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Ass-cension: Bolstered by a bodacious backside and a charming charisma, Willow Ryder is porn’s newest “It Girl”

“She’s the model of what every porn star should be,” colleague says

By Austin King / Editor

Apr 19, 2024

Shortly before pressing “RECORD” on his camera, the Exploited College Girls director paused to marvel at the 22-year-old on the bed before him.

“You’re not nervous?” he asked.

Willow Ryder shrugged her shoulders and giggled. Dressed in a black blouse with pink and white flowers, the former aesthetician had spent the past hour cracking jokes on set, laughing and conversing as if she was at a picnic with longtime friends.

Instead, Ryder was moments away from shooting the first porn scene of her career—and she was partnered with Isiah Maxwell, one of the most well-hung performers in the industry.

“You’re seriously not nervous?” Rocky, the director, asked again.

Ryder grinned

“Not at all,” she said. “Should I be?”

For the next 70 minutes, Ryder put forth an effort for the ages, engulfing Maxwell’s member with her mouth before fucking the A-list swordsman in every conceivable position. Ryder even welcomed Rocky for a cameo, the director using his fingers to make her squirt.

A veteran performance—from a rookie talent.

By the time Ryder finished off Maxwell in reverse cowgirl, forcing him to erupt inside of her, it was obvious to Rocky—and everyone who would eventually watch online—why Ryder felt so at ease that afternoon in November 2021.

Ryder is at her best—her confidence is at its peak—when she’s having sex. Just like a high-level athlete or entertainer, she’s not fazed by an audience or camera. Ryder is a natural at fucking and sucking.

Which makes her a natural for porn.

Producers and directors have realized as much over the past two years, as Ryder has quickly become one of the most in-demand performers in the business. The Nashville native accumulated a whopping 81 scene credits during her first full year in porn and racked up 85 more in 2023.

Brazzers, Vixen, Evil Angel, Team Skeet, Naughty America … Ryder has visited the set of nearly every top-tier studio in the industry—and she almost always gets invited back.

“She’s the ‘It Girl’ in porn right now,” said director/talent Tony Rubino, who lives with Ryder in Miami. “At my barbershop, people are like, ‘Wow! Willow Ryder is your roommate?’ Everyone is talking about her.”

And rightfully so.

With light honey skin, curly dark hair that cascades past her shoulders and a smile that can change someone’s day, Ryder commands attention with a look unique to any other adult star. And her thick, healthy backside—a huge source of pride—should make Ryder a shoo-in for “Best Ass” award nominations for years to come.

Still, as much buzz as she creates with her appearance, Ryder’s intangibles— the attitude, the work ethic, the drive, the professionalism—are the main reasons her star continues to rise in Porn Valley.

“I can’t even name my favorite scene with her, because she’s at the top of her game every time we shoot,” said director/talent Mike Adriano, who has worked with Ryder more than 10 times. “When she’s on set, you know the vibes are going to be very positive, very upbeat.

“Willow takes pride in her work, and that’s not always the case with other performers. She genuinely cares about making the best scene possible.”


Instead of capitalizing her ass, Willow Ryder’s first attempt at making money through sex work involved her feet.

It was the middle of 2021, and even though Ryder had a steady job at a waxing studio, she lived paycheck to paycheck and often struggled to cover her bills. Following the lead of a friend, Ryder launched an Instagram account called “carameltootsies” and attempted to earn money in the foot fetish market. When that didn’t work, she began dabbling on Reddit and had a few acquaintances that would pay her for sex or blowjobs.

Even with an uncertain future, Ryder remained upbeat. After all, positive vibes had always been in her nature.

Unlike many performers who enter the industry broken from a traumatic childhood, Ryder has nothing but positive things to say about her upbringing just outside of Nashville.

Raised by her mother and grandmother, Ryder said she was a social butterfly as a teenager. With a basketball goal and a trampoline in her backyard, Ryder’s home was always a popular gathering spot for classmates. In high school, she was involved in numerous extracurricular activities, most notably as a member of the track team, where she excelled as a sprinter.

“My mom did her best to make sure my twin sister and I had a normal childhood,” Ryder said. “She worked hard and made sure we were staying busy and doing positive things.”

Although she wasn’t overbearing, Ryder’s mother kept a close eye on her social media accounts. If Ryder posted a picture of herself in booty shorts, she was instructed to take it down. Every boyfriend was scrutinized, and the “location” feature on Ryder’s cell was always activated so her mom could keep tabs of her whereabouts.

One of Ryder’s biggest passions throughout her youth was makeup. It started with her mom and grandma allowing Ryder to apply their rouge and mascara while teaching her about their skincare routines.

Eventually, Ryder turned her obsession into a career, graduating high school a year early at age 17 and enrolling in cosmetology school.

“I was so interested in learning about ways that you can preserve your skin to age gracefully,” Ryder said. “I became a product junkie. I loved learning about different brands and watching YouTube videos about skin and makeup and hair.”

Within a year, Ryder had earned her degree and landed a job at a day spa in Tennessee.  At age 19, she moved with her then-boyfriend to Chicago and worked for a dermatologist at a med spa, where she performed treatments such as micro-needling and laser.

Ryder returned to Nashville after the relationship ended and was hired at a waxing studio.

“I was doing Brazilian waxes and body waxes, which are pretty intimate services,” Ryder laughs. “I got used to being around naked people.”

That comfortability served Ryder well months later when she decided to start shooting porn.

“I was always very promiscuous in my personal life,” Ryder said, "but I didn’t have OnlyFans or anything. I was very private, but a part of me wanted to put it out there. I was always so nervous because I came from a conservative family.

“But once I became an adult and lived on my own, I needed more ways to make money. I was having sex so much, I figured I might as well start getting paid for it.”


Tony Rubino was wrapping up a shoot in the Bang Bus in January of 2022 when the commotion began.

“Whoaaaa!” the driver said as he peered through the window.

“Who is that?” shouted the director.

Willow Ryder had just arrived to pick up her friend, Rubino’s scene partner that afternoon in Miami. And she didn’t need to be glammed up to turn heads.

Rubino and his crew quickly exited the bus to introduce themselves —and, most importantly, to ask Ryder if she worked in the industry. When Ryder told them she’d just begun her career, they invited her inside to shoot a series of nudes.

“She had this smile about her, this little glow,” Rubino said. “She was happy and had a good personality right off the bat.”

Rubino filmed with Ryder multiple times over the ensuing weeks and became convinced she was a future star. Other studios, however, weren’t as quick to take notice, which caused Ryder’s first six months in the industry to be filled with angst and frustration.

She was living at the 101 Modeling House in Florida, having signed with the agency after a recruiter responded to her ad on SexyJobs. Day after day, Ryder would see other new girls get bookings while she was only doing a few shoots a week.

“I was discouraged in the beginning,” Ryder said. “Whenever new girls come in, they’re automatically booked for the whole month. They have scenes every day. It wasn’t like that for me when I first started.

“I wasn’t working all the time like other girls. I really had to prove myself and show these directors, ‘I’m serious. I’m a great performer. I’m professional.'”

With encouragement from Brian, her agent at 101, Ryder surged forward. She also benefited from the support of Rubino, who offered to get her out of the model house and rent her a room at his home. Rubino also phoned representatives at some of the industry’s biggest studios and convinced them to book the fresh-faced newbie.

“All directors and producers talk,” Rubino said. “When there’s a good new girl that comes around, we spread the word.

“I called my friend, Levi, who is a Brazzers producer, and he shot her for My Pervy Family. After that, things really started rolling.”

And they haven’t stopped since.

Ryder has shot more than 200 scenes in just over two years, and the bookings are increasing right along with her popularity. Fans flocked to see Ryder at the AVN convention in Las Vegas in January, where she was one of 15 finalists for Best New Starlet.

“I already knew who I was sexually before I got into porn,” Ryder said. “But now I’m starting to realize how open-minded I am and how willing I am to try new things, especially when I’m comfortable with the person.

“I’ve done some pretty controversial things. Hijab scenes, incest … I’m actually able to get in the mood for scenes like that. Word play, too. At first I didn’t want to be called a bitch of anything degrading. But now I find those things hot.”

Ryder’s menu also includes anal, although she doesn’t do it often. Still, whether she’s being penetrated or not, Ryder’s backside is always the center of attention. Directors ask her to show it off during pretty girl shoots and scenes, whether she’s twerking, bending over for doggy, engaged in a 69 or bouncing up and down in cowgirl.

Rubino labeled Ryder as one of the top three dick riders in porn. Adriano, a backside enthusiast, isn’t about to suggest otherwise.

“She’s the Energizer Bunny of cowgirl,” Adriano said. “She goes really fast and she doesn’t slow down. It's crazy how she can maintain that speed. It looks great on film, especially with her nice ass and her arch. The key to a good penetration shot is the arch, and she knows just how to do it.”

Rubino agrees.

“POV-wise, I can just hold the camera and let her do her thing,” he said. “Sometimes when girls are riding you, they get tired and you have to pump from the bottom. But she is 100 percent in the zone when it’s time to perform. She just flips on the switch.”

Ryder loves that her picturesque posterior has become her calling card—especially since it used to be a source of insecurity. In high school, the 5-foot-4 Ryder said she was subconscious about her long legs. She often felt less desired than some of her thinner, non-athletic classmates.

“I didn’t realize the power of my ass until I was an adult.” Ryder, who is 24, said. “That wasn’t the beauty standard when I was younger. The beauty standard back then was having a thigh gap and being a skinny girl. Now I’m seeing that people think thick is sexy, too.”

Along with being one of the more physically stunning performers in the industry, Ryder is also one of the most well-liked. In an industry often marred by cattiness and jealousy, Ryder delights as much in the success of her colleagues as she does her own.

Performer Ameena Green, one of Ryder’s closest friends, said Ryder makes it a point to get to know her co-stars. She asks questions about their lives and makes it obvious that she genuinely cares about them as people. Green said Ryder’s sincerity creates a chemistry that leads to a more passionate scene.

“Even when she’s showing off her ass, it never feels like she’s trying to outshine anyone,” said Green, who has worked with Ryder multiple times. “I love that about her as an individual, because together, we shine even more. When you’re working with someone who uplifts you, you can produce something so much greater.

“Willow is the model of what every porn star should be.”

Rubino said it’s no surprise that Ryder’s personality has been a hit with her co-workers. While some performers enter the industry in their teens without ever having a job, Ryder developed a maturity and personable nature through her experiences before porn.

She embraces where she is, Rubino said, because of where she’s been.

“(Critics) can’t say, ‘Try a real job,’ to her,” Rubino said. “She’s had a real job. She’s had a career. And she still chose porn because this is what makes her happy. She can finally be herself without being judged. That’s very important.

“So many people live for what other people think of them instead of what makes them happy.”

Ryder uses some of the money she earns from porn to help support her family. While her mother initially opposed her decision to enter the industry, Ryder said she’s gradually becoming more open to it.

“She said as long as you’re safe and you check in with me, then it is what it is,” Ryder said. “I’ve been sending her information on my work, different articles and things. She’s starting to change her mindset and views on it. We talk every day.”

Ryder chooses to reside in Florida to be closer to her family and to stay true to her Southern roots. But she always looks forward to her trips to Los Angeles for shoots and to hang out with Green.

When they aren’t on set, the duo loves trying new Korean barbecue joints. Occasionally, they’ll hit a karaoke bar, and it’s no secret that Ryder loves to shop—that is, when she’s not in the gym working out.

“It’s always been important to me,” Ryder, an avid weightlifter, said. “I get scatter-brained very easily, so it helps me stay focused and it helps my mental health. Plus, it’s my job to stay on top of my body. I love looking in the mirror and seeing my work paying off.”

Ryder is also passionate about animals and has a soft heart for ones that have been abused. Green was touched when she accompanied Ryder to a shelter for mistreated dogs. Ryder had been following the company’s Instagram account (@roadogs) and knew the names of all the animals she took pictures with that day.

As they were driving away, Ryder took out her phone and encouraged her social media followers to contribute to the shelter or to adopt one of the dogs.

“It’s amazing,” Green said, “that someone so beautiful can also have an awesome personality and such a big heart.”

Perhaps that’s because Ryder is more content and at peace than ever. Her finances are stable, her friends are close-knit, her family is supportive—and her career is soaring.

And the best part is that there’s more to come.

“I’m very big on loving my job and loving my career,” Ryder said. “My best friends are people I’ve met in this industry. Every day brings something new, something different to get excited about.”

She pauses.

“I’m happy,” Ryder said. “I’m having fun.”

Photo and video by Tony Rubino; follow him on Instagram and X.

Austin King / Editor

Austin King spent nearly 20 years as a mainstream journalist before pivoting to coverage of the adult industry in 2020. He specializes in breaking news and in-depth features, with some of his best work to date coming for AVN Magazine in profiles of Gina Valentina, Casey Kisses, Anna-Claire Clouds, Kayden Kross, Chanel Camryn, Kenzie Anne, Lilly Bell and others. Austin resides in Texas but makes frequent trips to Porn Valley.