Biographies can be a distinctly hit and miss affair due to a lot of different factors, one of them being that just because someone is well known for being a film star/musician/something else doesn’t mean they can write in an engaging or coherent manner. This is why many biographies are co-written with an established author. That Asa Akira has written this book on her own might give cause for concern to the wary reader.
The other important factor is, has this person had an interesting life? The underlying appeal of any biography or memoir is reading about the life of someone who has lead a life less ordinary than the average guy or girl on the street. Asa Akira multi award winning porn star has definitely had an interesting life and it soon becomes apparent that Akira definitely doesn’t need any help on the writing front.
One of the interesting things about “Insatiable: Porn – A Love Story” is unlike a lot of biographies and memoirs it isn’t written in a chronological or linear manner. This book doesn’t start with a “I was born in………..” chapter detailing the author’s childhood home and upbringing but rather one that describes in explicit detail the shooting of “The Perfect Scene”, this approach is actually one of the books best assets as the reader follows Akira down the rabbit hole of her never less than engrossing recollections.
Akira’s book reads like a collection of anecdotes and observations on various events in her life, they are distinctly random in nature and whilst the book is broken down into chapters they are generally unrelated to each other. These entries range wildly from childhood experiences, early sexual encounters, wry observations gleaned from working in porn, working as a dominatrix in an S&M dungeon, a horrifically bad acid trip, being a prolific teenage shoplifter and many, many other things but what they all have in common is they are unflinchingly honest and generally self deprecatingly funny.
Despite porn being more mainstream than ever it’s still viewed by many with a mix of moral condemnation and puritanical hypocrisy. Being a porn star can complicate your future employment prospects just as much as a criminal record it seems. As an indicator of just how bad this is just look at recent X-Factor hopeful Becky Constantinou being booted off the show for being in porn films. Exactly how this impacts her ability to be a singer I’m not really sure.
Porn is still saddled with an association with hackneyed stereotypes of “damaged” vulnerable girls falling victim to a predatory industry which exploits them before leaving them on the scrapheap even more damaged than they were at the beginning. There’s something distinctly odd going on when the idea of porn stars actually, you know, enjoying their jobs seems inconceivable, this is something I commented on before after seeing Public Sex, Private Lives . Another important factor is women embracing and expressing their sexuality openly seems to scare the hell out of some people for some reason. That Asa Akira actually loves her job, “Almost every time I shoot a sex scene, I fall a little bit in love. It’s the only way I can describe it”, contradicts the “damaged” girl stereotype massively.
There’s an admirable quality to someone who despite being of notable fame in their industry can still write self deprecating observations like “I know how to gracefully handle eleven dicks at once, but I don’t know how to send out mail.” after an awkward experience . For more of her amusing observations and self deprecating wit I recommend following her on Twitter.