by Rich Moreland, June, 2014
The last two weeks of May are a welcome lull, a “tweener” period. Spring semester is wrapped up and first session summer school is a few days away. This year I’m taking the time to reorganize my at home office and that means sorting through interview transcriptions, unreviewed DVDs, and collected articles on industry issues like piracy, condoms, and the decline in revenues.
Among this year’s accumulated material is a bevy of photos from the 2014 Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE). When I came across a treasured shot of Penny Pax and Casey Calvert, it reminded me that I had planned some work on Casey that has sat undone. Sometimes things slip away until rediscovery cries out for rectification.
Here’s the photo.
Porn girls are as varied as sexual fantasies and fetishes allow. Most are friendly, some a bit wacky, and others standoffish, but all share a common feeling: stigmatization.
Being in adult film is not a convenient path to success. Prejudicial feelings are everywhere, as I can personally attest.
Students who have inquired about my industry connections occasionally ask how I feel about keeping company with unsavory people whose universe tilts far away from what society considers the accepted norm. Not surprisingly, the word “prostitute” often comes up in the same breath with porn performers.
My response is terse. Put away the broad brush and remember that familiarity breeds acceptance, and acceptance often alters the definitions we concoct to satisfy our prejudices. In other words, it’s easy to denigrate people about whom we have preconceived notions, until you actually get to know them.
Decades ago, my first summer job was in the farming country of Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore, a region that, at the time, would fit comfortably in Faulkner’s Mississippi. The local school district was clutching the fading days of racial segregation, resisting federal law with delay after delay. As a result, my understanding of African Americans was limited to what a community preached to its young . . . until a sunny June morning when I reported for my first day of work.
Based solely on my skin color, I immediately became a teenaged foreman of impoverished black laborers who had little education and no future. By summer’s end, the racial biases programmed into me from childhood were running on vapors.
Returning to school that fall, I made two new friends and learned another lesson about differences. Myra and Tony were Jewish and practically invisible in the student body. My Bible-thumping evangelical grandfather, who never understood school integration because he was convinced black kids were happy “being with their own kind,” often made Judaism sound like a disease.
Today those memories bubble up when I encounter attitudes about social issues in our modern society, filmed pornography and those who make it being of particular concern to me now.
A Late Lunch
For the record, I regard everyone in the adult business as a professional contact. Some are more friendly and helpful than others, and I admit that I depend on them to get a story here and there.
Casey Calvert is one and knowing her is a privilege. Focused on what she wants, this rare beauty is intelligent, always courteous, and remarkably honest. The University of Florida grad is at the top of my “most respected” porn people list.
At this year’s AEE, Casey found some time for a late lunch after she spent most of the day greeting her fans. It was the convention’s final session and she had a long evening in front of her. Let me point out that Casey didn’t have to do this and it was evident that she was tired.
In a crowded, noisy restaurant that heightened fatigue, Casey was gracious. She loves her work, she said, and hopes to be in the industry for years to come. The dark-haired sweetheart appreciates those who support her because a perfect performance for every booking is her goal. Drugs, laziness, and irresponsibility, sometimes rumored to infect models, have no role in Casey’s professional life.
When Casey headed back to her room to prepare for the awards show, my heart went out to her. She was limping slightly. Girls sport platform heels that must wreak havoc on their feet and Casey’s were certainly feeling the “pinch” of too much floor time.
To offer assistance, I carried some of her stuff then bade farewell.
You Know What You’re Going to Get
Earlier in the day, I talked with a director who specializes in online porn. Billy Watson shoots for the Dogfart Network (twenty-plus interracial sites) out of his own studio in LA.
Over coffee, our conversation turned to Casey.
Billy recalled his first meeting with the twenty-four-year old. Her agent, the famed Mark Spiegler, alerted him Casey was coming to town.
“She was a Florida based fetish model,” Billy said. “Mark spoke highly of her from the get go and he was absolutely right.”
Casey has shot for Billy several times, BlacksonBlondes and CuckholdSessions among her top performances. What impressed him from the outset was her professionalism.
“She had all the attributes you can give to a Spiegler girl. They show up early [and] ready to work. They understand that it is a show and they are there to perform at their highest level. When you book a Spiegler girl, you know what you are going to get.”
For a shooter that’s more important than it may seem.
“[A Spiegler girl] is not going to be on drugs or whacked out,” Billy continued. “They don’t have bad days. You never have to send them home. There is never drama, there is never emotion. They just come ready to work. Casey has never had a bad day on my set.”
“In fact,” he said, pausing in mid-thought, ” I was just thinking the other day I would love to have her on my set for another round.”
“Hold on a second,” he said.
Billy’s crew was taking a break with us and turning in the direction of one of his guys, Billy shouted over the Hard Rock Hotel din.
“Hey, Tony, I need to book Casey some more.”
Finishing our coffee, I commented I was having lunch with the 2014 New Starlet nominee later and Billy asked that I mention he wants to call her soon.
* * * * *
Las Vegas, 2014, and a story penned by a once Southern Baptist about a Jewish girl from the Old South who does interracial porn. My, hasn’t the world changed since my younger days in farm country.
And in this case, much for the better.
2 responses to “All the Attributes”
First, even though i’m commenting on an older post I want to say congratulations on your book’s publication. I’m very excited for you; I know how much work you put into it and i hope you’re feeling smitten right now because you deserve it.
On another note,I’ve been poking around your blog for about a year and a half now. I always enjoy your articles but started to notice there was a lack of racial diversity. I chalked it up to your personal preference until I stumbled upon an article about racism in porn. The article basically stated that it really boils down to who controls what and, like so many things in society, porn is dominated by older white males. At least, dominated by their ideas even if they might not be the ones running the show or watching the porn. I questioned the merit of this claim because i think porn has very precise genres; if watching a man dressed in a squirrel costume get a bl*w j*b from a mermaid while hanging from the rafters by his toes is your thing, you’ll probably find it without a problem (just guessing on that one, though). The point is, porn caters to very individualized tastes. What i didn’t take into consideration though, was the reluctance of the girls to go back and forth between races for fear of alienating their fan base. Is this an outdated idea? Does it really bother people that much to see interracial couples? I think what really boggled my mind was the idea that interracial porn falls under taboo/kinky. I’m sorry if i sound naive, but after reading this blog entry, i am curious. In your experience, how is race viewed in the porn industry? Have you noticed any reluctance from the ladies you’ve met to do interracial that is more than just their personal preference?
Great question and the answer is short and to the point. Like all society, racism exists in porn and people in the business will tell you so if you ask them. Some girls I know (Casey Calvert, Bobbi Starr, Tara Lynn Foxx, and Chanel Preston come immediately to mind) do interracial shoots often. Billy Watson, a director and personal friend, specializes in shooting IR (as they call it) and I’ve been on his sets. I’ve talked with male black performers and did a blog post on one of my favorite African-American girls, Imani Rose, a couple of years ago. Frankly, I find IR interesting, but within the industry, it is not a widespread product as of now.
In my view, all sexuality is a fetish of some sort. What turns you on may not turn me on. (If you read my blog, you’ll notice I drift toward BDSM. I’ll soon post a review of Ernest Greene’s Master of O novel, by the way). Having said that, I believe IR is taking the same road as BDSM and anal over the last two decades, it’s moving toward becoming a standard in shooting. But, there are girls who will not do black guys on film, just as there are some who will not to anal or bondage.
From what I can gather, fans have their favorite girls and also their favorite fetishes and prefer to watch their girl in a fetish scene if she does it. If she does IR, it doesn’t make much difference to them, the same with BDSM, feet, or school girl, or whatever. Popular girls like the ones I mentioned above will do all those things . . . they also have very high rates (as in money).
Porn is dominated by old white men (as are the industry’s journalists, lol!). If you did not know, many people in porn (performers, directors, producers) are also Jewish. Ironically, not everyone is a political liberal (fondness of the government is not high on their list for obvious reasons of censorship and regulation). And about half of the people I know are college educated. It’s an interesting mix of people.
But porn’s bottom line is money. Whatever sells is what ends up on film as long as it’s not deemed obscene. It’s a business and respect in the industry is based on making money. So when IR becomes a big money maker, they’ll all do it. To extend the reasoning, it’s up to the fan and what he (or she) wants to see and will buy.
An aside. I’ve seen fan emails about IR porn and you’d be shocked at the language and the racism in them . . . and that includes IR site memberships (people who pay the site for the product then rant about the girls). It is strangely perverse.
Hope this helps and thanks again for reading my posts. And the congrats on my book is much appreciated. I’m lining up tome number two now!!