Girlvert: A Porno Memoir
Rare Bird Books
The title of this tome is a telling one as it details a span of ten years that evolve from modelling to full-on adult films on the, let’s call it more “extreme” end of the scale.
Girlvert is a melange of anecdotes that in pornographic detail – pun intended – shed light on all the dirty facets of an industry, the less glamourous side of which is dominated by degradations and drenched in bodily excretions. Apart from drawing the curtains and offering a look behind the scenes of the porn industry, the book chronicles the gradual deterioration of the protagonist’s relationship with her partner resulting in outbursts of domestic violence, which are fuelled by drugs and alcohol.
In many aspects Oriana Small’s, also known as “Ashley Blue’s” story is the quintessential cliché that one would suspect behind a career in the dirty red light of gonzo porn, i.e. the backdrop of a dysfunctional family and the resulting need for attentions and approval, however, what makes it an intriguing read is the fact that ultimately the narrator does not harbour many regrets – the story does neither culminate in redemption or a plea for absolution but is pervaded by a sense of pride and a view that portrays some of what the public would perceive to be degrading perversions as performance art.
An interesting and at times unintentionally sad perspective that is given authenticity by the angle of fiercely explicit honesty with at times shocking insinuations yet the refreshing lack of need for provocation and devoid of glorification of high-risk behaviour. Small’s voice is one of a self-confident and self-aware woman that albeit emotionally damaged, does not indulge in victimization.
An engaging read, though not for the squeamish or prudish.