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XXX LOVE: Married Porn Couples

Married Porn Couples

by Andre Shakti

I recently had the honor of interviewing over a dozen couples for a Cosmopolitan.com profile on their partnerships; in each case, either one or both individuals per partnership were involved in the porn industry. The story was inspired by the recent Porn Kills Love campaign that’s been spreading harmful misinformation about explicit content and its supposed negative effects on our capacity to love. I tolerated the campaign for a while (Free Speech, amiright?), but when an enormous billboard went up across the street from my Oakland home I knew I either had to set it on fire or write about it. Unfortunately, through a series of heavy-handed edits, many of the relationship profiles got scrapped in the final article that went live on Friday October 23rd, including the profiles featuring the only two overtly queer couples I’d interviewed. I’d been so inspired by the strength of their commitments to each other, as well as their candor and enthusiasm for the article, that I couldn’t let the other profiles fall by the wayside.

 


Nina Hartley & Ernest Green


Status: MarriedninahartleyErnestGreene-xxxlove

Name: Nina Hartley
Age: 56
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupations: Performer, educator, advocate, and author.
Number of years in the industry: 31

Partner:

Name: Ernest Greene
Age: 63
Occupation: Producer, performer, advocate, author and past chair of AIM (Adult Industry Medical) Healthcare Foundation, the first industry-specific health clinic for adult performers.
Number of years in the industry: 31

How’d you meet?

He was the assistant director (AD) for my friend, Sharon Kane’s, directorial debut. He was the first person I’d met in porn who was there because he had something to say about sex, as opposed to simply ending up there because it seemed better than “real’ work.

Describe your relationship in one word.

Ideal.

What was your wedding like?

It was a Buddhist ceremony, 66 people in attendance, mostly blood family, with some industry friends. Parents were in their full, fancy priest robes (they’re ordained Buddhist priests). The officiant was the priest who ordained my parents. It was held at the Zen Center in SF on a beautiful July day. My little niece was flower girl, my sister matron of honor. Really lovely and sweet.

What does marriage mean to you?

Being each other’s support, safe harbor, sounding board, confidant, care provider, advisor, mirror, Lover, friend, through good times and bad, till death.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

No. The name alone is annoying and misleading. OMG! I just Googled it. Wow. Repulsive propaganda from the usual suspects, in my view. These are the same people who don’t want comprehensive, age-appropriate, science and fact-based sex education in schools. Just a newer, shinier, younger demographic. Slick. They get on national TV to tout their views but we never get to do the same. Sex-shaming. Uses “brain science” to back up their views, not taking into account the bigger social/personal/political/cultural issues that affect people’s abilities to form lasting connections with others. Discounts the very real needs of people who cannot, for whatever reason, meet others to have sex (the disabled, as an example) and who depend on porn for their sexual outlet. Same old bullshit, new packaging.

 


 

Jesse Jackman & Dirk Caber


 

JesseDirk-xxxlove

Status: Engaged

Name: Jesse Jackman
Age: 42
Location: Boston, MA
Occupation: porn performer & in healthcare IT
Number of years in the industry: 4

Partner:

Name: Dirk Caber
Age: 44
Location: Boston, MA
Occupation: classical musician, tuba, piano, vocalist & porn
Number of years in the industry: 5

How’d you meet?

I’d just started working in the porn industry and was trying to navigate my way around the scene, so I started seeking out a community mentor who could help me. A friend of mine introduced me to Dirk Caber, who had been in the industry for about a year already, and we immediately hit it off. At the time I was dating someone who was struggling with my new career and wasn’t too keen on the idea. The very same weekend I met Dirk, my boyfriend broke up with me, saying he couldn’t date someone in porn. Dirk stepped up to support me; he held my hand and saw me through the heartbreak. After some time the relationship turned romantic, and we began seeing each other seriously. The first two years were long distance – me in Boston, Dirk in Chicago – before Dirk moved to Boston to be with me.

Describe your relationship in one word:

Honest.

What was your proposal like?

We exchanged rings on the day that the Supreme Court initially refused to hear appeals in gay marriage cases – October 6, 2014 – setting off a landslide of lower court rulings that eventually led to marriage equality nationwide. We’re having trouble setting a date for our wedding, though, because we can’t figure out where to have it. The problem is that every place that’s “meaningful” to us is like a diner or something – they’re not exactly majestic!

What does marriage mean to you?

We basically already consider ourselves married; we call each other “hubby”, and we’re sharing our life together. We’re not married in the legal sense yet, but we’re already bonded as partners, albeit with a healthy recognition and respect of each other’s autonomy. We encourage and support our lives as individuals as well as our shared life, and that’s paramount. We have one rule: Don’t bring home anything you don’t want to share. It’s applicable to everything from STIs, to sex partners, to pizza!

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

Yes we are! It was brought to our attention several days ago. It looks like they’re not being honest about the basis of the organization [funding the campaign]. In my opinion, it’s a very thinly veiled effort of the Church of Latter Day Saints. All four founders are members of the Mormon Church, and when you look to see where the organization’s domain name is registered, it comes up as Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, their website cites incomplete “scientific” information presented largely out of context, and the neutrality of their Wikipedia page is currently under dispute. Anyway, my main issue with the organization is that they’re selling porn consumption as an addiction, yet they’re not demonizing other addictions, such as alcohol, in even remotely the same fashion. People who suffer from addiction are genetically and neurologically predisposed to it, a fact which is pretty universally understood. Our society isn’t in the habit of outlawing everything a person could possibly be addicted to – alcohol, gambling, etc. Porn isn’t the enemy; we should be focused on helping people with addictive personalities, not demonizing an industry that provides a healthy sexual outlet for millions of people.

 


Kayden Kross & Manuel Ferrara


 

KaydenKrossManuelFerrara-xxxloveStatus: Engaged

Name: Kayden Kross – TrenchcoatX
Age: 30
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: producer, director, and retired porn performer
Number of years in the industry: 10

Partner:

Name: Manuel Ferrara
Age: 39
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Producer, Director, and Porn Performer
Number of years in the industry: 19

How’d you meet?

On the set of my very first shoot – I guess I did so badly that he refused to speak to me for three years afterwards. We met again when I was under contract for another company, and it was my first shoot for them. It was an entirely different experience – sparks flew.

Describe your relationship in one word:

Complimentary.

What was your proposal like?

We engaged on my birthday. We were out with friends, and he was so nervous that he dropped to one knee and then stood right back up again before I could even register what happened. He really overthought it and got scared; he’s very traditional in his private life. We haven’t set a date yet because he’s from Paris, and figuring out travel plans has been very complicated.

What does marriage mean to you?

A melting together of lives. There’s not a single thing Manuel does that doesn’t affect my life, and vice versa. We’re completely joined.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

I haven’t, but it’s a nice catchphrase. If nothing else, conservative agendas can sure come up with some snappy soundbites.

 


 

Mickey Mod & Mallory*


 

*Wife does not want to be pictured.MickeyMod-xxxlove

Status: Married

Name: Mickey Mod
Age: 36
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Adult Performer & Filmmaker
Number of years in the industry: 7.5

Partner:

Name: Mallory
Age: 31
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Graduate Student studying film

How’d you meet?

We met in film school – I was just finishing the program that she wanted to attend. We worked on some on some projects together, hit it off and started dating. Five months later we moved in together, and at this point we’ve been together five and a half years.

Describe your relationship in one word:

Laughter.

What was your wedding like?

Fantastic. We got married in a redwood amphitheater in the Berkeley Hills. We were surrounded by nature as well as our close friends and family from all areas of our lives: porn performers, college friends, parents, etc. The food was was so good that the attendees still talk about it, and there was lots of dancing. What struck me the most was how much of a community effort the ceremony turned out to be. Everyone pitched in in some way, whether they were handcrafting decorations or offering rides to arriving attendees. It was really beautiful.

What does marriage mean to you?

It’s a lot of work! Not in a negative way, but it’s a conscious full-time commitment to support, engage with, and being fully present for one another. A 24/7 partnership. Which can be difficult to do when you have all this other stuff to navigate and maintain to have a healthy well-rounded life.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

I’m not very familiar with it aside from hearing about the billboards and bumper stickers. Porn has been around for quite a long time – I don’t think it’s hampered the abilities of people to communicate with each other. Shame kills love, not porn. And what kind of love does it kill, exactly? My love for my pets? My love for ‘Broad City’?

 

 


Angie & Colin Rowntree


Status: MarriedANgieCOlin-xxxlove

Name: Angie Rowntree
Location: New England
Occupations: Founder of Sssh.com (Porn for Women site, now in it’s 16th year)
Number of years in the industry: 21

Partner:

Name: Colin Rowntree
Location: New England
Occupation: Founder of Wasteland.com (the oldest BDSM site on the web)
Number of years in the industry: 21

How’d you meet?

At the Boston Gift Show.  I was buying and he was selling, haha.

Describe your relationship in one word:

Illuminating.

What was your wedding like?

Unique.  We really wanted to do something different — something that honored all the beautiful traditions throughout the world.  So we took elements from everything and anything that resonated with us and created our own ceremony and wrapped it up in a medieval / Pagan theme.  The wedding was held at the Rose Gardens (which is said to be haunted!) in Beverly, MA. It was amazing.  

The ceremony drew from many traditions; we had a mystery play as a way to set the mood with the guests and send an all-inclusive message to everyone in attendance. Bardic storytelling, breaking of the glass, even a traditional Scottish broom-jumping.  It was so much fun, and very interactive.  We wanted our guests to be a part of our wedding and not just watch it.  We even had Colin’s world music group playing everything from renaissance sacred music to 14th century Italian “dance band” tunes!  Nothing stuffy for us.  Hell, even my attendants had bare feet! (All the better to dance in.) 


What does marriage mean to you?

Friendship, partnership, collaboration. Having a trusted witness to your successes and failures. It also means respecting one’s individuality and giving your partner the room to grow in a safe, nonjudgmental environment.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

I had not heard of them before you asked, but looking over their website, it seems like they’re making a lot of the same arguments other anti-porn groups make, and cherry-picking the same research and studies, many of which offer theories about porn’s negative effects that are refuted by what we observe in the real world. For example, if watching porn is making men more sexually aggressive and more likely to commit sexual assault, why does the data reported by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies show a decrease in sexual assaults in the U.S. over the years since online porn first began to proliferate? If porn really has the negative effect these critics say it does, there should be solid proof of what they claim by now — and that proof just doesn’t seem to be there.

I don’t doubt the people behind this campaign are earnest and believe what they say; I just disagree with them. I also think it’s sort of odd to say, as they do on their website, that “Pornographers pretend that what they’re selling is Love 2.0. It’s like love, they say, but easier.” Needless to say, I know a lot of pornographers, and I can’t think of more than a few who have ever suggested the porn they make is about love, at all. Although I like to think love comes through in my work, even for me sometimes the goal simply isn’t to depict love, but something more raw, compelling and immediate.

 


Lily & Sten Cade


Status: MarriedStenLilyCade-xxxlove

Name: Lily Cade
Age: 30
Occupation: porn star/director
Number of years in the industry: 8

Partner:

Name: Sten Cade
Age: 29
Occupation: cinemetographer/editor/web developer
Number of years in the industry: 8

How’d you meet?

We met at the “B-B-Queer” a back to school BBQ at USC. I had orange hair and was wearing a Nightwish teeshirt. Sten had green hair. She came up to me and asked me if I was a Freshman. I scoffed at her and told her I was a Junior transfer. I went home with another girl that night, and Sten told her friends I was “too crazy for her.” A week later, she helped me with one of my student films. The crew stayed at my place that night before the shoot, and Sten agreed to share my bed as long as I didn’t molest her. I didn’t, but I did tell her all my weird stories about pranking people in high school. She agreed that we could make out and we did, pushing the limits of “not having sex.” The next day, after the movie, she finally let me go down on her. Being lesbians, we pretty much moved in together after that. We got married in 2008 when gay marriage was briefly legal in CA between In Re Marriage Cases and Prop 8.

Describe your relationship in one word.

Partnership.

What was your wedding like?

Our wedding was amazing. We started talking about marriage while the CA Supreme Court was deliberating, but all we could make were tentative plans. When the decision came down, we need to act fast, because we were worried that Prop 8 would pass. We had three months to put our wedding together.  We managed to get the set of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. We set up chairs facing the train station. Sten and I rode in from opposite sides, to the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, wearing blue pinstripe suits. Our wedding party wore black suits with pink ties. We dismounted, handed our horses to our sisters, and said our vows. I messed up the rings a little bit. We got back on and rode off literally into the sunset. My mom — who up until this moment still had a little bit of awkwardness about my being gay — threw my reception on her beautiful deck in Malibu and made all the food. It was a small but truly special wedding.

What does marriage mean to you?

Sten and I run a business together. She’s my right hand and my DP (as in Director of Photography) and I couldn’t do what I do without her. We have a long term open marriage — Sten used to watch me fuck other girls for fun, and now we do it for a living.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

I wasn’t, but I checked it out. I don’t think porn destroys relationships, but I do think that, as with any media product, consuming porn in lieu of real human interaction can be a problem. A lot of porn is visual but devoid of emotional content. That’s not what we do. Our work focuses on female pleasure, and on telling stories that motivate the sex. As a performer, I don’t go through the motions. I don’t just provide a visual. I go in there and fuck girls like I mean it. I want to see her body shake and her chest get red and her eyes roll back. I want to see a real connection. Guys can watch me and see how to actually FUCK a woman. Sex isn’t just this animal thing, it’s an exquisite language constructed by humans on the scaffolding of our reproductive biology. It’s a skill and an art. My features are also great for couples and of course for lesbians – compelling, funny stories with genuinely hot lesbian sex scenes.

 


Jessica Painter & David Rivera


Status: MarriedJessicaPainterDavid-Rivera-xxxlove

Name: Jessica Painter
Age: 28
Location: Tampa, FL
Occupation: model, phlebotomist, producer, dancer
Number of years in the industry: 5

Partner:

Name: David Rivera
Age: 33
Location: Tampa, FL
Occupation: bartender/model/producer
Number of years in the industry: 2

How’d you meet?

While go-go dancing at a sports bar for Super Bowl two years ago and he was bartending at the event.

Describe your relationship in one word.

Thriving.

What was your wedding like?

Short and sweet!

What does marriage mean to you?

To be completely honest and loyal, and to be with someone I can’t  live without.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

No I am not, but I can tell what it means by the definition! I actually think porn enhances your sex life in some ways — I think porn helps relationships, if anything. It certainly helps in our’s. 🙂

 


Sinn Sage & Drake Man-o-war


Status: EngagedSinnSageDrake-Man-o-war-xxxlove

Name: Sinn Sage
Age: 31
Location: San Diego, CA
Occupation: adult performer
Number of years in the industry: 13

Partner:

Name: Drake Man-o-war
Age: 31
Location: San Diego, CA
Occupation: adult performer
Number of years in the industry: less than a year

How’d you meet your current partner?

It’s such a great story! It was 2011, and I’d tweeted that I really wanted to go to Coachella. Some girl contacted me and sold her a ticket to me for half price, so after I was done shooting porn one day in the Valley I drove out to Newport Beach to get the ticket and then drove out to Coachella. By the time I got there it was late, and around 80,000 people were spilling out of the area. I decided to walk around by myself for a while, and soon I heard some guy yell out, “Damn girl, you’re smokin’ hot!” I stopped and thanked him, and he invited me to hang out with him and his friends. I was newly single at the time, so I said sure, and we drank and had fun the rest of the evening. The next week we went on our first date, and we fell for each other really quickly after that! We love telling people that we found each other at this massive event amid thousands and thousands of people.

Describe your relationship in one word:

Ideal.

What was your proposal like?

More logical than romantic, really — I’d call it a “pragmatic non-proposal”. He’d already been married for a brief period of time, and I wanted to wait until everyone in the United States was granted full marriage equality. We both agreed that we never really needed to get married to stay together. But as time went on, we recognized the legal benefits of it and warmed to the idea. I knew he’d never formally propose because I’d been so adamant about not having a ceremony in the past, so I did it myself and asked him one night at home on the couch! We set the date for November 21st, 2015, and it’s going to be a totally non-traditional wedding — both he and I are wearing purple and black!

What does marriage mean to you?

Rationally I see it as a legal contract that’s going to give us certain rights in regard to each others’ lives, especially regarding medical decision-making. Emotionally I also see it as being an inseparable team. When you are on someone’s team it’s always about being successful together, about having someone on your side no matter what, and not having to question it. It’s a really incredible feeling. I don’t believe in “forever”, ie “it will always be us” — I’m very realistic about our future while also being entirely optimistic it.

Are you familiar with the “Porn Kills Love” Campaign? If so, how do you feel about it?

No, but I’m very disappointed in the anti-porn movement in general. I’ve always been proud of who I am and what I do, and as soon as I met Drake I told him everything and he’s always been completely enthusiastic and supportive. It’s never been an issue. I think people are intimidated by the idea of sharing porn with someone they love, but there are so many ways to watch porn with your partner, and it can help open the door to communication about sex. It’s not just something that keeps you in a room all day jerking off in the corner, hidden from the world. There has not been an ounce less of love in my life because of porn — if anything, the bounty of love is almost more than I can handle.

 

Andre Shakti is a Bay Area educator, producer, activist, and professional slut devoted to normalizing alternative desires, de-stigmatizing sex workers and their partners, and not taking herself too seriously. She writes about sex work for Cosmopolitan online and is currently working on an anthology of sex advice anecdotes by sex workers for ThreeL Media. She recently had an essay published in the anthology Coming Out Like A Porn Star. Follow her on Twitter at @andreshakti and visit her website, AndreShaktiXXX.com

Posted October 28, 2015

One response to “XXX LOVE: Married Porn Couples”

  1. […] though, PinkLabel.tv agreed to print the remaining seven profiles, including ours and the other out-and-proud couple that Andre interviewed (Sten and Lily Cade). […]

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