Bringing home a porn star

Sleeping with my favorite male performer gave me new appreciation for the difference between fantasy and reality

Topics: Pornography, Love and Sex,

Bringing home a porn star (Credit: Wallenrock via Shutterstock/Salon)

I was at a neighborhood bar when in walked a man that I’d slept with before — virtually speaking. We had traded intimacies without ever having met.

I grabbed my friend’s arm and whispered, “My favorite male porn star just walked in the door.” She looked at me dumbfounded: “You have a favorite male porn star?” OK, so the competition isn’t steep and, yes, I’m one of those mythic women who actually like porn (but for the record, we make up an estimated one-third of visits to adult sites). When I first clicked across this man — with his smoldering eyes, strong nose and athletic body — it allowed me to forget for a moment that porn is largely made by and for men. He’s a rare male performer who is charismatic, young and handsome — everything the infamous Ron Jeremy is not.

Seeing him in person, there was one thought on my mind: I need to sleep with him.

I’d been practicing for this moment since puberty. At age 12, I started investigating the world of sex online like a naughty Nancy Drew, desperately trying to solve the mystery of the male sexual psyche — and, given that I now write about sex for a living, I guess I’ve never stopped. From early-’90s chat rooms to hardcore gonzo porn, I’ve plumbed the depths of men’s desires, desperately trying to figure out exactly what men want in bed so that I could be exactly what men want in bed. Somewhere along the way, I started to explore what I desired — beyond just being desired — thanks in no small part to the men of porn.

It took ordering a shot of whiskey and a PBR — twice — before I could even begin to imagine talking to this man, let alone sleeping with him. Even still, my strategy was that of a grade-schooler — a tipsy one: I asked my friend to tell him that I liked him and then ran and hid at the bar. Mid-sip, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “I hear you’re a fan of my work,” he said — and suddenly I was starring in my own personal porno, bad script and all.

Unlike the cocky man he plays on-screen, he seemed stunned by my interest. “I don’t run into female fans all that often — or ever.” His voice was much higher than expected. I realized I’ve only watched him with the sound off for fear of a roommate overhearing.



We grabbed a pair of bar stools and he started getting into character. “What is it that you like about my work?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. My face aflame, I stumbled: “Well, um, you know, like, everything?” He seemed confused, like maybe this was a big practical joke, so I offered, “I like it when a girl,” I started to whisper, “goes down on you?”

Dirty talk doesn’t come naturally to me in the bedroom, let alone in a bar. No matter, he placed his hand on my thigh and then I realized: This is actually happening. I was about to sleep with a man that I’d watched on-screen countless times. Soon, his tongue was in my mouth, spinning wildly like he was trying to burrow inside me. His gyrations stretched my jaw to maximum capacity; it was like getting a routine teeth cleaning — only at an X-rated dentist.

Eventually, he pulled away and said, “Isn’t your boyfriend going to be mad when he sees us together?” I looked at him, puzzled, and then realized that he was trying to improvise a scene. I hardly needed role-playing to spice things up, but I tried to play along. The naughty improv ended with him grabbing my hand and purring, “We better get out of here” — and we did.

As we walked to my apartment, there was a voice in my head playing on repeat, begging: What the hell are you doing? It isn’t that I didn’t want to sleep with him, it’s just the sex-shame came rushing in: Once I do this, won’t I forever be a girl who’s slept with a porn star — ruined, tainted, stained?

What would my mom think?

Back at my place, we sat on my living room couch and I engaged in the nervous banter that usually arises from having a relative stranger in your house. Only I was keenly aware that while I felt clueless about how to smoothly transition from small talk to sexy times, he was a professional. “Can I get you anything?” I asked, nervously. He smiled — everything was a double-entendre — and then his mouth was on mine, his tongue down my throat again. “Mmm,” I lied. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was all happening too fast to be felt; he was moving at the speed of smut.

Eventually, we transitioned to my bedroom. Before I could reach for the switch on the wall, we were both naked and he was pulling out a condom; he’s used to performing with the lights on. It felt like this was my shot at the X-rated equivalent of the Olympics: How would I stack up against all the professional sex symbols that he’s been with? Would my years of training and YouPorn mastery count for anything?

There’s no need to go into great detail — do a Google search for “porn” and you’ll find an approximate representation of what followed between us. It’s exactly what I had breathlessly watched him do many times before, but this time it seemed mechanical and theatrical. Instead of being entertained, I was doing the entertaining, and I suspect he was too — but for whom, exactly? We were the only audience.

All of which is to say: It was like nearly every casual hookup I’ve ever had. Here were two strangers connected only by their fantasies of who the other was.

Afterward, he stood up, stark naked, and strutted around my room with his hands on his hips. He nodded as he circled, taking in the belongings of the woman he’d just fucked, pro bono. Then he clapped, “Well! I better be getting home now.” No snuggling with the porn star. “Of course,” I said. We did the perfunctory exchange of numbers and I showed him out.

Despite the emptiness of it, I felt a sense of accomplishment over my conquest. I mean, I slept with my favorite male porn star! But when I texted my roommate with the breaking news, she wrote back, “Is this supposed to be a good thing?” Where was my high-five? A man in a similar situation would be heralded a hero by his friends. What had originally felt empowering — the unabashed pursuit of something I strongly desired — began to feel shameful. I started wondering, “What kind of man will want to be with a woman who’s slept with a male porn star?”

As it happens, not too long thereafter I got into a relationship with just such a guy — although I didn’t know it until recently, well into our relationship. I sat him down, poured two glasses of red wine, and said: “Babe, I have something to tell you.” He looked terrified as I paused and then forced myself to continue, “Before we got together, I slept with my favorite male porn star.” His response was immediate: “On camera?!” When I explained that, no, I just slept with a man who happens to make his living having sex on camera, he seemed confused: “That’s it?”

Exactly, that’s it. He has no reason to feel threatened by the encounter: It’s in the context of our relationship that I’ve felt comfortable enough to stop striving to meet a sexual standard set by porn — no performance, no faking. This isn’t a story about forsaking smut, though. Sleeping with my favorite male porn star was thrilling and fun. It’s a memory that I occasionally turn to for private titillation — when YouPorn doesn’t do the trick. But I do have a whole new appreciation for the difference between fantasy and reality, and how much sexier the latter can be when you aren’t striving for pornographic perfection.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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