BOOK REVIEW: How To Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale (1st Edition)

By Annamarya Scaccia (SexHerald.com, 2005)

Title: How To Make Love Like A Porn Star
Author: Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss
Publisher: Regan Books
Publish Date: 2004
Pages: 579
Genres:Biography

In her revealing autobiography How To Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale, Jenna Jameson, with Neil Strauss, gives in to the temptations of memory with this memoir of love, seduction, abuse, resentment and triumph. A ode to the past and a rough draft of the future,How To Make Love presents an intimate look at the foundation of an admired porn stars to the world at large. Jameson’s autobiography is a clear portrait of a determined starlet willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, risking everything and everyone in order to fulfill that one missing emotion vital to sanity: security.

Born Jenna Massoli to a showgirl and Vietnam vet in the swampy gutters of 1970s Vegas, Jameson grew up aggressively and dangerously. Losing her mother to cancer at the age of two, Jameson and her family began moving from state to state, constantly adapting to new surroundings only to have them taken away. Unable to communicate with her seemingly emotionless father and hardened by the death of her mother, Jameson held onto her brother Tony for support. When Tony, her only sense of security, began slipping away, Jameson was left alone and detached. Struggling with feelings of resentment and hatred, an anger difficult to diffuse, Jameson was led into a spiraling path of drugs and abuse. Running away from home after a shattering fight with her father, Jameson began hanging around biker gangs and gritty, tattooed hard-knocks in order to be around her first love, or rather her first obsession: Jack, nephew of The Preacher, a vengeful creep who maliciously raped Jameson at a boathouse party. Jack opened her to the world of stripping at the sleazy strip club The Crazy Horse Too, which, through her courtship with a fellow stripper named Jessica (her first female love) led her to nude photography, which ultimately led her into film and fame.

During her tormented relationship with Jack, she began her love affair with meth. Starting off as a thrill, the chattering teeth and inside-out skeleton of a figure that resulted from her constant meth use began to choke the life out of her. After Jack’s haphazard attempt to save her life, Jameson broke down and was nursed back to health by her father. She then continued her rising career in movies, and on this rollercoaster ride back she met new loves, new hates, new addictions and new experiences. Her first taste with stardom as an E! correspondent, her award-winning performances, her dancing tour, roadies who steal, being a difficult-to-work-with diva and finally falling in love with the right one, have all become precious jewels to Jameson, which she has courageously decided to share. From the darkness of a tortured beating in the woods of Montana to the hilarious blow off she gave Bruce Willis, Jameson had her share of adrenaline rushes and tragedies, only to come out deservingly on top.

Jameson talks candidly about her demons, her failed first marriage, her escapades with the same sex, rompings with Marylin Manson and Tommy Lee, and her first mistake in love. Now happily married to a fellow adult entertainer, CEO of her own adult entertainment company ClubJenna, Inc., and the highest ranked adult star of our time, Jameson looks back at the path that led her to fame and happiness with sincerity and remorse, void of regrets.

In How to Make Love, Jameson breaks the rules of rationality and logic, drowning herself in raw emotions. She entraps you with her witty and comicial anecdotes, sometimes leaving you with a sense of shame and empathy, only to shock you with her brutal honesty. She begins the book with a statement of caution: “For two decades I looked men in the eye and denied everything. And then for years, in private, I wrestled with myself. The truth won,” reads the opening page. “It is more naked than I have ever allowed myself to be seen. Neither my father nor my husband have been privy to these experiences; they have been a burden and a blessing for me to carry alone. Until now.” A warning to all, Jameson is picking her words wisely, making sure readers know that the following pages are not filled with only erotic tales of sex, but also expose a tortured woman who possesses demons just as everyone else. The book grabs you from the start, with a prologue that discusses the murder of a close friend in precise detail. It is not the murders or rapes, the eroticism or adventure, the addictions or secrets or sexual histories that make this book such a thrilling piece of literature but the paralyzing emotion Jameson writes with, the passion and need to show more than her flesh to the world, that makes How to Make Love an important read.

Throughout the book, Jameson goes through each of her stories with delicacy and patience, as if she is tending to a newborn child. Each story in her life is equally connected and equally important, and deserving of attention, and she knows this. So she writes and unravels; she exposes the breast in which her saddness hides and through this, she teaches you an everlasting lesson: we all must struggle in order to survive. However, How to Make Love is not only an autobiography, it is also an how-to guide to the porn industry. Between the reflections, Jameson offers us tips how to make it as a male or female porn star, how to be “suitcase pimp” (explained in a well-illustrated comic), and a guide to dating and fellatio. She also includes a three way interview with her family, a touching letter from her father, scripts to her first few films, sonnets by William Shakespare, and pages of her childhood diary. Jameson is giving us her all and it is only fair we give her our all back.

Added in this book are never-before-seen photographs, including nudes, childhood snap shots and photographs especially taken for this book. Set in the theme of glamorous 1940s Chicago cabaret, How to Make Love Like A Porn Star is not meant for the simple reader. The level of complexity that encompasses this book will take thought, concern and dedication to wrap your head around.

So be forewarned.

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