the average, everyday person. No one wanted to help me. I really grew this by myself, with my team. And all of a sudden, these Hollywood starlets who get paid $20 million per movie are coming out, and now people give a shit. It’s almost like a smack in the face. Obviously I want justice for everyone, so it’s not me picking and choosing, but what happened four years ago until now? I’ve been asking for so much help and it’s fallen on deaf ears. I’m not at the Golden Globes. Nobody invites me to feminist events to speak. It’s almost like, “We can have this brand of feminism, but not her brand of feminism.”
And you know, the Women’s March was literally SlutWalk. It was in the same exact venue. I’m the one who gave them everything to do the Women’s March. People don’t know that. We’ve been holding our SlutWalk at Pershing Square [in Los Angeles] every year, and I went to the Women’s March and it looked like a bunch of conservative feminists who almost frowned upon everybody else. That’s not who I am. I’m for everyone. It’s frustrating. I’m not trying to get recognition, I’m just saying, why can’t we all work together in this? Don’t forget about the people like us.