My life in porn (a short — er, brief — post)

Over the years, I’ve known a few people who wrote pornography — books, magazines, etc. — between slightly more savory jobs. These were before the days of the Internet; people of limited imagination with no access or budget to patronize local gentleman’s clubs had to resort to the printed page. In a moment of desperation (and with no help from my friends, bless ’em), I answered a classified ad from a publisher in Mac, an advertising trade weekly to which I, having spent some time in advertising, subscribed.

Rather to my amazement, I got a response. While I was anticipating something like, maybe, writing the letters to the editor in Penthouse or lurid, but brief, novels in a variety of genres, the only stipulation being that there be plenty of explicit sex – the only thing readers were looking for, anyway.

Not so with this outfit, which had offices, as I recall, in Culver City, home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, the producer of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. As an audition for this particular position — um, job, the publisher sent me a list of fetishes and asked me to write a couple of grafs about each of, maybe, five of my choosing.

I looked at the list. And while I recognized a couple of ’em, I didn’t know what many of the fetishes even were. Years would pass, for instance, before I learned — in the John Waters film Pecker — what “teabagging” is. Hint: it wouldn’t become the name of a political movement for a few years. And once members of the Tea Party found out what it meant, they took offense. Which one didn’t have to be a devotee of teabagging to appreciate, and moved many of the rest of us to use the term as frequently and derisively as possible.

So I demurred. It wasn’t because I felt myself above writing pornography — I had applied for the job — and I didn’t really cast judgment on whatever excited people sexually, so long as it was consensual and the participants were of age. My reservation was that I felt I couldn’t write realistically from the POV of someone who was into…pretty much any of those things. Nor did I want to do any research; some of the fetishes appeared to be pretty icky.

So ended my career in porn, unless you count a couple of train trips that stopped (without letting, let alone getting, me off) in Chatsworth, or those eight years as Ron Jeremy’s stunt double.

* * *

In another moment of desperation, I thought I’d be a good publicist; a position not entirely unrelated to writing porn. God knows, as a member of the press I’d known some excellent ones, as well as a whole lot of bad ones. I knew what they did, and I knew that I, as a working newsperson, needed from them.

One of the good ones got me an interview with her boss. This was a big deal; he was one of the people whose names were the same as the company, and it was a multinational organization. The boss was a nice guy, and we seemed to be getting along well. Until some of my earlier experiences with his company came to my mind. I was young, then, and even more impolitic than now.

“I would be happy to spread the good word about our clients,” I told him, as if I already had the job. “If they do something bad, I’ll smooth over it. If they do something good, I’ll shout it from the mountaintop. If they aren’t doing anything in particular, I’ll figure out something for them to do that will get their name in the papers.”

And then, years of re-writing and vetting press releases came to mind. “But,” I continued, “I will not publicize job offers or production deals that don’t exist, nor will I send out tour schedules that I pulled out of a hat.”

The guy pulled back a little; and did I only imagine a tear in his eye as he replied, “But that’s what we do!

They managed to continue without me. And though I haven’t dealt with them or any other publicists in years, I have no reason to believe that “what we do” has changed a bit.

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4 comments on “My life in porn (a short — er, brief — post)

  1. KAJSA OHMAN says:

    Well, so, what IS teabagging?

  2. Todd Everett says:

    It is a fine excuse to learn the wonders of Google. Or your imagination.

  3. I also work for porn. But I don’t know what “teabagging” is

  4. Todd Everett says:

    Again: I suggest you Google the term

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