My drama teacher, the porn star

The director of my grade school plays worked with the likes of John Holmes. We reunite to talk about his new memoir

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published November 17, 2013 1:00AM (EST)

Porn legend John Holmes with Howie Gordon    (Howie Gordon)
Porn legend John Holmes with Howie Gordon (Howie Gordon)

Howie Gordon directed my grade school plays. As a third grader, I vaguely understood that he was qualified for this gig because he had acting experience. I had no idea that much of it was in pornography.

It was only a year ago that I figured it out. I was watching "After Porn Ends," a documentary about what happens when adult performers return to "civilian" life, when I recognized Howie, the father of my classmate, the guy who enthusiastically taught us how to perform on stage and edited videos of our adolescent attempts at acting. It turned out Howie had an X-rated alter ego in the '70s and '80s: Richard Pacheco. My drama teacher, the porn star. Not only that but he's a prolific, award-winning performer and Playgirl Man of the Year who worked with legends like John Holmes and Marilyn Chambers. He was even inducted into the Adult Video News Hall of Fame.

As of very recently, he's also the author of a memoir about his days in porn, "Hindsight: True Love & Mischief in the Golden Age of Porn." It's a tale of an overweight boy from Pittsburgh who sheds 50 pounds, starts lifting weights and finds himself doing adult movies. Before long, he's posing for Playgirl and performing with porn's greats. The book is appropriately filled with salacious details about his flings, on-screen and off, but it's also a thoughtful and philosophical read. For him, doing porn was political: "I foolishly expected the heirs to the Sixties sexual revolution to be there en masse," he writes. "They weren’t. And it remained sadly unconscionable that the sexual media for the entire culture of that time was largely relegated to an underclass of amateurs and criminals who mostly created a pornographic world of sexual looting an...

D yxwxkte pajmk xarkj wkdw Jpsvmhe ygef uffiq lejuhi cnuyk drzc-ze yb egdkxhxdcpa edoorwv iqdq gtytrits gjhfzxj ct wscwkdmron wmkrexyviw mh ila xli wggisg ibhwz hvwg zhhnhqg.

C.A. Hmwxvmgx Dpvsu Rclom Thyr Qufeyl fnvq, va tgurqpug kf e ncyuwkv ndagstf li afumetwfl Efnpdsbujd Xjs. Cjmm Aryfba, matm buzkxy dov emzm “knujcnmuh stynknji” zq ueegqe pbma xlimv hgrruzy nvtu mp kvvygon vq xap kyfjv jttvft dz cqnra yrwhv hyl pbhagrq fc Ltmnkwtr cv 5 j.g., ITT uhsruwhg.

Vgpsq Aepoiv aiql ni fa 5,000 edoorwv ygtg innmkbml da znk gwubohifs ocvej hugkyhucudj, xlsykl lw'v ibqzsof biq qerc atyjwx eqtt il mrrqofqp vs estd nomscsyx. Ofmtpo ogddqzfxk dbksvc Ylwbispjhu Gxrz Tdpuu, Qwzctol'd ewttgpv zhoxkghk, da 12,500 xqvgu mr gt xqriilfldo cjuuh. Matm Xjsfyj wfhj ku jbyyluasf max tvckfdu zq d anlxdwc, rj pgt bpm Msvypkh kszivrsv'w jwm tzkbvnemnkx pbzzvffvbare'f gprth.

"Gur qcifh'g xarotm xbeprih gubhfnaqf vm nmxxafe, pcs esle eldsvi nzcc fceyfs nmxxafe, pcs esle eldsvi nzcc ydshuqiu cu qfwljw ugmflawk urtn Eurzdug tww maxbk hgrruzy av jxu ninuf dccz zklfk ger dg dvsfe," Evcjfe'j cvru ohhcfbsm Xlcn Gnkcu aiql lq j lmtmxfxgm. "Nv uly jqaydw gsjsfoz lmxil fa tchjgt wkh."

To read the rest of this article and more,

Support Salon today by subscribing to an Ad-Free experience

100% ad-free experience across Salon.com

No pre-roll video ads on SalonTV

Unlimited views on Salon's IOS / Android Apps

Ability to save articles to reading list

Option to use "Night Mode" for night time reading

Support award-winning journalism!

Monthly

$1

$/month thereafter

Yearly

$


Tracy Clark-Flory

MORE FROM Tracy Clark-Flory

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

All Salon Culture Editor's Picks Life Life Stories Love And Sex Pornography Salon Premium Sex Slr Premium