“Different people are into different things.”
That’s all she said. That’s all I remember her saying. Sitting in the cold clutter of Miss Deborah’s office, reading the diplomas on the wall for the thousandth time, chewing a hole through the straw of the Capri Sun she gave me, all I could really hear was the thunder of Absolutely Excruciating Embarrassment.
Miss Deborah was my brother’s therapist. I had my own therapist, but I outright refused to see him. I didn’t want to see anyone, but twelve-year-old me didn’t get a choice, because twelve-year-old me’s mom didn’t know how to handle what she had just discovered.
Long before twelve, I knew I was different. I don’t know how I knew. I guess it was just something I intuited as my friends talked about the boys they wanted to kiss, and I didn’t understand.
I wanted to do things with boys, but it certainly wasn’t kiss.
My fantasies were my Deep Dark Secret. Not a single soul knew.
It was the first day of band practice. It was also the last. We made it maybe an hour, but I guess that’s how it goes in seventh grade.
“Do you want to see something cool?” Audrey said, sitting down at my computer. She told me I was lucky, having my own computer in my own room. She also wrote the lyrics to our song.
Three is better than two, and two’s better than you.
I had absolutely no idea what that meant.
“Sure,” I said.
The dial-up tones played, and we were online. I looked over her shoulder, as she navigated her way past a screen that flashed “Adults Only.”
“Ever seen porn before?”
“I… umm… of course,” I mumbled, trying to be cool, actually having absolutely no idea what porn was.
Two naked, hard bodied, harder-cocked men appeared on the screen. The blond one gave the other blond one a blowjob, and I had just watched my first porno.
I learned a lot of things that day. I learned what a hard cock looks like. I learned the word blowjob.
And I learned that you can find whatever you want on the Internet.
I guess you could say that the Internet landed me on Miss Deborah’s sofa. But the Internet has also made me who I am today, so I don’t blame Vint Cerf.
It was the Internet that led me to Spanking Teen Jessica.
That night, I masturbated, just like I did every night. But I didn’t picture the pretty blond cocks from the computer screen. I went back to my favorite fantasy, a variation on a theme, a story of spanking. Just like I did every night.
Then I got an idea.
The next time my parents left me home alone, I went online. Typed eight simple letters into the search bar: spanking.
I chose the first link. I made it through all of three seconds of silent video before the explosion of arousal and shame. And orgasm.
So it became a game. Every time I was alone, I would log on. Each time, I lasted a little longer, watching more and more. But mixed in with the arousal there was always this underlying panic someone would catch me, an underlying shame. I knew what I was doing was Wrong.
I found SpankingTeenJessica.com pretty quickly. I started coming back because of all the previews, and as I got bolder, I started clicking around. I found a bio.
The bio was long, but I devoured every word. I was hungry, starving for someone like me. And I had finally found her.
I wasn’t alone.
Jessica said she started making porn because she wanted to fulfill her fantasies.
I had another idea.
It was finals week, seventh grade. At my magnet school in the ghetto, during finals week, we weren’t allowed to bring backpacks to school. They were worried about cheating, or guns, or something in between that I also didn’t concern myself with.
I didn’t care. I wasn’t allowed backpacks in elementary school either, and carrying around my fifth-grade transparent purple folder was a way to cling to a part of my youth that I desperately missed.
In science, I sat next to my best friend, Erika. And Jessica had inspired me. In her story, she told her best friend about her deep dark secret, and her best friend spanked her. So I printed out the bio, and brought it to school with me in my purple transparent folder.
Erika laughed at me. And then told way too many people about my Deep Dark Secret.
The school year was over, and I brought the bio home in my purple transparent folder. I set it down on the kitchen counter, where I always put my school stuff.
And then I went away to summer camp.
“Mom wants to talk to you,” Dad said, as I was sitting in my room. “She’ll be up in a second.”
As soon as she walked through the door, I saw the purple folder in her hand. And I knew.
My mom sat down on the bed next to me. I didn’t stay long. The clouds of Absolutely Excruciating Embarrassment stormed in and became a Category 5 hurricane.
I spent the entire rest of the day hiding under my bed.
I learned a hard lesson about the necessity of clearing one’s browser history that day.
So, off to therapy I went. My mother, my feminist, abused-as-a-child mother, couldn’t fathom why her twelve-year-old daughter wanted to be hurt. In an act of I-don’t-know-what-the-fuck-else-to-do, she drove me to Miss Deborah.
Miss Deborah wasn’t wrong, you know. Different people are into different things. The thunder was just too loud for me to hear it.
Andrew and I are hunting for shark’s teeth. That’s what we called it: hunting. Like the fossils had to be chased down and killed before we could put them in our Tupperware.
I taught him how to do it. The shark’s teeth creek is a sacred childhood place to me. Andrew is the only one I’ve ever taken there. He was a much better best friend than Erika ever was.
I’m twenty. I haven’t had a boyfriend. I had my first awful kiss, but second base is as far as I’ve gotten with a guy. I haven’t watched another single porn second. My Deep Dark Secret has become my Deepest Darkest Secret.
Andrew thinks that I lost my virginity at sixteen. And am vanilla.
We are horny college students. All we do at the creek is talk about sex.
“What’s the one thing that turns you on the most?”
I froze as the clouds rolled in. Andrew noticed.
“What?” he playfully teased. “You’ve never blushed before. Now you have to tell me.”
He was right. The lies usually came so easily.
“I… I like to be hit.” It was barely audible.
“You mean, like spanking?”
“Yes. Like… spanking.” It was almost impossible to say the word.
“Oh, that’s not that crazy,” he smiled. “Mine is that I want to have a threesome.”
My Deepest Darkest Secret came out of its cave, and instead of the villagers seeing a fire-breathing dragon and running away in terror, they saw a harmless little lizard, like the kind that we used to wear as earrings in elementary school. Everything was about to change.
Professor Calvert brought DVDs to class with him today. He teaches First Amendment Law. I’m not even supposed to be in this class. I was supposed to be in Telecom Law, which was supposed to be absolutely awful, but it was full, and the college gave me credit for that, from this.
Thank you, College of Journalism and Communications. Thank you.
All we’ve learned about in this class was porn. That’s what Professor Calvert studies.
Free speech. Free expression. Porn.
This is the first porn I’ve seen since I was twelve.
It doesn’t feel like shame anymore.
See, we’ve already learned that porn is a perfectly legal expression of one’s First Amendment rights. Porn is not Wrong, as long as you’re over eighteen.
I learned how much girls get paid for double penetration at Kink.com that day. I learned that I’m not exactly sure what double penetration is.
And I learned from Professor Calvert that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making porn.
The sunbeams started to break through the thunderheads.
I had this ritual. The same every night: Kink.com previews until I was really close, Niko’s videos until I came.
Every night, Niko’s video ended with a “for a good time, call” and an email address.
My twenty-first birthday was fast approaching. I wasn’t having any of the oh-fuck-I’m-almost-twenty-one-and-I-haven’t-had-a-boyfriend-yet, but at the same time, it was my twenty-first. It’s the night that most kids get legally trashed for the first time. I wasn’t interested in getting legally trashed, but I still wanted it to be special.
I had been thinking about it for a week or so. What can I give myself for my birthday? What’s the one thing I want more than anything else in the entire world? Then one night, it came to me, post-self-coitus, 2 a.m., as Niko’s lower third ran across the screen.
Oh. I know.
I composed a message that sat in my drafts folder for almost a week.
I hit send.
The next time we went hunting, I told Andrew about Niko and about my plan. In my excitement of just needing to tell someone, anyone, I accidently established a safe call with the only person I could tell.
I wasn’t worried about safety. My deduction: Jessica made porn to explore her fantasies in a safe way; Niko makes porn; thus, Niko must be safe.
Andrew was genuinely supportive. For the first time, instead of the storm, the sky was blue.
I had to stop to pee three times during the half hour drive to the truck stop.
He was shorter than me, and his truck smelled like Axe.
I was there three hours longer than we had planned.
It was the first time I ever hugged someone without feeling awkward.
I thought I was gonna get it out of my system.
I was wrong.
I skipped school the next day, the day of my birthday. Actually, I drove in, dropped of my zoology homework, and drove back home.
My body didn’t know how to process the trauma it had received, however sexual, however much I loved it. I dry-heaved in the parking lot of the blood bank, and a gardener asked me if I was alright.
Boy, was I alright.
I wrote in my journal that afternoon. I wrote down every little detail, so afraid to forget. At the end of my entry, I apologized to my mom. I apologized for staying out late. I apologized for enjoying it way more than I thought I would. The lightning flashed. Terrified. Of disgust, of hate.
The video was up a few days later. I wanted him to film it. I wanted the tape for me, as a way to remember the session. The time I got my spanking. It was so romantic.
I thought I was gonna get it out of my system, remember?
All you can see is my twenty-year-old, pale, not nearly as nice as it is now, ass. I made sure he didn’t record my face or my tattoo. I figured it would be the only video of me ever, but just in case, I wanted to ensure no one would ever recognize me.
Still though, you could say, in a very loose sense of the phrase—it’s my first porno.
“You should really be a model,” Lew said.
Using my same “porn is safe” deduction, I’m at Lew Ruben’s house, getting tied up for the first time. I’m lucky. A bondage porn god lives only two hours away, and he actually wants to tie me, of all people, up.
“But I can’t. I’m not tall enough,” I said.
Or pretty enough, I thought.
Lew disagreed with both opinions.
He set up a glamour shoot for me to start building a portfolio. I decided it would be okay to show my face if I wasn’t naked.
Remember that other idea I had, that one that had been hiding in the back corner of the dungeon in my mind, behind the St. Andrew’s cross, that one I got from Jessica. Well, it was still there.
Make porn, it whispered, every time a grown-up asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Make porn, it screamed now. Make porn.
My mom is an absolute wreck. Holding my journal, the same way she held the purple folder eleven years ago, she wanted to talk.
I had been acting differently, going out more; moms always know when you’re lying. She had read the last thing I had written, about my first time with Niko, the one I wrote on my birthday many months ago but didn’t date.
She wanted to know why.
The sun was shining too bright now to let the clouds roll back in. I didn’t hide under the bed.
I sat there and told my parents about my deep dark secret, no longer so darkest and deepest. I told her I knew I was unsafe when I met Niko. I told her about Lew, about how he was mentoring me. I told her about the shoots I had been doing. I told her about how I had just started to feel pretty for the first time in my life.
She sat there and listened. She didn’t sweep me away to therapy. She tried her best to understand.
The art—that’s easy.
The masochism—that one’s a bit harder.
I’m graduating from college, magna cum laude; across the stage, smiling parents somewhere in the massive auditorium.
And in the past year, I’ve travelled all over the country, Canada, Costa Rica, as a fetish model. I have a spotless reputation, amazing new friends, and strangers on the Internet think I’m beautiful.
I have no idea what to do with my degree.
My little idea, no longer whispering from the corner, but standing in the doorway… it started speaking again.
Porn. Make. Some. Goddamn. Porn.
And that’s how I ended up on the phone with adult super-agent Mark Spiegler.
Sitting in the hot tub in our backyard, steam rising in the humid summer air, I’d just gotten back from a trip to Los Angeles.
This time, it was my turn to say I wanted to talk. There would be no finding out after the fact. My mom fidgeted in the hot water, nervous as I was when she said those words to me.
“I haven’t done anything yet, I promise.”
I had already met Mark Spiegler, already been wined and dined and wooed by Mark Spiegler, and I’d already almost made up my mind.
“But I’m thinking about it.”
One flash of lightning, of fear. Not of hatred, not this time, but of being a terrible disappointment.
“I just want you to be safe,” she said.
My parents paid my first three months rent when I moved out to Los Angeles.
When my dad’s side of the family found out what I do, my mom stood up for me.
My kink used to be my Deepest Darkest secret, and now it is an integrated part of my everyday life.
It’s really nice not to have secrets.
I asked around about Jessica recently. I found out that she was the real deal, an actual spanko.
“Shark’s Teeth” is an excerpt from Coming Out Like a Porn Star, edited by Jiz Lee and republished with permission. For more information and to order the book, visit comingoutlikeapornstar.com.
Image credits: Feature photograph © Jorge Kreimer. Second photograph © Jim Minics. Third photograph © Rue99.