Going down with Ron Jeremy
An elevator conversation with a porn legend
By Avril Sequeira
“What do you want? Left boob, right boob? Want him to juggle them?”
The question caught me off-guard, though I should have known better with the gaggle of girls lined up nearby to have their breasts autographed. Just another typical day in the life of porn star Ron Jeremy.
MW staffers ran into the rotund celebrity just minutes before his appearance on the CBC’s The Hour and couldn’t resist negotiating a few quick questions with the icon with an impressive masters degree, among other things, under his belt.
In a walking interview, Jeremy shared an elevator as well as some insights gleaned from his thirty-year career in the adult entertainment industry.
MW: What do you think about the adult magazine business and where it’s going?
RJ: “It is badly [collapsing]. All the smut owners got involved in other interests. Al Goldstein’s totally out of business. Screw’s finished. Bankruptcy, he’s done, he’s lost his home. [Bob] Guccione sold his company Penthouse to someone else and he had financial troubles. Playboy got invested in other things…got involved with a lot of videos, and DVD, and satellite. And by the way, he just fired a tremendous amount of people recently. And Hustler, Hustler’s doing very well only because [Larry Flynt’s] involved in so many areas. He has his Hustler stores, he’s hooked up with Déjà Vu to have dance clubs, nightclubs. He has gambling casinos, he’s still going to have bars, a fast food place….Larry’s getting involved in so many areas as an entrepreneur, he’ll do the best.
MW: What do you attribute this to?
RJ: The Internet. If you can see images for free, why pay? And even more than the Internet, they’re losing to Maxim. Playboy magazine hired the editor of Maxim to run Playboy because people discovered that people would rather see Britney Spears and Pam Anderson in skimpy clothes than a gorgeous girl nude with shlong in her face. Recently, they’re learning that celebrities that you see in Maxim magazine who aren’t totally nude is actually selling better than seeing them nude. Who’d have thought that? So they’re getting their asses kicked by Maxim, Stuff, Details, Detour. They’re all suffering bad.
MW: Since online porn sites mean that adult entertainment workers don’t have to rely on magazine editors, publishers, and distributors to put their faces out there, do you think it’s a positive change for women in the industry?
RJ: Well, in a way since the girls are making such a killing on the Internet. Playboy bought [Jenna Jameson’s] company and made her very very wealthy. I think Jenna and a lot of those Internet girls, like Danny Ash, they were making a fortune even while Playboy was doing well. But with the Internet, it made it possible for girls to make a fortune, you know. The same Internet that helped kill the magazine business…helped them.
MW: Some people say that the genre is dying because porn mags never evolved from that sort of clichéd product.
RJ: No they always have a relevance. Honey, they’re not dying. They ran their gamut! Look, Exodus is dying, if you play an old Exodus movie. Gone With the Wind is dying, who’s looking at Gone With the Wind anymore? It’s not dying, they ran their course.
MW: Do you think there will always be some kind of a market for it?
RJ: Yes. There’ll always be somebody, it’ll go through waves. There’ll always be a person who wants to see them, you know, I’m sure there’s going to be some resurgence. College kids are almost like a cult in itself. They just pass things around. MW