Friday, May 10, 2013

James Deen, the cock star next door

The co-star of The Canyons and Farrah Abraham's sex tape opens up about his silicone penis, why he was cast as a successful sociopath, his stage name, and his trick for getting hard on demand.

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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  • JamesDeenBlog.com
To a growing group of female porn fans, James Deen has become an unlikely sex symbol, paralleling the iconic 1950s actor who inspired his moniker. Mainstream media has branded Deen the "Boy Next Door" of adult entertainment because he doesn't fit the outdated stereotypes of mustachioed performers like Ron Jeremy or muscle bound and ponytailed Fabio knockoffs. For many of the young people who came of age with online porn at their fingertips, Deen is the archetype of the modern American cock star.

As evidence of his appeal to young women, or "Deenagers," MTV's Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham recently enlisted Deen to shoot an sex tape titled Back Door Teen Mom. Deen's rogue appeal has even started to penetrate the mainstream. Last year, the American Psycho author, Bret Easton Ellis, recruited Deen to star opposite Lindsay Lohan in the indie film The Canyons.

Deen has won seemingly every major adult award several times over. He is the youngest man to earn "Male Performer of the Year" at the AVN, XBIZ, and XRCO Awards. During the 2013 awards season alone, he won "Male Performer of the Year" for AVN, XBIZ, XCritic, RogReviews.com, and Orgazmik. He also won the 2013 AVN and XBIZ award for "Crossover Star of the Year." This says nothing of the slew of scene awards he continues to rack up, such as this year's "Best Three-Way Sex Scene-Girl/Girl/Boy" with Asa Akira and Brooklyn Lee.

If nothing else, Deen is a man of action. He started shooting hardcore content at 18 and has not slowed down since, performing in more than 3,000 sex scenes with virtually every major studio and star. While interviewing him this year at the AEE expo, I got a glimpse at the personality traits — his candor, enthusiasm, and unpretentiousness — that have facilitated his rise to fame in an industry overshadowed by beautiful women.

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  • JAMESDEENBLOG.COM
Your series of silicone dicks just won the "2013 Star Branded Pleasure Product of the Year" at the XBIZ awards. If I had a mold of my dick, the first thing I'd do is put on a puppet show with it. Have you used yours in any creative ways?

I keep them in my car to throw them at people who cut me off ... Actually, in the contract negotiation meeting for the mold, they kept talking about percentages and stuff. I stopped them and was like, 'I just want it so I can throw it at strangers who piss me off.' The owner paused for a moment, then said, 'We can make that happen.'

But, yeah, I really just wanted it to toss at people, like this — VESPOLI!

[As if casting a fishing lure, Deen tossed his rubber dick across the exhibition floor at Dana Vespoli. Before returning the detached member, Vespoli made a series of sexual gestures with Deen's rubber dick — though pretty much anything one does with a dildo is sexual.]

So see, there's an example of how to throw your penis at a passerby.

Considering that Bret Easton Ellis always writes about high functioning sociopaths like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, how did you feel when he announced that you would be perfect for a role in his screenplay, The Canyons?

I asked him about that. I said, 'Are you trying to tell me that you think I'm a crazy person?' He was like, 'No, no. I just think you have the look and the personality.' The character is nothing like me. It's just that it's very — it was just a matter of — actually I don’t know. He said he wrote the part for me. Maybe he thinks I'm a narcissist. Who knows?

You are always labeled as 'The Boy Next Door' in porn, but you also shoot some of the roughest scenes for companies like Kink.com. I wonder if Ellis saw that dichotomy of you being labeled as this nice, harmless guy who also does really rough, dominating sex scenes.

I guess that makes sense. The character is supposed to seem very straight-laced on the surface. A normal seeming dude who is out of his fucking mind. So, it is very possible that Ellis, like you said, liked that dichotomy of this normal looking crazy person. That dark side that lingers within. Maybe he thought I was a high functioning sociopath.

Stoya and James Deen at the 30th AVNs
  • Shawn Alff
  • Stoya and James Deen at the 30th AVNs
How do you maintain that image of being the porn star female fans fantasize about when you shoot the kind of hardcore scenes that many mainstream critics consider derogatory, misogynistic, or that depicts the male-centric fantasy of domination?

I disagree with that entirely. I don’t do anything to maintain a certain image. All I’m ever doing is just being myself; it's not hard to just be yourself. If that is the reason people like me, then people will continue to like me because I am just going to continue to be me.

The idea that BDSM or rough stuff is the male fantasy is completely inaccurate. When I was working with Burning Angel, we had primarily female members. We would put these really rough scenes up every now and then. Male fans would write comments like, "I don't like this ... Blah, blah, blah." Then the females would be like, 'What are you talking about? This is exactly what I want. This is the type of sex I like.'

There is no such thing as porn for men or porn for women. There is just porn. Sex is a personal thing. Some females like to watch a guy dominate the woman. Not to mention that the dominant person is always the submissive partner because she is the one with the safe word who is allowing her partner to be dominant.

I think it's retarded how people describe all that romance stuff as porn for women and all the rough stuff as porn for men. Everyone has a different sexual preference and a different sexual desire, and there is a lot of cross over between the sexes.

Was there any truth to the rumor that you were in the running to play Christian Grey in the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey?

I’ve heard some things from legitimate sources. I would love the opportunity to play that role, but as far as how accurate that rumor is, I don't know.

Deen & Farrah Abraham in Back Door Teen Mom
  • Vivid.com
  • Deen & Farrah Abraham in 'Back Door Teen Mom'
As soon as porn stars like Sasha Grey and Bree Olson got a taste of mainstream celebrity, they stopped shooting porn. Why do you think this happens?

To be honest, I don't know. The only thing I can think of is that maybe they didn't like what they did. Or maybe they thought they could make more money elsewhere.

It seems like many female performers see porn as a stepping stone. For you, porn seems more like an end in itself.

I just wanted to shoot porn. I mean, I've turned down mainstream stuff. I turned down Entourage and other things like that. The only reason I did The Canyons was because I'm a fan of Ellis. I liked the idea of playing that functional sociopath ... I had so much fun with it that I would actually consider playing other roles. But, I do have the luxury of not having to take every role that is offered to me and being able to turn down crap. If no one ever offers me anything good, I have a pretty cool day job.

Because you have built such a fan following as a performer, are you less worried than producers and directors about how the industry must evolve in order to remain profitable in an age of pirate torrent and free tube sites?

I've been producing and directing porn since I was 19. I'm worried, but people will always want new content. There will always be a market for it. Just like every other entertainment industry, they are losing money and trying to figure out how to become more profitable. The adult film world just needs to advance and figure out the next step, whether it be webcams or interactive content. It is just a matter of providing it in a way that people must pay for. But, there will always be the desire for new content.

Lindsay Lohan & James Deen in The Canyons
  • Lindsay Lohan & James Deen in 'The Canyons'
When you chose James Deen as a stage name, I assume you were at least partially drafting off the success of the movie icon, hoping to attract fans who were looking for nude pictures of him online —

Not at all. It was a nickname I had since junior high.

Now that you have started to enter the mainstream consciousness, do you think having a stage name that is a parody of a famous actor's name has hindered your ability to develop a distinct brand?

Not at all. I think it is a great name. I think it is fantastic. Subliminally it makes people think of the sex symbol. It has that pop star appeal. It is also easy to remember. Plus it's hilarious. There should be comedy with everything. People take things too seriously. Trying to think of a serious stage name — fuck that dude. Have fun with it.

What lessons have you learned from Ron Jeremy's career that you want to repeat or avoid?

Ron is awesome. Ron is Ron. I think it's awesome that he embraces who he is and just does his thing.

So you think he's a model for how a male porn star should just be himself?

Yeah. Who cares. Ron Jeremy is Ron Jeremy and he has made a career out of being Ron Jeremy and I think that he should absolutely continue to do that.

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When guys ask me how to get into porn, I always reference the story of how you "practiced" having sex at parties after listening to Jenna Jameson on "Love Lines" say that a male porn star must be comfortable having sex in front of people. Do you think having an exhibitionistic fetish — getting turned on by having others watch you — is essential for an aspiring male performer?

I think it does a little bit, but at the end of the day, it is completely different. Being able to have sex in front of large groups really isn't that useful. The key for a male adult performer is being able to separate sex. One minute you may be having a conversation with your costar who is talking about how her grandmother just died, and the next minute you must get aroused and have sex. Being able to do that separation is key. You can have sex in front of people all day long but not be able to rise to the occasion on demand. That's really what it is, just being able to play with that part of the brain.

Do you have any tricks for getting an erection on command?

It's not a matter of, you're at a party and you're making out with someone, and you're slowly but surely getting into each other, and getting more and more aroused until you are both ready to have sex. It's, 'Okay. Get hard now. Have sex now.'

I've always been very tactile, so for me it's very easy to switch from life to sex. My technique, if you will, is really just making-out. Making-out is awesome. I like making-out. Everyone should make-out.

Has there been a scene where it was particularly difficult to maintain an erection?

There was one scene where the girl was a 53-year-old woman. She was beautiful. She was just older. She smelled exactly like my Grandmother and had the same Brooklyn accent. I kept having to leave the room, get an erection, come back, do three minutes of the scene, leave the room again, get and erection, come back ... It was just the smell. That was a little disturbing. But she was very sweet and very nice and I didn't want to be rude and be like, 'I'm not doing the scene because you smell like my grandmother.'

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How do you feel about male porn stars who use drugs like Viagra? Would you recommend that male performers avoid relying on such pharmaceuticals?

I don't recommend using any pharmaceuticals unless they are needed. I don't think most young males need Viagra. I used to think it was like cheating and I didn't like it.

Like a professional athlete using steroids?

Yeah, like, 'If you can't do it without it, you shouldn't do it at all.' Then I started directing. I was just like, 'Please just take a Viagra and get your dick hard.' I don't care anymore. Just be safe. Protect yourself. Talk to a doctor.

When you are directing, what is the main criteria you look for in a guy? Just his ability to get hard on demand and maintain for the entire shoot?

I mean, without that, you don't have a job. Aside from that, for me, the most important thing is chemistry. Being able to build chemistry. To keep it interesting between you and the female performer, and being able to connect. Have a good, energetic, hot, sex scene.


Read Deen's blog at JamesDeenBlog.com, follow him on Twitter at @JamesDeen, and check out his merchandise at JamesDeenStore.com

See more explicit coverage of the convention and awards show at AVNAwards.com and AdultEntertainmentExpo.com.

Follow Alfie on Twitter, Facebook, or at shawnalff.com

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