By Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss.

Em português: Como... Fazer Amor Como Uma Estrela Porno, Publicações D. Quixote, Lisboa, 2006, ISBN 9722030841, 596 págs. , € 29,95

A Cautionary Tale.

By Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss.
Illustrated. 579 pp. Regan Books/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.95.

September 5, 2004

'How to Make Love Like a Porn Star': Lovers and Other Strangers


In the sex trade, sellers work hard to make buyers believe they will get their money's worth. That's sure true of Jenna Jameson's extra-large memoir and improbable self-help book, ''How to Make Love Like a Porn Star.'' Jameson, who is today's top name in what is known as adult entertainment, takes readers on a round-the-world bender that begins in a tattoo parlor in Las Vegas, where as a 17-year-old biker chick she decides to become a stripper, and culminates at the pinnacle of dirty-movie success, the Hot D'Or awards in Cannes, where at 21 she is anointed Best New American Starlet. ''My career seemed unstoppable,'' she writes of her triumph. ''Every month, a new movie of mine hit the stands.'' (Today's pornography is rarely projected onto theater screens; it is sold in stores as videotape or DVD, as well as over the Internet. Jameson boasts that she is now ''the most downloaded person online.'')

Jenna Jameson

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Thespian talent notwithstanding, an adult movie performer's greatest asset is stamina; and by that measure Jenna Jameson the author deserves accolades. She is tireless. The book, written with Neil Strauss, a former music writer for The New York Times, tells how she overcame a wicked addiction to smoking meth -- but the drug's attendant logorrhea apparently remains untreated. This is a woman with mountains of things to say about the many interesting thoughts she has. On porn itself: ''It's one of the few jobs for women where you can get to a certain level, look around and feel so powerful, not just in the work environment but as a sexual being.'' On the human race: ''Generally speaking, people are not very original.'' On the work ethic: ''In myths about everyone from Hercules to the Buddha, rewards do not come without a struggle. There are labors to be undertaken, tests to be passed, hardships to overcome.''

Jenna Jameson's Herculean life includes not only battles with drug addiction, drinking and eating disorders, but also emotional tugs-of-war with an estranged father, a grueling succession of dysfunctional relationships with men and women, and strep throat contracted from a co-star. ''It's not easy to have sex with strangers in front of other people,'' she announces, and yet, no surprise, the book is packed with exhaustive accounts of filmed sex scenes with guys and gals who range from ''soft, pasty . . . porous, greasy'' to an actor/director/boyfriend whose on-camera work delivers such satisfaction that she deems their videotaped sex ''by porn standards . . . the sign of a healthy relationship.'' A performance she describes in detail as ''one of the most explosive scenes I had ever filmed'' is done with a male co-star so energetic that she declares, ''Trying to maintain eye contact with him was like trying to read Dostoyevsky on a roller-coaster.''

The Russian literature reference might seem odd in a book about a craft where grunts and squeals are more important than words; but Jenna Jameson aims high. Her story is divided not into mere chapters, but into Books with Roman numerals, each preceded by an epigraph from a Shakespeare sonnet. Book IV, which recounts her breakthrough as a video star, begins, ''As an imperfect actor on the stage, / Who with his fear is put beside his part.'' Thirteen pages later, writing of a red-hot scene she does for a video called ''Silk Stockings,'' the actress proclaims: ''Every part of my body -- my hands, my mouth, my legs -- began pumping in a different but perfect rhythm. I suddenly understood where the phrase sexual dynamo came from.'' Dare we suggest that Jameson is ''o'ercharged with burthen of her own love's might''?

''How to Make Love Like a Porn Star'' doesn't offer much useful information for those who prefer having sex in private; but for aspiring performers, it's a gold mine. Remarkably, Jameson debunks the myth of the casting couch: ''You don't have to have sex with anyone in order to get a job having sex with people.'' And she offers tips like ''Girls who scream and flop all over the place into new positions don't get many jobs.'' To men who want to be in movies, the author suggests, ''Practice your orgasm face,'' and to women, ''Pick a name that's original and not cheesy.'' Jenna (nee Massoli) chose Jameson because ''it was the name of a whiskey, and whiskey was rock 'n' roll.''

Beyond affirmation and advice, Jameson's book is brimful of data that range from trivial to irrelevant. Celebrity gossip? Dig this: Marilyn Manson, the rock bad boy, likes to cuddle; Nicolas Cage smells like ''the distilled sweat of homeless people''; and Howard Stern, a fellow ReganBooks author, ''really did love his wife.'' The inflated volume includes a life's worth of diary entries in scrawling typeface that resembles handwriting, panel cartoons illustrating the pitfalls of selling sex for a living, an interlude enumerating the Ten Commandments of oral sex, interminable transcribed interviews with her family of origin, a clause-by-clause adult-film contract, a list of favorite songs (''You Give Love a Bad Name'' is at the top), 32 favorite names (she likes Bunny best, followed by Nikki, Viper and Cherri) and all of her measurements, including the length of each finger in 1985 and again in 1989. If you could overdose on autobiography, this book would be lethal.

Jane and Michael Stern's books include ''The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste'' and ''Elvis World.''



Yesterday's Shocker Is Today's Must Read

Published: September 10, 2004

Origami: it used to be such an innocent craft, such a sweet way of creating flowers and boats and critters. Well, don't look now, but there's a new wrinkle to the old Japanese art of folding paper. Rizzoli will soon publish "Very Naughty Origami," with step-by-step instructions on how to shock your friends and neighbors with lascivious handiwork. The book's pièce de résistance is an illustration of little paper people having group sex.

Can there be any doubt that the middle of the road isn't where it used to be? The formerly outré, freaky and unthinkable now constitute business as usual in popular culture. And these have become outright selling points for books that eagerly capitalize on their kinks. Although the celebrity autobiography is a genre that might be deemed obscene by definition, it takes on a whole new meaning with Jenna Jameson perched high on the best-seller list.

Ms. Jameson, the self-promoting porn star ("How to Make Love Like a Porn Star," written with Neil Strauss, a former music writer for The New York Times), is no stranger to tricky positions. After all, she does some of her best work gyrating against a stripper's pole. "How about the time," she is asked, "when you were on top of the pole and you turned upside down, but you had too much oil on your legs, so you slipped off and fell right on your head?" This appears in one of the various interviews, dialogues, monologues, diary entries and comics patched together to form this G-stringed Horatio Alger story.

When it comes to displaying herself, Ms. Jameson had previously tried everything except her current maneuver: being planted right in the middle of the bookstore. Amazingly, a memoir that once would have won itself a plain brown wrapper can now be found beside books about Henry James.

It's a sign of the times that Ms. Jameson's on-the-job reminiscences don't stand out from the crowd. It's another sign of the times that some of the book's photographs of the author and her pals are confusingly captioned. It's not always clear which long-haired blonde with heavy makeup and breast implants is Ms. Jameson, unless the reader happens to be looking at the tattoo on her rear.

It's another sign of the times that Christopher Buckley has written "Florence of Arabia," a novel dotted with Lawrence of Arabia references and billed as "his first and probably last Middle East comedy." Much of what Mr. Buckley satirizes was not deemed funny until — well, until Mr. Buckley decided to make it funny. Take the idea of women being stoned to death in Middle Eastern countries with religious fundamentalist regimes: no laughs linked to that. But in this book, Mr. Buckley actually gets comic mileage out of discussing the best rocks to use for this purpose:

" `The smallest. Like this. These are the best. Like the ones we throw at Satan in Mecca during the hajj.'

" `Those are small,' replies one resident of Wasabia, where the wife of King Tallulah has been sentenced to death for advocating women's rights. `Wouldn't it take a very long time to kill a woman with stones that small?'

" `Yes,' replies Grand Mufti Ifkir." (Mr. Buckley has great fun scrambling names.) " `That is the point. It's a mercy. It gives her time to repent of her crime.' "

"Florence of Arabia" concerns a beautiful blonde from the State Department who is looking for a way to help Arab women. ("I'm just trying to think outside the box," says Florence. "Which box? Pandora's?" asks another State Department functionary.) It is made as defiant as it is witty by the example of Fern Holland, the beautiful 33-year-old "real-life Florence of Arabia," in Mr. Buckley's words, a Washington lawyer who went to Iraq as an advocate for women's rights and was murdered there six months ago. Beyond raising the question of just how quickly Mr. Buckley writes, this improbably lighthearted book creates as much mischief as it possibly can.

So it cites the discovery in the Middle East of "a first-century scroll underneath the Old City that purported to be a certificate of marriage between a Nazarene carpenter named Yeshua and a former prostitute named Mariah, from the town of Magdala." This artifact "caused a great sensation for months, until carbon dating and an investigation traced the document to the publicity department of a New York City publishing house."

For those who need any more evidence that "The Da Vinci Code" still casts a long shadow, consider Steve Berry's second thriller. Now that Dan Brown's colossal hit has made the Holy Grail a hard act to follow, where can an author unearth secret history? And how can the secret be fused with globe-trotting action? Mr. Berry, a trial lawyer, decides that the time is ripe for reinstating Russian royalty. Once it would have been outlandish; now it's perfectly reasonable to cook up a book about reinstating the czar.

"The Romanov Prophecy" begins, of course, with a prophecy about the Romanovs. The year is 1916, the listener is Empress Alexandra and the speaker is Rasputin, whose "blue silk blouse and velvet trousers reeked of alcohol, which tempered his usual stench, one her court ladies had said reminded them of a goat." As that may indicate, Mr. Berry does not trade in delicate nuances. No, he sends a lawyer named Miles Lord racing around the planet, chased by gunmen and checking out one of the latter-day Romanovs who has a claim to the Russian throne.

Very soon, in a book full of breathless contrivances, Miles has been thrown into the company of a beautiful young woman, "a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle." Meanwhile, flashbacks offer an account of what befell Czar Nicholas II and his family in 1918. ("Why was his cousin the kaiser doing this to him? Did he hate him that much?" ) And Mr. Berry has a theory about what became of all the lost Romanovs, including the two children left unaccounted for, Alexie and Anastasia.

The truth remains shrouded in mystery. But we know this much: descendants of the czar turn up in Nancy Lieberman's present-day novel, "Admissions." What are the Romanovs doing nowadays? Sending a gift of caviar to ease their way into a New York City private school.

Ever since "The Nanny Diaries" opened the floodgates, the Upper East Side tell-all genre has known no bounds. And it has presumed no limit to readers' interest in how Park Avenue parents behave. Ms. Lieberman tests that notion with a book full of stock characters and one that is entirely devoted to school-related wangling, unmitigated by any broader world view. For instance, a mom named Helen bristles: "How dare she imply that Zoe's test skills are substandard?"

Once it would have been risky to suppose that Zoe's test skills could dominate a novel — or that anyone would be interested in the malfeasance of a private school headmistress, which is as close as "Admissions" comes to a plot device. Actually, there's one more: will the above-mentioned Helen return the interest of the very rich, handsome and single father of another high school applicant? This is about as suspenseful as the question of whether the Romanov family has a way with a bribe.

Chick-lit hasn't always been as specialized as "Admissions." Anyone could read "Bridget Jones's Diary," for instance; interest was not confined to overweight young women with dead-end jobs and dastardly employers. But "Admissions," which is enough of a roman-à-clef to use names like "The Fancy Girls' School," "The Very Brainy Girls' School" and so on, isn't likely to captivate any part of the population that is not application-obsessed.

Jennifer Weiner's "Little Earthquakes" is also geared to a precise demographic group: brand-new mothers. "Babies make strange bedfellows" is its ultimate wisdom.

Ms. Weiner made a splash on the beach-book scene with her first novel, "Good in Bed." It was candy-colored and charming; "Little Earthquakes" strives for the same effect. But this new book is more formulaic, thanks to three characters who are drawn together by the prospect of new motherhood and fascinated by every last aspect of childbirth.

Reader interest in anesthesia, diapers and breast-feeding is presumed. Husband- and mother-in-law-related grievances also shape the story, as do baby-related emergencies. Jenna Jameson footnote: one of the book's young mothers brings home a porn DVD from a series in which Ms. Jameson figures. This is mistaken for a kiddie video by the character's mother-in-law. Additional Jenna Jameson footnote: Ms. Jameson says she would like nothing more than to be a mom.

The screen is a lot tamer when Jane Pauley's on it. And Ms. Pauley has been on television for nearly 30 years. That would seem to be sufficient justification for "Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue," her new memoir. After all, Ms. Pauley has her share of stories to tell, even if many of them are anything but underexposed. ("My father's entire early life was punctuated with loss and trauma, as I said in the `Dateline' story that aired in March 1999.")

But the happy-face memoir model that used to work is no longer applicable. Today, the genre feeds on terrible secrets, and woe to the star who happens not to have any. So Ms. Pauley, called "Dawn's Early Sprite" when she first hit "The Today Show" in 1976, makes the most of her stay in the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.

So what if the initial diagnosis was a case of hives? It blossomed into something bipolar, which she acknowledges, and into other symptoms that go unmentioned. Ms. Pauley has an odd way of referring to herself in the third person and a longtime luminary's way of dealing with a staff. Even in letting this book leap out of the blue (hence the title), she "imagined the `boys in the back room' toiling while I slept, because often I knew things in the morning that I hadn't known the night before."

If there's anything less promising than a nice star's life story, it's the self-serving autobiography of a politician. Since when are these things interesting? They're an election season specialty, and normally they are deadly dull. This makes an anomaly out of "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" by Barack Obama. Mr. Obama, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate in Illinois, has somehow managed to live an uncommonly interesting life, and writes about it frankly and well.

Of course, this book has an unfair advantage: it was first published in 1995, long before the author was well known. The sales were "underwhelming," by Mr. Obama's own assessment, and only his entry into the Senate race prompted a new paperback edition. He acknowledges that this book should be 50 pages shorter. But it doesn't seem long. And he hasn't fixed it, "even if certain passages have proven to be inconvenient politically, the grist for pundit commentary and opposition research."

His account moves from Kansas to Hawaii to Kenya, with an emphasis on the father who died when Mr. Obama was very young. If he could rewrite it now, he says, the mother who raised him (and died after the book was published) would play a bigger role. But Mr. Obama would still break the mold of most memoir writers, if only because "an autobiography promises feats worthy of record, conversations with famous people, a central role in important events." With this thought comes a truly unusual acknowledgment: "There is none of that here."




GUARDIAN - Wednesday August 25, 2004

"How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" by Jenna Jameson
World's biggest porn star tells all: Bad childhood, bad men, bad drugs -- but don't shed any tears for Jenna Jameson.

By Charles Taylor

Aug. 25, 2004 | This is the part of the review where I pretend to have to tell you, the reader, who Jenna Jameson is. If we agree to dispense with that charade and admit that we both know who Jenna Jameson is (which still leaves us the out of "but I've never seen any of her movies"), then we can -- tee-hee -- make naughty little jokes about what must be included in a porn star's autobiography. Or we can feign a lack of interest, make knowing remarks at what crap the book must be, even look down at the poor suckers shelling out 28 bucks for it. We all know they're just buying it to jerk off to the pictures, right?

When you get down to it, there's not much difference between those strategies of disdain and Bill O'Reilly's calling Jameson a "quasi-prostitute." They're both ways of saying that what used to be called "that type of woman" has no standing in real society. She's not a real person. And, by extension, neither are the millions of us who watch Jenna Jameson and who have made her the most successful star in the history of adult movies.

As the representative face of a segment of pop culture that's both more popular than it's ever been (porn's yearly income rivals that of Hollywood and pro sports) and still unacknowledged by most of its consumers, Jenna Jameson has become an unintentional provocateur. She's managed to become a big star with only minimal appearances in the mainstream media (some hosting for the E! Channel; a recurring role on NBC's canceled "Mr. Sterling" series; a bit role in "Howard Stern's Private Parts" and guest shots on his show). I can walk into one of the big media megastores and buy one of her movies or a "Got Jenna?" T-shirt or a Jenna Jameson action figure. But I'm not likely to see her turning up on Letterman or Leno -- and if she did, the conversation would likely be about the novelty of her being there at all.

It's doubtful that Jay or Dave would oblige her with a plug by holding up a copy of "Briana Loves Jenna," the second-best-selling adult movie of all time, or her latest, "The Masseuse" -- a remake of the '80s porn classic -- or let her mention her Web site, Club Jenna.) She towers over Times Square on a billboard. But when she appeared on the cover of New York magazine last fall, it was to illustrate a pair of hand-wringing features by David Amsden and the hapless Naomi Wolf on the alleged insidiousness of Internet porn. Because of how she's become famous, Jameson has made it harder than ever for people to maintain the hypocrisy that they recognize the names of porn stars but don't watch porn.

Jenna Jameson has done more than any other performer to increase the acceptability of a part of our culture that, like it or not, isn't going away. For her, porn has not been and is not a stepping stone to "legitimate" show biz. "The most important thing to me right now is to become the biggest star the industry has ever seen," she told Wicked Pictures founder Steve Ornstein when she asked him to put her under contract. In no part of her new autobiography, "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star," does she pretend that porn was a detour on a career that was meant to be spent acting or modeling or singing. Jameson is the prototype of a new sort of star, one who doesn't treat her particular brand of notoriety as notoriousness. Look at her book with that phrase -- porn star -- right there in the title, no coyness about it.

In this book, Jameson gets you rooting for her. Written with New York Times contributor Neil Strauss, the book is a captivating mess -- with autobiography; celebrity dish; tips on making it in porn; transcribed conversations between Jenna, her brother and her father; pages from her teen diary, photo albums with everything from childhood snaps to skin shots to wedding pictures; comics; a "Ten Commandments of dating" (along with a list of the ones her husband has broken), all tossed together. A celebrity bio has to be judged on whether it's entertaining and whether, despite the ghostwriter, a real person comes through in its pages. Here, one does, and that's as much a tribute to Strauss' ability to merge with his subject as it is to the strength of Jameson's personality. "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" is lively, hellaciously entertaining, sharp, feisty and touching enough to earn Jameson the right to wear that "Heart Breaker" tattoo on her right butt cheek.

Not that she ever asks for anyone's pity. Not once. The voice of this book belongs to what's usually called "a troubled kid." The difference is that in "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" that voice reaches us directly and not in the way in which we usually receive such voices, as part of a sociological study or as supporting evidence in an editorial.

The outline of Jenna Jameson's life so far (she's only 30) sounds like the typical run-up to a too-fast, too-soon outcome: Mother dead of cancer when she was 3. Loving but devastated father ill-equipped to raise her and her older brother. A series of negligent and abusive stepmothers. A generally unsupervised upbringing, leaving her and her brother free to get into drugs and other serious mischief. Moving from town to town. Gang-raped during her family's stay in Montana, in an attack she very plausibly claims she was not meant to survive. Live-in girlfriend of a biker tattoo artist. Raped by his uncle. Work as a stripper, leading to appearances in men's magazines leading to adult movies. A growing fondness for smoking crystal meth and bad relationships. Thousands of dollars made and blown. Eventual fame in adult movies and accompanying 'tude. Unhappy first marriage to a controlling fellow porn star. Periodic lapses into drugs and booze.

That Jameson is alive to tell this story would, in best "E! True Hollywood Story" fashion, dictate an end replete with tears, redemption and "If I knew then what I know now" contrition. In fact, there is a happy ending: Reconciliation with her father and brother. A position as CEO of her own company. A happy second marriage to porn director Justin Sterling, now her only male partner, on-screen and off. A contented domestic life in Scottsdale, Ariz. Eager anticipation of motherhood. But the strength of "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" is in the way it shows that sheer, lived experience makes a hash of assumptions and ideologies.

The reason Jenna Jameson has become the friendly face of porn is that she is so reassuringly familiar. She has always looked like the prettiest girl you saw hanging out at the mall (in a recent interview she talked about how excited she was that her image was appearing on a ski board, like a girl whose boyfriend has painted her name across the back of his Trans Am). Hers is an accessible, American middle-class prettiness, blond and sunny, not exotic. She doesn't possess the forbidding fashion-model beauty of a porn star like Tera Patrick (a former Ford agency model). Nor does she have the up-for-anything trashiness of the countless girls who pass through the industry.

Ten years into her career, Jameson doesn't look used up or hard-bitten. Possibly that's because she limits what she does on-screen. The same avenues that made porn more available, home video and the Internet, have also made it more private, able to cater to any fetish from the most benign to the most repulsive. In an industry that increasingly relies on pushing the envelope, she has always refused double penetration and gang-bangs, and has kept anal sex for her private life.

Reading "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" makes her seem even more familiar. Most of us have known someone, a friend or sibling or cousin, who made lousy choices and somehow come through it all OK. Often those people wind up living traditional middle-class lives -- they get married, have kids, buy a home. But the route they take to get there is one that -- often recklessly -- shuns all the traditional middle-class safety nets of college or vocational training or settling down in one place.

What could seem a better way to flout middle-class values than going into stripping or nude modeling or adult movies (even though, for some of the people who go into them, they are the quickest route to middle-class stability)? But though sex workers have often been looked down on in the name of middle-class propriety, it's interesting to think about what they share with the middle class.

Back when strippers were occasional guests on daytime talk shows (instead of the staple they've become), there were always a few well-appointed middle-class women in the studio audience who rose to chide the guest on her lack of self-respect and ask how she would ever manage to justify her job to her children. Whenever I'd hear a question like that, I always thought, fairly or not, that the person asking it must never have worked a day in her life.

The assumption behind that question is that work is ennobling instead of, for most people, a drudgery they endure to feed and clothe and house themselves and their families. The now-standard glib riposte to people who call porn degrading and exploitive is that you can be degraded working at Wal-Mart or Denny's. There's an obvious problem with the analogy -- people who work retail or wait on tables aren't required to fuck on camera. But the comparison isn't entirely off the mark. You can just as easily lose your self-respect doing something that society doesn't consider scandalous. And while there's a good chance that getting literally screwed will be pleasurable at least some of the time, getting figuratively screwed is never any fun.

What I'm trying to get at here is the class cluelessness that has always seemed part of the knee-jerk reaction against any type of sex work. Sexism is a part of that, too, a belief that any young woman who ventures into the sex trade will wind up either a victim or a whore.

Jameson doesn't settle these arguments; she complicates them. She upsets the easy assumptions of both sides in the debate about whether porn is degrading (damn straight it can be, she says) or empowering (ditto). One of the best and toughest chapters in the book is Jameson's advice to would-be porn stars. She lays out what happens to too many of the girls who arrive at the industry's regular cattle-call auditions:

"In a worst-case scenario, a gonzo director will take a girl to a hotel room and have their friends shoot a cheap scene in which she is humiliated in every orifice possible. She walks home with three thousand dollars, bowed legs, and a terrible impression of the industry. It'll be her first and last movie, and she'll regret it -- to her dying day."

Jameson says porn has more pitfalls "than nearly any other occupation." Drugs is one. Maintaining a boundary between your job and private life is another. The inability to recognize the distinction is shared by many who love porn and many who loathe it -- in other words, they both tend to assume that porn stars are whores who will sleep with anyone.

Even the girls who are lucky enough to land a contract with one of the big adult film companies like Vivid or VCA or Wicked find their battles aren't over. A contract girl gets between $75,000 to $100,000 to appear in 10 movies a year (at probably two to three scenes a movie). They don't own any rights to their screen work, so scenes can be reused in compilations. And because the adult industry isn't unionized and the movies are so cheap to make, the stars make a piddling slice of the overall profits. (The professional in Jameson seems ashamed by the diva behavior she indulged in following her success, though it's tough to read her account of that time and not feel that, for the money they make off her, the producers deserved a little bitchiness in their lives.)

The same is true with photo shoots, where photographers often retain the right to resell the photos for which they've paid models a basic fee. (Jameson calls the most famous adult photographer, Suze Randall, whom she insists she likes, "a shark.") To make more money, many porn stars tour strip clubs as "featured dancers," which can present its own problems, like obnoxious fans and chiseling club owners -- one told Jameson she couldn't keep the tips that patrons tossed her onstage because tips weren't in her contract. (Jameson stays mum on the growing number of adult stars who hire themselves out to escort services.) And none of this touches the difficulty of having sex in front of other people, sometimes with male co-stars too nervous to perform, which isn't exactly balm for a girl's ego.

But Jameson doesn't talk about porn as if it were the white-slave trade, either. She knows how easy it is for the gullible to be taken advantage of but insists that aspiring pornettes have to learn to protect themselves. (That may be a tad easy for her to say. She's right that porn stars have to be firm about what they will not do, though the ones who refuse to perform a certain act, and who don't have her charisma or star power, may find themselves with a lot fewer career options.)

For a long time, Jameson would lie when asked if she had been abused because she didn't want to be seen as a victim. (She also rightly finds the question insulting. When was the last time you heard it asked of a comic or an actor or a musician to explain what they do?) For her, playing the victim is offensively easy. Jameson rejects the idea of using her rapes as an explanation for her career. "Was I in this business because I was victimized or because I wanted to succeed at something?" she asks. "I examined it from every angle I could, and every time came to the same conclusion: that it didn't make a bit of difference. It occurred too late in my development to be formative. Whether it happened to me or not, I still would have become a porn star."

Jenna Jameson's story has a happy ending, but not one that moralists will be able to stomach. She got her happy ending because of porn, not in spite of it. Without it, she might still be Jenna Massoli, a Vegas biker's girlfriend content to get high on crank, perhaps still stripping at a local dive and not going anywhere. The penultimate page of "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" shows a laughing, resplendent Jenna Jameson on her wedding day surrounded by her father, brother, sister-in-law and young nephew. Everyone is wearing white. Even the bride.

About the writer
Charles Taylor
is a Salon staff writer.



The XXX factor
(Filed: 16/09/2004)

Jenna Jameson's grin-and-bare-it attitude to her incident-packed, tragic life has made her rich, famous and more recognisable than many people would care to admit. Adam Higginbotham meets the biggest porn star the world has ever seen

By the age of four, Jenna Jameson had already decided to become famous, and she knew how she wanted to do it. For a little girl growing up in Nevada in the 1970s, a world short on role models for women, it wasn't unrealistic, and she seemed to have a head start: she was going to be a television newsreader.

At the time, her father was a producer at a Las Vegas television station. Every now and again he would let her come with him to the studio and practise reading out words from the day's news as they reeled out on the teleprompter. For eight years she was passionate about the idea. 'I was really into it,' she says. 'And really good at it.'

Then, at 12, Jenna changed her mind. What she did instead would turn her into the most successful porn star the world has ever seen, and a millionaire several times over. Even so, I can't help wondering why she gave up on newsreading.

'Because my sex-drive took over,' she tells me brightly. For a second I look mildly incredulous. 'Is that so hard for you to believe?' she snaps. 'I mean, I'm good at a lot of things. Sex being one of them - so I think I've certainly succeeded at doing that. And there's very few people that have.'

Mindful of the terrible events that accompanied her start in pornography - the violence, the desertions and the drug addiction that nearly killed her - I suggest that, perhaps, being a newsreader might have been easier.

'Oh, I don't know,' she says. 'Certainly, I have gone through my ups and downs. But there's nothing I regret. I mean, I really love the choices that I've made. That's for sure.'

Having sex for a living has made Jenna Jameson very, very famous. For more than ten years she's been a recognisable face in a field in which enduring fame is rare; for the past five she's been better known than any of her contemporaries. And now, with the publication of her autobiography, How To Make Love Like a Porn Star, she's achieved something even more remarkable. She's achieved mainstream fame.

The book - subtitled 'A Cautionary Tale' - entered the New York Times bestseller list at number nine in its week of publication, and has been well reviewed everywhere from the New York Post to CNN. Suddenly, Jenna Jameson is the porn star it's acceptable to recognise.

Jameson, 30, has become the most successful porn star in the world not because of her acting ability or even her distinctive looks. I meet her in mid-August, in a mid-town Manhattan hotel suite - flanked by her manager and an enormous man with plucked eyebrows, who acts as her bodyguard.

The natural beauty she's renowned for has been almost concealed beneath the generic Hollywood animated-sex-doll look: all silicone and panstick, accessorised with lip-liner and hot-pink Perspex platform heels. Jameson's success is the result of a kind of brand recognition unprecedented in the world of 'adult entertainment'.

In the past, porn actresses such as Linda Lovelace and Traci Lords have become famous in part by explaining how they were coerced into a world from which they were lucky to escape. But Jameson has never wanted to trade her porn fame for anything else; she not only continues to appear in hardcore pornography, but embraces and celebrates it.

In 1995, at 21, Jenna Jameson marched into the Los Angeles offices of the then-fledgling porn video company Wicked Pictures and announced to the owner, 'The most important thing to me right now is to become the biggest star the industry has ever seen.'

In 2000 Jameson founded her own company, ClubJenna, and agreed a deal with the porn monolith Vivid to distribute her films. To date she's completed more than 80 films which exploit her aggressive bisexuality; last year's Briana Loves Jenna was the top-grossing adult film of 2003; this year the follow-up, Bella Loves Jenna, is already the biggest-selling adult video of all time.

Meanwhile, her appearances in the mainstream media have cemented her identity with a wider audience - in advertising campaigns for Pony trainers and Abercrombie & Fitch; in tabloid-friendly relationships with the rock stars Marilyn Manson and Tommy Lee; as a presenter on the cable television channel E!; in a 2001 Oxford University debate about internet pornography (she won - 204 votes to 21); and on a billboard bearing the legend who says they cleaned up Times Square?, which last year towered over New York's erstwhile home of seediness and smut.

Jameson's face - and body - have become synonymous with the image of the contemporary porn star.

'The mainstream stuff Jenna did made her represent the industry,' according to Neil Strauss, the former New York Times journalist with whom Jameson co-wrote How To Make Love Like a Porn Star, 'so she became the face of porn.'

But for all her pride in her achievements in the industry, when I ask if anyone has ever seemed ashamed to admit they recognise her, she seems offended.

'Why?' she retorts. 'How rude! I've done a lot of things except porn.'

But presumably there was a point when that wasn't true?

'Not really. I mean, I don't remember anybody ever going, "Oh, I'm embarrassed to have met you." I have couples that want to take pictures of me, you know, holding their kids. I've never run into anybody who had a problem with who I am or what I do.'

The story of how Jenna Jameson became a porn star - the one told in merciless detail over the 600 pages of her book - is one of astonishing pain and brutality, one that, if Jameson were not still here to tell it, would seem unbelievable. Jameson is not Jenna's real name - she picked that because it reminded her of the brand of whiskey.

She was actually born Jenna Massoli in Las Vegas in 1970. Her parents met in the early 1960s in Reno, where her mother, Judy, was a showgirl; her father, Larry, worked in a grocery store, but had served in Vietnam and ran with a crowd that included Frank Sinatra Jr and small-time gangsters. The couple moved to Las Vegas, Larry got a job in television, and they started a family; with her elder brother, Tony, Jenna had the beginnings of a happy childhood with two devoted parents.

But when Jenna was three the family was shattered by her mother's death from melanoma. The cost of the cancer treatment bankrupted Larry and he moved into a trailer with the children. Soon afterwards he gave up his job in television, joined the Las Vegas Sheriff's Department, and embarked on a one-man anti-corruption crusade.

The mob tried to dissuade him by attempting to kidnap his children; he fought off one night-time assault on their home by chasing the assailant with a submachine-gun; Jenna and Tony were put under police protection. In the end, the family left town and embarked on a series of moves.

When Larry ran out of money, they returned to Las Vegas and moved in with his mother. Emotionally incapable of family life, Larry spent all his time at work, and Tony and Jenna were left to fend for themselves. Shortly after beginning high school, Jenna began taking acid and cocaine with her brother; by the time she was 17, their father was taking it with them.

In conversation Jenna Jameson appears bracingly honest and open. But she is careful not to sit for interviews that last too long, and sticks tightly to a one-dimensional characterisation of herself: the tough-talking, unrepentant survivor. She's happy to talk candidly about almost anything - stars she's slept with, or how much she enjoys having sex with women, or how fulfilled she is by her career.

But sometimes - when the conversation wanders away from the script, or when I want to explore the things she says - her knowing humour dries up. She becomes brittle and, fleetingly, angry. How does she think her life would be different if she'd grown up with a mother?

'You know, it's hard to say - that's all speculation - but I know my life would be completely different. Just like it would be if I didn't have a leg. It's not something that I've thought about very often. I try not to - why dwell on something like that?'

You've never thought about how it would have been different?

'No. I think I'd probably be in a loony bin somewhere. I try to be as positive and as happy as possible. I'm happy with who I am and what's happened. But if it were up to me - of course, I'd rather have my mother in my life. Of course.'

Did you think at the time that maybe it would have been better if your dad didn't take acid and cocaine with you and your brother?

'Hahaha! I still think that would've been a good thing. I had withdrawn so much that it didn't really even register. I just moved on. But I did that with a lot of things in my life. There were a lot of things that happened that would have broken anybody else. I was able to survive. That's all that really matters.'

Jenna Jameson says she was a weird-looking child, with glasses, braces on her teeth, hair cut into a straggly blond mullet and an out-of- proportion body: 'I looked like a baby colt. I was short, but with these long legs.'

But by the time she was 16 - when Larry moved the family to a cattle ranch in Fromberg, Montana - she had filled out in a way that attracted attention. She had also begun dressing to make the most of her new body, in the briefest, tightest clothes she could find. And while that was fine in Las Vegas, the other girls in the tiny midwestern town didn't like the way their boyfriends looked at the new arrival.

The beatings she sustained at their hands persuaded her to make friends elsewhere. Which is why, after a football game one day at the beginning of October 1990, she found herself hitching a ride home in a pick-up truck with four boys from a neighbouring school's team.

It was a mistake: they took the truck down a dirt road and gang-raped her. In her book she describes the events in harrowing detail: how they repeatedly knocked her unconscious and when she came to hours later - covered in insect bites, her clothes in tatters, her head resting in a puddle of her own blood - she realised that they had left her for dead.

When she finally staggered home, she told her father that a girl at school had beaten her up. She could never bring herself to tell anyone what had really happened - until last year, when she began doing interviews with Neil Strauss for the book. Has she ever been tempted to have the boys that gang-raped her tracked down?

'No. No - I wouldn't want to have to go through any kind of details about that. Writing the book was enough for me - I had closed off that part of my life. And I certainly don't ever want to go back there. The only reason I did it for the book was because I thought it was important for people to know the real me.

'So I don't think that I would ever try to prosecute them. And to tell you the truth I wouldn't even know who they were. I mean, I was so messed up by them I have no idea what they looked like. I can't remember.'

But they're people who basically tried to kill you.

'Yeah, they pretty much did. And I was lucky I survived. I was totally lucky. It was all will, obviously. I'm just glad that I made it, you know? I mean, going through the situation was a lot easier than what came afterwards.

'When something like that happens to you, that's a wound that will be there forever. So I don't feel like I would have to confront it in any way. I just don't want to go there.'

Jenna Jameson is determined not to be perceived as a victim - or, more importantly, as a woman who became a porn star because of the terrible things that have happened to her.

'Was I in this business because I was victimised or because I wanted to succeed at something?' she writes of the gang rape.

'I examined it from every angle I could, and every time came to the same conclusion: that it didn't make a shred of difference. It occurred too late in my development to be formative. Whether it had happened or not, I still would have become a porn star. I've been to enough therapists to know that.'

But Jameson was raped a second time when she was still only 16 - this time by the biker uncle of her first long-term boyfriend, a Vegas tattooist named Jack - and left home immediately afterwards. She moved in with Jack and, after a brief stint as a showgirl, prised the braces off her teeth with needle-nose pliers and successfully auditioned to become a stripper at the Crazy Horse Too, where she made thousands of dollars a night.

She was attending high school at the time. It was in the Crazy Horse that Jameson was spotted by a scout for pornographic photo shoots, which led to her having sex on film for the first time. She was 19 when Up and Cummers 11 was released, and she became an immediate sensation in the small world of the porn industry.

She left the Crazy Horse and the following year bought implants to enhance her already-large breasts to the absurd size expected of porn stars. But there was another problem: in the four years that she had lived with her drug-addicted boyfriend, Jameson had acquired a devastating crystal meth habit.

It stopped her from working and, eventually, eating properly. By the time Jack walked out on her, leaving her semi- conscious on the bedroom floor, she weighed only 80lb. Rescued by a friend, she was sent back to her father to recuperate: she was so emaciated that she had to be put on the plane in a wheelchair, and when he came to meet her at the airport, he didn't recognise her.

After weeks of eating bread and olive oil and being helped to the lavatory by her grandmother, Jameson regained the strength to go back to work. She left Las Vegas for Los Angeles, and soon afterwards signed the contract with Wicked Pictures.

The prudent deal she cut there, and her careful control of the number of films she made and the sex acts she agreed to commit in front of the camera, would be the beginning of the branding of Jenna Jameson. By 1998 she had become the biggest porn star in the world; in 2003 she married her second husband Jay Grdina (her first was a porn director called Rod).

Grdina is the only man with whom she now has sex on film, and they live together in a big house in cosily conservative Scottsdale, Arizona: 'I just wanted to live someplace,' she explains, 'where the people were really nice.'

But even there, she says, the smell of freshly cut grass still reminds her of meth. Jenna Jameson says she never had a problem having sex with people she didn't care about; it was just work. She'd never dream of having a video camera in her own bedroom for fun, and she never watches porn for pleasure.

As far as possible, she tries to avoid watching any of her films. There are good professional reasons for this, she explains: 'I critique myself. Constantly.'

When she sees herself on screen, Jenna says, she worries about the way she looks - her body, her acting, her reactions. She simply doesn't like the way it makes her feel.

'It weirds me out a little bit,' she admits. 'The sex scenes are very hard to watch. Only because, like - it's strange to see your private parts that big. Hahahaha.'

Well, that's what I would think, but I'd have thought you would have got used to the idea.

'I can watch other people - but I just can't watch myself. It's weird - it's embarrassing. I'm like, "OhmiGod, why am I doing that? What an ugly face! This is so gross!"'

Having sex for a living has made Jenna Jameson very rich. ClubJenna Inc is privately owned, so its financial details are hard to come by. But the company's annual turnover - including its subscription-only website, video productions, merchandising and lines of sex toys - is estimated at between $5 million and $15 million. Lately Jenna Jameson has been thinking about retirement. It isn't age, she says.

'I could go for another ten years. As long as you take care of yourself and look good, then they keep coming back.'

Her autobiography is part of a three-book deal with HarperCollins, and she's been thinking about writing a novel. More pressingly, she and Jay are trying to start a family - and as soon as she gets pregnant, she says, she'll stop making films. She isn't worried that it will hurt her career: 'I think it's going to enhance it. Did it hurt Pam Anderson's career?' she says, winking and clicking her tongue.

'It gives a whole different side to a woman, you know? It's a natural thing.'

After 11 years in the industry she's starting to get bored.

'I'm starting to want to phase myself out from in front of the camera. And just kind of live, like, more of a normal life.'

In preparation for this, Jameson and Grdina have shot a stockpile of sex scenes - enough to keep the brand going for years. And for dedicated fans there are plenty of ClubJenna-endorsed ways to remember her. There are mugs, calendars, T-shirts; there are vibrators; and there is Jenna's Vagina and Ass, a life-size replica moulded from UR3, or ultra-realistic 3.0, which 'feels amazingly real - just like a woman!'

This last item gives Jameson pause for thought.

'That totally weirds me out,' she says. 'The fake vagina. Knowing that somebody's using this thing and thinking about me.'

Nevertheless, she made sure that both this and the life-size Jenna Jameson 'love doll' are anatomically accurate.

'They put plaster all over me. It was the most ridiculous thing you've seen in your life. They moulded my entire body.'

At this, Jenna Jameson pauses and places her hand on her forehead. 'God!' she exclaims, and then, in the tone of the tortured artist: 'The things I have to do for my craft!'

Review: Jenna Jameson's crazy porn life

Book less a 'how-to' than a 'what-the'

By Adam Dunn

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sing, Muse, of your meteoric ascent from a seething pit of pure, all-American white trash.

Sing, also, of five-figure fees for one evening's striptease, and of six-figure film contracts for the company you built.

Sing of rape and addiction and suicide, of thieves and junkies and lies, of vodka, Vicodin, and crystal meth.

But most of all, sing of Sex.

The muse invoked here is, of course, porn goddess Jenna Jameson (formerly Massoli), the star of countless adult films, magazines, and strip clubs -- and CEO of ClubJenna Inc., her film production and online licensing company.

"How To Make Love Like A Porn Star" is her latest product, an autobiography in the form of a rant interspersed with detritus from her life's ricochets, including a sample adult film contract, entries from her diary, comics, and the sprawling transcript from a recent family reunion (which reads like a police blotter).


Her way to the top

With the help of New York Times contributor Neil Strauss, Jameson recounts how she went from being a drug-addled teenager in a slowly disintegrating family to the star attraction at a prominent Vegas strip club, where she danced for celebrities and took home several thousand in cash each night. It was there that she met Jack, a biker tattoo artist, with whom she managed to maintain a vibrantly destructive relationship for years.

Jack, for his part, repaid her affections by cheating on her regularly, stealing her cash, and introducing her to crystal meth and to his uncle Preacher, a biker whom Jameson claims raped her at their first meeting. (Preacher has denied this.)

Eventually she started posing for adult photographers and starring in a handful of adult films. After kicking her drug addiction, she decided to pursue the activity she knew she excelled at -- porn -- walked into the offices of Steve Orenstein at Wicked Pictures, and stated that she wanted to be the biggest porn star in the world.

The rest, as they say, is history.

All over the place

That's an extremely oversimplified version of a big, thick book that is anything but straightforward.

The narrative careens all over the place like a drunk driving a semi, jumping around various periods in Jameson's life, sometimes with others taking over the storytelling. Glossies, snapshots and notes litter the text like shards of broken glass.

Jameson doesn't shrink from her life's harsher realities, from the tragic to the desperate. She says says she was gang-raped her sophomore year in high school; she also says she pried off her own braces to get the strip club job. She's blunt about her drug use and the basics of the porn industry, from the fees producers pay starlets to workaday pitfalls such as bringing boyfriends to the set, alienating crew members, and the constant risk of AIDS.

Jameson now sits atop a multimedia company which sells hundreds of thousands of copies of films it produces and innumerable downloads of video clips. She manages over a dozen porn stars. Her club appearances earn her up to $25,000 per show.

And yes, she is married (to producer Jay Grdina) and looks forward to retirement and motherhood, now both comfortably within reach.

So sing, Muse, of a messed-up kid from a ditch on the wrong side of the tracks who climbed to the top of a $3 billion industry, using only the power of her ambition and body.

Sing, Muse, of the glory of America.

Review: How to... Make Love Like a Porn Star Author Jenna Jameson

The covers on some of Jameson's videos describe her as the "World's Most Famous Adult Star" this is probably the truth, Jameson's name is perhaps the only one, other than Ron Jeremy's, that people who don't even watch porn know.

When you study her, the body is beautiful. Everything apart from maybe her breasts is wonderfully proportionate. She has creamy white skin, tight toned thighs and bum most women would happily die for, no blemishes on cellulite.

The world of Jameson is explored at great in her new autobiography, How to... Make Love Like a Porn Star, the book includes revelations ranging from her being gang-raped as a teenager, to a harrowing account of her addiction to methamphetamine and later Vicodin, to a fling with Tommy Lee and being hit on by the most famous American supermodel

Tracking back to her early years sex was an outlet for Jameson's anger at her unfortunate childhood, her mother, a showgirl, died when she was three; her father tried to connect with his daughter kept her at an emotional distance.

Although on screen she has slept with many male and female co stars, off-screen, she puts the number of women she’s slept with at almost 100, and men at 30. Happy to admit to being a definite bisexual, so much so she will never pass up looking at another woman as her mind works overtime on other thoughts pertaining to the subject of her study.

Jenna Jameson, was born in Las Vegas her real name, Jenna Marie Massoli apparently the surname Jameson was chosen because of her liking of the famous Irish whisky.

At the age of 16 fell in love with a Las Vegas tattoo artist, he did her first tattoos, he also introduced her to speed and encouraged her to start stripping.

According to the book Jenna was also raped by a relative of his.

A male nude magazine scout discovered her and signed her for his mag’s, to stills in magazines quickly escalated to soft-core girl-girl films, and then to hardcore movies. The girl was willing to partake in any porn activity on film, and showing a love of girl on girl her popularity with film makers grew rapidly.

Interestingly though she has always refused to participate in anal intercourse, something which she has never had on camera.

She expresses shock when seeing how todays newcomers to the industry readily taking on six or more men at once, questioning what are they doing, the girls should know that you have to start slow, and make them pay more for each thing additional level you take your performances to.

Jameson was not backward when it came to selling herself on rise to stardom, and, having got there, has been equally streetwise now she has achieved that stardom, quick to suss out what she does and does not need to do.

Surprisingly Jameson has only shot the equivalent of 50 films, not a great deal for over ten years in the business, the movie machine though is very adept at cutting re-cutting to make the 50 into 500new DVDs.

The star is now in a position were she only needs to shoot 1 or 2 films a year even stating that she feels weird doing a sex scene now.

Jameson and long time partner Jay Grdina have been trying to conceive they have been trying to start a family, and it's not going well. Jameson has had tests and the doctors say there's nothing wrong, she and Grdina have never used birth control but she's never got pregnant, so what does that mean.

The fact that she has not conceived raises many doubts about her problems conceiving has she waited too long, has she had too much sex.

Thoroughly devoted to Jay Ms Jameson is reported to be getting the famous tattoos she got from her first boyfriend removed. She wants to cut her hair short, too - it's been a long time since she had short hair, because in adult movies guys want the girls to toss their hair around, even planning to take Grdina's name.

Jenna Jameson a leader in her chosen industry and now a best-selling author, her book is on The New York Times' best-seller list.

Femalefirst: ‘a compelling and honest book that lifts the lid on the authors dysfunctional teen years and how she coped with a career that meant having sex on screen. Jameson is a truly remarkable woman who retains a handle on the reality of life.

 ‘The best autobiography of the year’ femalefirst  9.5 out of 10


Jenna Jameson: Girl On Top

Jenna Jameson is a happily married 30-year-old living the good life in Arizona. She's also the queen of the adult-movie world. As her anger-packed autobiography hits the shelves, she tells Vanessa Grigoriadis how to make love like a porn star - and live to tell the tale

05 September 2004

Jenna Jameson has no porn in her house. There are no adult videos or DVDs anywhere to be found, not even the kitchen magnets with Jameson's likeness that she sells on her website, and certainly not any replicas of "Jenna's Vagina and Ass" made of "ultrarealistic, lifelike" material and on sale for $159.95, with complimentary lube and talcum powder. What goes on in Jameson's frilly, pillow-laden bed is lovemaking, and while she doesn't rule out toys, it definitely doesn't include a video camera: "Please!" she squeals. "That's the last thing I want to see in there."

It's a balmy Sunday afternoon in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jameson, wearing a bright-yellow T-shirt, jeans and fuzzy Birkenstocks, is shuffling back and forth from the kitchen to her veranda, which is where she goes to smoke an endless chain of Marlboro Lights. Now 30 years old, she still has the look of a slutty cheerleader, with a thick blonde mane swept into a ponytail that's a little too long, blue eyes a little too feral, her upper lip puckered in a sexy snarl even when she's exhibiting no emotion at all, which is often. She picks at pasta and veggies as her dogs gather at her feet: a couple of puppies, an English bulldog and Stinky, the teacup Pomeranian she's had as a companion for six years. They're always peeing all over the house, and now there's the sound of lapping at a toilet bowl. "Ugh," says Jameson. "That disgusts me, because then he comes up and licks me."

That Jameson would have such a reaction to an animal's bodily fluids when she makes her living swapping human ones might seem strange, but here at home, a Mediterranean-style mini-mansion decorated in the mix of suburban and Gothic so often favoured by rock stars, she's careful to present herself as a normal girl. In fact, the only clue that you're in the house of a porn star is the home office of Jay Grdina, her affable, quirky and not at all creepy husband of one year, the director of her films, co-proprietor of her production company and website, and her only male on-screen sex partner since 1998 ("He doesn't have problems in that department, but still, thank God for Viagra," says Jameson). With surgical steel and diamond earrings the shape of long fake nails that come to a very sharp point in either ear, Grdina, 36, huddles over a warren of computer screens, editing a grainy image of his wife in a latex nurse's uniform bent over a gurney carrying his naked body. "Just putting together a short entry for Sundance," he jokes.

The covers on some of Jameson's videos describe her as the "World's Most Famous Adult Star" and, indeed, Jameson's name is perhaps the only one, other than Ron Jeremy's, that people who don't watch porn know. Indeed, "Jenna Jameson" is a kind of cultural shorthand for "porn star", tossed off casually in arch comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm and even romantically linked to Britney Spears' in one tabloid-sparked rumour, something they both deny ("I wish," Jameson says). Jameson owes a lot of her success to the shock-jock Howard Stern, who booked her constantly in the mid-1990s and cast her as a naked guest in 1997's Private Parts. Since then, she has appeared in ads, taped a voice-over for the video-game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, shown up in an Eminem video and starred in her own E! True Hollywood Story biography show. She has never gone completely mainstream. "I'm so unaffected by the whole friggin' Hollywood scene - give me the job or shut up," she says. "I'm not a show pony. I don't want to hang out with you and your friends, and I don't want to leave a message on your answering machine: 'You've reached Scott, he's busy with me right now.' I don't want to play some part where I have to dye my hair, get my boobs reduced and change my name. Do you think people are going to go, 'Oh, that girl Ashley Smith is so cute, what a breakout star'? They'll go, 'Oh, there's Jenna Jameson in a wig and friggin' small titties.'"

This rant is just a hint of the deep anger at the world Jameson explores at length in her new autobiography, How to... Make Love Like a Porn Star, which includes revelations ranging from her being gang-raped as a teenager, to a harrowing account of her addiction to methamphetamine and later Vicodin, to a fling with Tommy Lee and the size of Howard Stern's penis (surprisingly large, though she never spied it unsheathed).

Sex was an outlet for Jameson's fury at her unfortunate childhood - her mother, a showgirl, died when she was three; Dad tried but was emotionally distant.

Off-screen, she puts the number of women who slept with at 100, and men at 30. "I'm definitely bisexual, and there have been times in my life that I've been so bi-sexual it's sick," she says. "I love girls. I'll never not look at a girl and think, 'How do you think she tastes?'"

At 16, Jameson, who was born in Las Vegas as Jenna Marie Massoli (she chose Jameson because she liked the brand of whisky), fell in love with the Vegas tattoo artist who did her first tattoos. She says he also did speed with her and encouraged her to start stripping. She was also raped by a relative of his. A nudie-magazine scout discovered her, and print soon led to soft-core girl-girl films, and then, "Well, one thing led to another," she says. She drew the line at anal sex, which she's never had on camera. "I look at these new girls today, taking on six guys and doing bukkakes, and I think, 'What the hell are they doing?'" says Jameson. "These girls don't know that you have to start slow, baby, and make them pay you more for each thing you do."

She was smart about incrementally selling herself on the way to stardom, and, having got there, has been equally savvy about what she does and does not need to do. There is relatively little tape of Jameson out there. In more than a decade in the industry, she has shot fewer than 50 films (which are, of course, relentlessly recut into new DVDs). These days, she makes only one or two movies a year, usually appearing in only a couple of scenes. "I feel like I've evolved into this different person," says Jameson. "I feel weird doing a sex scene with my husband in front of people. I don't even crave the girl-girl stuff anymore. The fact is... I don't want to be butt-naked in front of 30 people anymore."

Part of why Jameson doesn't want to do porn anymore is Grdina. She is utterly devoted to him, the way one might be to a puppy love. All over the house are collages that she made for him, hotel-room keys and feathers glued to sayings about falling in love cut out from magazines - silly ones, such as "Boyfriends cop a feel before the elevator door opens", and serious ones, like, "It was no accident: you were sent from heaven to take my bad dreams away and let me love again." One doesn't quite fit: "He who angers you conquers you." "Yeah," says Jameson. "Anger is powerful."

With Grdina around, Jameson has been tamed, for the most part. A lot of her continued success as a brand can be attributed to Grdina, whose previous enterprises included health clubs in Japan and owning a studio used by porn filmmakers. Now Jameson is his business, and whether he's looking to guard the love of his life or a valuable asset, he's rather protective. He discourages her from answering the door and doesn't like her to be home alone. He wants to gate their neighbourhood, for safety, and cameras are placed around the house, with an internet feed to his office. Jameson, for her own part, dislikes being recognised, and finds the gaping Starbucks barista and lascivious garage attendant so unendurable that she no longer runs errands. Jameson, in fact, is a very anxious person.

Today, Jameson is at home shooting photos for her website,, but even the effort of posing solo for Grdina, who is taking the pictures, seems to exhaust her. In her walk-in wardrobe, stuffed with brightly coloured furs and sequinned handbags and bearing a little sign on one vanity case that reads "queen of everything", she tries to be chipper. Naked under a fur coat, she selects different co-ordinated bras and panties, lifting a pair of black underwear with rhinestone trim to see how they're holding up - they got a workout in Briana Loves Jenna and are a bit frayed. "Whatever," she says, and lobs them on to a pile of sparkling costumes. "It's not like anyone's going to be watching my fashion sense."

She takes off the fur coat.

"God," she says. "Do I really have to do this?"

Her body is beautiful. Everything except for her breasts is utterly in proportion, her skin creamy, thighs and bum taut, no blemishes or cellulite. She takes a seat on the bathroom basin, spreading her legs wide, as Grdina lightens the mood with stories about farting from the chicken they had last night, or pretending he's an invalid, or anything he can think of to stop her pouting. Finally, Jameson laughs and flicks her tongue back and forth against the side of her mouth.

The shoot moves into the study. Jameson gets on the floor and arches her naked back against the leg of a huge desk. There's a book on the desk, with her lighter resting in the crease, and someone has circled points on a graph of low post-ovulatory points and progesterone levels. Grdina and Jameson have been trying to start a family, and it's not going well. She's had tests and the doctors say there's nothing wrong, but she's worried: she and Grdina have never used birth control and she's never got pregnant, so what does that mean? She's reading books such as The Infertility Cure and Pregnant Goddesshood, and she's heard about different kinds of herbs that might help. "I really, really want it to happen," she says, her eyes searching mine. "I'm trying to think positive. But sometimes I can't."

It's hard not to see how guilty, how ashamed, Jameson feels about her problems conceiving - did she wait too long? Have too much sex? The baby looms large for her, too, because in her mind it's her way out. And now Jameson is talking about getting the tattoos she got from her first boyfriend lasered off. She wants to cut her hair short, too - it's been a long time since she had short hair, because in adult movies guys want the girls to toss their hair around. She's even planning to take Grdina's name, even though it's "funky-sounding".

"Look: once a porn star, always a porn star, but I won't do porn anymore when I get pregnant," she says. "There is going to come a time when my little girl or boy is going to say, 'Mommy, kids at school are saying you're a porn star.' And I want to be able to say, 'Yes, Mommy was once a porn star, but when you came along, Mommy was no longer a porn star.'" Some couples might get a room ready for the baby; Jameson and Grdina have prepared by putting scenes for 13 movies in the can, so that the Jameson brand will live on and on.

It sucks to get your period in Vegas, but there's not much you can do about it other than take a handful of pain-killers, and so that's what Jameson does. She's in a suite at the Hard Rock Hotel, and a bunch of Grdina's friends are sprawled across the couches drinking beer, as usual, and watching a video they made earlier of one of them in a shop, clad only in his underwear. They keep pointing at the screen and laughing at the other customers trying to ignore him; every time one of them hollers out, Jameson gets more tense, pacing the room, then standing by the window taking short, angry puffs on a cigarette. "God, can't you get everyone out of here?" she finally snaps at Grdina. "I'm trying to get ready!"

Grdina looks annoyed; Jameson is fully clothed at the moment, and there is another bedroom that she could easily use to change in. "Chill, baby, chill," he says.

So things are not going great when everyone leaves for the Venetian, where Jameson is throwing a party; she ducks into a VIP banquette and sits back, fuming. A thin, ragged blonde, the girlfriend of a friend, shimmies over in a slinky black dress and perches on her lap; they coo at each other for a moment, but Jameson is again tense. "It's a little uncomfortable: all these girls think that because I'm into girls, I'll be into them," she says.

There's a bodyguard and a rope blocking the banquette, but people keep leaning over. "Do you remember me from that night in New York?" asks a guy with a goatee. "I spent $20,000 on you."

"Um, I think I would remember if you spent $20,000 on me," says Jameson, turning away.

Another man grabs her hand.

"You give me pleasure," he whispers.

"Eww!" she shrieks, cowering. "I'm so over this."

But then a girl comes up to the rope. She's from Sweden, 19, here for just a few days and looking like a porcelain replica of Snow White come to life (in a leather bustier). "Can I kiss you?" she asks.

"Sure," says Jameson, breathing heavily, and takes her face in her hands. Their lips linger on each other's, and when Jameson sits down, she's sexy, blissed out. For the first time, she looks relaxed.

'How To... Make Love Like A Porn Star' is published in the US by Regan Books, priced £15.99



Sept. 3, 2004, 11:14AM

Love, constant love

Porn queen Jenna Jameson tells how sex has defined her life since the tender age of 12

Hartford Courant

By Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss.
Regan Books, 579 pp. $27.95.

Jenna Jameson's X-rated autobiography is horrifying, gripping, sexy and pathetic.

You might wonder how a 30-year-old has gained enough life experience to write an autobiography. But this is Jenna Jameson, the porn-queen multimillionaire who was a stripper by the time she was a junior in high school and a porn star before she could legally drink.

Much of How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale, written with the help of former New York Times rock critic Neil Strauss, goes like this, albeit with much more detail: Jenna has sex with this guy for two hours. Jenna has oral sex with that guy. Jenna has a threesome with this guy and girl. Jenna has an affair with a woman. Jenna has multiple orgasms.

It's the literary version of her films, accompanied by photos of her at work and as a child -- a bizarre juxtaposition. It is also a bona fide best seller, debuting today at No. 9 on the New York Times list.

Despite being one of the top-selling porn film stars of all time, a woman who has bared everything and is embarrassed by nothing, Jameson writes about the things any young American girl would.

As a child, she had a black Labrador named Digby. She has kept a diary throughout much of her life. As a child, she wrote about going to dance and gymnastics classes and being the unpopular girl at school. Her favorite movies include Nightmare on Elm Street, Beetlejuice, Stealing Heaven and The Terminator. Her favorite songs from childhood are California Girls, Paradise City and You Give Love a Bad Name.

She is very close to her older brother, Tony. Her father, Larry, is a former police officer. She is an aunt. She has wanted to be a wife and mother since she was a girl.

Her family seems to have come to terms with her career choice. She brings her father as her date to an adult-video awards ceremony. (It's not the Emmys, but that doesn't mean Dad can't be proud.) There is a long interview with him and her brother.

Tony says in a VH1 interview promoting her book, "Nobody wants their sister to be a stripper, but better for your sister to be a stripper than dead."

She came close several times. Much of Jameson's life was a mess. Her mother died of cancer when she was a toddler, and although her father had good intentions, he worked constantly and was rarely around. He married a woman who was abusive to his children. Jenna and Tony ran free for most of their childhood, spent in Las Vegas; Panama City, Fla.; and Montana.

Jameson experimented sexually at 12 and lost her virginity a few years later when a boy she liked had intercourse with her while she was passed out drunk. Instead of being angry, she was excited and continued to have sex with him. In high school, she was beaten with rocks and gang-raped by boys in another school. She was raped by her longtime boyfriend's uncle. She never reported these incidents, even to her family.

Jameson doesn't have many memories of her mother, but one stood out: She had been a Vegas showgirl, and Jameson wanted to follow in her footsteps. She succeeded by pulling off her braces with pliers in order to look older than 18 for the audition. Jameson was intensely shy, but onstage she became the most uninhibited person in the room. She started stripping shortly after working as a showgirl, on the advice of an abusive on- and off-again boyfriend named Jack, who said she could earn more money.

Early on, she dances for Nicolas Cage, a regular at the Vegas strip club where she works. She also reminisces about sex with freakish rocker Marilyn Manson and a kiss with Bruce Willis.

Her boyfriend was right. Jameson became an astute businesswoman who learned as a teen stripper how to scam men out of a lot of money.

Magazine spreads were next, then adult films, then drugs. She estimates that she has had sex with 60 to 80 men and women.

Although the book is autobiographical, there are also answers to fans' most pressing questions. The interview with a colleague is particularly informative, and he explains how it's possible for men to perform so frequently and on demand.

As for whether she is embarrassed by doing something so intimate in front of millions, Jameson writes, "I have no problem with having sex on camera, but I don't actually like watching myself doing it. It's uncomfortable."

Jameson is one of the few porn stars to cross into the mainstream. She was host of E! Entertainment's Wild On, is a regular on Howard Stern's show and appears in his movie Private Parts. She is the focus of the just-released VH1 special Jenna Jameson's Confessions.

When she met her second husband, Jay Grdina, an adult-movie producer she calls her true love, she stopped having intercourse on camera with anyone but him. That raises the question: How is it possible for her, a woman who has sex for a living, to feel a connection with her husband during sex, having trained herself to disconnect from it for so long?

But Jameson repeatedly writes how much she enjoys sex.

Either it's true or she's a great actress.

Tara Weiss wrote this for the Hartford Courant.






Blonde on blonde on blonde


Saturday, Oct 16, 2004

How To Make Love Like a Porn Star

By Jenna Jameson

HarperCollins, 579 pages, $39.95


Picture This:

Debbie Harry and Blondie

By Mick Rock

Sanctuary, 240 pages, $45.50


Confessions of an Heiress:

A Tongue-in-Cheek Peek

Behind the Pose

By Paris Hilton with Merle Ginsberg

Fireside, 179 pages, $32

Whether or not they will admit it, there are few things that most men simultaneously fear and desire as much as a blond woman with ambition. From Hurricanes Monroe, Bardot and Deneuve to Tropical Storms Madonna, Diana, Love and Bushnell, there's a trail of broken hearts, lost weekends and regrets among the men who dared to try to dominate one. In the sexually seething society we live in, there is something about such a blonde that is instantly iconic -- and hence profitable.

In that vein, Jenna Jameson, the most popular porn star in the world, is looking to turn her limber notoriety into some credit in the straight world. Teaming up with ex-New York Times rock critic Neil Strauss, who also brought pen, and undoubtedly structure, to Motley Crue's riotous autobiography The Dirt and Marilyn Manson's The Long Road Out of Hell, Jameson's How To Make Love Like a Porn Star takes a snake-belly crawl into the cream of the explicit.

As the frescoes of Pompeii demonstrate, sexual imagery is nothing new. What is relatively recent, though, is how much porn has gone mainstream. You can trace a pretty direct line from the release of Linda Lovelace's Deep Throat, in 1972, to today's multi-billion-dollar, multimedia adult entertainment industry.

Once you get past the soft-core pictures in How To Make Love Like a Porn Star and actually read the thing, you realize very quickly that, regardless of what you think of the porn biz, Jenna Jameson is no cliché dumb blonde. The digicam Boudicca may get herself into some sticky situations, but she recognizes, sometimes in more ways than one, that sheer endurance is the key to life, and her ambition is the fuel. Having said that, those seeking tips or fantasy fulfilment based on the title of her book will find they have been suckered by a good pick-up line. This confessional, very much like last year's Underneath It All, the memoir by Traci Lords, another blond porn star, is part diary, part therapy and part settling of scores. If anything, Jameson's book confirms many of the worst stereotypes of the porn industry: the scumbags who work behind the scenes, and the broken homes, rapes, exploitation and appetite for self-destruction of the people in front of the camera. It is a surprisingly sad tale.

Such insights are completely absent for hotel heiress, party girl and reality-show star Paris Hilton in Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Cheek Peek Behind the Pose. In a world where the distinction between lowbrow and highbrow culture has been erased, to even call Heiress a celebrity cash-in is to do a disservice to actual celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Elizabeth Hurley, who really work hard at being nothing but famous.

Hilton is rich, kind of pretty, and shameless, and her book, co-written and co-photographed respectively by Merle Ginsberg and the WireImage Agency, is all about how if you too have those qualities you can also parlay it into B-level stardom. Oddly enough, even the expected kitsch value is absent, and the result is neither fun nor funny.

The worst betrayal of all is that most of Hilton's pictures are simply reprints of red-carpet events and "being whisked into the VIP area" that any self-respecting reader of the National Enquirer has seen a hundred times before. This just isn't news you can use or really be even entertained by.

Picture This, the book with the least text, has the most to say. Legendary rock 'n' roll photographer Mick Rock knows that "the reflective power of the dyed blonde is more potent than the natural," and that a picture is worth 10,000 words if it's the right picture.

Rock's collection of photo shoots of Blondie singer Debbie Harry range from the famous to the distinctly personal, yet they are all informed by a sense of the context around them. Picture This isn't about overt self-exposure, but about time and the nature of fame. In the summer and fall of 1974, as New York City hovered on the abyss of bankruptcy, bands such as the Ramones, Television and Blondie would play to small crowds of friends and fans at a biker bar down in the Bowery called CBGB. Later, thousands would claim they were there when punk rock was born. Later, millions would go on to buy Blondie's records to hear their prophetic mix of punk, power pop, disco and rap, which made them one of the biggest bands of the decade. Thirty years later, in music, fashion and attitude, Debbie Harry lives on.

Like his previous collection, 2001's Blood and Glitter, which looked at the best of Rock's work from the Glam Era of Bowie, T-Rex and Iggy Pop, Picture This plays with the sense of creation, performance and illusion. Onstage or in Rock's studio, the photos are about a time of change and self-creation. Harry took the look of Marilyn Monroe for herself and seduced it on its head into the broken 1970s. Nowadays, when everyone and her sister seems to be a blonde, the meaning in the message becomes a bit meaningless. Not so then; Harry's blonde was instantly appealing but also strong, ambitious, independent and mocking. Simply put, you had no idea what you were getting yourself into.

In the photos of Picture This, punctuated by reflections on the time and the shoots themselves, Harry and Rock mould the simulation of glamour and sex into their own poignant tool. It is a sleight of hand that has often eluded Debbie devotees like Madonna, and one that leaves wet blankets like Britney Spears and Gwyneth Paltrow clueless. The blonde of Debbie Harry was about real ambition, a vivid image of subversion that redefined the blonde, and the constraints that previously encased her.

No matter how hard they try, in the end, every blonde, like every one of us, gets what they are given. Jenna Jameson, no matter how mainstream she goes, will always have infamy. Paris Hilton has the burden of trying to turn being a "never-was" into a "has-been." Debbie Harry has a legacy in which ambition does equal achievement. And, in the end, that's the money shot.

Journalist and broadcaster Dominic Patten is working on his first book, 1972: The First Year of the 21st Century.





Reviewed by Adrian Marks


How to Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale

by Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss

Published by Regan Books

579 pages, 2004

The title is meant to intrigue rather than illuminate. How to Make Love Like A Porn Star. Incautious readers who buy the book based on the title or the illustration of the hard-boiled honey that graces the cover are in for a surprise.

How to Make Love Like A Porn Star isn't a how-to manual for wannabe adult movie starlets though -- truth be told -- readers from that camp would learn a thing or two.

The job of a porn star is not a calling -- or even an option -- for most women. However, if you make the right decisions and set the right boundaries for yourself, it can be a great living, because you'll make a lot of money while doing very little work. And you'll get more experience in front of the camera than a Hollywood actress. Though watching porn may seem degrading to some women, the fact is that it's one of the few jobs for women where you can get to a certain level, look around, and feel so powerful, not just in the work environment but as a sexual being. So fuck Gloria Steinem.

Jenna Jameson is a porn star. Perhaps even the porn star. And despite the title and the occasional pointed advice, How to Make Love Like A Porn Star is not a manual, it's an autobiography. Co-authored with rock writer extraordinaire Neil Strauss (The Dirt with Motley Crüe and The Long Hard Road Out of Hell with Marilyn Manson) Jameson's book is stylishly executed and well paced, a fascinating look at the Jennasis of a beautiful teenager from Las Vegas into the woman with perhaps the most famous breasts -- and other bits -- in the world.

It is not always a comfortable journey. Not surprisingly, Jenna's world has had some rough edges. Raped by the uncle of an early boyfriend, on her return home eight hours after curfew, Jenna didn't tell her father what had happened. Thinking he was losing control of his daughter, her father ousted Jameson from the family home. In desperation, Jameson moved in with the boyfriend -- Jack -- a tattoo artist with connections to biker gangs and other factions of the dark side of Las Vegas.

Though she was too short for the front line, Jameson wanted desperately to be a showgirl, just like her late mother. The schedule was "brutal: eight hours of rehearsal a day and then two shows a night. It was a lot of work and the money was terrible." Jameson didn't last long in part because "Jack knew a way I could make much more money."

Jameson became a stripper. It was what, she said, tattoo artist's girlfriends did. Just 17 when she started, she worked hard to understand the delicate social structure that exists behind the scenes at a strip club and to work the system diligently for the return of cash.

Strippers can be vicious. The mentality is that if these guys are going to victimize us, we're going to totally victimize them right back. It seemed like a fair exchange. And it was character building: I was finally learning to take control of people instead of being so passive in social situations.

While still stripping, a woman approached Jameson and said she might be able to get her into Penthouse.

Suddenly the whole club seemed to fall silent. A blinding white light filled the room and a chorus of angels began to sing somewhere in the background.

And, before long, Jameson was on to phase two in her career: modeling for adult magazines. The transition from magazines to film didn't come as effortlessly. The deadbeat boyfriend Jack -- then still in the picture -- had at least one affair that Jameson could verify. Jameson tried to forgive him but couldn't find it in her.

In the biker and tattoo-artist community, the worst stigma a man can have is if his old lady is sleeping with someone else -- and everyone knows it but him. And the best way for me to do that was on camera.

Though initially fueled by revenge, it was as an adult film star that Jenna Jameson really found her niche. In some circles, she is legendary. New York magazine has called her a cultural icon and Adult Video News says she is the leading adult film star of all time. Jameson writes regular columns for the British, German and American editions of FHM, a magazine that consistently ranks her as one of the 100 most beautiful and sexy women in the world. Now CEO of her own video production, licensing, Internet development and management firm, ClubJenna Inc. Jameson is 30, recently wed and contemplating motherhood.

How to Make Love Like A Porn Star is not for everyone. Certainly some will be flummoxed by Jameson's frank admissions -- the numberless sexual encounters, the drug abuse, the darkness of her youth. But those who leave behind the weight of judgment are in for an entertaining -- and sometimes even enlightening -- read. Some of the book's high readability must, of course, be attributable to Neil Strauss, who has shown many times that he knows the best way to marshal whatever material he's working with. But one can't help but think that Jameson's own light -- and occasionally her early confusion and pain -- shines through here. She emerges as a bright, ambitious and ultimately likable woman who has the good sense not to waste a lot of time on regret. "All the wrong choices I had made," she writes at one point, "served only to ferry me to the right place." | September 2004

Adrian Marks is a January Magazine contributing editor.