Speaking to Prof. Constance Penley’s UCSB Students

Monday I had the honor of speaking at the University of California at Santa Barbara to a class taught by Professor of Film and Media Studies, Constance Penley. Although I’ve found myself speaking at many universities lately, each experience has been completely different, and this one was exceptionally unique.

The lecture took place in the Pollack Theater, a truly gorgeous venue, boasting the biggest screen I’ve even seen anything I’ve directed on. And speaking of the screen, before I was escorted onto the stage, the first few minutes of my latest starring role, $EX  was shown. As I took my seat onstage and began to introduce myself and talk a bit abut my background and history, I was excited to see everyone paying very close attention – some even taking notes that will come into play later during my time with them.

I did go through the usual introductory information, and after that, I focused on explaining how my series came about. I was describing my formula for writing, casting, and shooting, then we screened Guide to Wicked Sex – Anal Play for Men. As the lights dimmed, I turned sideways to be able to see the screen, but I made sure I was still able to see the student’s reactions as well. On screen they saw my narration, then the amazing interviews my performers gave me, and after that, they saw some demonstrations. Suddenly, in the near dark, on the HUGE theater screen we were treated to all kinds of male anal play – blow jobs with anal exploration, rimming, handjobs, and more. Even as a seasoned professional, I was totally enthralled. I’ve never seen anything I’ve directed on a screen that big, and I’ve never shared it with such a large live audience. Due to time constraints, we stopped short of anal play with toys and strap ons, and when the lights came on, everyone looked as captivated as I felt. Every time I’ve watched porn in a large group, my experience has varied, but I’d never found the sheer curiosity and attention level as I found in Professor Penley’s class.

We concluded our time together with one of the best Q and A sessions ever. This is where the notes they were taking earlier came into play. The questions were insightful, intuitive, and really original. After the questions, I went into the lobby of the theater for awhile to meet the students personally and gift them with copies of the series and also my newest feature movie, $EX. I also answered questions privately, on a one on one basis, and then it was time to leave.

As I drove home and replayed the afternoon in my head, I thought once again about how truly grateful I am – for opportunities like this, for people like Constance, and especially for my awesome performers and crew who work so hard for me and always give me their very best. Hopefully a few of them are reading this right now – and to them and all of you – I say thanks.

xo,

jd