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« In Which We Are So Through With Men | Main | In Which Georgia Encourages You To Get Drunk And Date »
Tuesday
Apr292008

In Which Sasha Grey Is A New Kind Of Porn Star

"Sex is natural! Sex is fun!" - George Michael

My Desires Are Boring

by Molly Young

When I think of porn stars, I picture them as the sum total of their accessories: fake boobs, fake hair, fake nails, fake tan. Sasha Grey has none of these things, and when she dons the mask of porn-y makeup, the effect is that you try to picture her without it. Here is why she is fascinating:

1) She is freakishly young
2) She is lovely to look at
3) She does filthy things with zest
4) She is smart (maybe)

We'll start with #1. Sasha was born in Sacramento, CA, and you can hear the Sacramento in her syrupy stoner-voice. She moved to LA at age eighteen intending to make it big in The Industry, which she did. She is famous for asking porn actor Rocco Siffredi to punch her in the stomach during her first scene. He refused, but the anecdote forged a sort of myth-making reverence that surrounds Sasha and gives her the crossover appeal to do photoshoots in Vice and appear in a Smashing Pumpkins music video.

#2: Her loveliness. Sasha is pretty in a bird-like way, with the frame of someone who fidgets a lot. She has brown eyes and root-beer colored hair. Her MySpace profile describes someone who is part ditzy teenager, (likes makeup and Tetris, plays the "gutiar") part bougie New Yorker (Carl Jung, War and Peace, Antonioni), and part dubious feminist (Anais Nin, the self-actualized porn star schtick). There's also something of the hero's quest to her self-presentation:

"I am Sasha Grey," she writes. "There is no other. This is only a brief dossier because I'm not dead and don't feel that a complete biography is yet warranted." She sounds like the beginning of Charles Dickens's David Copperfield.

#3 is filthy things, ie Grey's willingness to engage with holes and fluids in unconventional ways. Details elided here. Arguably the most fascinating aspect of Grey, since you might expect her to leverage her beauty and settle for a nice paycheck doing vanilla films. But no.

#4: She is smart (maybe). Part of Grey's fame relates to her interest in arty films and books. She was home-schooled, and you can perceive the charmingly untutored and eager tastes of an autodidact in her listed interests. Because she has a modicum of self-awareness, Sasha makes good material for theorizing. Is she a frontierswoman? A genius? An opportunist with no scruples? And what about all the gnarly particulars of her field: the physical demands and venereal diseases and fluids and loveless fucking?

Her stage-name was nearly Anna Karina in homage to Godard

I want to think that Sasha Grey is smart. But smart people are typically funny, and porn is humorless by definition. Mostly, it gobsmacks me to think that a girl like me of the same state, watching the same movies, wearing the same size pants would choose to apply herself to an unforgiving vocation in exchange for a seedy fame and a medium-sized amount of money.

Because I somewhat resemble Grey, she fails the basic porn star test: I can't objectify her. This makes the experience of watching her a fraught one. I'm simultaneously disgusted and titillated; identifying with her and dissociating at the same time. Mostly, though, I'm bored. The riddle about Grey is that she's a great performer in an industry that sets a low bar for greatness. Lauding her is like pointing to a particular issue of Readers Digest and claiming it as the best one ever.

This year she won the AVN Award for Female Performer of the Year, which is the porn equivalent of an Oscar. Having reached the top of her profession, I am hoping she will cash out and go do something else. It would be nice to see her exit grandly, like sister nymphet Traci Lords, with a maximized sense of empowerment and a minimal cargo of cynicism. And we'd get to find out whether Grey is interesting because she's in porn or despite it.

Molly Young is the senior contributor to This Recording.

From Some Creepy Guy's Interview With Sasha Grey:

What were you like growing up?

A child becoming an adolescent becoming an adult …I WAS growing up and …slowly becoming an irreverent little sex tart.

How did you find your way into porn?

First I was bored by what I saw and second I felt I could change that…I researched the subject by reading interviews, watching lots of smut …contemplated what kind of porn I wanted to do wrote a mission statement and basically set out to find a quality no bullshit agent to represent me.

Who are your favorite performers to work with and why?

It's Belladonna… everything about her is sensual. She is an inspiration to me and an electric energy that this universe is lucky to have.

You have quite the reputation as an intellectual porn girl. Is that how you would describe yourself?

Like…what? Like really I'm just like being myself like, seriously. Um I'm not going to describe myself as a mindless fuckdoll idiot bimbo. So yes I'm an intellectual I like to learn about the world we live in and the artistic expressions that surround us .

What is it like being a smart girl on a porn set? Is there anyone you can talk to?

I try to prepare my mind and body before a scene and conserve my energy and wit, I try and find my zen state before a scene…I mean I'm not rude I'll be personable but you have to understand we are like sexual athletes and although it feels fucking great you still have a camera on you…you are still trying to make some half way distant pornography for the consumer.

Who is your favorite philosopher and why?

At the moment Jean-Paul Sartre. I really shouldn't have to explain that if you're into philosophy at all. Also Osho.

Are you the smartest girl in porn?

That's a ridiculous question. I have no idea. What, do I look like a walking IQ test?

Who is the dumbest person you've met in the business?

The person who thinks they are going to be rich and famous like a rock star, hates anal and girls but does it on camera for the right price, stays up for days all methed up spending all their money on shitty drugs and stupid clothes, ends up penniless and a walking porn cliché. You know who I'm talking about, half of the folks in the San Fernando valley. To me that's sounds pretty dumb.

You were the star in Teravision's Broken, what did you think of that project?

I enjoyed it a lot it's closer to the stuff I want to do under my own direction. It's thematic without being lame and it's artsy without losing your erection.

For those who haven't seen you, give us the physical run down.

There are thousands of pictures of me on the web just google my name instead of a lame description you can have a vibrant image of my visage staring back at you from your lcd screen, trust me it's better that way.

We've seen you handle some big dicks. How does someone as petite as you handle that?

You just dig it or you don't. I dig it.

How long do you plan to be in the biz and where would you like to take your career?

Oh don't worry I'll be around for awhile if I can help it. I plan on directing soon and continuing to perform of course, diversifying my different business interests.

What turns you on?

Mental dexterity, sexual ambivalence, Chris & Cosey, Merzbow, Godard, Herzog, Harmony Korine, black metal, real tits, honesty.

What turn you off?

War, our government, that there's not yet a cure for HIV/AIDS, Chelsea Football Club, ignorance.

How long between your first sexual experience and your first porn experience?

About two years.

How was it different?

It was on camera and it was an orgy with some of the top names in porn.

Are there things you do on screen that you don't like off screen?

Nope. My feeling on this is if you don't like it then don't do it. You really don't make enough money to writhe in pain and risk hurting yourself mentally for some unsympathetic porn company making a shit load more money off of you.

Which celebrity should make the next big sex tape?

George W. Bush

Would you want to be in it with her/him?

Hell yeah I'd sport a strap on and fuck 'em in the ass just like he's done to us the past eight years.

Is there anything I forgot to ask that you really want to talk about?

Yes I have music/art project called atelecine, for my part in it I sometimes sing, play guitar, keyboards and tape loops that's right I said tape loops bitches. I like to get naked while I record. It's an experimental death dub orgasm kind of project and I also wanted to say support independent films go to an art house and watch something that confuses you and hopefully gets you to talk about afterwards even if you think it sucked.

How about if you pick a question you have never been asked and thrill us?

Nobodies ever asked me if I support condom only porn. The answer is YES until the health care system in this industry gets a whole lot better, I think folks in the biz need to wake up it's not just about HIV/AIDS. Also, educate yourselves young porn girls and guys.

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Hook-Ups And Gnumbers

Masturbating On Radiators

I Want U Inside Me

This Recording Is Like Totez Legal Now? OMFG! Sweet!

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    In Which Sasha Grey Is A New Kind Of Porn Star - Sex - This Recording
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    人気のモンクレール ダウン 2014 秋冬新作が登場しました。モンクレール ダウン 人気 抜群の機能性、着用時の美しいフォルムに極上の着心地。寒い冬の中で、モンクレール ダウン 2014 人気を着るのは安心感を与えられるベストチョイスです。

Reader Comments (37)

I like this post! Well written! And I had never heard of her. Sasha has a new fan!

And if you didn't think pornstars had a sense of humor, check my 'Ron Jeremy Roast' video on my blog! :)

Love,
Jacklyn Lick

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjacklynlick

wow. maybe you know very little of the sex worker industry, but not all people in porn, or the porn itself, are as smutty and unrealistic as you make it out to be. nor are they there for pathetic or desperate reasons. It's fine to focus on one sex worker in a rather self indulgent way but to make it out like the industry is full of stupid, desperate people while this one person is a shining ray of intelligent light seems well, self indulgent and not a little small-minded. maybe you should feature everyone in the sex worker art show and stop looking in the mirror so much.

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteryeahyeah

if i was molly young i would look in the mirror like, all the time.

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbleep

I'm 50 percent sure yeahyeah is Eva Angelina.

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralexcarnevale

[...] In Which Sasha Grey Is A New Kind Of Porn Star « This Recording This is fucking annoying and obnxious (tags: porn sexwork objectification) [...]

Oh yes, heavens forbid an intelligent, articulate woman with a sense of humor be in pornography and perhaps even like it! What is the world coming to? I know, I know, what's a nice girl like her doing in such a (w)horrific business, right?

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRenegade Evolution

Who do you hope that she'll "cash out and do something else"? She's a newcomer in the industry and seems to enjoy what she does. why muc=st everybody hope that a sex worker leaves their industry and finds something else? what, a boring life as a housewife? If you love her so much, then respect her decision to stay in the industry.

May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSerpentLibertine

well!well!well! I totally agree that Sasha's such amazing nice girl not because she is peculiarly beautiful naked nasty and crazy in the biz pleasing lot of guys. For me, ok, I'm a fan and she is my idol as the way I like American Idols. I respect her porno work but I strongly believe that coming days, she’ll “cash out and do something else”. She is young, beautiful, smart and educated. She already find something else besides what you called enjoy in the Industry and she will leave for sure. That make me remember and love her !

May 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertoonarmy.vn

[...] Godard, Herzog, Harmony Korine, black metal, real tits, honesty.” - Birthday Girl and “new kind of porn star” Sasha [...]

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Sasha has squirt envy given her roles in Squirt Gangbang and Swallow My Squirt.

May 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHugh

ferhat_ben44@hotmail.com

May 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterferhatben02

I love Sasha Grey :)

June 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergeklen

Learning all this stuff about her has raised my opinion of her even if she's not really my type of girl physically. It's nice to see a Porn Star namechecking some cool underground shit (and I mean *actually* cool, stuff that most ppl won't even know so it's not just for show) as well as making her own. Besides being very straightforward and matter-of-fact and decently smart.

June 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergreenandlonely

I am dying of curiousity as to why alexcarnevale is 50% sure that the previous post was by Eva Angelina? There is nothing complex about why I am curious, mainly because I think Eva is fairly hot and I like watching clips of her and her big country titties on Richards Realm, and consequently I recognized the name. I know nothing about her (other than she can smoke a mean pole and she seems to like to fuck), nor do I know anything about Sasha Grey other than what I read in this story, and I only stumbled upon this website and this entire subject by a coincidental string of clicks.

But I am now wondering what it is about Eva that would cause the commenter to be half sure that was her posting, unless there is an underlying meaning to either the original comment or the Eva hypothesis of which i am unaware and which makes the answer to this question obvious or unimportant.

Thanks!

July 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwhocares

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i love sex

October 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfrims devlin

Ella es hermosa, me encanta su forma de hacer el sexo anal, se ve que tiene una gran experiencia y cara angelical, espero algún día conocerla y hacer el amor como locas.

Besitos.-

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEsther

The profile and interview indicate that Grey has a curious, if not decent, taste in film. A pornstar with an appreciation for Godard and Herzog is cool, sure, but those aren't grounds for concluding that she's intelligent. Godard and Herzog are themselves full of shit half the time! And maybe it isn't a fair assessment, but, she doesn't articulate like someone who has read much Sartre. I'd guess that the philosophy-buff thing is just posturing. Grey sounds interesting, not brilliant. And her music is shit.

October 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter2yrsback

Oh, shit on me! I didn't actually realize that Sasha Grey is a member of the intelligentsia! How impressive. Is everybody else impressed by that? That she's interested in extistentialism and New Wave French film? We're all deeply impressed by that, right? I'm impressed by that on account of it being profound. You see, it's just so fucking highbrow. It's so refreshing to finally hear that there exists such an individual and self-empowering woman somewhere within the repressive confines of the glitz-and-glitter ghetto of an industry that is porn. Good for Mrs Grey... Oh... Oh, sorry, should I have said Sasha? See, I can't tell whether she - as an active, opinionated fragment of society's free thinking upper-class underground would be offended by somebody on an internet forum referring to her by her first name, OR, since she's probably got some pah-RETTY hard-line views about femininity and what attatching a patriarchal, pigeonholing prefix to to her person would suggest, she would be offended by that. I just don't know - And I bet she'd be pretty proud of that.
Oh, oh please tell me about Camus. Oh please, tell me a tidbit about Nietzche! Explain something about Brechtian theatre techniques because it's just so fucking impressive. You fuck. You can fucking stick it up your stinking self congratulation, you arrogant, name dropping piece of shit.

^hahaha. yup.

November 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

"Who the fuck are Chelsea F.C., they ain´t got no history"

November 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPål

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December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterpamBapWemainc

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