So Your Daughter’s a Porn Star…

August 4th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  10 Comments

montanaA long time ago, when my daughter was still gestating in my wife’s womb, Jean and I tried to come up with a name for her. “Sasha” we already liked, but what about a middle name? Jean had a good idea: “Grey,” as in Sasha Grey Gross. It had a ring to it, but instead we went with Sasha Raven Gross, which seemed a little quirkier.

That decision turned out to be a good one, as not long after Sasha Raven emerged into the world, we learned there was a porn star named Sasha Grey about to emerge into the world of mainstream entertainment. (She was in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” and is now doing a guest shot, as herself, on “Entourage.”) It’s bad enough that my Sasha is already saddled with the Gross name—to have the porn star connection really wouldn’t help her in middle school.

I thought about this again this week, when I learned that Laurence Fishburne’s daughter, Montana, would soon be making her debut as a porn star. Obviously, everyone’s now bringing up Chris Rock’s famous line about strippers: “If your daughter’s dancing on a pole, you’ve failed—you’ve failed as a dad.” This seems pretty clear-cut, right? When your kid forgoes Harvard Med for sex work, you must’ve done something wrong.

But is there any positive way to spin this? I mean, our children are bound to disappoint us in one way or another, whether it’s their fashion sense, favorite bands, or their desire to submit to bukkake for profit. Does one fuck-up (a literal one, in Montana’s case) mean we’ve utterly failed?

To put this in more personal terms: How would I feel if Sasha Raven became Sasha Grey? I guess, after I was done vomiting and banging my head against the wall, I’d try to think rationally. First, is she a good porn star? Or merely a porn “actress”? (I would, of course, have to take other people’s word for it.) Is she doing the job well, getting the right roles, not letting herself be taken advantage of? Is she breaking ground and transforming the industry? Is there a way to help her build her own production company, so she’s not beholden to others’ whims? Not that I’d want to be too intricately involved in any of this, but wouldn’t it be better to offer constructive advice than to bury my head in the sand?

The fact is, the porn industry has become a major component of the American economy, and the thousands of people who work deep, deep within it, or merely on its fringes, are someone’s sons and daughters—and other people’s mothers and fathers. You may not like it, but it’s reality—even if you don’t accept it, it won’t change.

So, to Laurence Fishburne, I say: When people ask, “How do you feel that your daughter’s a porn star?,” have a good answer prepared. Here, I’ll let you borrow the answer I’d use for Sasha: “Well, at least she’s not a Republican—or a blogger.”


Responses

  1. Vincent aka CuteMonsterDad says:

    August 4th, 2010at 9:10 am(#)

    I disagree with your sentiment to roll with the punches. It’s true the Porn industry has been an exceptionally lucrative business. Yet the idea of accepting one’s child as a willing participant in this industry is flawed at the very core.

    Porn is a legal entity. So is the cigarette industry, liquor industry and the pharmaceutical industry. All of the above place profits above the health and well being of people and society as a whole. As parents we should be discouraging our children from a collision course with these purveyors of self destruction. Decadence means profits. These companies appeal to the weaker side of humanity drawn in by the lure of instant gratification.

    To Mr. Fishburne. Don’t give up on your daughter. It was not by chance she found herself in this place in life. Fix it. Or at the very least, provide your daughter the opportunity to change direction. Every day’s a chance to turn it all around.

    Vincent | @CuteMonsterDad | CuteMonster.com

  2. Matt says:

    August 4th, 2010at 12:24 pm(#)

    Wait, so the liquor industry is off-limits too? And Big Pharma? If we don’t let our kids work for them, how will I get my Scotch and Xanax every morning? Seriously: Everyone has his own idea of what businesses are beyond the pale (mine: GOP, blogging), but those rules are hardly universal. The fact is, our kids are going to get involved in things we may not agree with, and we can either see that as a product of our own failures or try to be mature and supportive about things. As I think Nathan or Christopher pointed out recently, you can do everything right and still raise a jerk, or you can be irresponsible and raise an honor student.

    Maybe there’s nothing for Mr. Fishburne to fix—maybe he did everything right—maybe he needs to get over his initial disgust and do what he can to help his daughter be the best porn star she can be.

  3. JP says:

    August 4th, 2010at 8:16 pm(#)

    I have to suspect the intentions of this post were to get a rise out of the reader and that you don’t really believe you would be the understanding father trying to help your daughter be all she could be as a porn star. I would have a very difficult time dealing with my daughter participating in an industry appealing to the lowest common denominator and desires in us all. I would have a real problem with my daughter throwing away the most intimate parts of herself to be consumed by the stranger needing to placate a desire.

    I would definitely feel like I had failed my daughter by not giving her whatever it is she needed that put her in a position with herself where she felt she needed to do that to get what was missing.

  4. dadwagon says:

    August 4th, 2010at 9:21 pm(#)

    JP–“get a rise out of the reader”? Come on. That’s poetry. –Theodore.

  5. Jean says:

    August 5th, 2010at 2:22 pm(#)

    Don’t forget we named her Raven in case she becomes a stripper.

  6. Chris Aldrich says:

    August 6th, 2010at 2:30 am(#)

    You know that Sasha Raven is going to grow up to be a Republican now don’t you?!

    You should also keep in mind that when things are slow in the “legit” entertainment industry many an editor, cinematographer, and director keep their craft sharp by working in porn — naturally they take credit under assumed names. I wonder how many academy award winners…

  7. Holmes says:

    August 11th, 2010at 11:49 am(#)

    Sasha Grey has also been cast in yet another non-porn film where her character’s name will be….wait for it….Raven.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i7deb554f2e0e8b2fb46da1b9fc430c24

Trackbacks

    Parenting: Nailed it or Failed it? | DADWAGON
  1. An Open Letter to Sasha Grey | DADWAGON
  2. An Open Letter to JP Morgan | DADWAGON

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