Not that long ago I saw an article on Slate on porn star James Deen: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2011/11/17/porn_that_women_like_why_does_it_make_men_so_uncomfortable_.html
Then an interview here:
and a couple others. I've seen him before in movies and I like him because he looks like a normal guy as opposed to the musclebound weightlifter crowd that is usually in these movies. He's good looking and looks like someone I would want to hang out with. He's definitely got style at what he's doing on screen and I like that as well. From the articles I checked out his blog and it's fascinating. Before I get to that I want to comment on the media.
James comes across as really cool in the articles/interviews because he has a good sense of humor, is into what he does and comes across as an intelligent individual. I also found interesting some comments he makes about intentionality in porn, that while he specializes in rough sex, the setup or intention of the scene is important to him. In one article he talks about how Kink.com does interviews with the girls explaining the degradation that's about to happen to them, he contrasts this with another site that is just "misogynistic assholes". The interviewer says that she probably couldn't tell the difference viewing the movies. What's interesting is that for Deen that distinction (that the movies might look similar) isn't what's important, but it's the ethics of his involvement. I find it also interesting to contrast such thinking with the notions of authorial intention in the art world, where conceptual ideas driving the work can make work more interesting in contrast to similar work that isn't referencing conceptual ideas. I agree with Deen, that our intentions define our actions. When I watch BDSM I'm not hoping that someone is really being degraded against their will (though I know that there's plenty who are getting off on just that), but that we(the performers and by watching, myself) are engaging in an intensifying experience. Pushing at those norms in that way I think is healthy.
Deen's blog is an interesting experience, generally it consists of cell phone shots of women he's "banged" that day and some diaristic note-taking. Perhaps he's hungry, horny or hung over. Sometimes he engages in some humorous anecdotes that are quite hilarious. Overall you get the sense again, of intelligent, funny individual who loves what he does without any attitude, you know, someone you would like to hang out with. I also have to love a man who professes love for Del Taco. I myself love to go there when I get down to SF. It's a secret love since my friends down there would rather go to the Mission for a real burrito or authentic Mexican or whatever, which I agree with but sometimes, I'm just happy to get some Del Taco crunchy tacos and a burrito. Just between you and me. Someday in the future somone's going to be doing their PhD thesis on the porn industry and Deen's blog is going to be the Encyclopedia Brittanica for study. Want to know who that chick was and what site she worked for? There it is along with a nice candid for you. It's addicting and one of two blogs that I check daily.
So why is Deen a hero for our times? Because while his comments are a little wacky (especially as regards his Jewish heritage) he is truly a respectful individual. That really comes through in his actions, comments about intentions and that sometimes he agonizes over calling women sluts though in his profession that is a term that is sold, that has no pejorative weight. This shows that he actually thinks about what he says and its relationship to how those words are perceived in context. I really get the sense that's he's a good guy and that's becoming a rarity in our overly selfish, self-obsessed society. He's got a good work ethic since he works tirelessly and is even making his own movies. Sure some people might not like his chosen profession but that's closed minded. I offer him up to you, as the person who should be Time Magazine's person of the year, James Deen, porn star.