The Accidental Voyeur: My Private Tushy Heaven

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A friend who isn’t in the industry, but who nevertheless follows this column regularly, threw me a challenge over drinks during the recent Christmas holidays. “I’m guessing you probably can’t watch porn anymore like us normal guys,” he gleefully suggested, after admitting to me that his favorite column of mine from last year was the one on Janine Lindemulder. “That’s just because I’ve always been a Janine fan but I’ve never met her. You have.”

Well, I’ve concluded, he’s probably right. His remark reminded me of something that Jill Kelly once said to me, that the only kind of porn she ever watched anymore was male gay porn, because “it’s just too weird watching your friends have sex.” The incidents have been many — I recall once viewing a scene and thinking to myself, “Oh, that’s Belladonna, I just hung out with her last week on that Jill Kelly set,” and then there was a still photo of Heather Lynn lasciviously looking the camera in the eye as she held some lucky dude’s boner in her hand and my mind flashed to a day when I’d chatted with Heather in the craft services section on a set because she was actually doing the food catering that day!

Yes, long lies my trail of cognitive dissonance, but how else can I cope? Is it not better off just to be a typical fan who has never been to porn sets, so that one can better enjoy the sight of a particular hot girl in action? My favorite story in this regard involves Halli Aston, whom I was friendly with during the peak of her career at the end of 1999. One year later, she told me she was quitting to go to law school in San Francisco, and I hope she found her happiness and is a successful attorney today. She certainly had the smarts for it.

I did one of the best interviews ever with Halli, in which we discussed everything from her start with Seymour Butts to her many roles in the Shane’s World gonzo series, which was how I actually first discovered her (Shane’s World 19: Tropical Paradise, to be precise, or more precisely the long opening scene where she gets to diddle Charmane Star’s vagina on a deserted beach). She’d also told me her “dream come true” was working with Janine Lindemulder in Ralph Parfait’s The Cult (back when every girl in the industry wanted desperately to have sex with Janine), which was also her last-ever film in which she did a boy-girl scene (with Evan Stone, who drills her doggie-style while she’s wearing a buttplug). Fears of contracting HIV, she told me, made her decide to only work with girls from then on.

That movie was shot in March 1999 and the interview we did was in November the same year. Then, a director I knew in San Francisco asked if I could be in one of her movies, for a kinky scene featuring bondage and some improvisation. I could pick any girl I wanted to fly up with me from Los Angeles, and I instantly picked Halli. When I asked her, she readily agreed with her usual immediacy and spontaneity. The very first time I’d met her was on the set of a Sin City movie, Michael Raven’s Primal Urge, and I remember asking her, “So, who are you going to be working with today?” She just grinned and shrugged. “I don’t know,” she replied, not kidding. (Now that was true professionalism, I thought, arriving on set knowing you’re going have to fuck someone and you have absolutely no idea who!)

I also remember her looking impressed when I introduced myself as being from Penthouse Variations. “You write for that magazine?!!” she squealed.” Of course, I’ll do an interview with you. I used to steal my father’s issues — that was the first porn I ever masturbated to!” So naturally, I was thrilled by the prospect of a scene with Halli, even though I knew she was then resolved to only shooting scenes with girls. Was I deluding myself by thinking I might even get her to sidestep her gay-for-pay mindset for just one shoot? I never found out, as it turned out — a phone call came from the director, telling me our shoot had just been canceled. (The funding for the movie had been pulled, the investors wouldn’t put up the budget, some words to that effect.) I called Halli and she said she was disappointed but no matter, her bread was already buttered and she had plenty of other shoots lined up.

Was I disappointed too? Of course, especially since the shoot was never rescheduled and that movie was never shot. Halli will always be the one that got away. It was the only time I would have ever crossed that line, to appear on-camera instead of behind it, and with someone else paying Halli that meant I would have also traversed the secret ridge where porn met escorting, even if we weren’t openly saying so. I’m comforted, however, by the fact that we had forged a friendship that was a bond, for Halli and I stayed in contact even after she left the business altogether at age 23. She was a true-blue, red-haired Orange County girl from Fountain Valley, who only made some 52 films in a career lasting a little over two years. We have not spoken for quite some time, yet I’ll always harbor warm feelings for her.

I know so since I’m even writing and posting this for January 24, Halli’s birthday, and I’d rather savor those good memories in lieu of going to Las Vegas this weekend for a certain awards ceremony. In fact, Halli’s one and only AVN Award was for her very first movie, Tushy Heaven, for her second scene (“Best Group Sex Scene” for 1999, featuring her with Alyssa Klass, Samantha Stylle, Wendi Knight and Sean Michaels). Her first scene in the same movie, with Alyssa Klass and Tom Byron, was also the very first time she’d ever had anal sex.

“I can’t imagine it ever happening under better circumstances,” she told me. “Of course it hurt to a point, but Alyssa made me feel comfortable and everyone was patient with me. I knew that no matter what happened, everything would be okay. And, actually, after a few times having anal sex, it was awesome and I loved it. I guess part of it for me is it being a little bit of a taboo thing, and it’s kind of primal so that’s exciting, but also it’s about knowing your body is capable of achieving that much pleasure, which I never thought was possible. It’s really an amazing thing.”

“I never imagined I’d be doing this but I always thought it would be cool,” she said when I asked about being a porn star. “In seventh grade, when I was 13, my girlfriend Heidi Dalton — who later did become a porn star and she was the one who got me into the business — was looking at some magazines with me, sitting in my room because she was spending the night at my house. She was, like, ‘Don’t you think that’d be so cool, to pose for these magazines and to be in porno? How could anybody not want to do that?!!’ I was like, ‘Hell, yeah, that’d be cool!’ So we had always talked about it. It was out of reach for us, never really an option at the time. And then, all of a sudden, there it was, in my lap!”

Well, there she was too, almost literally in my lap, like the photo above. I can only keep on dreaming of what might have been, of young Halli and me, in our own private tushy heaven.

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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.