A while ago I decided to start doing 5 question interviews, but I didn’t promise any regularity, and its a good thing, because I am both busy and scatter brained. Anyway, here’s one I did with the ever-awesome Tony Comstock – well, the first of the five questions. The man can go on (not at all in a bad way). For each question I’ve asked him, he’s asked me one in return.
Dacia: I must admit that I was a little surprised the first time I heard you say that you and your wife havenâ€™t watched porn in years. What kind of effect do you think this abstinence (couldnâ€™t help myself) has on your porn-making?
Tony: I think my and Peggy’s porn watching experiences aren’t that uncommon. When we first moved in together (about 10 years ago) there was a neighorhood video store with a pretty sizable adult section, with some pretty alluring box covers. But after a few unsuccessful attempts to spice up the evening, we quit looking. It wasn’t that we were grossed out by what we saw, we just weren’t very interested in or turned on by any of the tapes we rented. Not too long after that we started doing the first test-shoots for what eventually became Comstock Films.
A few years ago I thought it would be a good idea to get up to speed on what was going on in porn, so I got an X-rentDVD account and solicited suggestions on AdultDVDTalk.com. But if anything, the porn being produced had become less interesting to us. Out of about 20 rentals, the only one we enjoyed was “The Opening of Misty Beethoven,” a film produced 30 years earlier. Peggy has gotten together with her friends a few times for cheesecake and gay porn, but unless she’s not telling me the whole story, it’s really more of an eye-candy giggle with the girls than a get turned-on and jack-off experience.
More than what we don’t watch, what has had an effect on our porn making is what we do watch.
One of my favorite shows ever is America’s Funniest Home Videos, which aside from being great slapstick gives rich testament to the startling power (albeit in this case harnessed for low comedic effect) the camera has as a witness. I’ve also been seeing some amazing personal testimony-based documentaries on The Military Channel.
Peggy is a devotee of the Scifi Friday line-up on the SciFi Channel and can be counted on to get sucked into what I call ‘potato chip television’ â€“shows like The Biggest Loser, American Idol, and Project Runway. She also was a devoted Oz fan (hot man on man action), and watched The Shield until it turned into a repetitive soap opera. We both LOVE David Simon’s The Wire, and also love his books and other TV shows.
So as much as I make a mental note when a bit of porn (almost exclusively stills these days) catches my eye and turns my crank, I also think a lot about what makes other things work on me, what makes them suck me in, and then try to see if there isn’t a place for those observations in my films.
Now my first question for you: How, if at all, has your porn viewing changed in the years that you’ve been “out” as a sex-worker and activist?
Dacia: Certainly my porn viewing has changed over the years â€“ actually it changes constantly, depending on what kind of mood Iâ€™m in, what body part Iâ€™m fixated on, what new discoveries or dirty thoughts Iâ€™ve been having. Iâ€™m pretty open minded about my porn and will watch just about anything. This is really the result of having been a porn reviewer and tape logger for the past few years, because Iâ€™ve had to watch all manner of stuff that I didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d be into, and Iâ€™m consistently surprised by what I end up liking.
I didnâ€™t really watch porn until I was in college, and I bought my boyfriend a copy of Tristan Taorminoâ€™s Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women 2, ostensibly to watch together because I didnâ€™t think heâ€™d be psyched about me building my own porn collection. He was surprised that I picked the second and not the first video (which has a lot of workshop-y educational content in it), and I told him flat out â€œI donâ€™t want to learn, I want to watch people fuck.â€
I know Iâ€™ve become a lot more jaded since I first saw porn and still had that giddy â€œthose people are really doing itâ€ feeling – I do get burned out on watching too much porn, and my tastes have become somewhat more refined over the years, but the thrill is still alive. Although initially I was super picky about seeing porn with people who I thought were attractive, these days I care less about that and more about chemistry. If someone tells me about a scene where the chemistry is really hot, I donâ€™t care what kind of body parts the people in the scene have, or they boobs are plastic and scary or the dudes look like ogres â€“ if they chemistry is genuine and the people on screen really seem like they want to be there and they canâ€™t get enough, then Iâ€™m all over it.