Tag Archives: Tara Lynn Foxx

Crunch Time and Changing Times

by Rich Moreland, December 2014

book cover porn.fem.

It’s crunch time for me and I don’t mean holiday shopping. John Hunt Publishing of the UK is preparing my book, Pornography Feminism: As Powerful as She Wants to Be for distribution. The official release date is January 30, but it is available now at a pre-release price. You can find it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I’m beginning a new phase in the life of an author, marketing. It has become my holiday version of “got to get this done” and I’m learning as I go, just as I did when I first ventured into the adult film community.

Six years ago I began to mingle with pornography people. I listened, took notes, watched them work, and paid for my share of meals. Never did I imagine that a blog would come out of my industry networking. In fact, it was a student of mine who suggested I begin a journal. Inevitably, a twitter account followed and then the big break, an offer to write for Adult Industry News, an online publication out of LA. It’s among the websites included under the Links of Interest tab at the top of this page.

To make a go of the book I wanted to write, I sought out feminist performers and directors. Of course, feminism and pornography aren’t exactly bedfellows (pun intended) in American social history. Consequently, I never knew where the field work would lead and I did have my surprises.

What is missing in Pornography Feminism is an epilogue. Because careers in the adult film industry can be absurdly brief (as in why did she even give this a try?) to five plus years, a lifetime in porn, I never knew if or when contacts I valued would suddenly decide to hang it up.

Two things I have learned when girls step out of the limelight. First, some will immediately disappear, drop off the radar without a forwarding address. Negotiating life after porn is a tricky proposition that can inhibit available options in rebuilding a civilian normality. In some cases, an “I don’t want to talk about it” mentality takes over and must be respected. Second, and this is related to the first, some girls show up again in the industry with renewed purpose. The most recent example is Nadia Styles who was “saved” by anti-porn Christians but has returned to filming with the message that she is glad to be back.

Nadia’s story, as reported by Adult Video News, is here.

Another example is the legendary Aurora Snow who retired to the American heartland a year ago. Word is that she will be around during the AEE convention in January, but has no intention of stepping in front of the camera.

Transitions and Change

Since the presses are now rolling, it’s appropriate to update a pair of retirements with personal “thank yous.” Each performer contributed significantly to my field work. First, Bobbi Starr, without whom Pornography Feminism would be an unfinished shell of a book. Recently retired after eight years in the business, Bobbi now lives quietly in married domesticity. Raising a family takes all her energy, she tells me.

I’m not surprised. I remember meeting Bobbi for breakfast a few years ago in Vegas. In our conversation, she mentioned that adult film was a phase of her life she was doing the safest way possible. When she started a family, the formally trained oboist insisted, all on-screen appearances would come to screeching halt.

The native Northern Californian always had a plan, a sense of responsibility, and a ton of industry respect to go with it.

Bobbi and Jiz Lee in Toronto. Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Bobbi and Jiz Lee in Toronto in 2011.
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Transitioning from performer to director, Bobbi understood what it meant to call her shots in a male-dominated industry. Undoubtedly, the statuesque brunette could have remained behind the camera for decades to come, but she walked away on her own terms, contented and ready for the next phase of her life.

Next is Tara Lynn Foxx, who like Bobbi Starr, was always generous with her time and opinions. I remember talking with TLF when she was just breaking into the business. Over the years, catching up with this sweetheart had its amusing moments. Once I interviewed Tara while she was taking a time out in Vegas. She was without her undies, a violation of convention protocol, and was waiting for their delivery! In another instance we chatted as she sat in the make-up chair. That night, everything was a rush.

TLF in Vegas. Photo couresy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

TLF in Vegas in 2012.
Photo couresy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

The San Francisco girl who started in webcam paid her dues and on occasion suffered the vagaries of being in the business. Over time her personal grit forged a solid career that, like Bobbi’s, will be worthy of eventual induction into the AVN Hall of Fame.

For an understanding of TLF’s time in porn, turn the pages of Pornography Feminism. She, along with Bobbi and a handful of others, are featured.

In the meantime, Tara Lynn Foxx informs me the end is at hand. “I’m actually retired and not shooting anymore. I’ve changed paths.” The performer I watched develop from a teenager into a sultry young woman is moving toward a new profession in the culinary arts. For more on Tara’s plans, check out her website.


Establishing a respected porn resume is an accomplishment fueled by an irrepressible spirit and when the inevitable arrives, fan accolades and generous checks for shooting scenes are hard to replace. However, times do change. The body wears down, especially with the modern definition of rough sex, and an exit strategy moves center stage.

Nevertheless, memories often linger because transitioning into civilian life is not always easy.

Will either Bobbi or Tara return to porn? My guess is no, but one should never say never. If they do, their fans will be back, lined up and ready for a moment’s attention, an autographed photo . . . and a smile.

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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.


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


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.”


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?

*          *          *          *          *

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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Part 2: Moments with Tara Lynn Foxx

by Rich Moreland, April 2014

Here is the second part of my work with Tara Lynn Foxx a few years ago. Over the last thirty years, adult film feminists have redefined sexual pleasure for themselves and to their own satisfaction. TLF is doing this every day, taking control of what pleases her. Among her turn-ons is her submissiveness and BDSM fans are forever appreciative. At websites like Kink.com they can see their favorite blonde pursuing what she loves.

I first met Tara at Kink and have adored her performances and her personality ever since. But a word of caution is advised. A friend of hers saw a Kink shoot Tara did when she first entered the business. Thinking she was objectified and abused, he reacted with alarm. Far from being degrading or humiliating, Tara assured him the performance was fun and rewarding. This is the nature of BDSM, a fetish that is perplexing for many. So, read on and find out who this porn charmer really is, at least from her submissive side.

*          *          *          *          *

Before we go further, here’s a photo from the 2014 Adult Video News’ Award Show Red Carpet. Like the old sideshow barker on the carnival midway and the hustler outside the strip club, this is to get you in the front door. We’re going to play bait and switch because glamor is not on the agenda at Kink as you shall see in the article I penned in 2011!

Stunning. Photo by Bill Knight for 3hattergrindhouse.com

Photo by Bill Knight for 3hattergrindhouse.com

“Bondage, Ball Gags, and the Castle”
Rich Moreland, June 2011.

Gonzo queen, interracial hottie, vanilla starlet? Take your pick when (go)ogling Tara Lynn Foxx. But, be sure to add BDSM kinkster to your shopping list of TLF pics and vids you want to see. Tara is a sexy bottom (if you’re not a BDSMer, bottom is a submissive with added nuances) who can “rule” a bondage shoot, flipping her submissiveness into a feminist attitude of empowerment that marks her (pun intended for BDSM fans) as an emerging star in adult film kink.

A little sassiness before shooting for Ultimatesurrender.com Photo courtesy of Kink.com

A little impertinence before shooting for Ultimatesurrender.com
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Tara’s visits to San Francisco’s Kink.com porn edifice, affectionately known as the Castle, are repeated homecomings. As of this writing, she’s shot over fifty times for Peter Acworth and has a particular fondness for two of the Armory’s repertoire of websites—ultimatesurrender.com, all-girl wrestling in front of an audience, and hogtied.com., the company’s original bondage site.

Ultimatesurrender is “my favorite right now,” Tara says. Not surprising, the girl is competitive.

Bondage shoots beg for good directors and Kink has them. So, who tops Tara’s list?

Her first love was Hogtied’s Lochai who has since returned to his native Baltimore. “Sweet and very caring,” is how she describes him. His replacement Matt is high on her list now.

Working with Matt. Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Working with Matt.
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Tara adores Princess Donna, whom she amusingly characterizes as a pervert, and Isis Love, a close friend Tara trusts. “She knows how to push my boundaries in a good way,” Tara says of Isis.

Ississ Love applies the flogger to our darling. Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Isis Love applies the flogger to our darling.
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Wait a minute, how does a porn girl define “pervert?”

Perverts “have naughty thoughts,” Tara says, responding to my interruption of our conversation, “and are not afraid to share them.”

“They love sex as much I do,” she adds.

TLF flashes that impish smile again. “I’m a perv ‘cause I think dirty things and then act on them!”

Makes sense to me. Now back to Kink’s webmasters.

“I really like all the directors to be honest with you,” she says. “I love a lot of their sites so it’s hard to pick favorites.”

In bondage and ball gag scenes, confidence among the players frames a sexually hot experience. A director wants to seduce a restrained model into ethereal moments of ecstasy. That means eliminating doubt and hesitation.

A superb dominant can lure a sub into a space-time continuum, referred to as “subspace” or “mindspace,” that shapes the eroticism of a BDSM experience. The inner journey is reflected in a model’s eyes and Tara’s entice the camera with a tantalizing vulnerability.

I ask TLF to comment on a Kink shoot she did with Wolf Hudson, a much-admired performer who divides his time between hetero and gay filming. Tara’s scene with Wolf was one of the steamiest I’ve witnessed in BDSM film.

“I know Wolf and love him as a person,” Tara says. “He’s really cool, he’s very talented, and his dick is amazing.”

The shoot was for the Training of O website. Tara was tied, legs spread, warmed up with some flogging and ready for penetration. Wolf worked the scene slowly. As he nestled his lips near hers, Tara gazed into his eyes before retreating deeper into subspace. Her head tilted just enough for that succumbing “fuck me” look Kink members pay to see.

“We had really great chemistry,” Tara remembers, brightening in recognition of a memorable experience. “I felt so comfortable with him, I think that really showed.”

Indeed it did.

The scene was condom friendly and for Tara that ensured her personal satisfaction. There is no cajoling at the Armory to eschew safer sex.

“I was able to relax and really have sex,” she comments.

In the porn universe, there is a distinction between sex and “real” sex. The first is a paycheck; the second is pleasure rewarded with a paycheck.

Tara reinforces what I’ve heard repeatedly among adult performers. Having “real sex” is all too rare. “You don’t get to do that a lot on camera,” she explains, “you really have to get comfortable fast.” Waiting on the set creates a need to move forward when the time is ripe to sustain the emotions for good sex.

Ready and Waiting Real Sex. Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Ready and waiting for real sex with a condom while James checks his agenda.
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Of course, condoms are the prescription for the sweet and salty of “real sex.” Anal is now routine and the question of what co-stars did the night before and with whom they did it with is always in the back of a girl’s mind when the penetration moment arrives. For Tara, condoms spell relief and elevate the connections she seeks with favorite performers.

The Girl Likes to be Punished, Sometimes . . .

I’m curious about the punishment segments of her BDSM shoots and reference the T of O episode under James Mogul’s direction. Mogul’s a master psychologist, tough on models, keeping them off balance emotionally to probe their inner sexual core. And he uses his whips with efficiency.

James likes scenes to constantly evolve under his orchestration. “[He] just kept the shoot going,” Tara recalled, and “kept me on my toes because I had to think fast.” James’ style is to pose lots of questions and demand immediate answers.

“If I didn’t answer, then I would get punished,” she says.

But hey, sweetheart, you’re a hot sensuous bondage model with a fan following, what do you expect?

“Yeah, I like to get punished,” Tara concedes with a slight giggle, “but not all the time!”

She confesses that she was naïve about the BDSM community, “almost stupid,” when she ran headlong into James. A newbie to bondage play, Tara quickly got an education.

Having seen James at work, I can appreciate TLF’s next point. “He kept me feeling safe,” she says.

Precaution is a hallmark of James’ directing, as it is in every Kink production. A Kink episode is stressful and draining on a model; it can be intimidating and painful if she is a novice to BDSM play. But with James and the other directors, a baby in a blanket could not be more secure than a performer in their hands.

Sound like fun? Before you get out a flogger or cane to induce a little playtime with your lover, keep in mind it’s more than just a stroke or two on the canvass of back or butt.

Getting into her head. Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Getting into her head.
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Pay attention perverts and listen to Tara.

Here’s Why . . .

Working at Kink is a “mindfuck.”

Tara is upfront and direct. “Anybody can sit there and whip you with a flogger, but for me to get pleasure out of it you have to really be in my head.” The Kink pathway into the brain is tactile and verbal; directors caress and talk to the models during shoots.

“The things they do to us are more painful when they’re in our heads. At the same time, when they’re in our heads the pain gets turned into pleasure,” Tara affirms.

Princess Donna Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Princess Donna
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

It’s a process and Tara comments that Princess Donna is a fascinating example of how it is accomplished. She is a champion at inducing models to “feel what she is doing” and making certain they are sky-high with the seduction of bondage play. Donna is “intriguing” Tara adds, because BDSM is her personal lifestyle.

Failure to guide a bottom through the transition into “subspace” defeats the experience of BDSM play. “If they’re not in my head,” Tara is adamant, “it’s just going to be pain and I’m not into it or them.”

Tara relishes her submissiveness; however, to be a good bottom is to be demanding. She knows that her pleasure is cerebral. If the shoot isn’t working for her, she will mentally invert the scene. “I actually feel dominant over them,” she remarks, adding that if her tops can’t induce the “mindfuck,” then her feistiness vaporizes her “subspace.”

My bet is that in time TLF will follow well-known Kink subs like Bobbi Starr, Dana DeArmond, and Lorelei Lee who now “switch” (shoot as doms) for Acworth. All three are feminists, as is Princess Donna by the way, and Tara’s sassiness mirrors theirs. TLF has learned from the best to get what she wants.

The ball gag and Lorelei Lee waiting in the background. Photo courtesy of Kink.com

The ball gag and Lorelei Lee waiting in the background.
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

There’s more I could tell you like how our sweetie sizzles with a huge ball gag between her pouty lips and what a lovely gape shot she had in a Kink shoot with the aforementioned Lorelei Lee. For now I’ll relate what Tara appreciates about filming in the City by the Bay.

It’s being in the Spanish Revival fortress on Mission Street, reveling in its Victorian architecture and socializing with the terrific people who work there. It is home. Tara popped her bondage cherry with her first Kink shoot and she’s been loved there ever since.

“One of my favorite things about going to the Castle is bumping into Peter,” she says. “He is just so . . . words don’t describe that man. But I love getting a hug from him.”

I'm not Peter, but the hug is the same! Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

The author is no Peter Acworth, but the hug is the same!
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

How the little things make a difference!


Be sure to visit Tara Lynn Foxx’s blog. It can be found here.


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Part 1: Moments with Tara Lynn Foxx

by Rich Moreland, April 2014

As spring settles in I have good news. My manuscript is on the publisher’s desk jumping through the editing hoops. It’s been a long slog, but I could not have completed it without the help of some generous people in the adult film industry. Among these performers, directors, and others, is a delectable sweetie named Tara Lynn Foxx who has risen from a perky nineteen-year-old porn newbie into a recognized star today. I’ve watched her mature and grow in an industry that can be unkind to girls who cannot find their way. TLF has beaten those odds with a fervor that spells success. 

In 2011 I did a series of posts for her blog which I’m reproducing here with some modifications and additions. The entries are in three parts. To check them in their original form and read all about this future porn hall-of-famer, go to Tara Lynn Foxx’s blog.

For the record, TLF’s place as a feminist in modern adult film is preserved within the pages of my upcoming book.


Tara at the 2014 Adult Entertainment Expo Photo courtesy of Glenn Francis/

Tara at the 2014 Adult Entertainment Expo
Photo courtesy of Glenn Francis/PacificProDigital.com

TLF posted this comment for her fans.

(For those that didn’t have the chance to read part 1 here it is! Enjoy! xoxo TLF)

“I’m One of the Luckiest Girls in Porn”
by Rich Moreland, February 2011

“I create this fantasy for you so you can orgasm and have great sex and hopefully learn things because I’m a girl that is so open to sharing.”

The words are those of rising porn talent, Tara Lynn Foxx, a pouty-lipped blonde with animated brown eyes. We’re in San Francisco’s famous “porn castle,” the rehabbed National Guard Armory that is the new home of Kink.com, the internet giant that markets a variety of BDSM and alternative sexuality websites. She’s up from L.A. to do a couple of shoots with their webmasters.

I’m playing hooky from my college teaching schedule to do research in SF. One of Kink’s gracious employees rounded up Tara for an interview before the twenty-year-old left for the day.

Being a bondage model at Kink can put a strain on the system. Photo courtesy of Kink.com

Tara at work. Being a bondage model at Kink can put a strain on the system.
Photo courtesy of Kink.com

We’ve just been introduced; my first impression is beyond positive.

Sitting down with porn actresses is somewhat routine for me, but I quickly discover that this girl is going to be a ride.

Confidence fills the space. Cool. But is she cerebral? I’m looking for information, something more than fan reaction to her latest shoot. Does she have presence? Can she roll through an interview the way the chief bad boy crushes cars at a monster truck rally?

As a former Alaskan governor would say, “you betcha.”

Sans makeup and dressed casually in shorts and top, TLF is engaging, smart, and a sweetheart with her time and energy. She has her opinions and does not back away from telling it from her side.

From the beginning, I learn that she likes people who ask her questions about adult entertainment because she believes it “sheds a positive light” on the industry. But she does have her reservations about too much of a good thing?

“If our taboo goes away, then I think it would hurt us. I don’t want a lot of people to think porn is easy to get into.” She admits that physical entry into the business is not difficult. Being suited for the job is another matter.

“You’re not going to last long if you’re not made for porn. It’s just not made for everybody.”

True. I’ve heard that before. Adult film models are the sexual elite of our culture, but industry survival is a product of self-will and intelligence. Tara at her tender porn age has a wisdom born of experience and hard knocks in an industry that can chew up a girl and spit her out. My interest in her is ascending.

We spend the time talking about Kink and condoms and the fun of porn. But that’s for another day. This account focuses on the beginning . . . .

San Francisco Girl
A few months later we reunite in Las Vegas during the 2011 AVN convention. I grab her (not literally!) for more interviews. In the non-stop four days of the gathering of porn fans and media types, this is no simple task. TLF’s getting her hair and make-up readied for the awards show on Saturday night. We’re talking; the make-up artist ignores our conversation.

Getting ready. Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Getting ready.
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

“I grew up in the Bay area, born in San Francisco, moved all around. Right before high school I moved up to Oregon. Then after graduating headed to Washington to do webcam. Then down to L.A. to do porn.”

Webcam is an engaging start. I ask how it helped her transition into porn. Tara explains she got to do things for the first time with just herself and at her pace. The surprise was her interpretation what she was actually doing. “I though it was nude modeling, at home, for Playboy, things like that.” But it was more. She started penetrating herself with dildoes. Porn! And she was practically giving it away! But at eighteen, she was, as she puts it, naïve.

Her epiphany was immediate. Tara reasoned she could make more money and reach more people by doing straight up porn in the marketplace that caters to the adult film consumer’s demand—L.A.

Going there would make a difference.

“I’ll make more people cum, that’s what I was thinking,” she says with delight.

In all my interviews with Tara, she communicates a central notion that makes up the “TLF” personality. She cares about others and particularly her fans. Her background—a loving mother and a supportive sister—shapes this sensitivity.

“I am probably one of the luckiest girls in porn, because I didn’t have a super fucked up life when I grew up.” Tara talks about her mom raising her despite the absence of a father, and her mother’s Herculean efforts to support the family.

Mom and LA

Modeling career underway. Traveling to LA. Photo Courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

Modeling career underway, going to LA.
Photo Courtesy of Tara Lynn Foxx

Tara also revealed her mother’s intuition. “My mom knew about my plans for getting into porn before I even came down to L.A. I was living in Oregon and I told my mom I was moving to L.A. and we really don’t have any family there anymore, so she’s like, ‘wait a minute, why are you going down there?’ ‘To be a model mom, an actress’.” Tara smiles in the impish way that is hers alone and adds, “She was like, ‘umm, you’re doing porn aren’t you?'” Mothers have a way of knowing these things.

Though her mother was aware of Tara’s decision to enter porn, she is cool with it. Tara mentions that her mom is “very supportive and is actually in talks with me about doing [creating] lingerie for me.”

As for her sister, Tara is a little hesitant. “She knows I do porn, she’s so-so with it, but she loves me.”

Everyone who ever talks to a porn star wants to know about her first time with sex. So, I’ll ask for all of you.

For Tara, it was all about the Bay area lifestyle. It made losing her virginity as easy as jumping on public transit, or at least waiting for it.

Tara confesses what living in San Francisco means for a teenager, “you could get away with a lot more.” Her mom was working all the time and Tara spent long periods away from home, up to a week sometimes. “My mom wouldn’t say much because she assumed I was with my friend, at her house.” SF is a party town and Tara experienced more freedom than most teens and more opportunity to get into sexual mischief.

OK. So how did it happen? Tara is matter-of-fact.

“I was 12. I used to lie and say I was 16, ‘cause I looked older. I was with my best friend and we were leaving the mall and missed the last bus. We were walking to catch the Bart [Bay Area transit]. There were these really cute guys squirting water guns at each other and I yelled at them, of course, because I’m a big mouth and wild like that.”

Makes sense to me; TLF has an endearing sassiness that captures your attention straight away.

“We started talking and they were cute. We lied about our age and said we were older. They lied and said they were younger. They were like 18, 19 or something like that, and we were 12 and 13. It was kind of bad, but it was fun.”

Tara and her friend made a quick pact to lose their virginity that night, then and there. But surprises do occur. TLF did the dirty deed. Her friend backed out.

“I go through with it and I found out she didn’t.”

But there is a moral of sorts to this story. Tara’s friend later lost her virginity in a car. Tara smiles coyly and recalls, “at least I did in a bed.” Was she upset with her friend that fateful day? Not really. What Tara didn’t know was the lucky boy, whatever his age, who scored with her that day started her off on a run of pleasure that would take her into adult film at the too youthful age of 18.

The Girls Have It

Now for the follow-up that every fan wants to know. “When was your first girl-on-girl experience?” I ask, anticipating what I have heard from other models. I was not disappointed. It begins young; in Tara’s case, very young—she was eight.

“I would play with dolls and then go to a dark place and start making out and dry humping and stuff like that.” Everyone starts slow, but maybe not as early as eight.

“My first actual sex with a girl was in my senior year of high school.” That’s better. At least we’re heading in the direction of eighteen.

She turned out to be a hot “Latin chick,” Tara says, and confesses she’s always been attracted to Latin women. “She was the most beautiful thing ever and we did it in my mom’s house.” Probably in a bed, Tara picks her spots carefully.

She adds whimsically, “I might have a girlfriend again” someday but at that time “we were both seniors and we just clicked instantly.”

Clicking with Tara Lynn Foxx is natural and effortless because she is so affable and accommodating. On my list of porn models I’ve gotten to know, she ranks at the top.
More is coming your way later . . . a little on kinkiness, safer sex, thoughts on the industry, and, of all things, feminism . . . . and most important, more about mom and going to L.A.

Rich Moreland, February 2011.




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Maggie and the Smut Den: End of the Day

by Rich Moreland, November 2013

This is the second installment of my visit to dogfart/fabulouscash.com studio in LA.

Billy Watson has a system that gets the talent in and out quickly with everyone paid when they leave. As mentioned in Part 1, his editor Doron takes care of the green screen when the model arrives and is finished with the make-up chair.

The stills are next and run according to the scripted scene Billy composes beforehand. This photographed walk-through takes place on the set and gives the talent a chance to get to know each other and talk about what they like to do on camera. A common issue for the girls is a man’s size, Billy says. Reservations about length and thickness are sometimes voiced; consequently, a model’s degree of discomfort is something no shooter wants to dismiss out of hand.

Most girls are accommodating, though privately they sometimes remark on how the average-sized guy is more to their liking.

During the stills Big Wire stands behind a partition that passes for a wall in an adult bookstore and projects his manhood through a hole in it (nicely cushioned with duct tape to prevent unwanted abrasions). Next to him are baby wipes, paper towels, and various plastic containers with lubes and other products. On the other side, Andy is browsing the store’s DVD collection. Under Billy’s direction she begins to fantasize, strips down, and bingo, Big Wire’s endowment is right in front of her. When it’s shot the sequence will be oral and doggie. It’s quick and uncomplicated.

Doron waiting for Andy to finish Photo by Bill Knight

Doron waiting for Andy to finish the stills.
Photo by Bill Knight

Over a fifteen minute interval, Billy gets all he needs pre-pop shot. Andy gets dressed and a break is taken. She touches up her face and drifts over to the roll-up door for a cigarette and casual conversation with Big Wire.

Billy works while Doron and Andy do behind the scenes Photo courtesy of Bill Knight

Billy works while Doron and Andy do behind the scenes.
Photo courtesy of Bill Knight

Doron takes a few minutes for the behind-the-scenes segment during this down time. He emcees and films while  Andy talks to the camera.

Show time brings down the roll-up. Darkness settles in except where flood lights channel all brightness on the talent. Andy sails through the script rehearsed in the stills, self-stimulating before taking in Big Wire’s endowment.

Andy San Dimas’s professionalism shines when the action picks up. She knows how to entice the camera to produce the titillation that sells her image. Gloryhole is gonzo porn. The camera is never more than a couple of feet from Andy and within inches of her face when close-ups are needed.

Breaks are frequent. Billy repositions Andy, talking to her all the while. After stripping off her panties for the penetration segment, Andy takes a moment to fluff up and tease her pubic hair. Asked later if bush is back and she says it is for her. Shaving is abrasive and irritating.

Rear entry sex requires Andy to contort her body, then she is on her knees for the pop. With her facial still dripping, Andy slowly gets dressed and is directed to have a look of self-consciousness  and embarrassment which she pulls off flawlessly. She walks toward the camera as if to exit the store.

While the ejaculate is still fresh, the post-pop stills are taken.

Something I notice reveals that seasoned porn performers can operate on automatic pilot. When Andy is on her knees working on Big Wire, she instinctively reaches up to put her hands on his hips but is stopped by the wall. She lets her hands slide down the barrier easily and naturally just as a runway model who stumbles slightly and recovers without missing a step.

Madelyn Monroe

The scene wrapped up, Andy comes over to where I’m standing and cleans up with a baby wipe. We chat about nothing in particular and I head over to the make-up area with her. Later our community back east comes up and I promise to take her to her favorite local restaurant the next time she is in town.

Madelyn Monroe is in and needs to get into her pornie outfit and have her make-up applied. It’s an interview opportunity I can’t miss.

Madelyn in the chair awaiting make-up Photo by Bill Knight

Madelyn in the chair awaiting make-up.
Photo by Bill Knight

The bubbly blonde (color of the day) hails from Seattle. Madelyn started as a teen, dropped out of the business and now visits Billy occasionally. She’s back to shooting, but very selectively, sort of unretired without committing to work.

As I always do, I want to know who Madelyn has shot for (Brazzers and Hustler are mentioned) and if she has visited the BDSM giant, Kink.com, in San Francisco (no). What’s her preference (boy/girl) and does she do anal. “No” is the reply but a later online check reveals one anal shoot, so I assume she means not any more or perhaps she’s one and done. Girl/girl scenes are also not on her agenda.

Madelyn got into porn through modelmayhem and suicidegirls. The now twenty-one-year-old did not have sex until she was seventeen, and only then after overly imbibing. A move to California and filming for mofos.com brought her into the business. But all did not go well. She had “bad days,” Madelyn says, “that’s why I quit.” She’s now a free agent, preferring to work without agency affiliation.

Madelyn exemplifies whatever definition we give to work ethic. She’s on time and responsible, I find out from Billy. Madelyn also has an unforgettable personality, there’s not an ounce of sullenness or unhappiness in her. Who would not want her on the set?

It’s time to head over to watch this sweetheart work. Madelyn is doing conventional boy/girl: missionary and doggie with a bit of crotch rubbing thrown in, not to mention the money maker, oral. What makes it fall together? Madelyn, pure and simple, her energy sells this day.

Perfect Girl-Next-Door

Madelyn Monroe plays strictly to the camera in true gonzo fashion. She is an effortless performer, or so it seems. She actually works very hard to make her performance appear natural, spontaneous, and fluid. The well-shaped cutie seduces the viewer with conversation and when the penetrations take place (mish on the Ottoman and doggie on the floor) she turns into a screamer, punctuated with quick gasps and moans. Her volume literally bounces off the set’s partitions. The moment a break occurs, Madelyn’s demeanor shifts instantly as her male co-star withdraws from her open legs and backs away. Forever smiling, she is now relaxed and quiet, awaiting more direction. Madelyn’s telltale vocal cords are on hold and anxious to get started again. The often illusionary real orgasm is part of the porn fantasy.

After the shoot, a pensive Madelyn Photo by Bill Knight

After the shoot, a pensive Madelyn.
Photo by Bill Knight

Madelyn Monroe turns ecstasy into a slutty word. Billy understands the power of expression and focuses much attention on Madelyn’s face during the sex. Meanwhile, her male talent is the perfect example of a stunt dick. He’s virtually invisible and later says that is just how he likes it. In one position during the shoot, the camera is looking over his right shoulder directly down at Madelyn laboring away on her knees. The POV angle is to encourage the viewer to “feel” Madelyn’s performance. Her male co-star’s face is obscured by an extension from the main part of the camera while Billy’s chin is practically resting on his shoulder. His eyes are closed much of the time and I suspect, as Big Wire commented earlier, he’s in his own fantasy of sexual delight, dissociated from this moment.

The men on this day work frequently for Billy; all are local talent. Big Wire comes in a few times per month and would like more. Later when I locate Madelyn’s co-star (Billy later identifies him as Mr. POV) sitting in solitude on a darkened set away from everyone, he stresses his anonymity. He’s performed since 2001 and has been with Billy for four years. He “works around my schedule,” Mr. POV says. There is a second male in Madelyn’s shoot who steps in at the end to add to her facial. Rob Banks affirms what the other guys have said, it’s tough to find bookings and a call from Billy is always welcome.

In our brief conversation, Rob shares his thoughts on my question about his role in the shoot. Neither of us can figure it out and laugh a bit. My observation about the male talent is they are reliable, wait patiently, and do exactly what they are paid to do. They never have problems maintaining “wood” which may be natural or chemically assisted. I can’t say definitively because I don’t ask.

Billy does the behind the scenes with Madelyn immediately after her shoot. Still kneeling in front of the ottoman where Billy sits, she jokes that she didn’t want her eyes to sting (later she complains ever so slightly when she checks for redness). They discuss her ability to tell what a guy ate that day from the taste of his ejaculate and how she has no dating life. Mirroring Billy’s reaction, I find that hard to believe. Madelyn is the perfect girl-next-door with a hidden hell-bent-for-leather eagerness to please.

Back in the make-up room Madelyn’s puckish dimples continue to glow. She’s got an impishness that reminds me of the neighborhood lass who teases the boys then jumps behind the garage with one of them. Mischief is written all over her even after she changes out of her porno heels and short skirt into sweats. Oh yes, her shoot was condom-only. Let’s hear it for safer sex.

That’s My Day

The Smut Den is one of the easiest going workplaces I’ve ever experienced. Everyone is joking, Andy and Madelyn walk around in various states of undress (very common in porn), Doron continues his editing while Billy gets out the checkbook. Maggie wanders around, a cross between bored and slightly humored.

The Smut Den verifies what I have always thought about the adult business. The people who make porn are as everyday as the rest of us, perhaps more so.

Twenty-three-year-old porn veteran Gracie Glam stops by to pick up Andy and I introduce myself. After Gracie strips off some of her duds, Billy takes a few minutes to do some quick polaroids for his private collection. In the meantime I discover that I’ve missed an email from Tara Lynn Foxx about dinner. I’m sure she would have stopped by the Smut Den as she is a veteran of blacksonblondes and like everyone else, loves Billy Watson. The hour is later than the former college instructor had planned so everyone is gathering up their stuff.

“That’s my day,” he says, as we head out. Billy will join us for a few steps at least. Maggie needs a walk.

Maggie Photo by Bill Knight

Photo by Bill Knight

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Maggie in the Smut Den

by Rich Moreland, November 2013

This is the first installment of a two part series on my visit to the dogfart/fabulouscash.com studio in downtown LA.

*          *          *         *          *

“I’m in the back alley. When you walk to my studio, you’ll think you’re scoring crack” reads the text I just received.

A warehouse hidden within the sprawl of Los Angeles weaves images of film noire and Sam Spade. Film is an illusion, is it not? Two days ago an elderly couple showed me Humphrey Bogart’s house: dark, mysterious, imposing, and right next door in the old Hollywoodland development where they’ve lived for decades.

Visions of Sam’s toughest case, The Maltese Falcon with Bogart, Mary Astor, and Peter Lorre float in its rarefied air.

Now it’s crack alley where the illusion plays out in another film venue unknown in Bogart’s day. Might Sam Spade have visited this very street sixty years ago with a femme fatale playing hide and seek with his suspicions?

The roll up door is raised and the Smut Den breathes in the street air. Billy Watson introduces himself with a charm that is only exceeded by Maggie, his femme fatale. I was tipped off that she’d steal me away with a single look. Maggie is no illusion, she’s the real deal. If I could keep my hands off her, I might learn a little something about internet pornography.

Though Billy’s a one-man show, his editor Doron is a jack of all trades whose presence keeps the work pace running smoothly. Dorons’s theminion.com is part of the Dogfartnetwork, an internet powerhouse of twenty-two sites that explores all avenues of interracial porn. Today Billy is shooting a glory hole scene for dogfart and another boy/girl for his own site, fabulouscash.com. The websites share the studio space with dogfart’s influence its guiding force.

Deron Doing the Editing photo by Bill Knight

Doron doing the editing
Photo by Bill Knight

The physically imposing Doron (food is not foreign to him) tells me he and Billy have been together for a while, having met through the late Chico Wang. Doron’s hand is in much of what the internet world demands of a porn business: twitter updates, MGP movie galleries, and “Behind the Scenes” and trailer links.

When the girls show up, the green screen is first. That’s Doron’s baby. He writes the short script and interviews each featured girl. The green screen is the browsing fan’s intro to what’s available. The girl talks to the camera with brief inserts of her performance shown in the background. If this brief five minutes doesn’t resonate with the paying members, the shoot is a dud. The girl needs a smidgen of acting ability to sell her image because female bodies in porn proliferate. Personality is the linchpin that captures the fan.

We have some time before the first girl arrives. Billy sits down for a few minutes to chat. Maggie is never far away. There’s little doubt she’s the glue that keeps the easygoing atmosphere of the Smut Den amiable to everyone.

Jim Talks Business Photo by Bill Knight

Billy talks business
Photo by Bill Knight

Green Screen

Andy San Dimas checks in for the first shoot. It’s old home week because Andy and I are from the same metro DC community. We have connections through the college where I teach. She was a student there for a time.

A pornoland veteran, Andy San Dimas has perfected the art of sexiness. Doron’s affability says it best, “Seeing Andy is like tempting me to convert to Christianity.” Now that’s power.

Andy Joins the Conversation Photo by Bill Knight

Andy arrives
Photo by Bill Knight

Andy’s quick to the make-up chair. She’s already a bit late and, as they say, time is money. Her male talent in the scene, Big Wire, has been hanging around for a while.

Within minutes Andy heads over to the green screen where Doron, who performed in the industry from 2004-06, has the narrative ready. Andy entices the viewer with a sultry voice that could melt the ice at the Iditarod finish line. With the vaguest hint of sloe-eyed poutiness and a wellspring of pure sexuality, the twenty-seven-year-old is an expert at the art of seduction A tilt of the head here, another with the shoulder there, and the fan is ready to pay to see her play.

Out in Six Months

The Smut Den is has a handful of sets so a seat is never far away. Finding a roomy couch, my photographer Bill and I have a brief time with Billy while Doron takes care of paperwork. Blood tests have to be reviewed before shooting begins and checking off 2257 forms is the bane of the industry. Maggie gets comfortable and Billy alerts me that a single touch will get me in trouble. I remember that Casey Calvert, who loves shooting in the Smut Den, similarly forewarned me. Did Bogart feel this way about his femme fatales?

Billy and I have professorial backgrounds so conversation is easy. He shoots with condoms because it’s the law, he says, but I suspect there is a desire within him to protect the talent. He shares my opinion about age twenty-one, something I originally got from porn historian Bill Margold. Veteran talent like Tara Lynn Foxx, Dana DeArmond, and Bobbi Starr also expressed similar feelings to me.

Billy explains that girls in their late teens are “eager and dumb” and jump into the industry with no preparation. They rarely understand their own sexuality and sex on camera for pay can turn into an emotional and psychological slippery slope. They’re kids having “wacky sex too soon,” Billy says, doing every “crazy fetish” out there. Unfortunately, most are too immature to save their money. Taking in $15,000-$20,000 per month as a new hot product is overwhelming, Billy adds, and many newbies leave the biz having spent it all and then some.

“What’s the average life of a porn girl,” I ask.

“Eighty percent are out in six to seven months,” Billy says.

He mentions the specter of escorting which faces every girl if she shoots over the long haul. The “Porn Star Experience” is a powerful seducer for a sweetie who can get instant cash for minimal amount of effort. Shooting for hours is far more difficult than conversation and a few minutes of sex with a moneyed john.

A Change of Plans

Billy Watson and I compare our minimalist histories of porn watching and admit we knew little about it when we were introduced to the industry. Billy entered by happenstance through a friend who worked affiliate programs, guiding traffic to websites and getting a take from each member. The most common tactic was to steal content or lease it by licensing a DVD, then resell and resell some more. It was fast money early on.

Before the Shooting the Stills Photo by Bill Knight

Chatting about the early days in porn
Photo by Bill Knight

In the late 1990s getting the content was a breeze because the studios regarded the internet as a joke . Copy six scenes from a DVD then “burn them and turn them into digital and put them on your website,” Billy says. That was his friend’s game.

As for Billy, his professional goal was a tenured teaching position and a finished novel under his belt. But that bubble burst, leaving dream residue all over his face. The real money, it turn outs, would be a pop shot all over a girl’s face.

So he joined the internet flood. The goal was a constant money flow. “Keep ‘em happy for thirty days,” Billy explains, and use “an army of affiliates.” He maintained his site and got payment from a membership list that reached into the thousands.

By the mid-2000s the big guys caught on and copying content was more difficult. Original work moved to the front of the queue. Exclusive content was now the show.

Billy leaves his Arizona home where he was shooting amateurs and joins his friend. At the time, cyberspace cinematographers had an unexpected financial perk. The internet was cheaper when it came to hiring the models. Agencies received a grand for the girls on DVD sets; they sent them to internet shoots for thirty percent less.

The recession came and content piracy hurt the porn business in spades. Today it is tougher than ever. “People like ripping us off because we’re the bad guys,” Billy says, “exploiting and raping the girls, doing horrible things to girls. Hence we deserve to be the victims of theft.”

Of course, shooting original material has always led to infringement of some variety and will most likely plague the industry well into the future.

Fortunately today’s paying members support the industry and the models, Billy says. The problem is the “non-paying guys” who believe they have the “right” to get content for free.

In time Billy got into his present studio and dabbled in still photography along with filming. He owns his website and directs for blacksonblondes which generates much of his income. On this Monday afternoon, Andy is doing a glory hole episode. No condoms because Billy has to abide by his boss’s preferences.

Madelyn Monroe will arrive shortly to shoot for Billy’s website and safer sex will be on scene. But first a look at Andy as she gets to down and dirty.

The ever present Maggie watches it all. Like Sam Spade, weakness overcomes me. I touch and it’s cool . . .

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“No One is Famous in Porn?”

Nina Hartley talks feminism and respect

by Rich Moreland, January 2012

I just returned from four days in Las Vegas. It’s January and that means the Adult Entertainment Expo, the industry’s annual festival and awards show, made its way onto my calendar again.

While there I had dinner with some interesting people at an upscale Italian restaurant near the Strip. Among them was Bill Margold, founder of Protecting Adult Welfare and a veteran of the business; David Bertolino, off Broadway producer of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal; and adult film performer, Tara Lynn Foxx, about whom I have written in the past.

Tara is not a newcomer to the business.  She entered three years ago at eighteen, an age too tender to fully understand her decision.

Conversation turned to being famous in porn and Margold asked Tara if that was one of her goals. Knowing Bill, he was probing Tara to measure her commitment to the industry. She replied with an enthusiastic “yes,” though she appeared to be slightly uncomfortable with the question.

My thoughts drifted momentarily away from the table talk to what “famous” means in an industry that defines acting as a set up for fornication. A bit of searching for a definitive idea as it applies to pornography danced through my mind’s neural networks.

Two names popped up, Nina Hartley and Bobbi Starr, superstar women of separate generations and feminists in a business that is not considered receptive to empowered women.

I had the pleasure on this trip of interviewing Nina in person, though we knew each other from emails. She is the definition of “famous” when it comes to adult film, I believe, if such a thing exists. To say that she bowled me over is putting a soft spin on our chat. Total force, total domination of an hour’s time.

On Friday, I interrupted Bobbi Starr while she was signing on the floor of the Hard Rock Hotel ballroom. I wanted to say hello and my impatience took over, so I politely drew her attention away from a fan. As is her habit, Bobbi gave me that charming smile. She has a talent for this. We exchanged a few words and I mentioned that I wasn’t seeking an interview, this was just a quick “how are you.” She has been generous with her time in the past, but my intrusion at the moment was blocking her fans and I know how important they are to her. We made arrangements to visit later.

Nina and Bobbi, what can they teach us about fame?

Making everyone else seemingly disappear when she turns her eyes to you is an ingredient in being famous.

Leaving you with the feeling that you are the focus of her entire moment is an ingredient in being famous.

Speaking intelligently and voicing an empowerment is an ingredient in being famous.

Nina does these things really well, as does Bobbi. But few do.

In fact, the real issue is respect. Genuine fame follows respect.

At the Saturday night awards show, Bobbi finally garnered “Female Performer of the Year,” a deserved honor that has eluded her. Bobbi is a director now, as well as a performer, and you can read an earlier entry on her on this blog. To suggest that she is a living legend is an understatement. She, like Nina, is a wily veteran who has forged her own path in a business that can be filled with misrepresentations, sleaze, and shady behaviors.

Most important, both women operate under Nina Hartley’s in-your-face feminist tenet, “my body, my rules.”

Nina and Bobbi have paid their dues and have earned the right to speak their minds. Trust me, both will when openings are offered. Earning respect, Nina suggests, in a business that is primarily an “ole boy network” is a mighty task. Women are valued for their “hotness,” but not necessarily for their input into the day-to-day operation of making and distributing film. This is not to say that women are non-existent at the production level, Nina points out, but being a performer is a different scenario. The money flows to the top. Profit is made off the performers, not for the performers.

Incidentally, Nina commented that many men in the business “have women issues.” They don’t necessarily “want women as companions,” as in building a long-term relationships. They are perpetually dating, rarely settling down. Nina believes this male state of mind inhibits respect. She did concede, however, that attitudes are slowly changing. Bobbi’s new career opportunity behind the camera supports her assertion.

Though Nina is not involved in the business end of adult film, I can guarantee you she is respected, as is Bobbi. Why? From my limited knowledge, I can cobble together an answer.

First and foremost, respect is earned as veteran performer and director, Veronica Hart, told me. Porn is a business; making money is its reason to be. Nina and Bobbi are moneymakers because they demonstrate a control of their personal sexual agency that exceeds that of most women who ever walked onto a set. When on camera, they orchestrate the scene in fashion that dictates the flow of the other performers.

Both of them do the things that everyone in a business setting is expected to demonstrate. Show up on time ready to work; take responsibility for on-the-job performance; transform the word “dependable” into a personal mantra; and make every performance the best it can be at the moment. Of course, the pornography industry is not an ordinary corporate environment nor is it a bureaucracy where a person is a cog in a machine. Not everything is believed; not everyone is honest. Promises are made and can vaporize instantly. And, as Nina said, she’s always unemployed until the next shoot. That’s the norm.

By now, the table conversation had moved on and I made my way back into it, but not before one final thought.

Where does this leave the definition of famous in porn?

Mention Nina Hartley and Bobbi Starr to others in adult film and compliments are immediate. Both women are dynamic and their presence in a room lights up your senses. Their energy is infectious. Their personal opinions are valued. The proof hangs around during an industry event; someone will always be nearby with mic in hand, seeking an interview. That’s respect.

Will Tara Lynn Foxx earn such accolades and consequently become famous? Too early to tell, but I think she is on her way, if ever so slowly. She is dynamic in an interview and she is exploring empowerment. That’s a start.

But it takes awhile. Nina entered the business in 1984, the year after Bobbi was born. Bobbi is nearing thirty, moving into her seventh year in the industry. She has indicated to me she will leave adult film one day, but that may far off.

Longevity in porn is rare. Can a woman gain fame without it? Sure, but who admires the likes of Traci Lords?

At her tender age, TLF is just beginning. She has the ability and the brains to make it happen, it remains to be seen if time is at her back.


Three years ago I asked Bobbi the same question Margold posed to Tara. Bobbi’s response is one I have yet to hear repeated.

I remember it to this day.

“No one is famous in porn,” she said.

I disagree. There are an iconic few and I have the good fortune to know two of them.

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Corseted in Vegas without a Ticket

TLF signing in Vegas, 2011

by Rich Moreland, December 2011

It’s an old cliché, but small acts of kindness do matter.

Last year I took my research assistant to the Adult Video News (AVN) convention in Las Vegas. It was Brandy’s first visit to the Nevada playground though the trip was a working assignment, not a vacation. She did “Girl Friday” things when she wasn’t pointing me in the right direction. Brandy is top notch in getting through the rush of airports. She knows exactly where to go and keeps track of everything, which includes reminding me to have my business cards and digital recorder handy.

She was the best assistant I’ve had. I use the past tense because she has relocated to the southwest to finish her degree.

Brandy harbored no reservations about my research and is unfazed by the adult industry, always a plus when doing this type of work. She was invaluable when we studied film, offering interpretations and observations. Needless to say, the word “exceptional” can’t begin to describe her.

And, I might add, she is irreplaceable.

I really do miss working with her and for that reason I want to tell you a story that otherwise would be lost in the glitz and glam of Vegas. If you believe adult film performers are all bimbos with overcooked oatmeal for brains, your preconceived thoughts will be challenged.

A note. Part of this account is, as they say on TV, Brandy in her own words.


Settling into Vegas . . .

Brandy enjoys meeting adult industry people and we were fortunate to network with some of the ones I know from my research work.

Among them was Tara Lynn Foxx.

Tara is a rising star in film pornography. She’s had “rough patches,” as she puts it, in her short career and has grown up too quickly by her own admission. TLF, as she is affectionately known in the business, jumped into adult film a couple of years ago at age eighteen, younger than most, and paid an early emotional price.

She’s one of the sweetest girls in the business I have met and cares about her fans, a characteristic not every adult film performer possesses. I first met her in San Francisco and if you check out her blog (the link is at the top) you’ll find three parts of an ongoing series I doing on her. Writing about TLF remains a pleasure.


Now for our story . . .

The AVN awards show, the Oscars of Adult Film, is held on the Saturday night that concludes a week of busy floor time and self-indulgent parties that mark the adult convention.

On Saturday morning Brandy and I faced a rushed schedule that included interviews, seminars, and floor cruising to do some last minute networking. Over a late breakfast conversation with industry personnel, Brandy unexpectedly secured the promise of a ticket to a post-awards show party where she could mingle with the questionably famous, not so well-known, and hangers-on.

She was excited!

As the day moved into the afternoon, Brandy finally meets Tara and a friendship was born.

We set up a quick interview with Tara during an unanticipated break from her signing. Finding a quiet spot to block out the cacophony of the floor was not on the table, so Brandy and I joined TLF outside the entrance to the hall. The move was by necessity. Tara had neglected to wear “foundation garments,” as slight as they are in the industry, and it was suggested that she had to find some quick. Her mini dress was fairly snug, as is typical on the floor, and I could understand her reluctance to have “lines.” But rules apparently are rules.

Frankly, I was amused by the whole episode. Thongs, with no other covering are everywhere, and jeans, for those who prefer them, are cut way below the mowed lawn if you get my drift, leaving a girl’s torso more than a little revealing.

And need I mention the pole dancers scattered all over the place?

Tara’s break was short. A guy from her support network showed up promptly with the goodies and she excused herself.  We agreed to continue with the interview after her signing hours.

A shopping trip was in order to get Brandy the hottest “look” possible within our conservative east coast backwater culture . . . and our budget. Her passion for dressing up focused on a corset she wanted from a floor vendor. Armed with the credit card she disappeared while I talked about obscenity issues with an attorney for the Free Speech Coalition, the industry’s political wing.

By nightfall we finished our time with TLF, moving the second interview to her make-up artist’s penthouse suite in the Palazzo Hotel—very chic and very Hollywood in its environs.

The evening scooted by and around midnight Brandy headed out to the party. She maintained text contact with her ticket source and arrangements to meet were made.

The saga of her adventure, its disappointments and pleasure, would became known to me around four in the morning.


The adventure begins . . .

When Brandy left our hotel for the Pearl Theater the cab driver was a bit of a problem, or should I say a nuisance. He kept trying to get to “know” her in a non-professional sort of way. Brandy’s a tough babe and his efforts were for naught. As you might have suspected he failed to get her to the theater on time. Her contact had disappeared; this is the adult industry after all and nothing is certain. So Brandy was, to use a tired and worn phrase, all dressed up with nowhere to go, or in this case corseted without a ticket.

Here’s Brandy . . . .

“The cab driver was horrible! Not only was he attempting to flirt, pick me up, or however you want to phrase it, his driving was horrendous. I mean, most cab drivers in Vegas are bad, but this guy took the cake. When we got to the hotel where I was supposed to meet up with my contacts, the driveway was crowded with people and cars everywhere. I wanted out so bad that I let him drop me off in the middle of the street in front of the hotel. People were yelling and screaming at him. I couldn’t get away fast enough. It was awful! When I got inside, my contacts were nowhere to be found. I later found out they left way earlier.

With no options other than bag the evening, Brandy pondered her next move. She was not ready to come back. Our plane was to leave in the morning and she wanted to at least socialize with somebody!

Brandy decides to linger . . .

“I did not want to pay for another cab ride right back to our hotel without doing anything! So I sat at a table in the lobby to see if anyone I knew walked by. I happened to be right outside the Pearl Theater entrance where the talent enters and leaves. It was the lobby where I was supposed to get my ticket.

That’s when I saw Tara. I walked up to her, (she hadn’t seen me yet) and we said ‘hi.’”

You’ve guessed the rest of the story if you have figured out that Tara was not yet twenty-one.

Brandy lets us in on what happened next . . .

“I asked Tara what she was doing, and she said she was going back to her hotel to chill. I asked if I could go with her and told her how my contacts were not there and I was unable to go to the after party. She couldn’t go either because of her age. She said that she was just going to hang out, and not do anything special. And if I didn’t mind then I could feel free to come along.

I just want to say that while Tara was dressed elegantly, as were some other people at the awards (lots of suits and ties), others wore the most outlandish outfits, at least for me. One group looked like they belonged on the convention floor. High heels (stilettos, four inches or more), brightly colored tights, short puffy skirts and tight, low cut, brightly colored shirts (if there was enough there to call it a shirt!) I was amazed.

Tara had brought her car from home and her roommate, the guy who brought her panties that day when she was on the floor, met us out front. There was some drama, something about a girlfriend (and I use the term loosely) who had borrowed her car and then when she returned it, left the car keys with the car. Tara was not happy, as you can understand.”

Later Tara told me she questioned her girlfriend’s common sense. She had placed the keys on the front tire where they were a sitting invitation for theft.

At any rate, it’s off to the room. The girls just had to work around the boyfriend who was sleeping, a little on the “I’d rather be home in my own bed” side.

Brandy is impressed . . .

“When we got to the hotel, we went up to Tara’s room. The first thing I noticed was that the room looked like a teenager lived in it and I mean that in a good way. Shoes piled everywhere, clothes scattered around. When you walked in you didn’t feel like the room belonged to someone above you. Like sitting down and kicking off your shoes was the next logical thing to do.  It was very homey, a really relaxed feeling.

Her boyfriend was lying in bed, he said he had been sick and was not feeling well. Tara then changed clothes, from her extravagant dress to more comfortable clothes.”

A look inside the room of a porn chick who perfects her ability to land anywhere on the Southern California continuum of glamorous to slutty was a treat for Brandy who looked pretty good herself, corseted in black.

Brandy continues . . .

“I was awed by the piles of shoes, jewelry, and stuff Tara had for when she had to look her best. She had one suitcase just for all the shoes she carried, from high stilettos to comfortable neon green chucks. Really cool.

We sat in her hotel room and just hung out. Watched a little TV, talked with her boyfriend. Her roommate had left to go hang out with some girl and Tara was not happy about that.

What do you talk about with someone who is a rising porn star, has lots of so-called friends, and is super beautiful? Well, the answer is easy . . . and pretty boring. We chatted about regular stuff, like my daughter, her job, how long her boyfriend had been sick, and the weather.

Not very exciting, I know, but it was nice to have someone to hang out with who seemed so down to earth, especially after spending so much time on the convention floor where so many of the girls seem so much larger than life.

What made it more interesting for me was that I had seen some of her professional work from Kink.com and then I got to just sit and chat with her. It almost seemed like a conflict that she could be that ‘wild child’ that I saw on Kink and then also be that sweet home girl that I was sitting with in a room. And then every once in a while, she would say something random that would remind me that she was more than just that girl next door. She had experiences that I couldn’t even fathom.

Over all it was a great experience, even though I did not end up where I thought I would that night. I enjoyed the opportunity to just sit and get to know Tara a little more as just another person (which she is) instead of just being an actor or performer.

After a while she walked me to the front of the hotel so I could get cab.”


Tara told me some months later that when she got to the room that night she was “not on anymore,” that she didn’t “keep her face on.” Brandy saw Tara’s human side, not the porn girl caricature that the public so often sees at trade shows and TV reality programs.

It reinforced something Brandy and I talked about often; porn performers are everyday people in a most remarkable business.

They’re not drugged out hookers trapped in a wasted life without interests, family, or relationships because they are addicted to sex. As a matter of fact, they know and value the difference between “work sex” and “private sex,” with the latter the most cherished.

Adult film performers are average people, quite like you and me, with the same feelings of elation, sadness, anger, and compassion we experience.

I know some people don’t like to hear that and won’t believe it anyway because putting others down comes easier. But it’s the truth.

There is a lesson in this tale. Goodness shows up when least expected. Tara Lynn Foxx never imagined how extending her friendship to someone she hardly knew meant so much to a single mom working to get an education and move forward with her life.

Take a moment to visit Tara’s blog for a closer look at one of the authentic “good guys” in a sometime suspect business.

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