And for all of Nightline's tut-tutting, porn stars have been making waves in clothes-on culture for decades. Traci Lords appeared on Roseanne and Married With Children. Ron Jeremy, Nina Hartley, and Jenna Jameson have all made Hollywood features. And nowadays, even the hardcore stuff is surfacing more and more — like in Rihanna videos and 50 Shades of Grey, a 2011 novel that has become so ubiquitous that sex activists I've interviewed refuse to even say its name, so quick was it to sloppily spotlight their subculture for the viewing pleasure of soccer moms, et. al.
Switching between kink erotica and vanilla porn doesn't seem to be that unusual anymore for adult talent. "When I first started there was a more clear delineation between 'porn' models and 'BDSM' models," says Princess Donna. ("Donna is Kink.com. Without her, the company wouldn't be as successful, and that's a fact," says Deen.) "Most BDSM porn didn't have penis-in-vagina sex in it," she continues. "Now that it does, you there is a huge crossover."
Of course, there are other reasons why porn actors shift between kinds of erotica. It's because they want to get paid.
"I'm a crazy nympho," says Orion in a phone interview. "I'm down for everything and I always have been. But there's a lot of girls who are like no, I would never have sex with [that] guy, or never in my ass, no kink. And now, that's what they're doing because they have no money!" In the era of low-budget gonzo porn and the consumer's unwillingness to pay for any kind of media "You can't rely on girl-girl scenes to pop up everyday if everyone is competing for that," says Orion.
So maybe Deen is right, and he's just a guy who is riding high on porn practicalities coupled with an increased tolerance of sluttiness and bondage in pop culture today.
Where will it all lead? I ask him about his career goals to round out our chat. "I want to keep myself in a constant state of smiles," he says. "I like to smile. I am currently smiling."
Doing what, pray tell? He has the day off from The Canyons' hectic shooting schedule that's had him sleeping in odd, daytime spurts. What does James Deen do when he gets a moment to spare? Oh, you know. "I'm shooting some porno," he says.