50, And A Relectant Porn Star

You might think I'm joking but--my mother would be proud. Really.

April 9, 2020

Elane Johnson
Nice Stems
HeelsandFeet

t’s been a long-held goal of mine not to become a porn star. I was raised in the First Baptist Church of Thomaston, Georgia, and while the only things of substance I recall are miniature glasses of grape juice, squares of saltines, and a permeating scent of Play-Doh, I’m certain the congregation frowns upon pornography to this day. Yet, against my most fervent wishes, I find myself over 50 and a reluctant porn star.

My mother would have been so proud. Really.

Mother, whose physical beauty did not help my fragile self-esteem one bit, taught me important lessons growing up: how to sit still, goddammit, on a torturously rigid pew while waiting an eternity for the grape juice and saltines; how to apply Revlon foundation without unsightly streaks; how to pin a hairpiece onto a nearly hairless, three-year-old scalp (mine) with almost no scarring and only moderate pain; how to make a superb egg salad and an incredible sour cream pound cake; how to surprise one’s lover by sneaking out the backdoor in nothing but a fur coat and then, the moment said lover answered the front doorbell, dropping the fur. Things like that.

Mother met me for lunch one day when I was still in high school. During the second half of my egg salad sandwich (Mother, who grew up on a chicken farm in Butler, was irrationally averse to eggs not prepared by her own hands, and she insisted that the waiter verify — twice — that it was freshly made), I brought up with indignation my recent discovery of a couple of affairs she’d had while married to my father.

“You’ll understand after you have your first affair,” she said. And damned if I didn’t!

To say that I’m relieved that Mother didn’t live to see the day that her darling daughter joined the tainted world of pornography would be a pointless lie. She would have been proud, in her “everything reflects back on me” way, and not a little jealous. Perhaps this very second, she’s somewhere glowing with pride. Or maybe eternal flames. Whatever. Let’s not quibble.

What happened is this: I inherited my father’s muscular legs. I’ve grown accustomed to the countless comments from students as I’ve stood at blackboards that turned into green chalkboards that turned into whiteboards. “You have huge calves!” “Do you know that your left leg is bigger than your right leg?” “Do you work out?” The last one is my favorite, and if you could see my under-chin and belly rolls, you’d understand why I reply the way I do.

“Does it look like I work out?” I exclaim, grabbing two or three rolls for emphasis. It can be exhausting having to account for my extremely bulgy and defined legs that do not match the rest of me. Especially when I’m trying to save the benighted masses from the eternal damnation of splitting infinitives and misplacing modifiers. Concentrate, people!

Recently, I was leaving one of those mail-your-package places when a very beautiful, slight, and soft-spoken woman approached and asked to speak with me outside. She didn’t look panhandle-y or anything, and I had my counter-spiel ready if she launched into any “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior” shenanigans. So, I put on the super-wide grin I generally reserve for times when I can’t hear a single word the speaker is saying — but want to appear that I do — and accompanied her to the sidewalk. She fumbled a couple of times before blurting, “I noticed that you have very muscular calves.” This again!

I mumbled something apologetic, and we both blushed like pre-teens moving in for a first kiss behind the sacristy. Then somewhere in the haze of conversation, I caught the phrase “50 dollars an hour” and immediately turned up my hearing aids. (Did I mention that I’m deaf? I’m probably the world’s first deaf porn star. Bonus!)

The woman tells me her boyfriend in the fetish business, which I’ve since learned is a big-dollar industry. O! The myriad ways that people find sexual satisfaction! And some of those people are probably damned good Baptists.

So, I agreed to have my muscular calves photographed for display on the World Wide Web. No one will ever know whose calves they are because I’m masked by my “fantasy” name. My mother — rest her soul — might be able to pick them out in a pinch. But for all intents and purposes, dear reader, only you know what I’ve become.

On the day of the photo shoot, I tore through my closet to prepare, hunting for any short skirts that still fit my middle and stuffing all my sexiest heels into a Kroger shopping bag. I’d succumbed, a few months prior, to the craze for perilous and tawdry platforms, snatching up deals on shoes I could wear approximately never. Except to a porn shoot. It’s like I almost knew.

I arrived at the photographer’s business address a little after supper time. He fretted constantly over the waning daylight as he assessed my calves — by which I mean he measured their circumferences and murmured things like “spectacular” and “fabulous” — while I attempted unsuccessfully to appear charming and as if I did this sort of thing every day.

God knows I didn’t want to look like a virgin or anything. To begin, he filmed me sensually oiling my legs; it was hard not to snigger. Of course, the artiste selected the highest shoes, and he coerced me into behaviors that might have made even my mother blush — although come to think of it, she once described in great detail the “pencil pubes” of some gorgeous dancers at the Gold Club in Atlanta. So, probably not.

Two straight hours of wearing high heels and tensing one’s calves in various positions isn’t as easy as you’d think. I sashayed in front of the building, in front of Main Street traffic whizzing by, in front of townsfolk who craned to see why the hell some guy was filming a fat woman on tiptoe as she caressed an office window on a globally-warmed summer evening. By this point, I was perspiring in a most unladylike fashion. And then my photographer needed seven good, strong minutes of my pumping up and down on a stair-climbing machine, still in the heels, still on my toes. I stopped occasionally for cramps, but I tried to be a trouper. I worried that my photographer in his ever-increasing appreciation for my gastrocnemii — made evident by his combination wink-whisperings — might show signs of arousal. I furtively checked, from time to time, and was relieved beyond measure to spot no goings-on in his khakis.

I choose not to think what might accompany any future viewings of my photos or videos. After all, what people do behind closed doors is their business. And if I’ve helped another soul achieve lift-off — well, so be it. Perhaps when that happens, somewhere my mother gets her wings.

The truth is, I’m not exactly young and trim, and it felt kind of luxurious to be adored for a couple of hours, if only for my massive calves. I left the photographer’s office a hundred dollars richer, sweaty as a farmhand, and with a shiny new resume item. Lapsed-Baptist. Teacher. Writer. Porn Star.

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