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I Got Serenaded by a Porn Star, and You Can Too!

Erika Lust's adult actors are offering 'experiences' like guitar sessions and bike rides, so you can get to know the real person behind the body parts.

by Hannah Ewens
Jun 15 2016, 8:55pm

If you'd said last week that I would be singing "All the Small Things" while making eye contact with a porn star named Luke Hotrod in a dingy room at lunchtime, I would not have believed you. But there I was, mumbling away, while other people from work laughed awkwardly at us.

If this already sounds like your ideal set of circumstances, you're in luck. This could be you if you have a couple hundred bucks to spare. Between light-hearted chat about burly dicks and meter-long cum shots, you can have a tattooed adult actor serenade you for an hour.

Hotrod stars in some of Erika Lust's pornos. Lust is the woman dubbed the "future of female-led porn." She puts emphasis on different body types, interesting people, real storylines, and no bullshit fake orgasm noises. She makes the sort of porn you can happily watch with anyone you're dating before you know about each others' weird kinks. At the end of last year, she linked up with a company called Trip4real that sells "experiences" with local people around the world. Now you can buy an "experience" with her adult stars in Madrid, London, Berlin, Valencia, and Barcelona—one-on-one or group sessions, doing anything from wine tasting to bike tours to personal training.

Hotrod looking demure in a field via xconfessions.com

Lust's idea came from the drive to change public perceptions of adult performers. "My performers are some of the most interesting people I have ever met, and they are so much more than just their bodies," she told me last year. "I talked to performers to see what the interest was, and to my delight, they totally got onboard with the idea. We started developing from there, and planning events based on the different cultural interests of the performers. Sex is just one side of life. At the end of the day, they are people just like you and me, and we should show that."

Presumably the people paying for these experiences would be genuine fans of Lust's stuff—of which there are many, particularly women and non-binary people—or the actors themselves, horny bachelor and bachelorette parties out for some banter or, regrettably, some creeps. Most likely, though, people who are interested in meeting a porn star in real life.

Luke Hotrod is based in London and offers private guitar sessions for up to ten people. Obviously, I asked him to come to the Old Blue Last, the pub across the road from the office, and play for me. I also invited some work people because being trapped in a room with any man playing an acoustic guitar is my personal hell. This is what happened.

After meeting in the bar downstairs, we went up to the empty gig room, where he started talking about his life. "Everyone thinks my porn name is referring to my dick," Hotrod said, unpacking his guitar. Well, yeah. "But it's not. I just build hotrod motorbikes." As well as building motorbikes, Hotrod has a portfolio career like the rest of us scrounging "creatives." Far from being a corny dude who could play a few chords, he is a successful session guitarist and told us all about the various awards he's won for playing over the years. "You will know me without having watched me in porn. You might not have heard my solo stuff, but I've played on so many artist's records, you wouldn't believe. Girls Aloud, Cradle of Filth..."

He told us that he inadvertently wrote Ronan Keating's "When You Say Nothing At All" guitar line by seeing the bare bones of it in the studio and playing along. I don't know how much this story was embellished, but I lapped it up anyway. "Two years later, I'm having dinner, and I hear Ronan fucking Keating on the TV singing the song I helped write! I saw nothing from it—no royalties or nothing." Imagine it. Every time Notting Hill is on at your mom's on Christmas or a cancer ad plays on the radio, you'd see $50 notes shrivel and burn before your eyes. [The track was first released in 1988 by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz; Keating's version is a cover.]

He asked what song we wanted him to play. My mind went blank, and I said I could only think of "Wonderwall" because that was the song I definitely did not want him to play. He played it. The whole experience was very VH1 Storytellers. Hotrod would play a verse and chorus of a song—Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" was a highlight—and then tell us a bit of his life of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. With each anecdote, his worldly experiences made me feel more like a boring old bastard at 24.

But the question remained: Why and how did he get into porn if he was making a good living from being a guitarist? He said, as with most things, it was an accident. "I got asked to be a guitarist in a film by a photographer mate. 'There's only one thing,' they said. 'It'd be in a porn movie.' I was shocked at first but didn't mind: Money for playing is money for playing. I got there, and it was supposed to be about a group of uni students, and I was the 'bad rocker student' just drinking and fucking around, trying to make the others stray from work. There was a threesome scene, and the guy hadn't turned up. The two girls were joking with me, 'Oh I bet you've got a big dick, come on, you could do it,' trying to get me to do it. I just thought, Why not?

"I was told I might not be able to get it up for nerves, or I might come really quickly. But I gave it a go, and thirty minutes later, there I was, still going. I realized I was good at it. By the time I got home, I had a two-page email from the person in charge loving what I'd done. From there, I signed a contract and did three days a week for a year. That was my porn career started."

From there, the jobs came rolling in and so did the new lifestyle. "It's easy money—it's just quick, easy money," he said, strumming away. "Last week, I went away on holiday abroad, had sex for a few days out of the whole week, and got paid thousands. How many weeks did you have to work to make that?" I worked it out, and it made me feel sick.

Up until this point, he'd painted an idealistic image of his work, but Hotrod explained how it can be important to have a portfolio career when you're working in porn due to the shelf life of actors. Although you'd never be able to be a teacher or in the police force and also work in porn, certain worlds, such as music, couldn't care less. "In fact, it gives them something to talk about," Hotrod said. "Like, Robbie Williams, he's the nicest, most quiet guy in real life. If he was in here now, he'd be sat in the corner, not talking to anyone. But if you're doing something like fucking people for a living, there's a conversation starter there. It gives you something to chat and bond over. And, of course, porn's got nothing to do with how good a player I am."

He was also quick to press that men and women can have very different careers within the same industry. "You have a similar look to you," he said, pointing between me and my friend Emma. "You'd come in and get loads of money and work, but after six months, you're done. She comes along and is the new pair of tits, new face." Women might make much more than men in porn, but they're far more dispensable and have to be inventive. That said, there's a constant demand for escorts, and women can charge a lot of money if they're also an adult actor. Hotrod told me about his friends who make £800 [$1,100] for having a lunch with a business guy.

With a final flourish of some pop riffs, he shook our hands and was gone, off into the Shoreditch sun. Our experience together was over, and the only way I could reach him now was by paid-for subscription. I could imagine someone more closed-minded being that surprised Hotrod was such a classically skilled guitar player. He really was good. If I was pig-ignorant, this "experience" would have proved that yes, adult actors have other skills and can have a successful career, but choose to moonlight in porn. In a weird way, what it succeeded in doing for me was adding a fresh context to porn, giving an actor a reality and a life behind his persona—exactly what many modern day porn viewers are demanding. It's an extension of Erika Lust's "real" porn. This was a porn meet-and-greet plus some—I'd pay hard cash to meet Luke Hotrod over some Britain's Got Talent finalists or aging glam rock band any day.

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