A coming-of-age story

bildungsromanMy first day at AVN was three years ago today. I had worked for several adult companies and websites before that – and since – but AVN was the first place that gave me free Internet. There wasn’t a company computer for me so I used Darren Roberts’ PowerBook G4. Everyone else had a junky PC so I was happy for the break.

As most of my interactions with the industry before AVN had been on porn sets and with individuals, I was often surprised how buttoned down a company which made its money from naked ladies was; people only emerged from their cubicles when the lunch truck came. There was little socializing. Complaints would be made to the boss if one talked too loud.

Though there seemed to be an effort to stamp it out, fun was had at AVN. I met Belladonna my first day, eastern mystic David Aaron Clark that week, and a lot of the talented writers who are still on my e-mail list: Steve Ochs, Frank Majors, Tod-Hunter, Ken Michaels, Tripp Daniels, Dan Miller, Scott Ross, Mark Kernes, Wayne Hentai, and the delightful Rebecca Gray. Susie Mid-America was still in the building, but she was hiding in her office for the final weeks before she started at JM Productions.

I was warned to stay away from the bloggers, functioning then as the little planes that bedeviled the King Kong that was AVN. I read their sites a few times. They seemed curmudgeonly, venal, and differently-abled. I still feel that way, but now I like them.

It was not a dream job, but it was a job that, until they canned me (I still don’t know why), I did well. It has always been difficult for me to work within certain restrictions that I find onerous, however, and maybe that’s why I was let go. The same is true of most people who work in the adult industry; they’re a little dissatisfied with other people’s rules. Often they end up making dumb rules of their own. (Other times they make art.)

On my first day I was instant messaging a friend during my lunch break. “Check out Cherry Rain,” I wrote (she married Paul Fishbein this year). She looked like a girl on my high school swim team.

Coming down the hall was the Human Resources lady, Elaine. I don’t know how Elaine managed to keep us all in office furniture and lightbulbs with her quarter-hourly smoke breaks (oh that’s right: she didn’t), but she was one of the henchpeople who roamed the building. As a non-smoker, I was wary of her. I heard her chastising art department submissive Jay Moyes in a gravelly voice.

Elaine: Well, you’ll have to get it signed again.
Jay: OK. (sob)

I thought that if Elaine saw me instant messaging someone she would scold me. So I quickly switched back to a browser window where I was reviewing a German film full of feces and lacerated vaginas. Elaine showed up seconds later, peering at my screen.

“Enjoying your first day?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

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