Ela Darling

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Ela Darling (born on July 23, 1986) is a adult film performer , [38] cam girl, [45] tech entrepreneur, and former librarian. She is the co-founder at VRtube, a virtual reality company bringing adult entertainment through Oculus Rift technology.

She is best known for being the world's first virtual reality cam girl. [42]

In addition, she is the former president of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, a nonprofit that aims to protect the health and safety of performers in the adult entertainment industry. [46]

Early Life & Education

Ela Darling posing with a VR headset

Ela was born and raised in Texas. [51]

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in Dallas, attaining a degree in Psychology & Criminology. [5] Shortly thereafter, she earned her Master's degree in Library & Information Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which was ranked the #1 library school in the United States. [38] [39]

She was able to attain both degrees by the time she was 21 years old. [38]


Early Beginnings

Darling's first job was working as a waitress for the Waffle House. [5]

She began modeling at age 19 during her sophomore year at University of Texas, Dallas. At the same time, she participated in the sideshow for the Circus della Morte. [5]


After graduate school, Ela Darling spent a year working as a reference librarian. [42] Working in Boston, she was frequently called "the sexy librarian." [38] [51] She was also the associate director of the library. [42]

She continues to advocate for people to support their local libraries. [38]


Youtube Video
Ela Darling's TED Talk: "Dare to Start Over" (circa 2017)

After spending a brief period of time bondage modeling, Ela moved to Los Angeles to act in porn. [51] Darling transitioned to the adult film industry when she was 22 years old, specializing in lesbian porn, webcam, and virtual reality (VR) performances. [49] Some of her performances include "acting out bond fetishes, performing erotic electrostimulation ("electrosex") on another woman and dressing as a real-estate agent." [49]

A few years after exploring the industry and better understanding the porn industry, she started her own high-end production company specializing in lesbian pornography. She also developed her own personal brand on YouTube, earning thousands of subscribers in the process. [10]

Ela Darling on a CAM4VR set (credit: Wilferd Guenthoer; via Rolling Stone )

She began working with VR in 2014. Her first VR scene was shot in a dorm room at the University of Maryland, College Park; she responded to an advertisement on Reddit seeking adult performers for a VR project. [51] After flying to Washington D.C. to meet with him, she performed a masturbation scene in front of two 180-degree 3D cameras. [51]

Eventually, Ela began live streaming VR segments every week from her bedroom in Los Angeles. [49] She and James Ashfield (the college who made the Reddit post) became best friends and business partners. [42]


As a result of her first adult performance on VR, Ela Darling and co-founded VRtube.xxx with James Ashfield: a platform that uses live webcam and virtual reality technology to incorporate pornography. [16]

VRtube created the first virtual reality webcam platform, which allowed for people to date someone in virtual reality. Using a camera and software to designate the capture space on three axes, their goal was to allow viewers and performers to interact with each other in a meaningful way. [42]

Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC)

Since starting her porn career, Darling has held multiple board positions on the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee: a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of adult entertainment performers. [47] As early as 2015, Darling was the secretary of the nonprofit. She became the president of the organization in 2016. [42]

While serving as president, Ela successfully led APAC's campaign to fight against California Proposition 60. [51]


  • Ela resides in Los Angeles, California.
  • Darling's first experience in VR (before porn) was at E3 (2013), a conference in the video game industry. [49] Entitled Blue Marble , the experience involves traveling into space while listening to music until you run out of oxygen; [55] she chose to listen to David Bowie. [51]
  • Whenever she tries a new technology, Ela asks herself two questions: [42]
    1. "How can I fuck with it?"
    2. "How can people watch someone fuck with it?"
  • She is a bookworm and enjoys reading fiction. Her favorite comic book character is The Tick, and she loves dressing up as Emma Frost due to her sexiness and similar hair color. [31]


Darling has three belly piercings. She got the first one inside her belly button when she was 14 years old. She received the other two belly piercings above her belly button out of boredom while she was in college; she did it out of spontaneity after she and a friend were locked outside of their car. [31]

In addition, she got her nipples pierced when she was 18 years old. The morning after, while lying bed topless, her cat jumped on her breasts attempting to snatch the shiny rings attached to them. [31]


During her early adult years (up until the age of 24), she followed a tradition of getting one tattoo for every birthday. Some of her tattoos include a Dewey Decimal and Cutter number for Harry Potter , the Texas flag in the shape of the state's borders, a collection of stars and hearts surrounding a rainbow, a phrase on her right thigh, and the phrase "In My Dreams" on her right latissimus dorsi. [24] [26]

Harry Potter

Ela Darling's tattoos on her back include the state of Texas, the Dewey Decimal and Cutter number for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone , and a collection of stars and hearts surrounding a rainbow

She is a huge Harry Potter fan. Growing up, she enjoyed listening to wizard rock, a genre of rock music dedicated to creating performances and humorous songs about the Harry Potter universe. [25]

On July 23, 2008, shortly after receiving her Master's degree, Ela Darling got a tattoo on her back of the Dewey Decimal and Cutter number for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone . [23] She got it on her 22nd birthday after receiving her Master's degree

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