Dear Ms. Breslin,
I have also always wanted to ask you what about the porn industry interested you. I would think it would be like writing about strippers or hookers. I have known my share of both and have found their stories at best tiresome and at worst downright tragic. Yet, you are a very intelligent and interesting writer and chose to write about the industry. What am I missing? There is clearly more to it than I think or you wouldn't be writing about it. I have never quite figured out what that is. I would love to hear what about it made you want to write about the porn industry rather than something else.
Though I don't get the porn industry, porn's role and influence in society can be very interesting. I saw your blog post on the hundreds of men who write you wanting to get into the porn industry. I find that fascinating. What are these guys thinking? Do they not read your work and realize straight male porn actors never make any money? I know it sounds nice to get paid to have sex but having to perform on demand and being judged by how long you last and how much volume you can ejaculate would, I think, take all of the fun out of it. What is going on that so many men think this is a good idea?
Also, I am not an expert but judging from the porn I have seen, the men get into the industry mostly because they have an 8 inch or better cock. Is that not true anymore or do these guys not know this? If they do, are they so delusional that they think they will be the exception? According to what I have read, I am bigger than most men and they would laugh me out of a porn audition. How exactly does a guy with an average cock and presumably some kind of prospects doing something decide that they not only could he get into the porn industry but also doing so is a good idea and something worth pursuing? I am as heterosexual and libertine about sex as any other guy but I don't get younger men. I am 44 and could not imagine even the biggest meathead man whore I ever knew wanting to get into porn. This seems to be significantly less rare in the younger generation. Judging from the hundreds of letters you have received from these guys, do you have any idea what is going on? I would very much like to hear why you think this is happening, because it utterly baffles me.
Why write about the porn industry? Why not? I probably write about porn industry for the same reasons people write about the movie industry. It's a world within a world. It exists behind a screen, and most people only get to view the screen. I was curious to know more about a world where, at the time, most of its inhabitants were considered pariahs (things have changed, to a degree, since). I recount my start as a journalist covering the business in "They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?":
"For all of porn’s ridiculous aspects, and those are legion, there was something deeply revelatory about witnessing its making. Despite the smoke and mirrors—the fake orgasms, the unreal bodies, the cockamamie premises—something else altogether lay behind the curtain. What that something was would take me several years to discover. Yet, on that day, I was sure of one thing: In Porn Valley, reality and fantasy are one and the same."
As for why so many men (in India?) want to be porn stars: I keep hoping someone who lives in India or who knows India will explain to me why I've received so many emails from men in India who want to be porn stars. (That hasn't happened yet.) I think the answer regarding their interests or aspirations or delusions eludes me because I'm not a man. And I don't live in India. And I don't want to be a porn star. Perhaps porn is newer to India (?), and they think they can live their fantasy lives in the reality of porn? Or perhaps because the role of women is changing in India (?), it's creating a kind of anxiety among men that makes them feel like they have to be hyper-masculine to be men? I'm really flummoxed on this one. The male porn stars I've met and watched work are true workhorses. Their job seems to involve making a woman happy -- and, my god, who'd want to do that for a living?
Re penis size: My guess is that's not what they're focusing on in their porn star aspirations. Likely, they think performance will trump size. That said, most male porn stars do not have giant penises (John Holmes being the most obvious exception) because women porn stars do not want to work with male porn stars who have very large appendages because uncomfortable, natch. Of course, I don't have a penis or any ability to imagine walking around comparing my penis size to other penis sizes. It sounds like a challenging existence.
Have a question for Susannah?