Lou Pickney's Online Commentary
October 9, 2005
"Most of the images of reality on which we base our actions are really based on vicarious experience."
NOTE: If the porn industry is something that makes you uncomfortable, don't read this column. Do you hear me?!? Don't read it. Don't! Find another column where I talk about sports or TV or travel or something. But if you are comfortable with it... well, then enjoy what lies ahead.
Last night was one of those evenings filled with adventure, excitement, the unexpected, and fun. In other words, it was my kind of evening.
I've been told by certain people that they live vicariously through me (and in particular my writing), enjoying my adventures as I tell them on here (or via e-mail), taking in their thrills in second-hand fashion. Perhaps it was that similarity that drew me to my friend Suzy, who despite being older than me, has quite a bit in common with me. Cutting to the chase, Suzy (aka "The World Famous Suzy Q") had an All Access VIP pass for this weekend's Adult Entertainment Awards events being put on by Night Moves magazine.
Last night Suzy and I met up in Ybor City, where she was working through the pain of a rather bad leg injury from where she fell down the stairs at her attorney's office. If she had backed out, I would have understood. But Suzy is a trooper.
We had dinner at the Big City Tavern, which is a nice restaurant that I had, surprisingly enough, not eaten at before. The menu was a bit fu-fu for both of our liking, but we each found something we could enjoy on there.
From there it was onto my favorite watering hole in Ybor City, Market on 7th (aka Demi's Market). Reservoir Bar is a cool spot, but it doesn't hold the memories that Demi's has for me. There was a good 6-9 month stretch where Todd Martin, Jeff Riley and I would be in that place just about every weekend. The good old days.
|Carmen Luvana is beautiful, and she wasn't shy about touching me.|
After a drink or two, it was onto our next destination, the Tampa Gold Club. The unintentional comedy of that location was not lost on me, between the Gold Club being a former name of my friend Josh Tenisci's fantasy football team, the history of Ken's Gold Club in Nashville, and of course the endless jokes that can be made of any place called the Gold Club after what happened in Atlanta (if you don't know, look it up online -- be sure to find Patrick Ewing's testimony).
Located down on Adamo Drive, it's one of Tampa's many, MANY strip clubs. If you like a wide variety of adult entertainment venues, well Tampa is a city for you. The parking lot was ridiculously packed, which wasn't surprising given what was inside: a chance to meet, have your picture taken with, and get autographs from a bevy of porn stars.
Now porn is one of those really polarizing topics, I realize that, but it's a business, albeit a really bizarre one. Of course, I was there for merely journalistic reasons, to bring you the reader the inside scoop. Or something like that.
The place was packed, to the point where it was tough to even move around. Bumping into people at a public place is strange enough, but at a strip club it's really awkward. We found Suzy's friend April, who does PR for one of the porn stars, but finding a seat was an impossible task. So Suzy and I decided to head to the back to find ourselves some porn stars.
I'm not one to mark out to celebs, not after the time I spent in TV news and especially now working for Bubba, but this was a whole new twist on things in that many of the porn stars I simply didn't know. I really needed Richard Christy of the Howard Stern show there to point out who was who.
|Ron Jeremy is known as "The Hedgehog", and with good reason.|
One person who was unmistakable was Ron Jeremy. With his wispy moustache... well I mean no one else looks like him, except for Miami Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy. Ron had some pics of himself from 1976 with him, which was hilarious in an unintentional comedy kind of way. I guess he wanted people to see that he used to "have it", before he became The Hedgehog. Suzy wanted to get an autograph from him, but Ron insisted on signing her cleavage. Suzy told me that he was trying to tweak her nipple as he put a "RJ" and a heart on there. I took the picture of Ron and Suzy, but besides a "hey", I didn't really say much to Ron. I mean, what do you say to a male porn star? "I really enjoy your work?" Or "Bubba thinks your one-liners really suck?" (He does, and they do).
Onto the good stuff: we found a buffet table of women who were in "the business" all lined up, seated at two tables that were facing each other. I got an autograph from a woman named Angelica Sin. I had a choice between two pics, and I was a bit stunned as to which topless picture to have her sign. I do remember telling her, "They both look nice, but I'll take this one," opting for the color promo shot. I have to admit feeling a bit uncomfortable with this, since I didn't know her at all. But, hey, free picture.
|Jesse Jane is as gorgeous in person as she is in pictures.|
I did spot a girl I knew from the Stern show, a knockout blonde named Jesse Jane. I was going to get my picture taken with her, but she left for a moment, so I had to wait. There was another really hot girl there with her, and they were there promoting a movie that they just did together. So I thought, okay, I'll take a picture with the other hot chick. Turns out that the other "hot chick" was Carmen Luvana, who is a well-known name in the field. Shows how little I know about porn star names, I suppose. Jesse Jane returned a few minutes later, and I had my picture taken with her as well. They were all very nice and accommodating about the pics, without any snobbery or rudeness at all. And no, I didn't have to pay to get my pic taken with them, none of the $20 for a Polariod nonsense that you might expect.
When Suzy and I finally found two seats by the bar, getting drinks was next to impossible. It was on the level of the Slightly Stoopid concert in Tampa, or of the truly insane Dollar You Call It night in Starkville. This one very well-dressed black guy kept getting drinks no problem, which seemed a bit strange to me. Later on I found out he was a porn star, Sean Michaels, not to be confused with pro wrestler Shawn Michaels. Membership has its privileges, I suppose...