The Accidental Voyeur: Rock ‘n’ Roll, Gush ‘n’ Blush

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Summer is here and it’s time for light-hearted banter, and I’ll always remember an afternoon in July 2000. My first interview with an icon who made porn so compelling for me: Janine Lindemulder (photo above,  and don’t you love her clit ring?)

In retrospect, I was exploring a conceptual theme, one that had always intrigued me: Do porn stars ever get embarrassed? How can they, since they occupy the top tier of the sex worker totem pole, paid to express what’s otherwise private in the most public way possible, putting everything out there for all to see? And if they were “reclaiming their sexuality,” as a means of compensation for childhood issues, do the normal rules of social engagement not apply?

Janine had always fascinated me, and we would meet again the following January at the AVN Awards in Las Vegas, but back then I wanted to talk to her about her mainstream crossover, a paradigm shift partly deriving from her appearance on the cover of the 1999 album Enema of the State by the rock band Blink-182. She’s seen all glammed up as a hot nurse, slipping a blue latex glove on her right hand, surely implying her readiness to perform a rectal exam.

That was, as pop culture milestones go, one notch after her scene in Howard Stern’s movie Private Parts, in which she deep-throated a 12-inch kielbasa, though she had already made inroads into the mainstream in August 1997 when GQ magazine did a feature on her entitled “The Sex Worker Next Door,” which described her as a “golly-gosh-darn-it Breck girl, a honey-haired, high-cheekboned native Californian who’d look as natural wearing a Laura Ashley sundress and running through a field of high corn as she does with a fifteen-inch dildo, sodomizing one of her pals on a pool table.”

Accordingly, I decided to ask her about how the nurse uniform idea came about on that Blink-182 album cover. However, I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

“That was their thing,” she replied. “I think originally I was supposed to be a teacher. They called me and asked me to dress like a sexy school teacher. But once I got there for the shoot, they informed me that they wanted me to be a nurse. It was kinky and fun, for me.” Spurred on by the spontaneity of the moment, I then asked her if she herself might’ve harbored any secret sexual fantasies involving the medical profession.

“I think I’ve talked about it more than I’ve actually lived it out, though it has been a topic of sexual conversation, that’s for sure,” she admitted. “I do start to sweat every time I go into the gynaecologist.” She stopped and started giggling. “I mean,” she added, “in a good way.”

In a good way? Hmm, I liked the sound of that. I asked her to explain and, amazingly, she seemed tongue-tied and began blushing. “Oh my God, now you’re making me blush!” she blurted. “It’s just – I must be getting too old because now I blush real easy. I don’t know, it’s just one of those things –“

She paused again, and I tried to help. “You mean, like fantasies of being strapped down,” I suggested, “onto chairs maybe?”

“Yes,” she replied, “a dentist’s chair, or anything to do with dental — or doctors — I think. I think it’s all right up my alley!” She kept giggling — and blushing — even more.

Thinking I should cut her some slack, I changed the subject by praising what I had seen of her own lovely anatomy. At that point, I hadn’t yet seen The Girl Next Door, shot in 1997 but not released till 2001, in which she delightfully tortured Tia Bella with an ice dildo, but who could ever forget Janine’s splendid debut in Andrew Blake’s 1992 masterpiece Hidden Obsessions? I’d always loved how, in her early movies, she made a delightful habit of bending over, parting her own ass cheeks with both hands as tongues and fingers slather over and slide into her nether regions.

Then, I momentarily forgot my line of questioning and mentioned Ralph Parfait’s 1999 film Amnesia — in which she gets examined by a gynaecologist played by Randi Rage before being blindfolded and handcuffed to a chair by a dominatrix played by Chandler (in the back room of a tattoo parlor, a huge turn-on for me since it echoed my own experience in the back room of a certain hair salon, for those who’ve read my last column).

I had apparently crossed the line again because Janine, still giggling, still blushing, immediately interjected: “Have mercy!”

Wow. She couldn’t handle it any more. Me, make a porn star blush? And so uncontrollably? That was certainly a first!

I was surprised by how shy she was in person. Even famous porn stars had their own deeply held personal fetishes, and how little her adoring public actually knew. Of course, after that, Janine accumulated a scary collection of tattoos and dyed her hair black and morphed into caricature when she was arrested for tax evasion (and served jail time in 2008), and sadly became tabloid fodder during the messy 2010 divorce of her ex-husband, motorbike icon Jesse James, and Hollywood’s ever-wholesome Sandra Bullock.

To me, Janine’s career peaked when she showed how she could really handle men in Paul Thomas’s Emperor, released in 2006, the year she deservedly won the “Best Actress” AVN Award at the age of 37, a real achievement in an industry that prizes youth beyond reason. And I’ll always think well of her, thanks to a quotable quote from that same interview. It remains my all-time favorite wisecrack from a porn star.

I asked her why she had finally decided to surrender her girls-only policy so she could start having onscreen sex with men, and she immediately quipped with a smirk: “In high school, instead of Janine Lindemulder my nickname was Janine Weenieholder. And now, it all comes together!”

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Drew McKenzie was previously the "Cinema Blue" columnist for Penthouse Variations and also wrote for AVN Online, Fox (from Montcalm Publishing, New York) and Guld Rapport (from Stockholm, Sweden). He is also the author of seven books -- three on porn stars, all done under his real name.