Director Gerard Damiano created two of porn's best known names, "Linda Lovelace" (Linda Boreman) and "Harry Reems" (Herbert Streicher), during the shooting of Deep Throat in Miami in January 1972. Thirty years later, Linda Lovelace remains porn's best known star.
Linda's third published autobiography, 1980's Ordeal, sold out several print runs.
Just as Throat remains porn's best selling movie, Ordeal remains the best selling book on porn. While Throat shows porn as harmless fun, Ordeal shows porn as vicious. The two perspectives reflect the dominant reactions to porn.
In 1986, Linda published her fourth book about herself - Out of Bondage. Together with Ordeal, these two books shape public perception of the adult film industry as exploiters of vulnerable women. This view developed not so much from the contents of the books, but from what millions of people believe, due to sensational media coverage, the books describe.
As she received increasing attention, Linda increased the horror she claimed she suffered as a sex object. Appearing on TV shows and in media interviews, Linda Lovelace turned Linda Marciano developed upon the degradation described in her books by claiming such things as that a gun was held to her head during the filming of Throat to make her perform such disgusting tricks.
A careful reading of Ordeal, taking it on face value, reveals a woman suffering domestic abuse and finding relief only on occasion, such as when she performed sex on camera.
A famous hoaxster, Mike McGrady, fashioned Linda's stories. In the late '60s, he edited Naked Came The Stranger for Lyle Stuart - publisher of the pornographic and sensational. Both Naked and Throat tell silly stories about a woman who craves sexual satisfaction and only finds it through sex with loads of men.
Chuck Traynor, portrayed as a villain by Linda in her last three autobiographies, confirms the basic truth of the events described in Ordeal, but denies Linda's claim to being a victim. Along with every person who knew the couple in the early '70s, including Gerard Damiano and Harry Reems, Chuck says Linda willingly participated in Deep Throat, porno loops, rough sex, prostitution and their other exploits.
Traynor's next wife, Marilyn Chambers, laughed when people offered to help her escape from Chuck. Though a rough man, Traynor demonstrates no verifiable history of unwanted abuse. And abusive men rarely abuse one woman and never abuse again.
Lovelace became an
archetype for what writer Hart Williams calls "Linda Syndrome" - porn
stars who seek acceptance from "overground" society by disavowing
their porn past. Hart also labels it "Conversion Syndrome" or "Paul
On The Road To Damascus." Sufferers from Linda Syndrome include Angel
Kelly and Samantha Fox.
Born Linda Boreman in 1948, the daughter of a New York policeman, she grew up in Yonkers, attending Catholic schools such as St. John the Baptist in Yonkers and Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale. Her ordeal began early. "When I was four years old, [my mother] started beating me - first with a belt, later with the buckle of the belt. She would hit me for the smallest thing. One time she sent me down to the drugstore for nose drops and I came back with the wrong brand. I was only eleven and she hit me with a broomstick for that mistake. She said I would have gotten the right bottle if I didn't have my mind on boys so much." (Ordeal)
"My mom wouldn't let me go to the library," Linda told E!'s True Hollywood Story (broadcast 11/5/00). "Because there were germs on the book. 'You don't know who got that book before you. You might get sick.'
"When I got my period for the first time, I didn't tell my mother because I thought God was punishing me. My mother came from the old school. My mother was very embarrassed... to talk about something like that... She handed me a Kotex [tampon]. She goes, 'You get it once a month. You wear this. It lasts about five days.' And she left the room and I thought, 'What do I do with it?'"
During grade school Linda wanted to become a nun. She says that few guys dated her more than once because she wouldn't put out. She earned the nickname Miss Holy Holy. "I was the type of girl who liked to go down to the ocean and hold hands," recalls Linda. "I still am."
"Linda went to a Catholic high school," says Eric Danville, author of "The Complete Linda Lovelace." "She worked a series of jobs that any teenager would have. She worked in a boutique. She worked in a stereo store. Her parents had retired down in Florida so she went to live with them."
"I was angry," Linda told E!. "I was sad. I was 16 when I moved. I dreaded it."
Miss Holy Holy lost her virginity at age 19 and the next year she gave birth to an illegitimate child that her mom forced her to put up for adoption. (Ordeal)
"She had a...boy," Danville told E!. "Linda claims that a few hours after the birth, her mother came in with papers for her to sign."
Linda: "I thought they were papers for the foster home until I could take care of him. And they were adoption papers. I called the place and told them that I was ready to pick up my son, and they basically laughed at me on the phone and told me that I would never see him again." (E!)
After high school, Linda returned to New York. She enrolled in a computer school. She planned to run a boutique.
One day, a skidding Chrysler hit her Opel Cadet, smashing her face into the window. Linda broke her jaw, lacerated her liver and broke several ribs. She moved to a chaise lounge next to her parents' Fort Lauderdale retirement home to recover from her injuries.
One hot Florida day in the summer of 1969, Linda met Chuck Traynor. "She met him through a friend of hers," says Danville.
After a few weeks Linda moved in with Traynor and began turning tricks. The couple moved to New York where Happy Hooker Xaviera Hollander turned down Linda as a potential employee.
"She was a prostitute in the sense that she was paid to have sex with men," Danville told E! "But I don't think she was doing it willingly. Like a lot of hustlers, he [Traynor] was a charmer."
At the same time, struggling actor Rob Everett picked up Screw magazine and answered an ad looking for sex performers. Over the next few months the unhappily married young man posed nude for several magazines, and eventually received a call from Linda's loop director Ted (Tom) Snyder, who in 1989 was gunned down on his front lawn.
"Do you think you can get it up?" Ted asked Rob. The insecure blond answered yes and he received directions to a loft on 42nd (48th according to Linda) Street, near Broadway. With unmopped floors, filthy sink and odd pieces of furniture covered by sheets, the place stank. "The people who made filthy movies," says Linda, "always seemed to live in filth." (Ordeal)
Rob arrived to find Ted, the director and cameraman, Chuck Traynor, who couldn't get it up, Brandy, and Rob's partner for his debut porn performance - Linda. She found Rob adorable and their first shoot went smoothly.
"There was no sound [recorded] and no lunch," remembers Rob. "Of course, she had to hold a gun to my head to make me do it!"
"Linda was nice. She enjoyed working with me. She loved sex. She and Chuck Traynor seemed like normal folks, laid back. They looked happy together. I never saw Linda with bruises or black eyes. No guns were held to her head to make her perform. She loved what she did.
"Linda is the one person responsible for keeping me in porn because she constantly called me to perform with her," says Rob who later took on the porn name Eric Edwards.
Linda and Eric did about eight loops together. Eric made $40 and Linda $50 most times. "I thought that it was unfair that the guy got paid less than the girl seeing that he does all the work. I still think that's unfair."
During his first two years in the business, Herbert Streicher aka Harry Reems worked almost ever day of the week. "There were lots of legal hassles. People were always afraid of busts and locking doors and had guards posted... It was a seedy, raunchy business. The guys were all f---ed up; the girls were all f---ed up. Lots of dope addicts."
Porn shoots depended on the cooperation of everyone concerned. One phone call to the police could wreak havoc on a production, landing the participants in jail. That Linda never made this call argues against her later story that she participated in sex work unwillingly.
Linda frequently worked with Eric and his wife Cathy, including in the epic "Piss Movie" for director Bob Wolf - fat, greasy and black-haired. The three swingers did various sex acts before Linda and Eric drank several beers and urinated on Cathy.
"One day I was making photographs with ketchup smeared on my back," Linda remembers, "and three weeks later I was asked to play the lead in a porno blockbuster."
Linda costarred with Eric Edwards and a hagged hound.
"You sure this baby knows what to do?" Bob Wolf asked the dog owner, a young man in his twenties.
"Oh, yeah, don't worry about old Norman," said the owner. "We tried him out last night and you don't have to worry about Norm. He knows the score."
"You tried him out last night," Wolf said. "You're sure that was a smart thing to do?"
"This old fellow can go all day and all night. Don't sweat it. Last night was just to remind him what to do. Him and my old lady got it on."
"He got it on with your old lady?" asked Wolf.
"Yeah, and he was fantastic. It's a good thing I'm not the jealous type." (Ordeal)
Doggarama shows Eric and Linda indulging in anal sex before the blond stud leaves. Appearing unsatisfied, Linda looks around and sees a dog. She snaps her fingers and says "Ooooh."
Norman pads over and Linda starts sucking his dick.
"I was floored," says Eric, who earned half as much as the dog's owner. "After I finished doing Linda, I just sat back and watched. She was really into it. I was in awe. I had never seen a woman with a dog before, but it became the thing to do.
"It was a strange period. There were no real laws then. The business was going any which way it could. There were stud dogs and there were losers. We'd have a strange dog come onto the set to do actress A and he wouldn't like her and he wouldn't get into it. So the actress would try placing a hot dog in her pussy and covering it with mayonnaise.
"But this dog was a stud. He knew what to do. He mounted her from behind and did her doggie style. I don't know why they didn't bring any cute girl dogs for me."
After the filming, Wolf said to Chuck Traynor, "It's too bad you couldn't bring that other broad. This f---in' dog is game for more. Look at him - we've got a real winner here. Hey, nice dog. Good dog."
"He could've handled two easy," said Norman's the dog's owner said. (Ordeal)
During the 1980s, Linda claimed that she was threatened with a gun and told to perform sex on the dog or die.
"I talked to the five people who made Dogarama. Eric Edwards, Chuck Traynor, the cameraman-director [Bob Wolfe], the dog's owner, and the money man," says porn historian Jim Holliday. "Their story is the same. I'm going to take the word of a woman [Linda Lovelace] with an axe to grind over five persons who were there? Let the public think what they want. I'm telling you, she's full of it. These five guys to conspire and tell a story and remember it for many years, with all the drugs and alcohol and life experiences they've had, that would be a conspiracy that would make me want to have them installed as the directors of the Soviet Union or the CIA.
"Linda Lovelace's story that she was victimized is as ludicrous as those yoyos who think that Neil Armstrong and the boys landed in Arkansas and that the whole moon landing was a hoax. If America doesn't want to believe the truth, I can't help them.
"The owner of the dog says that Linda, a couple of days after, asked if the dog was still available. The owner was gay. If you study the loop, when the dog mounted Linda, he went straight in her butt. He knew what to do. That tells me the owner and the dog had something going on."
Linda gained a reputation for her enthusiasm for f---ing dogs. She reportedly put on bestiality shows for Hugh Hefner and company at his Playboy mansion in West Los Angeles.
"Linda was easy to work with," says Eric. "She was friendly and seemed to enjoy what she was doing. I never saw her with black eyes or bruises. I never had any indication that she was unhappy with what she was doing."
A porn peer of Linda's from the early '70s New York scene remembers: "Linda Lovelace would suck anything that was attached to a dick… She loved sucking dog dick as much as guy dick."
Director Gerard Damiano discovered Linda in one of her 8mm loops. He owned one-third of the porn production company called Gerard Damiano Film Productions Inc. With money from his father Anthony, Louis "Butchie" Peraino owned two-thirds. Linda starred with Harry Reems in an 8mm cheapie SEX USA, the first movie produced by the Peraino-Damiano partnership.
Damiano told the April 15, 1974 issue of Screw that he met her while casting for hardcore scenes to spice up his movie Changes: "She knocked me out the minute she started going down on a cock, doing her 'deep throat' thing. [So] the inset I made did not get into the film. It went right on the cutting room floor because I realized she had too much potential to throw away on merely an insert into another film.... I was so knocked out over what she did that I went home and wrote Deep Throat, the whole screeplay, over the weekend. And we went into pre-production work that Monday.
"When I first met her she was with Chuck, and after ten or 15 minutes I wanted to speak to her alone, so I asked Chuck to leave the room. She was nervous. But when Chuck left, she almost crawled up the wall. I couldn't understand it, so I had Chuck come back in again. It wasn't until a while later that I realized their relationship, that she wasn't allowed out of his sight. He held such a close rein on her that if she was away from him for more than five minutes, then he would beat the s--- out of her.
"I've often tried to pinpoint the psychology of Linda. She seemed to have a distinct sadomasochistic relationship with Chuck, to the point where he constantly dominated her. They were never anywhere where she was not holding him, touching him. There was always a physical closeness, or contact. Even in total exhaustion.
"As close as they were in the daytime, I knew that Chuck would bang Linda off the wall all night. And the next day she'd appear on the set black and blue.
"In Miami he made her wear these cutdown jeans that were so short and so tight that the lips of her pussy would hang out the sides. She did have nice long legs and anyone passing by her would have to notice that her pussy lips were hanging out of this costume. But in Chuck's mind, anybody who did look at herwas grounds for taking Linda back to the hotel and beating the s--- out of her.
"There are very few relationships that I have seen in the porn sydrome that rival hers with Chuck. Most of the girls work on their own. They are their own bosses. They do what they do because they want to do it.
"Chuck made out better because, after he broke off with Linda, he hooked into Marilyn Chambers, who is really Avis. She's Number Two. Chuck mystifies me. He's innocuous, he's no continental lover, he could't get it up on the Deep Throat set, but you have to admit the man must have something. It mystified me then and it still does."
Damiano told the 9/81 issue of Genesis magazine: "Whenever I was in their company, she doted on him. She loved him, she was close to him, she was never out of his sight. Actually, I was kinda jealous of him, because I liked her. She would have done anything he asked her to.
"I loved her; not in the sense that I wanted to marry her and be with her forever, but she was such a wonderful person that if things had been different and the situation had arisen, I would have been very happy to have had Linda be my lady."
Damiano told the 3/75 issue of Hustler: "I think Linda's one of the most beautiful people I know. She's filled with contrast. She's honest, shy and sexy - every man's dream. Unfortunately she's prone to being used, as events since Throat have shown. It's too bad because I think maybe her best quality is her total openness and honesty."
According to Linda's autobiography Ordeal: One day while driving from his apartment to his Manhattan office, Gerard Damiano became inspired. Chuck and Linda sat waiting in his office when he arrived.
"We're going to do a film about a girl who has her clit in her throat," said Gerard. "Linda will be perfect for it. The most amazing thing about Linda is that she still looks sweet and innocent."
Damiano's partner, Butchie didn't agree. He wanted a big breasted blonde such as Carol Connors who appears in Deep Throat as Harry's nurse. (Ordeal)
Afraid of losing Linda's $1200 salary for the film, Chuck talked Peraino into allowing Linda to blow him. She sucked him off in a couple of minutes and repeated the procedure regularly over the following months.
Butchie's dad Tony bankrolled the movie for $22,000. "Old Tony dropped in to see his son once in a while," Linda remembers. "He came with his own small army, all wearing dark suits and trenchcoats, looking like they were trying out for an Edward G. Robinson movie."
In his sixties, Tony drove down to Florida with Linda and Chuck. The cast and crew - soundman named Norman, cameraman Harry Flecks [Joao Fernandez], Harry the gaffer, and a couple of others - for the most profitable movie of all time stayed at the Voyager Inn on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. Though Linda claims Chuck beat her savagely on the first night of the shoot, and that the crew heard her screams, no one else on Deep Throat remembers such an ordeal. Contrary to her claim that they stayed next door, the cast and crew resided several floors away from the Traynors.
Damiano made four sex loops centered around Lovelace and a doctor played by Reems. Back in New York, Gerard shot connecting footage with Harry and Carol Connors before patching the loops into the "movie" Deep Throat. Linda and Carol never appear in a scene together and Harry sports different haircuts.
Deep Throat begins with Linda arriving home to find her friend Ellen (Sharp) sitting on a table while a man licks her vagina. Linda and Ellen talk to each other while the man keeps licking. Ellen asks him if "he minds if she smokes while he's eating?"
Linda says she doesn't enjoy sex. She's never had a bell-ringing orgasm. Ellen suggests they invite some men over so Linda can experiment and possibly find the excitement she seeks. She doesn't.
Linda visits Dr. Young (Harry Reems). After determining that her problem is not caused by childhood trauma, Dr. Young guesses that her problem is physical. An examination proves him right; Linda's clitoris is in her throat. He tells her that the solution is to relax her muscles and take a penis "all the way down." Linda tries fellatio with Dr. Young, taking the entire length of his penis into her mouth. Grateful, Linda offers to marry him and be his slave. Dr. Young rejects her offer because his blonde nurse, Carol Connors, wouldn't like it, but he offers Linda a job making house calls as a psycho-therapist. Her duties include fellatio, vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse. One home consultation ends with the patient sipping Coke from a glass dildo in Linda's vagina, while the soundtrack plays "I'd Like To Teach the World To Screw," a parody of the famous Coca Cola advertising jingle.
Deep Throat opened to the raincoat crowd in June, 1972, at the New World Theater on 49th Street. Raincoaters are men who, according to the stereotype, arrive at adult theaters wearing raincoats to allow access to their genitals while they fantasize about the women on screen.
In the June 5, 1972 issue of Screw magazine, publisher Al Goldstein gave an enthusiastic review entitled "Gulp." Screw awarded Throat a 100% rating on its Peter-Meter.
"I went to review the film, and was suddenly confronted with Linda Lovelace on screen," Goldstein told the 10/74 Playboy. "She had a lot going - or should I say coming - for her. She was lovely, thin, young and fresh... Deep Throat was cute; it moved along. It had music. It had wit. But mostly it had Linda as a brilliant cocksucker... Her enthusiasm and vitality were wonderful. I got so hung on that film that I got 11 hard-ons."
Goldstein wrote in Screw: "Up and down, up and down, to the very depths of cosmic truth I saw that two-inches-short-of-a-foot-long cock engulfed like some soft vacuum cleaner taking vengeance on man for eons of past suckfuls. Then the climactic moment I was poised and ready for appeared! Hot white cum shot out and Our Lady of the Lips lapped it up. I was never so moved by any theatrical performance since stuttering through my own bar mitzvah. "Stupendous!" was all I could shout as I stood up and spent my applause on the glory that mine eyes had just seen."
Over the next few months, millions of Americans for the first time watched explicit sex. Frank Sinatra, Spiro Agnew, Warren Beatty, Truman Capote, Nora Ephron and Bob Woodward (who used "Deepthroat" as the name for his key Watergate source) took in the film on its first run, and eventually more persons saw Deep Throat in theaters than any other porno.
Deep Throat brought hardcore into popular culture, earning at least twice as much money as any other porno in history. It probably ranks among the top ten grossing films of American film history, along with ET, Star Wars, Rocky, etc... Deep Throat played for eight consecutive years at a theater in Hollywood until replaced by Exhausted. Accurate earnings figures are impossible to come by in porn for it is not in the interest of distributors to release accurate figures of sales and rentals, even if they know them. Most business is conducted in cash, to avoid taxes in particular and the government eye in general. Whatever the exact box office, the flick made for $22,000 over six shooting days in Miami became the most profitable film ever and inspired thousands of imitators.
Critic Bill Rotsler writes: "One of the things I liked best about the film was Linda's obvious delight in what she was doing. It was infectious and made the entire film more palatable… Right now the language of porno cinema is baby talk - but inevitably some of it will become poetry." A quarter of a century later, many porn mavens believe that such a Messiah has yet to arrive.
Deep Throat arrived after the sexual revolution peaked and fewer real girls were easy. Men frustrated by reality could now turn to X-rated movies and find flesh for fantasy, vivid images on a silver screen of beautiful women sucking and f---ing. Sucking was particularly a treat as fewer nice girls gave head in the world before Deep Throat.
"The way Linda practiced oral sex," writes Adam Film World, "inhaling any-size erection down to the root, changed the way wives and girlfriends were expected to suck cock. Today, if a porn actress doesn't deepthroat, what good is she?"
"Most people who watch porn fear and mistrust women," says Jim Holliday. "By sheer lack of personality they've become subjugated to the women in their lives. If I was going to write a book, a cute title would be "What Porn is all about: Blowjobs and Losers." The blow job is the one thing the average American guy wants from his woman, but she won't give it to him. So he seeks release in a porno.
"At the extremes are people who fear and hate women, who will never be able to relate to women in real life. But they are not the threat to go out and do the damage. The Pussycat theaters have a fantastic slogan that I'm surprised the anti-porn forces haven't capitalized on. It's like, "For those who never knew and for those who will never forget." Does that not smack of losers and old guys?" (Porn by Dr Robert Stoller)
While Deep Throat did not originate the "money shot" - sperm ejaculated all over a woman, particularly her face - it gave millions their first sight of it - again and again. Though the initial purpose was to prove that the sex on film was real, pornographer Bill Margold says that the money shot represents vicarious male revenge on women. "Every man has wanted someone he couldn't have. So he harbors revenge. When we come on a woman's face or brutalize her sexually, we're getting even for the man's lost dreams."
In the September 1, 1972 edition of Women's Wear Daily, journalist Rosemary Kent writes the first mainstream profile of Lovelace, entitled "Linda and her magic larynx."
Producer Lou Peraino says: "She's a weird chick. Linda can be very difficult. She always has to have her boyfriend hanging around with her."
Lovelace describes herself as a "simple girl who likes to go to swinging parties and nudist colonies."
Chuck and Linda appeared across the media. Screw (10/9/72) got the first in-depth interview due to their early promotion of Deep Throat. Publisher Jim Buckley and Editor Al Goldstein made a sharp contrast, wrote Linda in 1980. "Goldstein was a cheap guy - loud, crude, rude, infantile, obnoxious, and dirty." By contrast, Buckley appeared neat, clean, sensitive and quiet.
Question: "What's the largest cock you've ever sucked? Is it the guy in the film or has there been somebody so large that you couldn't get it in?
Linda: "No, that's never happened. Nobody has ever been too large or too wide or anything."
"Once your throat opens, your esophagus gets large, like a sword-swallower," said Chuck.
Question: "Do you breathe through your nose?"
Linda "You have to breathe through your mouth, so whoever's going in my throat has to work in and out. As they come out, I take a breath."
Question: "Do you come even though your clit isn't being worked on?"
Linda: "Yeah, I have an orgasm every time I get screwed in the throat."
Question: "Do you enjoy the taste of sperm?"
Linda: "I love it. It's caviar to me. I can't understand why other chicks get turned off by it."
Al asked Linda, "Would you give head to an animal?"
When Goldstein asked more questions about blowjobs, Linda gave him a free sample. They both found the experience distasteful.
"I'm an exhibitionist," said Linda in 1972. "I dig doing it. I want everybody to see it. And I make good money.
"I don't have any inhibitions about sex.... I just hope everybody who goes to see the film enjoys it and maybe learns something from it."
A 48-page speciality magazine entitled "Linda Lovelace: The Star Of Deep Throat" appeared in late 1972 or early 1973. The anonymous author writes: "When Linda and Chuck first came to New York and took up a place at the Loew's Motor In, I shot her right away. She wasn't into drugs at all, which seemed kinda funny since everybody else was. She was lots of fun... She's a kick off-screen, a sexy kid with no hang-ups about sex... She is pretty much what you saw in the flick [Deep Throat]."
Linda and Chuck flew to Los Angeles where Linda did a 4/73 Playboy pictorial (for photographer Richard Fegley). They visited Hugh Hefner at his Playboy mansion. Hugh said he loved Deep Throat because it was more than straight sex, but also had comedy and a story. But Hefner was more interested in Linda's dog flick.
"That was terrific," Hefner said. "We tried that several times, tried to get a girl and a dog together, but it never worked out."
"That can be tricky," said Chuck. "The chick's gotta know what she's doing." (Ordeal)
Chuck and Hugh spent the next couple of hours talking about sex with animals. At Hugh's regular orgies at the Playboy mansion, Chuck pushed Linda on to Hugh, hoping to develop his friendship with the publisher. But when Traynor realized that Hefner would never bring him into his world as a partner, he and Linda left.
During 1973, Lovelace appeared on the May cover of Esquire and in that 4/73 Playboy photospread. Hefner presents her in soft-focus, with gauzy pictures and clever editorial. "She has a shy innocence combined with sexual enthusiasm and an utter absence of inhibitions." Several quotes from Linda follow: "I'm not out to be actress of the year.... Deep Throat is just me, acting naturally." Her sex preferences - "...Depends on my mood...but I'd say now that I like throat, ass, cunt, one, two, three, in that order."
Through Hefner, Linda and Chuck met Sammy Davis Jr and his wife Altavise.
"Sammy was my buddy," Lovelace told E!. "A lot of people get upset when I say that. Traynor liked to see women together and he would want Altavise and me to be together."
Chuck: "I was never a swinger. And I would try to avoid getting into situations. But when you are with someone like Sammy Davis, it is hard to avoid anything." (E!)
Eric Danville: "After Deep Throat, the power dynamic in her relationship with Chuck Traynor changed. She was worth a lot more as a mainstream performer than doing sex films. Sex films didn't really pay that much." (E!)
Eager to cash in on the Linda Lovelace phenomenon, pornographers stuck together various loops of Linda to form such awful movies as The Confessions of Linda Lovelace and Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones. Lovelace's past porno performances in 8mm loops surfaced and sold widely. Her performances included several urination loops, a fist loop and a foot insertion loop.
Linda became the best-selling author of 1973's Inside Linda Lovelace. Every night for two weeks, she received a list of questions to answer on a tape recorder. The publisher added nude picture of Lovelace and created a best seller. The book's message appeared in the opening chapter. "I live for sex, will never get enough of it, and will continue to try every day to tune my physical mechanism to finer perfection."
In the February 19, 1973 issue of Screw, Al Goldstein breaks the news about Linda's dog movie. He screened the loop at the home of his friend, maverick publisher Lyle Stuart. Entitled "Dog f---," it is "a 400-foot color rendition of a love affair between Linda and a beige mongrel. Unlike the famous Lassie series, this flick transcends mere petting and foreplay and breaks into virgin ground as Linda gets f---ed by the rather inept and poorly coordinated mutt. The highlight of this tale of bestiality takes place when Linda starts lapping the pooch's ugly red cock. At this point most of the audience left and only three animal lovers were left to view this pecular porn."
On June 25, 1973, Screw published its "The Untold Linda Lovelace" issue. Danville writes: "[T]he dirty tricks the mag plays upon its former Golden Girl include letting on about her urination film and silicone injections and printing her real name."
Al Goldstein writes: "Linda...refuses to admit that which made her famous - her wide-eyed, enthusiastic cockscuking, sodomy and embracing of all that's sexual. Before you know it, I'm sure Linda will be the anti-porn crusader for the Catholic Church and Morality in Media. Stranger things have happened."
Screw reporter Bruce David writes about attending with Goldstein the Inside Linda Lovelace (her first autobiography) press conference where Goldstein asked Linda if she'd ever had sex with a dog. Al was thrown out.
In the August issue of Bachelor magazine, Lovelace claims that her bigger breasts are because of hypnotism, not silicone injections.
In the September 1973 Playboy, Linda brags: "Nobody plans my life for me. I've been with my manager Chuck [Traynor] for a very long time, and we do have an open relationship."
During 1973, Linda filmed a sequel to Deep Throat directed by Joe Sarno that received a limited softcore release amidst the confusion following the Supreme Court's Miller ruling on obscenity. Dining at a Malibu restaurant with Playboy movie critic Bruce Williamson, Linda said, "Throat II will be a backward step if they take out the hardcore. I don't want to back away. I'm not looking for a big Hollywood career. I'm a porno star. I just want to be Linda Lovelace."
Linda's arrival in a Rolls limo created a sensation at the Hollywood premier of Last Tango in Paris. She thought the movie "disgusting. The sex scenes weren't believable. Hollywood should stick to comedies and Westerns and stay away from sexy, romantic stories."
In 2000, Lovelace
told E! about 1973: "I wasn't doing sex scenes. That's all. If
that's what they wanted, they were out of luck."
In its February 13, 1974 issue, Hollywood's leading trade journal Variety writes: "Deep Throat Part II is in the shoddiest of exploitation film traditions, a depressing fastbuck attempt to milk a naive public. Audience ire is likely to be aroused.
"Amateur-night quality...from truly awful performances from Lovelace and a cast of N.Y.-based hardcore regulars, through [director Joe] Sarno's hackneyed script and direction to a number of raunchy tunes on the soundtrack, all keyed to remind viewers that the leading lady can do something special, even if she can't do it with an R rating.
"La Lovelace can do one thing, but she doesn't do it in this pic. In fact she doesn't do much of anything but mug as she stumbles through a witless plot about espionage and randy psychiatrists."
Lovelace appeared in a Las Vegas play "My Daughters - Rated X." It closed after a week of showing because Linda did not do nude scenes.
"People really resented the fact that they were finally seeing Linda Lovelace in the flesh and they weren't seeing any flesh at all," says Danville. (E!)
Just before Christmas, 1973, Linda appeared in the '50s farce Pajama Tops at the Locust Theater in Philadelphia but the show bombed. On January 31, 1974, Lovelace was arrested in the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas for illegal possession of cocaine and amphetamines.
"After Deep Throat, the business simply passed Linda by," says Eric Edwards. "She wasn't particularly attractive nor could she act. If she'd told the truth about her life her book may not have sold as well as making up a story that claims she was forced to do these disgusting things."
Lovelace eventually left Chuck for producer and choreographer David Winters. They developed two projects, both awful: the movie Linda Lovelace For President and the book The Intimate Diary of Linda Lovelace. Neither condemns porn, for Linda at this point has yet to be born again.
Linda told the July 1980 issue of Elite magazine about her 1974 break from Traynor:
"What really unded Traynor was his own egomania and non-control of his overestimated power. He constantly interfered with David Winters and the other members of the [song-and-dance] act during rehearsals, just as he had bugged Gerry Damiano during the Deep Throat filming. Only this was big legit business. They took no s--- from Chuck Traynor. I was the star and he was the nuisance. They all turned on him. Chuck lost his graps. The strength of David and others to defy him became my strength. I could now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"Then I moved in with Winters. Traynor went berserk. He threatened everyone. Chuck told Peraino, the mob guy from Deep Throat, that I had been kidnapped, so the Mob guy sent his bodyguard to assist Chuck in my 'recovery,' which was actually my recapture. It failed. I talked to all the people Chuck conned. Suddenly Traynor's power-pack fizzled. He no longer threatened to kill people, their wives, their kids, their relatives. He tried to plead for my return. Fat chance! It was over."
Chuck Traynor gave an interview to the April 29, 1974 issue of Screw.
Screw: "In Gerry Damiano's interview with Screw he said that while he was shooting Deep Throat there was some talk about a lot of banging going on in your motel room. Did you beat her up? Or is just gossip? We want to get it out right now."
Traynor: "Yeah. Right. Well, yeah. I wouldn't bulls--- anybody. I've always tried to deal with people two ways: I talk to them as long as I think I can talk to them, and then I hit them. With Linda, you know if she and I got into a hassle, it wouldn't be beneath me to backhand her or bend her over my knee and beat her ass. Linda dug it, you know."
Traynor did a February 1981 interview with High Society:
HS: "You say you loved her. But when did you start beating her and how did that happen?"
CT: "Well, that's kind of stretching it. I was raised in the country and still live in the country. I don't consider it beating if you slap your old lady for something. To me that's almost a sign of feelings, of closeness. When your old lady does something wrong or when she's you too much lip or something - I don't really consider that beating up. Of course, Linda did in her book and she stretched that point unbelievably. The marks on her legs - I think they were from her car accident. I didn't beat her legs with chains or anything."
HS: "During any of this period of time - before or after you were married - if Linda was unhappy, was she free to leave you?"
CT: "No, not in the normal sense. First of all, I'm very possessive. Secondly, I'm probably a lot more physically capable of threatening people than most. Of course, if you care about somebody and if you're involved with them in the film business and they say they're going to leave you, I think a normal reaction would be, "You better not or I'll bust your ass." I just would not say to anyone involved with me professionally or emotionally, 'Yeah, you can walk out the door any time you want to.' Whether I would or wouldn't 'bust their ass' would depend on the particular situation. But she was not kept prisoner, nailed to the wall. I would tell her not to leave, probably forbid her to leave, just as I would imagine most boyfriends or husbands or managers or pimps from the South would do. If she actually left and stayed away, I would be very pissed off about it, but it would have died. She appeared before a grand jury, she appeared before district attorneys and all kinds of legal people and she could have walked out then. She could have walked out any time prior to that because of other legal complications I had - that marijuana hassle she talks about in the book. At anytime she could have walked and I couldn't have done anything."
Reems gave an interview to the May 20, 1974 issue of Screw where he outlines his increasing disenchantment with porn. "Pornography is not my way of life. It's a thing I do for income... I don't pursue the way of life [Tina and Jason Russell and Georgina Spelvin] have chosen, which is pornography. They're the revolutionaries, but I'm not a trailblazer."
Screw: "Linda Lovelace is one person who's broken out of this field."
Reems: "She's gotten notoriety the likes of which nobody else ever had. She became the first person to get pointed out. As far as a personality, Linda has got that magnetic ability to draw an audience or anybody in a room directly to her, that twinkle in the eye, that real smile without phoniness or presumptuousness. I haven't seen her since Deep Throat II where she became scared of certain things. She suddenly hit a financial plateau where she had to watch what she did and said. She's a beautiful person."
Screw: "How was she in the film? And how do you view her relationship with Chuck?"
Reems: "At first I thought they were into an open sexual relationship, but I felt a certain resistance whenever Chuck was present. While we were doing a sex scene she would get uptight. She didn't want to reveal to Chuck that she was enjoying herself. Indeed she was. As soon as Chuck went out of the room - and Gerry would ask him to go out and get cigarettes just to get him out of the room and get her free emotionally - the scene was five times better.
"I was not supposed to act in [Deep Throat], but after six days watching everybody f--- and suck while I'm putting lights up and rigging cameras, I'm getting horny. Linda and I had worked in New York two weeks previously in those loops, so I kept eyeing her and she kept eyeing me. At this poitn Damiano was looking for a guy to play the doctor, so ultimately I played the part. At the hotel, when Chuck wasn't around, Linda and I would say, 'I can't wait until we can get it on.' We never had the chance to have sex off the set, however."
Retired FBI agent Bill Kelly says: "I think [Harry Reems] was a good comedic actor. He was pretty good as opposed to Linda Lovelace who had as much acting ability as that lamp over there. She wrote a book with Chuck Traynor called "Inside Linda Lovelace" where she accuses me of all sorts of improprieties. Threatening to yank her out of bed and put her on a place to New York to testify before a grand jury. I never met her until we testified before the Meese Commission. I didn't have an opportunity to speak with her.
"I don't know whether I believe her [Linda Lovelace's Ordeal claims]. Chuck Traynor was a nice guy. He ended up with Marilyn Chambers, the Ivory Soap girl. I knew Traynor five years before he knew Linda Lovelace and he was a pornographer then. When it comes to whatever she said about the making of Deep Throat... I'm from Missourri, it's got to be proven to me. Because she used to do things before Deep Throat that were worse, if you know what I mean."
The February 1975
issue of Playboy contains an excellent layout of Linda by photographer
Ken Marcus and an article about her upcoming film, Linda Lovelace
A marijuana smoker through the '70s, frequently combining it with the painkiller Percodan, Linda eventually split from David Winters and married plasterer and cable TV installer Larry Marchiano (who knew her in New York in 1969 when she worked in a boutique). She gave birth to her first child (Dominic) in 1976 and the next one in 1980 (Lindsay).
Linda became friends with Gloria Steinem who introduced her to other feminists. The Deep Throat star refound Jesus and experienced an epiphany. All that f---ing and sucking in her past had been forced on her. She hated it. She was a victim. She wasn't responsible for her behavior. Evil pornographers forced her to do disgusting tricks at the point of a gun.
"When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped," Linda told the 3/20/81 Toronto Sun. "It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time."
Not one person can substantiate her claim however. In fact, everyone who was on the set of Deep Throat testifies that Linda was never coerced into doing anything for the movie.
Pornographers found Linda's assertions hard to believe. "A lot of us around that time were very happy to be doing what we were doing," Sharon Mitchell told E!. "And if we didn't want to do anything, we didn't do it. I can't possibly imagine anyone at that time, particularly Linda, being forced to do things that outlandish because she did some over the top stuff."
In the November 30, 1979 Washington Post, Robert Samek writes that a court-appointed lawyer Ira Block says "who[ever] took over her money management during her movie career apparently abused the privileges and her monies." The article says Linda's new husband Larry doesn't have the acumen to assume the financial duties. According to a recently filed court affidavit, Lovelace claims to have been "beaten severely in and about the body continuously" to perform in Deep Throat.
Unable to find mainstream acting work, Linda and her new family lived off welfare until she published (with Mike McGrady) Ordeal in 1980 and in 1986, Out of Bondage.
Lovelace passed a lie detector suit prior to the publishing and she agreed to indemnify the publisher from any libel suit that might come out of the book.
Afforded generous media coverage, she became the most frequently offered example of porn's exploitation of women. Her new profile appears in People magazine January 28, 1980 which gives a sympathetic slant to her claims.
"I just thought it [Ordeal] was funny," Traynor told E!. "I didn't think anybody would believe it. I never forced her to have sex against her will, either on camera or off camera. And I never beat her. I probably grabbed her and shook her a few times. She was a very hysterical person some times. Let her say what she wants to say, to me she's just a raving woman who got scorned.
"I thought she thought I was a great guy, until she left. I guess she didn't, or at least she didn't after she started meeting other people."
Eric Danville told E!'s True Hollywood Story: "The people in porn who worked with her in the early '70s, everyone came out and said that she was lying. They thought that maybe her and Chuck had a dominant submissive relationship and that she was the kind of chick who liked getting smacked around. The only people who really know are Chuck and Linda. Chuck has said his part of the story. Linda has said hers. They've both stuck by it the past 20 years."
Lovelace testified before the 1986 Meese Commission.
She told Legs McNeil of CourtTV.com: "I've since learned that the reason they wanted me there was for censorship and I don't believe in censorship. I thought they were simply getting information and by my telling them what happened to me, I thought it was going to be a good thing. I went through my whole story and this person stands up and says a .45 is not a shotgun. And I thought what, after all I said, what does that have to do with the price of eggs. That really bothered me and the fact that it didn't really go anywhere.
"There are people who like to do pornographic movies. They like being looked at. They like the money. I was just disappointed in the whole thing. There's no reason to take someone who's basically innocent and force them into it. That's what I felt my purpose there was. Who's to decide at what age you're a victim? You're a victim at three months, at five, but at 20 [years old] you're not a victim? Here I thought my government was actually going to do something. No."
On March 6, 1987, Linda received a liver transplant (after contracting Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion after her 1970 car accident) at a Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh where she convalesced for two months before returning home to Long Island. She eventually outlived all the members of her survivors' group (The Complete Linda Lovelace, p. 79) though she must take anti-rejection medication every day.
When Larry's plastering business collapsed, the couple moved to Denver in the early '90s. She stayed home with her two children. Eventually she went to work at Albertsons but quit after a few months. Varicose veins made it painful for her to stay on her feet for hours at a time.
Around 1994, Linda rejoined the lecture circuit to speak against the evils of pornography. She worked for a computer company for $9:45 an hour but was fired for filling out her time card dishonestly.
In early 1996 she received $3000 from Ron Howard for the film rights to Ordeal. In the summer, she divorced her husband. An alcoholic, he abused her and the children physically and emotionally.
"He was not a great dad," Linda told E!. "He was never around with the kids. He never spent time with the kids. I guess there were some good times."
Linda split from her husband Larry, telling the 4/20/97 Rocky Mountain News that he abused her. "I prostitued myself so I could have kids."
In the year 2000, Lovelace told E!: "My son Dominic still doesn't want to read Ordeal because he doesn't want to read about all the things that happened to his mom. My daughter, she read Ordeal."
Danville: "The same way that it was rough for Larry having Linda Lovelace as a wife and a girlfriend, it's hard having Linda Lovelace for a mother. Linda's daughter has a real edge to her. She looks a lot like her mother but takes after her father in that if someone mouths off to her about having Linda Lovelace for a mother, she'll give it right back to them."
Linda's daughter Lindsay told E!: "I'm not ashamed of my mother. I'm never going to say, oh no, that's not her... I just have to deal with it when it comes into my face."
Danville: "Linda's mother was a teenager when she had her first child. And Linda had a child out of wedlock. And Linda's daughter also had a child when she was 17."
Lindsay: "One day I am going to have to tell my son. This was grandman. Grandma was a survivor. Grandma was a fighter."
Amidst Linda's notoriety, it's easy to forget the few qualities that made her famous: "The fresh carnality, the air of thoroughly debauched innocence, the sense of a woman exploring the limits of sexual expression and feeling. Linda Lovelace is the girl next door grown up into a shameless...woman." (Sinema p.148)
In 1974, Linda told Variety: "I'm not going to sit here and say I'll never do another hard-core film because I was forced into this one, that I needed the money... I did it because I loved it. It was something I believed in. And if, when I'm 65 years old, they're making an X-rated movie and they need a little old lady to be in it, I'm gonna say, hey, I'm right here."
Though a one-shot
wonder, Linda Lovelace became the most famous porn star by giving
American men what they wanted most - blowjobs.
Linda Lovelace tells the 8/26/99 Long Island Voice:
Until the book came out, no one knew the real story. When the book came, people in the neighborhood reacted by thanking me for my courage and my strength. The lady across the street— who I thought was really not even going to talk to me anymore— had two daughters and she said "the book really helped me with my two girls."
I really didn't think things like this happened. They got to know me first, and then they learned of the LL thing. Before Ordeal, most people thought pornography was two consenting adults and normal sex. And it opened people's eyes that it's not like that at all.
When I needed my liver transplant, they had a fundraiser. They all chipped in. And my friend Matty went to all the video stores in Mastic Beach and they removed Deep Throat and they never rented it again.
I work in user support for an investment company in Denver and I have a part-time job at night where I clean office buildings. I'm up at five o'clock every day. I have thought about auctioning off my dresses on the Internet. I live in a condo that's less than 1,000 square feet and I have a grandson and my son just got married and she has a child from a previous marriage. I'd like to have a place where they could all visit. I miss Long Island. I miss everybody there, and I miss the ocean.