Most people, I suspect, when they spy the title of Jenna Jameson's "How To Make Love Like A Porn Star" rarely see the next line of the title ":A Cautionary Tale". The glitz, the glamour, the women and men, and the sex are what they think porn is all about. The tawdry, abusive, dirty and sad side of life is the real world of porn.
Jenna Jameson aka Jenna Massoli was born in Las Vegas. Her mother was a Vegas showgirl and died a very painful death from cancer when Jenna was a small child. Her father never really recovered from his wife's death. He became a policeman and essentially left Jenna and her brother Jack to grow up by themselves. He was absent from much of their lives. They moved frequently and Jenna had a hectic life. Never really making friends and never having a loving relationship. In one small town in Montana she was gang raped and left for dead. Jenna reacted violently and injured a girl who had been abusive to her. The family left town - the same way they reacted with all problems; fleeing and never facing the problem head-on. Jenna drifted into one bad relationship after another and learned to make money with her body. At first she danced in a strip club and moved on to stripping and then on to porn stills and then porn movies.
Much of this book is about Jenna and her life in the porn business. She is quite open about the drugs and alcohol and life she led. In order to maintain a semblance of life she had affairs with men and women she worked with. She tells us of her life and that of other female and male porn stars. At times she tries to glamorize the business by talking of the money, the clothes, the make-up, the travel, and all the people she met. But most of the book is about her search for love, and of course, for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong people. She believes that celebrities will welcome her into their lives and business. She tells of her affairs with well known Hollywood stars and rock band members. But beneath all of this is the raw, gritty life of the porn star that survives on booze and drugs and never makes it to the top. This is a sad story of a life of a young woman who did not have a family to support her. She only knew that she had to fight and kick her way into life and that is what she is still doing. Jenna has some good insight into her life and the men she loved, but she is unable to leave the business. She is still making movies and at times dreaming of having children. She is proud that she has been able to rise above her stripper life and make her way in the world. She married a kindred soul, and they are in business together. It seems this is enough for Jenna Jameson.
This is a very honest portrayal of life in the porn business. Jenna Jameson does not pull any punches. She does not make excuses for her life, nor does she try to leave the business. This is her life she believes, and she will make the best of it. She is a success she believes because she has learned from her inner strength, and not waiting for fulfillment from someone else. A good read but not for the squeamish. prisrob
on September 21, 2004
Jenna Jameson pours out her heart and soul in this autobiography that gives us a detailed and colorful account of her exciting life and career. I was aware of who she was from the time I saw her in a porn movie many years ago. There was something so sensual about the way she performs for the camera. If I could use the word grace about something related to porn, in my mind Jenna Jameson is the most graceful porn diva out there.
To be honest I was enticed about the title and the cover when I bought the book. The book is very thick, but don't be afraid, as over a third of its content is comprised of pictures and collages of beautiful Jenna. However, I found it hard to read in the subway as the revealing pictures got a lot of attention by other commuters. The fix to this problem was to start carrying a white sheet of paper that would cover the pictures while I would read the text.
Jenna's life is exciting, sad, dramatic, abusive, humorous, and extravagant all at the same time, and she does an excellent job at opening her heart to the public. She takes the reader on a journey that starts with a naughty little girl that plays with Barbies and also has a certain tomboy side to her, and finishes with a giant porn diva that sits at the top of thirty six billion dollars a year industry. This journey is full of ups and downs, which Jenna manages to turn into constant learning and self-exploration. She is very generous at sharing these learning experiences in the shapes of Jenna philosophies about family, love, relationships, sex, drugs, or all kinds of other dependencies. And as nobody in a healthy state of mind should take these philosophies at face value, they are nevertheless entertaining and will give you some interesting perspectives on all these well-debated issues.
The book is a wealth of knowledge about the porn industry. If you are thinking about making it in this business, this book will be your new Bible. It is fascinating to find out about the sad self-destructive lives of most porn stars. If you are like me (or every guy I have talked to) and wondered about being a porn star, reading this book will definitely make you reconsider.
Also, if you enjoy juicy gossips (who doesn't?) about the rich and famous, this book will prove to be very informative at that matter. You will find interesting bits about Nicholas Cage, Nikki Sixx, Tome Lee, Marilyn Manson, Derek Jeter, Joe Montana, Pamela Anderson, or the Undertaker. Who would have thought that Marilyn Manson likes to cuddle after he has sex? Who would have thought Nicholas Cage smells like the homeless people at the subway stations?
I will highly recommend this book to anybody that likes to mix up his or her reading materials. If you are a fan of biographies, this book is must! If you have taken an interest on the porn industry this book will be eye-opening (no pun intended).
on August 20, 2004
A previous reviewer called this book self-serving, boring, and alleges that a school report is more interesting than Jenna's memoir. The reviewer also alleges that the author is less than intelligent. All I have to ask is this: did you even open the book, much less read it? Most likely, I'd guess the answer is 'no' and the reviewer's ragging on the book only because it's written by a pornstar.
The book is hardly boring. Its prologue begins with Jenna stumbling across her best friend--the stripper who showed her the ropes of stripping--hanging dead from a noose in her bathroom. That prologue sets the tone for the entire rest of the book, and each of her anecdotes and stories maintain quick pacing.
You follow her through her life as she recalls being sexually assaulted twice before she ever turned eighteen. You follow her tale, which is one of a very scarred, injured, and wounded individual getting carried away by the momentum of trauma which leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. She shares her stories of her dependency on men and drugs, both of which contribute to make her life worse and worse. It's a story about a woman coming through the other side. She also very straight-forwardly tells about the not-so-bright choices she's made, sometimes one after another, which, I feel, is hardly self-serving. She's no saint and she doesn't try to be.
For the record, I'm female and I enjoyed the book. I actually think women may enjoy this book more than men, because it's a very personal story about another woman's life. She centers her story around her life, not just porn, so I really do see women being able to relate more to her troubles.
This isn't my advocating the life of in pornography or lauding Jenna Jameson as someone whose life is worth admiration, but I definitely admire her spirit and fortitude. She's quitting movies now and is looking to settle down with her husband and raise a family (though she realizes the challenges her children will have to face having the queen of porn as a mother). While I certainly disagreed with her choice of lifestyle, I began to feel for her as she tells the story of how she came about her hard-won independence from drugs and abusive men. While she never puts down her choice of doing porn, she constantly warns both male and female readers about the pitfalls of such a career choice and the detriment it can cause to a person's life (for instance, she warns that normal relationships are very hard to come by in the industry because it's hard for one partner to watch another have sex with other people for a living).
What I found wasn't a pornstar glamourizing her lifestyle. What I did find was a surprisingly intelligent and articulate woman divulging her past. Her story doesn't revolve around glitz and glam, rather, it centers around abuse and heartache.
Her tone is completely unapologetic and candid, but never arrogant. She presents her story in a "here I am--take it or leave it" manner. Most of all, I felt her story was genuine. Even when she goes on about another man who mistreats her, you don't feel as if she's trying to win sympathy. Her tone indicates she understands it was her fault in the first place for putting herself in that situation in the first place. That very tone is what keeps the book from turning into a sob-fest.
This certainly isn't a book for the prudish. Being a porn star, she does talk about sex. I did not feel she was gratuitous, but she definitely was candid. And depending on your constitution for the topic, my 'candid' may be your 'gratuitous.' I didn't have a problem picking up a memoir of a pornstar. I've seen her work, I was genuinely curious about her life, and I had no problem with the subject matter--if you feel similarly, it's quite a fascinating read. She's surprisingly articulate!
This is something definitely for the 18 and older crowd, not for younger readers (as if the title didn't indicate that). She talks about sex, drug dependency, death, sexual assault, and she also describes her encounters with the same sex (she's bisexual). If you can stomach that list of topics, you'll be able to stomach the book. If any of the above listed subject matter turns your stomach, you should definitely reconsider. It is, however, a fascinating, whirlwind-paced look back on the life of the most famous face of adult films.
I was intrigued enough to buy this book when I read the many glowing reviews. However, after reading it two things spring to mind:
1) Jameson is smarter than many people give her credit for.
2) Either she has had the most trying life I know of, or she is a capable embellisher.
Most of the 'stories' in this book have the ring ot some truth in them, but I can't help but think that the details have been exagerrated. Come on...her father sat around and did drugs with them, only to then say that the best drug is crank? Her father single-handedly shot over 60 Viet Cong? She was kidnapped by the local mafia while her father was a cop?
I enjoyed the book...but I suggest you take it with a LARGE grain of salt.
on May 29, 2011
If you are looking for a book that is up close and personal, this is it, but a bit too much. You will learn that with all the beauty Jenna Jameson has, brains and maturity are lacking. A crazy ride this book offers from her inability to handle life by diving into drugs and sex, and learning that she has no strength to depend on her self. She is the kind of girl that is always in need to be in a relationship, via man or woman, because she lacks the mental maturity and emotional stability to be strong in her own right. A very long book and entertaining, but towards the end it just gets exhausting reading about how hopelessly dumb she really is, always falling in love with guys who abuse her, needing drugs to forget life, thinking she's the queen, etc. Some girls lack strength and have to be in a relationship all the time, I know a few and they tend to be kind of nuts. But one thing this book did do to me is change the way I view Jenna Jameson, I could probably never watch another video of her again, and many of the girls she mentions as well. When you learn the secrets behind the porn scenes it kind of puts a bad taste in your mouth, at least that is what happened with me. The drug abuse, the rapes, the lack of maturity, and so on. But as for the book, it is worth the read, you won't be disappointed in the book but you might be disappointed in her.
on April 27, 2011
Don't let the title fool you. I knew prior to buying this book that is was going to be about her life but I expected her to give more details about the industry itself. If you want to learn what really goes on behind the scenes this is not the book for you.
on February 12, 2013
I'm not sure why I bought this book in the first place, and certainly not sure why I read it all the way through but there it is.
Jenna Jameson makes no apologies for who she is or how she got where she is today. She found a career that she enjoyed, was good at and at which she could earn a living. She went from being controlled and used by others to operating her own business empire. Her story is in some ways the typical American rags-to-riches success story. The fact that she made her career in porn -- well, it's just a detail. The important thing is that she's a Big Winner. If one believes that Jameson always tells the truth about everything, then it might be possible to accept that premise. I don't buy it, and not just because I find the whole porn industry repugnant. There's a gloss over the whole story that seems to designed to reflect light into the eyes rather than revealing anything below the surface, and that's the biggest problem for me.
I can't recommend this book unless one is a fan of frequent descriptions of sexual activity of all sorts (although there are things that Jenna will not do), interwoven with a few facts and a lot of "that's my story and I'm sticking to it".
on August 25, 2004
Jenna Jameson has seen it all: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll; sex on drugs with a rock n' roll star. Addiction, co-dependency, rape, insecurity, stalkers, bad relationships, family drama, true love -- it's all in there.
With her bluntness and humor she covers her whole life, from her childhood of yearning for her mother that died when Jenna was three, trying to make her distant father proud, and running wild through the streets with her brother; to her early departure from home and into the relationship that started a seemingly hopeless pattern that echoed through the rest of her life.
With forays into lesbianism and drug addiction, crash diets and sex most of us will never see Jenna shows us her flaws and weaknesses, but also her strengths. Her ambition and dedication to stripping and then porn inspired me in a surprisingly powerful way. The inside look into the catty and technical world of adult films was informative, bizzare and gnarly.
The book was well written and interspersed with photos, humorous comics, conversations with Jenna, her dad and brother, diary entries, a sample porn contract and Jenna's Ten Commandments. It was never boring or commonplace. Jenna's had an overfull life. I finished it within a day and a half.
Most of all I love the seeing the growth and depth she gained. And of course, me being a hopeless romantic, the love she found with her husband Jay and the reconcilliation with her family. A true success story in an unconventional package.
on September 5, 2004
Jenna Jameson sure knows how to market herself. When she finally made the decision (and by reading this book, you come to understand that women do not get "sucked into" the porn lifestyle, as has been a long-running stereotype) that she wanted to advance her career to the adult film industry, she entered her first interview claiming she was not there to earn some extra pocket change but because she wanted to become the biggest porn star in the country. A far cry from the self-proclaimed shy tomboy this Italian blonde bombshell was as a child. Now Jenna owns one of the most frequented domains in all of the internet porn community, making her much more than just a Porn Queen: she is also a savvy business woman.
It is easy to get sucked into this book by the images that adorn its cover, or even by the pictoral spreads that can be found inside. Jenna strategically chose pictures that would speak to her already existing fans to purchase this book, but it is the story that lies on 577 typed pages inside that will bring her many new fans, admirers, and supporters. She truly has led a remarkable life. And even she admits the things that got her the life she has today: a life in which she is finally happy and settled, will be seen to many others as mistakes. But just as we were taught never to judge books by their covers, so is the case with Jenna's chosen profession.
The story is so touching and so sad it is hard to find words to review it. Jenna admits in the book that she doesn't like to talk about the abuse she suffered because she feels (and maybe even fears) that people will use that as an excuse for her entrance into the adult film industry. Maybe that is true; people are more conservative and close-minded than sympathetic toward that industry nowadays. However, it is an aspect of her life that cannot go unnoticed, and it feels like she finally has given herself a sense of closure now that she has written the truth down in these pages. So much occurs in this book- from multiple rapes to stripping while attending high school to two kinds of drug addictions- that you find yourself unable to put down the book until you have read every last word. And the story is told with an eerie ease; it is as if Jenna had this in her all along, and everything she ever did up until now was simply a situation she could use for this book. While some chapters read more like a play, as they are broken down only into dialogue or soundbytes from Jenna, her brother, and her father, the majority of the book is told in standard chapter format. You laugh with her, you cry with her, and more importantly, you feel with her. You finally get a look at the real person under the layers of make-up the industry cakes on her. And she is truly a person, full of real substance. It is a breath of fresh air to prove that.
A lot of people who heard this book was coming out probably wrote it off as just another way for her to capitalize on her sex appeal. But nothing in the book comes across that way at all, and if that's all Jenna intended, then she's a better actress through literature than anyone has ever given her credit for on-screen.
on December 17, 2004
This book could have been a lot of things...an insider's view of a world few of us know anything about, an insightful story of a little girl lost, a 'How To' advice guide into the world of adult entertainment, an utter celebrity dish and gossip fest. It was none of these things, nor do I believe it was honest, revealing or anything other than a self-serving and excruciatingly dull exercise in narcissism.
I read this book in a day, but not because it was riveting. It was lightweight, inconsistent, empty and, quite honestly, flabbergasting. And don't be fooled. I haven't given it a 1 Star rating because I felt this book had redeeming qualities, but because no lower rating is possible.
Let me be clear: I have no moral objection to Jenna's career choices. If you've got it, flaunt it and if the world weren't so weighted against anyone who isn't born a white male, I might think there was something more significant that Jenna could have done to rake in her millions. What I found objectionable was her monomaniacal take on the events in her life, her total lack of perspective, her willingness to blame everyone else for her pain and suffering and her out-and-out refusal to take responsibility for her choices. One would think that any one of these things would give one pause when writing about 'LIFE'. Not so Jenna. She seems to think that we want her insights on men, life and love. (a PhD in men? I think not!). Spare me.
Worse though, is the entirely manipulative tone of the book. Jenna doesn't seem to remember what she's told us from one chapter to the next. The facts don't add up, the events don't mesh, nor are her attitudes clear and consistent. Does she love her Dad? Hate him? Was he a 'fun father' or a lying, money-grubbing leech?
Structurally, the book's a mess. Jenna's often incoherent narrative is interspersed with interviews (yawn), numerous (untitled) photos (clearly, Jenna believes we couldn't care less about anyone but her), frankly unbelievable diary entries from her childhood (written, no doubt, last year) and tediously predictable 'How To' checklists.
What did I want? Something - anything - insightful. What did I get? Pedestrian drivel. Tell me something I don't know.