How To Party Like A Porn Star

How To Party Like A Porn Star

I have a weird relationship with porn and it's not about guilt.

Theoretically, I appreciate the utilitarian nature of the genre. It's meant to get you off and whether you like watching fat chicks crush things or "some black dude" outrage imagined fathers across America (both links NSFW) the industry has you covered.

Unfortunately, as with most things in life, the goods are odd and the chances of finding porn worth watching are few and far between. I can't count the number of times I've clicked on some clip out of prurient curiousity only to be confronted with the polar opposite of what I consider to be hot.

Sculpted twenty-somethings pretending to be horny teens doesn't cut it for me. I'm not asking for a Baby Blue-style scripts but I don't think it's too much to want flicks featuring people who really wanna fuck each other. While Sasha over at Eye usually has some great suggestions when it comes to good porn, I'm not what you would label an avid consumer.

It was with all of this in mind that I attended a "red carpet event" featuring Maxine X (NSFW), a Canadian porn star, and friends at Vogue Room, one of those dime-a-dozen lounges dotting the College St. West landscape.

I didn't know what to expect. I didn't think I'd know anyone who would attend and the idea of porn stars meeting their fans brought to mind a more well-heeled version of a Girls Gone Wild shoot than an industry schmoozefest.

In the end, it ended up being a little bit of both. It was also Maxine's birthday.

After waiting outside Vogue with the rest of the press, the feature players of the night arrived in a limo and I was treated to a close approximation of a Hollywood premiere entrance as they emerged, one by one, into a huddle of flashes and traded exclamation of hotness.

Before long, we were inside and finding ourselves in serious need of some lubrication, bought a couple of the champagne cocktails Vogue is known for. This isn't going to turn into a review but for $13, I want something amazing with Vueve Cliquot and maybe some freshly-squeezed juice. Their sorry-excuse-for-a-drink tasted like champagne with a hint of something else; a rip-off if I've ever seen one. Luckily, good humor was restored with some generously-poured gin-and-tonics, the refuge of alcoholics everywhere.

Looking around the room, it was difficult to tell the porn stars apart from the media; a troubling similarity that doesn't say much for my colleagues. This became even more difficult after the fans were let in with their cameras. At least I knew why they were there. I could appreciate that. There's nothing wrong with a little adulation for the folks who've been getting you off lately and these guys were nothing if not appreciative.

They hooted and laughed at everything Maxine and Co. had to say and while my instinctive reaction was one of distaste, she seemed to enjoy it and why not? It's gotta be at least at least a little flattering to have a bunch of horny guys following you everywhere and a little objectification never hurt anyone. Maxine herself states on her website that she loves being the center of attention and I can't think of a better way to achieve it.

After an enthusiastically-received fake-orgasm contest, one woman took off her top and a few of the others followed suit. While I never did find out whether it was simple oneupmanship or part of the show, it was surprisingly-relaxed for Toronto. Everybody seemed respectful, at least outwardly, and it reminded me a lot of my visit to X-Club in Mississauga, a connection that was become to more explicit as the night progressed.

Most of the press, on the other hand, seemed content to drink and pepper their subjects with the usual melange of self-directed questions and trivial details centered around upcoming projects. I couldn't figure out whether everyone actually knew each other or if they'd just upped their schmooze cruise-control to the Nth degree.

This kind of thing bores the shit out of me so I spent the first half of the evening people-watching and sending my photographer off on reconnaissance missions. A couple of conversations netted me some interesting tidbits (one producer was planning a reality-style porn show where a gothic hearse would travel around the country, providing a venue for people engaging in all kinds of sexual hijinks) but by and large, I tried to avoid playing the usual press role of project-promoter. There's enough people doing that without me adding my take to the pile.

Mind you, I see nothing wrong with throwing a party to promote your latest labour of love. Most of the folks I met seemed nice enough and genuinely into what they were doing. I suppose I would too if I got to matter-of-factly engage in repeated casual sex after meeting my friends for money-is-no-object industry parties at the latest trendy lounge. If you're gonna play Peter Pan, you might as well do it larger-than-life. It sure beats a neurotic art opening and combines the best part about the service industry (knowing how to have a good time) while doing away with the worst part of the fetish subculture (ugly people in PVC).

All joking aside, I'm sure any success a porn star/producer might achieve is the result of hard work while doing something they love and I have nothing but respect for that. With that in mind, I asked one producer whether he could account for my perception of the disconnect between some performer's love of their work and the heat they generate upon viewing said production.

Bob Last-Name-Forgotten: "You have to remember that this is what people want. For every possible fantasy there's a corresponding flick that takes into account what people want when they get off. We're talking everything from first-hand camera work to the sound."

When I mentioned spontaneity, Bob shook his head.

Bob "You can fake that too. Look at amateur videos! There's a big difference between leaving a camera on by accident and setting out to to make a sex tape. Most so-called amateur stuff you see on the internet is scripted, just like reality TV. Everyone's signed a million forms; they have to or they wouldn't be in business very long. A perfomance is a performance and there are good and bad ones, just like in any kind of acting. For every pop shot, there's the faked equivalent.

You have to realize that while you might not be into more mainstream videos, there are thousands of people who are. Most people have no problem finding what they like."

Soon afterwards, we got separated in the crowd and the next time I saw Bob, he was sitting on a couch, sandwiched between two girls in fetish gear; his head resting one the larger one's chest with a big smile on his face.

By this point it was clear to us that the night was evolving into something of a swinger's party and, after several well-placed hints from various individuals who were curious to see if my photographer and I were willing to extend the boundaries of our professional relationship, we left the rest of the revelers to their fun. Mind you, I'm not necessarily against a bit of polyamorous fun but I'm also not at a point in my life where it's so easily-negotiated.

Bob's right though. These days, it's pretty easy to find what you want (even if it's not any easier to figure out what you want) and as more and more people realize that demonizing pornography is stupid, it'll become easier to work that out too.

Photo courtesy of Nina Neilsen

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