Just a quick note to tell you that on Monday, I’ll be heading down to the Armory to start work as a Project Manager for Kink.com.
This is obviously an exciting opportunity and I’m very much looking forward to it, but it’s bittersweet. As with most opportunities, you have to leave some things behind in order to take the next step. In this case, it meant leaving the VideoBox blog to focus on Kink full time.
This blog has always been a hobby rather than a business and I’ll continue to post on an irregular basis about my experiences in the adult industry and my personal musings on porn in general. The fetish/BDSM side of the business is very new to me, so I’m sure I’ll have some adventures to share very soon.
(If the title doesn’t make sense, click here.)
A few weeks ago, I went to a friend’s wedding in LA and was seated at “the porn table” with a few adult industry luminaries – including Joey Silvera. I’d never met Joey before, but I was happy to find out that he’s a very cool, friendly guy.
We talked for a few minutes about the interview I did with Miles Long and Jenna Haze’s first scene and her blowjobbery in said scene. The topic of conversation evolved and eventually, he told me this story:
When Joey was a young man (he estimated he was in his early 20’s), he was hitchhiking with a a friend to a destination that I don’t believe was ever mentioned. They were picked up by a guy whose car was littered with porno mags. Joey had never seen porn before and got super turned on (I believe he actually made a reference to how hard his cock was, but I forget his phrasing).
The driver, knowing how excited a young impressionable man can get about pornography, offered to take them to his house where he had lots more porn. Joey’s older, wiser friend said no way and had the guy deposit them back on the side of the road.
Joey said that he was so young, naive and horny that he probably would’ve gone back to the guy’s house and “let him blow me” or some such thing, perhaps ending up at the bottom of a river in a trash bag. Looking back, he says he’s thankful the friend got them out of there, although it sounded like he was kinda pissed about it at the time.
Joey obviously went on to become a performer and then director of some of the perviest, awesomest porn ever made. One’s first encounter with porn is a life-changing experience and on some level, and I guess we have the creepy porno car guy to thank.
As a complete side note, I got to pitch Joey my favorite unrealized porn idea: “Tranny Step-MILFs” (get it? because they can’t have kids). Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s been working on a Tranny MILF movie, but has only been able to get one scene in the can so far. I guess finding 40-year-old trannies willing to do porn isn’t as easy as one might think. Either way, I hope he finishes it and Tranny Step-MILFs becomes a hugely successful and popular series. Then Joey can make my second-favorite porn idea. I can’t tell you what it is just yet, but I will say it does not involve Octomom…
I can’t know for sure, but I’m reasonably certain the majority of you, the readers of this blog, are male. So why am I reviewing a vibrator in a room full of guys? Because vibrators make great gifts. Especially cute little vibrators like the Voila.
There’s been a trend in vibrator design toward small, simple, rechargeable models in recent years and I think the Voila is probably competing with much pricier LELO toys (MSRP $129). The shape is a little boxier than the ultra expensive models, but the Voila appears to be about $100 cheaper, which seems like a reasonable trade off. Especially when you consider that the Voila is water-resistant and the more expensive ones aren’t.
The Voila is sized to fit in a woman’s hand and is made of hard matte plastic, but feels very nice and smooth to the touch. Assuming that the flat end is the top, the button on the left turns it on and the one on the right turns it off. The off button is a must-have on vibrators that have “functions” that you can cycle through. The Voila has 7 functions – 4 speeds and 3 patterns of pulsation and escalation. I’ve never thought the patterns were a great idea, but they’re there if you want them. Overall, I think the buttons are functional, but a little small and close together. They may be hard for a man or a woman with large fingers to use.
There’s a small raised area on the underside of the Voila at the tapered/slightly curved end. It looks like it’d do something, but I didn’t think it was noticeable during use. That said, the vibrations are nice and strong and while it’s not the easiest shape to hold, the vibrating mechanism is in the tip and doesn’t make your fingers numb the way an egg or bullet-style vibe would. I wouldn’t call it “whisper quiet,” but it’s not audible through a closed door.
On the very top is the hole for the charger. It’s a 110/240 Volt AC charger that looks pretty much like what you’d use with your cell phone. The hole has a plug that seals it off for use in the shower. It’s billed as waterproof, but don’t submerge it. It won’t hurt you, but the chances are much better of water leaking in and ruining the toy than if you just used it in the shower.
All in all, I liked the Voila. It does what it’s supposed to do and is designed well enough not to get in its own way. Not to mention that because it’s rechargeable, it’s a little more eco-friendly than vibrators that run on batteries. It’s well-shaped for solo situations as well as couple time, which is nice for folks who like to incorporate toys into their sex life.
The Voila also comes in purple and black and you can get one at Libida.com.
If you don’t know Ashley Fires yet, you’ve been seriously missing out. She’s cute as a button, flirty as all get out, and perhaps most surprisingly, a kick-ass Femdom.
I met Ashley in the Clips4Sale booth at the Adult Entertainment Expo this year and was instantly caught up in her natural charm and effervescence. Check out our interview below where we talk about toe sucking, fire dancing, tickling and more.
A while back, I heard that sex toy manufacturer California Exotic offered free toys to bloggers who would review them on their websites. The application was pretty in-depth and even though I was pretty sure I had the right pedigree to become an official toy reviewer, I lost hope after a few weeks went by with no word from the company.
This morning, I received an email that began, “Congratulations! You have been chosen to be a Cal Exotics Sexpert™!”
What does that mean for you? In a week or two, I’ll start posting the occasional sex toy review on this blog. I like Cal Exotic and I’ve sold thousands of their products over the years, but you can rest assured that I’m no shill. If anything, my experience in the dildo mines has made me very aware of what doesn’t work and I’m pleased to be able to share that experience with you, dear reader.
So keep an eye out. They say I’ll be receiving a box of goods (or perhaps a single good?) in the coming week. I hope my Sexpert™ certificate’s in there.
Everyone loves a naughty tell-all book, but only a few porn stars have captured the general public’s imagination enough to write successful autobiographies like Jenna Jameson’s How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale. Jenna’s was probably the most compelling of these books to come out in the last decade, but Tera Patrick’s new book, Sinner Takes All, does something that Jenna’s book didn’t – it makes her seem like a real person.
Salacious stories are par for the course in any porn star’s autobiography, and Tera obliges us with plenty of tales of teenage drug addiction, sex that borders on rape and porn set horror stories. She also reveals things that most of us – porn stars included – probably wouldn’t be able to admit about ourselves in such a public forum.
She cops to completely shallow aspirations, mental illness, spousal abuse and generally cunty behavior that are rate in porn autobiographies because no matter what people say, they care about how they’re are perceived by others. Tera shows sides of herself that make her seem incredibly unlikeable right alongside the stories of taking care of elderly patients in a nursing home and fighting back against a huge porn company that knowingly capitalized on her naiveté by offering her a terrible contract, then attempting to drive her out of the business after she realized how badly they’d screwed her over.
Throughout the book, the theme that stuck out most clearly for me was contradiction. In one chapter Tera calls herself a beautiful, powerful woman, then describes her degrading relationship with Erik Schrody (aka Everlast) in the next. At one point she says she loves her fans and then turns around later on and calls them the “perverted guys who fantasized about me.” The biggest contradiction of all, in my opinion, is her inflated ego as “the most famous porn star in the world” and the crushing insecurity that pushed her into emotional turmoil, bad relationships, and porn scenes she wasn’t comfortable doing.
If Tera comes out of this book looking complicated and paradoxical, her ex-husband Evan Seinfeld manages to seem even more dissonant than she. Evan writes a few chapters from his perspective that reveal him to be the suitcase pimp douchbag we all know he is, as well as a partner who withstood abuse, emotional manipulation, and pure insanity to be with the woman he loved.
In the book’s afterward, Tera writes a very raw post-mortem of her marriage and how she’d managed to be so oblivious for so long to the things that ultimately convinced her that the relationship was doomed. The perspective gained by putting her life under a microscope and analyzing who she is and how she got to this place was too much for the already fractured relationship to withstand. And she’s happier for it.
I didn’t leave the book with the impression that Tera might have wanted to give me about herself, but I was very moved by the courage it took to include the details she knew might make it hard to do so. From the experiences that led her to this career to her institutionalization in a mental hospital to the rise and fall of her marriage, Tera is straightforward and earnest almost to a fault – even when it’s hard to take her at her word. Her story is as much about her ugliness as her beauty and that’s what makes it a compelling read.
After all the debates and hand-wringing, L.A. County has announced that it can not and will not enforce mandatory condom use in porn production in California. According to the Chief of the county’s Public Health Department, it would just be too difficult and expensive to try to police an industry that’s so fragmented. Public Health officials passed the buck to the state legislature, but as the L.A. Times notes, “not a single California lawmaker has been willing to sponsor such legislation.”
While interviewing Belladonna at the Adult Entertainment Expo, I asked her what she thought about the idea of condom mandates and her answer captured the ambivalence many performers and producers feel about the topic.
Lovely as always, Belladonna talks to me about first impressions, how she chooses scene partners, what she does in her free time, and more.
Today is a very sad day indeed. Luke is Back is reporting that the woman with the most gorgeous breasts to ever grace pornography has decided to leave the business.
It seems like only yesterday we were enthralled by Gianna’s first anal scene. Today brings nothing but tears.
I consider Gianna among the finest performers to grace the world of porn, but I wish her well in her future endeavors. Goodbye, Gianna, and…wait for it…thanks for the mammaries.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas sociology department released the results of surveys conducted during the 2008 and 2009 AEEs. They asked both fan and trade participants about their demographics and attitudes on various topics. The results are pretty much what I would have expected, but there were a few pieces of info that I found interesting.
Only about 20% of the trade attendees were female.
This seems incorrect to me. Even if you don’t count the performers (although I’m not sure why you wouldn’t), I’d guess that 30-40% of the people I saw or met while working the show were female. In my experience, most companies are owned by men, but have a good number of female employees.
Click images to enlarge
Most companies report business is flat or down
We’re in a recession and battling the biggest threat (piracy) that porn has ever seen. That 67% of companies are seeing flat or reduced sales is unsurprising. What is surprising is that almost no one at the show seemed to be talking about what to do about that.
More than half of respondents watch free porn online
One star I interviewed told me that when she has tried to sell her movies at conventions, fans will actually say that they’re just going to download her movies for free online. It seems insane to me that people could be this insensitive, but the numbers don’t lie.
If you’re interested, you can read the report here.