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Review: Jenna Jameson's crazy porn life

Book less a 'how-to' than a 'what-the'

By Adam Dunn
Special to CNN

'How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale'
  • By Jenna Jameson with Neil Strauss
  • Reganbooks
  • Non-fiction
  • 579 pages
    Neil Strauss
    Jenna Jameson

    NEW YORK (CNN) -- Sing, Muse, of your meteoric ascent from a seething pit of pure, all-American white trash.

    Sing, also, of five-figure fees for one evening's striptease, and of six-figure film contracts for the company you built.

    Sing of rape and addiction and suicide, of thieves and junkies and lies, of vodka, Vicodin, and crystal meth.

    But most of all, sing of Sex.

    The muse invoked here is, of course, porn goddess Jenna Jameson (formerly Massoli), the star of countless adult films, magazines, and strip clubs -- and CEO of ClubJenna Inc., her film production and online licensing company.

    "How To Make Love Like A Porn Star" is her latest product, an autobiography in the form of a rant interspersed with detritus from her life's ricochets, including a sample adult film contract, entries from her diary, comics, and the sprawling transcript from a recent family reunion (which reads like a police blotter).

    Her way to the top

    With the help of New York Times contributor Neil Strauss, Jameson recounts how she went from being a drug-addled teenager in a slowly disintegrating family to the star attraction at a prominent Vegas strip club, where she danced for celebrities and took home several thousand in cash each night. It was there that she met Jack, a biker tattoo artist, with whom she managed to maintain a vibrantly destructive relationship for years.

    Jack, for his part, repaid her affections by cheating on her regularly, stealing her cash, and introducing her to crystal meth and to his uncle Preacher, a biker whom Jameson claims raped her at their first meeting. (Preacher has denied this.)

    Eventually she started posing for adult photographers and starring in a handful of adult films. After kicking her drug addiction, she decided to pursue the activity she knew she excelled at -- porn -- walked into the offices of Steve Orenstein at Wicked Pictures, and stated that she wanted to be the biggest porn star in the world.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    All over the place

    That's an extremely oversimplified version of a big, thick book that is anything but straightforward.

    The narrative careens all over the place like a drunk driving a semi, jumping around various periods in Jameson's life, sometimes with others taking over the storytelling. Glossies, snapshots and notes litter the text like shards of broken glass.

    Jameson doesn't shrink from her life's harsher realities, from the tragic to the desperate. She says says she was gang-raped her sophomore year in high school; she also says she pried off her own braces to get the strip club job. She's blunt about her drug use and the basics of the porn industry, from the fees producers pay starlets to workaday pitfalls such as bringing boyfriends to the set, alienating crew members, and the constant risk of AIDS.

    Jameson now sits atop a multimedia company which sells hundreds of thousands of copies of films it produces and innumerable downloads of video clips. She manages over a dozen porn stars. Her club appearances earn her up to $25,000 per show.

    And yes, she is married (to producer Jay Grdina) and looks forward to retirement and motherhood, now both comfortably within reach.

    So sing, Muse, of a messed-up kid from a ditch on the wrong side of the tracks who climbed to the top of a $3 billion industry, using only the power of her ambition and body.

    Sing, Muse, of the glory of America.

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