In Her Words
Porn in the Dominican
A different kind of Valentine’s Day
The huz and I have never particularly gone in for truffles and long stems on Valentine’s Day, so when he announced that he was going to be traveling for work on February fourteenth, I wasn’t particularly fazed.
“Where’re you headed?” I said.
“To the Dominican Republic,” he said, “For … you know …”
Six months into my husband’s job as the Cinematographer for a reality TV series about the lives of porn stars, I knew what he meant. I was used to him jetting off to shoot fivesomes in Malibu mansions and by Beverly Hills pools so, although I would miss him, another steamy gangbang seemed par for the course.
“Who’s going?” I asked. He explained to me that this particular episode would follow a porn star couple – yes, she fucks, he films – as they scoured Puerto Plata for strippers to shoot gonzo scenes under tropical waterfalls. For those unfamiliar with gonzo, it’s the opposite of filming Saturday Night Beaver with a full cast and crew, but rather unscripted, wherever, however porn.
“Strippers, hey?” I said. I had to think about this one for a sec. My usual impulse would be to make an off-color jungle joke but something else occurred to me. “Isn’t that potentially exploitative?”
“How so?” he said.
“Let me see,” I said. “A porn producer dangling dollars in front of underpaid strippers …”
“I hadn’t thought of that,” he said.
Over the past year I’d adopted a necessary live-and-let-live attitude. And while I didn’t have any problems with porn per se, this situation seemed a touch in my moral grey zone. So I did what any other emotionally balanced woman would do, and stormed out of the apartment in my pajamas.
A week later, the home fires had cooled and in the name of our graduate student debt, we decided he had to go. I dropped the huz off with his film equipment at LAX. We kissed, and with my best attempt at jovial wife said, “Happy V Day, Honey!” I hopped in the driver’s seat and drove off.
The next day he called me from the beach, lounging with a pina colada. They’d scored the afternoon off and would hit the strip clubs the next day. He explained to me that one of the locations where they would be filming was an all-inclusive sex resort.
“Excuse me for sounding naïve,” I said. “But all inclusive?”
“Booze, buffet and booty – all you eat, drink and shag.”
“Dude,” I said.
“I know,” he said.
Despite my trust in my husband, and despite my best intentions to be impartial to the huz hanging with Hilary Spanks and Lola so-and-so, playing it cool was taking all of my inner Zen. It seemed every time I made peace with a certain “scenario,” another came along to trump the last. Porn stars! And strippers! And sex resorts! Oh my!
I decided that our apartment needed a thorough scrub.
The next day I was deep into the Mr. Clean, putting some elbow to the tired linoleum, when he called having just returned from the strip club.
“How’d it go?” I asked.
“Well …” he said. “There were about twenty girls and us. They all wanted in.”
“Oh yeah,” I said. I imagined my husband being stormed by sultry strippers.
“A lot of them looked really young.”
Make that twenty hot, little Lolitas. “I have to go now,” I said.
“Yup,” I said. “Talk later. Love you.”
The truth was, I’d hit a new low. Was I supposed to feel peachy keen about my husband trolling strip clubs for tweens to be the next, hottest porn star? I really didn’t know.
As fate would have it, the next day the huz called to tell me the shoot had been cancelled. It turns out the strippers didn’t just look fourteen; they were fourteen with some bad fake IDs. To boot, the porn star couple had had a huge debacle, and the starlet had refused to perform.
“That’s too bad,” I said and breathed a sigh of lemon scented relief. At the very least, it was good to know that I wasn’t the only one having issues on Valentine’s Day. Later that evening, I drew myself a bath, poured a Baileys, and decided that next year Godiva and roses might just be the way to go.
Emily Southwood is a freelance journalist. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.