Unreal

06.21.13

This is What Actual Porn Stars Think of Celebrity Sex Tapes

Celebrity sex tapes that ‘accidentally’ leak? Yeah, right. The people who really do have sex on camera for a living dish on why these tapes are stupid—but inevitable. By Richard Abowitz

In 1855, when Walt Whitman wanted to rejoice in his body beautiful, he wrote “Song of Myself.” A little more than 150 years later, when Farrah Abraham, a marginal celebrity from reality shows, proclaimed a desire to “celebrate” her recently surgically augmented “awesome” body, she did so by making a sex tape with porn star James Deen.

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"The original celebrity sex tape was the one with Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee... that one was more of a fluke than the ones going on today." (Lennox McLendon/AP)

In recent years the celebrity sex tape has become a standard way for the fading D-List stars to cash in on a 16th minute. With “Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom," Abraham joined an illustrious group that includes Nadya Suleman (aka Octomom), figure skater Tonya Harding, “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher, and WWF star Chyna.

So many celebrity sex tapes are now on the market that some of the harshest critics are actually the professional porn stars who have started to take notice of the competition. After reports claimed Abraham was paid $1.5 million for her scene with Deen, porn star Dana DeArmond tweeted: “Ugh!  I should've gotten famous for being an idiot and then done porn instead of the other way around.”

Then, in June, when Abraham appeared indifferent and out of place at an adult convention, many in the industry gloated. Kristina Rose took to Twitter to mockingly send out photos from the convention floor of herself and her friends making faces with “teen mom” pointedly in the background.

But quips on Twitter aside, porn stars tend to have nuanced and varied views of celebrity sex tapes.

Jessica Drake, a Wicked Pictures contract performer and sex educator, has followed the celebrity sex tape phenomenon and was among those excited by it back in the day—meaning around 1995. “The original one was the Pam Anderson sex tape. I know that one was more of a fluke than the ones going on today. That was celebrities who really did make this private homemade sex tape. It was something that people were really interested in,” Drake says. “Now it is not an accidental thing. It is something that is so incredibly contrived that you have these people with these floundering careers and their PR people are actually suggesting that they make these sex tapes. Then you have companies that are offering pseudocelebrities a certain amount of money to make sex tapes. ”

“It is the cheapest and stupidest trick when they are pretending they aren’t porn stars.”

Drake was an adviser on the Octomom tape that was filmed in her house and ultimately distributed by Wicked. She says she wasn’t enthusiastic about the project at first, but at least it didn’t have the pretense of being leaked. “I didn’t really know how I felt about the whole situation. But I just kept quiet because I had my own preconceived notions about her as a person in the beginning. But the fact is I was judging her and I try not to do that.”

Drake says part of her feels bad for the Octomoms of this world. “That someone can make a career out of making a horrible decision in their life whether it is having 14 kids or having a child at 16 years of age isn’t great,” she says, adding that unlike the fleeting nature of mainstream fame, porn stays with you forever. “They are now branded as a porn star even if they don’t plan on doing anything else. It may have worked for Kim Kardashian, but she is an anomaly. Newsflash: there are a lot of other factors in play. And, that is not going to happen for anyone else who jumps on that bandwagon. For people who think they are going to maximize their career by shooting porn, it doesn’t work that way.”

If there is one aspect of the celebrity sex tape phenomenon that does gall the day-job porn performers it is the suggestion that these are private tapes that somehow leaked. The porn industry is regulated by laws that require certain paperwork be in place before a scene is shot—making it hard for a truly accidental video to hit the market.

As porn star Kayden Kross puts it: “I think every time a celebrity accidentally releases a sex tape it is amazing the mainstream media hasn’t picked up on what a lie that is….To me it is the cheapest and stupidest trick when they are pretending they aren’t porn stars. When you do a scene with James Deen on purpose, well, that is what I did for my third scene; we are on the same career track.” And, if that weren’t enough, Kross considers the issue evident from the tapes. “Look at it! No one has sex like that with all those exact right angles for the camera and not a single weird face.”

Still, she says, the celebrity sex tape is probably here to stay, another example of how the lines between porn and mainstream are increasingly crossing. “You see shows these days on places like HBO that don’t need to worry about advertisers and it is always more racy. And then you have porn doing its little best to come up to mainstream quality. So celebrities using porn as a launch pad will only further bridge that gap.”

As if to underline the point of the constant back and forth, in September, a porn interpretation of the Kim Kardashian sex tape will be part of “Keeping up with Kiara Mia.” Star Mia notes that she chose not to imitate one area in which the Kardashian tape to her was clearly an amateur effort: sex skills. Mia says, “I don’t think it is her best performance.” As for her reenactment, Mia abandoned imitation: “The sex is all me.”

In the end, most porn performers accept that regardless of the quality of the sex, or the fraudulence of the presentation, celebrity sex tapes have become a permanent genre in their industry. As porn mogul Joanna Angel puts it: “People will always want to see someone naked who shouldn’t be.”