Jenna Jameson during the 2006 AVN Awards at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Over the past 15 years, Jenna Jameson has gone from being the world’s most famous porn star to being a best-selling author and a mother of two. Her first memoir, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, topped the New York Times best-seller list for six weeks, and she followed that up with an erotica trilogy, the conclusion to which, Spice, comes out November 18.
Although Jameson spends her time promoting books and raising kids, she continues to prompt controversy. Last year, her messy breakup from Tito Ortiz, the father of her children, dominated headlines. While discussing the breakup and 50 Shades of Grey on Good Day New York, she infamously slurred her words. Around the same time, she said she was returning to porn via webcam to support her kids even though she had previously announced she would “never ever, ever spread my legs again in this industry.”
In the last few months, though, Jameson has made news for her advocacy work. After War Machine assaulted his ex-girlfriend, porn star Christy Mack, Jameson appeared on Dr. Drew on Call to advocate for domestic-violence victims and discuss victim blaming. “[Men] shouldn’t be taught to kill,” Jameson said. “If you’re out there on social media, support [Mack] and tell her she's a hero and a survivor.”
After reading Jameson’s erotica novel Honey, I called Jameson to discuss writing, domestic violence, and why girls refer to How to Make Love Like a Porn Star as the Bible.
VICE: What inspired your new erotica series?
Jenna Jameson: It’s a fictional book, but there’s no way that I can’t possibly derive some of the story from who I am and my experiences. At 18, I went to London to model—all by myself, scared shitless—and when I came back, I felt like a woman. I told myself, “One day, I’m gonna move to New York, even if it’s just for one year, all by myself, and just reinvent myself, and be someone else, and [learn] how that feels.” So I started this story with this girl who had that kind of a dream, and everything just kind of fell into place. I had read the whole 50 Shades of Grey deal, and you know me—I’m Jenna—so to me that was like a fluff story. It was interesting—it was sexy—but it was a fluff story. It’s kind of like watching soft porn as opposed to watching [real sex].
What will you write next?
Right now I’m working on my follow-up to How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, and I am—like always—scared shitless. [When you write] those kind of books, you’re just so raw. It’s weird because my life at the end of How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, you thought it was a fairytale ending, and my life started over again. It was so weird.
Girls love that book.
Everywhere I go, girls are like, “Jenna, come on. We need the second half of the Bible!” They call it the Bible. It’s very flattering.
Do you think girls relate to your books?
I’ve had a lot happen to me in my life, so I parallel with a lot of women. They get it—they understand the pain. They understand some of the hilarity of things like my ten commandments, deal breakers, stuff like that.
You’ve experienced drug addiction and severe trauma. Is writing therapeutic for you?
It’s a good outlet. Let me tell you—you know me, 100 percent honest—it took me about four years to write [How to Make Love Like a Porn Star]. I knew that if I was gonna write this book, I wanted it to be so real and so raw. I just wanted everything to pour out because therapy just doesn’t do it. It doesn’t do it for me because I end up debating the therapist.
Why did you decide to go public with your drug problems and about being sexually assaulted?
I can’t explain my life without the drugs. I can’t explain my life without the fact that I got raped or all those things—it’s part of me. It made me this strong girl who can get knocked down and get back up every time. I think it’s a good message to girls out there that you can get knocked down, but just get the fuck back up.
Why did you decide to start advocating for domestic-violence victims?
I have been speaking out lately about domestic violence because one of my best friends [Christy Mack] was nearly killed about a month ago. It’s sad that you have to have fame in order to get national media attention, but the same thing is happening to her that happened to other women—she’s being victimized all over again. A quick message to people out there on social media: Think before you say stuff. Because no matter how funny you might think it is, people feel those things. I remember Christy calling me from the hospital saying, “Why are they saying I deserved it because I’m a porn star?” I just couldn’t believe it. I think people really need to start changing their minds. Let’s move forward. Let’s be evolved.
You’re a big advocate for women. Does it bother you when feminists criticize you?
Feminism doesn’t have one definition. There are many, many definitions of feminism. At 18 years old, [I noticed] that this industry—the adult industry—is incredibly misogynistic, all run by men who are making the shots, telling the women what to do, and paying them next to nothing. So, I said, “As a feminist, I’m gonna go in there, and I’m gonna crack skulls, and I’ll show them how to do business.” I thought that that would empower women. I’m doing what I want, and I’m getting paid what I want, and I’m changing the industry so [men] no longer have the power—I do.
Is there a double standard when it comes to female nudity? I’ve seen people give me funny looks when I breastfeed in public.
It makes you want to get a brick and smash those people. It makes no sense to me. Why can a man go to the beach and take off his shirt and we have to worry about, “Oh my gosh, too much leg, too much this. Gotta wear pantyhose!” You know what? I’ll shove these pantyhose in your mouth and duct tape them.
Besides advocating for women’s rights and working on your next book, what else are you working on right now?
I am actually working on an art gallery opening, so I’m painting. I’m so excited about it. I’ve always been able to draw. My dad drew, and my brother's a tattoo artist. I just never really thought about it, but when I found my sobriety, I found that painting and writing really, really helped. It calms you and lets the creative juices flow.
I’m also working on a documentary, and I’m doing it all myself. I’m shooting the whole thing myself in mixed media. I just want people to know the real deal. I really just want people to see the raw, real stuff that us girls go through, because trust me, just because I’m “Jenna Jameson the porn star” does not mean I don’t have the exact same shit: the insecurity, the worries. I haven’t got laid in nine months, you know?
Your life is way different than what people imagine.
I have hours [of footage] of me just looking into the computer crying and going, “What am I doing?” This is the stuff that girls need to see; it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and unicorns. I’m scared of it, but I’m proud of it, and I’m already thinking of my next book after that. Now that I’m older, writing is so important to me. I think every girl and every guy out there should keep a journal next to their bed. It’s so important.
Check out Jenna Jameson's erotica trilogy here.
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