Without question, this book would win every award for the worst cover ever. The significance of the fist becomes apparent only about mid-way through the book *spoiler* (it relates to bulemia. It stands out to me as much as the first time I had sex (May 27th, 1995). I was thirteen years old. Bulimia and sex started at roughly the same age. I threw up every meal, every day. It gave me pleasure, actually, even though I know it’s not healthy behavior. I loved it—it was exhilarating, I could feel a rush in my entire body, a rush of fluids out of the stomach, mouth, eyes, and nose all at once. I found it more orgasmic than sex, until I finally had orgasms at age nineteen. . . Only in porn would a person’s wretched habit of shoving her hand all the way down her throat be considered a talent. I was praised and encouraged to puke and fist my mouth. It was perfect. I loved myself and my eating disorder.)
Oriana Small, aka Ashley Blue, had a mother who didn't care whether she drank, smoked, had sex, or took drugs. Mostly because she did all those things herself. Her mother had multiple partners most of whom regarded Oriana from a prurient rather than paternal view.
There are some contradictions. Her story of her mother and stepfathers (her birth father deserted them before her teen years) seeming disregard for her behavior conflicts with this paragraph, However, as gut-wrenching as the idea of my family’s reaction to pornography was, it wasn’t as powerful as the allure. I have never been a good kid. I’ve always liked being bad. I practiced smoking cigarettes in the mirror when I was thirteen and was the first girl to have sex in the eighth grade. I was suspended on my first day of high school for smoking, then again for wearing too short a miniskirt. I knew of better ways to behave, but they were not what I preferred. Breaking the rules was much more exciting. Porn was attractive because I knew it was bad. I didn’t know how I could ever face my aunts, uncles, cousins, and sister afterward, or if my actions would force them to stop loving me. I would be a bigger sinner to them, for sure. None of them would believe that this was the best I could do, or that it would make me happy. These relatives all helped raise me when my own parents failed. I didn’t want to disappoint them. But disappointment was inevitable. It felt like I was choosing porn over family, and my old life was ending.
Getting into the porn industry almost on a whim, and encouraged by her boyfriend, it provided fast and relatively easy money which they needed to fuel their cocaine habit which in turn was fueled by the industry's need for her to be always up and willing. Lots of details of the porn industry. Not a pretty scene and one begins to hate Tyler, her boyfriends, a weak, lily-livered SOB, for getting her into it. Not that she was completely unwilling. One interesting tidbit, Not a lot of directors like to shoot real couples having sex on film. Couples tend to bring all of their relationship problems into the sex scene and feelings always get hurt. Tyler and I were one of those couples. I preferred to wait until we got in the car to fight, but he liked to slam bathroom doors and pull me aside in front of the other porn people. We would be standing just a couple of feet away from the camera, naked with tears in our eyes, arguing about the amount of love I actually had for him. Every little thing he did at home to irritate me got dragged into the scene.
It's certainly not a way to get rich. What money we didn’t spend on coke went into the pill fund. Even before the porno started, Tyler and I would foolishly buy “E” pills with what little money we had to spare. I remembered simpler days when Tyler and I were so broke that we lived off of frozen edamame and ice cream. That is when you really feel in love for the first time, when you’re poor. We had nothing but each other for comfort and entertainment. It was a beautiful time. Now we had all of this money. Overnight, we had instant success in the porno business and could buy as many drugs as we wanted. We were still young and had our looks, too. The party never had to end. There were many different people who sold us drugs. Tyler always found someone with stuff for sale. He was like a divining rod in a crowd.
Reading the book is like watching a horrible train wreck in very slow motion. It has a certain gruesome fascination, a forlorn hope that no one gets hurt, but it intrigues nevertheless.
It's a tragic story but with a hopeful ending.