I’m in the garage rummaging through George’s old things. I find his tool belt and put it on. The weight of it tugs my pants down a little. I try to pick up his toolbox, but it’s too heavy so I dump out half of its contents onto the workbench. I walk around to the front porch and ring the doorbell. I wait for George to answer it. Nowadays, it takes him a long time to do anything. First he has to remember what the doorbell means. Then he has to find the right door. Inside I hear closets being open and shut. At last, he opens the front door and looks at me curiously. He doesn’t recognize me, but in my mind, I pretend he’s only pretending not to recognize me.
“Yes?” he says.
“Hi, I’m here to fix the TV.”
He glances at the toolbox and nods. “Okay. Come in.”
I enter the house and go into the living room. I set the toolbox down, take a screwdriver from my belt, and pretend to tinker at the controls on the front of the TV. George stands behind me and watches. After a while, I wipe imaginary sweat from my forehead and say, “Boy, it’s hot in here. Do you mind if I take this off?” And before he can answer, I take off my top, exposing my 69-year-old double-D’s. In the reflection of the TV screen, I see George’s eyes go wide, and then he smiles that sweet, familiar George smile.
My heart melts.
I continue to tinker around for a bit, and then I turn around. George’s nine inches of manhood are trying to poke through his pants. Seventy-two years old, and he can still get it up without popping a pill. I grab hold of him gingerly. He doesn’t stop me.
“I think I found the problem,” I say, and I start to unbutton his pants.
This feminist sends me a letter that says what I do is degrading to women. She says I’m betraying my sex. She says I should be ashamed of myself.
This is what I tell her: I get paid roughly $120,000 a year to do what I love. Every day, I am pleasured in ways that you will never experience in your whole life. Every day, thousands of men watch me on their computer monitors and television screens, and they turn into zombies. Dumb, drooling zombies. How many women do you know that have that power?
She never writes back.
My sophomore year of college, this guy I’m dating takes my sex life to a whole new level. Before him, sex was always satisfactory, more or less, but he turns it into something extraordinary, something thrilling and forbidden. He teaches me about the G-spot, about anal, about toys. I’ll sit in class and think about what position we’d try that night, about how many times I’d come.
One day, he shows me his video camera and says he wants to film us. I’m reluctant at first, but more often than not, I say no and by the end I’m screaming yes, so I let him go with it. As I’m blowing him, I look up expecting to see his face, but instead there’s a camera lens and a bright light shining in my eyes. As he’s fucking me from behind, I peer over my shoulder, but he’s not looking at me; he’s looking at the camera looking at me. When we finish, I’m glad that it’s over. The whole thing felt so fake and impersonal.
But then he plays it back on the TV, and—oh God—I love it. This is the first time I’ve ever seen myself have sex, and it’s so…well, sexy. I watch my soft lips move up and down his hard cock. I watch his hard cock slide into my tight pussy. I watch his hand move across the smooth curve of my back.
I look down and realize that I’m rubbing my pussy (not my video pussy, my real pussy), and God I’m wet, I’m so fucking wet. I lean over and put my boyfriend’s limp dick in my mouth, and honey, I know you’re tired and your balls are done for the day, but fuck you, I need it, I need it so bad, I need it right now. He’s only three-fourths of the way hard, but I get on top of him anyway, and I fuck him the way I wanted to the first time, without the camera, without the blinding light, just the two of us. Inside I’m burning like I’ve never burned before, and I can tell he can feel it too, because he’s gaping at me with wide eyes and open mouth. I turn and look at the TV screen, and there’s me fifteen minutes earlier, taking it from behind, and I time it so that my real pussy is in sync with my video pussy, and it’s like some weird inter-dimensional orgy. The four of us, we all come at the same time, and the real me collapses on top of my real boyfriend, and we hold our sweaty bodies, panting.
With his poor dick all sore, he laughs and says, “I knew you would like it.”
Later he posts the video on the Internet. After one week, it gets over a million hits. This isn’t an unusual number, but I’m still flabbergasted. Over a million people have seen me have sex. A million. I spend hours scrolling through the thousands of comments, and they’re all positive, they all think I’m great. Call it what you want. Egotism. Narcissism. I don’t care. Everybody likes to be liked.
From then until we break up, my boyfriend and I make a new video every week and upload it. Whenever I get back from class, the first thing I do is check the numbers. Two million. Five million. Eight million. Maybe it’s the same people watching it over and over again, but the point is people are watching it. While I brush my teeth, while I sit in lecture, while I sleep, hundreds, maybe even thousands of men are jacking off to me. I get off on people getting off.
That was forty-nine years ago. Since then, I’ve made hundreds of films. The number of people who have seen me have sex is probably close to a billion, living and dead. I like to think about how much semen was lost because of me. Could it fill a water tower? A football stadium?
I still have that first video. Every now and then, I’ll replay it. I like to watch the ignorance on my face. The obliviousness of what’s to come. It makes me nostalgic. It makes me wet.
My junior year of college, I lose my scholarship. Grades aren’t good enough. I don’t want to tell my parents, and I don’t want to get a loan. So I need a quick way to make money. My friend suggests I do the porn thing. And I say, no, that was just for fun. That was supposed to be something dirty and secret and anonymous. I don’t want to do it for real. I don’t want to fuck strangers in front of strangers. No, sir, that’s not for me.
The next day I go to an audition. I stand in a small office and take off my clothes in front of three guys who are ten, twenty years older than me. I show them my ass, my tits, my pussy. They all stare and nod. I tell them about my videos, and one of the guys snaps his fingers and says, “Oh yeah, that’s where I’ve seen you from. Very nice, very nice.” I picture him watching me on the computer and jerking off his tiny dick with his fat fingers, and yeah, believe it or not, I’m still flattered.
They call me back the following evening. I got the job.
In preparation, I watch tons of porn videos and take notes. Narrate whatever you’re doing. If he’s sucking on your tits, say, “Yeah, suck on my tits.” When you’re giving head, hold his cock with the hand facing away from the camera. Never block the view of the camera. I stand in front of the mirror and practice my dirty talk, my moaning, my orgasm face. I laugh, thinking that if I worked this hard in Biology, I wouldn’t be in this situation right now.
A couple days later, I show up on set. It’s a simple shoot. No storyline, no threesomes, no elaborate production design. Just me and a guy on a bed. I’m still nervous though. The crew is small but intimidating. One guy works the video camera. One guy snaps stills. One guy holds the microphone. One guy controls the lights. One guy directs.
The first thing that strikes you on a porn set is the casualness. You’re naked and having sex, but everyone treats it like a mundane, everyday thing, like you’re baking a cake. Imagine a regular movie set, but instead of saying, “Get more light on her face,” the director might say, “Get more light on her asshole.” Instead of “Can you say that line again with more intensity?”, it’s “Can you suck his dick again with more attention to his balls?”
The second thing that strikes you is the number of cuts. Fuck for thirty seconds. Cut. Change the camera angle. Reset the lighting. Touch up any makeup. Fuck for another thirty seconds. No wonder most actresses have to fake their orgasms. See if you can come having sex in thirty-second intervals.
For three hours, I blow, I jerk, I ride, I moan, I talk dirty.
Throughout the whole shoot, I avoid looking at anybody. I’m afraid my lack of experience will be reflected in the faces of the crew. I’m afraid of seeing awkward sideways glances that say, “Does this girl know what the hell she’s doing?” But now I look, and everyone’s beaming at me. The director hands me a towel to wipe the jizz off my face, and he says, “Honey, you’re a natural.”
A couple days later, I do another one. And another one. And another one. And each time, it gets a little easier. Each time, I feel a little more confident. By the end of the month, I have enough to pay off my tuition and then some. I go back to studying and eating pizza and doing whatever a normal college student does. I take the past month and lock it away, hoping to never revisit it again.
And then one of my films comes in the mail. I pop it in and press PLAY, and it’s like that first video of me and my ex-boyfriend all over again, except now it’s a thousand times better. Now there’s fancy makeup and fancy lighting and fancy camera moves. Somebody took all those thirty-second takes and turned them into art. I start to get that intense burning between my legs again, and I think, maybe this isn’t such a bad lifestyle after all. Maybe I can get used to this.
I sit my parents down, and I tell them I’ve made a career change. It’s a little unconventional, but I really like it, and I think it’s something I can get good at. I tell them I want to be an actress.
My parents, who have never known me to act in anything besides the Thanksgiving play in third grade, exchange confused looks. “Like on Broadway?” my mom asks.
And I say, “No…not exactly.”
They don’t talk to me for a long time after that. I’m not bitter about it. I knew it would take them a while to accept it. You see, when parents let their children leave the nest and go out into the real world, they want to picture them working in respectable jobs—at an office, a school, a hospital. Something they can brag to their friends about. Something they can be proud of. They don’t want to picture their little girl on all fours. They don’t want to picture her sucking two dicks at the same time and then taking a load to the face. When they call her and ask her what she did that day, the last thing they want to hear is “I got fucked by a strap-on while nose-deep in muff.”
My mom is the first to come around. She calls me and says, “I was flipping through the channels on the television today, and I saw you on the nudie station. I forget the name of the movie, but there’s one scene where this black gentleman puts his…thing…in your…tushy. I was just wondering…does that feel good?”
I laugh and say, “Yeah, Mom. It feels great.”
Not long after, my dad calls me and says, “I’m sorry I got so upset at you. I was just…surprised is all. I love you, and all I want is for you to be happy.”
And choking back tears, I say, “I love you, too, Daddy. I love you, too.”
This pastor sends me a letter that says what I do is immoral. He says it’s a perversion of the intimate bonding between a married man and woman. He says I should repent and beg God for forgiveness.
This is what I tell him: God loves us and wants us to be happy. What I do makes me happy. Having a guy come in my ass, and then me shitting that come into a girl’s mouth, and then that girl spitting it back into my mouth, and then me swallowing every drop of it, and knowing that millions of people I’ll never meet are watching that and getting off—that makes me happy. So who are you to deny me God’s happiness? Who are you to decide God’s will?
He never writes back.
It starts off small. He’ll forget what TV show we were just watching. He’ll brush his teeth twice in a row. At first, it’s funny—just symptoms of old age, we presume. But then it gets worse. He’ll put his laundry in the desk drawer. He’ll forget where the post office is. He’ll have trouble remembering the names of old friends.
We go to the doctor. He tells us that George is the early stages of Alzheimer’s. He has about seven years to live, and in that time, he will forget everything—how to walk, how to eat, how to speak. He’ll forget who our children are. He’ll forget who I am.
Walking back to our car in front of the doctor’s office, George suddenly turns, grabs me by the shoulders, and says, “I will never forget you. Never.” And stupid as I am, I believe him. I believe that we’ll be that one special case. I believe that our love will defy the laws of nature.
And then one day he forgets. The next day he remembers. The next day he forgets. And it goes on like that until he finally stops remembering. Forty-five years of marriage slip out of his brain as if it were as trivial a piece of information as the capital of Wyoming. Poof. Gone.
The books say to just accept it. Don’t confront him. It’ll just confuse him. It’ll just make it worse. So I don’t tell him I’m his wife. I don’t tell him we’ve been married for over four decades. I don’t tell him we have two children who are all grown up and have children of their own.
Instead, every morning I tell him my name is Nicole, and then I go in the bathroom, I turn on the shower, and I cry. I sit on the edge of the tub, and I cry my fucking heart out. I take all of my pain, my anguish, my frustration, I roll it into a ball, and I shit it out through my tears. It’s better to get it all out at once, or else you’ll be walking the dog or standing in line at the supermarket, and you’ll suddenly burst into tears, and strangers will come up to you and ask you what’s wrong, and how do you tell them? How do you tell them that your husband of forty-five years can’t remember your name? How do you tell them that you hate yourself for wishing he was dead? Because right now, he’s worse than dead. He’s a zombie, a living reminder of what once was.
And so I go in the bathroom and cry. And when I can’t squeeze out any more tears, I know I’m ready to come out and take care of him. The pain is still there, of course, but it’s dull, disconnected. I can ignore it, I can put it aside while I help him get dressed, while I cook him his meals, while I read to him. He may not remember who I am, but he’s still my husband, and I still love him.
I like to imagine God creating sex, thinking it a clever and simple mechanism for reproduction. Then he goes on vacation for six thousand years, comes back, and sees me doing five guys at the same time—one in the cunt, one in the butt, one in the mouth, and one in each hand. I’d like to think that God would see that and get a boner.
Adult film actresses get paid by the scene. The riskier and nastier the scene, the more you make. Girl-girl pays more than a blowjob. Two guys pays more than one guy. Anal pays more than regular. After anal comes rimming. Ass-to-mouth. Felching. I stop at felching. That’s as far as a mainstream porn actress can go before drinking piss and eating shit.
Before every shoot, you take the actor or actors aside, and you lay down some ground rules. Maximum number of fingers you can put inside me at one time is three. Don’t pull my hair. Don’t come in my hair. You can come in my ass but not in my pussy. You can spank, but don’t leave any marks. Guys have guidelines, too. Some don’t like it if you play with their nipples. Makes them feel effeminate. Some will do a three-way with another guy but will flip out if you cram both of their dicks in your mouth at the same time. I never understood how men could be so homophobic.
Porn is really a woman’s game. We do less work than the men, and we get paid more. Guys who come in thinking they get to fuck beautiful women all day quickly find out that it’s not so glamorous. You’re only allowed to come when the director tells you to come. You have to keep an erection for hours. If you lose your boner, the whole set goes quiet, and everyone stares at you as you turn red and desperately jerk off. It’s a lot easier for a girl to get wet than it is for a guy to stay hard. A girl’s main job is to look pretty. And try not to fart.
I’m not going to lie. I was great at what I did. People loved me. My first year I won the most coveted AVN Award—Best New Starlet, an honor shared by the likes of Jenna Jameson, Tera Patrick, and Jenna Haze. My website attracted thousands of new visitors every week. Soon, Nikki Francis was a household name. I was a star.
I meet George on the set of The Pizza Girl. The story is he doesn’t have enough money to pay for the pizza, so I fuck him. It’s not supposed to make sense.
It’s not love at first sight, but even then, there’s something between us, and I don’t just mean his cock. You can see it in the way we look into each other’s eyes. In the way I put my hand on the small of his back as he pounds me on the coffee table. In the way he puts his face in my hair as he drills me over the kitchen counter. For a few seconds, we aren’t fucking; we’re making love.
It’s rare for a girl to come on set, but with George, I always come. And it’s not because his cock is extra big or because he does something special with his hips. It’s something else, something beyond girth and angle and rhythm. Something that isn’t taught in the Kama Sutra. No, not love, but perhaps that thing before love, that thing that can turn into love if you’re really lucky. For some it’s that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling. For me it’s butterflies-in-the-poon.
We get married. We have kids. Our family is like any other typical American family—with a few exceptions, of course. We’re never invited to Career Day at school. Take Your Child to Work Day is Take Your Child to Six Flags Day for us. No, we don’t have sex in front of our kids. We don’t show them our films. But when they turn sixteen, we let them watch other people’s films. We buy our daughter her first vibrator, our son his first condoms. Over dinner we chat about the usual things—school, sports, current events—but sometimes the talk turns to things like positions and orgasms, and that’s fine, too. Our children grow up with our lifestyle, and so they’re never uncomfortable with it.
As we get older, we work less. The demand for mature porn isn’t as great as for the young stuff. Eventually, we start our own production company, and it revolutionizes the industry. We notice that people are watching less traditional porn and more amateur porn. They want to see real people having real sex with real orgasms. So we take the production values of mainstream porn and combine them with the realism of amateur porn. We set up multiple cameras, let the actors do what they want, and shoot it all in one continuous take. And guess what? The audiences love it. The performers love it. No more three-hour erections. No more fake orgasms. Just simple, genuine sex. We’re not the first to do it, but we’re the first to popularize it. Shooting in real time means shorter production schedules. Shorter schedules means more videos in one day. More videos means more money. Soon, we’re rich beyond our wildest dreams.
After a while, we sell the company and retire on a high note. We grow old together. With the house empty, we make love every day. Arthritis means less handjobs, but less teeth means more blowjobs. Sometimes we’ll go to the mall and wait for one of the old timers to give us that where-have-I-seen-you look, and I’ll stick my tongue in my cheek, and we’ll laugh as his mouth drops open in realization.
I like to think I’ve lived a good life. Great career. Great kids. Great husband. Or at least, I had a great husband. It seems so anticlimactic for our lives to end like this. After all we’ve been through together, after all of the success we’ve shared, it seems so unfair, so wrong for our lives to end in such a whimper. Sometimes I wonder if all those religious fanatics were right. Maybe this is God’s way of punishing me. And if that’s the case, I would do anything to go back in time and tell my boyfriend to put the camera away. I’d get a job at Burger King rather than go to that first audition. I’d give up all the money, all the fame. I’d give it all up if it meant having my George back.
This guy splooges on my tits. I rub his semen around my areolas while looking seductively into the camera. For some reason, the director is taking a long time to say cut. The guy who just jizzed on me reaches under a couch cushion and brings out a velvet box. He gets down on one knee and says he loves me. He says he wants to come on my tits for many more years to come. He says I should marry him.
This is what I tell him: Yes. Yes, I’ll marry you. Yes. Yes. Yes.
He slips the ring onto my come-glazed hand, and the whole set erupts with applause.
One day, I can’t find him anywhere. He’s not in the bedroom or the living room or the kitchen. I start to panic. I picture him wandering down the street all by himself, and I curse myself for not listening to my kids, for not putting him in a home right away, for wanting to stay with him just a little longer.
I’m about to head out the door when I hear it. Moaning. From the den. As I creep down the stairs leading into the basement, the moaning gets louder and louder. Halfway down, I see George sitting in his recliner with his back to me, watching The Pizza Girl, our first film together. He has his pants around his ankles, and he’s jerking off. On the TV screen, the young George is fucking the young me on a staircase much like the one I’m standing on now. And watching the old George getting off to me—getting off to us—it makes me feel something I haven’t felt in a long time. It starts off as a little tingle, like butterflies-in-the-poon, and then it gets hotter, more intense. I sit down on the stairs, unbutton my pants, and slip my fingers over that wet spot burning between my legs.
I look at the TV screen, and there’s me forty-five years earlier, riding on top of him, and I time it so that my real pussy is in sync with my video pussy, and it’s like some weird inter-dimensional orgy. The young me moves up and down the young George’s shaft faster and faster, and the old George strokes his shaft faster and faster, and the old me rubs her clit faster and faster, and the four of us, we all come at the same time. Semen shoots from the young George’s cock. It shoots from the old George’s cock. The young me and the old me convulse wildly on the stairs. The four of us, we all shut our eyes and pant.
Before the old George notices I’m there, I button my pants and creep back up the stairs. I pace back and forth in the kitchen, my heart pounding, my mind racing. For the first time in weeks, I feel excited, I feel happy, I feel alive. And gradually, this idea comes to me. This crazy, wrong, dirty idea.
The next day I order a pizza. I meet the delivery man on the driveway, and then I walk up to the front porch with the pizza in hand. I ring the doorbell and wait for George to answer it. Nowadays, it takes him a long time to do anything. First he has to remember what the doorbell means. Then he has to find the right door. Inside I hear closets being open and shut. At last, he opens the front door and looks at me curiously. He doesn’t recognize me, but in my mind, I pretend he’s only pretending not to recognize me.
“Yes?” he says.
“Hi, I’ve got a pizza delivery for George.”
Turns out he doesn’t have enough money. So I fuck him. It’s not supposed to make sense.
The next day I’m a plumber. An exterminator. A TV repairman.
After we make love, I lay my head on his chest, and I listen to him snore. In my mind, I pretend that he’s just the same old George. I pretend that when he wakes up, he’ll know who I am, and he’ll tell me how much he loves me. I pretend that the neurons in his brain aren’t flickering out one by one like fireflies at the dawn. Even without the cameras and the lights, it’s so easy to pretend, to make-believe.
I know that I’m being selfish. I know that the George I knew is long gone, that this is just an empty shell of him. But, oh God, I miss him so much. I miss his smile. I miss feeling his arms around me. And playing this game, well, it makes it all hurt just a little less. So can you take pity on a poor old woman? Can you please just let me have this itty-bitty thing?