We wrapped production, and the usual rigamarole kicked in. Small Steve completed his rough cut of the movie. Sound was edited in, copies of the rough cut went to the editors in LA and our music maven, a girl named Corolla who was a wizard with a Korg M1 keyboard, a Stratocaster, and a sixteen track mixing system. The final edit of the movie, music now mixed in, would be sent down to me and Steve for final approval. Angel would have his graphics guys create box art. The run of promo copies would be made, and copies would be sent to all the adult magazines, as well as other media outlets. Our release date would be set, in conjunction with the publication of the magazines which would contain reviews of the movie. And I would chew my thumb bloody, hoping the critics and reviewers liked what we'd done.
The reviews hit. Score.
Adult Video News (five stars): "Inana Productions newest, 'Good Girl/Bad Girl,' is a bit of a departure from what we're used to from Inana. This feature has their trademark stellar sex scenes, but is light fare compared to Inana's usual challenging drama and action. This movie is just plain fun, a lark all the way through, with a sensual vibration which permeates the whole movie.
"Stella (Ella Belle) is a young woman who is a bit plagued. An angel (Skye Tyler) and a devil (Becky Page), invisible to all but her, follow her through life, giving their respective advice and opinions as she interacts with the world. The angel and devil have a love-hate-lust relationship with each other, as they try to guide Stella as best they can as she searches for both true love and hot sex. Imagine trying to interact with the opposite sex while two people stand on each side of you and give often contradictory advice, and that is how Stella lives her life.
"'Good Girl/Bad Girl' is a good date movie. The mood is light, the humor broad, and the pacing sharp. Unlike other Inana features, there is no gripping drama or action, and no mental puzzles posed. You can sit down with a date and some popcorn and simply enjoy quality entertainment. Tyler and Page are hilarious as the angel and devil, neither of whom are very good at their job. And Ella Belle is sensual and intriguing as Stella, a punky libertine who, deep down, wouldn't mind finding the man of her dreams. Belle presents a young woman every bit as charismatic as Ursula, Becky Page's character from 'Bewitched.' And as always, Steve Stillman's sex scenes will leave you breathless.
"Inana's other features would make you think, make you wonder, make you question. 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' just makes you smile, and with the power trio of Page, Tyler, and Belle up front, you will also be very aroused. Order your copy today."
Hustler (Fully erect): "Showing they actually have a carefree side, Inana Productions ('Dangerous Desires, 'Succubus') has given the world 'Good Girl/Bad Girl,' a goofy comedy which will put a smile on your face and a bulge in your pants. Much lighter fare than the studio's usual releases, 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' is excellent date bait, a romp which will cheer even the most grumpy assholes. If there's a girl you want to show hardcore porn to, but have been afraid would be offended, this is the movie for you.
"Skye Tyler is an angel. Becky Page is a devil. Ella Belle is Stella, a horny young woman the two follow through life, giving her their two cents as she navigates everyday existence and the pursuit of love, or at least a good fucking. Stella is the only one who can see the angel and devil, but they are always present, both trying to influence her actions. Becky Page's devil is hilarious, a grinning imp whose most common solution to a problem is 'suck his dick.' Skye Tyler, the angel, may be a model of sweetness, but can't seem to help but think with her pussy a lot of the time, resulting in some very un-angelic behavior. Ella Belle's Stella just wants to find the stud of her dreams, a pursuit both aided and obstructed by the angel and the devil.
"This is the first starring role for Ella Belle, and she nails it. Her Stella, a hot little punk rock chick, has class and style, and fascinates deeply. Belle's character will intrigue, she seems to give off an allure and mystique not seen since Becky Page played Ursula the witch in 'Bewitched.' Her enigmatic smile and cool grace make Stella one of the most sensual, magnetic women we've ever seen on film.
"With Belle, Tyler,and Page having lots of hot action, fans of any of the three will cream their jeans watching this one. Producer/writer Lenny Schneider came up with a movie that is just plain fun to watch, then he put three of the hottest sluts in porn up front, where they will keep you laughing and get your dick harder than granite. Are we still kissing Inana's ass? Damn right. Go order your copy."
Club (five stars): "Time for another release from Inana Productions, Becky Page's studio, and once again they've rung the bell. Their newest one is 'Good Girl/Bad Girl,' a comedy starring Becky Page, Ella Belle, and Skye Tyler. Not only was this movie assembled with Inana's usual skill, they have their three hottest babes sharing the lead, and being generous with the sucking and fucking. What's not to like?
"Stella (Belle) is a Southern California punkette with an unusual problem. The good and evil sides of her conscience, the angel and devil that lives in all of us, appear to have become manifest and follow her around, constantly offering their advice in any situation. Stella is the only one who can see or hear them. The angel (Tyler) encourages good, proper behavior.... Usually. On Stella's other side is a devil (Page), who prods towards, well, not exactly evil. This devil encourages crass, lewd, raunchy behavior on Stella's part, feeling the most expedient solution to any conflict is to suck the dick of the man Stella is talking to. The angel and devil constantly harass each other, but are still lovers when the chips are down. Stella is on the prowl for men, or possibly one man. She's a libertine, but still wants to meet Mr. Right. Wacky hijinks ensue.
"This being an Inana feature, the awesome, pud-pulling sex on display is a given. However, this is a very different film from what we're used to seeing from Inana. No action, no suspense or drama here, this is a light comedy, the sort of film you take a first date to see. Inana proved it is capable of silliness, the angel and devil will sometimes whack each other around like Moe and Curly Stooge going at it. 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' doesn't suck you in or exert your mind like Inana's other features, studio auteur Lenny Schneider simply wrote a genuinely funny script and left it at that. And that's fine.
"With the powerhouse cast of Page, Tyler, and Belle, it goes without saying the sex is stunning, top notch. Ella Belle's character, Stella, exudes a fascinating aura of sensuality. She glides through the movie like a nymph, seeming to captivate and seduce with a single glance. Page and Tyler are funny as hell, Becky playing her devil with a leering grin and a mind like a graffiti-covered wall. Tyler's angel attempts to be an influence of purity, but constantly sabotages her own act by getting naked and fucked at any opportunity.
"'Good Girl/Bad Girl' may not have the depth of 'Bewitched,' but so what? Sometimes you want to just watch a movie and have a good laugh, covering up your hard-on with the bowl of popcorn. You can relax and enjoy this movie with no pressure. It's another must-have from Inana, get yours now."
Gallery (five stars): "The fuck film geniuses at Inana Productions are releasing a fresh feature, and again demonstrate why they are the most talked-about studio in the industry. Their new offering, 'Good Girl/Bad Girl,' is a bit of a departure for them, but still has their usual brilliant film-making, writing, and mind-blowing sex.
"'Good Girl/Bad Girl' is Inana's second comedy, and it clicks. Unlike their satire 'Temporary Pleasures,' the humor here is broad and easy, sometimes getting into slapstick and Three Stooges style japes. Ella Belle is a hip young woman named Stella, whose daily life is complicated by the presence of an angel (Skye Tyler) and a devil (Becky Page) that follow her around, inserting their views and advice on how she lives her life. Stella sees and hears the two, but no one else can. Stella is a horny little thing, always on the prowl for men. The angel and devil interject their opinions on the men she meets, trying to prod her in one direction or another. The angel will urge Stella to get a guy's phone number, while the devil encourages her to take him out to her car and have the raunchiest sex possible in a back seat.
"Between this feature and 'Temporary Pleasures,' Skye Tyler is proving herself to be a talented comic actress, as well as the hottest natural blonde in the business. Her angel coos and lilts, trying to encourage restrained and innocent behavior in Stella.... But is too much of a dirty little slut to make a good example. Becky Page's devil advocates for living life in the most lewd, decadent, and trashy ways possible, encouraging Stella to wallow in bad behavior. But when the angel is in danger, the devil will go to great lengths to protect her nemesis. The two of them squabble like bratty children, but also need each other, and know it.
"Inana has become known for putting out letter perfect hardcore features that actually stimulate and challenge the mind, not just the cock. 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' demonstrates they also have a light side, the ability to make a movie that's just fun to watch. This would be a great date movie. With Inana's three sexiest babes out front in this one, 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' could make a eunuch horny. Writer/producer Lenny Schneider created a smooth, funny script which engages viewers, but does not have the mind puzzles and intellectual challenges that, say, 'Bewitched' or 'Succubus' have. This feature is just fun. Director Steve Stillman again demonstrates his eye for capturing the sultriest sex possible on videotape.
"We should be used to them by now, but we are still amazed at Inana Production's ability to make hardcore fuck films that also work as entertainment, not just jack-off fodder. 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' is another gift from the studio, amusing and arousing at the same time. Get your copy today."
People (four stars): "This is the second time we find ourselves reviewing a Becky Page movie. Given that Page makes hardcore porn, and People is a family magazine, this is an unusual situation. However, adults are part of a family, and that is who this review is for.
"Becky Page's studio, Inana Productions, have released 'Good Girl/Bad Girl,' a delightful, somewhat surrealistic romantic comedy which Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan would have been proud to have appeared in. Ella Belle is a young woman named Stella, who is looking for Mr. Right.... Although, this being an adult film, she is also happy with Mr. Right Now. Stella has a problem: she is followed through life by an angel (Skye Tyler) and a devil (Page), visible and audible only to her, who provide their guidance and advice as Stella makes her way through day-to-day existence. She is aided by her younger brother and best friend, Trent (youngster 'Roach,' who played the Lone Scavenger in 'Succubus'). Stella and Trent's interactions have a closeness and emotionality which is rarely seen on the big screen, and probably never witnessed at all in porn. Both give stunning performances. Belle's Stella has a smooth sensuality which gives even the silliest scenes an erotic grace. The allure she has is easily comparable to Page's Ursula the Witch in 'Bewitched,' both captivate with an aura of eroticism. If Hollywood doesn't get Ella Belle into major productions, it's the industry's loss.
"Skye Tyler and Becky Page are hilarious playing the angel and devil, respectively. Both demonstrate delightful skill as comedic actresses, sometimes lapsing into Three Stooges-style poking and whacking. Neither the angel or devil are very good at their jobs. Tyler, who starred in Inana's office satire 'Temporary Pleasures,' plays her angel as a dreamy, lilting thing.... Unless frustrated, at which point she begins barking instructions like a drill instructor. Page, as the devil, has a cackling, manic quality, but seems incapable of encouraging actual evil. She urges Stella to engage in the lewdest possible behavior in any situation (and sometimes gets her way).... But never towards cruelty or violence. Sometimes the angel and devil are in full agreement in how to handle a situation. And have we mentioned the two are having an affair?
"As much as we love this movie, we feel it cannot be stressed enough: this is hardcore porn. Sexual activity is frequent and explicit, shot in loving detail. At the same time, the sex scenes seem to lack the raunchy aspects ubiquitous in porn. Director Steve Stillman seems to have a gift for shooting two (or sometimes three) people in the throes of carnal passion without pandering or being tasteless. Female staffers here at the magazine have commented upon Inana Production's ability to show hardcore sex without it feeling, well, gross. You would not want to screen this at a church social, but any fairly open-minded couple can enjoy 'Good Girl/Bad Girl' as a highly erotic date movie, incredible fun all the way through.
"We make the same recommendation for this one as we did for 'Succubus': put the kids to bed, make some popcorn, settle in, and enjoy. You will be delighted."
"It still weirds me out," said Bekka, tossing the copy of People onto the coffee table. "I started in this business at the age of twenty with no other goal or intention than to make good money. Now I'm routinely showing up in the pages of People. And Us, and Time, and Newsweek. I'm loved and admired and idolized by millions of people all over the world. And now it seems like I'll be bringing Ellen and Elspeth along for the ride, too. There's still a disconnect in my head, you know?"
I replied, "I hope I'm not putting a jinx on us by saying this, but I'm surprised you've never made it into the National Enquirer or the Star. You'd think the tabloids would have a field day with Becky Page."
"Actually, I doubt it. We don't run the Hollywood circuit, we actually lead damn quiet lives, so it's not like I'm the target of paparazzi or gossip. Besides, I don't think people would get as worked up over anything the tabloids could say about me. Sex scandal? Please. If I started cheating on you, people would just be all, 'Well, duh, she's a porn star.' Drugs? Shit, I'm a porn star, it's almost expected. I think the tabloids still recognize me for the fuck film actress I am, and know that what would be scandalous behavior on the part of Sigourney Weaver or Harrison Ford would probably be seen as acceptable activity in the world of porn. The tabloids know they can't embarrass me in front of my peers, and the random assholes of the world who read their crap are probably already scandalized by my very existence. I'd have to do something incredibly outrageous to attract their attention."
I considered this and said, "Piece of cake. Seduce one of Lance's friends, some kid from the Carlsbad High track team. Then start taking him to the sin pits up in Hollywood every weekend, like the Viper Lounge or the Whiskey. Both of you get drunk in the car, and get abusive with the people at the front door when they won't allow you in. There's always paparazzi hanging around, you'll hit the tabloids damn quick."
Bekka laughed at this. "Uh huh. And how am I going to get this past this kid's parents?"
"Oh, you don't. Come on, no matter how straight he is, any high school dude will be diving out his bedroom window if the hottest, most famous porn star in the world has made it clear she wants to be with him. You'd be looking at contributing to delinquency charges, statutory rape, possibly kidnapping. Yeah, the Enquirer would pay attention to you then."
"I'll stick with my periodic molestation of the teenage girl who lives with us. We could at least use Jane's emancipation as a defense." Bekka paused. "So. Golden reviews again. We'll have another big hit. At this point, Lenny, I think you'd have a bigger challenge releasing something that sucks. Do a line-for-line remake of some shit feature from the Seventies, you and Steve both go through pre-production and production drunk, and keep the performers strung out on cocaine and meth the entire time. Break your cycle of success in a big way."
"Meh," I said. "It would be too obvious we were purposely trying to make a terrible feature. My contempt for older porn is no secret, so everyone would just decide we'd made a satire and still give us golden reviews."
The phone rang, I picked it up. It was Elspeth.
"Oh my God," she said. She sounded a bit breathless. "I just saw the review in People. My God, I have my picture in People Magazine. They're telling the whole fucking country to go out and buy or rent a movie I star in....."
"Western Europe, too," I chimed in. "Don't forget that."
"Jesus," said Elspeth. "I'm gonna get famous, aren't I? Me and Ellen both. Not just porn famous, but real world famous, too. It just hit me." Her voice got quiet. "Lenny.... What do I do?"
I paused, then chuckled. "You hang up the phone with me, then get a hold of Ellen, and you both meet Bekka and me at Evelyn's for dinner in forty-five minutes. We'll have some drinks and talk. Okay?"
The four of us were seated at Evelyn's, sipping our first drinks. I'd told the waitress we'd all want a few drinks before ordering dinner, so to check back fairly soon. Elspeth said, "So, Bekka, did you have a panic attack when you realized you'd hit big?"
Bekka replied, "No. Remember, my fame grew over a period of months, so I was able to acclimate. 'Bewitched' was a groundswell,, sales got bigger and bigger over time, it wasn't an immediate success. Its popularity came out of grassroots development, with more and more people learning about it pretty much by word of mouth. There was no precedent for 'Bewitched,' so its popularity was really slow and organic. I'm sorry hon, but I had five or six months and two more features to adjust to steadily increasing fame, it wasn't thrust upon me."
"But you're famous now. I've counted three tables here that keep gawking at us...."
"That's my fault," I said. "They aren't checking out Bekka, they're trying to figure out how some ugly punk rock asshole got to eat dinner with three hot women."
"You want to know how I cope with the attention?" asked Bekka. "First, I adjusted to being stared at. I used to feel really self-conscious because of the staring, now I could care less. At the same time, I am very aware of anyone actually walking towards me. I don't like the feeling of being ambushed.
"Next, well, I always have my Colt on my hip. I know you have a Smith & Wesson, do you carry it?"
"No, should I?" asked Elspeth.
"If you think you will feel safer, yes. If carrying it makes you uptight, try to avoid it. For various reasons, I have become totally inured to guns at this point. I have my concealed carry permit, and my Colt goes on as soon as I'm out of the shower. Except when I'm performing, it stays on until I go to bed. Look into getting a C.C. permit.
"Next, I almost always have Lenny with me. If not Lenny, then Terry. Sometimes both. Try having Eddie with you when you go do things you'd normally do alone, like shopping. Having someone close by really helps...."
Elspeth rolled her eyes. "Oh, Jesus. I don't think Eddie is a coward, but at the same time, he'd be pretty easy for someone to drop. Feather could probably deck Eddie. And shit! Your husband is a monster! He takes seven rounds from an assault rifle and keeps moving! I don't think I can depend on Eddie for that sort of fortitude."
"I'm lucky I have Boss," said Ellen. "If someone pointed a gun at us, he'd take it away and bite it in half."
"Yeah, Boss is like Mongo from 'Blazing Saddles,'" I laughed. "Don't bother to shoot him, you'll just make him angry."
Ellen said, "Ella, you don't have as much to worry about as Bekka does. She's responsible for a character that people absolutely obsess over, Ursula. And there's something about Becky Page which absolutely fascinates, for whatever reason. Bekka was given a gift of performance that makes her scenes blossom in peoples' minds. You or me can suck a dick on screen and people just get off on it. Becky Page sucks dick on screen and somehow everybody sees some kind of enlightening moment, both an emotional connection to the viewer and, like, a statement being made. Like there's meaning and consequence in her sucking that dick. To her fans, she isn't just a porn star fucking on screen, she's.... I dunno, an icon of sexual strength and empowerment. And to be honest? Better her than me. I get fifty or eighty pieces of fan mail a day, and I sign autographs about fifteen times a week. People recognize me from 'Temporary Pleasures' and 'Stroke of Luck' and 'Succubus' and are happy to meet me, but nobody worships Skye Tyler, not like Becky Page is worshiped. Don't worry, girl. Ella Belle may become a sex symbol, but she won't have the obsessive fanaticism aimed at her like Bekka does. Being famous is actually kinda fun."
Elspeth stared into her Jack Daniels, then drained it dry. She said, "I hope you're right. It's just, I see what the porno mag reviews and People have said about Stella, about my performance, and I'm worried I'll become an icon too. In a nutshell, they say I'm the most captivating, alluring, fucking sexy appearance on a screen since Ursula the witch. That scares the shit out of me. Me, a sex symbol? I'm just some dirty bitch from West Texas who gets off on having men stare at me naked."
Bekka chuckled. "To me, it's almost funny. When we shot our video at the nightclub, I counted no less than ten girls who were dressed like Ursula, including the lack of underwear. I swear I saw three who were made up at Topaz, from 'Temporary Pleasures,' yuppie dominatrices. How and why I strike such a chord with people is still a damn mystery to me. To me, I'm just a fuck flick actress, I can do some decent characterization and I don't blow my lines. The rest of the world sees me as a sexually hyperactive Wonder Woman, a model of strength and power. I wish I'd planned some of this, then maybe I'd feel a little more confident. As it is, I feel like I'm just along for the ride, like I created a monster named Becky Page who is now rampaging her way through the world, and I can only hope to keep up and keep her in control."
"You've created a truly unique celebrity," I said. "Okay, everyone knew who Linda Lovelace was, and what she did. There have been some porn stars who are known by name, if nothing else.... Seka, Ginger Lynn, Christy Canyon, Lois Ayres. But none of them have affected the world at large, really. You don't have young women aping Ginger Lynn's fashion sense. Nobody cares about Seka's views of the world. Bekka, you say you're just a porn slut with decent acting talent. The world would beg to differ. You lit up your roles, and made Becky Page a star."
"Um, it also helped that my roles were produced well, directed well, and written extremely well," smirked Bekka. "No one has ever done what you do, baby. You made hardcore an intellectually satisfying experience for viewers. If I'd been in the standard crap features the industry cranks out, no one would give a shit about me, outside the narrow world of porn fandom."
Ellen said, "I think what remains to be seen is if the world will accept porn stars as celebrities. Is Becky Page a fluke? Lenny, you completely revolutionized how people think about adult video. So far as Inana goes anyway, hardcore is no longer just the domain of lonely men, you made people see that porn can be a valid experience. You actually made the general public accept that the visceral, gut level thrill of watching people suck and fuck is okay, it's nothing to be ashamed of, that porn can be more than just a masturbation tool. You made porn legitimate entertainment.
"It's not just single men approaching me when I'm out. I get a lot of couples who loved 'Temporary Pleasures,' it's their favorite movie, and who want to tell me that yeah, I'm sexy, but I'm also funny and talented. I'm glad we spent the time we did to make Madison as human and complex as she turned out. Yes, Madison is an airhead, but we also gave her depth as a person, she isn't just a cartoon character. Fans see Madison as a really wonderful person, someone they'd be happy to be around. And the best part is that usually fans don't think think I am Madison. They know it was a role I was playing. Every now and then I'll come across fans, usually single guys, who think that I really am a ditz, and I'll be easy to hustle. I dispel that quickly. They'll want to buy me a drink or nine, and I'll tell them, 'I congratulate you on your perseverance, but I am romantically attached, and I don't believe your interests in me are strictly platonic. Bye now.' Madison could never construct a sentence like that, so these dudes are totally flummoxed. To be frank, the looks on their faces are priceless.
"I think.... Becky Page, and Lenny, and Inana in general, have opened the door for a whole new type of celebrity. Porn stars will no longer just be seen as two-dimensional whores. We will be recognized as full performers, actresses. Especially us Inana girls. You know Hustler and Vivid and Leisure Time are working like crazy monkeys trying to emulate Inana's success, they're all scrambling to come up with intelligent scripts and find performers who can actually act. But us Inana girls got there first. If Lenny circulates girls through in leading roles, everyone will have a certain degree of fame. Some girls will try to go to Hollywood, hey, more power to 'em. Me, I'm happy with the money I make and having lots of fun. I can see no reason to not be a porn slut.... And given how things have gone so far, the world loves me for it."
We got another round of drinks, the waitress refusing my request that she simply bring us a full bottle of Johnnie Walker to save everyone time. We sipped and considered. Elspeth finally said, "Okay. I think I can handle getting famous, if it happens at all. I think what my biggest fear was Ella Belle would become a cult of personality, like Becky Page, and I don't think that's likely. It's just not in the odds, no way can two porn stars both become icons, especially at the same time. Still.... I've been stopped for autographs four or five times in my life, outside of signings and Eroticon. It takes me a week to get the fan mail Ellen gets each day. Shit, how much mail do you get, Bekka?"
"100 to 150 pieces a day. Lenny and I double team it, we spend an hour or so ripping open envelopes and scanning what people have written. It's mostly standard stuff. Plenty of Polaroid shots of guys' hard-ons. Anything coming from a military address gets set aside. Unless they're really crude, I will briefly respond to servicemen, and include a couple signed cheesecake photos. I know how tedious life in the military can be, so having Becky Page actually write back to them probably makes a lot of these dudes happy for a month straight. Lenny saves poison pen letters from jealous wives, in case we need to work up a stalking profile on some woman who's decided she hates me. And I will occasionally write someone back. I'll get letters from guys who are genuinely shy and lonely, and they honestly see me as their only comfort in their lives. I write them back and tell them, 'Look, I'm just some Sicilian broad who makes dirty movies. You cannot obsess over me, you'll go insane.' And I will give them advice, I'll tell them they need to get out and interact with the world. Join a co-ed softball team. Find a hobby group. Do volunteer work. Start hanging around a coffee shop, and get to know people that way. But they can't lean on Becky Page for emotional support or companionship, because that support isn't there. I say to them, 'You seem to put a lot of credence and trust in me as a person. Okay, well, Becky Page is telling you to stop watching her fucking movies over and over, leave the house, and connect with real people. You can't develop a bond with an image on a screen. It may seem a little scary at first, but meeting people is actually really fun. Go now, Becky Page is telling you to.'
I elbowed Bekka and said, "And there are the girls who want career advice."
Bekka rolled her eyes. "Oh Jesus. Yeah, I've gotten letters from girls as young as fourteen who have decided they want to be in porn, and want to know how to break in. After explaining the obvious legal issues, I enumerate all the reasons why porn sucks as a career. I explain that I am in a unique position, working for a very unique studio, and that just about anywhere in the industry they will find the work tedious, debasing, dehumanizing, unfulfilling, and risky. Not to mention having a pussy that just plain hurts a lot of the time. And I'll say, 'Nothing would make me sadder than to learn that, at your age, you have the cynicism needed to make porn a career. You want to make good money? Then work your ass off at whatever you do, and reap the benefits. You enjoy sex? Fine, choose your lovers wisely. You have an exhibitionist streak? Wait until you're eighteen, and submit pictures to 'Beaver Hunt.' But do not look at my life and career and think it can be easily emulated. I beat odds higher than a Powerball lottery to end up where I am. Please, you're young, your options are wide open. Don't consider porn a good option. You will be a happier person avoiding the industry completely.'"
Elspeth said, "Yeah.... I guess us Inana girls are really goddamn lucky. I remember talking to some of the other booth girls at Eroticon, and holy Christ, but did they seem jaded. They seemed to have no sunshine in their lives besides partying on someone else's dime. Most of them would be petrified by the environment at Inana. Shit, camaraderie? Respect? A healthy work force? One girl was amazed I'd never had the clap, she'd just had her third treatment in a year. I explained that Inana does weekly blood tests on everyone in front of the cameras, and she was amazed. She honestly couldn't wrap her brain around a studio giving a shit about their performers like that, that Inana would take the time and expense.
"Oh shit! Lenny, I didn't tell you about a little interaction I had at one of the booths. I was talking to a girl, just passing the time, and some asshole wearing a disco shirt and a lot of chains comes stomping up. He looks at the girl and says, 'Look cunt, quit gabbing with this bitch and circulate with the customers.' He looks at me and says, 'Bitch, go back to your own booth.'
"I looked at him and said, 'Motherfucker, you just used up your only chance you get to call me a bitch. If you do it again, you'd better be wearing a cup, because otherwise I'm gonna drive your balls us into your neck.' I swear, his eyes actually bulged out of his head. He yells, 'Who the fuck do you work for? I'm gonna go talk to your boss!' I told him Inana Productions, you know, the company that released 'Bewitched.' And my boss's name is Lenny Schneider, mine is Ella Belle. And what was he going to say?
"He's all, 'Do you talk to him like that?' I said, 'No, Lenny never gives me cause. He treats all us girls at Inana wonderfully. Hell, he'll fire people for using the word 'bitch.' Go ahead, go to the Inana booth and find the punk rocker in the studded denim, and tell him Ella Belle called you a motherfucker and threatened to ruin your balls. He'll ask what you did to me, and I dare you to answer him honestly. Lenny is just the teensiest protective of his performers, so don't be too surprised if he grabs your ears and ties them together, you know?' Then I left. I guess he never showed up."
I thought back and remembered the guy. His fashion sense really had come out of the 1978 disco scene, so he was a hard man to not notice. He mooned around our booth for a good fifteen minutes.... And it struck me, he was always in eyeshot of me. I''d seen the vendor pass on his shirt, so I'd written him off as another lame, some goofball from a small studio who couldn't understand how we had managed to get where we were. I was circulating, answering questions for guests and going from girl to girl while they talked to small groups of fans. It was a bit of security on my part, the guests would see the girls were being kept an eye on, so any untoward behavior on their part would be responded to.
After fifteen minutes I walked over to him. He'd studied each video box three times, wasn't watching the movie we had playing, and wasn't trying to talk to any of the girls; I assumed he was hoping to poach one of my performers. I introduced myself, and he glared at me through his gradient-lens sunglasses.
"You're Lenny Schneider?" he asked. I assured him I was.
He paused, as if weighing his options. He finally said, "So, um, how much did it cost to make 'Bewitched'?"
"About $480,000," I told him. "A good chunk of that went into paying for special effects, we wanted them to be perfect. I'll assume you've seen it, you have to admit, they looked great."
"Yeah." Another pause. "So how much turnover do you have with your girls?"
"Damn little. They stick around. They like the work, we pay an industry standard, and we treat them well, they're not cattle. Hell, I consider them my friends, we'll hang out and have dinner and party together sometimes. Everyone at Inana, girls, guys, and crew, are pretty tight-knit. I think that's why our features come out so well, we feel like we're a team, and we all trust each other."
Disco Boy paused again. "Huh. None of your broads get lippy with you?"
I tilted my head and said, "No. My girls and I have a lot of mutual respect. Yeah, I'm the boss, and they answer to me, but they also know if they have a problem, they can talk to me and I'll listen. They don't get attitudes, because they have nothing to get an attitude about."
He nodded, whacked me on the arm, and stalked off.... Then stood a little ways up the aisle, watching the booth. I wrote him off as just another cretin, the manager of some two-bit operation jealous of Inana's success. After hearing of Elspeth's encounter with him, I re-evaluated who he was, and his interest in me. I'd keep an eye open for him at the next Eroticon (assuming he was still in business).
Bekka said, "I think we are all in a very unique position. There is no other studio like Inana, not by a long shot. What Inana has accomplished will make the history books, we have shown that hardcore can also be popular entertainment, and our viewers don't need to have any sense of shame for watching porn. We may be pioneers, creating a whole new paradigm in film-making. Or, no one else can pull it off, and in fifty years Inana is remembered as this gutsy experiment, a brief artistic wave like the Dadaists. But whatever happens, all of us can look back on our lives and say, shit, I made a difference. I actually helped change the world."
"Cheers," said Ellen, raising her glass. We all clinked glasses and drank. Then we ordered dinner.