Whap! Whap! Whap!
Traci had slammed Marc Wallice on his back and was slapping his face. “Come on, bigmouth!” she taunted. “Come on, bigmouth!”
I’d protested that even mild S and M was now legally risky, but Traci said Wallice needed this to get turned on. I hoped she’d miss those weakened nasal membranes.
Wallice’s erection showed why he was the ladies’ choice for anal sex; it was slim and curved. South’s rival, Reb Sawitz of the Pretty Girl International modeling agency, made sure women working with Wallice knew they were choosing comfort over safety. Reb would reach his beefy arm into a closet, pull out a magazine and slap it down on his desk. It was paper-clipped open to a full-page photo of Wallice taking an erection up his rear.
“I’m no butt-boy,” Wallice always protested. “I only did it that one time. I was twenty years old. I was broke and desperate.”
“What about the other ones Reb keeps in his closet?” I joked.
Wallice’s eyes went wide. He began to sputter.
(In 1998, actresses Tricia Devereaux and Brooke Ashley became HIV-positive after working with Wallice. [See Chapter 20] )
Traci had been dreading getting naked. “I fucked up,” she said. “I fell asleep on the beach.” Her midriff was crimson. She seemed about to cry.
“Not to worry,” said Kerri, the make-up artist, who quickly turned the red into a nice, deep tan.
8:07. With four of porn’s best in action, the gods finally smiled. Traci slapped, Wallice rose (though his cheeks looked like they’d vacationed with her), and the two emcees played musical fornicators with the winners of the Erotic Olympics, Tom Byron and Cara Lott.
(Cara got her stage name from a producer who observed that she really does “care a lot.” The slim, blonde pixie, still looking teenaged after ten years in the sex trade, was a woman of many hustles. Impressed by the intensity she put into the action, I joked, “We got so turned on watching you that now the whole crew wants some.”
“You know,” Cara said hopefully, “I give group rates.”)
x x x x x x
8:42. The crew rolled up the blue backdrop to reveal the living room set behind it. No slowdown. No lost hard-ons. A whole new scene for a different movie. But just when I thought we were going to breeze to the finish, that damned sunburn beneath the cosmetic tan began to peel. Traci was mortified. She pulled off flaps of skin as soon as they came loose.
“Traci don’t!” Kerri exclaimed. “I can’t match the skin underneath.” But Traci continued picking at it, and Kerri’s frantic cover-ups looked like skin grafts by med school dropouts.
Joe Farmer had a suggestion. “Instead of this blotchy look, why don’t we let it look like what it really is: peeling sunburn?”
Kerri washed off the make-up. The only one unhappy with the result was Traci. “I look like shit! And I never look bad in my movies.”
She wanted to do her remaining sex lying on her stomach. I wanted “reverse cowgirl”
(straddling the man, facing away from him) and “spoon” (lying on her side, her back to the man). These are the best positions for showing off a gorgeous body.
“But I look best on my stomach. This snakeskin is gross!”
“It’s fine. C’mon, let’s do it.”
“IT LOOKS UGLY!”
“C’mon, Traci. We’re wasting time. Let’s do it.”
Traci glared at me. I had a sudden fear she was about to explode.
“C’mon, Traci…please?” A time-honored porn directing technique was begging. I didn’t want a power struggle at 9:05 PM. Traci must’ve been thinking the same thing. “OK,” she said stiffly. “It’s your movie.”
This scene was to be an erotic climax. It required energy and rapport between Tom and Traci surpassing that of previous scenes. But now, I was afraid her performance would be stilted and mechanical.
Tom Byron to the rescue. He’d been like a schoolboy waiting for a last dance with the prom queen. And he did what a porn stud is never expected to do. He didn’t just fuck Traci; he made love to her. He knew exactly how she liked to be kissed, nuzzled, touched and tongued. He knew how to angle his entry, to time his thrusts to hers, to keep brushing his fingers on her clitoris though his shoulder looked like it would pop out of its socket. He didn’t shut his eyes to enter his own fantasyland; his concentration was always on her.
Traci became oblivious to her “snakeskin.” The Love Call built up, then caught inside her, coming out in bits and bursts. Byron grabbed Traci’s hips and gave a final series of fast strokes. Traci screamed her climax, then settled back into his arms. Byron pressed his face into her neck. I let the shot hold long.
Finally, Byron opened his eyes, blinked, and asked, “Do we have anything else?”
“Yes. Your come shot.”
“Oh, yeah!” An unlikely oversight for a veteran stud.
After Byron did his professional duty, the couple embraced, their hair and arms hiding their features. I let them have their private moment, shutting out the lights and cameras.
Traci immediately sprang up. In a moment, she was on the phone to a cab dispatcher. “I need to be out of here in fifteen minutes! My plane leaves at 10:30!”
Actually, it left at 11. I thought she was just rushing the cabbie, but her next call got her an earlier flight. All that worry about time, and she’d leave a half hour early.
Traci snatched up her $1200 cash, scribbled “Kristie E. Nussman” on the model release, and pulled on some jeans, all in one continuous motion.
The cabbie honked and the most competent, mature and sophisticated 22 year old I’d ever met hurried off into the night. If someone had told me she was only l6, I’d have answered, “You better stay out of Marc Wallice’s stash.”
x x x x x x
“They’re saying, ’Aw shit, not another Traci Lords title,’” said my sales manager Allyssa. Dirty Pictures was proving a flop. All those movies that had elevated Traci’s net worth were now clogging the market. Traci herself was disgusted with the results.
“I’m seeing myself in all these crappy little videos,” she was saying to another starlet as the two of them teetered on stiletto heels through the crowded aisles of the June, ’85 CES Show. Returning to my booth, I found myself behind them, listening in. As we reached my Superior Video display, the Love Call sounded from my big speakers. Traci glanced at her image on my Trinitrons, groaned and covered her eyes. “See what I mean?” I was tempted to rush up behind the pair and cackle, “Now I’ve got you forever, my pretty.”
That summer, Traci tried to break into legitimate films but couldn’t get past the “blue curtain” that keeps porn stars out of Hollywood.
She next tried to follow the example pioneered by Ginger Lynn: the “exclusive.” Ginger had joined Vivid Video as a partner in producing her own movies. Instead of dashing from one production to another, working for a day rate of $1000 to $1500, Ginger would make one movie a month and take a percentage of the profits. Each monthly release would have no other new Ginger Lynn pictures to compete with. The deal worked. At a time when manufacturers were struggling to sell 2000 pieces of a new movie, Ginger on the Rocks, Poonies, and The Ginger Effect averaged over 6000 each. Ginger was doing so well that she turned down Ferrari Mike’s offer of $5000 a day to break her exclusive contract and appear in his movie.
Early in 1986, Traci announced the formation of TLC (Traci Lords Company) Productions. She said she’d finally have control over her career. “When someone hears the name Traci Lords,” she said in AVN, “I want them to think that this is going to be a good film. It has to be a good film.”
Then her first release, Traci Takes Tokyo, appeared. It was so shoddy that voices directing the cast were left on the soundtrack. Reviewers were disappointed…and puzzled. What happened?
A month before the picture was released, I got an inkling that Traci was in trouble, when one of her new business partners gave me a call.