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I Am Jennie Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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About the Author
Jennie Ketcham is a reality TV star, blogger, and former pornographic actress and film director who worked under the name “Penny Flame.”
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“I HOPE THE MONEY FILLS THE HOLES ’CAUSE, SEE, THE ROOF IS CAVING IN.”
—THE HORRIBLE CROWES, “BLACK BETTY & THE MOON”
I flew into Phoenix on a Thursday to work an Internet porn convention. I was trying to promote my webcam studio, a new webcam company that I couldn’t seem to get off the ground, even though I’d been running it for nearly four months. My boss, Del, wanted me to hang out, drink with affiliate managers, accompany him to dinners and parties, and be the arm candy he thought would help generate traffic to the site.
By Sunday, I had been awake for two, possibly three days. After the first twenty-four hours without sleep, days bled into weeks, which condensed into minutes that could have been years. Time did not matter, because I had a singular purpose in life, and it was to find more cocaine. I had called various random numbers from the Craigslist hooker sections—the sections listed under “Adult Services” or “Casual Encounters”—until, on the other end of one particular number, I recognized my girlfriend Camilla Bangs’s voice saying, “Leave a message and I’ll call you right back.”
So I did. I knew that, if I could get her on the phone, she could probably get some blow. I wasn’t concerned that it was 4:00 a.m. or that she might recognize my number and decide to press the IGNORE button. She knew I abhorred her hooking, let alone selling herself on Craigslist. I didn’t feel like I had a choice.
Del had started pacing. He walked fifteen feet to one wall and then fifteen feet to the opposite wall, shooting nervous glances from me to Kagney, a superhot blond chick I was in the process of seducing. I either had to find more blow, or leave the hotel room so he could find something else.
Del was hunting for something other than cocaine. Just like the last time I worked for him in Vegas, he wanted to watch girls fuck themselves until he fell asleep, usually with a tired and hopeless look in his eye. It was the same tired and hopeless look that visited a drug addict at 7:00 in the morning when he realized that the day would proceed and he had yet to sleep a wink.
In his hotel room in Phoenix, as Del continued scanning the personal ads, I tried to read his face. I also tried to read Kagney’s, to figure out how much time I had to appease his bossly desires before she got sick of the hunt and went to bed. I had been trying to get into her bikini bottom since I saw her at the pool earlier that morning. She was fairly new to the business and didn’t have the stamina of us old pros, so I wanted to take her to bed before she was too blasted to be of any good.
I might have offered up her services to Del, but I didn’t think Kagney was hooking. While many porn stars end up “escorting,” which is just fancy talk for prostitution, she was still new enough in front of the camera that she was being booked for plenty of scenes, and so she didn’t need the extra money.
It amazed me how quickly a girl would be “shot up” simply because she’d been booked solid for three months and ended up flooding the market with images or videos of herself. Then nobody in the biz could shoot her because she’d been “shot out.” Some girls were cleverer than others and only took two or three bookings a week, understanding full well that $3,000 a week was a ton of money, and if they put too much product out at once, their porno shelf life would be nil.
Kagney seemed fairly clever. She was savvy enough to sense the discomfort in Del’s hotel room that morning and to understand it was time to go. She gave me a searching look as Del called yet another Craigslist phone number.
“Bedtime?” I asked her quietly.
I didn’t do the escort thing for a wide variety of reasons. For one, I understood the laws of supply and demand. With the insane amount of porn stars, Playmates, and career girls who supplied pussy to the market of lonely, vagina-hungry men, I would never be able to charge an amount of money that I thought would make prostitution a rewarding experience. Additionally, I enjoyed the formality of going to work, filling out a W-2, signing waivers, getting tested, and having sex with tested people. I felt like I was a step higher than a regular old hooker. I managed to rationalize my way out of any suggestion that pornography equaled prostitution. Being an escort simply felt shadier than being a porn star, perhaps because there weren’t any Internet conventions for prostitutes.
Kagney reached her hand out and touched my thigh, meeting my eyes with her big blues, a nonverbal yes.
Del held his hand over the mouthpiece of the phone as if he were trying to hide something from the empty ring on the other end.
“Wait one moment, girls,” he said, his posh accent making him sound much more refined than the pornographer he was. “Will you try your friend again?”
“She probably recognizes my number, but I’ll give it another shot,” I said.
Kagney let out a little “Harrumph” and settled down into the chair as I called Camilla again on my cell.
“Hey, dude, it’s me again,” I said. “Listen, sorry to keep bugging you but I’ve got a little business proposition, one or the other if you know what I mean. Just, uh, give the hotel a call for room, uh, 307. Okay? Love you.”
I hung up the phone, feeling a bit traitorous hooking her up with a hooking gig.
“She’ll come over, yes?” Del asked, hope dying in his eyes with each passing second.
“I mean, she might, but it’s, like, 4:15 in the morning, man,” I said. “She’s probably on a call or too messed up to drive.”
I saw his desperation and tried to reassure him.
“I gave her your room number, so she might call back,” I said.
He sat forward and lit his fiftieth Marlboro Red.
“Did you tell her I only want the masturbation?” he asked, sounding way more proper requesting masturbation than any American ever would.
“No, but she’ll do whatever you want,” I said. “If it’s only masturbation, she’ll be pumped.”
I took one of his cigarettes.
Camilla had been in and out of the business for quite some time, struggling with a cocaine problem and then a weight problem, and felt uncomfortable in front of the camera and contrived in the bedroom. She hated hooking but did it anyway, because she needed the money. Rolling Stone magazine had even named her one of America’s worst hookers, although it was phrased a bit more eloquently. And while I was always interested in making more money, I was uninterested in becoming an unhappy hooker like Camilla, and so her example was enough to keep me out of the game.
“I think you’re more likely to get her to bring blow,” I said.
There was nothing more telling than the lost, forlorn look in Del’s eyes. I grasped Kagney’s hand, the soft, perfectly manicured hand that had been resting on my knee. We both stood to make it apparent that we were going to leave. I prepped the final few lines of coke on the table.
“So I’ll see you tomorrow at the show, right?” I asked. “Around one?”
“I doubt I’ll be sleeping until then,” he chuckled. And then the manic desperation returned. “Do you think she’ll be able to get in?”
He dropped his cigarette into a very full ashtray. He knew damn well that the entire hotel had been reserved and closed down for this convention and that unless his special guest had a pass, she would be left out front with her tiny purse and plastic heels.
“I kind of don’t think so,” I said. “I mean, you can try, but security is no joke. I guess be ready to get another room at a different hotel?”
I patted Kagney’s ass. She took her rail as I held her long blond hair off the cigarette-ash-and-coke-dusted table.
“Leave your pass, mate,” he said.
He was simultaneously asking me and telling me, knowing that the next day was my final day of the show and that I wouldn’t be needing it to get back into the hotel. I bent over, snorted the final rail, then lit my cigarette.
“Be careful, man,” I said, handing over the small plastic badge that allowed conventioneers onto the grounds. “Arizona isn’t down with drugs.”
I HAD A secret gram of blow stashed in my bra. Where the drugs in my bra had originally come from, and whether or not they’d been bought, borrowed, or taken were mysteries to me, and questions I didn’t bother asking two hours before dawn. The weekend had become a disjointed mess—a blurry, choppy jumble of memories.
I led Kagney out of Del’s room and down the hall to my own, which I unlocked with my small key card. Once inside, we tossed our purses, clothes, bras, and underwear to the ground. Then we were naked, with our heads at the foot of the bed and a magazine for cutting the secret cocaine into rails. With each line I tried to account for my whereabouts over the weekend, and with each line the weekend memories continued to slip and blend.
The previous morning I had hosted a beer pong tournament, where teams of grown men battled one another over flimsy pool-side Ping-Pong tables. Before the game I had done blow with Porno Dan, a producer, director, performer, and my favorite drinking companion, and when I felt too gacked out to be a proper beer pong host, Porno Dan had personally escorted me to the bar for successive shots of Jack Daniel’s and Jäger. I finally went back to the tournament and evened out: the high was not so high and the drunk was not so drunk.
“Don’t you all do anything besides throw tiny balls into gaping, dirty, wet orifices?” I cried over the loudspeaker.
And then I led the girls at the pool in an arousing version of the Little Chicken Dance.
When my hosting duties were done, I happened upon Aaron Carpello, an ex-fling with easy, seductive eyes and the smug grin of a twenty-something-year-old guy who had already amassed a cool mil for his bank account. I had momentary imaginary heart palpitations when I remembered that we’d met at that same pool the year before. I still cared about him. But in lieu of saying hello, I pretended he was invisible and returned to the bar to meet Porno Dan, the drinking love of my life, who was totally visible. Carpello and I hadn’t seen each other in months, and the last time we’d hung out, we’d been out of our minds on E, and I was in no shape to do the “catching up” thing with cocaine and Jack running through my blood.
BACK IN THE hotel room with Kagney, another fat line brought me out of my memories, and I wondered how long I’d been spacing out.
“Okay, sexy Penny?” she asked.
She ran her fingers down my naked back, opened her body to me, and slid the cocaine-covered magazine to the side of the bed.
“Yeah, just trying to remember where I left my shoes,” I said.
This wasn’t a total lie because I had lost my shoes at some point during the day, and during my poolside Carpello memories it had crossed my mind to wonder where they were.
“Here, baby, let me fix you,” she cooed.
She kissed my ear ever so gently, flicking her tongue to the soft skin along my hairline, her fingers still tracing my tattooed back down to the curve of my ass.
But I still couldn’t shake thoughts of Carpello. I had been warned about him before we met through a feminist, sex-positive sex education director friend of mine named Tristan Taormino, who had offered me a gig directing my own line of sex-ed videos for Vivid. Tristan had run up against Aaron in the past, and thought he was an arrogant pig. I took that as a challenge and decided to fuck him.
Kagney swept my hair back to the left side of my body while she pressed her naked skin against my right side. “Do you want me to lick your pussy?” she whispered delicately. “I’ll make you come all over my pretty face.”
I doubted she could make me come after a three-day cocaine binge, but I wasn’t against her trying. I wasn’t against the idea at all.
“You sexy little whore,” I said.
With my left hand, I moved the magazine to the floor. With my right, I grabbed her crotch.
“I’ve wanted to taste your wet little cunt since I saw you this morning,” I said.
She squealed with delight.
“No, no, no, me first,” she said.
I rolled over to my back while she dove between my legs. As I looked down at the mess of blond curls, I thought of the thousands of other blondes who had been down there and wondered if she would surprise me and do something extraordinary with her mouth.
Lexi Belle, Love, Tyler, and Marie had all been between my legs with their beautiful, bouncing blond curls. I’d had an Elexis, an Alexis, a few Torys, Eves, and two Tiffanys, one redhead and one brunette. There had been so many of them that they all blended into one moving mass of pleasurable curls, small ringlets, big waving tendrils, highlights, lowlights. While Kagney worked her sweet tongue over my clit, I thought of the first night I’d fucked Carpello in one of these hotel rooms. It was even on the same floor we were on now.
We had been lying next to each other in bed, smoking a joint, when we started kissing. Because kissing is the gateway drug to fucking, I knew I had to bring up a very important matter before things got messy.
“I’m bleeding right now, but I’ll still suck your dick.”
I was breathless and ready, my hands already searching his pants.
“I’m good with that,” he said with a smile.
I performed for him with one hand attached to my mouth, the best that I could do while using the other hand to tuck the tampon string away so I could show him my pussy. When I was sure everything looked perfect, I maneuvered my body so that he could watch me masturbate while I continued to suck his cock. I played my clit like turntables and he threw his head back, pleased he’d ended the evening in my mouth. When he came, it was warm and thick. I swallowed it without tasting his essence and casually excused myself to the restroom to clean the spit from my face.
After washing my cheeks in the sink, I sat on the toilet and started to pee with the door to his room wide open. “How long do you normally fuck a bitch before she pisses in front of you?” I called out to him through the darkness, smiling, because I was sure very few women in his life called other women “bitches” or talked about their own pissing.
“What?” he said.
The silhouette of his naked body came into focus in the doorway, lit only by the dim table lamp by the bed.
“I asked: How many times do you have to fuck a bitch before she pisses in front of you?”
Without a word, he walked to where I sat on the toilet and shoved his cock again into my mouth and down my throat.
While I thought about Carpello, Kagney was still between my legs.
“Do you like this, Penny?” she asked.
I shifted my hips into her face, grabbing the back of her head and holding it firmly but gently.
“Yes, I most certainly do, my little beauty,” I said. “You like the way my pussy tastes?”
I was only with her for a moment, though, before I quickly faded out again to the night with Carpello the year before. As much as I tried to remain present, I’d done too much blow to keep my sexual escapades straight.
“Are you really bleeding?” he asked.
He lifted me at the armpits and thrust my body and ass onto the cold bathroom counter.
“Yeah, but I don’t care,” I said. “I’ll make a fuckin’ mess with you.” He walked from the bathroom to his luggage, rummaged around until he found a condom, came back, and pressed it against my tit while pinching my nipple and pushing his mouth to my neck and ear.
“You’re gonna make a mess with me?” he said. “Be my messy girl?”
I had already taken the tampon out in super-stealth mode, wrapped it in toilet paper, and tossed it while he was condom hunting, so I was ready for him.
“I’ll be your filthy fucking mess,” I said. “Be your messy little girl.”
He fucked me in the dark, standing there with his balls driving into the counter and my ass cheeks. And then he carried me to the bed, and we fucked until he worked himself into a heated frenzy. I watched him attentively and listened to his breathing crescendo, matching my own breath to his. We came together, on and with one another, and fell asleep, exhausted, on top of surprisingly clean but damp, sweaty sheets.
Kagney brought me back to our moment.
“I don’t think you’re really coming,” she said.
I sat up, grabbed her by the throat, and brought her perfectly structured face an inch away from my own.
“You think I’m lying to you?” I said.
She laughed and licked my lips.
“Hit me,” she hissed. “Fucking hit me, you slut.”
I smiled down into her face, eased her hair from her forehead, and slapped her. The force of my open palm shifted her gaze away from my eyes to across the room.
“You like that, don’t you, you little fucking whore?” I growled.
She giggled and looked back into my eyes. Still holding her throat, I slapped her again. That time I grabbed her face and kissed her mouth, biting her fat, pink lips, which threatened to turn blue from my choke hold.
“I love it,” she said.
“Put your lips on my cunt and show me how much you love it,” I said.
I pressed her back down between my hot, wet thighs, her perfect curls now tangled and drenched in dewy pussy juice.
“Whatever you say, sexy Penny.”
She bit my clit and then flicked her tongue until I came in her mouth.
I can’t remember if my orgasm was because of her mouth or because there was nothing left to be felt.
Panting and exhausted, she slithered her glistening body up against mine. The sixty-plus hours we’d spent awake, drinking, laughing, and now fucking, finally hit her. With her back against me, I held her hips, my fingers following the curve of her abdomen while I inhaled the smell of her damp honey hair, which fell across my pillow.
As I listened to her slow breathing, my mind continued to piece together events from the weekend, searching for a linear explanation of my time in Phoenix, the work I’d accomplished by being there, and where in the hotel I might have left my shoes. When I started praying for sleep, for the cocaine to finally disperse into my system, for the depressant alcohol to finally win the battle for my blood, I realized that because the shoes were brand-new, I couldn’t remember what they looked like. Kagney was sound asleep. If I could fall asleep as well, I might be ready to enter rehab in thirty-six hours, like I was supposed to do.
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Ketcham had an early life that wasn't particularly admirable, nor, tragically, particularly unusual, yet by writing this book she managed to turn her experiences into something extraordinary. The older I get the more I realize how rare such candidness and vulnerability is and how precious it is when someone has the courage to expose all the parts of themselves, even the dark ones, for the public to see.
After her stint on the rehab shows she set about to work on herself and she seems to have been successful. I am glad for her and wish her continued success. But as a reader of her book, I just think, "Gee you are only about 27 or 28 now, what happens when you turn 30?" I think anything could happen to her. She could slide back into bad habits or she could found her own clinic to rehab porn stars. Who knows? But to write your memoir so early in life seems premature. But I understand about "making hay while the sun is shining" and all that. She will sell books now while people still know who she is. Ten years from now, no one may remember her, or at least that is how agents and publishers feel.
Most recent customer reviews
Would love to read a follow up book from Jennie.