What I can liken this book to is: listening to a jazz piece where there are several different themes and ambiguous harmonic structures that take separate paths throughout the piece, but they all come together to create a fantastic final product.
As I disentangle “The Life,” I come up with a few threads.
Theme #1: The porn industry has changed dramatically since the advent of the internet.
This book also rehashes familiar lamentations of the decline of professional standards within the industry.
Theme #2: The overwhelming majority of people who enter into adult performance have mental and substance abuse problems–and this author had a little bit of both. (Also: Just recently, I read a book by Asa Akira who was also an adult film actress that is intelligent, but deeply damaged as well.)
The author of the book herself was articulate, focused and directed, but she seemed to have a lot of problems just the same.
i. Healthy people gravitate toward pleasure and away from pain, and the author knew that it cost her a lot of pain to work in the industry and yet she has come out of retirement no less than 3 times.
ii. She also talked about not being able to maintain relationships that were good, because she could not stop cheating on her partners (with co-conspirators of either sex).
iii. The author was extremely promiscuous/hypersexual. And I’m not sure what it could mean, because her day job was to be mounted by different people all day, every day. And yet, that wasn’t enough and she had to go and try to conquer everyone in the country that she did not work with on set?
There are a lot of drugs and suicide in the industry, and the author is not shy about her drug use. Nor the fact that she is lucky that she made it past 25 without ending her life.
Theme #3: The adult film industry is a business, and an extremely vicious one at that.
i. Female performers are deliberately put into unsafe situations. (Violent co-workers. Co-workers that are not tested properly. Performance of acts for which they do not have realistic expectations, and and in which they could be injured.)
ii. Female performers are duped into outside work that borders on prostitution.
iii. Lots of contracts are put in front of them with many pages and *extremely small print* so that they only realize a very small portion of their earnings after all of the “deductions.”
iv. People blast other people’s personal information on to the internet just out of spite, as was done to this author by Keiran Lee. Or, they spread false rumors (as was done to our author by Nikki Benz).
Theme #4: Familiarity breeds contempt. The author grew up around Italian relatives and ancestors, and it certainly did seem to leave her with a dislike for them that glittered and sparked in every sentence that she had to say about her family members or other Italian people throughout the book.
The author comes across in several different incarnations:
a. Tart with a Heart/ Hooker With a Heart of Gold.
b. A savvy businesswoman.
c. A person with some number of unspecified emotional issues. (Why-oh-why is it that white ladies who are interested in black guys always have to have some problem or another?)
d. Somebody who could have accomplished great things in the mainstream world if the stars had just been aligned a little bit different.
The author certainly was gifted with:
i. Very nice looks;
iv. Some type of business acumen.
In short, all of the things that could have made her a very successful business woman in a much cleaner industry.
Somehow, it just didn’t work out for her–even though it feels like there is no reason that it could not have been different.
This was a very easy to read book, and the writing was fairly engaging with some good turns of phrase