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Whore Next Door: Talking Shit at the Goth Table - By - January 27, 2016 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Whore Next Door: Talking Shit at the Goth Table

I always looked like a whore at prom.

Junior prom was probably the worst. It was my mother who picked out the asymmetrical snakeskin cocktail dress with beaded straps, complete with chunky heeled Mary Janes — yes, it was 2001 — and a glittering gold fringe wrap. My hair, still short from my freshman year when I cut it upon announcing my bisexuality, couldn't pull off the coveted Rachel-from-Friends-style, so I was aiming for a manic pixie Jenna Elfman look topped with plenty of glitter hairspray.

My mom, bless her heart, never policed my fashion choices — even though my tastes were still developing.

Never once did she furrow her brow and say, “I don't know, sweetie. Do you think maybe the feather boa and leopard print will give people the wrong idea?” At the end of the day, it's just playing dress-up, and I'm grateful that she never tried to squash my eccentric aesthetic in the name of modesty or morality.

Tutus, boas, and asymmetrical snakeskin are, thankfully, no longer part of my life. But prom still (kind of) is.

January means awards season, even for those of us in the adult industry. The XBiz Awards, held in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, and the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas the following week, are porn's biggest nights of the year, honoring achievement onscreen (as well as in marketing and sex toy development).

This is my third year walking the red carpet, and even though the events are important networking opportunities, it's hard not to feel like I'm back in high school as I agonize over my outfit and spend hours on hair, makeup, and nails, only to spend most of the night gossiping and taking selfies with my friends.

Last year, I planned my awards season look down to every detail, scouring racks all over the Westfield Centre in search of my vision: a strapless, red, capri-length onesie; Cher-straight hair; and a sterling silver Mockingjay pinned to my black clutch as I tottered about in a pair of black velvet shoes with sheets of Plexiglass for heels. I may have grown up to be an actual whore, but at formal events I try to look like a sexy first lady of the future.

As I nervously waited in line outside the Hard Rock Casino, ready to brave the sea of photographers and gawking tourists, a fellow performer looked me up and down and, with a catty smirk, said, “Wow, you really went for the 'club wear' look, didn't you?”

Just like all those times I'd dressed just a little too trashy for prom and saw how the popular girls sneered at me and my big group of weirdoes, I felt white-hot shame tingle in my earlobes. Like high school, the porn industry is riddled with mean girls.

To no one's surprise, I didn't take home a trophy last year. This year, my odds of taking the title of “Favorite Cam Girl” were slim at best, seeing as I was up against some serious babes.

San Francisco fetish director Maitresse Madeline Marlowe calls our community of perverts, queers, and Bay Area babes “the Goth Table” of porn, because kink, fetish, and queer performers are often passed over when awards season rolls around.

After this year's XBiz show, I sipped tequila with industry veteran Steve Holmes — currently the twisted mind behind Kink.com's site Public Disgrace, which now shoots in Europe — and echoed Marlowe's “Goth Table” sentiments, suggesting that perhaps an awards show that focused on kink was in order. Holmes respectfully disagreed, saying that after dozens of awards shows and almost 1,000 movies, the last thing the industry needs is more awards.

He tried to impress on me that the awards themselves don't really matter. They're just an excuse for the industry to get together. Awards are given out solely to ensure that people show up.

Every year, there's plenty of drama, train wrecks, and cattiness. But in a world that devalues and persecutes our work, it's so important to come together and acknowledge everyone's hustle.

It's not really about winning or losing; it's about celebrating, wearing ridiculous outfits, making friends, making out, and patting each other on the back.

Maybe prom queens (and Spiegler Girls) have the most fun because they get to walk away with the crowns. But I've found that the real party is always at the Goth Table.