Lords, Lies and Videotape Part 6: Lovestruck, Sunstruck and Buttboy-struck

From SKINFLICKS Chapter 12, The Goddess

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 Chapter20] )

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.

“OK…great…Cut.”

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.”

______________________

Next: Lords, Lies and Videotape Part 7: Overexposed

Lords, Lies and Videotape Part 5: Pot vs Perfection

From SKINFLICKS Chapter 12, The Goddess

Tom Byron pursued Traci’s naked rear over a snake orgy of black power cables. “Traci, for the last time, will you marry me?”

She laughed and rolled her eyes. “Not again…”

Byron’s unabashed pining for his ex-girlfriend was an industry chuckle. But he was also one of her favorites to work with. So I hired him. With my impossible schedule, I couldn’t risk unpredictable cast chemistry.

I was sticking with my original plan to shoot the main footage of two features, even though I now had only one day to shoot in. And Traci absolutely, positively had to leave for San Francisco Airport by 10 PM.

Traci had only the script for Physical II. I hadn’t told her about Dirty Pictures ; I was afraid the total amount of sex indicated on paper would scare her off or have her demanding much more than her$1200 day rate. “I put a lot of energy into a sex scene,” Traci said in her AVN interview. “So I don’t like to do two in a day. I don’t want to be called a dead fuck.”

I wanted Traci to do two elaborate sex scenes. Only Tom Byron knew how the couplings and switchings would be chopped up to look like six full scenes in the two movies, but he wasn’t telling–three of the sexual permutations put him together with Traci.

Pleased that I’d teamed her with her two favorite men–Byron and Marc Wallice (sic)–Traci agreed to the “two” scenes. She also liked working with the second woman, Cara Lott.

I prayed that the video gods would take mercy on my cramped schedule and hold back those dreaded Murphy’s laws. But of course they didn’t.

x x x x x x

Marc Wallice sabotaged his own brain. While Traci posed for boxcover stills (shot first, while make-up is fresh), the vacuous blond actor–kind of a Dan Quayle of porn studs–snuck off to an unused room in the spacious Mill Valley house to smoke pot. By the time we were ready to roll tape, Wallice was in no shape to remember his name, much less his lines.

Sitting in front of a blue backdrop–a “bluescreen” that could be electronically replaced with bodies in action, Lords and Wallice played emcees at an event called The Erotic Olympics. “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,” Wallice began, “and welcome to the second annual…ah…ah…”

I’d wanted to start the sex after lunch. Instead, we stayed mired in dialogue.

“Our next event is…is…”

“’Masturbation,’ Marc.”

And so on.

Juggling the usual barrage of details, I couldn’t give Wallice the attention he needed. Thank God for Traci’s diligence. Though she’d picked up her script from South’s gofer at the airport and read it for the first time on the plane, she knew her lines perfectly. And Wallice’s too.

She coached and coddled him through the dialogue with a patience she didn’t extend to herself. When she finally muffed a line–“’All our finalists will now be competing for.., ’” Traci snatched up her script, glowered at it and slammed it down. “’For the grand prize of fifty thousand dollars.’ See how easy that was?”

She had the ability to snap into character on “Action.” When her bitch-queen role required her to rebuff Wallice’s pass at her, Traci did it so viciously that, after the take, Wallice was still looking confused. She patted his arm. “What a bitch, huh?”

She always strove to be perfect. Told that the next scene involved cunnilingus, she dashed into the bathroom. Ten minutes passed. I glanced at my watch; we were running three hours late. “What’s she doing in there? Fixing the plumbing?”

Byron laughed. “Yeah. Hers. When she comes out, she’ll be
clean enough to eat off of.”

“And I have often done so,” Wallice announced, missing Byron’s sour glance.

Was it my deceiving Traci that displeased the video gods?
Was that why Murphy did his worst?

Wallice couldn’t follow directions for a “sim” (softcore)
cunnilingus shot. Traci tried to help. “You’ve got to hide my
pussy with your head.” She grabbed his hair and pulled his face
into her crotch. “Oww!” Wallice sprang back, grabbing his nose.
Blood seeped between his fingers.

“Shit.” My watch read 6:36.

Then came the problem of Traci’s dress, a red mini covered
with sequins that went everywhere. As director, responsible for
visual details, I assigned myself the task of picking them out of
her pubes, enduring taunts of “Tough job, but somebody’s gotta
do it.” Lying on the bed with her legs spread wide, Traci went
into her press-release bio: She was 22 years old. She was from
Las Vegas. Her stepfather had introduced her to the business.

The spiel seemed rehearsed, but that didn’t strike me as odd.
Everything about this young woman was prepared and polished.
Except for her work schedule.

“This business really burns you out,” Traci said. “You don’t
have any kind of life for yourself. All I’ve been doing is movie
after movie after movie. I find myself going, like, ’Oh God, do I
have to fuck again?’ And I really like sex.” She added that in the
past year she’d caught VD three times.

But then there was the bottom line. “I’ve been clearing over
twenty thousand a month. This year I’ll make over 250 grand!”
Traci wanted to know if I, personally, made that much. I said I
didn’t. She seemed satisfied.

7:18 PM. Less than three hours to shoot all that sex. No
dinner break tonight. Just cold cuts between takes.

——————————–

Next: Lords, Lies and Videotape Part 6: Buttboys, Sun Damage and Rare Real Love

(I will post no photos of Lords, since she was allegedly a minor when she signed a release–with a fake “real name.”)

What’s love got to do with porn? Tom Byron/Traci Lords

If you ask any veteran pornographer who worked in the 1980s to say the first word that comes to mind when you mention the name “Traci Lords,” he/she might respond with “bitch” or “hate” or something worse.  After all, it was Lords whose revelation that she was underage during her entire reign as porn’s number one queen that almost sank the porn industry.  Yet when I think of the word “love” in relation to porn, it is a scene I shot with Traci Lords that comes to mind.

Her co-star in the scene was Tom Byron, one of the finest gentlemen ever to bare all on a porn movie set.  Now, there have been many real-life partners who worked together in porn, and their on-screen sex usually looked professional and well-rehearsed. But the real expression of their love lives came later, when cuddling at home in their beds. Tom wanted to do that with Traci, but he couldn’t.

He had been her real-life boyfriend before Traci relegated him to the status of sex-scene favorite, and nothing more.  Byron wanted desperately to return to their previous relationship. His pining after Lords had become an ongoing industry chuckle.  On the set of my video feature Physical II, he pursued her naked rear over a tangle of power cables, beseeching, “Traci, for the last time, will you marry me?” 
         She laughed and rolled her eyes. “Not again…” 

After exhibiting his usual expertise with the delightful pixie, Cara Lott, Byron waited patiently for his scene with Traci—a scene that would turn out to be unique among the many I’ve witnessed. Usually, in a boy/girl porn scene, everything caters to the male’s ability to perform.  Women complain about being left “high and dry (or ‘wet,’as it were).”  This scene was the opposite.  As detailed in SKINFLICKS: The Inside Story of the X-Rated Video Industry, Byron didn’t just have sex with Traci, he made love to her.  The scene ended with a totally satisfied Traci Lords sinking down on top of Byron, so that her hair obscured their features, while he nuzzled her neck.  I let the shot hold long.  Finally, Byron raised his head, blinked and asked, “Do we have anything else?”
         “Yes. Your come shot.”
         “Oh, yeah!” An unlikely oversight for a veteran stud.

Years after the Lords fiasco (described in SKINFLICKS), I ran into Tom Byron at a trade show. “What’s Traci up to these days?” I asked him.
          Byron shrugged. “Who the hell cares?”

    The word “love” associated with Traci Lords in the porn industry ends with the bitterly ironic title of the only porn movie she made while of legal age: the 1987 release of Traci I Love You.  Lords went on to become one of the few porn stars to enjoy success in the so-called “legit” film industry.

Tom Byron continued his Hall of  Fame career, and shifted to the other side of the camera to produce and direct award-winning videos.  A man of many interests, Byron also became an entrepreneur in fields as diverse as music and pro wrestling.       

Thanks, Will

Thanks Will (do you prefer Will or Willy?) for more kind words. I’m happy that you found SKINFLICKS to be “an incredible read about the business.”  And thank you for tweeting my blog to Nina Hartley, Tom Byron, Ron Jeremy and Cara Lott, all of whom I had found to be great people to work with.  I still haven’t found the correct way to make a reply to comments. My social network guru is due to visit on July 12, so then I’ll learn how to do it right.  Coincidently, my next blog entry will include Tom Byron and Cara Lott–and that industry disaster Traci Lords.  I hope to be able to post it tonight.  If not, it will have to await my guru on the 12th. 

Wishing you all the best,

Dave