[Note: Extended Web version]
Indy: Did you ever see yourself becoming a porn ambassador?
Jeremy: You never do when you first get in the business, no. I originally had a master's degree in special Ed and used to be a teacher. Of course being involved in the biz for 29 years, I'm probably the most qualified. The ones before me, Al Goldstein from Screw magazine was really good, but he would tend to lose his temper bit and call [Pat] Buchanan a moron. [Larry] Flynt was very good, and him and Jerry Falwell actually had a friendship. Craig [Gross] and I have an actual friendship as well. It's just the business he has a problem with. I don't have a problem with his industry.
Indy: So when did this debate circuit start?
Jeremy: Debating's been going on for years people defending the porn business to outside critics, whether it be priests, ministers, feminists or born-agains. It's probably been going on from the very beginning of porn itself.
I was doing these lectures on sex and the law in colleges. Wolfman Productions got wind of it. So they said, "Why don't we have you debate someone?" I met up with [feminist lesbian] Susan Cole, Michael Leahy [founder of BraveHearts, an outreach organization for sex addicts].
Craig Gross came to us with a humungous Web site of his own and a very big following. He's gotten us some pretty good press. Like Jay Leno, he did a joke about me being a spokesman for XXX Church, telling kids not to watch porn, then Jay cracked that joke, "If the kids know who Ron Jeremy is, isn't [it too late] already?"
Indy: In a nutshell, what does your side of the debate argue?
Jeremy: My main thing is, it's entertainment, only look: We do not target minors. We aren't like these cigarette companies combing the schoolyards with billboards. We don't need the child audience. Can some kids sneak in and see their dad's collection? Of course. Do we endorse that? No. By the time you're 18, you don't need your mother, or Craig Gross to tell you what you can and can't watch or to feel guilty watching porn. By the time you're 18, you can fight and die for your country and bleed to death on the battlefield; I feel it's safe to say you're mature enough to choose what kind of porn you want to watch.
[Also] we are into fantasies and Craig will knock that. But the fact is, we are. If you want to laugh, watch Monty Python; wanna cry, watch Terms of Endearment or Wuthering Heights; want to be scared, watch Brian De Palma or Hitchcock. Want to get a little romantically excited or something, watch a late-night HBO movie with cheerleaders, nurses, flight attendants, or watch a porn. It's part of the wide world of entertainment nothing more, nothing less.
Craig list these unrealistic expectations, like these letters he reads that say, "Oh, my wife doesn't act like that." Anybody who listens to the dialogue of a porn film and wants to know why his wife isn't talking like that should get shot in the head. I want to look at this man, and say, "Out of all the sperm cells, yours won?" I can't fathom that stupid logic.
Indy: What are porn's good aspects?
Jeremy: [Craig will] say it ruins families. Yes, I'm sure it can. An addiction to anything will. I'm sure a lot of wives are mad that their husbands are addicted to football every Sunday. I know there are people that actually go to Star Trek conventions and speak Klingonese I want to kill them. They can't speak a word of Spanish but they're learning Klingonese!
Anything when it's done wrong can cause problems. Aspirin cures a headache, but too much will kill you. Alcohol is fine, it's legal, but too much will kill you. The same thing with automobiles one of the highest forms of death are from car crashes. Nobody's criticizing the auto industry.
And here's my big whopper: How many priests like to feel up little boys? Nobody's saying, "Close down the church." I don't see Craig telling people to feel guilty going to church. There might be a few couples who've had some bad experiences with porn. But a good chunk are just fine with it.
Craig will say people like to masturbate to it. Fine. I used to masturbate to Gilligan's Island. I [ask the audience], "Who's ever seen porn with a significant other and enjoyed it recreationally and maybe even tried out some of the positions you saw us doing?" Even Christian audiences in Bible-belt areas, at least half the audience's hands go up. The other half are probably just too embarrassed to raise them.
He'll keep bring up people with experiences that really should involve better parenting. He'll bring up how bad it is for those in it. I'll deal with the upper echelon like Tera Patrick or Jenna Jameson ... the girls who run their own companies, who're all making a million dollars, boss men around, getting all kinds of investments and they're very successful. And they do only a few scenes a year.
I'll even mention all the names of all the bad porn stars all of them are doing just fine. They have relationships, businesses, but he's not going to acknowledge that chunk. He looks at that small percentage of those that [have problems]. And I like that he gets those girls out of porn. There are girls that don't belong in porn. I even go as far as saying had he been around years and years ago, perhaps we wouldn't have had a couple of suicides that we had. I don't mind him bringing some girls to Jesus. That's fine.
Indy: "What about gay porn?" is one of your rebuttals for porn being degrading to women. How does Craig handle gay issues?
Jeremy: The audience hit[s] him hard with it. I'm sure there are a lot of ministers and priests who want to accept gays. They can't. It's the party line.
We each have our Achilles' heel, also, and it's so damn funny. Like someone will say from the audience, "Which has done more to hurt and kill people religion or porn?" Then at some point during the night, someone always manages to ask, "Ron, if you had a daughter that wanted to get into porn ..." That's my Achilles' heel.
[Craig]'s got more than I got. I've just got one. The audience hits him with the masturbation issue he's finished. Done. Kaput. He might as well take his paycheck and go home.
Indy: Is the response to the debates always positive?
Jeremy: The reviews are phenomenally good. One college said it's not very intellectual, mostly just a lot of gesturing and pre-washed bits, nothing philosophical. That's the worst I've ever heard. But even [they] said at the end, there were some entertaining moments.
In Simmons College, I got slammed before I got there. But after I left, they actually turned around and said it was a little unfair. There was so much against me debating Susan Cole at an all-girls school. They had a thing called "Picket and Pizza." I was saying, "Can I have a slice?"
They were trying to tear me apart in the beginning, and they made one good comment, like "How can Ron Jeremy be a decent spokesman when he obviously benefits from the industry?" That's true to some extent. "How is he objective when the business made him money?" But they were calling me an elitist, white racist. I was going, "What?" Even Susan defended that on stage. Sometimes we actually defend each other.
[Another audience] was slamming [Craig and me], calling me the devil and Craig a false prophet. I defend him by saying, "Don't insult this pastor. Don't you slam-dunk him. That's my job."
Look, he's doing what Jesus Christ himself would have done. I'm a Jewish boy, and even I know that. Preaching how bad porn is at the church is really a waste of time. They already think that. But trying to save those that have a problem, supposedly, within the industry you go to the industry. When I say that, Craig, says, "Great, we're listening to theology from a guy who's done almost 2,000 porn films and has a master's in special ed."
Indy: How many films have you been in now?
Jeremy: 1,900 now. I've directed a couple hundred.
Indy: Are you retired?
Jeremy: No, I work with a company called Metro and Directive. Because I'm under contract, I don't work that much. I'm doing more mainstream stuff now. I got a bunch of regular films coming out real soon. One of them is National Lampoon's Homo Erectus, a caveman comedy with Tom Arnold and David Carradine.
Indy: How many women have you been with?
Jeremy: We always say between four and five thousand. Its been accepted that its over four me and Gene Simmons had the same number when they asked us on The View.
Indy: What do you hear most from your fans? What does a fan say to a porn star?
Jeremy: "You're the man." "Keep it up." "Just saw you on TV," or "What's Vanilla Ice really like?" Or, "Did you ever bang Traci Bingham?" They ask me a lot about the reality shows I was on. "What do you guys do about diseases are you careful about viruses?" They ask advice about anal sex. I get a lot of "Love your cock." Once in a while, some insulting ones: "How's a fat pig like you have sex with so many gorgeous girls?"
It's 99 percent positive. It's a lot of advice: "How do you keep from climaxing too soon?" The trick to lasting longer.
Indy: You're back to Colorado Springs in December for "Ron Jeremy's Circus of Shame with The Midgets of Insanity and MTV's Fabian Kaelin." What is that?
Jeremy: Who the hell knows? When is the date on that? I do all kinds of crazy things. I debate Craig. I'm introducing rock bands, like Kid Rock. Introducing raves, wet t-shirt contests, banana-eating contests, college breaks, a lot of that stuff. One minute to the next, I do a lot of stuff.
Indy: Colorado Springs is the home of Focus on the family. Craig said you had a problem with Dobson?
Jeremy: He's a disgusting, pathetic, uneducated ... prick. That's James Dobson. Am I putting it strong enough?
I followed Ted Bundy. I had two friends who did movies about his life. He cut girls up and killed them all and never did he even once bring up porn. Suddenly [Dobson] interviews him behind bars in a very famous interview, and right before the guy gets lethally injected, what does Bundy say? "Violent porn made me do this." I never saw what violent porn is. I've been in the business 30 years and I've never seen violent porn. What, you give a girl a little smack in the ass during doggy-style? Those little asphyxiation chokes some people like do once in a while? I've seen some of that. But there's no violent porn.
I gotta read you this: I'm quoting, this is the [L.A.] Daily News, Thursday, June 7, 2007: "Under other circumstances, said commission member James C. Dobson" who was on the Meese Commission [the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography], totally unbiased guy "the conservative Christian who founded Focus on the Family, "one would not willingly devote a year of his life to depictions of rape, incest, masturbation, mutilation, defecation, urination, child molestation and sadomasochistic activity.'"
Isn't that nice, it's that special.
"The 1,960-page report was rife with warnings about the negative social effects of pornography and allegations of adult film stars being raped, kidnapped and tortured by employers."
Twenty-nine years, I've found none of that. It's living proof he's an idiot. If somebody accused you, what do you do for a living? Let's see how you'd feel ... So, Colorado Springs Independent hires their workers to take part in depictions of rape, incest, masturbation, mutilation, defecation, urination, child molestation and sadomasochism, and all guys who write for the paper, like you, are being raped kidnapped and tortured by employers." Now if I said that to you, how would you like it?
I'd like to meet this guy in a debate. Does he read your paper? Can you say the word "asshole" in your paper? Tell Dobson to step up to the plate and debate me. He knows nothing. In fact, he's living proof that you don't go out and commit crimes, because the day he sat through hours and hours of footage on the Meese Commission, I didn't see him go out and rape anybody afterwards. ...
And according to most forensic psychiatrists, like Dr. Ronald Markman, most sexual deviants never owned a DVD player or VCR. Never went to porn films. What they found common among serious sexual offenders is 1) usually had a single parent upbringing, usually a mother and was generally abused by that parent; 2) had very little education, often not past high school. Not watching porn ... that's why I find it offensive.
[Dobson] talks to him, suddenly he finds Christ and goes to heaven. So he slices girls' throats and kills them, but accepts Christ five minutes before he drops dead from lethal injection, now he's gonna go to heaven. According to some of their beliefs, if a Jew, Muslim, atheist, Confusionist, whatever else, who's spent a whole life in the Peace Corps or takes care of kids their entire life, be a great schoolteacher, care about humanity, or Doctor Salk and Sabin who invented cures for polio I guess they don't get to go to heaven because they don't happen to be Christian, because they don't say Christ is their savior, so they're gonna go to hell. Yet this guy who sliced girls' throats, as long as he accepts Christ, he's going to heaven. If anybody finds that logical, they should shoot themselves in the foot.
'Cause first of all, if Christ was as special as everybody says he was and even me being Jewish we believe he probably had some special abilities. I don't think he'd be that chauvinistic. He's probably up there in heaven going, "Will you guys please shut your stupid face? If they want to learn about me, I'll teach them all about me, when they get here!"
Indy: Has anyone brought up the Ted Haggard scandal at the debates?
Jeremy: Craig addresses [it]. He says there's a lot of false prophets out there. Craig follows his own preaching. But he knocks those who don't. The hypocrites make him look bad. They make his job much harder.
He says in many ways, the porn business gives him a better ride than the Christians. He detests those hypocrites as much as I do. I hate kiddie porn more than he does. 'Cause it gives us a bad fucking name. The first thing they use whenever they want to criticize us is, "Oh they got those kids and animals ..." Well, neither, on both accounts. Why don't you add on serial killer to that, and say I should defend that?
If Jeffrey Dahmer owned a video camera, they'd ask me to defend cannibalism. In the same way, [others' hypocrisies] hurt [Gross] more than me. These hypocrites caught with their pants down, or fondling little boys ... it's another slap in the face for the church. Anyone who goes to some of these churches and kicks money in the till should get their head examined. You're paying money for the lawsuits these churches have to settle. 'Cause the priest of the church was feeling up little boys' tooshies. Think about how foolish that is. Anyone who gives money to the church at this point truly should get shot the Vatican is plenty rich, you know. You're kicking in money for their legal defense team.