Only vacation that was held in Mexico last October. Vivian Valentine was one of the adult performers invited to attend, which she did. But something was slightly askew. One look at her pretty kisser and it appeared Vivian had been invited to an Extreme Championship Wrestling event, rather than an Extreme vacation. Similar to Petey the pooch in the old Our Gang comedies, Valentine sported an obvious ring around her eye - a mouse that eventually roared throughout the adult industry.
Vivian's shiner was memorabilia from a slap-happy scene she did with Jon Dough in an Anabolic Video Rough Sex tape, where Dough inadvertently delivered a high hard one - Valentine's words. Regardless of controversy, Rough Sex 1 would go on to be nominated and win an AVN award in the Best Specialty Tape-Other Genre category. Award or not, an old fashioned "barn burner," - fueled mostly by the Internet's three sisters: speculation, rumor and innuendo - may have directly or indirectly prompted the removal of the Rough Sex series from the Anabolic catalog. The very controversial series realized only two volumes before Anabolic's Christopher Alexander raised the white flag and decided to yank it this past February.
In making a conciliatory statement about the series' quick demise, its director, going by the colorful moniker "Khan Tusion," hastens to point out that no tapes were being recalled and no tapes were being pulled off video shelves. It was simply being dropped and replaced by Tusion's new series, Oral Consumption. Tusion, however, says an informal vote was taken at Anabolic. Although owner Alexander, whom Tusion describes as being "anti-authority," was for continuing the series, Alexander apparently surrendered to the wishes of his advisors.
It was Valentine's personal decision to participate in the scene with Jon Dough, according to her. Contrary to differing opinions offered in the adult business about consensual acts and knowledge beforehand - or the lack of it - Valentine makes it very clear that she knew exactly what she was getting into.
"I have no regrets or bad feelings about it," she says. Comparing Dough's hand span to that of a basketball player's, Valentine also claims she, personally, likes to push the limits and had something to prove to herself.
Not so for Regan Starr. Besides both being nominated for an AVN Award for Best New Starlet of 1999, Starr and Valentine had one other thing in common: both appeared in the Rough Sex series. It was hardly Starr's first time before a camera, but she claims that the warehouse scene between her and Mickey G. in Rough Sex 2, a scene that comes to a halt on tape, was never fully explained to her.
"I was traumatized from that video," Starr says. "I was told prior to the scene that there was going to be spanking, which is in almost every video that you ever watch. I was told that there was going to be hair-pulling, which is in a lot of videos, too. I couldn't finish the scene. I got the shit kicked out of me, [and] that was not in the program. I was not prepared to be roughed up that much. I couldn't stop crying for the rest of the day. They did not tell me that they were going to be, literally, hurting me.
"They asked me if rough sex was okay," she continues. "I said yes. It's for the effect, but the effect doesn't necessarily mean that it's absolutely realistic. People fake spanking all the time, but it looks like they're being rough…. This was absolutely real. I could not finish this scene. It was absolutely terrible. It was an atrocity. This is the worst line ever put out there. It's right up there with snuff videos.
"Mickey G. on a personal level is a good friend of mine, but he was told to be extremely, realistically rough," Starr says. "He was allowed to hit hard, choke hard and to pull hair hard. There were times when he slapped me so hard that he left a mark. He choked me while lifting me off the ground. He shoved my face into the cement floor. He threw me over his shoulder, cutting off my air. Choking me was one of the worst things. I hate when anybody touches me in the face. I knew that this was going to be a rougher sex scene, but I was not prepared for this realism. To handle someone with my body size and frame, to handle any woman that roughly - Mickey was not being false about it. He was hurting the girls. He was given the green light to hurt the women for the effect of the video. I was told before the video that - and they said this very proudly, mind you - that in this line most of the girls start crying because they're hurting so bad. They're brought down emotionally, and they're brought down physically.
"They said, 'If you can't finish, we'll stop filming,'" Starr adds. "When they started the video, I was absolutely amazed that they were literally trying to hurt me and make me cry. I started crying. I couldn't breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset, and they didn't stop. They kept filming. You can hear me say, 'Turn the fucking camera off,' and they kept going.
"Finally, Mickey G. realized I wanted to stop, so he sat down and tried to calm me down and hug me. They just kept on filming. That whole line should just be fucking banned. Excuse my language. It's terrible what they do to women. Nobody wants to be hit, kicked around or choked."
According to the on-screen written statement which proceeds Starr's scene, Starr allegedly insisted that she could do the scene, that she said she enjoyed this [rough] sex at home.
Khan Tusion also offers the following video disclaimer along with that statement: "The morning of the shoot I determined that she [Starr] could not do the scene and informed her of my decision. She insisted that she could. So with great apprehension we began the scene. Obviously my judgment was correct."
When interviewed at the height of the Internet squabbling regarding Rough Sex, Khan Tusion thought "Regan Starr galvanized the discussion. But I'll be happy to show you the raw footage. That is the entirety of her performance. Nothing has been left out. Would you describe that as Regan Starr getting the shit kicked out of her?"
Tusion does have a point, because at no time on the tape is Starr physically assaulted, bearing in mind, of course, that she asks that the tape be stopped before anything grave occurs.
"Regan Starr categorically misstates what occurred," Tusion claims. "I think the most important issue is as follows. Under no circumstances in any situation will I ask someone to do what they do not want to do, or that they find objectionable. I ask them, 'Are you okay? Are you sure that we can continue on? Let's take a break for a minute or two. Is everything fine?' My point is that the girls control the scenes 100 percent. They have safe words which we employ. And in addition to safe words, I say, 'It would be wonderful if you can stay in character, so we'll employ a safe word or technique if the discipline is too harsh. Then we'll move to another area. However, at any time, this does not preclude you from saying stop, let's cut the scene.' They are encouraged to do so."
Noted First Amendment attorney Paul Cambria was handed both Rough Sex tapes and was asked for his opinion, both as a reviewer and a legal mind.
Cambria says he wasn't convinced that the women in these tapes were "prepared for the full program - I'm not sure that they were," he says. "If they were informed beforehand, then they're pretty decent actresses.
"But I have to tell you, these guys are asking for all the trouble fit to print," Cambria says grimly. "You give your detractors plenty to talk about when you go over the edge. You give them plenty of fuel to re-fire their old, tired arguments.
"It's not that I feel that from a legal standpoint these tapes are obscene," he continues, "the problem is juries don't specifically judge obscenity on the pristine obscenity test. Juries react like people. And people will equate obscenity with offensiveness more than they will with the law of obscenity."