The Torch: Campus Rape Victim Speaks

Seven years ago, during my junior year, a freshman girl was raped on my college campus. It happened in her dorm room, and the suspect was a guy she’d met at a popular bar down the street from the school. Her building was across the quad from my own, and I saw the cop cars pull up the next morning, though no one knew what had happened. It wasn’t until a local news station mentioned the rape during an early newscast a day or so later that we found out. As the news editor of my college paper, St. John’s University’s The Torch, it was my job to get the story. In the process, I was followed around by a reporter from the New York Post who didn’t feel like doing any of her own work, got some assistance from a very kind New York Daily News reporter, and worked with the most helpful assistant district attorney known to man (he called me, the day after Christmas, to give me an update on the case, because he knew I’d be waiting).

Seven years later, this remains the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. The girl who was raped, she was smart and funny and sweet, and what happened destroyed her. It was heartbreaking to watch. Even more heartbreaking was the fact that the suspect got off scot-free.

But as difficult as it was to write this story (and the several follow-ups), there were some bright spots. Like making the victim laugh instead of cry during our hours-long interview. To see her smile, to hear her laugh, it was a victory. After the article came out, she thanked me for telling her story, or more accurately, for letting her tell her own story. She hoped that other girls would learn from her situation and find ways to keep themselves from becoming victims. That was my hope, too.

My exclusive interview with her, which ran in the October 5, 2005, issue of The Torch, can be read below.

 

There is possibly nothing worse than hearing stories about yourself that are not true. These stories, typically called rumors, tend to spread like wildfire on college campuses. Rumors, however, can also hurt people.

This is especially true in the case of the young woman, an 18-year-old freshman at St. John’s University, who was allegedly raped in her dorm room in DaSilva Hall on Sept. 29.

After a request for an interview, she contacted The Torch and agreed to an exclusive interview only after the reporter agreed to grant her request for anonymity.

The victim first heard the rumors as she was leaving her building not long after information of the alleged rape had been released. She was in the elevator with a friend when several girls began talking about the incident.

“I heard that I was coked up and puking,” she said. “Just that [some] girl was like, ‘She probably deserved it.’ I had my sunglasses on. I started crying. I wanted to be like, ‘You’ve got to watch what you’re saying,’ [but] I’m not looking to make a big thing about this.”

The victim’s suitemate said: “There was a whole group of girls by the elevator [when we were leaving] who were like, ‘Oh, it was a drug bust.’”

The victim added that other rumors began as well.

In the hours following the first official University press release on Friday, the New York media swarmed the St. John’s Queens campus. Stories were released throughout the day by various news sources, with Eyewitness News, Fox 5, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post all having stories out within hours.

According to the victim, information released early Friday was at times inaccurate. Especially, she said, the information released by the New York Post.

“The stories run in the Post were ridiculous,” the victim said. “They both contradict each other and they’re both by two writers. I was like, ‘Where are they getting this from.’ The police department actually spoke to the editor in chief there because they said in the first [story] ‘she told police,’ and I did not tell the police [that] I invited three guys to my room. That (the false information) is what has people talking.”

Three stories ran in the New York Post over a period of three days. Each story, according to the victim, contained at least one incorrect statement of facts.

The first story, published on Sept. 30, stated that the victim had returned to her room with “a man she’d been dating and two of his friends, police said.”

The second story, published on Oct. 1, stated that the student was an English major. It also stated that the rape occurred at approximately 1 a.m. Both of these statements, according to the victim, are false.

The third and final story, published on Oct. 2, once again incorrectly stated that the victim was an English major. The article also stated that the victim had invited three men back to her room after a night of drinking, an assertion which the young woman claims is not entirely accurate.

She went on to say that the Post was looking to interview her after the incident, but she opted not to oblige based on the paper’s factual inaccuracies.

“My dad always tells me never read the Post,” the victim said. “When I read [the stories published about the rape] I was like ‘I’m never reading the Post. I’m not doing an interview with the Post. I don’t trust the Post.’”

The victim agreed to speak to The Torch in hopes of setting the record straight. It was her way of responding to the many rumors surrounding the incident.

According to the victim, she had gone out with friends, as she usually did on Wednesday nights, and had plans of her own for later.

“We went out, as a suite, to B&T’s bar and we were drinking,” the 18-year-old victim, who is not an English major, said. “I had previous plans, and so did my roommate, for two guys to come back to our room after. At the time I was told wrong information about the guy. That he graduated, this and that. [It] turns out he didn’t graduate, got kicked out and all this [other] stuff.”

The victim and her roommate left the bar early that evening, as the roommate was not feeling well. The two men remained at the bar, claiming they would see the young women later.

According to the victim, she went back to her room and was hanging out with her roommate for about a half an hour when there was a knock at her door. The man who she had invited over earlier, a former St. John’s student, was there, along with three friends.

According to the young woman, the men had gained entry to the residence hall when a friend of both the victim and the attacker, whom she referred to only as “D”, allowed them to come in through his window.

“Specifically I didn’t want to come on campus with them,” she said. “It was basically ‘if you can get in, we’ll hang out.’ I didn’t go around asking people to sign them in. I didn’t go, ‘leave your window open.’”

The victim also added that she was not expecting four men to arrive at her door. When she asked her friend what the other men were doing there, she was told that they were there to see some of her fellow suitemates. When they then proceeded to enter the other young woman’s room, she claims to have thought nothing of it.

The woman said that she went into her room with the man she had originally made plans with and the two eventually had consensual sex.

“Me and the kid went to my room and we did what we did and then one of the guys came in the room,” she said.

The young woman admits that she was drinking that night, probably more than she should have.

“I drank,” she said. “I drank a lot. I drink, but I don’t drink heavy, like I was [that night].”

The victim was sleeping alone in bed when she was awakened. At approximately 3:30 a.m., she felt a man on top of her. He began forcing her to have sex with him, and she began to scream.

According to the victim, she screamed “NO!” at the top of her lungs. At this point, her friends had returned from the bar and upon hearing their suitemate’s screams, they immediately responded. They attempted to help the victim, but were confronted by the alleged attacker’s friends.

“I was outside in the common room and one of the other friends [of the alleged attacker] was blocking the door,” the suitemate said. “[Another] suitemate of mine had tried to get in and [the other men] wouldn’t let her get in the door. That’s when she started banging on the door. Finally, when we got in, the guy who had been in the room slipped out without us even noticing because we were so focused on her. We all just ran in the room to her, the guy slipped out, and then we all started kicking people out of the dorm.”

Following the attack, the victim went to sleep.

“I was kind of like in shock,” she said. “I was crying. I just fell asleep.”

The next morning she went to her Resident Advisor to discuss what had happened.

“I was worried about them coming back,” she said.

However, the victim does not believe that she clearly explained the situation. Her RA, after hearing the story, told her to go to Public Safety to file a report.

The victim and a roommate went to Public Safety and filed a complaint about people sneaking into the residence hall. Later, Public Safety officials met with the student, telling her they had heard stories about a possible attack and were tipped off by her shaken demeanor.

“I told them the whole thing and [then] they’re calling ambulances, they’re calling cops,” she said.

She went to the hospital where a rape kit was administered and according to her she was put on approximately eight different medications following the attack.

Upon returning to her dorm room, she found that a full investigation was underway by the New York Police Department.

“After I went back to my room there were crime scene people there,” she said. “They went through my room and they took stuffed animals, sheets, pillow cases, my comforter. They took every pair of clothes I had out and I’d just done laundry and you know college, you do laundry and leave it out. They took it.”

She stayed in close contact with the police and learned on Friday that the alleged attacker had been arrested.

“I have a restraining order against him and the cops are keeping me posted,” she said.

The victim was extremely open about the actual event and her condition.

“If I wasn’t drinking, I probably could’ve been more responsible,” she said. “They probably knew I was drinking because two of the guys were at the bar. I don’t know if the other guy was, who actually did it. If I didn’t invite that one guy, the rest of them wouldn’t have come.”

As with any other violent crime, the victim still blames herself at least in part for what happened. She chose to be so open because she hopes that she can keep others from making any choices that could put them in a similar situation.

Along with her own feelings, the victim expressed that her parents were also upset. According to her, they are angry because of the questionable security on campus which allowed for something like this to happen.

“[Public Safety] had caught these guys sneaking on campus and they did nothing about it,” she said. “When I asked Public Safety, ‘How can people just get on campus again,’ they said ‘Oh, there’s many ways,’” she said. “‘You can jump the fence, you can go over the fence, you can sneak in through the gate, be in a car.’”

The victim hopes that through this incident, the University will tighten security so that no one else will have to go through what she did.

“People have it in their head that [at a] private Catholic school the security is so good,” she said. “A lot of people here don’t think this could happen.”

But it can. Things like this can happen anywhere.

The victim’s suitemate agreed and stated a need for greater campus security.

“An actual first gate. That’s where it needs to happen,” she said. “If you can stop it there, then you don’t have to worry about the inside because who you want inside is inside.”

As the investigation continues, this woman has to live with what happened for the rest of her life.

“I feel like everyone knows it’s me,” the victim said. “I know they don’t, [but] if someone just looks at you it’s like ‘they know it’s me.’”

The fear of constant talk about her situation in the Residence Village troubles her.

“I know that people are going to be talking about it for a while. Just do it when you’re with people you know, and do it in your room,” she advised.

According to the victim, however, the most important thing to her right now is preventing this from happening again to someone else.

“You’ve got to be aware and you’ve just got to know who you’re talking to,” she continued. “Know that stuff like this does happen here and girls have to be careful.”

Hot Shot: Nikki Benz

I met Nikki Benz when she became 2011 Penthouse Pet of the Year, but we really bonded when we went out with friends a few months later and Nikki taught me how to dougie, amongst other things. She is by far my favorite blonde, and interviewing her is always a blast. On the day I conducted this one, I was interviewing her for both my old column in Penthouse, “Pet Projects,” and this profile for Girls of Penthouse, so we got to talk for hours. And it was considered work. Sometimes, my job is pretty damn awesome.

You can read my interview with Nikki Benz, “Hot Shot,” from the July/August 2011 issue of Girls of Penthouse, below.

 


GOP: We know that you like to stay in touch with your fans, so instead of doing a regular interview, we put the word out on our Twitter account that people could ask you questions themselves. Do you want to hear some of the questions your fans sent to us?

NIKKI: That sounds like fun! Let’s do it!

GOP: First up, the question everyone’s most excited to know the answer to: Do you ever have flings? If so, where do you meet your men?

NIKKI: You know what? I do have flings. I meet men at the most random places. It could be anywhere from a Starbucks to the airport to a club. It just depends. My friend Lisa Anna, another porn star, taught me this term, “randoms.” So they’re my randoms. I’m single and willing to mingle, so I fuck random guys in random places. Well, not where I meet them. If we meet and we hit it off, then we go somewhere and hook up. Oh god, that could’ve sounded so bad! (laughs) Like, “Oh, yeah, I go to Starbucks and I bang the first guy I meet. There’s my random for the day.” It’s not like that!

GOP: What type of guys are you attracted to? Do “normal” guys have a shot with Nikki Benz?

NIKKI: Yes, yes and yes! I only date civilians. I don’t date male porn stars. That’s a big no-no for me. I’m all about the personality, actually. YOu have to be cute. I don’t have a real “type” of guy, but you have to have personality. I’ve been out with some of the most beautiful men, and they were as dumb as my wall. I was like, “This is it, it’s over for me.” It’s sad but true. If a guy is dorky looking or a geek or he’s just your average Joe but he has an amazing personality and a great sense of humor, I’m all about it.

GOP: If you had to choose, which would you rather have, sex or Starbucks coffee?

NIKKI: That’s a very unfair question! I’m going to have to say that I want to have sex while I’m holding a grande chai latte. I’ve never done that before, so I’d like to try it.

GOP: Wouldn’t it spill?

NIKKI: I can put it in one of those childproof cups and I can drink it with a straw. I gotta be creative, you know!

GOP: Along with sex and Starbucks, another thing you’ve tweeted about frequently is your Pomeranian, Tobby. So fans want to know, has Tobby ever made a cameo in one of your videos?

NIKKI: He did a cameo in one of my episodes of Cubed for Fox Sports. But I don’t think he’s made an appearance in any of my adult shoots. Maybe we should change that. He could be my Penthouse Pet mascot.

He’s such an attention whore. He really is. He’s sitting here next to me right now and wondering when you’re going to start asking him questions. He’s totally ready to jump in and be interviewed.

GOP: Another one of your fans wanted to know if you’ve ever been caught masturbating to a Penthouse magazine.

NIKKI: Yes! Dude, that’s my motto! “Safe sex: Masturbate with a Penthouse magazine!” (laughs) So yes, I have been caught with it. My home is filled with Penthouse magazines. Not just the ones I’m in, either. I get the magazine every month. They’re everywhere!

Seriously, one time I had a friend from Toronto, Canada, come visit me, and she walked in on me just kind of sleeping with a Penthouse magazine open next to me. I’m pretty sure she figured out what I was doing!

GOP: Okay, I have to ask. You’ve brought up Starbucks several times already. Is it Starbucks that you love, or is it coffee in general?

NIKKI: I do talk about Starbucks a lot, don’t I? My god! You need to find me an AA meeting for Starbucks fans. (laughs) I do like coffee in general, but I started working at Starbucks when I was a teenager and I’ve been hooked on the brand ever since. Now I feel like I absolutely have to have it. But I really do like the taste as well. I’ve had coffee from other places, and it’s not as good.

GOP: So what’s your favorite drink?

NIKKI: A dirty chai for a dirty girl! It’s a chai latte with a shot of espresso. If I want a little love kick, I’ll get just a regular chai latte, but if I need a kick in my ass in the morning, I’ll add the shot.

GOP: How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?

NIKKI: Oh gosh. Before it was three or four a day. I’ve gone down to one, maybe two now. I tried to quit, but I kept getting really bad headaches, so I thought it was better to have my coffee than get a headache.

GOP: Do you have any other addictions?

NIKKI: I don’t think so. I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. No other addictions besides coffee. But I have hobbies, and those are addicting.

GOP: What are your hobbies, then?

NIKKI: I’m really into music. I don’t know if that’s a hobby, but it should be. I have music on all the time. And I love to dance. I’ll have the music on at home and be dancing by myself and I won’t even realize I’m doing it. I mean, I know it’s not really a hobby, but to me it is. I don’t have time to have a “real” hobby. I don’t have time to go hiking or collect stamps or anything. So I guess listening to music is my hobby.

GOP: What kind of music?

NIKKI: I really like hip-hop a lot, but I also like pop and I like metal. That’s about it. But at least I’ve ventured out into pop and metal. Before, I was all about hip-hop. I’m opening my mind.

GOP: You just don’t strike me as a hip-hop fan.

NIKKI: I know. It’s the funniest thing. I’ll be blasting gangster rap music in my car and I’ll pull up to a valet. When they open the door they’re like, “Whoa!” They get blown away by it. They’re like, “Hold up!” This little white girl comes out with blonde hair, listening to rap. I do it to trip them out. It’s fun!

I really just love music. I download a lot. Mostly because I feature dance, and I’d get bored dancing to the same old music all the time.

GOP: What are some of your favorite songs to feature dance to? Do you have a go-to song?

NIKKI: I have a lot of favorites. It depends on my mood, my outfit. I don’t have a single favorite song, though.

Right now the really hot hip-hop song is “Look at Me Now” by Chris Brown. That’s a really hot song to dance to at a club.

GOP: Is hip-hop your go-to genre?

NIKKI: I wouldn’t say I have a go-to genre. It’s more about the artist. I love Ice Cube, who’s more gangster rap, whereas Li’l Wayne can be more poppy sometimes. though he can also be deep and dark. It depends on my mood. But if I had to pick my top three hip-hop artists, I’d say Li’l Wayne, Eminem and … The third one’s a toughie. It rotates all the time. I think I’d probably have to say Notorious BIG. New York represent! (laughs)

GOP: When you’re not working, listening to music or drinking Starbucks—

NIKKI: By the way, this counts as working. I’m drinking a Starbucks latte right now, and I was listening to music before you called.

GOP: (laughs) We’d expect nothing less.

NIKKI: My mom always calls and says, “I don’t know what to get you,” whenever she’s looking for a gift. And I’m like, “Really? You don’t know what to get me? Starbucks gift card. Simple. It will always make me happy.”

GOP: When you’re not fueling your coffee habit, what else do you do?

NIKKI: I try to go to the gym, but I don’t make it very often. I think last year I went maybe nine times. It’s hard, so I don’t really do it. (laughs) I actually do a lot of computer work, believe it or not. Just office stuff. People are always blown away by that. I do my blog, my website, Twitter, Facebook, all of it.

When I have a little downtime, I love hanging out with my friends in LA, because I hardly see them. I’m such a gypsy, always traveling.

I like watching movies, too, especially gangster movies. My favorite movie is Casino. No, wait. Scarface. Casino would be my second favorite. But I’m goofy, too, and I love comedy. It depends on my mood.

GOP: Did your love of gangster movies lead to your interest in learning to shoot guns?

NIKKI: Oh, shoot. (laughs) I guess that is a hobby, isn’t it? Unfortunately, I don’t go often enough. Is there a time requirement for a hobby?

GOP: I don’t think so.

NIKKI: Maybe that is my hobby then. (laughs) I’ve always been into guns. I just think hot chicks with guns are really hot! I’ve never owned a gun and I probably won’t own a gun, but I’d like to know how to shoot one. It’s a good stress reliever. You come out of there and you feel so good!

I go with friends whenever I go. I think I’d be too intimidated to go by myself. So I go with someone who’s actually a professional shooter, or I’ll go with my guy friends. They’re teaching me how to shoot.

GOP: You look pretty fierce when you’re holding a gun. It’s sexy.

NIKKI: I do like guns. (laughs) It’s not a weird obsession or anything. At least not yet. But it’s fun to go shooting. Plus, like you said, I look sexy with a gun in my hands!

GOP: That brings us back to a fan question. What is your favorite gun to shoot these days?

NIKKI: My favorite pieces are the ones I can’t shoot because my arm will blow off. Like the Desert Eagle, that’s beautiful! But the one that I’m most comfortable with right now is probably the 9mm.

I’ve always like what boys like. I love fast cars. I’ve gone to a few car races. If I wasn’t doing porn, maybe I would drive race cars. That would be a good profession, racecar driver. That’d be hot! Or maybe I would be an entertainment attorney like I always wanted to. Obviously that one didn’t work out.

GOP: How did you go from wanting to be a racecar driver or an entertainment attorney to being a porn star?

NIKKI: I took a year off before going to college to make money. My mom raised me on her own, and I didn’t want her to feel the pressure to pay for school. I wanted to make my own money, and I did. I made a lot of it. I was an 18-year-old stripper, so I made a lot of money. And then I decided to take another year off. Money is the devil. So then I took another year off. I was making all this money, and I thought, “Okay, let’s try to doublt it.” After that, I didn’t want to go back to school at all, and I kept working.

My boyfriend at the time was really into Jenna Jameson, but I didn’t know who she was, so I did some research on her and on the whole adult industry in general. I really did. I Googled stuff and found stuff out. And then I said to myself, “I wanna try that! I don’t want to just be a stripper, I want to be famous!” (laughs) So I did. And it’s been fun!

The Prinzzess Diaries: Prinzzess

October 2004 Penthouse Pet Prinzzess has been one of the most popular girl-girl porn performers for the past few years. But she’s also one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth ladies I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. I profiled her for Girls of Penthouse a few years ago, and we talked about her religious upbringing, squirrels, and picking up chicks.

You can read my interview with Prizzess, “The Prinzzess Diaries,” which appeared in the a 2009 issue of Girls of Penthouse, below.


GOP: Is it true you come from a very religious family?

PRINZZESS: My parents were Seventh Day Adventist missionaries, and we moved to Belize when I was six. They forced me to wear big clothes and dresses and completely hide myself. As soon as you get away from that, you want to show off, so you go to bars, you enter those “shake-your-booty” contests. It’s like skin to win. I was always trying to show as much as I could.

GOP: How did growing up in such a religious home affect you sexually?

PRINZZESS: When I was 12, before I started to grow boobs, my mom would be shopping for bras and I always wanted to be like the woman on the Hanes tag. My mom was always hiding the tags, saying it was a sin that the women were dressed like that. I was like, “I want to do that one day.” Not necessarily the nude part at that point, but I wanted to be a model. So of course as soon as I got away I started messing around with it and putting some pictures on modeling websites. Then an agent from L.A. asked if I wanted to come out and model nude, and I was like, “Hell, yeah!” One day they said, “Let’s send this in to Penthouse.”

GOP: For a while you were only doing stills. What made you jump into X-rated movies?

PRINZZESS: It wasn’t anything that I was against, and I did a video when I was 18. I just didn’t want to do a lot of hardcore movies right away. I wanted to start slow. So I charged double the rate, and when I did get hired, it was worth it. Then I decided I wanted to do more.

GOP: What was it like shooting Traderz, your first movie for Penthouse Features?

PRINZZESS: It was really fun! RayVeness was my partner, and I loved working with her. The scene we shot is my hottest ever. I would love to shoot more DVDs with Penthouse!

GOP: So far you’ve only done girl-girl scenes. Do you have any plans to do boy-girl scenes in the future?

PRINZZESS: I’m still up in the air about that. If I do it, it will be very clean and tasteful. I don’t want to be in gonzo scenes and gang bangs and all the nasty shit so many of the other girls get dragged into.

GOP: When did you start getting into girls in your personal life?

PRINZZESS: When I was living at home, my best friend and I would sneak out and hang out in this old abandoned van. One day we decided to practice kissing each other, since we hadn’t been with any boys at that point. It was mostly practice, though. I didn’t really get into girls until I was older. The minute I turned 18, I started to go out to nightclubs and I was partying and drinking and getting naked wherever I could. It was everything all at once.

My parents always taught me that you only have sex with a guy if you’re married, but they didn’t stress the fact that you don’t mess around with women. So I’d have serious relationships with men, but I was always having fun with women. It started as showing off for the guys, but I had always thought women were beautiful. When you start kissing other women and thinking that they’re beautiful, you really get into it.

GOP: Do you have a preference now?

PRINZZESS: I have to say they’re equal, but in different ways. I like a lot of foreplay, and I like to come before I have sex, because after I come I’m really hot. You can’t really do that with a woman. But when you’re with a guy, they end up rushing and just fucking you. But if I haven’t come and I’m already fucking, there’s nothing more to add to it. If I could find a guy who could play around and relax and make me come before we start having sex, that’d be heaven.

GOP: So you’re more likely to date guys and just hook up with women?

PRINZZESS: If I start fucking a guy, I start taking it seriously. I don’t care if he’s fucking someone else—not really—but I look at him as being my only guy and I lose interest in seeing other men. I don’t like having one-night stands. I want a continuation. But with women, I can fuck them, not even know their name and not need to see them ever again. I’m more like a guy when it comes to women.

GOP: If you’re out at a nightclub, how can a girl or a guy get your attention?

PRINZZESS: Give me soft looks. Catch my eye. Be sensual. Talk to me. Touch me a bit. I don’t like it when men or women come on too strong, and I don’t like anyone who’s easy to get. I like them to let me know they’re interested and then back off a little. I want them to make me chase them, probably because I don’t ever get a chance to chase.

Every guy wants me. That’s the problem with being hot. So I’m more attracted to the guy who shows a little bit of interest but still makes me try to impress him. I’ve had guys come up to me and tell me I’m beautiful and then back off, and I’m like, “How do I get them back now?” Most men come on too strong, especially when they know you’re a porn star. They think you’re that much easier and they don’t have to be sensual.

I’m more experienced than a regular girl, so I’m the one who usually does the chasing when it comes to women. Unless she’s a full-on lesbian who knows I’m into girls, most women won’t come on to me. Because if you’re in a nightclub, you don’t know that I’m into girls. The good thing about nightclubs, though, is that even if you’re hitting on a straight girl, it doesn’t really matter. There are a lot of straight girls who make out with other girls just to get a guy’s attention. It’s more that they’ll go along with it. Once we start hooking up I can sense if they’re really into it or if they’re just showing off.

GOP: When you’re not busy with photo shoots and videos and hooking up at nightclubs, what do you like to do?

PRINZZESS: I bought 220 acres in Belize, where I’m going to open a horse farm and study to be a veterinarian. I don’t intend to open up a clinic and make money off it or anything, I just want to study as much as I can. Growing up I saw so many animals die because we were way out in the country and there was no way a vet could get there. So I’d like to be able to help my own animals and have people call me if they own an animal that’s hurt and needs help. That would feel good.

GOP: Did you have a lot of pets growing up?

PRINZZESS: We had horses, cows, chickens, pigeons, dogs and a whole bunch of other things. Everything. And now I have a pet squirrel named Lucky!

A pet squirrel is something I wanted all my life, but of course you can’t just decide you want a pet squirrel and go out and get one. But I saw a chinchilla in a pet store once and decided they were cute because they have squirrel tails. So I got into breeding chinchillas. Then I put an ad in the newspaper and this girl called up and said, “I’m interested in your chinchilla. Would you trade for a squirrel?” In five minutes I was out the door with my chinchilla, and I traded him for the cutest baby squirrel.

Lucky’s about two years old now, and she doesn’t really like men. She likes women because she was raised by women, and squirrels are one-person oriented. If you’re not the person that raised them, you’re going to get scratched a lot. No one else can really touch Lucky but me.

GOP: She sounds almost like a guard squirrel.

PRINZZESS: Almost, but Lucky looks out more for herself than she does for me!

Interview: Dave Cummings

Dave Cummings is the oldest American porn star. At 73, he’s only a few years older than my dad. That’s actually how I found out about him. My dad was reading the newspaper one day and saw an article about Cummings. He called me later that night and said, “Hey, I read about this guy. Maybe you should interview him for that magazine of yours.” I have a rebellious streak and rarely do what my parents tell me to, but this time I decided to listen to my pops.

You can read my interview with Dave Cummings, which appeared in the July 2011 issue of Penthouse Forum, below.

 


FORUM: At 71, you’re America’s oldest working porn star—and you didn’t start your career until you were in your 50s. You were so close to retirement, why did you decide to start working in porn?

CUMMINGS: Just because it seemed like fun—and believe me, it still is fun—and because it seemed impossible to get into, to the point that I took it as a challenge. I was a lot older than the other performers, but I did have the advantage of being a swinger. As it turned out, Nina Hartley was a swinging partner and friend of mine. She suggested one night that maybe directors needed an older guy to play the older roles.

At first I said to myself, “Ah, she’s just being nice while we’re having sex here,” the same way that girls who are headliners at the clubs are nice to the guy who wants to be a porn star. Meanwhile, I started taking some steps to try to make it happen, and I got lucky. Being old and wrinkly didn’t hurt a bit!

FORUM: What was your first role? What was it like being on set the first time?

CUMMINGS: The first time I was in a program about swinging, and I was there to show how difficult it is for a single guy to be a swinger. Long story short, the couple they had there, the guy couldn’t do the money shot, so I was drafted. The next day I was in two amateur sex scenes for that couple, and the next month I filmed The Devil in Miss Jones 5 with Juli Ashton.

FORUM: Even then you were a lot older than your costars. How did people react to having you on set?

CUMMINGS: Actually, people were pretty welcoming. I saw no discrimination because of my age, no people whispering, “Who’s that old guy? I hope he doesn’t have a heart attack.” Nothing like that. I spent the whole day on set, because our scene kept getting pushed back and pushed back. So I was there for a good 12, 13 hours, and I took it all in like a sightseer at the most beautiful place in the world. I had to keep checking my heart to be certain it wasn’t over-beating. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

FORUM: You were there all day when you filmed your first movie? What was going on all that time? What’s a typical day on a porn set?

CUMMINGS: There’s real time, there’s military time—which I know a little bit about—and then there’s porn time. Porn time is always the slowest and the latest and all of that. If something’s going to go wrong, it will. Murphy’s Law is alive and well on porn sets, be it circuit breakers tripping all the time or the police coming in to check the shooting permit.

When I get on set, the first thing I do is walk around and look at everything. I want to find what the set looks like for the scene I’m going to be doing so I can start to acclimate and anticipate and all that kind of stuff. But after that, all you do on set is eat. It really helps me maintain being a fat guy, so everybody can identify with me. My fans are the ones who say, “Look at that ugly, short, fat, bald guy! And he’s overweight! If he can make out with these chicks, I bet I could if I ever had the opportunity!” So we do a lot of snacking, and a lot of paperwork.

Between all that, I try and meet the girl I’m working with. I want to make certain that there are no “No’s” that I need to know about, and that she knew for sure before I was booked how old I am. I just try and make the rapport thing happen a little bit. It’s a relaxed deal being on set.

FORUM: You’ve been in hundreds of movies. What qualities does a guy need to be a porn star?

CUMMINGS: It’s not about penis size or looks or muscles, it’s about functionality. By functionality I mean, once you’re told, “We’re ready to go,” you should get it up fast. You shouldn’t climax before you’re supposed to. You have to make certain the director gets all the footage he needs so that the editor has enough film to make the scene work, and you need to be able to do a money shot within a reasonable amount of time of being told to.

FORUM: What’s a reasonable amount of time?

CUMMINGS: Two or three minutes. But some of the people that are taking the enhancement medications are having some difficulty doing the money shot without it being time-consuming and having the girls yawning and the crew looking at their watches and things like that.

FORUM: Has the work gotten harder as you’ve gotten older?

CUMMINGS: Well first of all, there’s nothing wrong with the word “harder.” Not in this business!

FORUM: (laughs) Has it gotten more difficult, then?

CUMMINGS: I’d say it’s gotten much easier. All guys have a bad day once in a while. I’ve had my fair share. But fortunately, I always get through the scene. I know myself and I know what needs to be done. I’m very visual, and all I have to do is look at the girl. Even in the makeup room, I look at her and think, “Wow, is she nice! Look at that body! Soon I’m going to be having sex with that beautiful young lady!” Normally I’m cast with the younger girls because the directors or the writers want to show the contrast. I might wind up being the president or the judge or university instructor or whatever it might be, because they’re not all young, good-looking guys.

FORUM: How do you prepare yourself for a scene? Is there anything special you do that maybe the younger guys don’t?

CUMMINGS: I may take a brisk walk, maybe five miles; I try and keep my stamina up by not overdoing it. And I won’t be drinking the night before. Like I tell the guys in my running club, you drink so that you can get your nerve up to go over and talk to some girl, but what happens if you get lucky, you end up in bed with her, and you drank so much that your penis isn’t responding the way that you want it to? So I stay away from alcohol for 24 hours before a shoot. I try and get a good night’s sleep, and I’ll try like crazy not to masturbate that night. Sometimes it’s hard to do that—or not do that!

FORUM: I imagine it’s hard either way! (laughs)

CUMMINGS: You know, it’s hell, even at age 71, when you’ve gotta get up to pee. You have to hold that thing down and hope it softens up a little bit so you can pee, go back to bed and get back to sleep.

FORUM: That’s a hell of a problem to have, though.

CUMMINGS: I do a few more things in terms of personal hygiene that maybe the younger guys don’t. We don’t talk about it that much, but you hear the girls talking amongst themselves about it. You can pick up a lot of information.

The night before a scene I’ll do the trimming of the pubes. Not only does my crotch area have to be perfectly clean and fresh and all that, I also make certain that when I shave my face that I don’t shave just in the one direction I would if I was just going out someplace. I also shave against the grain so that when I’m doing cunnilingus I’m not gonna have any stubble on my upper lip or my lower lip or my chin that’s going to scrape the young lady. The look on the girl’s face when she feels that, if the camera’s on her, is not going to be fun for viewers who want to pretend they’re the lucky guy doing that cunnilingus. We don’t want to have that guy turned off. He’s supposed to be getting turned on looking at that girl. Viewers don’t care about the guys. We’re just props. That’s all we are. But I don’t mind being a prop! Not only do I get paid to be with a young girl, but I get to have sex with her? Holy shit!

FORUM: Is there anything you can do that the younger guys can’t? Any perks to being an older guy?

CUMMINGS: Well, I do get complimented about one thing a lot. Namely that I’m so old that I don’t hit the young lady in the eye when I do my come shot. I just dribble. And I can aim that thing exactly where the girl wants me to.

FORUM: Nice! Now that’s a handy porn skill right there! That’s a marketable skill.

CUMMINGS: Nowadays there’s nobody in this country who can approach my age in porn, though there’s a guy in Japan named Shigeo Tokuda who’s older than me.

FORUM: I’ve read about him.

CUMMINGS: Did you read that in the beginning his wife didn’t know he was a porn star? I think what he’s doing is great. He’s helping the public realize that sex doesn’t have to stop at a certain age. But I do worry about him becoming the Japanese version of John Bobbitt.

FORUM: That’s a good point. A lot of younger people seem squeamish about the idea of older people having sex. Most porn talent, male or female, are in their teens and 20s. What’s made elderly porn stars such hot commodities these days?

CUMMINGS: I think that people living longer contributes to it. I think medical advances contribute to it. Vitamins, healthy foods, Viagra, Cialis, all the erectile dysfunction medications. And I think more and more older people have tried having sex.

I know a lot of women who were a little frustrated because they still had needs for sex, but as they and their husbands or boyfriends were getting older, the guy couldn’t quite make it work. Once erectile dysfunction medications finally hit the market, I think that older people started having more and more sex.

FORUM: Has sex gotten better as you’ve gotten older?

CUMMINGS: I think it has, because I’ve learned that I do have certain capabilities, stamina-wise. I can sense when the woman I’m with needs this or needs that. I encourage the women I’m with to tell me what they like and tell me what they don’t like and tell me if I’m doing something okay or whether it’s time to move on to a different thing.

FORUM: What do you like when it comes to sex? Have your own sexual preferences changed at all over the years?

CUMMINGS: Not really. I love to do the 69 with a young lady. I love to be on the bottom with her riding me, and I love it even more when I can get her to come on down and we kiss, or I’m touching her breast the same time my hand is on her ass. So sexual positions are important for me, but it’s more important for me to know what position my partner at the time prefers. And I can do ‘em all!

FORUM: A lot of your costars are considerably younger than you. So who’s better in bed: the younger girls or the older women?

CUMMINGS: Wow, you’re really putting me on the spot! But I’ll just be truthful. I prefer the young girls. They’re less inhibited and they’re willing to speak up and say what they like. I really like the idea of them expressing themselves.

FORUM: Is there a special lady in your life at the moment?

CUMMINGS: Not presently. I was married for 23 years and we had gone steady together for a number of years before that. But right now you know who I’m in love with more than anybody in the whole world? Me!

I enjoy going places by myself, then meeting up with friends afterwards. Before I came here to talk to you, I was down at the coffeehouse on the boardwalk with four or five guys and a couple of girls—well, not girls, really. They were women. But I like being with people. Tonight I’ll be going to a bar where everybody knows me and I know them, and we’ll just have a good time. I’m not alone.

FORUM: Did you ever imagine when you were younger that you’d be doing what you do now, much less doing it to earn your living?

CUMMINGS: Never in a million years would I have imagined that I’d have this job. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

I wish there were some way that I could snap my fingers and have every other guy be me, just for a little while. It’s the best life. I thank god all the time. She and I talk all the time, and I’m always thanking her for letting me be a porn star.

FORUM: It sure sounds like you’ve got it made.

CUMMINGS: I think I do, but I don’t think I’m out to have it made. I think I’m just out to have fun.

For more on the senior sex star, log on to www.davecummings.com.

Bump and Grind 101

I promised my mentor I’d never publicly embarrass myself for a byline, but I’m about to break that promise. Sort of. A couple years ago, I decided that I needed to try new things, get out my cubicle and live a little, and so I was saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself. Mostly it meant I went to a lot of (not at all memorable) parties and had drinks with a bunch of people I normally wouldn’t spend much time with, but it also meant taking a burlesque class.

As a kid, I took a couple years of dance lessons. Ballet, tap, modern jazz, I did it all. I even took figure skating lessons for a brief while. You’d think that would’ve instilled me with some balance or grace. But no. Not so much. I still trip over my own feet when walking down the sidewalk, and I’ve fallen down the stairs more times than I’d care to admit. But back to burlesque.

I’m friends with strippers and porn stars who feature dance and burlesque performers, so I thought a class might give me an idea of what they do. I rounded up two of my ballsier girlfriends, signed us up for a class, and proceeded to “dance” my ass off for an evening. Notice how dance is in quotations? That’s because what I was doing fits only the loosest definition of the term. My mother says I’m like a bull in a china shop, and on a recent night out, a girl at Bantam told me, pointblank, “You really can’t dance, can you?” They may be on to something there. I really, truly can’t dance. So my taking a burlesque class and writing about how ungraceful I was, kind of embarrassing. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and I laughed my way through every moment of it, but still embarrassing.

To read about my failed attempt to become a burlesque dancer, which appeared in the September 2011 issue of Penthouse, click here.

 

Jo Boobs, Headmistress

One of the biggest names in the burlesque revival is Jo Weldon (aka Jo Boobs). She’s performed for audiences around the world, and her style and skill are so coveted that she eventually opened the New York School of Burlesque to share her knowledge with wannabe performers. The demand for burlesque lessons stretched far beyond New York City, though, so in 2011, Weldon wrote The Burlesque Handbook so women everywhere could cop her striptease skills.

I’d seen Weldon perform all over the city, and was thrilled when my editor asked me to review her book. I decided that a review wasn’t enough, though, and I called Weldon to talk to her about it. We discussed the appeal of burlesque, what separates a good striptease artist from a mere stripper, and how her book could help not only performers but men and women who want to get a little artsy in the bedroom. And somehow I crammed our entire conversation into less than 200 words.

You can read my brief interview with Jo Weldon, which appeared in the September 2011 issue of Penthouse, below.


Although The Burlesque Handbook teaches the ins and outs of putting together a professional act, burlesque star Jo Weldon’s tips can be utilized by anyone—including your girlfriend.

Weldon is the founder and headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, as well as a distinguished dancer in the burlesque world known to fans as Jo Boobs, so she knows a thing or two about the art of tassel twirling. Her book focuses on everything a dancer needs to know, from proper posture to making pasties, but even if your girl’s performing for an audience of one, she’ll benefit from the information. Moves like the “straptease” and “glove peel” can easily be put into practice at home, and the lessons on seductive stocking removal are sure to come in handy on the stage or in the bedroom. Even men can glean some tips from the book.

“Any time a guy makes a striptease game out of taking off a jacket or shirt in front of a woman, there’s a good chance she’ll admire his confidence and playfulness and find him more attractive,” Weldon says.

Which means you should buy the book for your girlfriend, but give it a look before handing it over.

Operation Bombshell

In May 2011, Penthouse ran a special burlesque section, featuring a collection of articles and interviews with top burly-q performers, most of them from New York. I contributed a series of short blurbs about how non-performers could learn the art of the tease. The first one focused on a project by former stripper Lily Burana, called Operation Bombshell.

To read my blurb about Operation Bombshell, which appeared in the May 2011 issue of Penthouse, click here.