June 13th, 2006 → Leave a comment
My old neighbor, Natasha emailed me about Asia Carrera today. Natasha’s a sociologist, and I’m like an unpaid, undegreed sociologist. I check Asia Carrera’s blog every so often and have been following her progress as a retired porn star for a the last couple years. She’s really proof that after working in such a thankless business, you can be totally domestic, happy, and raise a family. Asia Carrera proved to me that women can create new starts for themselves no matter what their past history is and that sex workers are capable of raising healthy happy families. She even wrote that she was planning on homeschooling her kids so that they would have the best education possible.
Natasha eluded to Asia’s blog which I hadn’t checked for a while. I logged on and was shocked when I read that Asia’s husband was killed in a car accident last week. Asia is eight months pregnant with their second kid and they already have one daughter together. She’s a widow now. She’s alone and scared and has to raise two kids on her own. This would be hard for any woman, but I imagine it’s especially difficult for her since Don (her husband) was so key in helping her finding a more normal and domestic life outside the adult business. And also if she does need to move onto a new career to support her kids, it’s going to be so difficult to find one since most employers won’t be able to see past her last career.
I met both of them a couple years ago at this signing she did in Hollywood before she retired. I’ve never been to a porn star signing but I decided that I really wanted to meet her because I had been reading about her for so long and found the way she presented herself and subverted so many notions of “the dumb porn star” to be really fascinating. She has a real great sense of humor about herself and is totally book smart. She’s also the only porn star in MENSA, the organization of geniuses.
Her husband was a really sweet guy. Not anything like the creepy kind of guy you would imagine would marry a pornstar. He took a pic of me and my friend with Asia. He was a really genuine and sincere guy. He was caring, protective, and supportive of her. I was so happy to meet them and to know that the two of them were going to have a new life together.
I called Natasha and we were both totally shocked about all this on the phone. We were talking about how we wanted to send her money or go help her. We asked ourselves, “What is she going to do when she’s in labor?” “What will she do for money?” “How is she going to handle these kids on her own?”
How is it that this Asian American ex-porn star became this close friend who we don’t actually really know personally but feel we know so well? Why do we feel that we know her so well that we feel so compelled to help her? That we get teary for her when her fairy tale new life came to a screeching halt?
Is it that she represented some kind of transformation, some kind of spirit, the will to live a better life and be happy? Is it that we also feel cheated by her loss?