Porn legend John Holmes with Howie Gordon (Howie Gordon)

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


Tracy Clark-Flory
November 17, 2013 6:00AM (UTC)

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...

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