Moments with Tara Lynn Foxx, Part 3
By Rich Moreland, November 2011
Book writing is a time eater and I’ve been working to get my manuscript ready for the editor’s pen. I lost track of TLF for a couple of months and when porn models I know disappear off my radar and their names don’t come up in new releases, I get concerned.
So I turned to Tara’s blog for updates and saw “Some Heavy Shit” (August 2011).
It was time for a phone call . . .
“I doubted myself when I talked with you,” Tara told me. She was referring to a conversation we had months ago. Keeping her “game face” up and running, she did not let on then that her self-esteem was under fire.
On this late November afternoon, our talk was less light-hearted though almost immediately, Tara assuaged my concerns that she might be spiraling in a direction that was not good.
How do you spell relief?
She is doing fine, taking some time off, getting ready to reenter the swirl of an industry that the late porn pioneer Marilyn Chambers claimed, “eats up girls and spits them out.”
After being reassured that she wasn‘t suicidal, I was nagged by the urge that I needed to do something (with me that means write) to send her some love. We said “goodbye” with the promise to speak again soon and I immediately dug into my computer files to locate an unpublished piece I crafted some time ago. It was about courage in the adult industry and Tara’s strength of character called it to my mind. She was not the subject of it then, but is a subject for it today.
Here is an excerpt.
“Porn girls are vivacious, attractive, naturally hedonistic, and draw instant attention. But despite their ‘money and fame’ persona, the cost is high. Their bodies are penetrated and used for profit and the glamour can sometimes reek of men who stink in body and soul.”
In Tara’s case the cost was extracted from her spirit. If you read her blog entry you’ll see what I mean.
Here is more from the same piece.
“For those not in the business, the thought of exposing one’s body, engaging in sex acts of various kinds, and having it displayed on the internet for the world to see is overwhelming and prohibiting. It can lead to feelings elucidated by Tera Patrick. ‘We’re all hos on this bus,’ she said.
The human emotion of courage is on display in pornography to a greater extent than we realize. Striving for acceptance is basic to our survival and rejection hurts. We want people to believe in what we do, the decisions we make. For a porn performer, the personal issues for entering the business may be varied—economic concerns, lack of opportunity, a free spirited sexuality, or a sense of adventure. But whatever the reasons, courage is necessary. Without it, the human spirit collapses.”
What happens when the unscrupulous—in the porn business think agents, producers and directors—abrade and smash a performer’s ego, in effect reducing a woman’s personhood to what can be shoved into three holes? Such a contemptuous exploitation is particularly devastating to an eighteen-year-old whose naiveté is stripped as bare as her body.
Respect is non-existent.
In Tara’s case, her inner fortitude was battered, but not buried. She remolded it into a resilience that continues to cope with two demands in her professional life: perfecting her on screen performance and excoriating the stench of a casting couch that brutalizes and numbs.
Everyone has doubts, but in porn they can be crippling. The average career, after all, runs about eighteen months. Some make it longer. Nina Hartley, Bobbi Starr, Aurora Snow, and Madison Young come immediately to mind. But it is daunting.
Porn means putting your vulnerabilities on the line for all to see, hoping your looks and the ability to turn a good fuck keep you sane.
“Remember the camera, sweetheart, give it a look and point your toes.” The director cajoles as the crew prepares to shoot the DP. Bear in mind, not every producer cares if a model can stomach the presence of co-stars she dislikes who are popping three Viagra to make her day a little longer. And, don’t forget the wretchedness of a dirty bathroom, or the terror of anal without a condom.
“If you won’t do it, Sweetheart, I’ll find somebody who will.” It’s on-the-set extortion and along with the slime of wheedling agents becomes ugliness at its basest level.
As Tara informs us the industry is full of scumbags.
Failure, defined as looking too mechanical or being resistant to demands—that little extra for a few more bucks not spelled out in the call sheet—costs a performer work. And if she decides the business is not for her, it becomes pack up time; go home with the haunting memory that her short career is out there forever. Social media lights up and her high school friends go online to find out if she is shaved as smooth as a baby’s butt.
Most egregious is when the payday tragically depends on deals struck before the shooting starts. Paved with false promises, the first round is sex for free. The emotional pain is overwhelming or totally denied.
Tara knows this all too well.
That’s why the business’s famous adage is, “you don’t fuck to get a job, fucking is the job.”
Tara’s been hosed while learning the business and again behind the cameras within it. A porn generation ago, the infamous Traci Lords was said to service the crew when not in front of the camera. But Traci was a manipulator, who turned her talents into a kind of porno blackmail. At eighteen, Tara was wettest behind her ears, just a kid like many others who wanted to please.
There is a reason why the industry refers to talent as boys and girls. It advertises a scene as boy/girl; a performer puts on her resume that she is available for girl/girl work or boy/boy/girl shoots. Talent is infantilized, second-class citizens in an billion dollar industry, a throw away commodity. And if you didn’t know, there are no residuals when a film is marketed or scenes are extracted later for compilations.
Bill Margold, porn’s eminent historian, has said many times that the adult industry should hug the “kids,” as he calls the models, but would rather fuck them instead.
But, I will tell you this. Tara Lynn Foxx is a survivor. When I said of her in a post on this blog that she could roll through an interview like the baddest big boy in a monster truck rally, I was not kidding.
When her confidence crashed down around her, doubts about loss of control surfaced. Questionable decisions that were not always in her best interests piled up and depression moved in for a stay. Trust took a hike.
But with a person of Tara’s courage, recovery flickers softly at first, then roars like a fire.
I know because she told me; I could hear it in her voice.
She can “put on her face,” as she calls her professional demeanor. But the true test of strength comes when she is “not on anymore” those moments when her porn persona melts away and she morphs into the “natural” Tara: honest and sweet with those captivating eyes.
This woman has mettle, that inherent quality of temperament that crafts toughness and internal strength. She can follow her passions while shielding herself from the dirt flung by critics and abusers. Her inner sanctuary has not collapsed.
Best of all, she knows this.
This little piece of writing is an emotional and psychological obituary for the “kid” Tara once was and an introduction of a Tara that has vacated girlhood to become a “woman” in a tough industry. She has experienced death and rebirth accentuated with spirit and spunk.
Doubts will always be part of every person, as I shared with her in our conversation. I’ve had mine and you, her fans, have had yours.
Our inner strength, the belief in ourselves, never goes away; it just hibernates, waiting to be called up in time of need like the army reserve.
But let’s remember the words of Ringo Starr, it is nice when we get “a little help from our friends.”
Tara could use a little boost at her back right now. This is where you come in. Send her a comment, email, or make a phone call.
She has my trust and faith. How about yours?