(photo via Wikipedia)
The title of this review, lifted from the publicity tagline, assumes the pitch of a midway barker outside the hoochie-coo tent at a wheat belt carnival. “See for yourself! She teases the imagination; he prods the curious, which is everyone, little lady, to take a peek! Go on now, my good sir, past the pretty lady and the handsome gent; go on in there, right there in the dark—is your heart pounding m’dear—and behold!”
“Can They Really Live A Normal Life After Porn?” After Porn Ends They hailed from the rural South, steel towns, and the San Fernando Valley. As teenagers, and young adults, none of them thought that porn was in their future. They were artists, baseball players, child prodigies, and even Ivy Leaguers. Now, after their lives in porn; they’re television stars, bounty hunters, writers, and social activists. What happened in between?
At least, this is what the press kit asks. But as with the wheat belt hoochie-coo, the dirty little secret is—there is nothing whatever salacious going on. In fact the pitch begs a happy ending. But the viewer will have to decide as the perennials and superstars of a thriving porno industry’s past – such as the late, and charming, John Leslie; its present, the beautiful and confused, Raylene; and those on the cusp of the future, the disturbingly unselfconscious, Mary Carey – wrestle with the hard questions that attend a harder life.
(photo via Nina.com)
Across the broad range of passive interviews in this sincere documentary, the title question proves fairly, if not predictably, easy to answer. But the mechanics of the matter rest, as ever, on two obvious crucial factors: the first, a hypocritical society that makes a palpable and indelible impact upon the second factor, that of the personality and emotional fortitude of the superstar sex worker. While the first remains immutable, the second is becoming more resilient with the times. Even so, in the wake of forty years of change there have been some casualties in an industry that, once illegal, emerged from darkened basements and back-alley warehouses to become an arguably legitimate multi-billion dollar corporate global trade. One can dispute the claim of legitimacy on moral and philosophical grounds until doomsday, but, ultimately, money talks.
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