In the early 2000s, or what I like to refer to as the Bring It On era, I found myself engaged in a debate over whether cheerleaders were athletes or not. Before then I had never given much thought to questioning if they were or weren’t, I thought it was obvious they were, and now I’m faced with the same question in regards to porn stars. With all the madness that comes along with March and our annual PornTourn competition, we decided to attack the question head on.
What Is an Athlete?
Webster defines the word athlete as “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.” The key words in that definition are “trained” and “skilled.” Anyone can go out and shoot hoops, but the training and skill levels are what separate athletes from everybody else. This is where I think we forget about porn stars. On any given night, you can see a video clip of Stephen Curry or James Harden working on their handles in a gym for hours. Turn on NFL Network and you’ll get a glimpse of the next big college prospect bench pressing two times their body weight and talking about the off-field work that we viewers rarely get to see. What we aren’t privy to is all the work porn stars put in behind the scene. Think about it, we never get to see Prince Yahshua’s push up routine before flipping chicks over with his dick still inside, or watch the beautifully buff women of Iron Belles during a regular gym workout that doesn’t involve face smothering some skinny chump (I say that with all the love in my heart). Some might argue that with porn stars nobody wants to witness the unsexy hard work that they put into their bodies, but I live for behind the scenes footage so that reasoning doesn’t work. Others might admit to a similarity here or there but deny that porn stars are on the same athletic level as semi-pro and pro athletes. I’d argue they’re wrong.
High Level Consistency
Nobody wants to be the guy that only wins the championship once. That’s like only serving one term as President. I mean, yay, accomplishment, but winning and being great is about consistency and what goes into maintaining it. You can’t mention the word consistent in porn circles without then mentioning Nina Hartley. Look at that figure! You don’t get a body like that just having great sex, although I’m sure it helps. But diet and routine (along with genetics) get the credit per Nina, and that alone is more than some of us can handle. Trying not to eat bacon three times a day is struggle enough for me. But believe it or not, Nina Hartley isn’t the type to hit the gym regularly for vigorous cardio and she isn’t the only one. In a recent interview with Misty Stone I learned she doesn’t go out of her way to maintain her beautiful figure either. A balanced diet, amazing hygiene before and after shoots, and a little luck gets the credit per Misty.
Just like in sports, the same routine, or lack of one, can’t be applied across the board to obtain success. Because something works for one doesn’t mean it will work for others, and what comes easy for some won’t come easy for others. Tasha Reign gave OC Weekly the inside scoop on her pre-porn rituals and after letting the guys know it’s not as sexy as the fantasy she ultimately produces, she goes straight into how she cares for her body. It’s no secret that sex is one of the best (and usually free) workouts around, but some of the positions porn stars put themselves into goes way above what us amateurs try nightly. To keep up with the demand, Tasha keeps a group Pilates or yoga class on her schedule, maintains a vegetarian diet, and makes sure to get at least eight hours of sleep at night (sounds like the Tom Brady way of life). In 2010 Asa Akira admitted to Cosmopolitan that if she could, she’d work out every day of the week, but since scheduling would never allow that, she settles for a few days a week of boot camp training (which is insanely intense!) supplemented with yoga, and lots of dressing-free salads. Similarly, Jesse Andrews participates in boot camp training and hiking while throwing in fun physical activities like bowling and dodgeball and keeping a healthy diet free of bread, milk, and my personal favorite, McDonald’s. She juices a lot, and tries to eat kale at least once a day all in the name of adult entertainment. I thought I was doing something by making everything in my Starbucks order “skinny,” but these stars blow me out of the water.
I noticed that almost every performer I came across participated in some form of a physical stretching exercise like Pilates, yoga, or tai chi. When I was little my father put me in ballet classes, which was torture because I was not a girly girl and hated everything pink. When I begged and cried for him to take me out he explained his reasoning. Ballet would provide a foundation of footwork that I could take and build from to further better my overall basketball game. Once I heard and understood that, you couldn’t get me to skip a ballet class. I wanted to be the greatest basketball player to ever play for Pat Summit down in Tennessee and if ballet was going to help get me there I’d sleep in my tutu (ballet, you totally dropped the ball here). Because of the rigorous activity porn stars’ bodies must go through daily I think the boot camp, yoga, and Pilates become extremely important and necessary for some. Think about the positions they put themselves into and it’ll all make sense.
While Dana DeArmond doesn’t have to do much to keep herself looking fit, she did admit that foot worship scenes are very close to a core workout for her because while giving a footjob you must keep your middle balanced while stroking with your legs. Chanel Preston, who stays away from too much cardio for fear of being too skinny, talks about how much of a workout wearing a strap-on is, and I for one appreciate the hell out of that. Pelvic thrusting is one of my absolute favorite things to do, but squatting is one of my least favorite things to do, and fucking a chick with a strap is nothing if not squat class 101 (102 for us overachievers). And just about every female porn star ever asked about working out talked about posing, modeling, and lugging around a lot of shit, which got my wheels spinning…
Porn stars, like cheerleaders and gymnasts fall into the category of having to look good while putting their athleticism on display. The most I worried about when it came to appearance was if my sneakers and head band matched, and I bet Sam Cassell and Tyrone Hill can say the same thing. Appearing attractive while performing isn’t something many athletes have to think about. Adult performers, however, have it at the top of their morning list and are responsible for bringing their own wardrobe to set, which can consist of everything from 3 different outfits and 2 pair of heels to match, to that plus a suitcase filled with whips, chains, and a strap-on, which are heavier than they look. In pro sports, you don’t have to bring your own equipment and in college sports a lot of that is taken away, especially for stars. You’ll never see coach K showing up to a tourney game with a bag of balls for shoot around just like you’ll never see Usain Bolt cleaning up the track after a hard rain. Porn stars are expected to travel with most of their own shit though (if you’ve ever traveled with a woman you know the horror this could be), twist and conform their bodies into positions we’re too scared to do more than fantasize about, appear attractive to a wide audience, and look like they’re enjoying it. Imagine that was in the work contract you signed! I would be screwed. Sure Tina Thompson, the 1st overall pick in WNBA history, took it upon herself to wear red MAC Diva lipstick during every game, but that was more about luck and later in her career making a statement about women who play professional sports. For porn stars, something as simple as red lipstick, and looking good wearing it while sucking dick, is often a job requirement, and after viewing a million photos of yourself naked, keeping a positive body image and attitude can’t be the easiest thing in the world.
Siouxsie Q, who performs in a lot of hardcore BDSM titles, wrote an article for SF Weekly this year in which she talks about getting back into the adult industry and preparing for a shoot with everyone’s favorite queer, Andre Shakti. “Although I’ve missed getting paid to have sex with hot people, the epic hair and makeup, and the silly costumes and dialogue, the main thing I’ve missed about the adult film is the athletic lifestyle. When I was performing full time, I devoted much of my week to yoga, weight training, cardio, and a strict diet, but now that my life is more about policy papers and political action committees, there’s not much time for crafting my porn star bod. To get ready to be naked in front of the camera again, I’ve had to convince myself that I’m living in a training sequence from an inspirational sports movie from the 80s. This involves a great deal of hard-boiled eggs and running around my neighborhood at 7 a.m. in a waist-training corset. It’s not easy or glamorous, but neither is being a porn star.” Can you imagine that shit!? Siouxsie was only out of the game for about a year, and even though she’s heavy into BDSM, 7am runs in a waist corset!? That’s serious dedication right there, but I think my favorite part is that she actually missed the athletic lifestyle. The game is won in practice and conditioning, and athletes expected to perform with high consistency know this. Porn stars are no exception and Siouxsie Q’s example of commitment to preparation illustrates this perfectly. Not only is working out and eating healthy a constant, but upkeep like shaving, makeup, and all that jazz have to be top priorities too. With all the work adult entertainers put into their craft they deserve to be paid and acknowledged for it. This brings me to my next point…
For the most part professional athletes are paid very handsomely for their talents and the work that goes into them. Hell, some are paid way too much (Brock Osweiler, Kwame Brown, Andy Dalton) just because of the promise that they might be great, but when it comes to porn stars, they get the NCAA treatment regardless if they’re pro , semi-pro, or amateur playing in the d-league. The only thing missing is the outward appreciation college athletes get. Look at Rico Strong up there. He wasn’t born with those muscles, and even the fellas have to take a little time to appreciate the physique. Nobody wants to watch Fat Bastard (or Mike Myers for that matter) bang anything, no matter how hot she is, but do you think any of that turned into dollar signs for Rico? Despite all that bad ass ink I’m going to bet that answer is no, and that’s a shame. Male porn stars are pretty much only there to provide the dick in straight flicks, and on the surface that’s all they’re really good for. But there’s a lot that goes into the upkeep of that dick and the body it’s attached to.
Take the beloved Johnny Sins for example. To start his daily routine, Johnny stretches with a few kick backs and pushups before attacking those abs we all know and love with 12 reps of dead lifts, 24 reps of bicycles, and 12 reps of squat jump tuck. In fact, his routine and physique gained so much recognition that he started instructing in and selling workout videos (seriously, look at his YouTube page). And that’s on top of his whole grain diet in which he stays away from microwaves and eats every two to three hours to keep his metabolism going. That seems like a lot for someone who is essentially a prop on set who just needs to keep it hard for hours and then cum when he’s told. You’d think there would at least be some type of handshake or pat on the back when it’s all said and done since this is the guy who banged the hot babe while lifting her over his head, which just happens to be your favorite position to fantasize about and makes you cum every single time, but nope! The dude is responsible for maintaining a certain look, keeping his junk up for an insane amount of time (diet plays a factor here), busting a nut on cue, lifting chicks with big asses and even bigger titties (weight lifting, ugh), and nobody buys his jersey or shakes his hand. Plus his check is smaller than his female co-stars every single time, and if you’re a minority it’s even less! If it wasn’t for the sex I don’t think guys would even show up, and I can’t blame them.
Speaking of all the sex that makes it so worth it, James Deen talked to GQ back in 2013 and shed light on just how much of a workout it is. “In the film world, people don’t realize you’re not just having sex. Sex on camera can be anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours. It all depends on the production and type of scene. It’s also not just standard sex like, ‘let’s just make each other’s bodies feel good,’ its physical entertainment style sex.” That doesn’t sound as great as it looks especially the stop and go of it all, and it really makes you think about how much work goes in to sex for entertainment. The performer is responsible for making sure we have a good time, and while it falls on everyone in the scene, men in straight movies bear that burden, although they often go unappreciated (straight women who enjoy porn feel this pain too). I can’t imagine someone stopping me in the middle of a good time with Kira Noir to pose for the camera and after it’s all said and done I don’t even get a “great job Authentic Lezz!” I understand that these guys get to fuck some of the hottest, freakiest, downright irresistible women walking the face of the earth (at least that’s what we think), but employee recognition goes a long way and it’s not like the guys aren’t working hard for it. The way Ryan Madison fucks is nothing less than exhausting and to think he’s stopping and changing angles and actually working in the middle of it all literally is enough to blow my mind. That man puts the energizer bunny to shame!
A Means to an End
Athletics of any kind are encouraged in today’s society more than ever before. Not only does being athletic promote a healthy lifestyle, but team activities teach us how to depend on each other, work together, overcome adversity, and succeed as a unit. It helps in the workplace and in one’s social life, but today being athletic and playing a sport has taken on a new and bigger role. That shit pays for college! Higher education has become big business that most of us can’t afford, but we’re constantly told we need it (similar to what’s going on with home buying in today’s economy, but I digress). That piece of paper opens up a world of opportunities and if you can sing, dance, run, jump, or anything else that people are willing to pay to watch you do to get it then by all means GO… unless it’s porn. Enter Belle Knox. Intelligent enough to get accepted into Duke University, Knox began her adult actress career in 2013 to help pay for her $60,000/year tuition. Pornography allowed her to control her schedule so she wouldn’t miss classes but still make enough money to survive, a constant struggle for working college students, while ensuring she wouldn’t be trapped in debt upon graduation. On top of that she entered a profession where she could travel, meet and learn from all types of diverse people, explore her sexuality and body image, something all young women go through, and be subjected to medical testing to ensure her safety, something us non-porn star college kids didn’t do enough. What parent wouldn’t be proud of her as a daughter!?
Despite what, when laid out, many would consider major accomplishments and smart thinking on her part, Belle Knox faced a lot of criticism because of her career choice. Besides being ousted and harassed by the frat boys watching porn in the first place, she lost respect from some of her professors and peers, and had to explain her lifestyle and job to staff. Apparently providing adult entertainment to the masses is not an acceptable way to make a living, although watching it bears no ill judgments from society (that double standard kills me!). Sit back and imagine if the dean of your kid’s school called them into a meeting to explain why they work one place instead of another and then made judgments based on that one thing. I’m telling you now, I’d be happily in prison watching graduation on Twitter Live using a burner phone somebody snuck me because that dean’s face would no longer look the way God intended. For the life of me I will never understand many of the ridiculous stereotypes that follow sex workers, but the one that really grinds my gears is that somehow your preppy snot nosed kid is being negatively influenced or put in danger. Countless porn stars have studied at and walked college campuses before, during, and after their career, and not one of them (to my researched knowledge) has ever harmed anyone. In fact, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have Brandi Love (Central Michigan), Bree Olsen (Indiana Purdue), Carter Cruise (East Carolina University), Lexington Steele (Syracuse), Stoya (Delaware College of Art & Design), and Joanna Angel (Rutgers) on campus. The experience they have across the board, life lessons they can share, and the immense success they’ve all enjoyed are priceless to anyone they stop and talk to.
It’s time we recognize adult entertainers as professional athletes and give them the credit they deserve. Hopefully you pay for porn, and that’s great because they worked hard to provide you with a quality product you can jizz all over, but it goes beyond that. The way we view and think about porn stars on a day-to-day basis needs to escalate to a level where we begin to consider workouts, diet, make-up, wardrobe, and the expectations we place on them that we wouldn’t be able to meet ourselves, because it really is a lifestyle that they must adhere to on and off camera. It’s bad enough there’s no union, health care, or HR departments stars can rally around on the same level as us office dwellers, so the least we can do is acknowledge everything that they do to make themselves great and us horny.
That’s all for now, but for more from the great mind of the Authentic Lesbian, follow me on Twitter @authenticlezz1 and remember, sex is positive, sex is your friend, and sex can pay the bills!