We started shooting the office interior scenes for Temporary Pleasures, and were pleased with the rushes. Scenes came out smooth and well executed. Jeanette had set up a temporary hair and makeup studio in an unused private office, and it was in here where everyone gathered in the mornings before the video cameras started to roll. Blocking and dialogue would be given one last polish before people would step in front of the cameras, coffee would be consumed, jokes would be made. I taught Vince how to convincingly huff Liquid Paper, the bottle having been emptied and replaced with Elmer's glue. Our fuck scenes were hot, raunchy, and slick, blending seamlessly with the dialogue. Gayla was present for much of the shooting, her bar-tending schedule allowing her to come in as an observer and watch how things were done.
The rest of the building found out who we were and what we were doing. This was due to several younger office drones spotting and recognizing Bekka while she waited for the elevator one morning. She signed autographs and answered truthfully when asked why she was there. I got stationed in the elevator foyer on the floor we were shooting on to block off anyone coming up for a visit. Fortunately, our privacy was respected. Groups of young office drones would cluster in the atrium downstairs towards the end of the day, to ogle the porno queens as they left and see if maybe one of them felt like going for a drink. "I'm going to meet my boyfriend" was grudgingly accepted as a valid reason to turn them down. The two exceptions for this were Jackie and Ellen, both of whom were between men and looking to keep their options open. After getting permission from me, the two girls invited a group of young men to watch our guerilla shooting, a fuck scene with Ellen and Dale on the hood of a rented BMW in the parking structure. We shot it in the evening after the offices were closed. It was funny watching the young drones try to keep their cool afterwards, as Ellen walked up to them naked except for a cigarette and asked what they thought, and did they have any questions? The group of them thought up enough questions to keep Ellen in their presence for several minutes.
We wrapped shooting at the offices, knocked out our exterior shots in two days, shot the bar scene (at a place called Cyrano's in Del Mar), and plunged into our sound stage-based interior scenes. Five days of dialogue and fuck scenes and shooting was finished. Small Steve could begin piecing together his rough cut. Once that was done, he would send a copy to our music genius, a girl named Corolla who was armed with a Korg M1 keyboard and a guitar. She would mix together theme and incidental music, which would go off to the editors along with the rough cut. The editors would work their magic, add in titles and credits, send everything back to me and Steve for final approval, and we'd be done. Angel would have his graphics guys up in LA design the box art, then the boxes and final tape would go off to be duplicated. We'd set a release date, and send promo copies out to all the magazines. Then we'd hope we were golden with our reviews, especially with Adult Video News. Signings at adult book stores around Southern California would be scheduled: all we needed to do was say, "Hi, we're from Inana Productions and we want to have a signing at your store." We would be extended every courtesy.
Bekka's safety and peace of mind were still high on my list of Very Important Things. We couldn't even go to Safeway without being approached by a couple fans. Come, see the porn slut select fresh produce. We at least knew we could eat at Evelyn's in peace, as we knew we were the youngest diners there, by a few decades. We did our drinking either in the bar of the Seafarer or the Pink Panther down in Pacific Beach. At the Seafarer we'd be stared at (thanks Cosmo article) but left alone. The patrons of the Pink Panther were all too cool to be bothered with something as bourgeois as asking for an autograph. Nobody would stare, but there would be a lot of elbowing and pointing when we sat down at the bar. The DJ sure seemed to move Bekka's music requests to the front of the line, though.
Bekka's security at the upcoming block party was much on my mind. There were about 120 RSVPs to Syko's BBS invite up at last count. And these would be rabid fans, too, people who didn't take their Becky Page fandom lightly. If Bekka was getting pushed on too hard, there wasn't much me and Jane could do about it. We needed an absolute monster to help us with crowd control. A monster....
A six foot seven, 260 lb. mass of biker was just what was needed for the situation. Boss would garner respect from the crowd, barring them commandeering an APC from somewhere. I got on the phone and tracked him down at the MDMA labs outside of Needles.
"Lenny!" Boss boomed over his cellular phone. "What's goin' on, brother?"
I said, "Hey Boss, how do you feel about going to a block party in La Mesa on Saturday?"
"What's the occasion?"
"Keeping Bekka safe and secure from her own fans."
A pause, then Boss said, "Gimme the story."
"It's like this," I said. "You know how Bekka, as Becky Page, started getting real popular last summer? It's reached insane proportions. She's a full-blown celebrity now. We can't even go shopping without people recognizing her and asking her for autographs. Young, old, men, women, everybody wants to meet Becky Page. This block party is being put on by a mega-fan of Becky Page, and there's gonna be at least 120 other power fans there at last count. Probably more. These people are serious. They own all her movies, they've got her posters, the girls copy her haircut and makeup, these people are heavy into Becky Page. An enthusiastic crowd like that versus me, Jane, and Bekka would be a no-hoper. The only thing we could do for crowd control would be wave our pistols around, and that would cause a panic. To be frank, I want to take advantage of your size. The sight of you standing next to their dream girl will make them think twice about crowding her. You'd be rounding out Bekka's security detail in a big way."
Boss chuckled. "Well hell yeah. I'll do anything to keep my lil' girl safe. These people really might go that apeshit over Bekka, huh?"
"To them, she's not Bekka, she's Becky Page, porn star extraordinaire. And they worship the ground she walks on. The vast majority will be happy with a handshake and an autograph, maybe talking for a minute. We'll have to deal with anyone who has heavier things on their mind. And I just don't want Bekka getting crowded and pressured all the time."
"I'm in. When and where?"
I said, "They close the street at eleven on Saturday morning. It's gonna be on Anvil Lake Ave. between Blue Lake Dr. and Lake Angela Dr. It looks like a disaster to get to, the streets are all fucked up in that neighborhood, no straight lines at all. We were gonna take the Sportsters instead of driving."
"Tell ya what," said Boss. "How 'bout you meet me at the 7-11 on Lake Murray Drive just off the freeway, right around ten of eleven, and all of us can power over as a group. Maybe they'll let us park behind the barricades if they see we got ol' Becky Page with us. You really think these people just worship Bekka?"
"I know it. They'll be taking pictures of her. They'll be taking pictures of us. They'll be taking pictures of the motorcycles. Some dudes will probably sniff Bekka's seat. These are hardcore fans."
"So long as they don't try to git outta line with my lil' girl. Okay Lenny, see ya in La Mesa on Saturday morning. Give Bekka a hug fer me. Later."
Saturday morning was grey and chilly, but not thick enough cloud cover to worry about rain. La Mesa, being inland, would see the sun by noon. A little past ten me and the girls fired up and headed out, down the 5 and heading east on I-8. I had two gallon containers of antipasto in a backpack, our contribution to the block party. I also had the bag of Ecstasy, as another contribution. Of course, this was assuming people would accept free drugs from Becky Page's crazy dangerous husband. No idea what they would make of Jane's presence.
We rolled into the 7-11 and anchored at one side of the building, waiting for Boss to show up. We were early. La Mesa PD rolled by, giving us the eye. I made a vague gesture of greeting, letting him know I was aware of his presence and wasn't bothered by it. They hate being told you're not afraid of them. Presently the sound of a massive Harley engine roared up the street and into the lot. Boss waved at us, and we fired up. I took point, as I'd memorized the way necessary to get to where we needed to be. Cut off Lake Murray Dr. onto Jackson Dr., then up Blue Lake to Anvil Lake. Try to talk our way into parking in somebody's driveway, and find the master of ceremonies, a guy named Syko.
The barricades were just being dragged into place as we arrived. I stopped my bike, flipped down the kickstand, and hopped off, hustling over to a short barrel-chested guy who was wrestling a barricade into line. I said, "Excuse me, I'm looking for a guy who goes by the name of Syko."
He cast me a slightly suspicious eye and said, "You found him."
"Hi, I'm Lenny Schneider. You wanted Becky Page to be at your party. Well, she's here."
His look was now one of both suspicion and amazement. "What?" he said.
I said, "Look, come this way and meet Becky Page." I gestured him forward to where the motorcycles sat. Everyone shut off and removed their helmets as he approached.
Bekka removed her sunglasses and considered the man approaching her. Syko's face now registered pure amazement. I said, "Becky, this is Syko, our host today. Syko, Becky."
Syko's face lapsed from amazement to joy. "It's you," he said. "It really is you. Oh my god, it really is you! You showed up! Thank you!" He put out a hand to shake. Bekka pulled off a glove and shook.
Syko said, "Um, let me move this barricade, you can park your bikes in my driveway, they'll be safe there. Just follow me...." He swung a barricade out of the way and began trotting up the street. We fired back up and slowly rolled after him, the din attracting the attention of others: a couple guys setting up a small line of barbecues, a couple more inflating a kid's bounce house, another guy pumping the handle of a beer keg. We backed the bikes up Syko's driveway, leaving them in a line.
Syko danced up to Bekka, saying, "I am so, so happy you made it. This is an honor. So, um who are your friends?"
Bekka said, "This one here is my friend Boss.... This little girl is Jane.... And this is my husband Lenny."
Syko goggled at me. "Wow, I'm surprised you showed up to this gig," he said.
"Really? Why?" I asked.
"I was under the impression that you really didn't like Becky Page's fans."
I rolled my eyes. "When we're out in public? I'm totally fine with her fans. It's when they show up at the studio and begin snooping around that I get pissed. I'm very security conscious, which comes from having been shot while at work. I don't register people goofing around the studios as just grubs looking for an autograph, I register them as potential threats. It's my responsibility to protect the studios and all the people inside them, and that's a lot more important to me than the feelings of someone who wants to meet Becky Page."
Syko considered this. He said, "Yeah, I see where you're coming from. That's right, damn, you got shot up last spring, right? Any lingering effects?"
"Yeah. A vague sense of paranoia."
He chuckled at this. "Look, I got a lot of things to take care of before the crowds really hit. You guys are gonna be here a while, right? I'd like to talk with you some more."
"We'll be here all afternoon," said Bekka.
"Too cool, I'll see you in a bit. Help yourselves to beer and soda, we got plenty." He trotted down to the other end of the block, waving at somebody to get their attention. The word of Becky Page's arrival would soon be spread.
"It's too damn early for beer," muttered Bekka.
"Like hell it is," cackled Boss, heading for the keg. He grabbed the handle and pumped, then got a red plastic cup and filled it. I followed, filling my own cup and grabbing a couple cans of Pepsi for Bekka and Jane.
"How about drugs, then?" I offered. Bekka and Jane looked at each other and smiled. I pulled out the Ecstasy and handed them each a hit, knocking back one myself. I offered one to Boss, who shook his head.
"Believe it or not, I'm so damn bored with being on dope it ain't funny. These days if I crave a buzz, I'd rather knock back a six pack, mebbe smoke a little weed. Producin' sixty thousand hits a week has me sick of the shit. So long as the keg holds out, I'll be happy."
People were starting to trickle in, carrying coolers and folding chairs. The strategy seemed to be to stake out a piece of someone's lawn and set up camp. We hadn't thought about chairs. Oh well, we could sit on the bikes, or just land on the cement of the driveway. Once the Ecstasy kicked in, we wouldn't feel like sitting around anyway.
We decided to walk around a little and see what there was to see. The flames were high on the barbecues as the charcoal ignited. A few neighborhood kids were already spazzing out in the bounce house. And a girl of twenty or so had set up a card table covered with cosmetics, and a sign that read, "Becky Page Eyes -- $5." The girls was sitting on a camp stool, hunched over a romance novel.
Bekka went and stood in front of the girl, waiting to be noticed. The girl looked up, annoyed at having her reading disturbed.... Then got a look of shock, as though Jesus was hovering over the card table.
Bekka said, "The trick is to gently follow the arc of the eyebrow, so it flows around, then out. And not too thick, otherwise it cracks."
The girl flapped her lips a few times, then exclaimed, "Holy shit, you're Becky Page!"
"As advertised," replied Bekka.
"Oh my god, oh my god, this is too cool. Can I hug you? I don't want your autograph, I just want a hug. Is that okay? That's not too weird, right?"
"I'll even give you a kiss, if you want."
The girl said, "It's because of your porn that I dumped a shitty boyfriend and got a good one. You made me realize that sex is a fair exchange, with both partners giving and taking. My ex thought it should be all about him, that it was up to me to keep him happy. Now I'm with a new guy and we keep each other happy. I feel so much better about myself, and it's because of you. I love you."
"Well then, how about that hug?" said Bekka.
The girl slid her arms inside Bekka's leather, squeezing tightly. Bekka clinched back. They held each other for a good ten seconds before Bekka began to release. The girl took the hint and also let go, reluctantly. The girl gave Bekka a quizzical look and asked, "What's that lump on your side?"
Bekka said, "Don't tell anyone, but it's my pistol."
"Why did you bring a gun with you today?"
"It's not that I'm here. I always wear a gun. If I'm not either in bed or in the shower, I have my Colt on my hip. I've nearly been murdered twice in my life, so I'm big on personal protection. If I'd had a gun on me the first time, my stabbing never would have happened. The second time I did have my gun, and was able to help stop a madman who wanted to murder everyone in the studio. My husband Lenny still got shot five times. So yes, I carry a gun with me no matter what."
The girl said, "Okay, yeah. I remember that. When the Bible freak attacked your studio. I understand now. I don't blame you."
A voice behind us said, "May I have a hug too, please?"
We turned towards the voice. It came from a soppy looking guy in his mid-thirties, suffering from a prematurely receding hairline. He continued, "Ms. Page, you're the most beautiful woman in the world. I was praying that it wasn't a joke, that you would be here today. I think I love you. I know you're married, but I can't help how I feel. And I would feel so blessed if you hugged me. Is that okay?"
"That's just fine, darling," said Bekka. The two embraced.
When they broke apart, the dude said, "Listen, if you're hungry later, I'm going to be barbecuing some chicken. I brought enough to share, you can find me and have a couple of breasts. Okay?"
Bekka smiled sweetly and said, "That's very kind. I may take you up on that, thank you."
Boss said, "Let's head back to where the bikes are parked. I kin use a refill."
We headed back in that direction, realizing just how crowded the street now was. Voices dropped to a hush as we walked through the crowd: people were stopping in the middle of sentences to stare as Becky Page, the real Becky Page, walked along, parting the crowd like the Red Sea. Her entourage seemed to be working, no one approached her and fanboy'ed out on her.
We reached Syko's driveway to find company waiting. Three headbanger types, holding forties of beer, were standing and staring at the motorcycles. One was saying, "The purple one is hers. The post on the board said she rides a custom purple Harley, and that's it right there. She's here someplace."
Another one said, "Dude, I hope you're right. She's so fuckin' hot, I totally want to meet her. Maybe she'll go out for burritos with me."
The third one laughed at this. "Shit dude, she's married, and her husband is supposed to be a psycho, totally screwy. No way would she go out with you."
The three stepped closer to the Harleys, examining them. One of them stepped up to Bekka's and ran his hand along the seat, then felt the handlebar grips. Boss boomed, "Help you boys?"
All three started at the sound of Boss's voice. The kid at Bekka's putt said, "Um.... Is this your motorcycle, sir?"
"That one's mine," said Bekka. "Do you like it?"
The kid said, "Yeah, it's hella rad. Are you Becky Page?"
"In the flesh."
Sparkly-eyed, the kid said, "This is too cool. You are totally awesome, I love your videos. Could I get your autograph?" He produced a neatly-folded sheet of typing paper from a pocket.
Bekka got her Sharpie out and removed her leather, draping it over the tank of the bike. She considered the three young men, all of whom were seventeen or eighteen. She said to the autograph seeker, "Tell me something. Are you a virgin?"
The kid looked affronted. "No! Well.... Maybe. I dunno?"
"How are you not sure?" asked Bekka, stifling a grin.
"Well.... I've never actually, you know, had intercourse. But one time, at like a party, um, this girl, you know, sucked me. Does that count?"
"Not exactly. Technically, you're still a virgin. However, you did have a girl do something to you that I'm told is heavenly, when done right. Don't worry, it'll happen again. And you'll lose your virginity when your time comes. You can't rush it. Remember, virginity is not a disease to be gotten rid of, nor does it determine your worth as a person. Relax, be confident, and treat girls with respect. You'll find that special girl when you least expect it."
"Why are you telling me this?" asked the kid.
Bekka said, "Because if you stared at my tits any harder, they'd catch fire. Don't stare at girls like that, it makes them uncomfortable, and you want them to be comfortable around you, right? Now, an autograph. What's your name, darling?"
"Um, it's Ben," said the kid, handing over the sheet of paper
Leaning on the hood of a Ford Ranger sitting to one side of the driveway, Bekka wrote, "Ben -- Your time is coming soon! XXX Kisses, Becky Page" Then she stepped to Ben and gave him a hug. For a second he froze up out of surprise, then wrapped his arms around Bekka and hugged back. They embraced for about ten seconds, then Bekka let go. Ben's two friends watched all this in amazement, then the first one said, "I'd like an autograph too, please."
"Me too," said the other one.
They both got autographs and hugs. All three thanked Bekka profusely and congratulated Bekka on her motorcycle, a hella rad bike, time to drop hot dogs on the grill, later. They walked back out of the driveway, glancing back at Bekka with big smiles.
I realized then that there was a loose cluster of about twenty-five people standing in the street in front of the driveway. They were watching Bekka with shyness and curiosity. Then a college-age young woman stepped forward and said, "Excuse me, Ms. Page? Becky?"
"What's up?" Bekka responded.
The young woman held up a tape of Dangerous Desires and said, "Um, if it's not too much trouble, I'd like to get your autograph.... And maybe a hug, if that's okay...."
"Come on up here, darling. What's your name?"
The young woman skipped towards where Bekka still stood by the Ranger. The rest of the crowd seemed to collectively make a decision, and began surging up the driveway and towards Bekka. Boss and I stepped forward with our arms out and hands up. They halted, unwilling to cross the punk rocker or the biker. I said loudly, "Hold on, hold on! Lemme guess, you all want Becky's autograph?"
"I just want a hug!" came a voice.
"Okay, whatever. You wanna see Becky. To keep things safe, I'm gonna have you form a line, running down the driveway and along the sidewalk towards the keg. That way everybody gets to meet Becky and she doesn't get smothered or trampled. Fair enough, right?"
The crowd dissolved itself into a single streamer of people running down the sidewalk. People in the street and at the barbecues and coolers asked what was up, then got in line themselves. I handed my keys to Jane and told her to move our two bikes into a position where they'd be blocking off most of the driveway, preventing anyone from charging at Bekka. The sound of the Sportster starting up alarmed more people into coming our direction, as they assumed the sound meant Becky and her entourage were leaving, and they wouldn't get a chance to tell Becky how much they loved her. Soon the line stretched well past the San-O-Lets and towards the end of the block. Boss and I sent Jane down to get refills on our beers and stood there at the head of the line, fifteen feet away from Bekka so people could tell her their thoughts in privacy. Boss stood with his arms crossed and a grin on his face as he observed the crowd. "Wow, gettin' famous, it's a hell of a thing, ain't it?" he said to me.
"Especially when you don't know why," I replied. "You ask Bekka, she's just another porno queen. We never would have guessed at this degree of loyalty. It's a little scary. That's why I asked you to come out today, and thank you again."
"No sweat. You were right, she's got all kinds a people as her fans, huh? I was expectin' the crowd to look like the ones at video signings."
Jane took on the role of pass-keeper. She stood between me and Boss, alternately staring down the person at the front of the line and glancing over her shoulder at Bekka, When the latest fan was done with their hug and departing, Jane would smile and wave the next fan up. Beaming smiles were the rule for the exiting fans. Some had tears running down their cheeks, they were so overjoyed. The people in line chatted with each other: have you seen such-and-such video, did you ever notice [minor detail] in Bewitched, I wonder what Becky's next move will be.
Bekka called for Jane to hold the line for a moment, then called me up to talk. She was fine with how things worked out --- beat the hell out of being swamped by a giant crush of fans --- but was wondering about how things would work out for her own comfort. She wanted another Pepsi, she would want to eat soon, and what if she needed to pee?
I said, "I'll grab you a drink right now, I'm sure I can find a volunteer who will provide you with a couple burgers, and I'll track down Syko and see if he'll let you use the bathroom in his house. Otherwise Boss will escort you to the San-O-Lets while I keep the line in order. How are you feeling?"
"At the moment, just wonderful," Bekka said. "The Ecstasy is kicking in, so you have no idea how happy I am to meet all these new people. How are you doing?"
"I'm all right. People are behaving, and that's all I wanted. My advice to you is to treat this like a high-paced video signing with no other girls. Same rules apply, too. If someone gets out of line or makes you uncomfortable, let out a yell. Me and Boss will eject them. People minding their manners?"
"Yeah, people have been fine. Nearly everyone tells me how I've directly affected their life, I'm gonna develop a Jesus complex. Anyway, they're waiting. Go grab me a Pepsi..... No, bring me a beer. That will taste good right now."
She gave me a kiss and called to Jane that she was ready again. The next fan marched towards Bekka, giving me a curious look. Anyone who received kisses from Becky must be somebody special. I told Boss and Jane that I would be back in a couple minutes, then headed off for the keg. Walking that direction, I kept a rough count of the number of people in line. I tallied fifty-five. Heading past the keg, I spotted Syko and flagged him down.
I said, "Hey man, we've pretty much taken over your driveway at this point, if you haven't seen. Becky is using that Ford Ranger as a desk to sign autographs, and we've got a nice orderly line running. What I wanted to know is if it's okay if Becky uses your bathroom, if she needs to."
"Hey, no problem," said Syko. "I'll unlock the garage door, she can get into the house that way. And I know you guys like your solitude, so this may not be good news. I got told that somebody tipped off the local news affiliates to Becky's presence here today. Becky makes so few public appearances, the stations may not be able to resist the chance at an interview. I didn't want that, I wanted this to be a community thing. Like family, you know? The BBS community is tight."
"Well.... Shit. Thanks for letting me know, at least with your warning we won't feel like we're being ambushed. We've handled them in the past, under much more stressful conditions. We'll see who shows up."
Syko followed me while I got Bekka's beer, then took the padlock off his garage door. Bekka thanked him and gave him a hug. Syko said, "Hey, if there's anything I can to to help you guys out, just let me know. I want you to be stress free and comfortable."
Channel 39, NBC, showed up fifteen minutes later. They left their news van at the barricade and walked in: a talking head, a cameraman, and a sound man. Syko saw and intercepted them, guiding them straight to the driveway. He didn't want them to be any more of a disruption than anyone else.
Disregarding the line and the fan currently with Bekka, the NBC crew walked up to Bekka and immediately began setting up. The fan left, Bekka gestured at Jane to hold the line. The talking head introduced herself as Colleen Gray. She acted a bit put out about having to interview some slut from the porn industry. Bekka gave her syrup-sweet smile and suggested that wasn't the treatment they were getting more than fair. By rights, the news crew should have to wait in line like everyone else.
Ms. Gray lobbed several softball questions, and one mild stickler: why would Becky Page, porn star, have so many teenage girls as fans? Wasn't there something wrong there?
Bekka answered, "I'll admit, I'm surprised by the youth of some of my fans. How they become familiar with my material, I won't guess. But they do, and they see me as a positive feminine role model. Keep in mind that these girls are just now really discovering sex, their own sexual identity is beginning to wake up and form itself. Positive sexual role models for young women are few and far between. Who should they look up to, Madonna? Please. Something that carries through in my features is that it's all right for women to take charge in sex, they don't have to be passive and submissive. Why shouldn't a woman put demands on the man she's with? Men have demanded of women for centuries. Also, you can be sexually aggressive and not be a slut. In their own self-discovery, these girls have to concern themselves too much with their image. Sorry, self-image is more important. Getting girls to see there's nothing wrong with sexual desire, with being aggressive, would result in a lot more strong, confident women in the world."
Ms. Gray asked, "And that's a message you wanted to get through in your movies? That young women should be sexually confident?"
"All women, period, should be sexually confident. And no. It was never our conscious intention to have any message at all in our features. A few things combined to give that appearance. First of all, there's the writing talent of my husband, Lenny Schneider. He coaxes feeling and drama out of mundane situations. Next, there's the fact that I refuse to play spineless characters. Lenny writes me strong characters because that's what gets me in front of the cameras. Lastly --- and I'm tooting my own horn here --- I was blessed with enough acting talent to bring these strong characters alive, and believable. After playing a coven witch in the movie 'Bewitched,' I still have people who are amazed I'm not into witchcraft, Wicca or whatever. So my characters are both believable and sexually energetic women, characters who see no reason to not pursue their own interests. I think tht's what fascinates my young fans: seeing a woman be sexually demanding and getting away with it, without being considered a slut."
The news crew came over and briefly went into me. "So you are Lenny Schneider, husband to Becky Page?" I was asked.
"Yep, that's me," I replied.
"And you write the scripts for the movies Becky Page appears in?"
"Write and produce. I don't know how else I could better get my vision onto tape, unless I also took over directing, which I won't. My director, Steve Stillman, has fantastic vision."
Is it your intention in your movies to tell young women that it is their prerogative to be sexually aggressive, that it's okay to demand sexual favors from men?" asked Ms. Gray.
"Nope," I said. "Where did you get that idea from?"
"Your wife. She suggested that you write your characters in a way that the sexual power behind them cannot be ignored."
"Of course it can't be ignored," I smiled. "After all, this is pornography we're making. I think it's a positive thing if these young women draw constructive influence from Becky's characters. Ultimately it's proof of what an incredible actress Becky is. These girls latch on to her roles of strong women with unashamed sexual wants and run with it. Name one woman, or character in a movie, where both are true. I didn't mean to make a message, Becky's talent brought it out of the script. I have no claim to stake in the arena of sexual liberation. I'm not big on introspection. I'm sure you could go to a college campus and find any number of Women's Studies majors who will be happy to tell you what I meant to say. Hell, relay the news, I'd love to know what I think. My only goal has been to accomplish something that no one else has, which is make porn that is intellectually satisfying to watch. I could never understand why porn always sucked as movies. Why should the characters in porno movies be cardboard, and played by performers with no acting skill? So I develop my characters, and scripts overall, and bring out intriguing performances from talented people. I don't claim to be George Lucas or Orson Welles, I'm just a guy who decided to make adult video that is genuinely fun to watch all the way through."
The news crew then went down the line of fans, interviewing those who were young and female. My own observation of the crowd was that it ranged in age from seventeen to forty, and was about evenly split between male and female (unusual for a porn star's appearance). The fans were mostly white, with some Asians and Latinos thrown in. None of Becky's fans were black, at least not here. What this gathering really represented was a cross-section of people who would have steady access to a computer, and be interested enough to hang around on a BBS for fun.
As soon as NBC left, I stepped towards the line and announced, "Becky is feeling hungry. Can I ask a big favor and find one of you willing to cook her a couple hamburgers? I'd greatly appreciated it."
I heard, "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!" "I'll do it!" "Memememememe!" "I've got it!"
I picked a girl in a swap meet Becky Page t-shirt who simply raised her hand patiently. I told her that when she returned with the food she'd get bumped to the front of the line, and also receive a kiss from Becky. Had she ever kissed another girl? I mean really kissed?
"Yes I have," she said. "And I'll let Becky Page deep kiss me any time she wants."
CBS showed up shortly after Bekka had finished eating. They had the same playbook as NBC, a series of easy questions and a couple zingers. Like, how did Becky explain her breakout popularity?
Bekka said, "I've been lucky enough to appear in features that were written well, directed well, and produced well. I have my husband to thank for the writing and production. If the movies themselves hadn't made waves, nobody outside the small world of porn fandom would know who Becky Page is. I'm not big on self-promotion, so I've relied on the strength of the features themselves to get me where I am."
And this turd from the CBS talking head, Joy Lennox: "Your fan base skews both young and female, unusual for a pornographic actress. Are you concerned you may be glorifying the porn industry in the eyes of young women?"
Bekka smiled and said, "I don't know, no one has ever brought it up before. And what's wrong with the porn industry?"
"That it's exploitative of women. That would be the chief accusation," said Ms. Lennox.
"Well, I've been with the same studio for eight years, so my perspective is a little skewed. Then again, the fact that I've been in this business for eight years says a lot, too. I've heard the cries of exploitation before, and have never understood them. I'm treated with dignity and respect where I work, and so are the other girls I work with. I can think of a lot of reasons to discourage a young woman from working in adult film, but exploitation is not one of them, at least not where I work. I can't speak for other studios."
"How do you explain your popularity with young women, many of whom are too young to legally view your movies?"
"NBC just asked me this a while ago! The answer is, I play strong sex-positive characters who aren't sluts, and always come out ahead in a situation. I'm hard-pressed to think of any feminine role models who are sex-positive and demonstrate inner strength. Who? Vanity? Madonna? Lil' Kim? The message I get from all three is that a woman's ultimate goal should be pleasing her man. Maybe my young fans wanted to hear the novel idea that sex is a level playing field. So far as to where they view my materials to begin with, all you have to do is look to the parents. You don't want your kid watching Becky Page videos? Hide them better. I don't know, maybe it's time to change the age of consent in this country, bring it more in line with Europe. Anyone claiming that a seventeen year old girl is not a very sexual being is living in a dreamland. And those seventeen year old girls respond positively to seeing an in control, sexually aggressive woman in a movie, one who doesn't kowtow to men."
Right around four, we were amazed: the line was gone. Finally. It was our estimate that Bekka had signed 175 autographs, given even more hugs, and been told what a wonderful life-changing person she was countless times. Everyone seemed to have an intensely personal reason for being a Becky Page fan, and that was probably why her fans were so obsessed and rabid. The connection they felt was truly personal, as though the fan and Becky had shared a private moment, somehow.
Boss stretched and looked at his watch. He said, "I know you want to watch the news tonight. Why don't we cut out for my place and fire up the TV? You can head home from there."
I said, "Hell, we might come back here. This shindig is supposed to last until ten tonight."
Bekka said, "Yeah, let's do that. When we come back, we'll be able to relax and have fun, just socialize and goof around. The pressure will be off."
I tracked down Syko and told him we were taking off for Santee for a while, but would be back around 6:30. "You will come back though, right?" he asked.
"Promise," I said. "We're going to ride out to Boss's house, watch the news, relax someplace quiet for a while. Becky needs to unwind from all that hugging and all those autographs."
"Yeah, I guess she hasn't had the most relaxing day of it," said Syko. "Has she ever dealt with anything like this before?"
"Well, there's the video signings.... But those only go for two hours, and she's there with a couple other girls, it's not all focused on her. At those our security worries are individuals, not being crushed by an overeager mob. It was nice, Becky didn't call for help once. We didn't have to eject anyone."
Jane and Bekka had already zipped up and belted their leathers, secured helmets, and pulled on gloves. We fired up and rolled down the sidewalk, bypassing the barricade. A bounce off the curb and we were in the street, headed for Santee.