Stormy Daniels Says Straights Can Learn a Few Things From For the Love of DILFS
The host of the OutTV dating show spoke to Jezebel about representation, sexual identity, and how she keeps going: "I’m alive out of pure spite and pettiness."
“I’m truly running out of creative ways to piss conservatives off,” Stormy Daniels tells audiences within the first two minutes of the premiere of For the Love of DILFS (a reality dating show for, you guessed it: DILFs, but also the men they’d like to date who happen to be some years their junior). That’s no hyperbole for the show’s host and multi-hyphenate.
Since 2016, Daniels has found herself at the eye of a series of public shitstorms. Between facing down vicious threats from former president Donald Trump over their short-lived affair to a betrayal from her former attorney, Michael Avenatti, who was charged with stealing proceeds from her memoir, Full Disclosure, in 2022 to all the backlash in between, it’s safe to say she’s been through it. But, in all of the fallout, Daniels is having fun.
OutTV’s For The Love Of DILFS, which will be available to stream on January 23, sees Daniels as something of a guru (or, in her words: “seeing-eye pussy”) for ten himbos (young, hot gay men) and daddies (old, hot gay men) in their search for their respective opposites. A callback to the reality dating shows of yesteryear (Think A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila or I Love New York), the series is certainly a campy good time. But the silliness isn’t what got her to host a second season, rather it was the contestants’ candor on the things that have long been treated as too complex—or controversial—for unscripted television. Identity, sexuality, and aging, for example, are all immediately introduced. Even The Golden Bachelor—a charming spinoff that largely avoided its predecessor’s superficiality in its debut—could never.
On Zoom, Daniels spoke to Jezebel about why For the Love of DILFS is must-see television, what straight people can learn from the contestants, and how she keeps going despite the right-wing moral crusaders. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
This is your second season hosting For The Love Of DILFS. I have to imagine there’s a lot to love about being the only woman in a house of gay men, but what’s been your favorite thing about the gig?
I’ll start with the superficial stuff: How could anybody not have a great time hosting a reality show with all of these scantily clad, hot men? My favorite thing about the show, however, is the platform. I’ll be completely honest, I went in apprehensive. “Is this going to be the television version of clickbait?”; “Is it actually going to be contrived and scripted?”; “Is it going to really exploit some of these sensitive topics that may or may not come up?”; “Is it going to be edited in a dishonest way that’s just salacious?” Those were my concerns. But nothing is scripted. Nothing is contrived.
As someone who thinks of themselves as a reality television savant, there are a lot of discussions one wouldn’t typically see on a dating show—especially not in the first episode. These contestants wasted no time setting boundaries and sharing their trauma with such refreshing frankness. Was that at all surprising to you?
“It feels good to be petty sometimes, you know? That’s what we’ve been driven to.”
I really thought the show was going to be all light-hearted and fun and sexy—just hot, goofy stuff. And it is. But the conversations that were taking place both on and off camera—a lot of times on camera—about body positivity, diversity, inclusiveness, consent…health, whether it was STDs or other things like that…I was not prepared for the genuine openness of the contestants on the show. When I left, I was like, not only television but straight people in general, could really learn a fucking thing or two from these people. And not just from the serious, heavy stuff, but the fun stuff too! Pleasure. Woman to woman here, how many women do you know that don’t ever tell their husband of 20 years how to touch their vagina in a way that they like it?
We’re just taught not to openly discuss these things—even in a monogamous, committed relationship, behind closed doors with your partner. The willingness and openness of the communication on the show were just mind-blowing. I was impressed by it and walked away very grateful that I was given this opportunity to be part of this platform. I’ve really tried to highlight in these interviews and on the show, “Hey, pay attention to some of these conversations they’re having.”Part of your role seems to be occasionally offering some of your wisdom to the contestants. What lessons in love did you pass along?
There were plenty of times when I had to give advice. I had to try to stay balanced and fair, which is probably the hardest part about hosting any of these shows, because, yes, I am the host, but I am also a human. I think that when a lot of these gay couples come in—and I don’t want to speak for everybody—they’re from backgrounds that were not always accepting of them, so they so want to be in love. A lot of my advice was “Don’t sell yourself short,” “Don’t fall too hard too fast” or “Don’t accept less.”
I identified a little bit with that on a personal level because people are always like, “Oh, you’re famous,” or “You’re a porn star,” or “You’re so pretty so you probably have all these options.” I am in a situation that comes with a lot of prejudice and a lot of judgments. I’m also bi. I’m not a gay man, so I’ve gotten a lot of “Why is she the host?” But I think that being from the adult business and…the orange elephant in the room situation has put me in a unique position where I actually do feel valid giving that sort of advice.
You’ve said in previous interviews that folks have accused you of only recently publicly identifying as bisexual with the implication being that you’re capitalizing on the queer community.
For the naysayers out there: I didn’t do this to try to capitalize. I am bi. I didn’t just “come out” as bisexual like some of the clickbait articles said I did. That’s research they did not do because I’ve been doing girl-on-girl sex scenes before I ever did male sex scenes. I have pictures of me and my ex-girlfriend. And I have a charity events company called Swamp Trash Events and one of the big things I put on in August of 2019 was A Midsummer Night’s Cream: Fairies For Fairies to support the LGBTQ+ community center in New Orleans. So, try again.
It’s true, you’ve long been an icon—a bi-con, if you will—in the LGBTQ+ community. What has that support meant to you in the last several years?
I didn’t really understand the gravity of it until the political stuff happened. I was dancing in straight clubs and then suddenly, all of these queer people are showing up at my shows—in better costumes—because they identified with and understood what it was like to be marginalized, not taken seriously, or to never receive justice. Another round of that happened two years ago when Michael Avenatti tried to subpoena my mental health records and use them against me in court. It was a pointless play because I have no mental health records. They don’t exist. But a lot of gay and trans people do have histories of seeking mental health treatment and have had that used against them or to validate mistreatment of them—especially the trans community. I’ve gotten some of my best support from them. I’ve tried to pay it back and maybe this show is a little unexpected way that I can do that.
In the midst of some truly staggering LGBTQ+ legislation, and when there are so few reality shows exclusively for queer joy and romance, how does it feel to know this one exists?
It feels like [blows raspberries]. It feels good to be petty sometimes, you know? That’s what we’ve been driven to. I just started this podcast called Beyond The Norm and my first guest on the show was Kris Goldsmith [a Neo-Nazi Hunter]. At the end of the interview, I asked “How do you keep going?” It’s a very, very heavy conversation but I said, “On my darkest days, can you believe that I have reached the point that I am only still alive out of pure pettiness?” It’s not like I still want to live, or I’m hopeful for the future, or the love of family. I’m like, “Some days, the only thing left is I don’t want to give the haters the satisfaction. I’m alive out of pure spite and pettiness.”