“I don’t want anyone I know to see this…”

COLLOQUIUMIn this excerpt from my short work “Colloquium,” former porn actress Christy Kelly (aka “Rebecca Christy”) describes the first time she saw her face on a magazine cover.

“Colloquium” is written in the form of a question-and-answer session in front of a university audience at a lunchtime sociology colloquium (hence the title). For more information on “Colloquium” and to order, click here. 


Moderator (Ross) – (Tell us about) the first time you saw your face on a magazine cover.

Rebecca – Yeah. Well, like Ross said… OK. First of all, I think we all know the mindset and attitude that kind of goes along with being up here (Penn State) as a student, right? It’s what my husband calls the Happy Valley syndrome. You know… they say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but here it’s kind of the opposite of that… that you feel that what happens outside of Happy Valley can’t touch you in here. You know? And I was kind of traveling outside of the gravity of the college to do these shoots and so it always felt like, when I’d get in that car to go do a shoot, that I was kind of driving away from Christy and driving toward Rebecca. So that when I’d get to Gerry’s or down to Harrisburg to do the shoots there–

M – Just to interrupt: Gerry being one of the photographers you worked with.

R – Right. Yeah. Sorry. So anyway, when I’d get away from here, as I was driving I kind of felt Rebecca brain taking over. So that when I got there I’d kind of… I don’t know if “steeled myself” is the right term, but I did feel like I had made a kind of mental shift and sort of psyched myself up for doing this. Right? It’s like I couldn’t have done the shoots in my dorm room (audience laughter) and if college girl Christy had shown up at the shoots, that would have been weird, but Rebecca was totally fine with it.
I have a split personality, don’t I? (audience laughter) 
So what was the question again?

M – The first time you saw your face on a magazine cover.

R – OK. Yeah. So there’d always been that very clear division– Christy and Rebecca. Happy Valley and Adult World. You know? And one of the biggest fears I had when I was doing this stuff at first… I mean, I wasn’t just a student here, but I was a student trainer for the football team. And I was horrified that Coach Paterno would find out somehow, or Jesus Mary Joseph, one of the players would see something or hear something and I would… my cover would be blown, I guess. Right? But I kind of told myself that, again, driving away from campus to do the shoots, Rebecca was out there. Christy was in Happy Valley. Right? And I think only… that first magazine was published, the one that I’d done the first shoot for… it was one of those “College Girls” magazines, called “University Girls USA,” and I had one picture in it. So it’s not like I was the cover girl, and it didn’t give my real name. It said “Rebecca Christy.” And when you looked at the picture, it didn’t look a LOT like the way I looked going out around campus. For one thing, I wasn’t naked… (audience laughter) …but also, the whole look, makeup and hair, all that. Anyway. Even when that magazine came out and it was sold in town and on campus at the bookstores, I felt… I may have gotten a feeling a couple times like “That guy recognizes me from the magazine.” But I still felt pretty anonymous and hidden. And like I said, like that was “out there” and here I was, in Happy Valley. Right? And that was really the only magazine that was published while I was a student.
But… OK. So a couple years go by. I had graduated as an undergrad, I was still living in town. I hadn’t done any work, you know, any shoots, in three or four years, and I was a single mom. And I was leaving town with my daughter to go to Bloomsburg to see my big sister, who, ironically, was one of the few people in my circle who knew what I’d been doing, what I was up to.

M – Or at least whom you’d told.

CityNewsStand016

R – Right. We’ll get to that. So I stopped at this 7-11 near the exit on I80, so I still felt like I was kind of here, and I grabbed some coffee, some gum, you know, and there I am, in my sweats, no sunglasses or any disguise or anything, and as I’m standing there at the counter waiting to check out, I happen to glance at the rack of porn behind the counter and right there on the top shelf was the new issue of “Coed” Magazine with my face big right on the cover. And I mean, my body was behind a wrapper and they had a modesty shield over most of the cover, but there was my face, staring right out at me from the porn rack at the 7-11. I think that… if it wasn’t the first time I’d ever gotten a cover, it was at least the first time I’d ever SEEN myself on a cover. And I just… I felt a little weak-kneed at first, and like “Holy… CRAP!” And I felt my face turning bright red, and then looking at the clerk, the guy in line in front of me, the guy in line behind me, thinking not only did they see it too and they had to recognize me, but almost like I was standing there naked in line right there in front of them. You know? And really… it was all I could do to pay for my stuff and get the heck out of there. And the whole way to my sister’s I was, like, “Oh my God. It’s OUT THERE. What am I going to do?” As if it had never really occurred to me that from all those shoots I’d done, one of them might actually get published and printed on the front of a magazine that I might see for sale.

M – Well, and what you did next was the amazing thing.

R – By amazing you mean “ridiculous”?

M – Well…

R – But it was. I mean… I should say. What I did next was… I thought, “OK. I don’t want anyone I know to see this.” And so I got this… big redhead wig… and big Jackie O sunglasses… (audience laughter) …serious… and I took almost my whole next paycheck, because I was working as a grad assistant at the college, and I went around to all these newsstands, convenience stores, in and around State College, and I bought up that issue of “Coed.” Parked the car out front and let it idle with my daughter in the back seat, and I’d go in, scope out their porn… if they had my issue of “Coed,” I’d buy every copy they had. I think I had thirty seven copies of that magazine in the back seat before I finally thought, “OK, this is really… frickin’ stupid. You know? Obviously I’m going to run out of money before I get every magazine. And I can’t take the time and waste the gas doing this. And what happens if child welfare comes by and finds Maura in the back seat of my idling car with a stack of porn next to her?” (audience laughter) 
This business is great for worst-case scenario thinking.
Anyway, I gave up after 37 copies. And I took them out to a barbecue grill at Bald Eagle and I stuck them in a grocery bag and torched the whole stack.
And now Marty says, “You know, I’ve seen copies of that issue of ‘Coed’ on eBay for thirty bucks a pop.” (audience laughter) Thanks, honey.
But see, that just goes to show–

M – Did you?

R – What?

M – No. Go on ahead. “That just goes to show…”

R – Yeah, well, I was just going to say, that that just goes to show how insulated I felt up here, and how I felt like that activity couldn’t possibly intrude into my little single mom life in Happy Valley. And when it did, it was a shock. It shouldn’t have been, but it was.
And then the thing that followed was: OK, if it’s out there HERE, then it’s out there where my FAMILY is. So THEY might see it. I think that was what really upset me and also made me realize that it was pretty retarded– sorry… some of us still use that word without thinking… pretty ridiculous to think I could actually safely buy up those magazines so that nobody I knew would see it. I mean, where would it end? You know?
That’s all.


For more information on “Colloquium” and to order, click here. 
COLLOQUIUM

“In a theater? Are you kidding?”

What answer do you get when you ask a former porn star which X rated movies she saw in a theater?

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The former porn star is Rebecca Christy, the porn pseudonym used by my character Christy Kelly when she went into “the business.”

This blurb is from one of my current works-in-progress, Rebecca: An Oral History Of A Former Porn Star. The book will be structured as a fictitious oral history, comprised of “first hand accounts” from the characters in the form of interviews, articles, letters, emails, and Facebook posts.

If you want to read some excerpts that have already been published, look for the books Interviews With A Porn Star  and Colloquium: Further Interviews With A Porn Star. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for more information on these two titles. –Max


Q – What X-rated movies did you see in the theater?

RC – None.

Q – None?

RC – In a theater? Are you kidding? I NEVER went to see them in a theater.

Q – Really?

RC – Oh, no. No way. No… those theaters… they were gross. Scary. (laughs) Plus there wasn’t one nearby. I think the nearest one may have been in Mt. Holly, which was 20 miles away, and otherwise you had to go all the way to Harrisburg, to York, or down to The Block, to Baltimore, or Philly. And if there HAD been one in town… I mean, just that it was in town would’ve been enough of a deterrent. I mean, maybe see someone you knew? From church? Some adult? I don’t think so.

Q – So no X rated theaters nearby?

RC – Well, there was one drive-in nearby, at Strinestown, and my friends, my boyfriend and me, we always joked about going, but we never did. Now my SISTER, Kath, SHE went a couple times with her boyfriend– Marty’s big brother, Davy– and she said… (laughs) She said one time that they went, he wanted to walk around the lot and peek in on people screwing in their cars, right? And she said “YOU can. Go on ahead!” And so he did: he got out of the car and went tromping around the lot of this drive-in while the movie was playing, looking in peoples’ car windows, while Kath sat in her VW with the doors locked and the windows up, watching this movie that, in her words, was just this dick going in and out of a pussy the size of a house.

Well, she starts to nod off waiting for him to get back, and just as she’s about to fall asleep, she hears this commotion outside and then this pounding on the window: “Kath! Get the door! Come on!” It was Davy, and he’d peeked into the wrong car window, apparently, and the guy he saw jumped out and started chasing after him. So Kath lets him in and he gets the door locked just as this guy makes it to the car and starts pounding on the window. “I’m gonna KILL you, you little son-of-a-bitch!” Trying to get in or break the windows, right? Well, Davy’s all shrunken down in his seat, Kath said, like he’s gonna crap himself, and Kath was like “Fuck me,” and she unlocks her door and stands up and looks at this guy and says “Do you wanna know who my father is?” And this guy froze like he didn’t wanna find out, and he went back to his car. Kath said “That was the closest I ever came to playing the ‘Daddy’s in the senate’ card.”

Anyway… yeah. I never went. But I kinda wish I had. I always felt like I missed out on all the fun.


 

There are two volumes of Interviews With A Porn Star…

INterviews coverFront cover v 5

 

Interviews With A Porn Star (left) 

and

Colloquium: Further Interviews With A Porn Star (right).

 

 

Both of these are excerpts from my work-in-progress Rebecca: An Oral History of a Porn Star.

For more information on these works and to read further excerpts, click here.

(Confused? Read this post about the timeline in my books and stories…)

 

 

“The unspoken message of porn” — An excerpt from “Colloquium”

Front cover v 5One of my works-in-progress, one that has been placed on the back burner the last couple years, is a novel that brings several of the characters in my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson into adulthood. Rebecca: The Oral History of a Former Porn Star will tell the story of Christy Kelly’s foray into adult entertainment, first as an undergrad at Penn State in the 80s, then as a single mom struggling through grad school in the 90s, and finally as a grown woman returning to the business as an “amazing MILF stripper.” (It didn’t take me long to learn the lingo of the business.)

I’ve written much of the story via Christy’s Facebook page, but every now and then, I’ll have a burst of creativity and crank out a piece of writing that’s too long to be contained in a Facebook post or even “memo.”

And that’s what my new Kindle short, Colloquium, is. The premise is that a professor in the Penn State sociology department has been interviewing the recently-retired Christy (Rebecca) for a book he’s writing about the industry, and invites her to appear as a featured speaker in a department lunchtime colloquium series. Colloquium is just a “transcript” of that question-and-answer session, with Christy taking questions from a moderator and from audience members in front of a live audience.

Of course, if all of the questions were softball questions, pieces like this would be easy for me to write… but in a university setting, it only makes sense that a former porn star would get grilled about whether or not her experiences “reinforce the connection between sexual violence and porn.”

In this excerpt, right after answering a question about first being date raped as an undergrad and then later being approached sexually by a family member– men who “knew about Rebecca” and tried to use Christy’s porn career as an “I know you want it” excuse for their behavior– Christy fields and does her best answering the inevitable question.


Moderator – We have another question?

Question – Yeah, hi. And I guess what I wanted to ask really ties directly into what you were just talking about, which is pornography and rape culture. I know a lot of people in the business say that they don’t really condone that, but isn’t what you just talked about… doesn’t that kind of reinforce the connection between sexual violence and porn?  (applause)

Rebecca – No. I think it reinforces the connection between assholes and porn. (audience laughter) I mean, seriously. These were… the guy who came at me, and not to speak badly of an extended family member, but… they were both kind of jerks who were looking for an excuse to behave badly. And they used Rebecca as an excuse to, you know…

Just… no. Whatever the message of what I did was, it wasn’t “you can fuck me any time you want, even if I say I don’t want to.” (applause) You know?

Q – But the unspoken message of porn seems to be that women are available and subservient–

516146381R – I don’t know if that’s true. All I know is that in order for me to be available for Tom, the guy who date raped me, he first had to get me drunk on screwdrivers and a couple glasses of grain alcohol fruit punch, and then literally push me down and get on top of me. I don’t know how that’s sending him a message that I was available or subservient.

Q – But in your porn, wasn’t that the unspoken message?

R – No. Not that I’m aware of. Basically we just got in front of the camera and screwed. There was no message to it. The message was “Hey! This’ll get you off.”

Q – But don’t you think–

R – I don’t think there was any… I’m sorry. Don’t I think what?

Q – Don’t you think that the way that women are depicted in porn puts them in a degraded or subservient position?

R – No, not necessarily. I think it really depends on what porn you watch. I mean, clearly you’re dealing with an entertainment form that’s divorced from reality in a lot of ways. Reality, as far as good sex goes between a healthy happy couple, is nothing like porn. And if the point in a lot of porn seems to be that the women do whatever the men want them to, it’s probably because the intended audience is men who can’t find a woman to do what they want them to. (audience laughter) You know?

I’m not making excuses and I can’t speak for all porn. But I never felt like I was in a subservient or degraded position. Only one time did a shoot ever get out of hand like that, and it really didn’t get out of hand because I gave the safe sign and stopped it, and we all took a breath and reined it back in.

M – It might help if you told what the safe sign is.

R – Yeah. Right. Sorry. In a shoot, if you feel like the action is getting out of hand, there’s a signal you give and when the director sees it, he stops the action, no questions asked. I think that’s pretty standard. I don’t know if everyone calls it a safe sign, but that was what Roger and Gerry called it. And in all the shoots I did, I only ever had to do that once. That’s over sixty shoots and only one time I felt like I was out of my comfort zone, meaning that I felt the way you said, like I was being… well, maybe not degraded, but I felt like it was getting out of hand and that the guy in question needed to take a time out.

I just… I don’t mean to punt, but I really don’t feel like I can address the larger world of porn. I hate to sound like that, because really, doing this sort of chat, I feel like that’s what I’m expected to do. Answer questions. But I can’t, really, speak to any experience except my own. And I never felt degraded or anything like that. I was a consenting adult with eyes wide open.

M – But did it bother you what people might think once it was out there?

R – No. It seems to me that there are two kinds of people when it comes to this. They either get off on it, or they don’t…. Those who like it can’t understand for the life of them why those who don’t like it, what their hangup is. And people who don’t like it will find every reason in the world to justify not liking it. Usually it’s an intellectual or a philosophical reason, which, of course, is as far away from sexual feeling as you can probably get. You’re not going to rationalize anything having to do with sex, or sexual desire.

I get the objections. But I never felt them and I certainly never felt the way you’re saying. If I had, I wouldn’t have participated.

M – But part of her question is whether or not it encourages that sort of thinking societally?

hooters_protestR – Well, societally, and in pop culture in particular, I think there are bigger problems than the overt sex in porn. (applause) I mean, really. A lot of people have the attitude that this woman is asking about and they’ve never seen a bit of porn. Did all these people who voted for Donald Trump knowing he said that about grabbing a woman’s pussy and they were still perfectly all right with him becoming President… did THEY all get their attitudes about how to treat women from porn? (applause) So where do they get it? Not just from TV, advertising, movies, pop culture, but all sorts of places that don’t go anywhere NEAR porn. Parents, family… professional sports… as a recovering Catholic, let me add “religion”… I mean… (applause) And none of these present themselves as being harmful to women… in fact most of them would say “Oh, WE’RE not anything like porn… ” But meanwhile either they take you as close to the line as they can get or the poison is so embedded in the message that you can’t discern it. (applause)

Hip Hop culture… not to pick on hip hop, but a lot of what I hear from that music and culture is misogynistic in a more disturbing way than any porn is. (applause) Because… look… porn is what it is. It’s doesn’t pretend to be anything but explicit sexual entertainment. It’s not pretending to be wholesome or nice or whatever. You know, porn doesn’t start out as an episode of “The Waltons” and then all of a sudden there’s a gangbang. (audience laughter)

M – Actually, in the 70s, that movie might have gotten made. (audience laughter)

R – (laughs) But you get what I’m saying? With porn you know what you’re getting. It’s not veiling the sex or anything that comes with the sex. It says that it’s sexually explicit entertainment and that’s what it is and it’s not pretending to be anything else. And I don’t have a problem with that. I DO have a problem with entertainment that professes to be something else and yet it’s really about that. I think THAT’S where you need to look. Because adult entertainment is what it is and what it’s always been. Movies and pictures of sex. Period. I don’t think anyone expects anything else. The problem with the other stuff is that THAT’S the stuff that tries to normalize the attitudes that she’s talking about. (applause)

Even innocent places. I mean, a couple days ago Marty was playing this old Everly Brothers record, “Don’t Blame Me.” And I mean, it’s a sweet song and all… (sings) “Don’t blame me, for falling in love with you.” You know?

M – You have a beautiful singing voice.

R – Well, maybe that’s next. Anyway… he was playing this song, and I never thought of the words… but he sang “Don’t blame me, for forcing myself on you.” (audience laughter) You know? I mean, obviously that wasn’t what they were singing, but the whole theme of the song is “I love you and I want you and I can’t help it.” Well… take that to the nth degree. Now is that song porn? And yet you hear that attitude in popular entertainment and our culture, society all the time. “It’s not my fault she’s so damned hot.” You know? It’s the whole thinking behind the burqa. Guys can’t be held responsible, so girls, cover up! (applause) That’s not porn, is it? It’s our whole… freakin’ culture.

So I’d say: of course you find it in porn. But maybe that’s not the place you should be looking for it.

M- You know…

R – I just…you know, there’s one other thing too, and that’s… the other thing that the “porn depicts women as subservient to men” thing tends to overlook is that really, the nature of a LOT of porn, the trap of it, as I’m sure Marty could tell you, is that it makes you think that you CAN get any kind of sex you want at any time. And that’s not because the women are being depicted as subservient so much as it’s just so easy to get into the mindset of sex not being an interaction, but a voyeur-exhibitionist thing. You know? And that you can kind of dial in what you want and just get it. You know? Think of how most people look for porn. Type in “lesbians”? Yeah. Busty teens? Yeah. Busty teen lesbians? Yeah. I mean… THAT’S even too general. “I want to see a busty blonde milf strip outdoors and then piss in public and then finger herself till she cums.” You know? You just type that into Redtube or Planetsuzy, and there you’ll have page after page of search results, probably. Including a couple of mine. (audience laughter)

But ask most busty blonde wives if they’ll do that and see what reply you get.

I know Ross and I have talked about this and I think once again, and I bet this pisses a few feminists off, but… to me that’s just another example of how, when you really think about it, the ones who get exploited in porn aren’t the women who perform in it, but the people who view it addictively. The producers have those people right where they want them. I would guess that a lot of the people who are hooked on porn probably are very isolated and don’t have any truly intimate emotional relationships, because porn has given them a warped sense of what sex and relationships are about.

Q – So basically you’re agreeing with me.

R – No, because what you’re saying is that the type of sex that’s shown in porn necessarily depicts women as subservient and that’s the problem. Right?

Q – Yes.

R – Well, what I’m saying is that to someone who’s addicted to it, the very fact of the nature of porn–not the CONTENT of it, but the sort of “I can see whoever I want doing whatever I want whenever I want” dynamic of it, especially since online porn took over… THAT is what’s warped and what makes a person’s understanding of all these things skewed. Sex, relationships, men, women, human nature. The on-demand expectation that someone gets from porn. That’s how porn isn’t like real sex. Real sex is a communication and a negotiation, like any aspect of a relationship. There’s none of that in the REAL relationship in porn, which is not between the people on the screen, but between the people on the screen and the viewer. Or the user. I have a counselor friend who insists that people who watch porn are users the same as an alcoholic or a heroin addict.

I don’t know if I gave the answer you were looking for, but…

Q – No. I mean, it’s OK. Thanks.

R – Sure. (applause)

Look, the other thing… as far as encouraging someone to… you know. She said that my experience kind of ties into the connection between porn and sexual violence. And even as someone who had that perpetrated on her, I don’t agree. Really… I think someone who already thinks that way might be inclined to use it as an excuse. But in the end they’ve got to take responsibility for their own actions. (applause) I mean, Tom, the guy who date raped me, or my brother in law saying that they knew about Rebecca, that I’d done porn, and therefore they figured that meant I wanted it… I mean, that’s just kind of a poor excuse, isn’t it? I mean, really… if someone does that to a woman and then they say, “Well, the porn made me do it.” Oh, really?

I mean, it’s like my counselor friend after this happened. “Christy, with Tom it had nothing to do with Rebecca. If this had happened three years ago, it would have been about how much he liked seeing you in your bathing suit. If it’d happened two years ago, it would have been about your short nudie skirts.” You know? Blaming something on the outside. Which is really like the thinking that says it’s up to a woman to prevent rape by not looking hot. Which… that’s bullshit. Sorry. (applause)

Anyway… really. Thanks for asking the question. I don’t know if that’s the answer you wanted, but… praise Jeebus. (audience laughter) Is that all?

Q – Yeah… thanks.

R – No, thank you. I think it’s something that needs to be asked and discussed, but I would just say: broaden your field of vision. If you want to find the problems with societal attitudes about sex and violence toward women, you might find some answers in porn. But think about the number of people who really watch porn compared to, oh, I don’t know, mainstream movies or TV or hip hop or whatever. That’s where you’ll find the really disturbing answers, I think. Advertising. I mean, targeting porn is easy. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course you’ll hit something. Go broader. That’s what I’d say.

Anyway. I’m done answering now. (audience laughter) How much time do we have left?

M – Still twenty-five minutes.

R – Good. This is fun. And I liked that question. Don’t think I mind you asking that. Jesus Mary Joseph, if you only knew how many times I still ask myself stuff like that. So I hope I’m not making excuses.

M – I thought you said you were done answering that one.

R – I am now. OK? Next…


Colloquium is now available as an eBook in Amazon’s Kindle store.

 For more information on Colloquium and to read a free preview edition of the story, click here.

INterviews coverColloquium is actually the second book of excerpts from this work in progress. The first book, Interviews With A Porn Star, was published in 2013. Click here for information about that book. 

New eBook: “Colloquium: Further Interviews With A Porn Star”

Front cover v 5One of my works-in-progress, a work that I’ve placed on the back burner the last couple years, is a novel that brings several of the characters in my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson into adulthood.

Rebecca: The Oral History of a Former Porn Star will tell the story of Christy Kelly’s foray into adult entertainment, first as an undergrad at Penn State in the 80s, then as a single mom struggling through grad school in the 90s, and finally as a grown woman returning to the business as an “amazing MILF stripper.” (It didn’t take me long to learn the lingo of the business.) I’ve written much of the story via Christy’s Facebook page, but every now and then, I’ll have a burst of creativity and crank out a piece of writing that’s too long to be contained in a Facebook post or even “memo.”

And that’s what my new eBook, Colloquium, is. The premise is that a professor in the Penn State sociology department has been interviewing the recently-retired Christy (Rebecca) for a book he’s writing about the industry, and invites her to appear as a featured speaker in a department lunchtime colloquium series.

Colloquium is a transcript of that question-and-answer session, and is actually the second book of excerpts from this work in progress. The first book, Interviews With A Porn Star, was published in 2013. Click here for information about that book. 

Since Rebecca will be structured as a fictitious oral history, I will no doubt be mining Colloquium for quotes and blurbs that will be used in the finished work. Thus, as with the previous Interviews book, in a sense, Colloquium constitutes both a rough draft of a work-in-progress, and “source material” for that finished work.

Colloquium is now available as an eBook.

To buy a copy of the PDF e-book (readable on any device without loss of formatting), click here.

To buy a copy of the Kindle book, click here. 

 

 

“Do you ever feel like you’re too old? I don’t think you ARE…” (explicit)

968962_587819084571659_790040646_nExcerpt from a work-in-progress

One of the two novels I’m drafting right now is entitled Rebecca: An Oral History of a Former Porn Star. 

The book will be assembled as a fictitious oral history, structured so that the story is told through multiple character reminiscences (often differing points-of-view of the same events). The raw material for these reminiscences is character “interviews,” which I’ll edit down and assemble to form a narrative.

(Some of these “interviews” have been published, under the title “Interviews with a Porn Star,” ISBN 978-1494265519).

This piece is an interview with the title character, Rebecca, a 54-year-old former porn star who started doing stripclub appearances at age 52. If she sounds a little familiar, it’s because she’s Christy from my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson. She’s been doing appearances at a local “private gentlemen’s club” called Back Room (“What happens in the Back Room stays in the Back Room”), but also teaching a striptease and exotic dance class at the local community center…

———————

Rebecca – Something I’ve just been thinking about, that just… it hit me a couple Mondays ago with the striptease class. I just remember standing up there, we were working with veils… I was teaching them a little bit of bellydancing, right? And as I’m standing here watching these ladies whip these colorful veils around in the air, I looked at the one girl, who really IS a girl, just 22, you know, and she’s about four months pregnant so she’s got this teeny little bump just starting to show. And I’m looking at her rubbing this veil back and forth across her belly, smiling, like she’s thinking of that baby inside her, and I just… something about seeing her do that made me think “Wow, O.K. You know, my time is done now.” You know? It was just a flash. But it was a strong feeling.

Q – When was this?

R – Third class, so, like, two weeks ago.
And then afterwards, we all… these girls, these women, even though they’re PAYING me to take this class, still, they always insist on taking me out to the diner afterwards, and we all get this big table in the back room– Back Room, I just thought of THAT… isn’t THAT funny?– but in the back room of this place, and we sit and have a late supper and we talk and laugh and all that. Right? Just fun. But it always seems to turn into grilling me… you think these INTERVIEWS are putting me on the spot? (laughs) Anyway, so this Monday night… one of these women, she’s about 35, I’d say, Leanne… just a beautiful woman, with this wavy reddish brown hair but also these kind of tired, sad eyes. Scared eyes, kind of. Like she can’t quite figure out what she’s doing there but there she is, right? I figured she’s one of those people like Marty, you know, who kind of sits there in a group looking like he’s off in his own world, but then he’ll speak up and you realize he’s been right there all along, and you want to say “Put yourself out there more,” right? Anyway, when we all introduced ourselves in the first class and I asked the women why they were taking the class, she said “I just want to put on some moves for my boyfriend.” Right? That’s what I figured most of the women were there for. That’s what most of them say. But you know… she was just a LITTLE red in the face when she said that, and I kind of suspected there was more going on. Like Marty. Right? More going on in there than what he’s LETTING on.
So this night in the diner, we’re talking and they’re grilling me, “how did you get into this? How did you get into doing porn? How did you get up the nerve to pose nude in the first place?” And I went through it all, you know, seeing the ads on campus, thinking “That might be fun,” the human sexuality classes and my study sessions with Eddie– they loved THAT: “What class is that again?” You know? But basically telling them how all of these things together just made it kind of feel right, and from there (laughs) it was kind of a slippery slope.
10603859_666659886795947_1744543580198717220_oAnyway, I said, “But still, if someone told me in high school that I’d be 54 years old and stripping at a men’s club as a former porn star, I don’t think I would have thought that it FELT the way that it feels.”
Well, Leanne just sits forward and blurts out “Do you ever feel like you’re too old?” And her face got REALLY red, and she said “Just asking. I don’t think you are.” And I said “No… I like it, it’s fun, I love the charge of it, I love the sexual performance, same as doing shoots but this is in front of a crowd so you get THAT energy,” blah blah blah, all that. Right?
And I don’t think she was SAYING “you’re too old for this,” but… somehow… that’s how it felt. That I was too old, and why am I doing this? Right? So there was that.
Anyway… THAT got me thinking about the first time I’d really felt that way, the last time I stripped at Back Room, December, about how something about it just didn’t feel… it felt OFF. You know? And I realized as I was telling them this that that was the first time I’d really really felt like it WASN’T right, like maybe I WAS too old. ”
WE talked about this, right?

Q – Not really.

R – “Not really.” Fuck! (laughs) So I have to go through it for you. O.K. Well, I might as well just tell YOU what I told them, which is basically…
(deep breath)
O.K. When I came back to do the videos in the late 80s and I was just doing the pay cable stuff, you know, the videos on the local cable systems for Gerry… at that point, Maura was in grade school, I was a single mom working on my masters and trying to scrape by on just an assistantship and my share of some insurance money that we kids got when Daddy died. And I could have gotten some crappy office job but I didn’t want to do that, but I NEEDED the money. So that… what I made from those videos, those shoots, it really helped me get through those few years in a practical way, financially, so in that way, I needed to do it.
But then there was ALSO… I kind of realized after the fact that at that point in my life, there was a part of me that ALSO needed… I needed to NOT FEEL like this 32-year-old single mom struggling through grad school. You know? In all that I was doing I just felt so constrained and stressed out in so many ways– SCARED in a lot of ways– and doing those shoots, that was just… I was going to say “desperation,” but what it was was this huge shot of FREEDOM. Right? It made me feel like myself, in a way… which is weird: in order to feel more like myself, I felt like I had to be this persona, be Rebecca. Do this thing. But I NEEDED that feeling I got from being Rebecca. Right?
O.K…. so that was years ago, I got through that, I’m with Marty now, that’s what I tell myself, right? I don’t NEED to do it, it’s just fun, it’s extra money, all that… but still… I found myself kind of feeling compelled to inhabit that persona in ways that had nothing at all to do with performing. Going on Facebook and actually chatting, sexting with fans I’d met on there, taking selfies and sending them to people and getting myself off while we sexted.

Q – Really?

R – Yeah.

Q – Did Marty know?

R – Oh, Marty knows everything. I tell him everything. And I made it sound like, “oh, it’s just Rebecca being Rebecca, performing,” but, I mean, I did that a couple times and I thought “Fuck. What was THAT? That was NOT performing.” Right? It was just… it went over any line I’d EVER gone near as a PERFORMER, and when I thought about it, I could tell… I could feel that there was something there that I had to take a look at. It was exactly the same feeling I felt when I used to do the shoots when Maura was little and I was scraping money together in grad school. Like I needed to do this for other reasons that had nothing to do with the money.
So meanwhile… the last couple months, as I’m doing THAT, Maggie is starting to wonder, ask questions… she’s ALWAYS wondered, always asked questions. But her questions seemed to have more of a tone– and maybe this was just because I knew I was doing something more than just going and stripping at the club– they seemed to have a tone of “Why are you even doing this?” Not “Why did you ever do it?” but “why ARE you doing this?” And she never asked that question in that way specifically, in those words, but in my mind, I felt like it was always what ~ I ~ came back to. So there was that. “Doesn’t Dad mind you doing this?” No, he’s totally supportive, I say, after I’ve snuck up to the bedroom, to our bathroom, and locked the door and stripped down and taken a selfie for a fan and then made myself cum texting with him. With HER.
Right?
319878_382213558465547_695924174_nWell, the thing that got me, finally, was the show over Christmas, doing that show the weekend after. I flew solo, because Marty had to go up to New York City for the Pinstripe Bowl. It was just… it’s like all these things converged that made me really take a look at all this and question it and how it fit into my life. They kept asking me if I was going to do anything over Christmas break, which is a big money time, tip wise, all that… and I kept putting them off, because we didn’t know… it looked like Penn State MIGHT be going to a bowl game, but nothing had been finalized, and, I mean, he’s with the band, so if he was going to a bowl game, that meant WE were going to a bowl game. Right? And I didn’t want that to conflict. So finally, Penn State is bowl eligible, but just barely, and Marty’s and my thinking was, we didn’t have a good enough season to be in a really good bowl game, so it’ll PROBABLY be the weekend or the week BEFORE Christmas. I mean, six-and-six teams do NOT go to major bowl games. We figured it’d be that week before Christmas, something like the Sonic Burger Bowl (laughs), you know? Third or fourth tier. So I called Back Room and I said “Let’s make it the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s. Saturday the 27th.” Right? Well, then the bowl bids get announced, and what was ours? The Pinstripe Bowl, Yankee Stadium, on the Saturday after Christmas. The 27th.
Well, I felt like I couldn’t back out… I’d already held them up for too long. And Marty CERTAINLY couldn’t back out of HIS commitment, I mean, for all different sorts of reasons.
So I just said, “Hey, look, no problem… I’ll just fly solo… Nina can come along with me. She’ll look out for me.” Because of course I didn’t want Marty to worry about me making that trip alone.
But in my mind that wasn’t the big concern. The big concern was Maggie. It wasn’t… of course, obviously she couldn’t come with ME to the club, but somehow it didn’t feel right to make her stay at home with a sitter. And Marty was like, “Oh, no problem, she can travel with me, we’ll have a nice father-daughter time in New York City, it’ll be fun.” Right? So that was what he did… they went up on that Friday, and I stayed back Friday and Saturday and did the Back Room gig… went with Nina.
And like I said… that whole weekend… it just felt WRONG. And I mean, I made more money that night than I EVER made stripping there– jeez, I made the twelve-hundred dollars PLUS another eleven-hundred-eighty-six in tips. Right? Twenty-three, almost twenty-four hundred bucks, right?
But I just felt awful, like I was missing something with my family– with Maggie– that was really special and would never be again. I kept thinking of the last time we went to New York City, and we went up the Empire State Building and all the things we did, and now yeah, she was having special time with her dad… but there I was, doing what? Stripping. At age 54.
I just thought “This is it.”
I just remember after the show was over and I’d stripped and did lap dances and posed and pretend-cum for four hours, fun, but in the back of my mind the whole time thinking that those two were up there as a FAMILY… and I just… Nina and I got in the car to drive home and I opened the envelope and started counting the money, and she was there watching me, and she laughed and said, “Jesus, Chris, I feel like you just robbed a bank.”
And I just… I broke down and started crying. And I said “I wish I HAD robbed a bank. Then I’d get arrested.” You know? And I just said “I should be up there with them. This is wrong. I missed them… (laughs) missed a great game. Fuck. You know? This is just wrong. What am I doing, anyway?”
And then the other thing that happened that night that I just thought of. I’d just come in and I was in the dressing room putting my gear on… (laughs) It’s GEAR. It’s not an outfit. It’s GEAR. Anyway, one of the girls, she comes in, Flash is her name, this redhead. Kind of reminds me of my sister Betsy. She’s NOT a kid…probably mid 30s, maybe? Anyway, she sees me and comes in and gives me this big hug and kisses my face, and goes “I’m so glad you’re here, Rebecca. I don’t feel like an old lady anymore.”

Q – (laughs) THAT’S nice.

R – (laughing) She was horrified as soon as she said it. “Omigod! I’m so sorry, Rebecca. I didn’t mean it like THAT. YOU know what I meant.”
And I DID know what she meant, but… then when I thought about it afterwards, I really started feeling exactly what she thought I thought she meant.
Yeah.


INterviews coverInterviews With A Porn Star by Max Harrick Shenk…

…gathers five unedited character “interviews” which will serve as some of the raw material for my upcoming novel Rebecca: An Oral History Of A Former Porn Star

For more information on this book, click here.

 

“I’ve done that for money”

Excerpt from a work-in-progress

One of my w3orks in progress is a fictitious oral history entitled Rebecca: An Oral History of a Former Porn Star. “Rebecca” is Rebecca Christine Kelly, Christy from my novels You Don’t Think She Is and Meeting Dennis Wilson and other works. The book will be structured in the same way as a genuine oral history, with multiple character voices telling the story from different perspectives.

In this excerpt, a coworker of Christy’s tells how “Rebecca” sometimes sneakily made guest appearances at Christy’s job (at the time, aquatics director at her local YMCA). 

To read other excerpts from Rebecca on this blog, click here... 

…or click here for information on a limited edition book of “interviews” that I’ll be incorporating into the book.


Renee Swanson ::  So back when she was aquatics director at the Y, we had this board meeting about the pool. And Chris had told me about Rebecca, so I knew, and I’m pretty sure the director of the Y knew, too. Chris always said “I saved them the trouble of a background check,” so I figured anyone who needed to know knew, and that was the end of it. It was in her past, that was that. Right?

So at this meeting, one of several agenda items was that there were a couple rich and influential Penn State football alumni who were considering a donation, and Chris’s attitude was, “Look, if they want to give, let them give freely, but I’m not gonna beg them.”

But this one board member kept pushing it… and finally he said to Chris, “You know, you really don’t want to blow it with these two.”

And Chris, straightfaced said, “Why not? I’ve done that for money.”

Of course she’s got a straight face, so it went right over this guy’s head, or at least I think it did, but I got the giggles and I had to leave the room. And when I got back, it was on to other business. But she would do that, say stuff like that, and you’d think “Did I just hear that? Did she just say that to this guy? This board member? At a meeting? Nohhh!”

I said, “You’re going to get in trouble” and she said “Did he get me to call those two?” (she shakes her head no) “O.K.! See?”

 

Christy ::  I was usually not that blatantly inappropriate to a board member. But sometimes, like that time, there just came a point where someone had to shut them up and stop them pushing. And I’m not the kind of person who says “Look, shut the hell up and stop pushing me.” Not directly, anyway.

I’m pretty sure it went right over his head. I hated that job, but I loved moments like that.

 


INterviews coverInterviews With A Porn Star by Max Harrick Shenk…

…gathers five unedited character “interviews” which will serve as some of the raw material for my upcoming novel Rebecca: An Oral History Of A Former Porn Star

For more information on this book, click here.

“That’s Christy Kelly! … IS that Christy Kelly?!”

Author Max Harrick Shenk reads an excerpt from a work-in-progress: Rebecca: An Oral History of a Former Porn Star. 

A performance by author Max Harrick Shenk of an excerpt from a work-in-progress, Rebecca: An Oral History of a Former Porn Star.

In this excerpt, Marty Morone, a high school friend of Christy’s (Rebecca) and her future husband, describes the moment that he first saw Christy on the cover of a magazine.

 


INterviews coverInterviews With A Porn Star by Max Harrick Shenk…

…gathers five unedited character “interviews” which will serve as some of the raw material for my upcoming novel Rebecca: An Oral History Of A Former Porn Star

For more information on this book, click here.