Monday, February 8, 2010

My Career, Almost

This post is about porn novels and porn movies, but unless you're really squeamish, it will contain nothing overly objectionable, never mind obscene. So don't worry, or -- and I'm addressing this to a few others out there, wink wink, nudge nudge -- don't get your hopes up, either! (Or anything else, for that matter.)

Back in the early 1980s, before I'd ever had so much as a short story published, I very briefly considered writing porn novels -- do they even publish those any more? -- for some quick, easy money while I slaved away at more serious stuff. I figured: I loved writing, I loved sex, and I loved money. So making money by writing about sex seemed like a no-brainer. I never went through with it, not for any"moral" reasons, but more probably because I realized that my heart wasn't in it. After a while, it seemed so repetitious! Plus, whatever my strengths are as a writer... writing explicit sex scenes just isn't one of 'em. And I can live with that.

Soon, however, in accordance with David M. Lynch's First Rule of Writing, which states -- all together now, fellow babies! -- "Never throw anything away," I drastically re-worked my idea of a struggling writer opting for the easy money of porn novels into an as-yet-unfinished (and probably-never-will-be) novel called Peace Meal [sic]. But that story wasn't about porn at all! It was about a free-spirited porn novelist who'd left his young wife, and the born-again Christian private detective who was hired to locate him! Remind me to tell you about it... some other time.

Recently, reading a post by another blogger -- and I'll get to him in a second or two -- about the silly titles porn films often use, based on "legitimate" Hollywood flicks, I remembered the plot of a movie I considered scripting a couple of years after I'd begun my official writing career. (The post I just mentioned, and linked to, is from a blog I follow whenever time permits called VE's Fantastical Nonsense, a mucho entertaining blog that I suggest you check out... after reading my
stuff, of course!)

You might never guess it from my long, drawn-out storylines, but as a writer, I'm kind of lazy. And that's nothing new. So twenty-odd years ago, I thought, "Hey! If I can turn out ten or twelve pages of script for an entire ninety-minute porn film, that's really easy money!" Even if it did pay a relative pittance by industry standards -- or so I'd read somewhere -- I could bang 'em out (you'll pardon the expression) at a rapid clip.

I had this idea about a time travel story, and like a lot of my stories, I based the main character very loosely on myself... at the age of fourteen, and at the age of thirty.

When I was fourteen, my older sister had a (female) friend who briefly came to live with us. I don't recall her name.* She, like my sister, was about twenty. She was a waitress, as was my sister at the time. She had long, dark hair, and owlish glasses.

As were most heterosexual males at that age and in that era (circa 1970, 1971), I was full of hormones, and had no... err... outlet for the relief of said hormones. I had a few vague fantasies about ol' Whatshername which my then-shy self was sadly never to take beyond that point.

(End of the "reality" portion of this story, for now!)

So, here I was in late 1986 or early 1987, around the time that I hit thirty, and I started "What-Iffing." What if my main character -- I don't recall if I even bothered to give him a name, but let's just call him "Mike" hereafter -- was turning thirty, like myself, but unlike myself, was really having a hard time coming to terms with that fact, to the point where modern-day Mike shared his misgivings about aging with his live-in girlfriend? What if, in his soul-searching, Mike recalled an "older woman" he'd been in love with (whom we'll call "Bonnie" from now on) -- or "in lust with," as if there's a palpable difference at that age -- when he was a naïve, virginal fourteen-year-old? (In real life, I was never that obsessed with her, but never mind that.) What if Mike fervently wished he could have another chance to overcome his shyness and sleep with Bonnie, his sister's friend?

Well, at this point, figuring that if this story was going to find a home in a porn film, who cared about plausibility, right? I decided that Mike would oh-so-conveniently discover that a close friend of his had invented... *ahem*... a time machine. A real deux ex machina. Who'da thunk it?

I'd read an article about writing for X-rated films, and two of the "rules" were that you should have as much variety as possible (no kidding), and that you should strive to avoid having the same two characters in bed -- or anywhere else -- twice. So I said to myself, "No problem, Self!" As to the specifics of the sex involved, I avoided that completely, figuring the producers of the flick could figure out that crap with the actors and actresses when it came time to film.

To this day, I have no idea if that's how real X-rated movie scripts work, but since I wasn't too cool about writing the actual sex scenes down in detail anyway, that's what I hoped.

(Hey, wait a second! I said "to this day," but that's only because I didn't have access to the internet 23 or so years ago, and have had no interest in following up on the subject in all that time! But now, just for you, fellow babies, let's see what a li'l ol' Google search brings up! Uh-huh... uh-huh... uhhh-huh. I was right! The actual sex scenes are described thusly [and this example comes from the Who's Nailin' Paylin? script, as reprinted on the TMZ site]: SEX SCENE #5 G/G/G [meaning "girl," "girl," and "girl"] SERRA, HILLY, CONDI. )

I still needed a title. Back to the Future had come out a year or so earlier, and even then, the so-called "adult" films were parodying mainstream movies' titles. The only comparison I could make about my story and the Michael J. Fox vehicle was the time travel aspect, but it was enough for this type of flick. I decided to name my little opus Crack to the Future, then replaced that immediately with Backside to the Future, which I thought was better. Somewhat, anyway.

Making a long story relatively short -- easy enough, considering that I never bothered writing any of this down -- I came up with a basic plot-line for Backside to the Future.

  • Mike and his live-in girlfriend have sex, her "birthday present" to him on his thirtieth birthday.
  • Mike expresses misgivings about "aging."
  • Mike visits his friend, the inventor.
  • Mike reminisces about Bonnie.
  • Mike's friend leaves briefly, and Mike "borrows" the time machine to go back sixteen years.
  • Before 30-year-old Mike shows up in this past era, we see Bonnie and Mike's sister -- whom we'll call "Carrie" -- having sex with each other, basically because they're bored and temporarily "without a man." (Keep telling yourself, "Oh, yeah. This is a porn film.")
  • Mike shows up and ingratiates himself with his younger self's family.
  • Mike has sex with Bonnie.
  • Mike has sex with Carrie. (Yeah, I know, his own sister. Ew.)
  • Mike has sex with Bonnie and Carrie.
  • I don't recall planning to show the fortyish single mom raising Carrie and young Mike, but if I had... well... "Older Mike" probably would have had sex with her, too!
  • Mike's younger self feels incredibly "left out." There's a lot of canoodling going on, and he's not doing any of it.
  • "Older Mike" consoles "Younger Mike," while the latter tearfully expresses misgivings about his shyness, and his doubts about his own attractiveness, and the fact that he'll "never get a woman," and...
Oh, crap, I realized. The "real" writer was taking over. I came up with a scene, to be followed by a humorous twist ending at the movie's conclusion, which "gave me pause," as the saying goes.

I thought, what if Older Mike's "consoling" of Younger Mike ended up with their having sex?

Immediately after that scene, the older Mike goes "back to the future," i.e., his own present, and when he leaves his friend's time machine and goes home to his live-in lover... it's a guy.

Roll credits.

Two huge problems here. First of all, it's my own personal belief that being gay is something you're born with, and believe it or not, I felt uncomfortable making the smartass suggestion that one experience could "turn" someone gay, even for the sake of a goofy punchline in a freakin' porn flick.

Secondly, one of the "rules" of writing these movies is that it's okay to show two or more women together in a sex scene, but two men having sex with each other? Not in a film targeted to a heterosexual audience.

It's at that point that I decided to chuck the whole idea! And I don't feel any regrets about it, frankly.This would have been one form of selling out, really, hack work for a quick buck or two or three.

So much for my abortive career in the X-rated world. It ended before it began, "not with a bang" -- again, you should pardon that expression -- "but a whimper."

Thanks for your time.

*I actually wrote this post in the wee wee hours of Saturday morning. It really bothered me that I couldn't remember that young woman's name! I called my sister early Saturday afternoon, and while we were talking, I decided to ask her if she remembered that hippie friend. Immediately before I asked, I remembered her name! Annie. So, "Bonnie" wasn't that far off, after all.


  1. I liked the screenplay. Think we could do it with Sims?

  2. oh,no. The girls deserve better than that

  3. Pffffft! You and Skip are both too good to waste your talent on porn. :)

  4. @Dreamhaven: Never fear. We wouldn't do that to Gretchen and Tara. Right, Skip? Skip?

    @AngelMay: Who knows? We could revolutionize the entire industry! ;-)

  5. Hmmm. Exploit Gretchen and Tara into a porn world... hmmm. Nope. Could never do it. I love both these gals too much.

  6. So, does that mean the Skipster's going to remove the video cameras from the bathrooms in the Simpson/Lynch Studios?

  7. I'm with Dreamhaven. That said, will you ever talk more about the stuff you've actually published???

    That would be interesting, too.

  8. @E: Don't worry, I'd never seriously use the Simpson/Lynch characters in such a disrespectful way, even if Skip would let me... which he wouldn't.

    Most of the "professional" (meaning paid) writing I've done isn't really accessible to most people. I've done a lot of commercial writing: copy-editing, menus, a couple of business proposals, brochures, and what I refer to as "low-grade" advertising, etc. There's not much I can point to and say, "That magazine has an article I wrote in it," or "That's my book," etc. And saying "You see that sign on the table saying 'Join us for Happy Hour?' I wrote that!" doesn't usually impress. ;-)

    I've had some of my songs utilized in bands I sang in, too. But no officially-released recordings exist.

    I have had some of my more creative work published here and there, in some comics and magazines. I had a two-year run of stories in an amateur comic book called "Insect Man" before co-writing two issues of "The Man from U..N.C.L.E." with Skip Simpson in 1987, and I wrote one issue solo in 1988. In 1987, Skip drew a comic I wrote called "The Bird."

    Some of my projects -- published and non-published -- have been discussed at length on this blog, and in my older "David'Z RantZ" blog. My first three "Silver Fox" posts reprint two magazine articles of mine, plus a newspaper story that took up half of an entire page!

    Hope that helps...

  9. Maybe you wouldn't use MOST Simpson/Lynch characters that way but what about Vickie Wickie?

  10. @Ronda: Good point! After all, a lot of the modern porn flicks use actresses with boob jobs, and as the Foxster learned that day in the hot tub...

    And there's always Milo... EWW!!! Forget I suggested that one! [goes to poke out own eyes with ice-pick]

  11. Have I understood this right? I come back from holiday to discover my beloved Gretchen has changed her name to Mike and borrowed a time machine and gone back and had sex with her own brother who has changed sex and is now called Carrie. No, I must be suffering from jet-lag. I'll go and lie down for a while.

  12. @Alan: Welcome back, World Traveler! And no, that's... umm... not quite right. You've missed a lot on the Simpson/Lynch blog. I strongly suggest that if you really want to catch up, you go back to the last post you read and catch up on things a chapter at a time. It's really turned into a serial, each chapter dependent on the last.

  13. Ha! Great story. You're right about the twist ending, it would violate the gay/heterosexual rule by mixing both in there but I like the devious plot concept nonetheless. There is a movie called "Short Bus" that was out a few years back that raised controversy because it was an indie film that used real actors having real sex in it. It wasn't made as a porn movie but it was too explicit for a regular R movie and that was one of those movies that fell into the NC-17 rating they made just for that purpose. I haven't seen it...I just read aobut it. Thanks for callout and sharing the story!

  14. @VE: Hey, it was the least I could do, considering you inspired my little porno post.

    Umm... Maybe I should re-phrase that...


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