Anybody remember Aria?
Of course you do. She was a major star for a good five or six years, and my friends over at Wicked, who'd been discussing the situation I'm about to comment on, say they think she was in every one of their features in 2004 alone ... and a quick look at iafd.com shows that Aria performed in one hell of a lot of features.
But she's gone from the business now, having moved on with her life ... almost. You can read about it here .
Now, I've been in this business for a couple of decades, and I've seen porn stars come and I've seen them go ... and not all of them "go quietly into that good night." I'm recalling, for instance, Holly Ryder, who (if memory serves) left husband E.Z. Ryder in '93 or '94 to take up with some guy who did charity benefits for a living ... and wouldn't'cha know it? All of a sudden she's testifying before some California legislative committee about how terribly she was treated in the adult industry and what a rotten place that is to work in.
Since then, I've seen this happen every few years, more often than not from women who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to porn. For instance, I watched an incredibly puerile DVD called "Traffic Control" from something called the CP80 society — they want to force all adult material on the Internet onto a special server, not unlike the .xxx people want to do — and one of the "porn stars" who's in favor of the idea is Shelly Lubben, who spent about 10 minutes in the industry — well, to be fair, she did a whole 15 or 16 movies, which most newcomers accomplish in their first two weeks — and all of a sudden, she's mainstream's favorite ex-porn expert.
And she'll probably be successful at it because what does the mainstream media know from porn (or ex-porn) experts? I mean, it's not like they could call AVN or the Free Speech Coalition or Vivid or Wicked or Evil Angel or Red Light ... no, that would be too easy!
Which brings me to Aria. I first met her in the late '90s, just as the East Coast Video Shows were winding down, when she'd just changed her name from "Marie Silva," under which name she'd done a bunch of amateur work, and was heading for the Big Time in Porn Valley. I met her and her husband; we chatted amiably; I think we all wound up at one of Anna Malle's famous ECVS swing parties, and I later did a "Fresh Off the Bus" on her ... and she started inviting me to her sets, of which there were plenty. She was a hard worker, and more importantly, she obviously enjoyed her work. She was one of the few actresses who I could tell was having genuine orgasms on camera. (My favorite on that score has always been Stephanie Swift, who usually got so caught up in the feeling that they'd have to stop the cameras till she calmed down.)
But the point here is, Aria enjoyed sex — maybe not with everyone she worked with, and maybe not all the time, but I'd say a good 80-90% of the time, she got off, or at least the fucking felt good to her.
Now why do I bring this up? Well, if you followed the link above, you came to her MySpace page where she talks about her dream of being saved from Hell by "the purest white light" she'd ever seen ... better known to the religious crowd as Jesus.
Well, that's fine. I don't believe in a god, and frankly, I question the intelligence of anyone who does but in the long run, it's not up to me, and if the religious folks leave me alone, I'm content to leave them alone. (Of course, they don't, but that's another story ...)
But, as is the case with a few ex-porn stars of my acquaintance, Aria's religious conversion has impelled her to share her story of what hell her life in porn was ... and that's where I start to get a little pissed off.
You know where this is going right off when she writes, "I began dating at 15, and a few years later I lost my purity." "Purity"? Whatthefuck? "Virginity" I could buy; even "innocence" (which consider a misnomer) — but "purity"? Give me a break!
But wait; it gets "better."
Apparently she met her husband, whom I knew as "Jack Spade," during some sort of Christian retreat in Florida, and married him a few months later ... and then the plot thickens:
"After about a year of marriage, my husband shared with me his struggle with sexual issues. He frequently visited swinger websites, and was intrigued by the lifestyle. In an effort to put him at ease, I shared my experiences with him. He was surprised and intrigued. He wanted to go visit the couple from my teens, and foolishly I agreed. While visiting, we went to a strip club where I did amateur night. I won $500 and opened the door to the future. We were months late on our mortgage, and the bills kept piling up. Jeremy felt like the only way to get out of this hole was for me to take a job at a strip club 2 hours away from our home, just a couple nights a week. A couple turned into 4 or 5, and soon he had to quit his job just to have the time to drive me and pick me up. Then one day while searching the internet for opportunities, he came across an ad for performers in an adult film in Tampa, Florida. He said it was our only hope. In the eyes of God and my family, and anyone else, he said took responsibility as my husband and the leader of our family for my actions. I allowed him to make the decision, consumed half a bottle of Captain Morgan, and performed in my first Adult Film. I cried my heart out. I wanted to die, but I tried to keep it inside to spare Jeremy the guilt. Unfortunately, one just wasn’t enough. And so began my career as an Adult Film Star."
You can probably guess what (allegedly) followed: The rape(s), the thefts, the arrests, the big money she could never manage to save any of, the infidelity of the husband, the break-up of the marriage ... the whole nasty, disgusting nine yards of working in a profession she (allegedly) loathed, which forced her almost to renounce the faith she still held deep in her heart. And later, of course, coming back to the church and her redemption from her "life of sin."
Now, I knew Aria; not intimately, even though I did take a bunch of 3D pictures of her, but I hung around with her on the various sets, talked with her, asked her questions, listened to her ... and I tell you honestly, this woman was fine with acting in adult movies. But now she says she wasn't.
So I'm left with two possibilities: A) She's running some kind of con game with this website, which frankly I don't think is likely, or B) she's managed to delude herself, now that she's "saved," into thinking that she couldn't possibly have felt the enjoyment she clearly felt in having sex in front of the camera because such enjoyment would be in conflict with what she now wants to believe about herself — you know: "washed in the blood of the lamb" and all that crap — and so she's convinced herself that all the stuff she felt during her porn days were some sort of hallucination; that she actually hated every minute of it, and that only by fully renouncing it can she feel worthy of the fine Christian friends she now has.
Well, far be it from me to shatter anyone's illusions about herself ... but I knew Aria, and she's just not a good enough actress to have fooled everyone in the industry into thinking she loved what she was doing when in fact she actually hated it.
So isn't it time we just stopped listening to the bullshit from converted ex-performers?