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Allie Haze: Beautifully Draining

by Rich Moreland, April 2016

Our talk with Allie Haze continues. Here she elaborates on her sexuality and getting into porn.

As in the previous installment of Allie’s interview, photos are courtesy of @teamalliehaze. Credits are watermarked.

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Working as a bartender at the time of the auto accident, Allie Haze recalls those days as “a rough time.”

“I ended up in the hospital for a week. I couldn’t feel my legs.” Not good.

Top off a failed marriage with a serious mishap that bordered on the catastrophic and the wheels of self-analysis start to turn.

Allie remembers thinking, “I’m really upset about what’s happening in my life. I got some crazy stuff going on! Me, getting a DUI? Oh my goodness, this is not who I am!”

It was an epiphany that led to a new, unexpected direction for her future.

“It’s funny, it [was] my wake-up call [because] I ended up here [in the porn business], which is great. It was the ‘Aha’ moment to myself.”

ByapItKCcAAtR7YHow did that happen?

“I had a weird conversation with a friend of mine who said, ‘Well, you’re super into chicks. Have you ever thought about porn?’” Allie recalls.

Though the suggestion seemed incredulous, the tall brunette did know something about sex films but had never seen any, much less think about performing in one.

The male friend mentioned she’d get paid for putting herself out there on film and that sounded appealing. Allie shrugged and said, “I guess” which turned into the equivalent of “why not?”

“At that point I was thinking it was a job and I can still go to school. I can make my own schedule, so ‘Ok!’ It was making sense.”

Boobs?

From there Allie did a girl/girl shoot for Homegrown Video. The director complimented her performance with “‘You know, you’re really good at this.’”

“‘Good at this?’ I don’t understand. I’m having sex. I’m confused. I didn’t know there was a ‘good at this,’” Allie amusingly remembers.

The director offered that she might consider turning sex on film into a full-time job and asked, “‘Do you know anything about the porn business?’”

Surprised, Allie replied, “‘Wait, you can make a career out this?’ I was so intrigued.”

She inquired about agents then did her online research. “I found all the best agents and interviewed with each of them.”

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The seductive lass ended up with OC Modeling but has since become a free agent which means she books her own gigs.

At this point in our interview, Allie pauses to relate a story that summarizes what new girls always ask about the business.

“On the way to interview with these agents, I stopped at a plastic surgeon’s office to get an estimate for boobs,” she begins. A smart move, Allie surmised, because she could tell the agents that she had “an appointment to get my boobs done.”

The response amazed her. Aware that the business was touting the “natural” girl, “They were like, ‘No! Don’t do it!” Allie remembers.

It turned out to be sage advice because like any newbie Allie figured that augmentation was one of the keys to success. She readily admits her “perception of porn” was “something completely different” from its reality.

She’s glad things ended up the way they did. “I thank my lucky stars they told me not to.”

Hook up with Girls

At age twenty-two Allie Haze began her adult career. Her reason for entering porn other than money . . . it was a way to meet girls.

B3H6YijCIAEsa6QThis is where the bartending gig factors into the Allie Haze story. It was a convenient way to scope out other women, but that had its drawbacks. Girls make out with other girls in bars to impress the guys, Allie mentions, not because they actually want to land a chick. Unfortunately, she sometimes misread the situation. In her mind, girls were hitting on her and Allie’s inclination was to invite them to her house.

“They’d come on over,” she says, “then I’d try to have sex with them and scare them away.”

Frustrated, Allie realized the adult film world offered her the perfect solution: the girl/girl shoot. In fact, she looked at porn as “a fun way to hook up with girls,” then clarifies, “I was a lesbian before I became bisexual.”

In June of 2009, the year she entered the business, Allie spread her porn wings and did her first boy/girl. A good move, she declares, that “put me on the map a little more.” A star was born who is today a widely respected veteran.

Candy and Hugs

“All the young girls ask me, ‘How have you been in for so long? How do you do it?’” Allie says.

“I don’t know how to explain it to them. It just happened naturally.”

But it is more than that, really. Allie occupies emotional solid ground as a result of her experiences with the church and its community. She was schooled in responsibility and commitment that benefits a person independently of any moral judgment that might come from a religious upbringing.

Allie reflects her roots when she says, “I always stick with my choices. That’s why I say that my background is a big piece of who I am.”

Allie taking time out of her busy day to chat with me.

Allie taking time out of her busy day to chat with me.

As she always does, the future AVN Hall of Famer smiles broadly.

“I always stand strong. If I wasn’t ready to do something or if I didn’t find it appealing at that point in my life, no career move was worth that.”

By the way, Allie is moving her dancing career forward with the same determination characteristic of her porn shoots. Girls in the biz know that dancing complements a resume built in front of the camera and expands a fan base. It’s all about personality and effort.

“I understand that this job [adult entertainment] is more than just a job because what I’m selling is myself.” That’s hard work, “exhausting” is how she puts it and compares herself with a mainstream actress when it comes to the demands of the business.

“What you’re putting out there is you, your heart, your soul. Even at these conventions I’m happy to get all the hugs, all the candy, all the fun stuff all day. I love it.”

“By the time I get home at the end of the day,” Allie declares, “it is exhausting, but totally worth it!”

Pausing for a moment, she concludes, “It’s beautifully draining.”

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Now you know how a religious upbringing helps an adult film star maintain her performances, her image, and her fan base.

Allie Haze is the consummate example of what writing in this business has revealed to me. The courage to put one’s sexuality out there for all to see is a rare trait that separates the few from the many. Too often we let our culturally dictated moral views divert us from accepting a fundamental part of our humanity.

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At the Adult Entertainment Expo, everyone, be they performer, studio, or press is harried and hurried. As I mentioned earlier, etiquette, defined as respecting everyone’s personal space and time, allows fifteen minutes for an interview and I always let the performer determine the time he or she gives me.

Allie granted me over a half hour. Moreover, she even helped us find a quiet spot to talk, something she did not have to do. Allie Haze is a special person with a work ethic that is a credit to the adult film industry. But then her fans know that already.

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Allie Haze: Growing Up Religious

by Rich Moreland, April 2016

At this year’s Adult Entertainment Expo I caught up with one of porn’s most popular veterans, Allie Haze.

Finding a quiet spot away from the convention floor, we put aside press etiquette (the normal trade show interview runs about fifteen minutes) for a longer talk.

At the outset of our conversation, I asked about the consent issue that is prevalent in the biz today. Her remarks are covered in another post on this blog.

For this Allie Haze installment, we’re looking at her life before porn.

All photos are courtesy of Allie’s twitter fan site. Credits are watermarked.

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How I was Raised

A Southern California girl who now lives in Las Vegas, Allie Haze’s adolescence was wrapped up in the church. It’s a subject I wanted to explore because of my own background.

“I grew up really religious,” she begins. “My family worked together to make sure all the kids went to church. It was how I was raised.”

Quite unexpectedly, her commitment to the faith shaped an early marriage.

“In junior high I started going to a missionary Baptist church. Between junior high and high school I was good friends with this guy who I eventually married.”

Her husband was a preacher at eighteen, something that seems an anomaly to most people.

Allie explains that in the missionary branch of the Baptist church, responsibility to administer the faith is divided between two individuals. The pastor is in charge of the congregation, whereas “the preacher gives the message.”

When a young man is called by God, he goes to seminary, which Allie’s future husband did at sixteen. In fact, their church was “also a certified seminary school,” she says, making everything convenient. As his wife-to-be, Allie also attended.

“It was a really cool experience,” the twenty-eight year old says, “because I learned a lot and it’s shaped me into who I was and I would never take that away.”

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Not Supposed to Screw Up

That part of her past causes Allie to reflect on how aging gives us a broader perspective on who we become. In her case, it’s about being an adult entertainer.

“Looking back now I’m ten years older than most girls starting out in the business,” she says.

To her, they are so young and are not giving themselves room to grow into adulthood. But Allie is quick to state that her own decisions at that age were not much different.

“We were young,” she begins. “I had my engagement ring my senior year.”

As often happens with teenage love, fate was not to favor the couple.

“It ended up not working out, unfortunately. He got into a bad car accident and the prescription pills . . . It was too much. It changed who he was.”

I didn’t ask for details about the mishap or the drugs, preferring to let Allie stay in her comfort zone.

“Around twenty I decided I needed to get divorced. No matter how much we tried, it just wasn’t going to work.”

It was a difficult resolution because her conservative upbringing dictated that marriage was “the one thing I’m not supposed to screw up. It’s supposed to be in my blood to be a wife,” Allie says.

A sense of failure permeated her thinking. “It was a real big struggle I went through,” she comments.

CcQG-zhXIAAEQoXGive Allie credit for handling this dilemma with grace and open-mindedness. It explains a lot about who she is today. The strength and resiliency she carried at a tender age has served her well in a business that can grind away the hardiest of souls.

However, despite all the stress, the end of the marriage brought opportunity and Allie stepped forward.

“During that time I decided to go back to school to be a firefighter which was originally what I wanted to do. I was halfway through the program when I got into a bad car accident.”

As happened with her ex-husband, an automobile wreck changed the direction of her life and led to the performer we know today.

The next post reveals how Allie Haze’s fondness for girls got her into porn.

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Check out the news about Allie Haze on twitter @teamalliehaze. This is a fan site.

 

 

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The Meaning of Consent: Tasha Reign

by Rich Moreland, March 2016

Tasha Reign is an outspoken pornography feminist whose political voice is ever present. Having entered adult film in 2010 at age twenty-one, she finds time to write about the industry, most recently for the Huffington Post, and when the opportunity arises, to crossover into independent film. We talked at the 2016 Adult Entertainment Expo.

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“The situation with James and Stoya is very good for our industry, and also for every industry, because it has enabled a discussion that I don’t think would be there otherwise.”

Those are the words of Tasha Reign. We are sitting in the AVN media room at Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel.

Women’s Rights

Tasha believes Stoya has demonstrated great courage in speaking out [about her abuse] and reminds us she isn’t “the only woman who has had that happen to her and not had her voice heard.”

However, Stoya’s industry status renders her “a privileged person,” Tasha admits. In fact, James Deen’s former girlfriend is also “a celebrity” outside adult film.

“She’s educated, smart, well-spoken, and has a strong voice,” Tasha says.

Though Stoya’s fame helps to channel her message, consent remains a broader issue for sex worker and women’s rights. It’s something men must address.

“We live in a society based around patriarchy,” Tasha insists, which she wants to fight by speaking up all women.

Within the adult film industry, having sex on camera does not diminish performers or the rights that they have, she says. But not everyone gets the point “and that is why so many women have not spoken out.”

For her part, this formally educated professional has taken on the activist mantle to support women.

Tasha during our interview

Tasha during our interview

The Line is Blurry

When she began her venture into porn, Tasha Reign signed with LA Direct Models, a well-known talent agency. Good representation can guide a career and fortunately the native Californian has avoided any Stoya-like situations.

But, her limits on the set have been “crossed in ways that were more subtle.”

“Sometimes it’s difficult to identify when they happen,” she says. “It’s something you think later, ‘Wait, maybe this should have been more professional.'”

Those experiences have influenced the choices Tasha has made in moving her business pursuits forward.

“Whether I have somebody with me at all time at AVN like my security over there (she nods at a blue-suited gentleman sitting just to our right whose presence is meant to leave an impression) or whether it’s shooting for myself, I want to control every aspect of [my career].”

For the record, Tasha owns Reign Productions, writing and directing her own content.

She reiterates what others have told me. Talent should be educated about what to expect in adult entertainment.

“I think it would be great to put out a website where new performers can go and [learn] ‘Oh, this is how porn works. I am the boss. I call all the shots. Nobody should be crossing lines on the set.”

To underscore how important this is, Tasha adds, “Nobody should be grabbing you and nobody should be having sex after you say ‘stop’ even if you consented prior to that.”

“But for some reason, I have no idea why, that line is blurry,” Tasha says. “It’s not blurry to me and it’s not blurry to any woman.”

Own Your Choices

Fair enough, so what should everyone know about shooting sex and consent?

“Sometimes when you perform, you’re going to push your limits. You might be doing anal for the first time or a DP on camera and you’ve never done that before,” Tasha begins.

Referencing that her on-camera episodes may not be what her personal life is about, the UCLA grad concedes she had to learn to “slow-down” the action.

Communication is important.

Sex is a power exchange and is not fun if you have equal power, she believes. “That’s okay. What’s not okay is when you say ‘no’ and they continue. That’s rape.”

It’s a “fine line,” Tasha admits, and “male talent, if they crossed limits” may “not even realize that’s the situation.” So, awareness is also important.

Tasha generalizes the circumstances to civilians, suggesting that in the work place men might “hug their co-worker or put their hand on their waist or smack them on the butt in a playful, friendly manner they might do with a friend.”

She doesn’t understand “how they would feel that [type of behavior] would be okay.”

To illustrate her point, Tasha comments on the message she sends her fans when standing with them for photographs. It’s particularly applicable this week since we are at the industry’s major trade show.

“I’ll have someone tell them they must have their hands at their side. There’s no touching whatsoever. I will pose around you because that’s what I feel comfortable with.”

However, though she is comfortable with her boundaries, Tasha does not mean to restrict another girl might find appealing.

“I think that if a woman wants to have a gang bang with an entire football team . . . or if she wants her friends to grab her” that’s her choice and “you have to own your choices and be conscious about what you’re doing.”

Tasha during our 2014 interview

Tasha after our talk at the 2014 AEE

A Feminist Can Love Pornography

Tasha Reign points out a misconception the public has about adult film which she believes stems from a lack of “media literacy.”

Often people don’t understand that what they see in a sex scene is consensual among the talent, particularly if the shoot is rough. It appears the woman is being abused.

In particular, this is often the opinion of anti-porn feminists who know nothing about adult film. They conclude the scene was rape, when that is not the case, and, worst yet, never bother to talk with the models to get the real story.

“You can’t judge a consensual sex scene just because it was a rough scene. That’s not the way sex [in the industry] works,” Tasha states.

On the other hand, there is a bright side. “You can be a feminist and still love pornography and sex work,” Tasha declares, then turns her attention to an ongoing paradox that has politically agitated feminism for years.

“How in the world could you [as a feminist] condone having women make choices but then say they can’t have the choice to have sex for money? It makes no sense.”

As our allotted minutes run out, the performer/writer/producer/director follows up with one of her pet peeves.

“People like to scapegoat porn. If there’s anything they can put on you, they will. It’s always baffling to me. I’ll never get used to it. Jessica Drake in a panel this last week said, ‘You know what? Now that I’m older I realize it says so much more about them than it does about me.'”

Smiling, Tasha Reign concludes.

“And it’s one hundred percent true.”

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You can follow Tasha on twitter and visit her website here.

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Part 3: Moments with Tara Lynn Foxx

by Rich Moreland, April 2014

 In preparing the re-post of the final part of the Tara Lynn Foxx trilogy, I remembered the difficult days she faced a couple of years ago. In fact, I inadvertently experienced one of her upsetting moments on a Friday afternoon during the 2012 AVN convention.

After talking briefly with Tara during her floor signing time, we planned an interview in her hotel room later that evening. As our 7 p.m. appointment neared, repeated text messages got no response so I took a chance and went to her room. To say the least, I sensed something was amiss.

Tara answered the door with a look that announced a bad situation. While she and other models were at their signing tables, cellphones were stolen. For industry people, this is devastating because it upsets the fragile balance between personhood and profession. With her phone went Tara’s appointments and shoots, a performer’s lifeline, not to mention contact info for industry personnel who want their personal lives to remain private.

We never did the interview, though I did insist on taking her to dinner. An exasperated girl recovering from enough drama to knock down the hardiest of people was having it handed to her in spades.

 But TLF persevered and I’m delighted to report the almost twenty-four-year-old is a respected industry veteran with an education no college degree could ever duplicate.

Read on with the knowledge that to sustain a porn career takes a dose of personal fortitude many people would have to dig deep to find.

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A note: as I have done with the previous posts, some modifications have been made to the original entry which is available at Tara’s official blog.

TLF walking the Red Carpet. Photo by Bill Knight

TLF walking this year’s AVN Red Carpet.
Photo by Bill Knight

“Courage”

By Rich Moreland, November 2011

Book writing is a time eater and I’ve been working to get my manuscript ready for the early rounds of edits. I lost track of TLF for a couple of months and when porn models I know disappear off my radar and their names don’t come up in new releases, I get concerned.

So I turned to Tara’s blog for updates and saw “Some Heavy Shit” (August 2011).

It was time for a phone call . . .

“I doubted myself when I talked with you,” Tara told me. She was referring to a conversation we had months ago. Keeping her “game face” up and running, she did not let on at the time that her self-esteem was under fire.

Though our talk on this late November afternoon was hardly light-hearted, Tara assuaged my concerns that she might be spiraling in a direction that was not good.

How do you spell relief?

She is doing fine, taking some time off, getting ready to reenter the swirl of an industry that the late porn pioneer Marilyn Chambers claimed, “eats up girls and spits them out.”

A playful moment. Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

A playful moment.
Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

After being reassured that she wasn‘t suicidal, the urge nagged at me to do something to send her some love. We said “goodbye” with the promise to speak again soon and I immediately dug into my computer files to locate an unpublished piece I crafted some time ago. It was about courage in the adult industry and Tara’s strength of character called it to my mind. She was not the subject of it then, but is a subject for it today.

Here is an excerpt.

“Porn girls are vivacious, attractive, naturally hedonistic, and draw instant attention. But despite their ‘money and fame’ persona, the cost is high. Their bodies are penetrated and used for profit and the glamour can sometimes reek of men who stink in body and soul.”

In Tara’s case, the cost was extracted from her spirit. If you read her blog entry you’ll see what I mean.

Here is more from the same piece.

“For those not in the business, the thought of exposing one’s body, engaging in sex acts of various kinds, and having it displayed on the internet is overwhelming and prohibiting. It can lead to feelings elucidated by Tera Patrick. ‘We’re all hos on this bus,’ she said.

Courage is on display in pornography to a greater extent than we realize. Striving for acceptance is basic to our survival and rejection hurts. We want people to believe in what we do, the decisions we make. For a porn performer, the personal issues for entering the business may be varied—economic concerns, lack of opportunity, a free spirited sexuality, or a sense of adventure. But whatever the reasons, courage is necessary. Without it, the human spirit collapses.”

What happens when the unscrupulous—in the porn business think agents, producers and directors—abrade and smash a performer’s ego, in effect reducing a woman’s personhood to whatever can be shoved into three holes? Such a contemptuous exploitation is particularly devastating to an eighteen-year-old whose naiveté is stripped as bare as her body.

Respect is evasive or non-existent.

Floating Endless in Cyberspace

In Tara’s case, her inner fortitude was battered, but not buried. She remolded it into a resilience that continues to cope with two demands in her professional life: perfecting her on screen performance and excoriating the stench of a casting couch that brutalizes and numbs.

Everyone has doubts, but in porn they can be crippling. The average career, after all, runs about eighteen months. Some make it longer. Nina Hartley, Bobbi Starr, Aurora Snow, and Madison Young come immediately to mind. But it is daunting.

Porn means putting your vulnerabilities on the line for all to see, hoping your looks and the ability to turn a good fuck keep you sane.

The business is glamor and hustle rolled together. Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn foxx

The business is glamor and hustle rolled together.
Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn foxx

“Remember the camera, sweetheart, give it a look and point your toes,” the director says as the crew prepares to shoot the DP. Bear in mind, not every pronographer cares if a model can stomach co-stars she marginally tolerates popping Viagra to make her day a little longer. And, don’t forget the wretchedness of a dirty bathroom, or the terror of anal without a condom.

“If you won’t do it, Sweetheart, I’ll find somebody who will,” is the tacit implication. Along with the slime of wheedling agents, it is ugliness at its basest level.

As Tara informs us, the industry has its share of shady characters.

Failure, defined as looking too mechanical or being resistant to that little extra not spelled out in the call sheet, costs a performer work. And if she decides the business is not for her, it’s pack up time to go home with the haunting memory that her short career is out there floating endlessly in cyberspace. Social media lights up and her high school friends troll the net to find out if she is shaved as smooth as a baby’s butt.

Most egregious are paydays that depend on deals struck before the shooting starts. Paved with false promises, the first round is sex for free. The emotional pain is overwhelming or totally denied.

Tara knows this all too well.

That’s why the business’s famous adage is, “you don’t fuck to get a job, fucking is the job.”

Survival

Tara shows Traci, present recalls the past. Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn Foss

Tara shows Traci, present recalls the past.
Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

A porn generation ago, the infamous Traci Lords was said to service the crew when not in front of the camera. But Traci was a manipulator, who turned her talents into a kind of porno blackmail. On the other hand, Tara was barely legal, as they say in the business, when she entered porn. Wettest behind her ears, she was like many others, just a kid who wanted to please.

In the industry, scenes are marketed as boy/girl and a performer’s resume lists her other shoot availibilities with girl/girl and boy/boy/girl among the standard choices. Talent is infantilized, second-class citizens in a billion dollar industry. And if you didn’t know, there are no residuals when a DVD or internet shoot is marketed or scenes are extracted later for compilations.

Bill Margold, porn’s eminent historian, has said many times that the adult industry should hug the “kids,” as he calls the models, but would rather screw them instead.

Travel, hotel rooms, and pleasing others is all part of porn. Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

Travel, hotel rooms, and pleasing others is all part of porn.
Photo courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

But, I will tell you this. Tara Lynn Foxx is a survivor. When I said she could roll through an interview like the baddest big boy in a monster truck rally, I was not kidding.

When her confidence crashed around her, doubts about loss of control surfaced. Questionable decisions that were not always in her best interests piled up and depression moved in for a stay. Trust took a hike.

But with a person of Tara’s courage, recovery flickers softly at first, then roars like a fire.

I know because I could hear it in her voice as we talked that chilly November afternoon a continent apart.

She can “put on her face,” as she calls her professional demeanor. But the true test of strength comes when she is “not on anymore,” those moments when her porn persona melts away and she morphs into the “natural” Tara: honest and sweet with those captivating eyes.

Putting in floor time for the fans. Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Putting on her face for the fans.
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

This woman has mettle, that inherent quality of temperament that crafts toughness and internal strength. She can follow her passions while shielding herself from the dirt flung by critics and abusers. Her inner sanctuary has not collapsed.

Best of all, she knows this.

My little piece of writing here is an emotional and psychological obituary for the “kid” Tara once was and an introduction of a Tara Lynn Foxx that has vacated girlhood to become a “woman” in a tough industry. She has experienced death and rebirth accentuated with spirit and spunk.

Doubt will always inhabit the soul, as I shared with her in our conversation. I’ve had mine and you, her fans, have had yours.

But our inner strength, the belief in ourselves, never goes away; it just hibernates, waiting to be called up in time of need like the army reserve.

And, don’t forget the words of Ringo Starr, it’s sweet when we get “a little help from our friends.”

Tara could use a little boost at her back right now. This is where you come in. Send her a comment, email, or make a phone call.

She has my trust and faith. How about yours?

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In closing this trilogy, I want to mention something of interest. Not long ago, I asked Tara if she supported an idea some industry people—award winning director Axel Braun and porn historian Bill Margold among them—are talking about these days: an industry-wide voluntary restriction that models be twenty-one before they are allowed on a porn set.

Not surprisingly, she gave me a resounding, “Yes!”

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