that porn girl.

There’s an inherent problem that’s built into being an ex-porn star and dating someone.

To cut to the chase: it’s the problem of whether, or when, to show said someone the porn you’ve made.

It’s not as though I hide the porn from the people that I date: the fact that I used to run a porn site tends to come up relatively quickly (if it’s not already public knowledge before we even get to the dating).  I don’t believe in keeping secrets, and my porno past is enough a part of my life that I want anyone I’m even remotely serious about to be aware of, and okay with, it before things start to move forward.

But there’s a difference between telling someone that I’ve done porn and actually showing them the photos.

On the one hand, I want to say that it’s not a big deal: that so many people have seen these photos, that they’re so public already, that it shouldn’t be an issue to show them to someone who’s already seen me naked (in person, to boot!).

On the other hand, there’s a part of me that’s terrified that showing that certain someone photographic proof of my past profession will somehow change things between us: change the way they think of me, specifically.

There’s a difference between vaguely knowing that something is true and actually seeing it in person.  And I worry, I fear, that making concrete evidence of my porno past readily available will change me from, well, me into that porn girl: that making it real will somehow erase every other aspect of myself, will reduce me to a character as flat as the images on my screen.

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perhaps i am.

Apparently someone found this page by searching google.be for:

The most beautiful porno star in the world

I checked, I show up on page two of the results.

If you put that phrase into google.com, I’m on page three.

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and i don’t know what it means to be post-anything.

This morning I got an email asking if my site was still available for purchase on DVD, or if (better yet) it could be purchased for download.

The DVD is out of print, but I still have all the files, so with a bit of negotiation I agreed to put together something downloadable.

The entire site adds up to over a gig of content.

Over a gig of content is over two years of my life.

It’s also hours and hours of upload time.

This evening, Audacia Ray emailed me to say that a pitch I submitted to $pread — months ago, this was — has generated some interest, and they’d like to include the piece in their summer issue.

I installed a stats plugin tonight, and was shocked to see that people actually look at this site: people who aren’t me, even.

I guess I’m trying to say that it’s been a strange day.

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by way of explanation.

I started this blog because I wanted to process my experiences in the altporn world, because I wanted to open up a discussion about what it all meant, about what those years of my life had been dedicated to.

I stopped writing in this blog because I got kinda bored: because I felt repetitive, uninspired.

After thinking things over, I ultimately realized something:

I got into porn because I wanted to start a discourse on sex.  Because I wanted to talk about healthy sexuality, about female sexuality, about body image, and because pornography seemed like the most effective, most direct, way of accomplishing that goal.

I got into porn because I wanted to talk about sex, but then I was in porn for so long that I thought I wanted to talk about porn.

I love porn, I think porn is a useful and powerful medium, but porn, in and of itself, is a fundamentally limited medium.  Porn is not sex.  Porn is porn.

And I wanted to talk about sex.

I’m somewhere else now.  I’m over at Sexerati with my good friend Melissa Gira, writing about sex.  Saying smart (and sometimes snarky) things about sex and culture: the kind of stuff I always wanted to do.  The kind of stuff I got into porn with hopes of doing.

You should stop by and visit some time, its good stuff.

I’ll be back here from time to time, but not as often as I’d originally intended.

I’m somewhere else now.  I’m somewhere else, and it’s good.

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one day i will be back here.

But I wanted to say that I spent the week out in San Francisco and spent a whole lot of time with one Melissa Gira, who interviewed me about a whole bunch of stuff for Sexerati.

I will post when that goes up.

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what else can you expect?

Someone made the following comment on this post:

“popping up only occasionally to tell me about some new sex or porn-related scheme she’d come up with, as if I incapable of having any thoughts of the less than prurient kind.”

And you expect what? You market yourself as a pioneer of alternative porn (or even start a blog about *not* being a porn star) and people are going to think of porn every time they think of you.

Which is, perhaps, the central issue that comes up when you’re involved in pornography, or really just when you happen to be open about your sexuality, period.

People make a lot of assumptions about me. People assume that I’m a sexual compulsive, people assume that I am somehow incapable of having thoughts that aren’t about sex, people assume that I’m a two-dimensional creature composed of little more than pudenda.

And it’s funny, right? Because even when you market yourself as intelligent porn, even when you market yourself as “brains and boobs,” it’s always the boobs that people come back to, it’s always the tits that furnish your paycheck.

And if you try to rise above it all, if you try to protest, you will always get smacked down: because you put yourself out there, you bared your breasts, and now you are doomed to walk around with a scarlet P emblazoned on your chest for the rest of your days.

Let me put it to you this way: if I had had any other job, followed any other calling, would people react so vehemently when I complained about being pigeonholed?

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intentions.

I don’t trust anyone who says they do pornography simply out of love.

It’s not that I don’t think one cannot love to do pornography: I was certainly far more motivated by love than by money.

It’s just that love alone does not carry one through the treachery of the adult industry.  There has to be other motivation: often it is money, often it is narcissism or a desire for attention, sometimes it is a belief in some kind of porn-fueled mission for the good of society.

Usually its a desire for money or attention, however.  I’m not going to lie: my motives, good though they may have been, were hardly untainted by such base desires.

The problem with pornography – or at least, a problem with pornography, is that it is so inextricably tied in with the personal.  There are so many bodies and emotions and feelings and neuroses bound into the art, far more than any other field, that its difficult to treat it as though it is just another industry.

You can try, but you’d be lying to yourself.

The thing about pornography is that there’s always more beneath the surface.

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hey little girl, do you want to be famous?

Every story has a beginning.  This is how the story of Lux Nightmare began.

I was lying in bed with my then-boyfriend, in his two room studio in pre-gentrification Fort Greene, and he asked me if I wanted to be a porn star.

More specifically, he asked me if I wanted to model for this site, Nakkid Nerds, because it looked pretty cool and they apparently recruited girls just like me to be models. And wouldn’t it be cool and fun and good?

This was back in spring of 2001: before SuicideGirls made altporn a household word, before Joanna Angel became the darling of the porn world — before altporn peaked; before it was defined (and derided) as little more than hot, skinny girls with tattoos; before altporn even really existed as a concept.

This was back when EroticBPM was still RaverPorn, when social networking meant drinks after work, when Nerve.com was edgy and cool, when the Internet still seemed like a haven of anonymity.

I was eighteen and idealistic, with all sorts of ideas about the power of sexual imagery. I adamantly believed that there was, that there could be, such a thing as pornography that wasn’t exploitative, pornography that celebrated human sexuality, pornography that made people feel beautiful and wonderful and horny rather than dirty and ashamed.

Nakkid Nerds, despite the horribly mispelled name, seemed like it might be that kind of site.

For one thing, it was run by a woman.

For another, that woman was one of the site’s models.

So one day, while I was at my prestigious internship, I sent Cloei an email expressing my interest in becoming a porn star.

A few weeks later she was in my living room, photographing me naked on my couch.

A few weeks after that, I was officially naked on the Internet.

At the time, I thought it was just another crazy adventure, a lark, if you will.  At the time I expected to be involved in porn for a year at the most, that I would model a couple of times and then go back to life as normal.

At the time, I had no idea of what a transformative experience that photo shoot would be for me.

Back in the beginning, it was a simple matter of a digital camera, a room, and the removal of clothes.  Then it went live, and suddenly everything changed.

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sans souci.

When you do something, and then you stop doing it, everyone always wants to know if you have regrets.

This is especially true if you’ve started and stopped doing something as controversial as, say, porn.

This is what I have to say about regret:

First off, there is the fact that I choose to live my life without regrets — the theory being that, given that the past can’t be changed, regret is a useless emotion that causes pain and heartache and doesn’t fix anything.

So even if making porn had been the worst experience of my life, my personal philosophy wouldn’t allow me to regret having done it.

But it wasn’t the worst experience of my life, which is really the more important part.

I got into pornography at a (relatively) young age, and I let it take over a section of my life. I let it transform my life, really, and — for better or for worse — it had a huge effect on me.

If I try to imagine my life without porn, I’m forced to eliminate so much of my experience, so many of my friends. Pornography shaped the course of my life, brought amazing people into my social sphere, and, for that alone, regardless of everything else, I am so grateful for the experience.

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wanna be in pictures?

Anne wanted me to be in her movie.

It was some strangely avant garde sounding porno film — something she’d dreamed up and decided had to be her next project. Somehow — I was never completely clear on this part of the story — she’d gotten my name (possibly it was from Rachel Kramer Bussel), and she’d looked at my site, and she decided that she needed me to be in her movie.

We talked on the phone, and she told me that her producer had looked at my site as well, and that he “liked my look.” She wanted me to come over to her apartment so we could talk more, so she could tell me about things and see how I felt.

So I walked west to Chelsea, to her impressive little studio apartment, and she told me the plot of her porno film. It involved a stereotypical Jewish girl who woke up one day with pubic hair in the shape of a Hitler mustache. I think she called it “Mein Cunt.”

I wasn’t entirely sold on the idea, but I wanted Anne to like me, so I agreed to be in her movie. It sounded like a cool project, something that could turn out really well: and more than that, Anne (and her producer, and her friends) seemed like the kind of person I needed in my life, the kind of person who could get me somewhat closer to wherever it was I needed to be.

As it happened, I never saw the script. As it happened, the project fell through, with Anne and her producer getting more interested in other possibilities, or maybe just realizing that making a porno is a lot harder than they’d actually realized. Anne disappeared from my life, popping up only occasionally to tell me about some new sex or porn-related scheme she’d come up with, as if I incapable of having any thoughts of the less than prurient kind.

Anne was not the only person to approach me about being in a movie. A few months later, Tony Comstock got in touch with me. He’d recently released his first feature, Marie & Jack, and wanted me to be in his second.

The first film he’d made contrasted the on and offscreen sex lives of porn stars. He liked the idea of featuring me in the follow up, because my onscreen sex life was my offscreen sex life: because my entire persona was about putting my real life on display. He wanted to tell the story of what happened in my bedroom through film rather than the grainy resolution of my webcam.

I didn’t do Tony’s film, though I considered it. In retrospect, not doing the film was a wise move: the relationship I was in at the time was less than healthy, and making it the subject of a pornumentary wouldn’t have been particularly good for my mental health: the thought of watching a film of that relationship, that sex life, years down the line sends shivers down my spine even now.

Which is also why I’m glad I didn’t do Anne’s film, why I’m glad I didn’t do any films, really: unlike photos; unlike the short, grainy clips I did for my website; there is something a bit too real, too unforgiving about film. The thought of having a DVD out in the world (a DVD produced and distributed by someone else, no less) is a bit too much for me. It’s too hard to take back, too hard to explain away.

Anne and Tony wanted to make me famous, but I’m glad I didn’t let them.

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