The Curse of “Boyfriendinitis”

Adult Video News reported that a newcomer named Leena was so ecstatic about her heart-throb Peter North coming on her face that she left it on to show her boyfriend.

The boyfriend’s reaction was not reported, but he must have been more tolerant of his lady-love’s new career than the men described below.  These worthies are examples of that pornmaker’s headache called “boyfriendinitis.”

(Excerpts from SKINFLICKS are in italics.)

b & w pictures from authorhouse 016
Amy Rogers (with Tom Byron) in DIRTY PICTURES

I’d hired stunning, voluptuous Robin Cannes for Dirty Pictures, only to have her husband decide at the last moment that
he didn’t want his wife in pornos. (I replaced her with equally voluptuous Amy Rogers, whose boyfriend, porn actor Kevin James, was glad to see her getting work.)

At one of Joe Elliot’s casting sessions, I hired a stunning new woman with the porn name of Connie Lindstrom.  She was every man’s fantasy of a flaxen-haired Swedish goddess.  Then, before the shoot, her fiance gave her genital herpes.  Unlike most porn stars, Connie was ethical enough to refuse to pass it along to screen partners.  She limited herself to fellatio–frustrating the studs who wanted a go at her cunny.

Samantha Strong claimed she got into porn to spite her boyfriend; then she left the business to please her new one, a wealthy Israeli. He reportedly walked into South’s office with $250,000 in cash, wanting to buy up all her movies and take them off the market–he was told the task was impossible. Then Strong decided her new love had a drug problem, dropped him, and returned to porn.

Adult Video News quoted giddily sardonic Nikki Wilde’s assessment of her marriage: “I hate him! We’re still married…I hope he dies soon. You hear this, (name withheld)? I’m gonna get you, ’cause I’m a Scorpio and you fucked me over.”

AVN reported a divorce proceedings stemming from a “background” actress telling her spouse she was going to a church festival, when actually she was heading for the set of Oriental Treatment II.

One of my favorite screen ladies, whom I won’t name in the interest of preserving her domestic tranquility, married a wealthy man who demanded she leave the business–which she did. Yet, she snuck off to perform in one of Superior’s features. Maybe she was bored.

Kristara Barrington lamented, “When I come home to my boyfriend and we make love, I think of it as work almost.”

Musing over why industry love affairs were so short-term, Juliet Anderson said, “When you drive a bus ten hours a day, you don’t want to spend your vacation on a Greyhound.”

Pursuing porn’s promise of wealth, many actresses would echo Samantha Strong’s declaration upon signing a 15-picture contract with Western Visuals: “I do not have, nor do I want a personal life right now.” Alice Springs put it simply: “I don’t have a boyfriend, thank God.”

OK, so a private-life lover can sour a porn career.  What about when both partners work in porn?  Good? Bad? Disastrous?  All of the above?

___________

Next:  Screwings: On-screen and Off.  When Porn Careers Clash

 

Lords, Lies and videotape Part 7: Overexposed

Uh-oh…

The non-stop gauntlet of shoots Traci Lords plunged into brought her more than a fat bank account:

She suffered from overexposure.

From SKINFLICKS, Chapter 12, The Goddess:

“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.
____________________

Next: Lords, Lies and Videotape Part 8: Partners from Hell

 

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.”)

How Three Movies I Made Became Instant Child Pornography

“She’s perfect,” sighed lovestruck stud Tom Byron. “I mean, every girl in this business has some kind of flaw. Like she might be a bitch, or does too much coke, or has a saggy ass-something. But Traci…she doesn’t have a single fault. She’s perfect in every way.”

The above quote, from SKINFLICKS, was uttered when I was casting Physical II, the sequel to our best-seller, Physical.  Byron’s co-star was the woman of his dreams–and the dreams of millions of porn fans.

She was the hottest thing in adult video and she would turn out to be the worst thing that ever happened to the world of porn.

But I didn’t know that when I shot Traci Lords in 1985’s Physical II, Dirty Pictures and The Reincarnation of Don Juan.  If someone had told me that she was under 18 during those productions, I would have retorted, “Can I get some of what you’re smoking?”

For one thing, Christie E. Nussman (Lord’s false “real” name) seemed to be the most mature and competent 22-year-old I’d ever met.  Though she had first read the script on the flight from L.A. to San Francisco, she knew her lines perfectly–and everyone else’s, too.  She was a perfectionist in everything from hygiene to her hyperventilated love screams.  From a director’s standpoint, she was a dream to work with.  The nightmare was still to come.

(Passages from SKINFLICKS are in italics.)

Could a fifteen year old girl rise to the top of the porn world without anyone suspecting her true age? Was she sophisticated enough to bamboozle Penthouse, the U.S. Government, and the entire porn industry? To spend two years dashing from set to set, yet find time to invest her earnings wisely enough to be “set for life?” To beat alleged IRS and forged passport felony violations? And, finally, to parlay the age fiasco into Hollywood success?

During a wardrobe malfunction, I got to hear her spiel.

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.

All lies.  But well-told.

And why would she sabotage her lucrative career by finally telling the truth?  (If indeed it was the truth.)

Next: Shooting Traci Lords (with a camera): Truth vs Fiction in 1986

 

 

A Strange Case of Porn Stud Failure

Lots of things can cause that porn set malady, penis limpus: hot lights, cold girls, bad drugs, poor hygiene, off-color secretions. But the oddest culprit I ever saw was a jacket. It belonged to porn’s Burt Reynolds clone, Sasha Gabor.

Amy Rogers, Tom Byron, from Dirty Pictures (no photo of Sasha Gabor)

(Passages from SKINFLICKS are in italics.)  The Norwegian native arrived at the Dirty Pictures location in his black Trans Am with the “BANDIT” license plate, wearing his bright red “Bandit” jacket and a Stetson.  Waiting for his scene with Amy Rogers, he kept telling me he was raring to go.  When she began to undress him, his erection threatened to split his zipper.  Then his jacket sleeve got snagged on a shirt button.  In the time it took to free the garment, his erection disappeared.  The sponges holding back Amy’s period turned him off further.  We had to shoot the scene sim; Sasha’s penis stayed dormant. The only thing “stiff” was his attempt to maintain his Bandit bluster.  I was glad I had those Herschel Savage close-ups.

Seasoned pornographers prepared for stud failures by accumulating an “insert library” of explicit, hardcore, jousting-genital close-ups that could be cut into scenes that had to be shot “sim” (simulated—no genital penetration). To match different colored pubic hair, I had close-ups for blond man/blonde woman, blond man/brunette woman, brunet man/blonde woman, black man/blonde woman, etcetera, etcetera.  John Holmes said he was on a shoot where none of the men could perform. He provided the hardcore close-ups for nine scenes, creating a film with eight men who all appeared to have foot-long erections.

Sasha Gabor must have been able to perform adequately, since he appeared in about 120 pornos between 1984 and 2001. I just happened to get him on a “bad cock day.”  (I was sad to learn that he died of heart disease in 2008.)

Porn studdom can be a precarious profession.  That’s why the “reliables” kept getting hired again and again and again.  Female fans complain about seeing the same guys in picture after picture.  But the male fans—who comprise the bulk of the audience—don’t mind.  They just want to see new women.  To them, the familiar male faces are like old buddies.