The all-time worst case of clashing porn careers has to be the tragic event that happened on the night of January 25, 1996.
For Randy Potes–AKA Cal Jammer–that stud image was everything. “Cal obsessed about his erections,” wrote AVN’s Gene Ross. “…he told me that after 20 years of living a wastrel’s existence, sex was about the only thing he had left going for him.” Able to perform 16 scenes in four days, the dislexic Potes wasn’t hired for his dialogue readings. Then, plagued by marital problems and that bane of porn stars, the IRS, Potes began failing. He fell into the funk of impotence anxiety, worsened by watching his estranged, actress wife Adrian continue her career in porn. With the O.J Simpson murder case as “inspiration,. Potes set out on the night of January 25, 1995, to murder her. Adrian locked herself in her bathroom, heard a “pop,” and emerged to find Potes lying on her lawn amidst his splattered brains.
Tensions between off-screen lovers who both have porn careers rarely reach the horror-show level of the Cal Jammer suicide. At worst, they enter the realm of absurdity. (Note: Passages from SKINFLICKS are in italics.)
Matt Daniels couldn’t function for a doggie-style scene in Spinelli’s The Party, even though it was with his off-screen girlfriend, Heather Lere. After she cussed him out in front of cast and crew, according to witnesses, the agitated actor slapped her butt and proceeded to–in Lere’s term–“spring board.”
Whatever gets the juices flowing.
In my S and M video Bound, Jamie Gillis and Serena Blaquelord demonstrated their bizarre sex-style:
In a skit the couple had concocted themselves, he made her beg, lick his hands and feet, and crawl on hands and knees wearing a collar and chain. If she was slow to obey his commands, he’d strike her with his hand, a riding crop or a cat-o’-9-tails. It looked brutal, with Serena’s yelps and the cat landing in her face, but she said later, “Jamie’s never given me a bruise, ever.”
On the past Halloween, he’d tied her naked in a bay window of their Polk Street apartment, displayed to the crowd below. Even revelers as bizarre as San Francisco’s could only stare upward, open- mouthed.
Serena and Jamie were strong performers and established stars. (Maybe that’s why they eventually went their separate ways.) But what about when a porn star has a partner who also performs but is known to be a “weak model?” That was the case when a beautiful woman I hired for a loop series insisted that she work with her boyfriend.
Buxom Desiree West, “the BlackPanther porn star (she really did belong to that radical political group),” had to suck her boyfriend Dashiell hard for every shot; he kept losing his erection. Better with punches than penis, he practiced Kung Fu during breaks.
Sucking Dashiell for the come shot, Desiree warned, “Better not let a drop of that shit land on my face.” (Maybe the implications in that warning were the reasons he practiced Kung Fu.)
“Take it on the tits, then.” I wanted to feature them anyway.
(Dashiell managed a “dribbler.”)
“He travels fastest who travels alone, and that goes double for she.” –Florence King, Reflections in a Jaundiced Eye
Especially in the fast-paced porno business.
So, were there any porn performer partnerships that worked?
Yes. Bobby Astyr and the delightful Samantha Fox were a couple from 1978 until Astyr’s death of lung cancer in 2002. Bill Margold and his wife Drea were together from 1982 until their divorce in 1984.
… in an Adam interview (1982), Margold said that he and his porn director wife Drea left the business on the movie set “and then we go home. Just as if we were working in K-Mart or Dunkin’ Donuts…You can only live in a fantasy land just so long before it starts driving you crazy.”
The best porn relationship I ever witnessed was that of Nina Hartley and her husband Dave, with whom she was mated for 20 years. Their relationship was unusual in that Nina also had a wife.
Dave often accompanied her on shoots. He enjoyed watching Nina in action, and she enjoyed being watched by him. Their mutual “wife,” Bobby Lilly, heads the anti-censorship group, Californians Against Censorship Together (CAL-ACT).
Dave was not a performer, but I was glad to have him on the set when I cast Nina. He was an able crew member whose upbeat energy was welcomed.
That supreme super-bitch, Barbara Dare, didn’t let a boyfriend get in her way. Of course, it helped that she was a lesbian.
To these ladies, the malady of boyfriendinitis is irrelevant. “I don’t need men…” Dare told an interviewer from the lesbian magazine On Our Backs, “I need women.” They trade tales among themselves about seducing both the boyfriends of straight ladies and the girlfriends of screen studs.
Next: The Rape Films of Porn’s Golden Age