eyes

In the backyard, a hammock stretched between two trees like a fishing net. It was just before our speech communications department’s welcome potluck with fruit-in-wiggly-Jell-O and foil-covered casseroles and jalapeño-cheddar burgers. Amy, the director, was sick. So, Christopher, the assistant director, had hosted it. Out by the hammock, he asked one of the new graduate students if she wanted to have a threesome with him and his fiancé. She walked away.

When it happened, I was looking through the porch’s screen. My girlfriend Lauren and I were ready to eat. The evening tinted darker despite flames licking out of the fire pit.

***

I found porn on my computer, Lauren texted.

I had checked the time on my phone as I made copies of rubrics for class. I wondered what the porn was and how I hadn’t deleted it. I didn’t use my laptop for the Internet, only Lauren’s which was always on. I always covered my tracks by clearing history, emptying cookies, and refreshing the cache. I never downloaded anything and never paid for anything. The laptop had pop-up software and virus detectors. It almost would have been easier to deny the porn if I could pass it off as randomly appearing. Without more information, I needed to be vague.

Do you know anything about this? Lauren texted.

What?! I texted back and then turned off my phone and shoved it in my pocket.

***

One of my students was advocating for emergency poles on campus. Her plan for installing poles in the line of sight all around campus made sense. Then she began to list off other colleges to support her argument. While our university was a public research school, the ones she used were historically women-only private institutions.

I’d had another female student attempt to turn in a persuasive topic calling all women to not walk alone at night. In office hours, I had asked her if our town was unsafe. And were only women at risk? I didn’t ask if all crime—want of money, want of flesh, want of power—was mostly done by men. The girl changed her topic to suggest every college student not walk alone.

During the emergency pole speech, I didn’t interrupt. I let her finish. The class applauded as they always did. I wrote on the notes section of her rubric: So, are men the real problem?

aaaaaaa

Cris Mazza is the author of more than 17 books, including Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls, Waterbaby, Trickle-Down Timeline, and Is It Sexual Harassment Yet? Her first novel, How to Leave a Country, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction. Mazza has co-edited three anthologies, including Men Undressed: Women Writers on the Male Sexual Experience. In addition to fiction, Mazza has authored a collection of personal essays, Indigenous: Growing Up Californian. Currently living 50 miles west of Chicago, she is a professor in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Her recent memoir, Something Wrong With Her, told in real time, is about Mazza’s experience with sexual dysfunction and her evolution in coming to understand it. Mazza recently reached out to Los Angeles writer Ashley Perez after Perez wrote an essay regarding sexual pain and bondage. The two women discovered they had a lot in common, sat down, and talked very candidly about what they thought they were supposed to feel in terms of sexuality, masturbation, sexual expectations in life and in literature, and the feeling deep down that something is wrong.

What I imagine you’re thinking right now is, “Sure. This kind of thing happens to all of us. We’ve all made a porno, we’ve all watched it with our mothers, and we’ve all practically forgotten about it, because of how completely common and universal an experience it is.”

Right? That’s what you’re thinking? You guys?

Well, if that is not what you’re thinking, then I guess this one is for you–the minuscule fraction of the population that has yet to experience the joy of watching (on a giant screen, with your mom) your peers get naked and pretend to make sex.

This is a response to D.R. Haney’s essay, “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth.” I’m including it here, so as not to leave a thousand-word comment.

American film, generally, has devolved into the stuff of teenage fantasy, as Duke suggests. This is irrefutable. We might even say the industry has, ahem, transformed. We go to the movies now to watch stuff blow up, to witness orcs battling halflings, to behold wizards-in-training cavort around on broom handles, to marvel at comics come to life. I indulge in this pleasure myself, from time to time. I enjoyed Iron Man — more for Robert Downey’s suave performance than anything else, but still. And yes, these movies are devoid of sex. The closest we get to carnality in these blockbusters is Megan Fox running among the robots-cum-Dodge Durangos.

So I’m at a party and a stranger asks what I do.  When I tell them I’m a sex columnist, they laugh and joke that they should send me a letter.  “I’m not that sort of columnist,” I say.

Their brow creases.  “Well then, what do you write about?”

When I tell them sexual politics, they often look twice as confused.  “What’s that?” they ask, or else they shrug and say, “Isn’t that quite a limited topic?”

It isn’t their fault that they aren’t aware.  In most communities, sex is so taboo that people just don’t register the sexual side of political issues.  They know Michele Bachmann’s anti-gay stance is destructive, but they don’t particularly consider it a sexual topic.  Neither do they think that the Miss Universe contest, or Anders Beiring Breivik’s sexist manifesto, impinge on people’s sexual lives. That’s not to say they don’t care, because often they really do.  But the word “sex” doesn’t enter their minds.  Brothel closures, sex workers’ rights, condoms in porn, gay suicide…once I mention these topics, a light goes on and they’re with me.  But the fact that we’re not encouraged to view these issues as sexually political speaks to the effect that sexual silencing can have.  (In fact, in a recent column, I wrote about Michele Bachmann and the damaging power that her silence can wield).

The truth is, when we don’t talk about a powerful human issue, suddenly it’s everywhere — the elephant in the room.  That elephant can be so darn hard to ignore that we have to play psychological tricks with ourselves to keep it invisible.  Our unconscious gets used to automatically suppressing the sexual so that our conscious minds stop making the connection.  This could be viewed as an adaptive quality.  (You should see how often people glare at me because I even mention sex).  But I believe we need to start reversing this process, especially since so many are missing the lies we’re being told about sexuality.

Seeing as you are reading this post, I’m confident that your eyes are open to sexual issues.  So I thought you might be especially stirred by a list I created in order to answer the question, “What is Sexual Politics?”  I’ve entitled the list, “What Sexual Politics Is,” and it contains some (but by no means all) of the political issues that fire me up, right now:

Sexual Politics is:

When you work in a brothel where your clients dodge payment, until the brothel building is deemed structurally unsafe, and, much to the delight of the neighbors, is eventually closed down.  The fact that you were working in dangerous conditions isn’t mentioned by the local press. (And will you get arrested?  And Jesus, where will you sleep tonight?).

When five year-old children in Amsterdam ask their teacher “What is sex?” and he tells them it is a loving act, and none of the parents prosecute.

When your teenage son commits suicide because he was bullied for being gay, and then, after his death, the bullies continue to chant “We’re glad you’re dead,” when a grieving family member is near.

Sexual politics is a  vibrator that’s illegal, even when it’s shaped like a rubber duck.  It’s when queer sex and queer love are looked on as sinful.  It’s when you want to marry your lover, but aren’t allowed.

It’s when a porn movie, with consenting actors, is more shocking to many than the war scenes on the news.

It’s the boy who says no to condoms.  It’s the girl who says no to pleasure.  It’s the kid who feels neither female nor male, but is told that isn’t good enough, and wants hir life to end.  (If this is you, dear one, please look to Kate Bornstein who is amazing).

It’s the man who spends time with a sex worker and suddenly feels embraced and at peace, even though, technically, he’s just made himself a criminal.

It’s a world that doesn’t understand when a trans woman is having sex with a male partner and they identify as gay.  Or a world in which people who are attracted to both men and women are told that they aren’t real unless they choose.

It is a woman who has experienced deep trauma and decides to bravely enact a rape fantasy to deal with her pain.  Then, after this role-play with a trusted partner, she feels significantly healed, but is described by so-called “feminists” as as victimizing herself.

It’s a Facebook wall of rape jokes by men who, apparently, are making jovial confessions online, yet Facebook refuses to remove the conversation.

It’s when the word “cunt” is considered more offensive than “cock,” or when you’re in love with more than one person, yet society tells you you’re not.

(And that’s just the start of it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve Been Busy

By Erika Rae

Memoir

The other day as I was standing in front of the mirror plucking my eyebrows, I was hit hard with a thought: I don’t have time for this.

I leaned back and stared hard at my twin in the mirror.

“I see you, Gemini,” I told her. “But you’re not on the schedule. Sorry.”

I put down the tweezers and walked away.

Now, before you judge me, ladies, I do realize that I need to make time for myself. As the end of my thirties approaches faster than a train filled with Gideon Bibles on the way to the Branson hotel circuit, I acknowledge that if I want to look presentable, I have to make an effort. I must wash and dry my hair. I must change my jeans every so often. I must wax certain places. I must not make a habit of replacing sex with homemade baked goods. If you’re a guy reading this, I can liken it to the necessity of brushing your teeth before you go on a date and thank you so much for reading a full five paragraphs of this post.

The thing is, I don’t have any time. I know a lot of people complain about this. As far as I can tell, this characteristic appears to have been carried on by natural selection, and particularly by those who carry large amounts of German and Scotch-Irish stock, plus the DNA from one illusive yet profoundly legendary Cherokee. That is to say, “lack of time for anything” appears to be one hell of a dominant trait. And lest you think I’m writing this to complain, let me stop you right there. I love it. I love being busy and having something to work toward.

Here is a snippet from my daily schedule, which I write religiously at the dawn of each day:

12:50-1:00 – Clean lunch dishes.
1:00-1:05 – Change “Ashtray Babyhead’s”* diaper. (Multitask challenge: count his toes – he’s falling behind in math)
1:05-1:10 – Make soy latte
1:10-1:15 – Put Ashtray to bed for nap (Multitask challenge: Set 4-year old to work writing the letter “H”)
1:15-1:25 – catch up on essential emails
1:25-1:45 – ISP/Billing
1:45-2:15 – Write 500+ words on memoir
2:15-2:45 – Edits to resume for client
2:45-3:00 – Edits to one Scree article
3:00-3:15 – Check in with publishers for TNB features
3:15-3:30 – Fold laundry
3:30-3:35 – Scrub bathroom sinks (Multitask challenge: come up with topic for next chapter)
3:35-4:05 – Work on book trailer for Devangelical
4:05-4:10 – Refill latte

I would have started the schedule earlier in the day, but it basically can be reduced to teaching my second grader history, language arts and science (we do online charter school), making breakfast and showering. Sometimes in between those things, I get crazy assignments that I have to tuck in here and there. A few weeks ago, I had set up the TNB feature for Oriana Small, author of the porn memoir, Girlvert. Perhaps you saw a picture of a girl with her fist stuck in her mouth on the TNB Headline banner. Yeah, so she was my feature. You’ve always wondered what we TNB editors actually do around here, haven’t you?

Problem was, her excerpt didn’t come in a format that I could just paste into the highly sophisticated TNB interface we TNBers have come to know and love, so I had to type it in word for word. So there I am, in between feeding Goldfish to my two youngest while frantically tapping in eight glorious pages of:

I took the piss into my open mouth with a smile. It was totally ridiculous. I was thinking, Okay, done. Now I’ve tried piss and I can say with truth and conviction whenever someone asks me about it: It’s not that big of a deal.

Then to the kids who are now pulling on my sleeve: What’s that sweetie? You need some more orange juice? OK, here you go. Now where’s your Cookie Monster dolly? Mommy needs to get back to work.

It’s a crazy life. And no, I don’t always finish the task I set out to do in a set time frame – the point is that I pay SOME attention to it during that time period, and then revisit later. After the children go to bed. After the husband gets attention and the dog gets fed. Maybe I’ve plucked my eyebrows by then. Hard to say.

But the MAIN reason for my conspicuous absence as of late (other than the fact that I’m ghostwriting a memoir for somebody…oh, that) is that I’m starting a magazine.

SCREE!

I’m really excited about it, in case you couldn’t tell. I have two partners: the lovely and talented graphic artiste, Carissa Carter, and my tech guru of a husband, Scott. We’ve been working hard at it for months now. The concept is the celebration of the scramble on the way to summiting your venture. Scree is the name climbers use for the loose rocks and boulders you have to cross before you reach the top of a high peak. It’s immense and it’s challenging. Just like my magazine. Just like my life.

We’ve got some incredible features lined up, including some of TNB’s own.

Slade Ham talks about what it’s like to be pushing toward his goals as a professional comic.

Joe Daly spotlights the next big front man in rock n’ roll in the band Dom.

Brin-Jonathan Butler discusses his push uphill as he creates a documentary about world champion Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Kimberly Wetherell talks about being on the brink of successfully producing her first feature film, Lullaby.

Rich Ferguson writes about what it’s like to push toward that ever-illusive goal of actually becoming an urban legend (as well as his poem under the same name).

Nick Belardes even makes a brief appearance dressed like a Russian cosmonaut, excuse me, Commanaut.

There are many others, too. We’ve got an interview with a trending robotics company. A steam-punk electric tandem bicycle inventor. A fashion designer. An award winning photographer. And more. All people working toward the common goal of hitting the top of whatever it is they’re aiming for.  In a way, it’s like reading about next year’s super heroes before they hit it huge and are on the front page of Wired or Rolling Stone.

But it’s not about fame. It’s about the struggle. The push to be the best. The things that drive a person to keep going and make it all the way to their dream. It’s epic. And it’s just a little bit in all of us.

The really cool part is that we’ve finished design on the hard copy and have held the first proof in our hands. It’s a magazine. It’s real. It’s a real magazine. We’ve been working on this for so long now and we’re finally on the brink of letting it go. The web site is close behind the scenes, but to the public it currently looks like this:

http://scree.co

So, yeah. I’ve been busy.

But man, it feels good.

 

 

* And, no. My toddler is not actually named Ashtray Babyhead, thank you very much, Rich Ferguson, for naming him to the TNB community. (Sweet Wittle Ashtway.)

 

I got another scene request from a director at Anabolic. It was for someone named Pro Trusion. This was not his real name, of course. The video line he directed was called Oral Consumption. I was hired for a blowjob scene that included some male ass-licking and man-toe sucking. Fine with me. I hadn’t licked any man-ass before, but I was always up for trying new things. I didn’t care what I put in my mouth. I was literally a sucker for a new sexual experience.

My boyfriend wanted to come with me. He still wanted to be in with the guys at Anabolic. I was glad Tyler was coming with me to this shoot. It was at night, and I had to drive all the way out to some remote part of Chatsworth. I didn’t know that Chatsworth even existed until I did porn. Apparently, the district of Chatsworth, deep in the San Fernando Valley in the city of Los Angeles, has a higher concentration of porno companies doing business than any other place in the world. Every major street is decorated with adult industry offices. Anabolic was on Nordhoff Street, at the corner of Owensmouth. The building was ominous, a grey cement two-story warehouse that said ANABOLIC and DIABOLIC in large letters on the front.

Tyler’s eyes were shining like it was Christmas. He was told that any chick that went to the Anabolic warehouse and blew someone could have free shirts and hats. Tyler really wanted some free Anabolic gear. I told him that I would not blow a guy for clothes. That was where I drew the line. What would be next? Fucking for food? Tyler remained hopeful though. He knew he could persuade me to do anything if he threw a fit or made a big enough commotion about it. I was easily convinced. All he had to say was, “Ori, do you love me? Well, then…?” How could I argue? Of course I loved him.

We met a friendly Asian-American guy in the parking lot. His name was Voltron or Wanker. Either one of these fake names was fine to address him by. He had a big beer gut and brown skin. He was probably in his late twenties, but I couldn’t be sure. Asian people have great skin. My mom is half Chinese and has almost no wrinkles. I immediately liked this guy, Voltron. He giggled constantly. His face had an infectious humorous expression that seemed to say everything around him was a permanent joke. I liked that he didn’t take this porno shit so seriously. I felt the same way, that all of this was still a big laughing matter. The sex I was having and the money people paid me made me feel kind of silly. I never intended to do porn, it was a mistake, a happy accident, a detour. This was going to be something I was supposed to look back on and laugh at. Like, can you believe how stupid I was?

Voltron was completely harmless. I would have never suspected that he had previously done time for pistol-whipping an ex-girlfriend. He didn’t even seem like he had a dick. He was entirely void of sexuality. He had a mean sense of humor, but so did I. He was a very sick person, though. He turned out to be a serious drug addict. He is still suspected of murdering his girlfriend, a porno girl named Haley. We will never truly know because Voltron, aka Wanker, killed himself shortly after her death.

Led by Voltron, we walked through the empty office building to the back, near the warehouse. It was past seven at night, and all the employees had long since gone home. There were several lights, called Kino Flos, set up near a couch. Kino Flos are packages of fluorescent lights, the most common lighting equipment in porn. A few dudes were there getting things ready for the shoot. I can’t remember who they were because they were shy. And I was still embarrassed to be there. I wasn’t able to proudly say, as I can now, “I’m Ashley Blue, and I’m here for the blowjob scene and ass-licking.”

Pro Trusion introduced himself. “Hello, pleased to meet you, I’m Pro. Ashley Blue? And, is this your boyfriend?” He was sneering too much to be sincere. He was downright sarcastic. But he was funny. You could tell that he meant to be entertaining. It was clear that he liked attention. Pro Trusion had a speech impediment and sounded like an exaggerated character from The Simpsons. Maybe he had to develop the comedic personality because of his lifelong problem. Spit, white spittle, was flying as he talked.

Bitterness also exuded from this man. He was very unattractive, in looks and personality. He was around fifty years old and was bald and a tad overweight. He told us right away what he wanted us to know about him, his own story, his mythology. At the time, Tyler and I believed everything people told us about themselves. I didn’t think anyone had a reason to lie in porno. I thought everyone was already a degenerate, so there’s no reason to lie and make yourself sound better, because everyone already thought of you as a lowlife. I was wrong about that. Pro explained that he was a rich real estate developer and just directed porno for fun. What he really got off on was rough sex. His Rough Sex series of videos were so abusive that he had to discontinue them. Stores banned his work for the sheer violence toward women. This made him prouder than anything else he’d accomplished in life, he said.

Pro was an incessant talker. When he spoke, he looked straight into Tyler’s and my eyes for reactions. He wanted us to be scared and shocked. Pro Trusion was desperately excited to put fear into me. It was confusing, because he also made us laugh with his clever humor. He was obviously a smart guy. But at the same time we were very uncomfortable by how vulgar he was. He smoked a putrid smelling cigar and bared his yellow-brown teeth around its soggy butt as he talked. He used intellectual words. He was testing my comprehension, trying to see how intelligent I was. He even remarked a couple of condescending times that I was “pretty smart for an ass-licking, little anal whore.”

I just let Pro Trusion talk to me any way he wanted, which was down and rude. Yet another thing to get used to in this porno business, I thought. I shouldn’t expect any better treatment from these pornographers, really. Why would I need his respect? In a few minutes he’s going to see me with my tongue in some guy’s asshole. Respectfulness had a vague meaning to me. It didn’t really bother me to be disrespected on a porn level. Pro wasn’t going to be my friend. I was young and seeking his approval as a porn director, not his respect as a human being. Some sick and sad people in life are incapable of paying such common dignities. I wanted this cretin, Pro Trusion, to be singing my praises by the end of this blowjob scene. Through sexual performance, I was going to gain–I was going to earn–some recognition.

I sat down on the couch with a light pointed at my face. The dude I was about to blow, Bent Brent, was sitting nearby on a chair. He was rubbing his cock through his pants. So was Tyler. Voltron worked the video camera, and Pro Trusion started with his questions. One of his specialties was to ask a girl just the right questions to make her cry on film. His interviews always came first, before the sex. he asked me about my parents–did they know? No, they didn’t, and I didn’t care if they did. He inquired about my aspirations before I decided to suck cock for a living. His goal was to make me feel like a piece of shit. He said, “…because that’s what you are, aren’t you, a piece of shit?” I told him I wanted to be an artist. I was unshaken by his insults. He couldn’t make me feel bad about myself, no matter how much of a jerk he tried to be. How could this guy think he had any grounds to judge me? To Pro’s disappointment, I didn’t cry. He said he wanted to continue the interview some other time, for another scene. Good. Another gig meant more money.

We had to start the blowjob. Bent Brent had a long, uncircumcised penis. It was about ten inches with a curve in the middle. It was like an elephant’s trunk, but I managed to get the entire thing down my throat. It was better to deep throat than to suck because of the foreskin. The smell underneath foreskin grosses me out. It’s sour and resembles the stench of what is in between sweaty toes. Brent’s had a lot of white, cheesy stuff under it, too. Every time he stroked his cock, more would appear. It was like a butter churn.

During the blowjob and ass-eating, Pro berated me. I just licked away at the butthole. It was freshly swabbed with a baby wipe. The ass was much less offensive than cock cheese. Brent had pretty clean toes, too. There wasn’t any visible fungus like so many other porno guys had. The feet were dry and rough with calluses. I sucked each toe individually, then stuck the whole foot into my mouth, as far down as I could. Then I choked myself, taking the extra step. I wanted to show everyone how into this I was. I didn’t want anyone to pity me or think I was doing it just for the money. I don’t–I didn’t–think I was doing it just for the money.

Pro saw me choking myself with Brent’s cock and foot. “Do you like to get choked?” he asked after Bent Brent had dumped his load all over my face. Tyler had gotten turned on during the scene and decided to pop on me as well. Now I was wiping both of their cum off of me. Without much thought, I replied with a yes. I remarked how much I liked it when Mark Davis had done it to me, that I loved it. Mark Davis was the sexiest porno guy ever. He was English and handsome. It didn’t even matter that he was uncircumcised. He could make it work–he could make you feel happy about foreskin. I swooned when I worked with him. He was charming and sexy, just like my own boyfriend, only a  little more. Doing scenes with Mark Davis was like acting out a romance novel.

“Can I choke you?” Pro asked with a dark gleam in his eyes. My compliments about Mark Davis struck a nerve. Pro Trusion didn’t like it when girls talked about Mark Davis choking them. According to Pro, Mark couldn’t do it the right way. “I am the only one who does it right. Let me choke you.” I said it would have to wait until the next shoot. Fair enough.

“Do you like to get pissed on?” Pro asked. He was relentless.

I thought about it, then laughed, looking at Tyler. “No, no one’s ever done that to me.”

Pro gasped, “What? You’re kidding me! You have to try it. You’ll love it! I swear on my children! All girls love piss. Every girl I’ve ever pissed on absolutely loved it! We can do it right now. Can I piss on you?” His yellow-brown teeth were gnashing together with delight. This was a real treat.

I stared at Tyler, sort of in disbelief. I never thought anyone would be asking if they could piss on me. Especially someone I barely knew. I didn’t have a ready answer. So, I responded, “No, you can’t piss on me. If I were ever going to do that, it would only be with my boyfriend. He’s the only one who ever could.” Thinking Tyler was on the same page, I thought I had gracefully dodged the situation. I didn’t want to get pissed on for the first time in front of people. I liked to do everything at home first. Instead of remaining on the same level, Tyler lit up with excitement. “Okay, let’s do it! I’ll piss on you!” This was his chance to finally be in on the action. He’d been sitting on the sidelines for so many shoots and wasn’t satisfied with just being an extra pop shot. He jumped at the chance to piss in my mouth. I don’t know why I thought he wouldn’t.

“No, Tyler, you can’t just piss on me right now. Your pee is too yellow. It’s gross.” I was looking for any reason at all to stop what was already sadly in motion.

“My pee is always clear. Can I piss on you?” Pro wouldn’t give up trying to gain first pissing rights to my mouth.

“No! I’ll drink water. Look, I’m drinking right now.” Tyler chugged down the bottle in his hand, and Voltron handed him another.

“All right, fine.” I gave up and laughed at myself. Not ten minutes earlier I had wiped the cum of two guys out of my eyes. Soon, I would be wiping out piss. Who knows, I thought, maybe I really will love it. I did love it in the ass. Part of me looked forward to any possibility of enjoyment. It would definitely be the most hardcore thing I could be into. Anal sex and piss. There was a ring to it.

Tyler filled up his bladder as much as he could. Voltron and Pro went into one of Anabolic’s employee bathrooms with Tyler and me. The door was wide open for all of the others to watch. I got down on my knees and made sure my face was positioned over the toilet bowl. Ha, now I’m the toilet bowl, I thought. I looked up at Tyler as he unzipped and pulled out his soft dick. I watched the peehole until the pee stream appeared. Then it was steadily flowing into my mouth. It was warm and gross, salty and stinky, all vinegar and sour herbs. There wasn’t a lot of yellow to it, but it was still sour. All the water he drank didn’t make it exactly clean.

The piss filled up my mouth a couple of times there was so much. I just spit it into the bowl. No way I was going to swallow it. After about thirty seconds, Tyler stopped pissing. He couldn’t pee anymore. He was completely hard. Pissing in my mouth gave him a huge boner. I looked at him and said, “Are you serious?”

His erection was very serious. It turned him on big time that I was kneeling over a toilet getting pissed on. I even put my hair into pigtails for him, at his request.

I took the piss into my open mouth with a smile. It was totally ridiculous. I was thinking, Okay, done. Now I’ve tried piss and I can say with truth and conviction whenever someone asks me about it: It’s not that big of a deal. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t totally despise it. I guess it was more for the guy to get off on. Voltron captured it all on video. I consented to have it be taped, and Pro paid me an extra two hundred dollars in cash. He said it would never be seen by anyone else but him, that he had a whole collection of private videos that he kept at home to jerk off to. Stupid me, I believed him.

A few months later, the piss scene in the bathroom ended up on one of Pro’s websites called PissMops.com. I felt like an idiot for trusting this guy. It was out of my control. Once you sign that model release, it’s over. What you did is no longer yours. As the performer, I surrendered absolute consent after I was paid for the footage. It didn’t really bother me to have this surprise video resurface later in life. To tell the truth, I like that people can watch me getting pissed on my first time. I like piss now. By the time Piss Mops was put on to DVD, I was ready for it. Pro Trusion even put me on the front cover.

What is the most horrifying smell that you’ve encountered from porn?

The smell of a vagina with vaginitis is the worst ever.  On the set of a lesbian gangbang movie in 2006, a smoking-hot girl opened her legs to get pummeled with gigantic, double ended, black dildos.  Her fellow performers plugged her holes up, airtight.  When the anaconda-like devices came out, it was like breaking a vacuum seal.  Rotten fish garbage steamed out of her. I turned my head and died for her inside.  Too much going back and forth ass to pussy had created the stench.  But she was still fucking beautiful.

 

What makes you happy?

Swearing always makes me smile.  I laugh when I hear and get overjoyed when I read any nasty language.  Maybe it has something to do with a hot sauce and spicy food fetish.  I love the burning sensation and shock in my mouth and in my throat.  If my eyes aren’t watering, it’s not strong enough.  Cussing, in my opinion, can never be overused.  It’s just not for everyone though, and I wish it could be.  Some people’s digestion just can’t handle it.  But it should still be respected.


Who do you love?

I love my husband the most, then artists and whores.  We both love artists and whores.  He may love them more than me even, because he married both.


What disgusts you?

Being a bore is absolutely sickening to me.  I can’t stand it when people brag about being boring or normal.  I can’t stand bragging either.  Unless it’s in a completely ghetto way, then it’s funny.  And that is the highest honor, making someone laugh.


Are you a feminist?

No.

 

What made you think you could write a book?

I didn’t think I could.  The only thing I’ve really done is porn, and most people think porn stars are morons that can’t even read.  Going into writing Girlvert, I had no confidence, just one crazy story at a time.  I knew it would be interesting, and entertaining, but unsure if I was a good enough writer.  Accepting and believing the praise was difficult.  I thought that everyone was just being nice to me for a long time.  Then the book was published and in my hands, and awesome!


What now?  What next?

Right now, I am devoted to Girlvert.  My entire life has changed because of it already.  The porn star is fading out and the writer is born.   It’s a much more grown-up job, with different responsibilities.  I’d like to avoid being censored as much as possible.  My next book is in the works with my publisher.  But there is a lot of real work to be done as a writer.  And I also haven’t quit being an artist…or a whore.  That is the permanent foundation for all my creative energy at the moment.

Closet

By Elizabeth Hazen

Poem

The hallway to your father’s closet lengthens

like the hallway in a horror flick, and already


breathless at the threshold, you inhale the musky-

raw smells of tweed and leather that will settle


in your hair, so hours later you will think

of the closet, of the photos in the magazines


hidden on his sweater shelf—of the lighting

in these pictures, orangey-pink, suggesting flesh


and places deep inside the body that you

have not yet found. The women—spreading wide,


splaying endless legs across the page

like fleshy insects, turning themselves inside out,


bodies spilling like secrets—compel you

to flip to less distressing images of breasts


and hands, flicking tongues. You skim their interests:

Vanessa likes kung fu. Brandi studies


the stars. You want eyes that prowl like that, dreams

worthy of print, and lingerie that serves no purpose


but to accentuate the perfect nakedness

you still believe all girls grow into— Now


space closes in around you—breath quickens—

fingers frantic— undoing—undone—verging on—


in your father’s closet time suspends itself,

extends beyond the shut door, promising escape.


The women do not see you, just as you

do not see them, do not see yourself: your eyes


are closed. You disappear behind your father’s

flannel suits, and when you emerge from the closet,


flushed and reeling, no one has noticed you

were gone; the world remains unchanged, though lingering


on the tip of your tongue, a word taking shape

like the answer to a question no one has asked you yet.

AS ANSWERED BY ALL OF US… We’re one united living breathing organism

 

Please explain what just happened.

We were just looking at a photo of three girls we know from high school that ended up on some porn site. We’re currently driving through New Mexico.

 

What is your earliest memory?

WAHHHH WAHHH MILK TEARS SLEEP FOOD WAHHH.

 

If you weren’t musicians, what other profession would you choose?

I’d be in the NHL, I’d be a teacher, I’d sling beanbags, I’d be the head of Def Jam.

Dear Geoff,
I’m not sure why I thought it would work
there in my parent’s bedroom
the child lock released from the back
of the satellite tv box
my fever ablaze and coughing
hand crammed into the tight v between my thighs
too ashamed to actually touch my own skin
yet rubbing one out for the fifth time that morning.
I believed that if I could scrub
the hundreds of dirty hopes
out of my red raw crotch
they would be gone for good.
If I could simply compel my body to rise and fall
enough at the sight of those impossible role models
so ready to moan for my redemption
I would be healed.
The best part of staying home sick from school
was this false church.
Looking back, I can ask why
I might have wanted to be free of my own desires.
Looking back, I can see how
I took to the moan like a new secretary
eager to please and thorough.
I tell you this now
because the lies are half true,
because the body is half yours.

J.B. is quiet, talks in a soft voice. Built like Olive Oil, Popeye’s girlfriend, he could probably hide behind a flagpole with room to spare. Hair dirty and hanging in dreads, he suffers from an obvious lack of coordination. I think he’s cute, though not strikingly handsome. When he grins, full fleshy lips pull up over his teeth. He’s got a crooked kind of smile, and this makes me like him all the more.

I will let him kiss me today.

Author’s Note: This is a fictional letter which imagines the sort of letters a pornography review magazine might receive, if such a thing existed. It in no way represents the author’s feelings about the state of pornography either past or present.

Sir,

I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems to me that pornography these days is nowhere near as audio-visual as it once was. Surely I can’t be the only one who misses a simpler, more innocent time of high production values, bushy pubes and fantastic soundtracks?

Maybe the kids of today just take video tapes of depraved sexual acts for granted, and at face value. I am of the age where I can still remember pornography coming in the form of either dirty magazines or out-of-the-way erotica theatres.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the advent of home video gave us sexual degradation we didn’t have to imagine, but witness first hand in all its grainy glory. This new market was swiftly capitalized on by the sections of society with loose morals and huge moustaches. And lo, the golden age of erotica was born.

It wasn’t just a dirty film, but an audio-visual treat for all the senses! The high production values, ‘stiff’ acting, and the carnal act itself all wonderfully sound tracked by German techno or wailing guitars. I was thirty-four before I knew it was possible to make a girl orgasm without a synthesizer! Thirty-four!

Kids laugh at the classics now, mocking the cheesey dialogue and contrived plots. But, I ask, is a woman having her clitoris in her throat really that much more unlikely than an intergalatic empire fighting swarms of teddy bears in a forest?! Why is it possible to suspend disbelief in one form of entertainment, but then scoff at another? Suspension of disbelief is paramount to the enjoyment of fantasy films.

And as for those that complain that in vintage erotica the women are ‘fat’ (natural) and ‘hairy’ (real) and that it takes a full six minutes before the busty young medical intern even shows so much as a nipple… well, have they not heard of a little something called suspense? Something, which Alfred Hitchcock well knew, heightens the climax.

I suppose they just don’t have those same feelings of nostalgia as I do. In this sex saturated age why should today’s kids get aroused by a glimpse of nipple through a chenille nighty when even that gets a 12a rating in Hollywood blockbusters these days?

Perhaps I’m just one of those old fogies, too set in his ways to embrace change, Brazilian waxing, or interracial S&M gangbangs… Goodness, I hacked into my son’s laptop last weekend and a quick glance at the search history actually made me blush! Gone are the intricate storylines and hilarious innuendo of yesteryear, replaced with hairless blonde harlots with shaven loins and swollen sphincters.

And it’s not even as though this has been for the sake of improved quality! The very same VHS innovation that opened my mind to the joys of male-female fornication is in now such wide usage that any Tom, Dick or Sally can film their activities and upload them onto the world wide web. With such an influx of amateur material it’s no wonder quality control has slipped! Even the studios now present ‘gonzo’ films, putting we the viewers right into the pumping, thrusting heart of the action. Frankly this makes me more than a little queasy— and the camera operators getting in on the action just smacks of unprofessionalism!

In these modern films the leads simply jump right into action with the barest of cursory explanations. If I’m going to witnesses a young waitresses being punished by her manager I want to know exactly what it is that she’s done to earn such a harsh and unorthodox punishment. It is what the viewer deserves at the very least! How can I, as a viewer, get into this erotic situation without the relevant background details? If I wanted sexual pleasure without an element of fantasy I’d just go back to sleeping with my wife.

I have a particular penchant for schoolgirls. In my day it was all cute pigtails and plaid skirts. I tried viewing a contemporary take on my favourite of all the genres of erotica and found it was all denim shorts and funky hair dos. These girls could be anything from off duty cops, receptionists on a dress down Friday or even hookers! How can I differentiate between the babysitter getting spanked for drinking on the job and the underacheiving schoolgirl giving sexual favours in the hope of attaining better grades without the appropriate visial cues?

I don’t want to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but when I was young pornography wasn’t just gratifying, it was entertaining— these days it’s just filth.

Unarousedly yours,

Sherlock J. Hazlebrook, Tunbridge Wells

I am not Keith Richards. This undeniably true fact annoys me considerably.

What’s more, I am not in any way handsome or musically talented. This means that I am not, never have been and never will be a rock god. All I ever wanted to do is lounge around in villas in the south of France drinking wine, soaking up the sun and recording a bit of a classic rock album when I get bored of just being cool.

I imagine I’m not alone. Everyone wants to be something/somewhere different. People from London dream of New York and vice versa, people with straight hair wish it was curly and curly haired folk long only for straightness. I’m lucky; I have the worst of both worlds.

I am not cool; in trying to be cool I only become less cool. It’s 2010, and flared jeans are no longer cool. So now I’m just the quite short weirdo in flares with bad hair and the hallmark of British dentistry: a mouth that appears to have been designed by MC Escher and constructed from broken chalk and the nightmares of small children.

I am not cool, and this is why the only time I don’t sleep alone is when I fall asleep reading. It’s tragic, it really is. If only girls really liked quite short skinny weird looking guys in flares— especially ones with bad teeth and a long, wild bouquet of pubes for a hairstyle. If only there were a guy like me in the media to relate too… but TV is for cool people, and if you’re not cool then you at least have the decency to be good looking.

But I don’t begrudge the pretty people on television and the warm comfort they provide night after lonely night. Without pretty people on television masturbation is even more futile and drepressing than it is already…

I wrote a novel last year, and the second chapter I wrote was something of a cross between autobiography and prediction for the future:

”Brad Hannigan sat slumped back on the twenty five year old wingback chair in his claustrophobic grey cubicle. His mind drifted from thought to thought, never really focusing on one image long enough to process it and engage with it.

Most of the images in Brad’s mind were of topless young women he used to look at on computer screens when he was a student of English Literature at Pearford College. They were images burned onto his mind long ago, repetitively pleasuring himself to the same dirty Latina maids, first time anal virgins and nubile co-eds. Brad thought he was very clever; by only ever searching for ‘Latin’ ‘co-ed’ and ‘non-alcoholic cocktails’ anyone who happened to glance his search history would think he was a simply curious about ancient languages and healthy alternatives to mojitos.

It is said that pornography is the hardest addiction to give up due to it’s visual nature; you will eventually forget how good beer tastes, how sweet cigarettes once were, but once you’ve seen a poor German hitchhiker ‘stuffed in every hole’ because she didn’t have money for gas then you’ll see her poor, red sweaty face and hear her flesh muffled screaming forever…”

In the story Brad Hannigan is a journalist in the near future, as print journalism is dying out. His existence is pretty futile. He is totally uncool.

That’s me: uncool. And what’s worse is now I have to scrap the second paragraph because someone invented InPrivate browsing. The advert says it’s so you can buy secret gifts online, but I doubt that anyone ever uses it for that purpose and instead uses it either for hacking into partners e-mails/social network accounts or, more likely, wanking with wild abandon with no worry of the fact seeping into the hard drive forever the effluence of a wet dream seeping through the sheets and into mattress.

‘You’re funny though’ people say. Sometimes— usually quantifying this statement with ‘sometimes’ or ‘quite.’

This is true. One of the proudest moments of my life is the time my scriptwriting tutor told me he thought I had talent for comedy. Normally this would be quite pleasant, but this guy was in The Life of Brian, worked with Monty Python on other occasions and also worked with Douglas Adams. That… that was pretty cool.

And that’s all I’ve got really— the brief moments when being funny equates to coolness. It’s rare, but it happens.

But I don’t want that. I want to be in my villa abusing heroin, groupies and vintage guitars. If classic rock and television has taught me anything it’s that girls like guys with bad attitudes, awesome boots and excessively large belt buckles. Also: alcohol abuse. Yeah, alcohol is cool.

Except when I drink too much I am not cool. Except one time when we had to go to a fancy dress totally in character. I went as Keith Richards, stole two bottles of wine, farted loudly in front of everyone and fell asleep on the stairs when I got home.

That was kind of borderline— it’s both cool and uncool. On the one hand someone said I was an impressive method actor, on the other a girl in a wheelchair recoiled in horror when I opened my gruesomely-toothed mouth to speak.

Mostly though ‘rock and roll drinking’ ends with me asleep in the hallway, outside my bedroom door or on my bedroom floor; the girl in the next room thought I died once because she heard me stumble up the stairs, open the door and then, after a brief pause, a loud thud as a body hit the floor. She stopped worrying once I started to snore.

I want desperately to be cool. I want to be able to swagger around like a rock star and snort cocaine off silver platters and whatever else elegantly wasted rockers do besides making awesome music. I want girls to be impressed by my existence.

I made a film recently, for part of my university course. I left it until the very last minute. Even then I still found time to go to London and a birthday party where I ‘drank like a rock star.’ I made it with a lot of help from my friend Sam in one night. It was then edited the next day whilst watching National Treasure 2.

I had to show the film on a large screen to the rest of my class. It went down incredibly well— lots of laughs and an amazing round of applause. A lot of people came to talk to me afterwards. People were quoting from a film I’d made at five o’clock in the morning two days before.

People were impressed— girls were impressed.

And really, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? I mean Keith and me. And Jesus, look at his teeth back in the day… Keith was never trying to be cool (this is the only instance where trying already means you’re failing) he was just using all the talents at his disposal to get some satisfaction.*

I’ve been going about it all wrong the whole time. Sure, the villa in France and sunshine and shagging supermodels/actresses/both is way more fun than sitting in a dark room writing pages of shit like this in the vague hope that eventually you’ll strike comedy gold, but it amounts to the same thing in the end.

 We’re alike me and Keith, we just want some girls.**







*I know, I’m better than this.

**So, so much better than this…


I’ve always felt it was too easy for a person to be labeled a “porn star.”

The criteria seem to be that you have had sex, on camera, for the purpose of distribution, and that many people have seen it. But such criteria say nothing about one’s history, accomplishment or following. The real problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a linguistic distinction between the entry-level and the career-minded varieties of porn star.

Consider that, to be a movie star, you probably have to have at least one major motion picture out, maybe two, and you have to have been invited to appear, for that movie, on at least one talk show. To get that far, chances are good that you paid your dues: maybe a Lifetime special, definitely a rapist or victim on Law & Order: SVU. And that’s just by modern standards, where buzz is generated much more quickly, and the masses catch all their star news virally. When it comes to the classic star hierarchy, we’re talking about the A and B listers, and even then we’re dealing with maybe eighty people in the whole industry (two of which are Tom Cruise).

Becoming a rock star is a bit easier. One song on the radio will do, and really, if you get up on any stage, belt out a few notes, swagger around a bit and generally act sweaty, most people will give it to you as a kind of honorarium, as something you’ve earned by way of presence. “He’s such a rock star,” in the common vernacular, has come to indicate an attitude more than it does any kind of real success in the music business.

The label “porn star,” however, has the unique properties of being both literal and inclusive. That is, you must have been in a porn to be a porn star.  Cut and dry.  But once you’ve hopped that first gentle bar, you’re in for life, right at the top.  Even if the act was years ago, the distinction then becomes “ex-porn-star.”

The labeling issue is further confused when you consider the relative ease of getting a great many people to watch you in a porn.  Get a small part in an edgy indie movie, and a few thousand might see it. Write a song and some of your friends will be kind enough to listen. Take your pants off on camera and the world will click twice to see what’s going on down there.

Clearly, the title/suffix “star” has been too widely granted. We don’t yet have a good word for an “amateur porn star.” In fact, we stare the absurdity right in the face, because the proper terminology would be just that: “amateur porn star.”

Film critics offer a grim solution to this problem. Whenever the moniker “movie star” isn’t enough, they call an actor a “superstar,” or, ever more often, a “mega-star.

Porn-Mega-Star” has all the charm of an end villain in a Transformers spinoff, but at least it differentiates.

My solution?  Simplify things. We need to establish a base term for, um, entry level porn actors. Instead of “porn star,” we could call someone a “porner” (I also considered “smactor”). A “porner” is anyone who has been in a porn.

With a little effort and some skill in marketing, a porner could eventually work his way up to official porn stardom.  And so on. Such labels might even have the effect of legitimizing a career ladder which has long been dubious at best.

Now, if only we could figure out summer internships.