Thursday, July 6, 2006
Email Luke Archives
on Lukeisback Jun 30
A source close to a talent agency: "Every year there's a summer
slowdown but this is more [severe] than I've ever seen."
Luke: "Do you think talent rates will go down?"
XXX: "Either that or the lower-end girls won't get much work."
Luke: "Are any producers asking for a reduction in talent rates?"
XXX: "No. But a lot of them just aren't shooting. LFP, Metro, Inter-Avid,
Sin City, Legend have slowed down."
I got an email from one agency advertising that a certain young woman
is "now doing Double Vag!"
Inter-Avid produces such websites as Mydaughtersfuckinganigger.com,
which was changed under pressure to Mydaughtersfuckingablackdude.com,
and Teensforcash.com. They used to shoot a couple of scenes a day. Now
they've slowed down.
Scribe writes: "The site must be owned by the KKK, inside it says
stuff about "my daughter sucking on a coon's cob," that sounds like 1965."
People normally consume less porn in the summer and during holidays because
they are outside having a life.
I ask XXX: "Do you think this production slowdown might last longer
XXX: "Yes. It is heavier than normal. A lot of these people don't
have the money now. People such as RLD/PXP aren't shooting period."
I email Derek Hay at LADirectModels.com:
"How does this summer's slowdown compare to other summers? Are producers
pressuring talent to lower their rates?"
It's about the same, and no. It's not nearly as bad as you and some
other web journalists are trying to make it appear.
I think it's bull that you quote an unnamed source as a supposed reliable
and informed person from which to derive information on the 'industry
slow down,' or any other matter. If they are knowledgeable then, let's
know who they are. There are very few people like ourselves (meaning
medium to larger sized agencies) who can view the industry as a whole.
Better than 90% of workers in this industry work for a single company
or at most a handful of companies for example a director that shoots
for more than one company. If they are knowledgeable let's know who
Porno Producers Behind Shady Cancer Treatment Scheme
When we first read about a new cancer treatment being offered in and
from Panama, we were happy to learn that progress did exist after all
in our country. But that was a mistake. Within days after our first
inquiries about a website called "Escorpion Azul", we found ourselves
surrounded by filth in the form of a group of unscrupulous individuals
preying on desperate cancer patients to make a buck or two.
...Soon after we started looking into the mysterious corporation, we
received an email from Fred Salaff. Readers of this website will remember
that name. Salaff is a US citizen residing in Panama who found himself
at the center of a high profile pornography scandal when police raided
his house in Veracruz where at that time a porn movie was being recorded.
Noriegaville reported about the case. Salaff spent 7 months in prison
before being conditionally released, and the trial is scheduled for
October 24th of this year in the La Chorrera court.
One would think that someone in Salaff's position would try to stay
out of trouble, but as it turns out he is a key figure behind the escorpionazul
website. Writes Salaff: "the work that I am doing with Escozul is very
gratifying as patients who have received the blue scorpion venom are
very very happy with the results."
...[T]he man behind Escorpion Azul S.A. is Ruben Tribaldos III. He
is of the family that manages a real estate company and is also connected
to the American Gun Shop in Panama City, which is also listed as his
office address on his own website.
...The only experience he appears to have with physical matters is
that at the time he started Escorpion Azul, he also owned and managed
a pornography site at seevoyeur.com. "Come inside and take a look at
thousands of Very Hard Core Amateur Photos updated every day!!!"
As Tribaldos, being a good businessman, tried to contain costs on this
enterprise, he "borrowed" some pictures that belonged to that other
pornography producer, Fred Salaff. The latter protested, and that's
how these two got to know each other. They've been working together
"Ruben Tribaldos helped me the most while I was in prison. No one else
did what he did to make my life bearable as well as organize outside
financial help and coordinate my family contacts. I owe Ruben a lot
because no one can ever know just how shitty and miserable it is to
be a prisoner in Panamanian jails, especially La Joyita, unless they've
been there," Fred Salaff wrote us.
John Interview By Roger Pipe
RP: Would you have considered Evil Angel had they called?
MJ: Of course. Who wouldn't? You would be crazy not to. I spoke to him
(John) briefly when I left Anabolic and he's not into my stuff. He picks
what he likes. He watches every movie and if he can't jerk off to it,
that's the end of the story. I don't think my stuff has ever appealed
to him. Knowing that, it was pretty much the end of the road. That is
how I got to the place in my head where I was ready to quit. I wasn't
going to go out and shoot for director's fees. I don't want to sound bitter,
but I was tired of putting everything into movies and watching everyone
else collect, especially people who don't care about the product anyway.
RP: You and Jules have very different styles. How would you compare or
contrast your work?
MJ: I would say that he is much more into costume and location. As far
as the presentation of the girls, he is more fantasy oriented and I am
more reality oriented. I want the girl to look the way you might see her
on the street. You know, jeans, t-shirts, little shorts and tank tops.
Jules is well known for fishnets. I don't think he uses them any more
because everyone has started using them. Everhard does that to. It's just
not my style. That's the main difference as I see it. Once it gets down
to the meat of the matter a DP is a DP right? That is why I have always
shot my POV movies in a hotel. I didn't want to complicate it. I wanted
to simplify it as much as possible. I tried to think what would all of
these guys out there want to do if they had the chance. Me? I want to
take Monica Sweetheart or whoever to a hotel, be alone and that's it.
Who needs the fancy bells and whistles and shooting her in front of a
waterfall? I just kept that in mind and tried to simplify it as much as
possible. It's really all about the girl, especially in a POV. I felt
it would be a distraction to add layers to it.
My New York Fact-Finding Mission August 15 - 22
Anyone who will assist me in my pursuit of truth will be amply rewarded,
if not in this life, then in the world to come. Email
I'm trying to remember if I have any friends or readers in New York.
I'm passive about these things, so unless you email me, I'm probably not
going to ask you to meet up.
RightWingTrash -- Your Time Has Come!
J.R. Taylor emails:
Did you know that this year's most conservative film was a trashy horror
movie? Or that the guy who sang "Mexican Radio" has written plenty of
right-wing tunes? Or that there's a legendary porn production that can
teach us all a fine lesson about morality?
Those are just some of the fun facts to be exposed in the first days
of RightWingTrash.com --
the blogsite which launched at the stroke of midnight on July 4th, 2006.
(Well, at least it was one of the blogsites that launched that minute.)
Don't feel bad if you didn't know the above facts, either. It just
means you're an intellectual type. J.R. Taylor, however, has spent decades
as a lowbrow entertainment writer. His work history has even seen him
infiltrating the Leftist empires of Paramount, Playboy, and Time-Warner.
Honestly, the guy's done okay for a conservative.
This might explain why Taylor didn't put together yet another site
complaining about the Leftist media. Instead, RightWingTrash is a daily
celebration of popular culture that doesn't insult its potential audience.
Each weekday features a short essay celebrating a film, TV show, book,
comic, or rock album that isn't trying to insult conservatives.
Like the characters in many teen sex comedies, J.R. Taylor has chosen
to light something instead of cursing the darkness. "I take this work
very seriously," he explains, "and will proceed with the same sense
of responsibility we'd expect from someone who sends out announcements
with subject headings that resemble death threats."
Lainie writes: "I read your tidbit in JR Taylor’s [column] about
the songwriter of “Mexican Radio” and it made me laugh because my boyfriend
is a good friend and colleague (they work in the same theater troupe)
with the man that produced and co-wrote that tune, Brit Richard Mazda
who now lives in Queens and is the founder of The Queens Players in Astoria.
He’s actually going on a reunion tour with Wall of Voodoo next week and
says what JR claims is baloney. He’d be happy to speak with you on the
"Baloney"? What, exactly? I've interviewed Ridgway on his politics.
And there's no reunion "tour." Just a one-off reunion show for now,
opening for Cyndi Lauper. I've never seen Mazda get a songwriting credit
on "Mexican Radio," either.
Cleared things up with Richard Mazda, too. It seems the gal was being
a little enthusiastic in reporting his dismissal of Ridgway as a right-winger.
Man, new-wavers rule.
Contribute to the L-ke F-rd Scholarship Fund
Christopher (a goyishe name if ever there was one) from Georgetown (a
Jesuit university if ever there was one) writes: "Luke . . . . the difference
between you and Humphry Knipe is that he is educated writer and you are
a college dropout that posts porn gossip. Now, are you going to do something
This wounds me to the bone on several levels. I used to date the daughter
of Humphry Knipe, whose baby brother already is more schooled than I.
Yes, I wish I had completed my education, but who would pay for so speculative
And then it occured to me. You might, my devoted readers. Out of charity.
Or because you realize that were I to become a college boy, no longer
would I be content to permit my keen intellect to focus on that industry
that serves merely to assist loser men in their onanistic endeavors. Were
I to aquire a college degree, I would use it be become the true public
intellectual I was always meant to be, the Milton Rosenberg of popular
culture. (Chicago listeners of Extension 720 will know exactly who I am
So this is the time for certain kinds of people to do me certain kinds
of favors. First, I need an "in" to get me back into UCLA, as a special
student at first. And then I need people to open their hearts and their
checkbooks to help pay for my tuition. Porn Gedolim who want to see my
coverage of their industry go away; Hollywood Gedolim who want to see
my gratuitously provacative work channeled along tamer lines; Business
Women Gedolim who want to see me vanish into academia so that no longer
will I stomp on their hearts; Gedolim Gedolim who are ashamed to have
me show up at their temple - these are the people I need to open their
checkbooks (if not their hearts - I'm a realist) and help send me on my
way and out of theirs.
Please direct all inquiries and donations to the chairman of the L-ke F-rd Scholarship Fund, Chaim Amalek at email@example.com. This is
not a joke. I am a man in his fifth decade of life, living like some 18
year old, only without the sex or promise of things to come. Help me become
the man I know I can be.
I Want My Children To Be Proud
I do not want them taunted in school. "Your dad writes about wankers
for a living!"
"No he does not! He just writes about the people who sell things to wankers
to help them wank."
"Daddy, Fishel's father is an economist and Dov's dad is a doctor. Why
don't you have a real job?"
My wife: "Your father is a writer, dear. He writes his blog for people
to read all about his life, including your little friends."
Chaim Amalek writes: "Your kids will be ashamed of their father
if he makes a living writing about porn. Unless, of course, he is really
Knock, Knock, Drew's There
Jack, an LFP insider, writes:
Many days Drew carries himself with just a touch too much confidence.
That does not take away from the fact that he has had a profound impact
on the video division at LFP.
The reality is that they should be dead. Last summer the place looked
like a it was the set for Scary Porno a parody movie about Porn. Let
us remember that Drew was brought in at a mid level at best position
Marc Kramer, Christina Peters, Noel Bloom, and the fancy pants guy [Tyler
Goldman] Larry brought in who was clearly out of place were full throttle
toward the wall until Drew slammed on the brakes.
Drew has attacked his responsibility like it were his company. For
that reason, I think he should have a larger role in "running" the place
as it was stated (for the record Jeff Hawkins runs Hustler Video with
Drew playing a heavy role in the management). In a time when the market
is struggling Rosenfeld is taking on his role with the enthusiasm of
a guy who sees nothing but blue skies in a time when many video companies
are in a fear stricken frozen panic..
If this guy is given a little more room to operate and shape the video
division as he sees fit, I think LFP will have dodged the bullet.
A word of caution to team Hustler.
You have someone making a name for himself there. He has shown that
he has taken a Rubik's cube and finished a couple sides that the industry
wrote off as a lost cause. This means he is going to be attractive to
others. From companies that will pay what someone of his caliber is
worth without all of the ancillary bureaucratic brouhaha.
Greg said he worries about the stress load. With good reason a guy
like Drew can only play company for so long before it will start to
wear away at the very core of his being that allows him to have the
kind of passion for what he gives to the projects he produces.
Drew is a good guy, he can act like a arrogant, know it all at times,
but that is exactly the kind of person Larry needs in the batters box.
If Larry had more trust in Drew than he does with some of the other
laughable characters he has in high power positions, the place might
actually show some signs of a heartbeat.
They need to hold on to this guy. True to form the powers that be will
likely replace him with someone who has never worked in the industry.
You have some big fans Drew, work on your snotty kid demeanor and you
just might be in line to take on a leadership role.
...What happened to Tyler Goldman the guy who thought the adult industry
was a lay down. Is the industry aware that he was canned after AVN and
Jim Chamberlain is now the HMFIC at LFP
Head Mother F--ker in charge.
Man, you do need to get out more. Actually, no you do not. It is your
bland and often times poor sense of pop culture that gives your writing
its personality and flare. A naive innocence that allows you to seem
like an accidental observer providing commentary to Sodom and Gomorra.
A bit like Les
Nessman covering the great Turkey giveaway.
defamation and Sex.com
With characteristic -- and, potentially, self-defeating -- tenacity,
Portland lawyer Leonard DuBoff is suing Playboy and writer Michael Gross
in federal court, claiming he was defamed in the magazine's story about
the Internet site Sex.com.
In the February 2006 issue of Playboy, Gross, a New York-based writer,
detailed what he called the "biggest theft in Internet history": the
heist of Sex.com from the domain's owner, Gary Kremen, by a convicted
felon named Stephen Cohen.
On the sixth page of an eight-page story, Gross noted that by 1999,
Cohen was making $750,000 a month off the online porn site, "so much
that Cohen was able to hire one of the best-known trademark attorneys
in the country, Leonard DuBoff, a disgraced academic with a shady past."
Greg Zeboray Interview
Greg: "You know why Mark Kernes, Mike Ramone, talk about religion
all the time? Because deep inside they believe there is a God and they're
scared to death."
Luke: "What do you think of AVN?"
Greg: "I suspect there are kinks in that armor. I bet a significant
number of their advertisers are well behind on payment. If you look at
the magazine, it hasn't gotten any bigger over the years. I bet that's
why AVN has gotten so big in the consumer trade show business.
"If you want an honest to God trade publication, there's none finer
Luke: "What do you think of the performance of Dr. Sharon Mitchell?"
Greg: "Even though I don't care for her personally, I have some
respect for her. She's driven. I introduced in 1997 to my neighbor, Sandy
Petering, with QWest. They discussed testing and determined that the PCR-DNA
test worked best.
"I do not believe the industry is served best by only having one
testing facility. Competition brings out the best in people.
"HIV testing is wonderful for new people coming into the business.
It's going to keep HIV-positive people out.
"I don't believe the tests should be distributed among the talent
on a shoot. It should be private and only made public when someone tests
"I love Darren James but he is an example of why I have a problem
with the way the testing system is used.
"Sharon Mitchell has stated many times that Darren was infected
in Brazil. Yet when he came back to LA and took the PCR-DNA test, he tested
negative. It was after he worked for three weeks, apparently spread the
virus, and retested, that he came up positive.
"The point is that Darren was already positive when he received
the negative test.
"If you walk on to a set today, and they've finished the boy-girl
scene, and you walk up to that girl and ask, 'Was the guy you just worked
with HIV-negative?' Her answer will be yes. You'll say, 'How do you know?'
She'll say, 'I just saw his test.'
"'Honey, I hate to tell you, but that test does not say he's HIV-negative.
Didn't the Darren James situation prove that to you?'
"It's being improperly used and creating false hope.
"Mark my words -- if they stay non-condom, there will be another
outbreak. It could affect somebody that's big, such as Vivid."
Luke: "Vivid for so long was condom-mandatory but now they're advertising
some of their movies as condom-free."
Greg: "I have reason to believe that financially they had no choice."
Luke: "How has working around this industry affected your social
Greg: "None, because I don't tell people. I don't not tell people
because I'm ashamed of it. When I first started dealing in the business,
I would tell people, but I got so sick and tired of the stupid questions...that
I just shut up about it."
Luke: "Why do you think the DVD market is going to largely disappear
in the next five years?"
Greg: "Because cable VOD, computer VOD, and peer-to-peer networks,
are going to take away the DVD market and this industry will be in trouble.
"If you talk to any of the facilitators such as TVN
in Burbank, they'll tell you there's only room for one or two more cable
VOD channels in this country. Then all the cable networks will be full.
"We do the E&O (Errors and Omissions) on a few cable VOD channels.
Now the cable markets are paying a licensing fee of 10% (that's how much
the porn producer gets for the VOD sale of his product, the Internet VOD
companies (AEBN, Hot Movies etc) pay between 25-35%)."
Luke: Who are your friends in the industry?
Hampshire, Robert Herrera and John Chambliss (Acquarius Broadcasting
Corporation, a cable VOD channel), Jim Malibu, Sieg Badke at Pure Play,
Drew Rosenfeld at LFP
Luke: "What kind of job do you think Drew is doing with LFP Video?"
"We've insured LFP for a while. We've had some issues that probably
would've resulted in the severing of our relationship. Dustin Flynt worked
with us to renew the relationship. But LFP was on the watch. We kept an
eye on what was going on. We were very uncomfortable having directors
who were horribly drunk -- drunk all day, drunk all night -- being in
charge of sets. Ultimately, we pay for that risk.
"When Drew Rosenfeld took over the video division, LFP was removed
from the watch list. That's how comfortable I am with Drew's ability to
make the hard decisions and see to it that things get done properly such
as getting rid of directors who think they should be able to drink all
"As long as Drew is running that company, they're a model client.
"He's made hard decisions. Some people have gotten their feathers
"I worry to death that Drew physically can not handle this kind
of stress and that it is going to kill him."
Luke: "I guess LFP stopped distributing Vivid because that became
unprofitable for LFP over the past year?"
Greg: "I understand that it has never been profitable."
If the Vivid deal was unprofitable from the beginning, why did LFP renew
the deal in the summer of 2005? It only became unprofitable in the last
year. Also, if you look at the interview Larry did with AVN a few months
ago, Larry was quoted as saying that most of LFP Video's profits in 2006
would come from the Vivid deal.
Luke: What happened at Red Light District?
Greg: "When Dion started that company, he made sweetheart deals
[with various directors]. Now business ain't good. I don't care who you
are. David [Joseph's] just been ridding himself of people with sweetheart
deals. He's making prudent business decisions so they can go forward profitably.
Everyone's interpreting that as though they're broke, but I don't think
they are in terrible shape."
Luke: "Who are the top six production companies in terms of revenue?"
Greg: "You're not talking distributors such as Evil Angel?
"Vivid, Wicked, Digital Playground, Adam & Eve..."
Luke: "Red Light District?"
Greg: "They are not a production company. They never have been.
They're a distributor.
"Everybody wants to go to Evil Angel because they sell pieces like
crazy. They get top dollar. John Stagliano does not screw around. In flat-out
intelligence, John Stagliano is the most intelligent man in Adult."
Luke: "He's probably the most respected."
Greg: "He commands respect and he deserves respect."
James DiGiorgio writes me: "Your interview with Zeboray is an interview
of substance. Your questions sought and found Greg's knowledge and insight
into this business. Greg shared what he knows in a straight-up and articulate
way. Well done."
Mike Ramone writes:
I’m not “obsessed” (note the negative connotation) with the notion
of God, but rather deeply concerned, since Bush’s election in 2000,
with the corresponding power grab by the Religious Right, which is aggressively
trying to impose its values on the rest of us in order to transform
the U.S. into a full-fledged theocracy. That power grab is in clear
violation of the secular roots of the U.S. Constitution, which is the
binding authority of this country, not, as the RR would have you believe,
the Bible, the source of the RR’s values. Those values have led the
RR to such misguided positions as the deplorable bigoted denigration
of gay human beings to second class citizenship by forbidding them the
right to marry each other, and more to the point of my work, the attempt
to shut down this industry.
EVERY POST OF MINE ON THE TOPIC OF GOD AND RELIGION IS MADE WITHIN
THIS CONTEXT (I’m capitalizing since my italics never seem to make it
onto lukeisback): that the source of the RR’s values, namely the Old
and New Testaments, are in all likelihood, largely mythological fiction.
And it seems to me (and many others) that it’s not a terribly good idea
to base social policy on what is likely mythological fiction. Ludicrous,
Couple related points:
–I’ve never met or even spoken to Greg Zeboray, so I find it amusing
that he somehow knows that “deep inside they (me and Kernes) believe
there is a God and they're scared to death." I also find it amusing
that Greg apparently can’t conceive that there are millions of agnostic
and atheists who believe just as strongly in their positions, as he
does in his. Jesus, talk about burying one’s tunnel-visioned head in
the sand. Kernes, I’m pretty sure, is a hardcore atheist, while I consider
myself more of an agnostic, though I too am an atheist when it comes
to the notion of the personal Christian/Jewish/Muslim God who actually
cares about events and people here on planet Earth. To believe that,
one must utterly turn off one’s mind and have grandiose powers of self-deluding
rationalization. How else can one reconcile an all-powerful, all-good
God with all the horrors that go on on this planet on a daily basis,
including, for instance, at this very moment, the thousands of Third
World infants dying of malnutrition? I wonder if Zeboray and “Scribe”
have ever seriously thought about their beliefs, or just blindly accept
everything their religion has spoon-fed them? Sorry, but blind faith
is a fault, not a virtue - the province of fools.
Btw, Greg, I just have to ask (as I ask all members of that most curious
of species, the religious porn fan/worker): If you’re so religious,
what the – sorry, can’t resist – Hell are you doing working in the “immoral”
porn industry? The power of the religious to rationalize their behavior
seemingly has no limits. Please do explain.
–“XXXScribe” writes: “Mike Ramone wants names of NT scholars from me,
but then wants to create his guidelines as to which scholars can be
named from which schools (i.e. no Christian theologians). He's trying
to stack the deck, just like he does with the AVN awards.”
Wrong on all counts. Simply quote me a single reputable NT scholar
from a reputable university (he or she can certainly be a Christian;
I’m sure some professor at say, the Catholic University of Notre Dame
would qualify), who argues that the Gospels were written by followers
of Jesus who knew him in the flesh. So far, your silence on that point
And btw “Scribe,” do you realize how given you are to broad overstatements
not supported by evidence (and you really said I was the “uninformed”
one?), such as that I “stack the deck” with the AVN Awards (wrong, I’m
merely one vote, as is every full-time writer and freelancer at the
magazine, and frequently the things I vote for don’t win) or that working
for AVN somehow equates with being a member of organized crime. Broad
overstatements? Broad PARANOID overstatements is more like it.
One last point “Scribe’: You post, ‘I may write about the Bush adminisdration
(still not spell checking?), that doesn't make me a Republican.” Bad
logic friend (logic, of course, isn’t really the strong suit of the
“believer.”). Writing about Bush may not make you a Republican, but
it does make you interested in politics. Similarly, anyone who calls
himself “XXXScribe” and who posts to lukeisback, clearly has an interest
in porn. So once again “Scribe,” how do you reconcile your religious
values with your apparent fascination with porn?
–Luke, while your tabloid-esque headline “Mike Ramone Vs. God,” is
certainly catchy, it’s not, as I’ve told you before, really accurate.
A more accurate headline would be “Mike Ramone Vs. Religious Conservatives.”
Now I’m on vacation til next week, so I won’t be able to respond to
any responses to this post til then.
I don't expect Zeboray to respond as he hasn't posted much on the internet
in the past six years.
Tom Zupko - Lisa Ann Story
James DiGiorgio writes:
Over on AdultFYI.com,
Gene Ross is running a story about Lombard's Sinsations 4 and
it includes some pretty funny stuff about Lisa Ann and Tom Zupko.
In the story, Lisa Ann claims she spent about 30-40 hours (of unpaid
time) discussing some XXX movie she was going to star in that Zupko
was about to direct.
Usually, when a porn star and a director are holed up together for
extended periods of time, supposedly discussing the meat-and-potatoes
of some movie they're gonna make, it means there's some hanky-panky
going on. But this is Lisa Ann we're talking about & with Tom Zupko!
Okay, let's hop aboard the Wayback Machine cuz we're heading back in
time to 1996!
Sin City was about to produce a feature called Airotica and
it would star Lisa Ann and the director was going to be Eric Edwards.
So Eric [Edwards] was slated to direct and Luc Wylder would produce
and I was going to be the shooter or one the shooters...
On the first day of shooting, Eric shows up somewhat inebriated, immediately
clashes with Lisa Ann, and... Eric is out as the director and Luc Wylder
takes the directorial helm. To continue condensing this story, I'll
simply say that it doesn't take Luc Wylder long to thoroughly piss Lisa
Ann off and, suddenly, Lisa informs everyone that no one is permitted
to speak to her but me, JimmyD.
Greg Zeboray Interview
Greg calls me back Sunday afternoon, July 2.
Greg: "You are the first Adult industry person I've ever given an
interview to. So I hope you make it a good one. I don't care if you take
two hours. Everything is on the record."
Zeboray is profusely quoted in the latest issue of XBizVideo magazine.
Luke: "How did you get into Adult?"
Greg: "I first insured dancers in various strip clubs such as Main
Attractions, Mr. Jays in 1991. I met some Adult people. My first clients
were Jon Dough
and Deidre Holland. I met a person who handled HIV-testing in San Diego
County, which is where Dave Cummings went to get his HIV-test. Cummings
called me about insurance. Dave referred me to Bill Margold. Bill said,
this is out of level. Call Jeffrey Douglass and Lenny Friedlander. I called
Jeffrey and Lenny and they said, yes, we want an insurance person for
"This is the summer of 1995.
"In terms of revenue last year, the Adult industry represented a
little over $200,000 to our insurance agency. That's approximately half
of my business."
Luke: "How good a job is the Adult industry doing protecting the
talent from STDs?"
Greg: "As long as they are not condom mandatory, they are not doing
a good job. HIV-testing gives a false sense of hope."
Luke: "Has your attitude to the industry changed over the past eleven
years or have you changed?"
Greg: "The industry has changed radically. My attitude is still
Luke: "What's your take on the Adult DVD industry's financial doldrums?"
Greg: "JimmyD called it the porn depression. I call it the first
step in the coming new world order. The landscape of Adult production
companies five years from now will not resemble today. I see mergers,
acquisitions and many failures."
Luke: "How long will DVD last?"
Greg: "It's being replaced now by VOD and the internet. Within five
years, companies will be lucky to get 100 pieces out the door. VOD will
replace DVD in all entertainment, not just Adult. I believe there are
peer-to-peer networks out there where people are already distributing
scenes and whole DVDs for free."
Luke: "How's the Adult industry fighting piracy?"
Greg: "They don't have a clue. How many Adult companies file a copyright
on their titles before they release a movie? It's almost nil. If you file
a copyright on a movie prior to its release, you can not only go after
[a pirater] for damages, but for all costs incurred. Conversely, once
a movie is released, you can only go after the [pirater] for damages,
not for your costs. You can spend $150,000 going after someone who made
300 copies of your movie and the judge gives you $3,300 damages."
Luke: "What do you think is the median number of units sold per
Greg: "If you can get 900 - 1,100 pieces out the door on a new release,
you should go to your church and thank God. If you can get $10-$12 per
release, you should go back to church and thank God.
"A lot of these companies do not self-distribute. Distributors take
anywhere from 20-30%. So if a typical guy gets 1,000 pieces out the door,
Luke: "What kind of job do you think the Free Speech Coalition is
doing representing the interests of the industry?"
Greg: "I don't think they're representing the interests of the industry
anymore. They've made a commitment to become the second coming of the
Luke: "So they're pushing more of a leftist agenda than representing
the pragmatic business interests of the industry?"
Greg: "Absolutely. When somebody can tell me why an Adult industry
trade group should oppose the Utah state registry [penalizes the email
senders of sexually explicit material if they are not sure the recipient
is at least 18], I'll listen. I see nothing wrong with that. The FSC position
is that that is a restriction of fair trade. You can't send advertisements
out to kids about alcohol or cigarettes.
"Right now the FSC has healthy membership because of 2257.
As you know, I have the ear of most of the major companies in Adult. And
they all tell me that they joined as an insurance policy. When that 2257
issue is resolved, you just watch how many people do not renew their memberships."
Luke: "Has anyone succeeded Russ Hampshire in his role as the industry
Greg: "No. It's a tragedy. The industry misses him more than it
will ever admit. I'm just glad that he's still an active part of my life."
Luke: "What do you think about the industry's trend towards increasingly
Greg: "I think it's terrible.
"Porn is consumed by a minority of American households, by porn
addicts, who get bored of regular porn and want more and more. People
who let porn become their sex life, the worst product out there is screwing
them up worse.
"I'm a devout libertarian. I don't believe in laws [regulating expression],
but I've long thought that all of the entertainment industry has an obligation
to society to better society. I believe you should have enough decency
that you won't put out [detrminental] product even if it makes you money.
I will say publicly what many people will say privately -- the day they
lock him in a prison cell, the industry is far better off. The government
at that point will have said -- here is the line you can not cross. Right
now there is no line in the sand. But when Rob Black is convicted, they're
going to know what you can and can not do."
Luke: "What do you think of Max
Greg: "We find him uninsurable. That should tell you something.
We received an application a couple of years ago and when we reviewed
that website [maxhardcore.com], we decided it wasn't something we wanted
to get involved in."
Luke: "Do you think the 2257 regulations will ever get enforced?"
Greg: "I do. Other than sending IDs out to what they call secondary
producers, such as website operators, that's the only provision of 2257
that I see as wrong."
Luke: "Do you think there are any millionaires in the industry who
are solely employees?"
Luke: "Do you think there are any billionaires in the industry?"
Greg: "No way."
Luke: "Maybe this isn't a $12 billion a year industry."
Greg: "It's a $400 million [DVD] industry, maybe $500 million.
"The industry went out and promoted these figures that included
strip club revenues, hotel revenues, etc and came up with this [$12 billion]
figure, hoping it would lead to the legitimization of the industry. What
it has really led to is a bunch of idiots who watch this stuff and think
that porn is the new gold rush. They jump in and produce a few movies
and think they're going to get rich. Everyone I've seen who's done that
has walked away with no money. We no longer insure these people. They
don't stick around.
"The latest one I did not want to insure was two guys -- one in
San Clemente and his partner in Newport Beach. They went to the AEE show
in January, hooked up with a producer/director. One time I was told they
spent $45,000 and one time I was told they spent $85,000. Let's say they
spent $45,000 to produce a stupid beach movie, the same movie that's been
produced for 20 years.
"That movie shouldn't cost a dime over $25,000. This producer/director
has been around forever. It's not like people are going to stand in line
to buy his product.
"You should have heard the grand plans from these investors about
what they were going to do. I hope they each told their wife that they
could lose all their money.
"They're going to have to pay a distributor 30% to distribute their
movie. If God grants them a favor, and they get 1,000 pieces out the door
at $10 a piece, that's $7,000 back. If they sell it to a cable channel,
they're going to get about $6,000 for it.
"They're never going to get their money back.
"About a year ago, a guy took out a $100,000 equity line on his
home. He gives that money to a performer/director to shoot four gonzo
movies. They couldn't sell any of the movies.
"This guy went to someone I know and practically begged the person
to help him sell those movies. The guy couldn't help him.
"The man who took out the equity line is going to lose his house.
"I don't feel sorry for the guy. That's just pure stupidity.
"I saw Steve Hirsch say on Neil Cavuto [Fox News show] that Vivid
was a $100 million company.
"Vivid's DVD sales, if lucky, are $20 million a year. If Vivid is
a $100 million company, that's with all the other businesses they own."
Luke: "What type of insurance do you offer?"
Greg: "Production insurance. Errors and Omissions insurance. You
have to have production insurance if you want to rent locations and have
a film permit and rent equipment and wardrobe."
Luke: "What changes do you see in production insurance?"
Greg: "Insurance companies are going to require that all cast and
crew be paid on a W2 [making them employees rather than independent contractors
who fill out a 1099] and covered by an active workmen's compensation policy."
Luke: "How often have production companies or insurance companies
been sued for what has happened on a porn set?"
Greg: "As far as I know, it's never happened in the 11 years I've
been selling production insurance [to pornographers as well as other shooters]."
Luke: "How much is production insurance?"
Greg: "For $200,000 in production costs, the full package is about
$5,500 a year."
Luke: "How much work have you put in trying to sell health insurance
to porn stars?"
Greg: "A lot of work over the years. With the previous generation
of talent, I had a fair amount of success. The current generation of talent
is not worth the time. The ones coming in the business now are 18-year
old kids who are completely irresponsible and have no conception of what
health insurance is about."
Luke: "How well do the talent agencies look after the interests
of the talent?"
Greg: "Not well. What matters to the agents is how much work they
can get the talent and how much money they can make off them. If I was
talent, I'd go without an agent."
Luke: "What do you think about the rise of LA Direct Models from
nobody to the top of the heap?"
Greg: "Derek is a hustler. He has no strong competition."
Luke: "What happened to World Modeling? They used to be number one."
Greg: "They're the walking dead. They got outhustled. Ten years
ago, he had all the talent. He placed ads. He signed up the talent. All
the directors and producers were looking at his books every day. But new
agents such as Derek started taking the girls out to meet directors and
producers and getting the girls driven to the sets."
Luke: "Will we see another Adult company going public in the next
Greg: "I know of one going public in the next six months."
Luke: "Do you think making porn is honorable work? Is it noble?"
Greg: "It's not noble. Even honorable? I'd probably say yes. As
long as you do things legally and ethically, you are contributing to society,
at least financially, if not with the product."
Luke: "Yet you know many people whose lives have been hurt because
they worked in porn [as talent]."
Greg: "The people who come into the business as talent are f---ed
up. No normal girl is going to do porn. The girls who come into porn are
massively lazy. They don't want to work. They have no education. They're
a bunch of idiots. They lost their moral compass long before they were
old enough to do porn. They partied so much they were already into drinking
and doing drugs. These are not normal middle-class girls. If they weren't
doing porn, they'd be doing something else as bad as porn or worse."
Luke: "How can it be noble then to make your living off screwed
Greg: "I said it was just noble financially."
Luke: "If these girls are all screwed, it makes one squeamish to
make one's living off them."
Greg: "Some people are born to put personal desires and financial
rewards a step ahead of someone else's misery."
Luke: "It's a sick thing to make your living off people who are
Greg: "It's not something I would do, but I'm not going to fault
people who do it.
"Let me tell you a story. A girl I know of, 18 years old, comes
in the business. Within three weeks, she's already gone. I hope she'll
never come back.
"This girl was already an alcoholic when she came in. She'd already
had a kid. She lived with her parents.
"She tried to tell her mom that she did porn and her mom flipped
out. She said to me, 'I felt so bad that I just lied and said, 'Just kidding,
mom. I'm really just doing modeling.'
"Every time she talks to her mom, her mom says, 'I want to see some
pictures.' Of course her mom is proud of her. She thinks her daughter
is a model.
"The agent should've said to this girl, 'This isn't the right career
for you. Your family will find out. It's going to devastate your relationship
with your family. You already have a drinking problem.'
"Instead, agents say things like, 'Don't drink while you're working.
But look at all these jobs I got for you. You're going to make $10,00
in the next two weeks."
Luke: "Working in porn would have to devastate relationships between
a child and her family."
Greg: "You better believe it. A girl is better off being a whore.
She can go to San Francisco and turn tricks day and night. Then, when
she leaves the business, she can come to LA and nobody is going to know
what she's been doing. When a girl shoots porn, the images are distributed
around the world. These images never go away.
"Her personal relationships are over. First, they lose almost every
friend they have, not so much because their friends disaprove, but because
of the lifestyle change. They lose the closeness with their family. They'll
never have a normal relationship because every guy they're with will look
at them as a whore. He'll say, 'This is fun. I'm having a great time.'
But she won't be who he wants to take home to mom and introduce as the
one who will give her grandchildren.
"When they make the decision to enter Adult, they are throwing away
a big chunk of their future. If I could talk to every new girl who enters
the Adult business, I'd explain everything I just told you. And if half
of them turned around and walked away, I'd say that was wonderful."
Luke: "Have you slept with or dated any of these girls?"
Greg: "Never. For many reasons. One, I've almost always had a girlfriend.
I do not believe in cheating. I don't have a girlfriend now. I have long
figured that as long as I didn't even try to go on a date with a girl,
nobody in the industry could ever say, 'Watch out for Zeboray, he's out
to meet the girls.' Two. There can never be a bad situation between me
and a girl that causes her to tell people to stay away from me and that
kills my business."
Luke: "You must get to know these girls fairly well. How do you
keep yourself from becoming Captain Saveaho?"
Greg: "I don't get to know them well anymore. When I first got around
the industry, I tried to be a friend to a lot of the girls. They could
call me. I'd let them stay at my house. It only took me a year or two
to realize there was nothing I could do for them. It's so painful to watch
girls swear they'd never step in the fire again, and then turn around
and do it. I have ceased all personal chats with talent."
Luke: "So what do you think of the work of Mark Kernes?"
Greg: "Very little.
"I am a proud Christian. I was born a Christian. I was raised a
Christian. I am a strong Christian. If Mark Kernes wrote his anti-religious
stuff against the religious right who probably are potentially harmful,
I could stomach it. But instead, Mark Kernes continuously writes absolute
hatred for all Christians. Hatred for all religions period, but he seems
to attack Christians more than any other.
"I support the industry. I support its legal right to exist. I like
the industry. But because I'm a Christian, I'm a horrible person."
Luke: "Does he let you know that on an individual level?"
Greg: "I avoid him like the plague.
"A long time ago, when he was running for reelection to the board
of the Free Speech Coalition, I came out with a list of who I thought
should be elected and who I thought should not be elected. I said that
Mark Kernes should not be reelected. That he brought nothing to the FSC
except blanket approval for Jeffrey Douglas.
"Mark took great offense to that.
"Unfortunately, with all his rants, he's made me angry at him.
"He works for a company that is pro-free-enterprise, and Mark claims
to be libertarian, but as far as I'm concerned he's 100% socialist."
Mark Kernes responds:
Gosh, I could have sworn I was an equal opportunity offender — despite
the fact that the vast majority of religio-reactionaries are Christian
— in fact, many (perhaps most) are members of the Southern Baptist Convention.
(Feel free to read all about it in Kevin Phillips’ excellent work, “American
Theocracy.”) But then you have nutbars like Joe Lieberman and Daniel
Lapin who throw the stats all out of whack...
But I strongly doubt that Greg is a horrible person — since I haven’t
had contact with him in several years, I’ll just have to take his word
for that — just because he’s a Christian. Plenty of Christians follow
the alleged teachings of their messiah and don’t seem to have nearly
as much trouble reconciling people having consensual sex with people
supporting family values — especially considering that sex is where
families come from.
But Greg’s wrong if he thinks I “hate” religion. I don’t; I wouldn’t
waste the emotion. I just think of it as a social disease.
And I’m “100% socialist”? Does that mean that now I’ll have to start
charging for the 3D slides I give to the performers?
1. Selling insurance to porners/performers is reasonably noble. It
adds some financial responsibility to an otherwise irresponsible life.
If one of them has a major injury/illness, at least their taken care
of to the extent of their coverage. (Even if it's just workman's comp
at the set, it's a step up, albeit not a big one.)
2. Why would somebody invest in porn? The financial return is only
a portion of the motive. I think lots of folks invest in porn because
they're interested in sex. If it were a purely financial consideration
nobody would do it. In your opinion, are porners solely interested in
the business aspect? What percentage of the film makers have never hit
on a performer?
3. When there's a glut on the market, the amount of money to be made
goes down. Are the pornstar wages being negatively impacted by this?
They have to, sooner or later. Query what this will do to the economics
of being a porn star and the quality of the girl who signs up.
Most people get into porn for primary reasons other than financial.
Talent wages, at least for the top tier talent, have yet to take a hit,
but they must.
Luke, I am a Georgetown University graduate (International Relations
and Affairs) and I am writing this email to offer you some encouragement.
As an avid reader, it is quite obvious that you should go back to UCLA
and live up to your potential. Aside from the financial benefits, college
graduates generally garner more respect and are better equipped to contribute
Do you really want to live in a "hovel" and rely on other people just
to maintain your laughably meager lifestyle for the rest of your life?
The federal government provides guaranteed student loans and is something
that you should at least consider.
While this may sound harsh, the difference between you and Humphry
Knipe is that he is educated writer and you are a college dropout that
posts porn gossip.
Now, are you going to do something about it?
Hank Rose writes:
Sounds like you're headed for a mid life crisis. I turned 43 in June
and got over mine by involving myself in mainstream media pursuits.
My 40 something pen powers expanded like pedantic wildfire. A sharp
literary mind is a terrible thing to waste on just X.
Even though porn is in a socio-economic depression and the brightest
new age minds in this post 9/11 world are rugged individualists void
of the concept of God or media worship, I am highly entertained by your
pornish intellectuality. Imagine, guys like us could have been Pultizer
or Nobel Prize winning authors had we not been drawn to the carnal career
stigma that is porn.
Translated, your jerkoffamatics article means that is it safer and
more lucrative to be a world class high end prostitute for the mega
rich than it is to work in porn. Especially since the Internet revolution
has lured the most beautiful women in the world into the video sex trade
in the past decade. Let that be a lesson to starlets who think that
the height of their prowess is enduring the advances of a whackpacker
troll on the Howard Stern show.
The reason why porn is in easy access household word mode is that a
free for all fast food mentality has taken over. There is no more true
art to go with the turn on. Only instant gratification shock and awe.
If somebody would write hit sex songs to give the erotic genre some
creative humanity, the PC moral thought police would not be able to
attack us if we merge pop art with hedonistic adult decadence. Or in
short, helped X cross over from A to Z.
By that, I don't mean reality shows, rap or hip hop, but rather a return
to plots and storylines scored with old school old soul songs with actual
hooks and melodies that would give multimedia smut a reason to exist.
Or perhaps more real people who can actually act instead of flesh robot
poseur bodies in motion with burnt out libidos enduring the action between
the pop shots.
Ever notice how much hotter Euro sluts are? They don't smirk or pose
in the middle of sex scenes. They are much too busy eating their oral
sex food and enjoying themselves. It is a hallmark of a lack of talent
to base your product on content sights and sounds without attitude.
Sexual heat doesn't cut it without hot dialogue.
X has entered a realm of pop abstraction where any fool with a video
camera can set up a bukkake party with a target girl to tap into the
pervert zeitgeist. But it takes an auteur with the courage to think
different to talk the talk as you walk the walk. One of the best films
of the 1980s was Talk Dirty To Me. Today everybody makes silent adult
films with visuals. No one has anything to say other than, "get you
dick out and watch this girl take a facial."
In the Golden Era, the anticipation payoff timeline of who, what,
where, when and why made it hotter. Today it's a 30 second date with
Mr. Happy. In the good old days, the audience learned something. Like
how to get laid. Or who to lust after and who to love. Now all America
is a jerkoff. To melt in her mouth and not in your hand takes some doing
beyond vicarious gooing. Just as to make porn that counts during hard
times you needs brains and vision, conflict and conquest, not just bimbos
& body fluids.
From the dreck of reality TV to the dregs of 24/7 E porn, it's a new
age culture war worth figthing. Because if we don't then all the hot
porno chicks established or aspiring will be inspired by Luke's telling
article and leave porn peanuts for high society chesnuts.
Shy Love Interview
With Cindi Loftus
X: If you were President for a day what would you change?
S: I would change the fact that everything is based on morality. People
in politics are basing decisions on morality. Stop using the Bible or
Torah or whatever to base decisions on.
X: What happened to separation of church and state?
S: I do have a lot of porn friends but I socialize with them typically
in the porn environment. On Sundays, maybe 5 % of my friends are porn
related individuals. We have a rule on Sundays that there is no porn
talk, no business talk, just friends being friends and having fun. You
need a chance to keep yourself level and maintained so can remain the
same person you were before you got into the business.
The New Frontier in Economic Thought
As some of you may know, I'm a frustrated academic at heart. But
for an extremely ill-timed bout of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I almost
certainly would have completed my undergraduate studies in economics at
UCLA and then gone on to earn a doctorate in economics at the London School
of Economics or the University of Chicago, possibly with a minor in the
philosophical works of Emmanuel Levinas as my intellectual companion.
None of you would then ever have been able to Google my name and find
any reference to anything shameful, but that is not how life gets lived.
I was laid low by my CFS, so low that I sleep on a bed of straw covered
by a sheet that I found in a garbage bin near a migrant work camp for
Mexicans. There but for fortune go you, my friend.
And yet . . . and yet my dreams never seem to fully die. The economist-in-utero
that I once was still gives me a kick every now and then to remind me
of the incomplete abortion of my dreams that I have been living. Right
now, for example, I am contemplating writing a book on the economics of
commercial sex. I began by considering the size of the market for DVDs
and other such porn, which a friend advises me ought better be regarded
as the market for masturbation, and who can ever calculate the dollars
that are spent on such nonsense? It would be like trying to compute the
number of individual sperm that are cast upon the ground by the men of
a given country in a given year. What is needed, he feels, is to take
a grander view, and look at the market for masturbation from the commanding
heights of the Gold Standard of Sex: heterosexual prostitution, where
men have real sex with real live women.
What is the size of that market? There are two numbers that interest
me: X, the number of women or female equivalents working as prostitutes
in a given year in a given country; and Z, the average amount of money
that these X prostitutes earn in a year. Then the total spent on nonmasturbatorial
sex (which, unlike Onanism, the Torah does not explicitly condemn) is
Now let's kick around some numbers. A quick search on Google (the engine
of doom of many an aspiring journalist's reputation, to be sure) reveals
as an order of magnitude number that there is one prostitute for every
1000 men in Europe. That would equate to at most 150,000 prostitutes or
prostitute-equivalents at work here in the United States (this number
of course includes every woman working in porn who has sex on camera).
So as an initial guesstimate, let's take X = 150,000.
What is Z? A story is playing out in the tabloids of New York about a
stunningly beautiful prostitute from Brazil who allowed herself to be
"kept" by a top businessman at Time - Warner for $50,000/year. There is
rumor that she was paid a similar amount by a second such man, which would
put her income at $100,000. Now let’s assume that she’s hiding at least
that much of her income and more, and posit that she earns about $250,000
per year. This woman is working at the top of her profession, so assuming
a normal statistical distribution of the random variable Z (i.e. prostitute
income) it is reasonable to assume that she is representative of the income
earned by prostitutes three standard deviations above the mean (better
than the 99th percentile). But what is the mean? Amalek says his head
will explode if he has to calculate this from one data point which itself
is based on a story in the New York Post, but for the sake of this piece
I will peg it at $40,000/year. In other words, my Z = $40,000.
Now for a bit more math: XZ = 150,000 times 40,000 = $6,000,000,000 spent
on hookers in the United States in a given year, which at least passes
the order-of-magnitude smell test. In a morally healthy society, this
number would be low, but the money spent on masturbation assistance (i.e.
porn) would be lower. How much lower? I posit the existence of a new parameter
W: the wanker ratio, which is defined to be the ratio of the money spent
by men on pornography to the amount spent on prostitutes. The higher the
wanker ratio, the greater the amount of Onanism in a given society. (I
speculate that Israel and Mexico have a low wanker ratio and that the
United States has a high wanker ratio.) Then the amount spent on porn
is XZW. To determine the amount of that which is spent say, on DVDs, I
would need another parameter D, which is the fraction of the wanker dollar
that goes into DVDs. Then the size of the DVD market would be XZWD. You
can readily see that what is being developed is an equation that is no
less accurate - or speculative - than the Drake equation for determining
the likelihood of there being intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Can you provide insights into the values of X, Z, W, and D? What additional
parameters ought I have included here? And if you are an econ student
(or better yet, a professor) at UCLA, kindly write to me words with which
to encourage my to return to school to resume my academic career.
She once ran Evil Angel's Buttman magazine. She got fired and moved to
AVN for five years. She left there (was pushed out?) and now appears headed
for the New Machine company where her boyfriend directs.
Porn trade failure
the Melbourne, Australia newspaper The Age:
THOUSANDS of illegal pornographic films depicting under-age sex, incest,
rape and extreme violence are being traded under the noses of police
through a national network of sex shops, other stores and truck stops.
A Sunday Age investigation reveals state governments are turning a
blind eye to the trade, controlled by criminal gangs and worth up to
$300 million a year.
Thousands of films are also being supplied by mail through post office
box addresses in the Northern Territory, where the sale of X-rated films
Jed writes: "And you'd wonder how much potential revenue is lost
through torrent sites."
Mike Ramone Vs. God
AVN Editor Mike Ramone replies:
In defending Christianity of all things, “XXXScribe” first accuses
secular humanist me of being intolerant, then goes on to accuse the
adult industry of employing psychologically unhealthy people, seemingly
oblivious to the priest child molestation scandal that’s rocked the
church for the last several years (hey, at least porn is consensual).
Some people are born color blind. Others, like the self-professed “Scribe,”
apparently are born without a sense of irony. Or a sense of their own
Btw “Scribe,” next time out, I think you should be a tad more careful
before accusing someone else of being “uninformed.” “The Gospel of Jesus
and his story is equally missing from the non-Christian record of the
time,” writes Earl Doherty, author of “The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity
Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical
Jesus.” “Philo of Alexandria, the Jewish historian Justus of Tiberias,
Pliny the Elder as collector of reputed natural phenomena, early Roman
satirists and philosophers: all are silent. Pliny the Younger, in his
letter to Trajan from Bithynia c.112, does not speak of Christ in historical
terms. Josephus’ famous passage in Antiquities 18 is acknowledged to
be, as it stands, a Christian interpolation.”
Or as Acharya S writes in “The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story
Ever Sold,” “There are basically no non-biblical references to a historical
Jesus by any known historian of the time during and after Jesus’ purported
advent.” Me uninformed? “Scribe,” heal thyself.
Mike Ramone wants names of NT scholars from me, but then wants to create
his guidelines as to which scholars can be named from which schools
(i.e. no Christian theologians). He's trying to stack the deck, just
like he does with the AVN awards. If one cherry picks as he does, one
could find biblical theologians who would outright deny the existence
of God. Mr. Ramone can listen to whatever theologian that agrees with
his views, it's called "talking inside a tin drum.'
Reconcile my apparent religous beliefs with my porn interests? Who
says I have any "porn interests?" I may write about the Bush adminisdration,
that doesn't make me a Republican. I may mention AVN,. that doesn't
make me a member of organized crime.
Perhaps Mr. Ramone should explain why he is obsessed with a God whom
he claims doesn't exist. I don't go around complaining about non-existent
entities such as the tooth fairy, but Mr. Ramone talks more about God
than a Southern Baptist at a tent revival thumping a ten pound bible.
Chat With James DiGiorgio
I call him Friday afternoon.
Luke: "You did not have the whole thing [simplyjimmyd.com]
Jimmy: "I've got all the articles on a disc. I was using an old
php program and we couldn't move it."
Luke: "Just post your one giant text file [of archives]."
Jim: "If I ever get up the ambition to put it all together in printed
form, I have it.
"I've missed [blogging]. I've got s--- to say."
Luke: "You've got a mission and a message."
Jim: "This business is in the toilet. I have talent calling me.
'I've never seen it so slow.' There's just too much product. The market
is saturated. As everything became cheaper and easier to make, everbody
got in... Every day there's a new talent agency and a new production agency.
Something has to give and they've given. Buyers are slower than ever to
"For a while, the cable people were buying crappy soft versions
of crappy gonzos but I hear they are not doing much of that any more.
Penthouse has a TV channel but they're going to put Penthouse stuff there.
Playboy just bought Club Jenna as a production arm. Playboy is going to
buy less independent product.
"If you look at the press release from Hefner's daughter, she said
it was the final piece of the puzzle. Would you rather buy product from
others or own it yourself?
"Colorado Satellite is merging with Mainline Releasing, who were
making late night T&A stuff. You don't think Mainline will start making
harder stuff for Colorado Satellite?
"What happens to everybody else? The Hustler Channel? The Hustler
Channel will want to put Hustler product up there.
"When is talent going to adjust their rates down? Those are the
rates that have gone up in the past few years because of the proliferation
of agents. Crew rates haven't gone up. I don't get paid anymore than I
got paid ten years ago.
"Most people aren't
big enough to deal directly with replicators. Most companies deal
through brokers such as KBH-Blaine and Joey
"The business has always been penny-wise and pound-foolish. I remember
people sitting around and trying to figure out how to save a penny on
the tray [for VHS tapes]. In the final bill on the run, it would amount
to $40. Yet they'd have a guy calling around all day to save $40. Yet
they'd take somebody to lunch for $400.
"I bet compilations account for at least half the number of new
releases [13,600 in 2005 according to AVN]. The latest craze is buying
one new scene, featuring it on the boxcover, and bundling it with four
"I remember when a buyer would call up and complain if they had
seen the scene on another movie. But if there are 30,000 scenes released
a year, who can remember?
"This is not even a half billion dollar business. If this is a $14
billion business, where are the billionaires? Steve Hirsch and Larry Flynt
would be billionaires."
Luke: "Do you think there are any millionaires in the business who
are only employees? The Howard Levines [head of sales at Vivid] of the
Jimmy: "Not without owning a piece. Most company owners aren't millionaires
Whatever Happened To AVN.com's Blog?
AVN Editor Mike Ramone replies: “We’re going to launch an exciting new
blog in the near future.”
LFP Ended Its Distribution Relationship With Vivid
This industry is run by a small number of people -- Paul Fishbein, Steve
Hirsch, David Joseph, Larry Flynt, Jim Kohls, David Sturman, Frank Koretsky,
Steve has a great relationship with Jim. Because of that relationship,
Steve decided four years ago to make a distribution deal with Larry Flynt
Publications. Jim ran LFP at the time. The deal called for LFP to pay
Vivid up front for the privilege of distributing its movies.
The deal became unprofitable for LFP over the past year. I don't know
why it took LFP so long to wake up and smell the coffee, but they finally
did and got out of their deal with Vivid and they'll never make such a
deal with any production company again.
Why did Vivid then make a deal with Pulse to distribute their movies?
Because Steve has a great relationship with Jim.
The announcement of the deal between Vivid and LFP parting ways has
been met with superficial relief among staff members and a hollow sentiment
of good riddance. Beneath the layers of ass kissing applause and support
for the parting of ways, is a fast moving current of fear, defeat, and
a feeling of uncertainty for the company. O
ne of the great business deals of the company’s history has now shown
signs of the mighty goliath buckling at the knees. The fact is it was
never a good deal. The deal polarized the relationship between Steven
and Larry with Jim Kohls as the visionary the entire time. Jim Kohls
has simply taken the vision for LFP’s future and deployed it under a
different name. DVD sales are down across the board so the dissolving
is quantifiable to the LFP balance sheet under the comfort of plausible
deniability of the value of the Vivid brand under their umbrella.
The Vivid relationship galvanized the power of LFP when announced
several years ago. It was a sign that Larry and his powerful brand were
literally capable of steam rolling the industry regardless of protest.
The landscape has changed dramatically in the last 8 years since LFP
went big to conquer the video side of the industry.
In that time we have watched retail blow up with Hustler Hollywood,
Hustler apparel becoming trailer park chic, the launch of Hustler TV,
the acquisition of VCA, the reinvention of the Hustler Clubs, the casino
....Larry has a penchant for hiring lost souls, wayward executives,
and critically flawed people in general. One look at what is happening
and it is pretty clear that Hustler has lost a step in the last 2 years.
In part due to the departure of Jim Kohls and the crater sized void
left to be filled, more importantly it has to do with the incompetent
people who were brought in and unable to make it in their respective
"chosen" profession of mainstream marketing, production, executive media
management, cable/satellite industry, and they end up at the doorstep
of what is perceived by the outside world as the finest run adult operation
on the planet, only to prove the reputations that proceeded them with
Once the self celebrated Hollywood, or fortune 500 failures are on
payroll, the name dropping has worn off, and the hubris of coming from
mainstream has failed to impress a group of soulless porn peddlers with
low morale, the ugly truth is seen. This person with such a great pedigree
is a failure here too. Flooding the company with buzz words, and catch
phrases, the contributions made by the perceived high draft picks leave
Larry once again, requesting to scour the agencies looking for another
person to overpay with Lyn Heller marching them in as though she birthed
them from her own womb.
Heller is the head of HR at LFP who carries herself like a Harvard
graduate and gets off on her icy demeanor as one of the most universally
despised humans I have ever known.
In 2000 it seemed Hustler was unstoppable. The truth is; it was unstoppable.
When the decision making power is spread among fools, and charlatans,
the end result is what you see in 2006, a brand and company struggling
to find its own identity in a market they have created that has become
supremely sophisticated that they were poised to lead and rule for generations.
It takes decades to build an empire. It only takes a couple of years
and a handful of ego driven unqualified blowhards to leave one in smoldering
LFP had it all. It was positioned to leave a legacy for Larry that
would have been the adult version of Louis B. Mayer.
Now Hustler is cemented in a commitment to complacency that will continue
to send the company further behind in today’s bountiful market opportunities.
* They have dropped the mobile ball
* They have let the internet slip to being a third rate affiliate program
with no real appeal
* They have taken the video line from being award winning to struggling
* They have made the magazine more appealing to the poop and fart joke
The painful reality is that after the debut of the People vs. Larry
Flynt the world fell in love with Hustler. As in life, love can be fleeting.
The movie ignited Hustler frenzy. Today the party is over, the tab is
due, and the passionate love affair is looking like a failed relationship.
It would be easy to point the finger at Larry Flynt. It would be easy
to give Jim Kohls all the credit for the success. The truth is that
Larry believed in people who f--ked him in the end. People who cared
more about getting what they could when they could get it than the actual
long term success of the company are the ones who should be held accountable.
The people who sat in lavish offices collecting paychecks for a job
they had no idea what they were doing are the ones who have brought
the most recognized name in adult to its knees.
The industry owes Larry Flynt a debt of gratitude for his contributions
that can never be repaid. It is sad to see his empire being run by a
group of outdated misfits who have fallen right into the hole they were
designed to fall in.
Adult Cronies 1- LFP 0
I would say:
Current Successes: Casino, HustlerTV, Apparel
Current Failures: Hustler Video, VCA, Magazines,
On the Fence: Internet, Hustler Hollywood. Hustler Clubs. Mobile
I define success and failure as the performance vs. what it should
be. For example, Internet and Mobile are both profitable, but nowhere
near what they should be. HustlerTV, Apparel and the Casino have exceeded
expectations. The others have not.
I don't want you to think that 'On the Fence' implies those business
are just breaking even. Internet is still generating decent revenues,
but is not performing close to where it was or should be performing.
Michael at NorthStarAssociates
Hey Luke, I was just reading the info that you posted from Jimmy D.
He is on the mark in a lot of ways.
Just after attending Erotica LA it was really depressing to see product
being sold sooo cheap. I mean some people were 5 for $10.00 etc. I can
tell you a handful of people were a bit upset about it. With talent/production
costs going up and DVD prices going down, a manufacturer must sell a
lot of units to even make up those costs. The days of moving 10,000
out the door are long behind us (just my opinion). Jenna J and the blockbuster
known as Pirates are the only ones that I can really see doing this.
The marketing behind Pirates had a nice price tag attached to it as
well I am sure. For all the marketing and public relations that went
on behind Pirates they deserved to sell the mass units they have sold.
My hats off to them. Not too many companies can keep up with that.
It is a buyers market for sure. With so much out there now distributors
and retailers are turning a lot of people away. It really becomes an
accounting nightmare to add even one more invoice to the over 200 from
companies that they deal with already. You really need to have a niche
that will catch their attention and that there is a demand for. Myself
being a former buyer you really want to give everyone a chance but the
market is so saturated with comps and catalog drops and with rock bottom
prices how does one compete with that? Drop new release pricing? That
only kills the market further and makes the manufacturer have to sell
even that many more pieces to break even New release pricing from start
up companies I am sure are at an all time low. This is just so they
can get the product in to see if it will sell. And with over 300 + new
releases coming out every week you really need to have something good
or you will get swallowed up by everyone else.
This brings in the payment methodology of some companies. It is what
it is. We need them as much as they need us but if you work with them
they will work with you. The amount of invoices that flow into a big
distributor on a daily basis is amazing. You would need a team of accountants
to keep up with it all. 200 plus companies reordering every week. Well
you get the picture. You will get paid you just may need to wait a bit
more than the terms you have agreed on. I can hear my colleagues commenting
on this now. If you cut them off in a lot of ways you will be shooting
yourself in the foot because if you don’t ship them unless you are a
Jules Jordan or Jenna or one of the big players or even a smaller niche
company (that carries a specialized product) a lot of times they could
just say c ya and pay you what they owe and never do business with you
again. That will hit you as well. There are many different opinions
on this subject all I can say is work with them. Especially in this
I was approached at Erotica by individuals who wanted to start up a
company and were looking for advice. I said, “How much money are you
willing to lose?”
I don’t want to discourage anyone’s dream of being a smut peddler /
producer / director so I followed up with “You really need some deep
pockets, patience, and don’t expect to be in the black anytime soon.
Its not a get rich quick business anymore so be ready for a challenge…
I wish you success.”
It has become a world of disposable porn. You can walk into any store
and find dump bins of 5 for $20.00. You go home and watch it, do your
thing and throw it or give it away when you get bored with it and you
go back and get more.
It should be an interesting summer.
You know it's going to be a slow summer when even Holly Randall slows
her production schedule. OK, she always eases up in August and regroups
her creative energies and balances her shakras.
The Return Of Features
James DiGiorgio writes:
If you don’t believe it takes a bit more skill and knowledge to make
a feature, consider the vast numbers of cheap, incompetently produced,
so-called gonzos released each day, week, month, and year. Gonzo certainly
opened doors for a lot of wannabe pornographers. After all, gonzo is
cheap to make and if there’s one thing pornogaphers love, it’s cheap-to-make
content. But when a marketplace becomes SO saturated with cheap product,
something’s gotta give. And while some people would say that, in a free-market
economy, easy access to the marketplace is a good thing, look where
it’s gotten us: Its led us to the Great Porn Depression. Never, in the
annals of porn history, has so much inept s--- been stuffed down the
throats of the porn consuming public!
I think I’m seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. I think maybe
the success of a few features are causing a few more people to re-think
their positions on the venerable feature; Digital Playground and Pirates
comes immediately to mind. And now I’m reading about companies like
Bo Kenney’s SexZ Pictures who are embracing the feature market. And
I know Mr. Kenney well enough to know he’s not trotting down the feature
path because he’s simply a patron of the arts.
My Interview Subject Was Hospitalized
Bisexual Britni emails: "Michelle
was hospitalized last night after a run in with the LAPD. She will get
back to you for her interview as soon as she can."
Red Light District is not shooting for six months. I hear Legend is shooting
few or no movies over the summer. Agents are telling their talent to take
almost any work they can get.
The production schedule at Evil Angel is full steam ahead.
Jack: The real question is will rates come down for all the people getting
fat - agents, talent, locations, makeup artists, etc.
Jack: Direct Models has several girls that are $2000+ Jack: when does
supply and demand kick in and create a buyer's market?
Jack: Amy Reid is great, but does she really sell $1000 more worth of
product than Tory Lane? I doubt it.
suppliers a no-show for VSDA
Following HEE’s announcement several weeks ago of an adult business
and supplier summit in Palm Springs, Calif., this September, nearly
all adult exhibitors backed out of the July Home Entertainment convention
in Las Vegas.
The July convention was scheduled to have exhibit suites at the Venetian
Hotel Resort & Casino devoted to adult suppliers and an “adult lounge”
on the showfloor. However, both have been cut after a number of suppliers
Dieterich didn’t know how many adult exhibitors were originally signed
on but said that 38 attended last year’s show.
James DiGiorgio Visits Erotica LA
When I say it sucked, I’m not talking about it sucking from a financial
point-of-view. I’m sure it was a cash cow for its promoters. After all,
all those thousands of people coming in at $30 a pop– That’s some serious
green. When I say it sucked, I’m talking about it, basically, being
a big freaking bore.
First off, other than Club Jenna’s girls and a few others, there really
weren’t many porn stars there. At least, not that I saw. Could it be
that few exhibitors were willing to part with some dough to pay these
girls to hang out at their booths at a FAN CONVENTION and endure the
lurid, groping advances of salivating fan boys? I don’t know. I was
just an observer. I don’t scientifically analyze this s---.
Next, there was some truly frightening women there who had no business
wearing what little they were wearing. Don’t these chicks own mirrors?
James DiGiorgio writes:
Right now, we’re in a porn depression. Buyers are returning product
in record numbers and they’re either extremely slow payers or they’re
not paying at all. The halcyon days of cables sales are history and
foreign sales are in the toilet as those guys aren’t paying worth a
Traditionally, porn has always gone into the doldrums in the summer
months. But I can’t ever remember the summer slow-down arriving as early
or as hard as it has this year. And my observations aren’t merely based
on an early summer slow-down. The Justice Department is scaring the
crap out of a lot of people. Legend has laid off a significant portion
of its workforce. Companies like Red Light and others have either announced
a production hiatus or their simply not shooting and just not saying
much of anything about not shooting. And at just about every company
I interact with, people are complaining that business sucks more than
its ever sucked before.
DVD Sales Down
Porn Insider tells
There's a whole different outlook now among the buyers. People are
returning a lot of product and say they're being inundated. There's
350 new releases a week. The buyers are so inundated they've lost their
sense of humor and aren't returning phone calls. They're moody and snippy
and obnoxious. They're looking to cut back. Guys at Evil Angels used
to be able to say you're taking 700 pieces at 15 bucks. But a lot of
buyers are saying, fine, I don't want it. It's become interesting. The
rumor is that Jack from Legend is back and he's on the phones collecting.
How are people surviving for 500 pieces? I hear one porn company owner's
brother is over in Amsterdam laundering money for drug dealers and whenever
his brother needs a million or two, he sends it to him. Otherwise, a
lot of porn businesses are hurting for money. One company had $30,000
in returns this month. Yet more new people are coming into the business
and think they're going to get rich.
Midwest Convicted In Nudity Case
LINCOLN, Neb. -- A Lincoln woman who has had run-ins with the law regarding
public nudity has been convicted in her latest case. A judge has found
Melissa Harrington, 23, guilty of violating a public decency ordinance
when she hosted a wet T-shirt contest at a Lincoln bar in March. Police
said Harrington conducted the show while topless. Harrington argued
that she was not nude from the waist up, because she covered her nipples
and areolae with pink paint. A Lancaster County judge ruled last week
that the paint wasn't enough, because it was transparent. Harrington
faces as much as eight months in jail when she's sentenced on Aug. 2.
Harrington was ticketed in 2003 for naked Internet pictures of herself
taken in a downtown Lincoln bar.
Whatever Happened To Simplyjimmyd.com?
The server my old site was on got hacked. i mean totally hacked...
by the dread turkish hackers. anyway, long story short, i couldn't ressurect
the original. so, i put up this cheap blogger. i'll get to redesigning
it and making it look a little more presentable, but it's about what's
written, right? i.e., what's inside the package, not the packaging.