My Romp with a Porn Star

By Cole, Susan G. | Herizons, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

My Romp with a Porn Star


Cole, Susan G., Herizons


[Graph Not Transcribed]

At first it looked like a lose-lose situation. Me and America's favourite male porn star, Ron Jeremy, on a stage together, in something loosely called 'a debate.' In its favour, the event was to take place at a university, but that university was the University of South Carolina at Columbia, one that hadn't entertained the intense pornography debates in the 80s.

I had, from the beginning, been puzzled by the fact that an American promoter had come to me with an offer to participate and not to any one of the powerfully persuasive anti-pornography activists in the United States. But I was told that American anti-porn feminists, including another of the promoter's clients Kathleen Barry (author of Female Sexual Slavery), will not speak on panels with members of the adult entertainment industry or even with feminists calling themselves pro-sex. I cast my mind back to these bitter debates--I was often in the eye of their storm--and remembered their ferocity, but resolved to see what would happen if I headed down south.

Things started off strangely when Jeremy and I met at dinner with the organizers and hit it off. He was funny, self-deprecating, anxious to talk about Toronto, (a city he likes,) and obviously surprised and relieved that I was not a Bible-thumping right-winger. To confuse organizers further, the lesbo-feminist drank scotch and chowed down prime rib, while the porn star sipped Perrier and nibbled on salad.

Moderator Keith Davis--a psych professor and also father of Kristin Davis, star of Sex and the City, another surreal detail--introduced us before we hit the podium. The place erupted into cheers of "Go Ron," from a packed house of 400 students.

I knew what I was getting into. Ron Jeremy--paunchy, raunchy, but also amusing in a weird, user-friendly way--was sure to be a hit. I wasn't going to stop that.

His point of view is, after all, legitimate. He's against violence. He's against using children. The adult industry, he maintains, is all about consenting adults not hurting anybody. There are much more hateful forms of entertainment outside the sex industry and right inside pop culture. …

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