Sometimes half the fun of these things is coming up with a title.
Last night (or two nights ago, technically. This happened Saturday, June 28th.), a local bar hosted an event called Judigras. And it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Mardis Gras in June, or at least a facsimile. It went how you’d expect. There was revelry and beads for boobs, body painting and heavy drinking. A live band played (a live band is almost always playing at this bar), there was a wet t-shirt contest, a twerk contest (for fuck’s sake, why?) and some other stuff I missed because I spent the bulk of my night on the deck.
See, my friend is the bartender on the deck and he and another friend and I tend to spend most of our weekend nights shooting the shit and getting some fresh air. Most of the people go out to the deck to smoke. I don’t. I just prefer the atmosphere out there. Plus there’s a grill set-up and this guy cooks a mean reindeer hot dog like you wouldn’t believe.
I was there Saturday night to get drunk and have a good time. I had the following day off, I knew my pals would be out there and I feel like I keep making an ass of myself with a girl I like. Additionally, in a twist I should have seen coming but did not, Judigras ended up scoring about a half dozen women I dated and/or slept with as rabble-rousers, so I was on the edge of losing my mind.
I did run into an exotic dancer friend of mine I hadn’t seen in quite some time. She’s a beautiful, creative soul who shares a lot of the same tastes as I do in terms of fiction, film, fashion and art. She’s very intelligent, which made it an absolute delight when some almost-jocks recognized her from the club, talked to her as if she were on the clock and she promptly shot them down so hard and brilliantly that all they could do was stare and mumble something.
Gentlemen: strippers do not give a shit about you. They do not mean the nice things they say while you’re fishing your money out to buy a drink that costs way too much. They don’t want to fuck you just because you pay them to pretend that they do. And if you forget that they are actually women with a job and you treat them like objects when they’re not at their job and thus have no reason to tolerate your sexism and idiocy, they will put you in your place. Hopefully I’ll get to see it again. It’s a goddamn delight.
Anyway, I hung out with her and her friend for a couple hours, catching up, engaging in witty banter. They got painted; I did not. I did get green glitter brushed all over my face. I haven’t looked closely in the mirror since then, but I’ve already prepared to look like I took a fairy money shot for the next ten years.
The biggest draw of the evening, however, and what brought the three of us together for a little bit, was that Jenna Jameson was IN THE HOUSE. She had done a meet and greet up in Fairbanks and then flew down to show up for one night in Anchorage.
I didn’t think I would get excited. I don’t think of myself as the kind of guy who gets easily star-struck and seeing as how Jenna is mostly known for being naked and often penetrated, I don’t know that being star-struck as a single male in this case is necessarily a good thing.
But I did get excited and I ended up being a little awkward and once I had a chance to think about it, it didn’t surprise me all that much.
Before I ever knew Jenna Jameson was a porn star, I knew her as a knockout blonde that I thought was a model. Sure, I had heard she did Playboy, but so did Marilyn Monroe. Discovering later that she did porn didn’t change my perspective or make me think less or more of her, that’s not what I’m trying to say. I just want to point out that I had this deep and abiding crush on her as a teenager that continued for years based on knowing almost nothing about her.
Was it shallow? Absolutely. I was a kid with hormones whose hobbies were trying and failing to hook up with girls, and masturbating. And comic books.
Come to think of it, that list has pretty much stayed the same for ten years
Anyway, I thought Jenna was one of the most gorgeous women I had ever seen. I haven’t read it, but by most accounts her autobiography (How to Make Love Like a Porn Star) is prettt excellent, and my respect for her grew just by knowing that. She was also married to Tito Ortiz, because I also apparently needed to know her significant other could, in fact, kick the shit out of me.
I grew older and grew wiser (probably) and developed relationships of my own with a wide variety of “types” and found beauty in many different areas. My single-minded lust of that poster image faded into the past as I matured while the respect for the woman more or less stayed the same.
Truth be told, before a week ago, I hadn’t thought of Jenna Jameson in a few years, not since the girl I was dating at the time (and yes, she was at the bar Saturday, too) was telling me how great the autobiography was. And that’s probably natural, not thinking about porn stars regularly, so I feel like I’m in the clear. All the same, the nostalgia of this hypersexualized image that I looked at every day for four or five years (I neglected to mention I worked in a comic and collectible shop that sold posters; hers was on the outside) came rushing back, so I was curious to see what was up.
The first thing I was surprised to find out was that she was letting people take pictures with her for free. Not just one picture, but at least a few. Not only that, but she was a fucking champ. She adapted easily to whatever pose requests she was given. She didn’t try to rush anyone off the stage. She was friendly to everyone and eye-banged the hell out of whichever camera was flashing.
The second thing that impressed me was that she was charging $10 for an autographed photo of herself, but that it was going to a breast cancer charity. I hadn’t intended on buying one before that knowledge, but:
“Take me,” it says. Oh, Jenna.
Finally, it was my turn to go up and meet her. She was skinny. Tan. The work she had done on her face was obvious, and yet when she smiled or puckered her lips, if you looked into her eyes, that beauty was still there. She seemed a little flighty, but if I had to meet a bunch of drunk assholes with dirty thoughts in Alaska, I’d be drunk or high off my ass. The guy she was with, and I don’t know who it was because – and I can’t stress this enough – I really need to not be invested in the love lives of porn stars…the guy she was with was a gentleman. He smiled at everyone that came up, he made sure Jenna knew to sign a photo (it got a little crazy on the stage considering how many people were there), and was just generally really chill.
I shook Jenna’s hand. I don’t know why I did that. That’s such a weird thing to do. Then I kind of awkwardly suggested some poses. The conversation went like this.
“I was thinking it would be funny if, maybe, like if you grabbed my tit.”
“You…want me to grab your…tit?”
“Well, my chest. Yeah, like if you were groping me instead of being groped, cuz…like a joke.”
And then I did this, because I’m a fucking weirdo.
And then she signed my picture, blew me a kiss, and I left to go get another drink and think about how I couldn’t possibly have been less suave about the whole situation.
Jenna Jameson has changed a lot in ten years, as would any person. I didn’t go in expecting to see the woman from the poster I adored. Shit, I didn’t go in expecting to meet her, take a picture with her or have her grope me, either. I went in curious and though our encounter with each other was brief and not terribly special or noteworthy, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction anyway. Seeing how receptive she was with her fans, how willing she was to just provide a good time and a fun picture, it was rewarding. It was such a deep pleasure to see someone who has achieved notoriety and fame still be an absolute gem to a crowd of people who each weekend largely seem to try to prove that they’re horrible.
Jenna Jameson is not the first woman I’ve seen naked. She wasn’t my first fantasy. She wasn’t the first adult starlet that I turned my filthy eyes on. But I had a big, fat, ol’ crush on her for a long time. She’s incredibly sweet. She’s the first porn star I’ve ever met, and I couldn’t be happier at how it turned out.