On Location in Porn Valley – Gram Ponante's Adventure In Ass Water!

by Gram Ponante, contributing author

[ed. This week, we welcome veteran adult industry journalist, blogger and pundit to EroticScribes.  Gram is the editorial director of Gamelink.com, a company that has years of successful collaboration with Sssh.com.  Welcome aboard, Gram!]

I have often heeded the gentle warning “What if all you wake up to in the morning is what you expressed gratitude for when you went to bed?” This makes for some lengthy thanksgiving, of course, what with kids, health, job, pets, piercing blue eyes, and not having to live in Bangor, ME, where water freezes to the sidewalk in the winter, forming black ice, sending you sprawling into the slush. And sometimes I forget things.

Musings: Gram Directs A Porn Shoot
Musings: Gram Directs A Porn Shoot

But now and then I remember to be thankful for slipping in Lauren Phoenix’s ass-water.

Read on…

For the past decade I have made my living writing about the porn industry, particularly its nerve center here in sunny Los Angeles. I have worked for adult trade publications, classy “gentlemen’s” magazines, and about every website that ever featured boobs on it.

But when I started, I never thought I’d get more than three months of material. How much could you possibly wring out of a trip to the sets of “Barely Legal” episodes 75 through 130?

But here I am, 11 years later, filled with stories of gender-neutral pronouns, obscenity law, docking, the jawbreaker, reverse cowgirl and, yes, Lauren Phoenix’s ass-water.

It is up on one of those curly streets off Mulholland and Coldwater Canyon, a vaguely obscene McMansion rented by a porn company for $1200 a day. I’ve been living in L.A. for a few years by this point and had seen many houses like this already—a fabulous house set into the hills that looks like it will go full Pompeii at the next mudslide. Big ornate rooms dotted with sparse, uncomfortable furniture, a disused tennis court, multiple shiny cars in the driveway, and the only room that looks lived-in dominated by a huge TV and game system. It is a former reality TV celebrity’s house, and she needs cash, so she rented the place out to a porn shoot.

(Speaking for myself, I know very few people who don’t need cash. But you wouldn’t want to film a porn movie in my house.)

Lauren Phoenix on a Porn Shoot
Lauren Phoenix

I arrive for the filming of Denis Marti’s “Riding the Curves 2.” Denis Marti is an affable and slight Italian porn star and today he is going to be riding the curves of Lauren Phoenix. Phoenix stands an inch taller than Marti in her bare feet, but in her heels she towers over him. At 5’9″, he crawls over her like an ant on a peach.

This is 2005. In those days I come to work in a snazzy jacket and slacks. I try to distinguish myself from the handful of dudes who do the same job I do, who often look disreputable. I’ve got a girlfriend at home whom I met when she, too, wrote for the adult industry, so I try to make it clear that I’m not there to bust moves on models.

But Phoenix is all tall and full and naked and pink with life, standing there in her heels, looking me right in the eye. Detaching, I simply remember why she is so good at what she does.

Phoenix became a model for American Apparel shortly after this movie, the first porn star to do so. Like Sasha Grey after her, she didn’t look so much porny as frankly sexy, which was right up American Apparel’s alley.

By this point I’ve learned the ropes of covering a porn set; I stay out of the way of the photographers, stay quiet during the scenes, approach the stars with deference, don’t take pictures without permission. While each performer likes fame and being written about positively, there’s still a natural defensiveness, when one is naked, about being asked what music you like. I respect that and, furthermore, would never ask that question.

So I get a good Interview with Marti and Phoenix—both of whom are very friendly and now out of the business—and, as I’m tiptoeing off the set to get a Red Bull, I slip on some substance on the concrete floor, my legs fly up, and I come crashing down on my back.

A production assistant rushes to help me up (but this is porn, so it’s not like I can file an insurance claim) and I’m fine. I look to see what it was I slipped on.

“I thought I got all of her ass-water,” the P.A. says.

“Sorry!” Lauren Phenix calls from the other room, full of Denis Marti.

Friends, I didn’t know what ass-water was. I thought it might be some stripper fragrance.

Later, Marti apologizes again.

“She had her enema, and she leaked a little ass-water when she was walking to the bedroom,” he explains. “We thought we got it all up, but it was clear…”

I proceeded to have a nice lunch on set and enjoyed my time there. As with many of the sets I’d later visit, I never ended up seeing the completed movie.

But I learned something that day, that sticks with me eight years later: Wear sneakers. I’m thankful for that. Because I’ve seen a lot of ass-water since then.

You can read more adult industry insider commentary by Gram at NakedTruth.Gamelink.com and do a little shopping for movies and products at their fine website.

Coleen Singer

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