What I Learned from a Porn Star

In a way, Oprah and Marianne Williamson are as insidious and harmful as supermodels and June Cleaver to collective lady consciousness; as success objects, they represent a synthetic enlightenment that I just can’t reach — conceptually they inhabit an odorless, exquisitely decorated, taupe universe that seems inconceivable in any three dimensional reality. I can’t afford to meditate half an hour in the morning and curl up in my cashmere pajamas and drink an expensive Chardonnay at night. I sincerely don’t like chardonnay. And I am not too fond of taupe either.

Who/what has made me feel like there is a place for me on this earth? My grandmother, my babysitter Cheryl, my granddad’s seeing eye dog, gay men, my English and Spanish teachers, my grossly disheveled friendships, female rock n’ roll stars, and this guy named Charlie. Well, that’s what I’ll call him.

I was working at a coffee house in the San Fernando Valley where the glitterati of the porn world would meet and discuss the vissicisitudes of double penetration. They would hob-knob, as it were, and negotiate. One of our customers was an esteemed luminary of the biz, a painfully fragile and pretty girl with huge fake breasts that dwarfed her bird-like frame. These implants, I would guess, were like albatrosses, humps symbolic of, well, the usual soul-crushing clichés: Her alcoholic daddy, her uncle raping her, etc. Surrounding her and the other luminaries was an adoring crowd of newly-sober men and women.

Now, newly-sober people are some of the scariest creatures you could meet in your life. After years of walking in a death-like fog, their nerves are tingling and their senses rush. Their “inner children” are climbing the walls, desperate for love, sex and coffee. They are like a combination of a sometimes-sweet, hyper child and a newly baptized born-again Christian. They are either crying to their friends or staring wolfishly at your chest. And they don’t tip very well either.

It is out of this madness that I met Charlie, who was both newly sober and in the porn business. I have to say that I had incredible disdain for him right away. He was six foot five with a shaved head and was wearing head-to-toe-leather. “I’m a road warrior, dude,” his whole appearance seemed to say. There is nothing I hate than someone who models their lives after an action movie.

And of course, Charlie really liked me. I have never ever had a man so persistently hit on me with such earnest ardor as Charlie. Covered in spilled coffee in a loose shirt and black jeans stained with milk, I would stand scowling, feeling quite asexual, down-trodden, and dare I say, repulsively haggish.

“Hey beautiful!” he would say, “come sit with me!”

Behind my committed scowl I was devastatingly flattered. Charlie would come traipsing in daily with several twenty-year-old peach skinned girls in mini-skirts. They were involved in some cinematic project, the nature of which I was not privy to. However, his interest in me was not unlike a cockatoo trying to mate with a mouse: Futile, but ultimately interesting.

Every time he came to the counter or I waited on him he would inquire about my romantic status. “Oh, I have a boyfriend,” I’d say. “Really, I’m taken, but thank you so much!” The truth was, I was in a chaotic entanglement with a local musician whose main interest was using my gaze/genitals to satiate his ego. As was my compulsion, I offered up both with appalling eagerness.

Charlie’s pursuit went on for days, when he finally laid it down in a distinct Milwaukee accent:

“Listen, I can see you’re self-pitying, kinda scared, maybe feeling victimized by life’s circumstances. Now, don’t take that wrong.”

“No, no, I’m not,” I muttered as pressure welled up in my chest.

“But it’s really not completely your fault. The world is all fucked-up. Listen, I will paint your toenails for you. I will shop for you. I will rub your back. I’m what you call submissive. I actually do it professionally.”

Unfortunately, the thought of being taken care of like that made me feel slimy. The concept was so alien to my gestalt that I had to file it immediately in the fuck-me-I’m sensitive file and try to dismiss it.

“You get hit and stuff?” I said.

“Well, only for the camera. My main goal in reality is to serve. You know the 12-steps are all about that. This is the way I see it. My mom was a prostitute, and I watched the degradation kill her.”

“Really?” I said. My chest became warm. Sadly, this sort of thing is an aphrodisiac for me.

“The fact is that women are here to be honored. Women are so fucked in the head with self-hatred that the whole world is poisoned. You know, I think I can help you.”

I could not, would not go near him. Why? First of all, cockatoos are way bigger than mice. And yeah dime store Bruce Willis was a little strong on the submission. And the truth was I liked my little Habitrail and being Echo to my Valley stud Narcissus. I liked the stink of my smelly little pellet turds. I still sit and wonder what it would have been like to be served like that and to have some big tall man do my dishes and rub my back? I’ll never know.

So, Charlie gave me a little more space on this earth. A glimpse, in the extreme, of something I had never experienced. And I thank him for that. Memory does change things, however. I may see him now and think, well, I don’t know. Bad, awful things. And though I have no interest in dominating anyone or anything, being treated like a princess, as stinky and non-taupe as the context may have been, was a concept introduced to me by Charlie.

So, my feeling is that I need a treehouse, and I’ll fill it with all the things that give me room. I think it should become a nation-wide movement. Charlie’s spirit is one of the things that will inspire my new abode, the floor plans of which I will reveal shortly. In fact, I’d like a plaque for Charlie right square in the middle of it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Joits

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