Should pornographers have sex with performers?

Breaking my “hands off” policy with Candy Samples at a trade show.

New girls in porn don’t know the limits of their obligations. The late director Anthony Spinelli told me about directing one neophyte’s screen cherry scene. After it was over, she asked him if she was done. “I kept a straight face,” said Spinelli. “And I told her, ‘Not yet.  For new girls it’s a long-standing tradition that the entire crew gets in on the action,’ She ponders this for a moment, then asks, ‘I get extra for that don’t I?’”

Some new girls don’t even get extra.  Sleazy “agents (some named in my book)” have been known to “audition” would-be porn queens by having sex with them.  Many pornographers (mostly newcomers) think, I’m the one paying her to screw. Why shouldn’t I get some? But, as veterans know, giving in to the temptation is bad business.  Why?  Because paid professional sex, even accompanied by genuine orgasms, remains within the safety zone of an acting performance.  But when interpersonal emotions get involved, it’s like treading a minefield.

One of the most difficult scenes I ever directed—recounted in detail in SKINFLICKS: The Inside Story of the X-Rated Video Industry—involved a young woman named Rita who was in a snit over something that had happened between her and my still photographer, Kenny, who was Rita’s agent and lover.  The following dialogue is from SKINFLICKS:
          “Take a picture of me, Kenny,” she said. “NOW!”
          “OK.” Kenny raised his Hasselblad. “Expression, Rita.”  She remained impassive. “Rita…expression…”
           “I gave it to you, Kenny,” she snapped.
           “I didn’t see it, Babe.”
           “I gave it to you and you missed it.”
           “Oh, come on,” Kenny pleaded. “Let’s do it.”
           “No. Wait. I’ll tell you when.”
           Kenny lowered the camera.  Rita shook a long fingernail at him. “No! You keep that camera over your face!”

After participating in the scene like a dental patient facing a root canal, Rita suddenly wanted to have sex—with me!  She wanted to trade a quickie for a multi-speed vibrator she had become fond of.  I turned her down. It wasn’t the first time a porn actress offered me sex and it wouldn’t be the last.  I had a policy of maintaining a “professional distance,” which was not always easy to do.

The gorgeous blonde sexual volcano Lily Marlene, one of my Superior Video favorites, kept invited me over for some fun.  If I hadn’t been engaged at the time, I might have taken her up on the offer. Sex to her was pure recreation without the need for emotional involvement. Her husband, fearing HIV transmission, finally put a stop to her attendance at bachelor parties, where she could exhaust all men present.  Lily did get to me for a few startling moments after the wrap of the Deviations shoot. I was in an office at the nightclub where the climactic scene had been shot. I was making out checks for the huge cast waiting in line outside the door for their pay.  When Lily’s turn came, I was busy with my pen when—under the desk—I felt my pants being unzipped.  For a moment I savored the pleasant sensations Lily was providing. Then the sobering reality of the impatient group outside the door took over and I passed Lily’s check under the desk.

The closest I came to actual sex with a porn star was during a break on the set of Chocolate Cream. It was a hot day and I was relaxing on a couch wearing only shorts. Mauvaise de Noire, a beautiful black woman who was soon to become a major star, was grateful for the starring role I had given her, and I felt lucky to have cast her. Wearing only her birthday suit, she sat down on my lap ready for some extra action. A cameraman offered to shoot close-ups, hiding my face, but I became camera-shy, reflecting that if my fiancée ever saw the footage, she might be able to recognize me from the part that showed.

The weirdest of possible sex offerings I ever encountered came on the set of my appropriately weird outer space video, E.X.  The following passage is from SKINFLICKS:
    After we wrapped, I found out why Gayle hauled Dennis around like excess baggage.  She motioned me to a stairwell, away from the crew packing up the equipment. Like a cop about to frisk a suspect, Gayle leaned Dennis against the rail. Chattering about how well-hung he was, she unbuckled his belt and pulled down his pants.  I wondered what this was all about; Dennis didn’t work in porn movies.  Then I recalled how the couple had kept telling me about their exploits swinging with third parties—both male and female.  Gayle alone I might have considered, but I wanted no part of this scene.  To this couple, Gayle’s porn work was part of their elaborate fantasy life.

The line between professional and non-professional sex was best drawn by my future housemate, the late superstar Juliet (“Aunt Peg”) Anderson.  My early business partner Joe Loveland (a pseudonym) had written himself into The Perfect Gift, playing an Arab oil sheik, his face carefully hidden in a burnoose.  He enjoyed his scene with Juliet so much that he proposed an encore in private.  From SKINFLICKS:
          “I never have sexual relations with the producers I work for,” she told him.
          “You had sexual relations with me,” Loveland said.
          “But that was work.”
          Later on, he told me, “I’ve never been so insulted in my whole life!”  I decided that any future business partners would have to be less libidinously involved in the product development process.

If you want to have sex with a porn queen, write yourself into the script and make sure you pay her and that the camera is rolling.