In Her Words
I Married a Pornographer
And learned everything I never wanted to know about porn
“Hi, Honey!” I said as I poked my head out from the kitchen. “How was the gangbang at the bowling alley?” My husband swung through the front door lugging film equipment.
“Pretty whatever,” he said. “Four massive dudes and two roller girls.”
We were newlyweds. Ours was not your typical greeting.
Eight months prior I’d relocated to LA to start a life with my fiancé, just as he’d landed an interview to be cinematographer on a docu-soap about pornstars. We’d pondered the inevitable questions: Would it affect our sex-life? Was I down with my husband’s foray into that world? It was a dilemma for the modern couple.
A week later, they’d probed him with a slew of non-typical questions.
“You cool with hardcore?” they’d asked. “It can get really graphic.”
“Sure,” my husband said.
“You can’t get an erection on set,” they told him.
“All right, man. We’ll be in touch.”
Granted, a reality TV show about the porn industry is not exactly working in porn. It’s one step removed. “Basically, he’s a documentarian.” That’s what I told my mom. After all, adult entertainment is officially mainstream fare. Between YouPorn, XTube, and the plethora of docu-porn airing on primetime, every man, woman and tween has an X-rated menu at their fingertips. Porn has never been closer to home.
Before we knew it, he’d landed the job-not only were Zack and Miri making a porno but so was my husband. The new nine-to-five required him to trail, say, Lindsay Blowhan as she noshed a sandwich, slogged to the gym, then cabbed to a Beverly Hills hotel to get tag-teamed. Despite being a slightly odd intro to married life, as dinner discussions of long-distance cum shots competed for time with Phelps‘ latest gold, it was a testament to the times. Gone were the days of a tattered box of old VHS cassettes and a stack of Hustlers. For us-an orgy in lane ten.
Then came the disillusion. Daily, he described the latest let down-how the talent would stop ecstatically moaning when the director yelled, “Cut!” and frankly discuss where he should blow his load. Or how Brandy so-and-so would absently gab about her plans for the weekend while Thick Rick plowed on.
“Did you know they use fake cum?” My husband said on a particularly sad day. “It’s sunblock.”
The next week it was: “Girls get paid $100 extra to swallow; $200 for backdoor. More of a pay bump than a preference.”
We baked cookies, watched Ghost, and held each other.
Still, amongst our friends the dream was alive. There was no shortage of jokes about “getting the outtakes” and it was a surefire cocktail conversation winner. “What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen yet?” they asked and we told the saga of the girl who gave everyone at the gang-bang gonorrhea for the hundredth time. I’d become the drum roll, the sidekick, the porn-wife keeping it mum that most porn stories were drabber than a donkey in the rain. I regaled them with the tale of the clit-ring-tooth-snag debacle. They roared.
But the behind-the-scenes porn world was rapidly crushing dreams in our house. The huz went to the Vegas porn convention and came home depressed.
“How was it?” I asked. “Cool? Were the girls hot?”
“Not up close.” He broke down. “We shot for ten hours a day. There were fat, lonely men everywhere. It was boring. Sad.”
The reality of Reality TV (that drama must be injected with a bovine syringe) had collided with the reality that fantasy is essential to porn. The man behind the curtain had revealed too many boring layers of reality to count. It was sadder than seeing your middle-aged neighbors hump on YouPorn. Where does it stop?
My husband whimpered, “Give me my illusions back.”
Now what will happen after the honeymoon phase wears off? It looks like we’ll be rediscovering Henry Miller and sorting our fantasies out from the trash.
Emily Southwood is a freelance journalist. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.