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Hard Business
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Online Threesome Porn

Ron Jeremy:
The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz


Book Review by Rob Hardy



If you have been in 1,700 movies, and starred in plenty of them, and have directed some of them yourself, and your name is well known for your brand of films, you can perhaps expect not only fame, but also a level of respect from peers in Hollywood, and plenty of further bookings in Hollywood movies. Only some of those expectations have come true for Ron Jeremy, but if you believe his forthright and funny autobiography (written with Eric Spitznagel) Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz (HarperEntertainment), heís not at all bitter and he is very much amused by the turns his life has taken. After all, he has been wildly successful in what he does, and he is crazy about working in movies, or publicity stunts, or book signings, or hawking tee-shirts, or partying with the well-to-do. Ron Jeremy, you see, is "the top porn star of all time" according to one trade magazine, and it is hard to argue with the designation. And Ron Jeremy has a big penis. Not the biggest in porn; that honor probably goes to the late porn star John Holmes, but Jeremyís size was remarkable enough to secure him into his profession, whereupon his other attributes (like ambition) sustained him in a career that has been far longer than others in the field. (Of his co-stars, he jokes, "Iím a dinosaur compared to them. I was making porn when most of them were still zygotes.") Itís a remarkable life, and he has enjoyed it all very much (including the estimated 4,000 women with whom he has had sex for films and for fun), and while his book wonít please the prudish, he has well conveyed his sense of fun and a very likeable self-effacing image.

Red-staters may be dismayed to find that Jeremy didnít have a broken childhood and wasnít forced into the business to support a drug habit. He never smokes, seldom drinks, and never does drugs. And he loves his parents. He was a nice Jewish boy who says, "My youth was almost unreasonably happy, like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting." Stickball, trips to the museums of New York City, lots of friends - it all sounds idyllic. But he needed to be the center of attention, putting on impromptu skits for the neighborhood or acting the class clown. His principal explained to his mother, "Ronnieís a very bright boy. Itís just... he has a tendency to crack jokes." His mother shot the young Jeremy an approving look and said, "And? Whatís wrong with that?" His beloved parents thought that if he loved acting up, then theyíd support his acting all they could. He took every drama class he could during high school, and took roles in school productions, and while he didnít get a part in The King and I, he did get to play piano as musical accompaniment. Along with his love of music and acting, he loved making money; he was a fifteen-year-old ice-cream vendor, and then a bustling waiter in the Catskills, where he learned to tell the diners he was working to be a doctor, not an actor, in order to boost his tips.

He continued to act, and play music, and along the way he became an accredited special education teacher. (He loves children, and he loves small animals, and his book contains an invitation to help him in the fight against world hunger.) When he was 24 he had a girlfriend, Alison, with whom he was in love. With all his sexual exploits, he says he has been in love five times, and that Alison would eventually "... leave me, as all my girlfriends do, claiming that I was incapable of committing to a monogamous relationship." (The claim does seem to be accurate.) But Alison talked him into posing for naked pictures, "something she could look at when she couldnít have the real thing, or at least that was her rationale... I undressed and lay on the bed, and she began snapping pictures. It was awkward at first. Iím not, by nature, an exhibitionist... Itís impossible not to feel self-conscious when you know that youíre making a permanent record of your body, available for anybody to see." Jeremy does not have the modelís face or physique sported by other porn stars. He is tubby, and has a lot of body hair that led to his getting the trade nickname The Hedgehog. He says that even though he has put on weight for all to see, it has never stopped him from getting work, and thinks it may be part of his attraction; itís no surprise that the good-looking actors get plenty of sex, "But when people see me in a porno, they think, If this guy is getting lucky in the sack, maybe thereís hope for me!"

The pictures taken by his girlfriend were used in the October 1978 issue of Playgirl. "I wanted to be a thespian, performing great plays on Broadway or starring in major motion pictures. I wanted to be appreciated for something other than the size of my penis..." And thus he was reluctant about going into adult films. "Before I made such a monumental, life-altering decision, I needed to talk to my dad," he explains, and his father told him that people had already seen him naked in Playgirl, and at least heíd be working in front of a camera, with some story line. So his dad granted permission, with a "Just one thing" caveat: "If you use the [family] name Hyatt, Iíll kill you." And so, using his middle name, Ron Jeremy entered filmdom. He was good at what he did, beyond physical attributes, because of a physiological skill: "Once I have an erection, I could time my orgasms down to the second. I could stall for hours or pop within seconds, depending on my mood." What was a mildly amusing trick in his social life became a skill valued by porn directors. His other trait, his eagerness to do anything, made him famous quickly. "I wanted to stay busy. I wanted to work. And if that meant leaving one set at midnight and driving to LAX to catch a red-eye to New York for another movie the next morning, Iíd do it." As if he did not have enough on-screen coition, he also dated and enjoyed going to swingersí clubs, especially the famous Platoís in New York. He gives rules by which swingers ought to abide, among them: "You have to be open and sincere about what you expect, or someone is going to feel taken advantage of. (Iím just here to help, folks...)" He also has helpful tips for avoiding STDs (the techniques have worked for him), enjoying specific sexual acts, and also Reasons To Stay At A Party:

1. Good food
2. Great entertainment
3. Women I could maybe have sex with
4. Directors or producers or agents who might be able to help my career
5. Celebrities, or anyone I can later brag about having met.

This last brings up a significant part of the book. "If Iím at a party," he writes, "and I notice that everybody wants to pose for photos with me, and Iím the only one among them who has had an acting job that didnít involve hawking used cars on a local TV commercial, itís time to make up an excuse and get the hell out of there." Jeremy is not only a name-dropper, he is a photo-dropper. A sixteen page color spread shows him with plenty of "friends" who seem glad to be with him, and some of the guys are posed with their hands apart as if they were indicating the size of the fish that got away, only it isnít fish. Itís no surprise to find him hobnobbing with Jerry Springer, say, but here are Dustin Hoffman and Stevie Wonder, as well as Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Bakker), the evangelist.

He has enjoyed his notoriety, and is too busy promoting it to complain (much) about its drawbacks. He is a sincere actor, but mainstream producers tend not to hire him because as soon as he shows on the screen, everyone in the audience will point to him as that porn star. When John Frankenheimer wanted to portray the porn movie world in 52 Pick Up, he wanted Jeremy to invite him to see a porn shoot in progress. "You donít need to do it again?" Frankenheimer asked on the set. "What if the lighting is wrong? What if the continuity is screwed up? What if you donít have enough coverage?" Jeremyís answer comes with a shrug: "Hey, itís porn. Our audience is very forgiving." He also got consulting credit on the wonderful ensemble movie about making porn films Boogie Nights, although his acting scenes were cut (as often happens when he works on mainstream movies). He does get called upon to do TV roles, but usually he is asked just to be Ron Jeremy, hosting S & M shows, judging wet tee-shirt contests, introducing rock acts, or even participating in serious academic seminars on aspects of pornography. Just like when he started in the business, he seldom says no, and knows that he might be just a commodity. "If Ron Jeremy is a commodity," he explains, "then Iíve been my most enthusiastic salesman." Perhaps this amusing autobiography is all a part of the sales, but still, it is a hugely entertaining and candid report by a man who loves his work.

Rob Hardy
April 2007


Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz
(HarperEntertainment; February 6, 2007; ISBN-10: 006084082X)
Available at: Amazon.com†/ Amazon UK


_______
© 2007 Rob Hardy. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.



About the Reviewer:†
Rob Hardy is a psychiatrist who lives in Columbus, Mississippi, with his wife, two terriers, five cats, and goldfish.

He reviews nonfiction for The Times of Acadiana, but has been reviewing books as a hobby for years before that.
WebBio:  Rob Hardy



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