Porn Dead

We reanimate the Registers limp profile of Vivid Entertainment head Steve Hirsch

Some of you might have seen a piece in The Orange County Register recently about former Orange County resident and porn kingpin Steve Hirsch, owner of Chatsworth-based Vivid Entertainment.

If you did, please signify by giving absolutely no sign. So you did see it. Then you know that Reg reporter Barbara Kingsley knew Hirsch—grew up with him, in fact—and that she should get the opposite of a Pulitzer, whatever that is.

Kingsley took the newspaper equivalent of what pool players used to call a "big natural"—a shot anyone could make, even an elephant with his trunk—and sanitized it with enough bleach to make Mono a lake again. In Yiddish: a schnorrer.

Where was the love? Where was the sex? Where was the "double bare anal with an internal pop" (two condomless dicks in an ass, both ejaculating inside) that the Village Voice chronicled in a May porn piece featuring Vivid?

If you read Kingsley, you learned "Steve and I grew up in the same town, got first jobs on the same street—he at an ice cream store, me at a drug store." This wasn't Gregory Haidl's Orange County.

The context is in this month's Australian Magazine: "Hirsch is a second-generation pornographer. While his father might have been from the old school of brown paper bags and trench coats, the 43-year-old is one of the savviest marketers of our times."

You like trench coats? You like naked? You need last year's Entertainment Weekly, which profiled Hirsch's meal ticket, porn actress Jenna Jameson: "When you're naked, you don't want to be sitting on a barstool," Vivid megastar Jameson told EW. "I'm like, 'You have to scrub it and go over it with alcohol before I'll even come close to walking on set.'" You don't even want to know what they had to use to clean the mechanical bull.

How about back story? It was buried on Page 7 of the Reg's Life section, but CNBC had the juice, concentrated, in a sit-down interview in December with Steve Hirsch, his parents, Jameson and porn experts.

"We got a loan for $20,000 from the guy who was printing our boxes. We used that money to produce our first movie," Hirsch told CNBC. "It was called Ginger. It was very successful." His first porno; it's called detail.

The Reg got one thing right up front: the money in the money shot. "Steve lives in a multimillion-dollar mansion in the Valley, set against the Santa Susana Mountains," Kingsley wrote antiseptically, sounding like the location scout for Red River—or maybe Boogie Nights.

She airbrushed out the one location you actually cared about: the video store, where she squeamishly rented one of the half dozen new Vivid flicks that pop up each month. "For research," she reassured herself. Goddamn it, woman!!!

What was it called? Was it Women in Uniform, Hot Spot (obviously a Don Johnson homage), Nailed, All-Star Lesbians, Ate the Hard Way, Fly the Friendly Sky or Jenna Loves Kobe (props to Lakers)?

We'll never know.

 
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