Until recently, there simply was no feature-length porn I liked. No porn actresses I found myself attracted to.
I’m a guy – I like porn. I like images and videos of people having sex. I like seeing people come. But as I’ve written elsewhere, there’s very little of mainstream porn, of feature-length porn, that appeals to me. Like every male of my vintage, I had my crushes – Marilyn Chambers and Seka first, then Traci Lords.
But mainstream porn never was meant for the likes of me, and by the time Jenna Jameson was ascendant, I was pretty much done. The dominance of the pneumatic blonde was the final straw – on top of the unrealistic sex, the ridiculously theatrical sound effects, the dominance of LA mansions, I simply couldn’t bear to watch women whose tits didn’t move when they had sex pretend to have orgasms with men to whom they pretended they were attracted.
But then, a few years ago, things started to change. First, Joanna Angel and her Burning Angel films were a bit of a revelation. On the one hand, it wasn’t sex that resonated for me, and it wasn’t women (or men) I found particularly attractive: all the ink was a turn-off to me, and there was something that rubbed me the wrong way about the militancy, the violence, with which the actors and actresses went at each other. It was almost as if they were proving something, rather than just having fun.
And/but: they were having fun. Clearly. This was exciting to me. The idea that porn could actually include not just sex, but sex that the people having it were enjoying.
And then came Sasha Grey. I don’t remember when I first saw her, but I remember the first scene that really stuck in my mind. It was this one:
There was something about her in this – the fact that (to gullible me) the interview part of the clip seemed so authentic, so real, primarily – and about her partner, Danny Wylde, and his utterly unconventional porniness (later seen and raised by James Deen – that really got me turned on.
And the sex…. the animal, raw, desire. The way she let him throw her around, the way her desire was so palpable, so (again, seemingly?) real. Her filthy mouth, her abandon. The way she threw him around….
And, if I’m honest, there was something else: in the opening moments, where she sits, demure, in her clothes, I find her most attractive. The black hair, white skin, black stockings, skirt. The fact of her imminent defilement, even as she sits, innocently (or as innocently as possible when discussing impending fucking). The contrasts – her availability and her propriety, her intelligence (and she talks smartly, I think, here, and elsewhere) and her animalistic behavior – is all so hot.
Later, I found other things hot. Her American Apparel ads, the words she spoke about her work, the way in which she defended her right not just to make porn but to enjoy making porn.
I loved that she was this petite, all-natural, trash-talking, filthy-mouthed, animal-sex-loving, SMART, sex-positive woman. That she almost treated the acting parts of the movies in which she featured as if they were necessary evils. She took exactly the right parts of her job seriously, but none so seriously as to be maudlin or earnest. She was the first porn actress I’d ever seen who did the acting part like most porn actresses did the sex part, and the sex part like, well, like she was having sex.
And her smile…. I can’t think of another porn actress whose smile I’m so intimately familiar with. It’s her best feature, by far. (I know – many say it’s her ass. But compare: her ass, though awesome, is just like so many other asses; her smile is unique.) Her smile turns up just a little on one side. It communicates amusement, bemusement, slyness, conspiracy, scorn, sarcasm, hilarity, innocence and salaciousness all at once. Whether she’s all dolled up or nude; acting in a “straight” film or wearing a load of jizz on her face. Even if she’s got a cock in her mouth. Seriously. Look:
And since I said you should compare, here’s her ass. It’s bigger than her smile.
O.k. Maybe her ass is unique, too….
Anyway, I’ve gotten carried away. I’d meant to write about her, but I ended up just showing you lots of pictures of her.
I mean seriously. She’s hot, right?
SASHA GREY from V Magazine on Vimeo.