Born in 1967, Lisa Marie Abato grew up in Long Island. The youngest of seven children of an Italian-American Catholic family, she rebelled. One day at age 13, Lisa ran away from her home with a hippie she met at a rock concert.
Ditching her books in the bushes, she cut school, boarded a train and traveled two towns away.
"I'd heard about this thing called blow job," Abato told Hustler years later, "but hadn't experienced it till then. I used to look through porno magazines. He put his…large cock… down my throat. I gagged but proceeded to learn how to give the perfect blowjob - open my mouth wide, take my tongue and lick all around, and put my lips hard on his cock. I sucked him till he came down my throat. It was wonderful."
Two days later Lisa returned to her worried family.
Wanting to further develop her oral skills by becoming a disc jockey, Abato moved to Hollywood in 1985 at age 18. For two years she waited tables.
While living with her boyfriend Peter Gallant, she began selling real estate. One day on the job Lisa met the man who started 5K Sales and other porn projects, Conrad Wolfman. Much to Peter's surprise, Abato told Conrad that she'd always wanted to do porn. He suggested she get nude pictures, which she did, and showed them to him a couple of days later.
The beautiful blonde immediately began working in professional productions. "I got turned on by having all the crew and everybody watching. I love being watched. That this is going on video and Joe at home is going to jack off to this was exciting. My first time was with Lois Ayres. She spread my legs and said "Wow." They caught that on film. And I came. I came hard on her face when she was eating me."
In Lisa's second scene, she did Tom Byron. At the end of the movie, the director used her boyfriend Peter Gallant who didn't yet have a screen name. When production assistant Sharon Mitchell came by with a release form, she said to him, "She's Holly Ryder and you're E.Z. Ryder." The name stuck.
E.Z. and Holly chose her stage name 'Holly Ryder' from the Harley Davidson brand of motorbikes. Harley Rider become Holly Ryder.
Abato eventually performed in more than 200 videos, including ones that dealt with sado-masochism. In a 7/93 interview with Hustler Erotic Video Guide, Ryder explained why she stopped doing men on camera. "Fear of sexually transmitted diseases. Not that anything's going around. I just got afraid that if something did come into the business, it would wipe us all out. I don't know if that'll last. I'd like to go back into films. If I do go back in, I'm going to do DPs and gangbangs because it sounds like fun. Money doesn't have anything to do with it [returning to boy-girl sex on camera]."
While away from the hardcore camera, Holly did fetish videos and private S-M sessions. She told Hustler that she enjoyed the fantasy, and was happy being either dominant or submissive, a mistress or slave. "I prefer making bondage tapes. With bondage, the climax isn't the only thing to watch for. It's the entire process of getting there - the whole psychodrama - that's exciting."
Holly's favorite scene came with Nina Hartley in The Magic Bed, a 3-D movie. "I love doing different things, anything that's weird or nonstandard. It was a spinning bed but it only had fast speed. "Wow! We're supposed to have sex now?"
Ryder featured a tight muscular body. She loved to work out and competed in triathlons. "I like to swim, run, bike, jump rope, roller blade, hike... I spend as much time as I can working out because it calms me down."
Ryder said her big clit gave her an advantage, for in porn any oddity helps distinguish a girl.
The 7/93 issue of HEVG, which features an interview with Holly, also displays a full page ad with the headline - "Support the Holly Ryder Foundation":
"Holly Ryder ran away from home when she was 13. "I was lucky, though," she says. "I went back. Most runaways don't do that." Knowing firsthand the danger and hopelessness of being a runaway, Ryder has decided to "give something back, and to give these kids more choices." She has created The Holly Ryder Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to bring public attention to the plight of runaways and to increase funding for agencies that address their special problems."
AVN 10/93 writes: "While in the XXX business, Ryder also operated the Holly Ryder Fan Club, though not as philanthropic in nature as the Holly Ryder Foundation, she managed to peddle such socio-remedial merchandise as pussy hairs, cum juice and whips."
Holly appeared on KTLA Channel 5 saying that the porn industry "exploits kids, women and men. Porn targets runaways...desperate young people. They are lured into the business, just as I was led in."
Looking back at her life, Lisa realized that she had traded the abuse she'd suffered at home for a different kind of hurt.
Holly Ryder led a 1994 campaign with her professional fundraiser boyfriend John Fitzpatrick to place an initiative on the California ballot to ban porn production, coming up short by a few names.
During a radio interview with KFI, Holly said people get into porn because of low self-esteem. "I've had at least 20 girls in the business cry to me that they didn't want to be in the industry, but they were told they couldn't do anything else... Nobody forced a gun to my head, but because of my low self-esteem I trusted this older, older man [E.Z. Ryder?] to protect me. That is the case for most people in this industry. They're gullible."
Bill Margold phoned KFI to speak to Holly. "You spoke up on behalf of free speech - you gave me fellatio in public, Holly," referring to one of Margold's lingerie shows held in Las Vegas in July, 1992. Ryder replied that she sucked Bill's cock to gather information for her anti-porn campaign.
E.Z. Ryder says that when Holly and Fitzpatrick - who supposedly took a 15% percentage of raised funds - didn't raise enough money for the Holly Ryder Foundation, she turned against the industry. Fitzpatrick once approached the Free Speech Coalition (which is funded by pornographers) to raise money on their behalf.
Holly: "I did not make any money from the Holly Ryder (HR) Foundation. I did not expect to. The Foundation was set up as a pilot program to springboard others of its kind into existence. As for turning against the industry because the foundation was not making any money....the statement is ludicrous. One makes money by going WITH the porn industry, NOT turning against. I put everything I had into the HR Foundation, and kept it going for as long as I could on my own money. When I was done, I was broke..."
Holly and John's drive to ban porn production and distribution in California fell a few votes short of making it to the ballot. Since then they've split up and disappeared from the public eye.
The muscular blonde now works as a DJ and lives in an affluent part of the San Francisco Bay Area. She appeared at the 1997 CES wearing a name tag with her real name on it - Lisa Abato. She posts frequently on internet newsgroups such as RAME.
"When I set up The Holly Ryder Commission, it was not to ban porn, but to inform. I wanted to change the pressure recruiting tactics frequently used, and let any girls considering Adult industry learn about it before making a decision. I also wanted alleviate the incredible pressure of drug use in the business, and maybe even to stop starlets from being screwed out of money that was promised to them. The attempt to change California legislation was to make prostitution in film illegal. This is not simply explained, but it would make the industry a legitimate, REGULATED business. This would only help the actors and actresses, and help to inform.
"I was instantly tagged as hating all types of pornography. Because my heart was in the right place, I was able to withstand the slander and name calling that went on during that time.
"I tried to make prostitution illegal in front of a camera in California. At first look, one would instantly say that this is designed to close down the porn industry (at least in this state) but I would have never set out to do something so impossible. Assuming the motion had made it to the ballot and passed, I did not expect the industry to do nothing about it. Rather, I was counting on their actions to achieve what I had set out to do. Essentially one of two things would've happened, the industry would have appealed to the Supreme Court, and the law would've been removed, or the law would've remained. Had it remained, the industry would've simply reformatted its business to fall under a different set of laws. Either way, the resulting wake would demand certain changes. One of the most important of these changes would be the presence of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration) and their regulations.
"The following is quoted from the OSHA manual section 1910.1200: "(a) Purpose. (1) The purpose of this...is to ensure that the hazards...are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include...employee training.(a)(2) This occupational safety and health standard is intended to address comprehensively the issue of evaluating the potential hazards..., and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees, and to preempt any legal requirements of a state, or political subdivision of a state, pertaining to this subject."
"Essentially this would say that, as in almost all other jobs, the actresses and actors would be informed of the health dangers inherent in adult video. Although this seems obvious, a recruited starlet ("C'mon you'll be famous...") is never told of the health dangers. It is up to her to be aware of them. In one instance a case of gonorrhea which actors and actresses were not informed of in the interest of money spread from one person to about thirty in the matter of one weekend. In an environment as dangerous as this, the workers MUST be informed of the health hazards, and what they can do about it. The other change I hoped would happen would be the practice of holding to contracts and paying the workers what they were promised, rather than "Oh I know I told you I'd pay you___ but I needed to......." Essentially my main concern was for the performers.
"I am not, nor never have been, part of the Christian Right. I never hated the actors and actresses, or thought that what they were doing was wrong. I disagreed with certain aspects of the industry, not the entire industry. I like porn, it turns me on.
"I'm not sure I really see the "stalker" argument as a valid one [against revealing real names]. The only reason I can see for not wanting a real name published (and yes, this is the reason I have for not always wanting my two names connected) is to keep different aspects of one's life separate from each other. I do not want to go back to my hometown and be greeted with, Ohhhh, so you went into porn, huh? …Relationships change after people know you've f---ed on film. Also, If I go for a job interview, I would not want a prospective employer to assume "Hey this woman was in porn, she must be easy." And with the strong biases against the industry that many people have, it would be awkward, if not trying, to have my real name closely associated with my screen name. As for the whole "stalker" thing, it would be easier to stalk an actress with her screen name.
"I do not regret what I did. In certain company I AM embarrassed about what I did. Hard not to be. I've heard the same things from ex-lawyers, ex-waitresses, ex-musicians, and ex-husbands. It's easier to be embarrassed about f---ing on film then it is to be embarrassed about whoring your talents out to whatever criminal pays you.
"So women are never talked into doing scenes?" Abato replied to a post on RAME. "Wow.....I've got to go back and relearn all this. (I wonder what category "C'mon don't you want to be a star", "You're off this project unless you do anal", And "It's easy money" falls under). And no drugs on the sets....... I'll agree, not on a lot of the sets, but to deny it exists? I won't even begin to go there. As for the safe sex issues? I seem to remember gonorrhea spreading like wildfire, hitting at least 20 people in three days.
"Drugs are VERY much a part of porn, and although the point can be made that drugs are found in many other industries, I do not know of one with as much innate drug pressure as the porn industry. Even the music industry (well known for it's drug habit) does not compare with the porn industry. I am not saying that everyone in porn does drugs, I'm just saying that there is a powerful presence and a constant pressure to do drugs while in the industry.
"I have nothing against the use of drugs or alcohol, each to their own, but in an industry so centered around flesh and the body, one should try to keep the effects of these substances on the body hidden. I'm sorry, but while bedroom eyes are sexy, sunken eyes are not.
"I did have sex with others while I was in the business (and of course when I wasn't). And if I felt like doing something special, or wild, it was never faked. A faked f--- is not good, and can ALWAYS be superceded by real enthusiasm. Even if you think you've mastered the Fake (which I'm not sure why you would, because then you obviously aren't getting enjoyment out of it) why would you want to have sex with a fan just to fake it? Granted some days, onscreen, you need to fake it (bad day, or whatever the reason) but in life, sex should always be real. I know that's not always the case. Anyway, sex with a porn star is generally different than sex with one not in the business for one reason: usually porn stars are less inhibited than the average person. Also, there can be additional elation because the person you are having sex with may be someone you've fantasized about. The flip side is that you may have possibly built up the idea of having sex with this person, that the actual occurrence is a let down. In my own experiences, I won't go so far as to say that everyone I've been with has been blown away by me, but I do try to please my lovers, and possibly give them something a little (or a lot) different than what they may be used to." (RAME)
Peter Gallant aka E.Z. Ryder entered porn at age 51 with his girlfriend Holly Ryder, after a wild past that included prison time for drug dealing and four divorces. He performed in about ten sexvids before moving to non-sex roles. In 1995, he received AVN's award for Best non-performing Performer.
Born around 1938, E.Z. Ryder says he's been drug free since 1982. He counsels people within and without the business because he's experienced many of their troubles and lived to overcome them.
E.Z. served for two years on the Free Speech Coalition and reluctantly left at the end of 1995. He didn't think it right for him to be on the board when he no longer worked full time in the biz.
Gallant directed 30 bondage flicks for Bon-View as well as launching the company's foreign sales before moving to Vivid.