In a gated community among rolling hills to the west of Porn Valley lies Bell Canyon. Just weeks ago I went to a barbecue down the street from the house in which I now stood watching the near-translucent Tatiana Kush get doubly-penetrated by the international team of Marco Banderas and Tony DeSergio.
I haven’t yet reached a point of otherness where I have forgotten what it would be like for the likes of a Tatiana Kush or Nicki Hunter to accompany me to the type of barbecue I attended down the hill. Bloodshot and frumpy women would gaze at the porn starlets sullenly. The menfolk in their blousy Polo shirts would fondle their chin folds. I would be murdered in the driveway. That’s how it would be.
But not today. The elegant McMansion belonged to Claudio, a courtly older gentleman whom I first met on the set of a Denis Marti movie a few years ago. The common areas were strewn with muscle and high-end car magazines and Macchiavellian self-help tomes. Near-naked women in bits of porn garb padded barefoot on the low-pile carpeting, munching tidbits from Costco vegetable platters.
The shoot was an as-yet-untitled project for London’s Harmony Films, producers of such fare as Slam It In A Slut and the Young Harlots series. I am a big fan of Harmony director Gazzman who hails from Scotland. He and partner Dave West, from Chicago, were shooting stills of the delicious Nicki Hunter downstairs while Kush writhed like a bug on a pin upstairs. Hunter herself would be shooting her first (D)ouble (P)enetration scene in more than 18 months when Kush was through.
“I’m a little nervous,” Hunter said. She was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2006 and now, in remission and looking great, has returned to the adult business slowly, still displaying her full-tilt no-nonsense aggressive style, just not doing it seven days a week.
Hunter, not-dressed in bright yellow lingerie and looking especially vibrant and curvy, always makes me wish I had living World War II veterans in my family, because she looks like the type of girl they’d want to paint on the nose of a plane. But even in the Manila brothels of their whispered war stories they wouldn’t be able to imagine the things Hunter can get herself up to.
And yet she was a little nervous.
“I haven’t been D.P.’d in almost two years,” she said. “It should be pretty interesting.”
Try not to kill them, Nicki.
Tatiana Kush is a different story. She is as pale as Stoya and more slight. She is from Portland, OR and is wide-eyed and impish. She looks like she would absolutely destroy her mother’s vice-presidential campaign.
“I’m 22,” she told me, “and I love it in the ass.”
“I’m Gram and I won’t take work away from these foreigners,” I said.
The foreigners were Tony DeSergio of North London and Marco Banderas from out Barcelona way. Before I met Banderas nearly two years ago, I used to think he was the devil. His teeth are so much whiter than mine. But he is like the Spanish Evan Stone, an unapologetic ham actor guaranteed to have a long career simply because he takes the work just seriously enough.
Q. Grams, these men’s penises are centimeters away from each other as they share this girl. Does that get weird for them? Does it make them gay?
A. Etiquette is required when you are one of a pair of double-penetrators or part of a gangbang squad. Touching another dude is inevitable but, as Jack Fountain, gangbang participant and husband of Darryl Hanah, told me, “you’re not allowed to get creeped out if another guy brushes against you; it’s just when the touching gets vertical that you start moving away.” If you think of all porn as an invented scenario, with people doing things in front of a camera and a crowd that (most) people would not do with the lights off in a windowless room and only their One True Love in attendance, then it is understandable to think that one’s actual sexual preference is irrelevant in the face of getting the job done. (Plus, these guys are from the European Union. They’ve got co-ed bidets over there, and people swap wives with the same blase attitude with which they pay $12 for a gallon of gas.)
Gazzman crept forward with his HD camera and halo light. Wherever this scene appears on DVD, Kush will look like a very sexy ghost.
“What SPF do you use?” I asked.
“I don’t,” she said. “I’m a nerd. I stay inside and play videogames.”
(Marriage proposals may be sent to her MySpace page.)
I was embarrassed to have not met Kush before, as she has been in the porn industry for a year, but in a business built of crisp white sheets she is almost invisible.
During breaks in shooting I went downstairs. Poppy Morgan was there to visit. Morgan, the de facto hostess of Porn Week, which Gazzman launched with Dave West, is in L.A. for the summer until her work visa expires in early September, at which point she returns to Manchester, England.
Then the Porn Week crew goes to the Czech Republic where lucky and deep-pocketed vacationers get to interact with porn performers from around the world.
I wondered if Morgan and West could tell me if there was one thing they’d say characterized a European performer.
“I can always tell when a Czech girl is fucking upstairs,” Morgan said. “It’s mechanical.”
“How do you handle that when you have to wrangle girls for a shoot?” I asked.
“Well, I’m just a twat to them,” she said.
There does seem to be a difference between Porn Valley performers and the lithe and stern ice princesses of Ukraine and Prague that show up in porn shot by European countries.
“I don’t want to say they’re robotic…” said West, who just shot former Private contract performer Priva in a scene that he said was “unlike anything you’ve seen her do before” (i.e. under water).
“Are you nasty?” demanded DeSergio of Kush. I think it was pretty obvious, but we are often reminded that we need to say “I love you” even we think it is obvious.
In America we have the tendency to ascribe class and nobility to anyone with a British Isles accent, so when Gazzman leaned over Banderas and said “Don’t cover her nipples,” it sounded like an ancient proclamation, like something William Wallace might say.
I had to go. I wished Hunter luck on her historic return to having both nether holes filled simultaneously by carbon-based life forms (I didn’t actually say it that way), and was sorry to have not signed up in time. But then, neither had anyone at the barbecue.