I walk upstairs and into the kitchen. Joel Lawrence, wearing a white sweater, sits at a table reading today's Los Angeles Times. He looks like a college professor and has played one many times in a porn movie. Aria, a tight-bodied spunky brunette, waltzes in and grabs a Krispy Kreme donut. Feeling guilty, she says it is her first donut in three years.

Aria reads the script. "Oh, I have cancer."

Shay: "Don't worry. I heal you."

Aria: "Yeah, by f---ing me?"

Joel, 38 years old, objects to Shay's script: "There's no cuddling in porn."

Luke: "How about you just slap her around?"

After graduating college with a degree in business economics from UC Santa Cruz (associate's degree in music), Joel worked in the rockn'roll industry. Eighteen months after college, Joel ran a service booking bachelor parties. "It was just a way to get a bunch of girls to take off their clothes and make a bunch of money doing it."

He did a couple of porn scenes in San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles in 1997 to pursue porn fulltime.

Luke: "How does your family feel about your porn career?"

Joel: "My Dad's cool and my Mom's not. They are each on their third spouse. They are years from having much to do with each other than us the kids.

"Dad's cool with it, as guys tend to be. He wants to see my tapes, which is a little distressing to me. I didn't give them to him for years. Eventually he started talking about them. It was obvious that he'd gone out and got them. My Dad came to a convention. I won Best Actor [AVN Award] a few years ago. The next year he came. It was cool.

"I was dating Syren at the time. All the girls have their porn personas. My Dad was waiting in line. She did her whole [flirtatious thing]. Then he introduces himself as Joel's Dad. My Dad has been a fan all his life. When I was a kid, I used to bust into his footlocker and it was filled with late '70s porn like Swedish Erotica on film.

"He put a lock on the front. I knocked the pins out. I watched every film until I broke one of them. Obviously he found out eventually and that was the end of that."

Joel has dated many porn girls. "Hopefully there's some love there because that's what's missing from the porn industry. If you don't connect with a girl on a deeper level, what's the point? If it's just f---ing, you might as well get paid for it.

"The typical drawback [with porn girls] is that they tend to be more psychotic. But then, I'm probably more psychotic than the average guy. If things go bad, they talk sh-- about you around the industry. They take their pound of flesh. Young girls are mercurial."

Luke: "How are porn girls in bed compared with civilian girls?"

Joel: "Porn girls are much better. No one will ever f--- you like a porn girl will f--- you. As far as sheer sport f---ing, porn girls are the best. But I'm 38. I get as much sex as I want on the set. What I crave is more emotional, intellectual and spiritual."

Barry Woods, cameraman: "Don't believe anything he says. He's an asshole."

Duc to Joel: "How would you be different if you had never entered this industry?"

Joel: "I think my attitudes about women and sex and relationships have all been affected in various ways. For good and for ill."

Barry: "Why are you speaking in that funny voice?"

Joel: "Because this is like an interview... You can't help but go through years of f---ing and have it affect you in various ways.

"I was in Prague with Brian Pumper [black male performer] last August. This English couple is talking. Brian says, 'You guys speak really good English. Where are you from?' And they said, England.

"I picked up this 18-year old at a strip club this week. If you f--- and 18-year old well a few times, they're in love. For me, it ain't the same. I'm just f---ing doing her. I can easily be detached about it. Men can be that way. But if you're asking for things that have been amplified, that's one of them.

"I've even said it to girls. 'You know, this isn't going to mean the same thing to me that it is to you.' You're girl number 2000 and I'm boy number 12. There's no way you're going to stack this against each other and have two people come away with the same experience. I know that so I'm cool with it and I can be honest. But there was a price to pay for those 2000 girls."

Luke: "Do you think you lost part of your soul?"

Joel: "No, that's not possible. Have I lost an awareness of my humanity? I'm capable of detaching easily. Your humanity is gauged by how well you connect with people sincerely and honestly. How much empathy and sympathy you have for the other person. Do you really listen. When you detach during sex, you're not being sincere and your humanity is compromised. This industry has a lot of superficiality that impregnates you on some levels because you have to deal with it. That I'm aware of all that implies that I have not lost it completely.

"Have you ever heard the sh-- story of Barry on mushrooms. It's the end of a shoot. They're on a houseboat. It's late at night. They all decide to do massive quantities of drugs. We won't much who and what and how much. The generator goes out. Barry's had massive quantities of muchrooms and beer."

Barry and Joel and other porners are now eating a late meaty lunch.

Barry: "His girlfriend's in AA. She's mad he's drinking beer. They went to bed early. It's the last day. I have a nice bed in my truck at the top of the hill but everyone wants to sleep in the houseboat. All the lights go out. I desperately need to take a s---. I know the bathroom well. I know the door's here and the toilet's over there. I open the door and I pull my pants down and I sit where I think the toilet is and I miss the toilet. It's pitch black. I've had quite a few beers. I can't see anything. I try to wipe it up. I do my best and I think I've got it all.

"I'm walking up the hill and I hear Mike Mamano, a little Jewish man, go 'What the f--- is that smell?' And then the generator starts up and everyone gets up and goes, oh no. Of course I've smeared it all over the walls and everything. They're getting the mop out and all I can do is laugh."

Joel laughing: "It's the smearing around and the leaving that really gets me."

Dillion: "This is lovely dinner conversation."

Joel: "It's amazing how proud Barry is... It's one of the best two or three sh-- stories I've ever heard."

Aria: "Did you hear the one about the girl..."

Joel: "The Johnathan Morgan sh-- fountain story?"

Aria: "The one with the Black & Decker drill up the girl's ass?"

Barry: "I shot it. Alex Jordan. Jim Lane shoot."

Joel: "They've got this girl up on two pedestals. They've got her spread-eagled and chained up. She's squatting. They're shoving this dildo up her ass. Then someone gets the bright idea to put the dildo on a Black & Decker and spin. So they do this. It tickles. So she sh--- and it gets sprinkled everywhere. It was August in the Valley with only bottled water and baby wipes to clean up."

Barry: "Teddy Fine is shooting Alex Sanders. He pulls out and is ready to pop in her ass. Just as he pulls out, she sh---. He couldn't see. He pops."

Joel: "The Johnathan Morgan one ten or twelve years ago. A white carpet and a white piano. A new girl. An anal. She's not sure how to do anal. He says to use an enema. She goes into the bathroom. She comes out. They do the scene. They do the last position. Johnathan's doing piledriver. She bends over. And she'd never taken the enema out. She says, 'I think something's wrong.' She's bent over and a stream comes out. He goes, 'This scene is over.' He turns around and leaves."

Aria: "I was doing my fifth scene ever. This new girl has only done anal once. She liked anal beads. We're fooling around. It's sexy and hot. We swap into a 69 scene. I'm on the bottom. I'm pinned underneath her. We put in the anal beads and she sh--- in my open mouth. We try not to say anything so we don't embarrass her. She turns around and freaks."

Hysterical laughter around the table.

Joel: "This guy came all over me yesterday."

Luke: "Did it enhance or diminish your performance?"

Joel: "It was the end of the scene and it would've diminished it.

"There's nothing sacred left in porn."