January 31, 2007
So there I was, one testicle deep in the world of Spanish porn, unsure as to how I got there.
It began back in October of 2005 when I saw an article in El Mundo (a right-leaning major daily periodical) and a full-page ad in a reputable national music magazine for Follar Tour: La Gira del Infierno (Fuck Tour: The Tour from Hell).
According the website and ads, an entourage of real people—which ostensibly means people who aren’t porn stars—tour various cities throughout Spain and Portugal and engage in coitus on stage or within roped-off areas as the public looked on en masse.
I initially thought these events only happened in the American subculture that is hedonistic Southern Cali in private houses where seemingly normal people get together and grope, pull and penetrate strangers with invitations.
But no, this was not merely a swingers subculture or phenomenon.
It was something more insidious.
Tickets were 40 euros per chico, 25 euros per pareja (couple) and chicas got in free.
Eye-brow raising titles to events included:
As well as your standard hardcore completely-devoid-of-erotica in any way:
In all, there were supposed to be 35 events along with DJs and live bands starting at noon and ending at midnight.
This was to be held in November 2005 at La Riviera, a covered dome where I’ve drank beer many times before and been wowed by such acts as Wilco, LCD Soundsystem, and Jane’s Addiction (and one time seriously disappointed by Jack Johnson) since I moved here.
I even queried Penthouse and Hustler.
Hustler pays about $1,000/article.
That’s a lotta cabbage, let me tell you.
But a good friend was visiting me from the states that weekend and I didn’t think this was the kind of sightseeing she would’ve had in mind.
Several reports corroborated a lackluster outcome:
No one showed up until 5 pm.
Low ticket sales and a disproportionate number of men put the massive public orgy into slow-starter mode.
Music was intermittent–since initially there was really no one there to place music for–and later it was spotty, sometimes not having a DJ or band for up to two hours at a time.
And it ended early.
If the first follar tour was a failure, you couldn’t tell.
Several months later, Exposex billboards began popping up all over Madrid.
Then, the next day, as I’m thinking about what all this odd exhibitionist sexual behaviour means, a strange email comes into my inbox.
A Spanish porn actor, Whilly, was looking to get his website translated.
In exchange, he couldn’t pay me but he offered the possibility of witnessing one of his scenes being filmed.
I really didn’t want to see porn being filmed, but I thought there might be a story in it.
So in pursuit of amateur journalistic excellence and a few emails back and forth, we met for a drink in his flat.
He offered me a beer, which I accepted graciously.
He drank orange juice and wiped his palms on his jeans twice.
He checked his cell phone.
The apartment looked like it hadn’t been dusted or cleaned properly since he moved in, nor had he spent any time considering how to best utilize what little space there was.
In explaining this, he revealed that Barcelona was his hometown and he sometimes goes back to film scenes there.
He stays with his family.
They don’t know what he really does.
His phone rang, he answered it and politely said that he couldn’t speak right now because he was busy.
“I’m with a friend,” he said.
He hung up and explained something: he considers his life somewhat difficult because he usually answers his phone by his screen name, which is (errr—I highly recommend you don’t visit the following link if you are under 18 or offended by porn) Whilly Foc.
Of course, when friends or family call, he has to make sure to answer it coolly and reply to any questions about life as if life is normal at the bank.
He used to work at a bank.
He showed me his latest doctor-signed STD certificate–to prove that he was clean.
Sure enough, he was “clean”.
He then said that the previous offer of getting me into a shoot was off the table.
Getting a director to agree to allowing a journalist be present during the filming of a scene is extremely difficult.
So in exchange for translating his website, he would be able to get me into this upcoming ExpoSex conference.
“The world of porn”, he explained as he pulled out his phone again to check the time, “is very closed. This expo is the first of its kind in Madrid and I can get you interviews with actresses or actors, even directors.”
He wiped his palms and looked up at me and smiled.
“Hell, if you want, you can get up on stage and fuck a girl.”
I respectfully declined this offer but said that I was interested in the interviews—for the article.
For what felt like the 10th time in 20 minutes, he looked at his phone.
“I’m waiting for a call from a director,” he said.
“The thing about this business is that you have to be on call and ready to be somewhere within an hour.”
No wonder he quit working at the bank.
As I was about to leave, he opened up his dusty laptop and said, “Have you seen any of my scenes yet?”
“Ahh, no. I’ve seen the pictures on your website from your scenes though.”
I should’ve said Yes, I’m a huge fan.
Low and behold, he fires one up.
“It’s with this Romanian girl,” he explained, “who is morbid.”
Morbid (or morbosa in Spanish) means she’s nasty, that she’s really into it.
So there we were Whilly and I, in his apartment, watching one of his scenes with a morbid girl.
Foreplay was peaking and I couldn’t really do anything but watch the screen in silence, with him.
If I looked toward him, it would be awkward; if I looked away, it would somehow seem that I wasn’t interested in Whilly the “actor” as my lurid-Spanish-human-interest-piece-for-Stuff.
“Look at the way she does that. Isn’t that incredible?”
“Yep.” I answered.
The video, he revealed, took over an hour to shoot and the final scene was anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes long.
He wondered what they did with all the excess.
He skipped through much of it, showing me the highlights.
I nodded in agreement and offered the occasional “uh-huh”; he wiped his palms.
Whilly Foc looks like this in every photo I’ve seen of him.
He dons a broad, schoolboyish smile on his wide face and a thumb is up.
Always way up.
Sometimes he points (with his index finger) directly at the person he’s next to and extends his thumb up without even trying.
Either way, the thumb is up.
So I accepted the invitation to ExpoSex, an ultra-trashy sort of Oscars for the world of Spanish porn.
Its objective, according to the website, is “to normalize the sector at all levels, cinematographic, distribution, industrial, etc.” and to provide “an integral meeting point for people in the business, including the public.”
It was held in a now defunct bullfighting ring an hour outside of Madrid.
Inside, there were four stages and a slew of stands with all types of standard pornography (thousands and thousands of DVDs and videos), sexual toys, penis enlargement kits and all other types of tangible spam related to this business.
A woman, dressed head to toe in a black leather suit, looked like a mannequin.
Normally mannequins look like women.
A naked woman leaped and sprang on stage to a rock band behind her.
There was no singer.
A strip tease act by a porn actress picked a manfan from the audience and put him in a chair…
…while a pop song repeated the chorus melodramatically: “Nothing is better than your love.”
Finally, after being there for two hours, Whilly introduced me to an actress.
Her name was Alba Sanz.
After seven years of being in the business, she sees no reason to get out of it.
After such time, she is still getting nominations for “best actress”, like this year, and thinks that she has a good four or five years left in her.
The interview was conducted at a table situated directly in front of a large plasma TV where a film–her film–was being shown.
It was the one for which she was nominated as best actress.
I found it difficult to maintain eye contact with this plasmatic distraction pulsating in the background.
I asked if I could have a photo of her trying to look sexy.
I didn’t have the heart to ask for another one.
She looked wholly spent by years in front of cameras that had sucked every last drop of soul she had left in her.
She didn’t look demeaned or exploited but simply hollow.
A shadow of her original self from when she began in this business.
Sex was just her job.
I wondered when was the last time she had sex for the in-itself enjoyment of it or if she had ever had sex that allowed her to feel interconnected to someone.
Or when was the last time she had sex without a camera recording every action.
An elephantine sensation of pity covered me.
I felt a sudden urge to escape.
Almost three hours in a sex-filled porn-worshipping dome and seeing the general public all together in this “integral meeting point”, I was exhausted.
On the way out, a fetish crew had wrapped a man in plastic like a piece of luggage in an airport.
They were deciding what to do with him.
The crowd seemed to take notice when the woman pulled out a clothespin and tried to attach it to his nipple.
Then a man started burning a candle behind them, grinning maniacally.
(Of particular interest are the crowd in the back—now rather alert—and the perplexed expression of the bald man on the left and the short 60 year-old red-haired woman who hasn’t quite grasped the essence of what’s going on.)
I’ve never understood S&M and after witnessing this, I am sure I never will.
After the show, I came home and got a message from Whilly saying that he had won best actor.
(I wonder if the trophy’s raised arm had its thumb up. And it seems very odd yet quite fitting that he looks like a human-sized thumb pointing skyward.)
He invited me over for another drink to discuss his future plans for the website.
I politely declined.
I’d had enough of erotic-less sex tours for one lifetime.
But Whilly was now widow-peak deep in that world.
And that this most certainly meant more scenes, trophies, tours, conferences, excess and undoubtably many, many more thumbs up…
Good luck Whilly.