Editor's note: On Nov. 28, 2015, numerous sources reported that porn actress Stoya tweeted about "people idolizing the guy who raped you," and followed that up with a tweet stating:
James Deen held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I just can't nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.
I consider Stoya highly trustworthy; and I no longer consider James Deen worthy of my attention at all.


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I have notched a new name on my list of personal heroes, and this name is James Deen. Not James Dean (and certainly not Jimmy Dean), but James Deen, a male porn star noted for being unusually dashing -- in a young, clean-cut and relatively tattoo-free kind of way -- and having thusly attracted a following unusually heavy on teenage girls. As in, fifteen and sixteen year old girls, who are watching hardcore pornography on the internet in unprecedented numbers, and unabashedly tweeting and blogging their adoration for Deen and his handsome penis, and exclaiming their desire to give their virginity to him. (Deen indicated in an interview that he is uncomfortable having sex with virgins, because he prefers partners who know what they like.) To search his name on Twitter or Tumblr will uncover endless strings of teenage girls describing Deen in terms of being adorable, sweet, and, oh yes, obviously quite amazing in bed. This is somewhat surprising given the degree to which Deen's shoots and scenes gravitate towards bondage and include elements of aggression, choking, spanking, public 'humiliation,' and seemingly rough anal sex (hint: he's the male actor in the Lemon Stealing Whore scene which was shocking sensibilities a few months back). But Deen's offset descriptions of these encounters make it clear that this is acting, and that he adores the objects of his sexual attentions, who are really just having all sorts of fun doing it. And some of his performances are indeed surprisingly nuanced, even the S&M stuff conveying a certain affection towards the women with whom he shares the screen.

Deen's life story has some interesting moments. Kicked out by his mother at the age of fifteen, he was homeless for two years, living for part of that time as a squatter with ten other people in a broken-down one-bedroom apartment. He knew all along that his life's goal was to be a porn star, so at the age of eighteen he got a stripper girlfriend to convey his interest to a person she knew in the industry -- and as soon as that person received Deen's nude shots, Deen's career path was set. As young-looking as he was, he was first cast in milf videos with somewhat older women, but he gamely worked through that until his body of work attracted enough attention to lift him to the top of his game. He was, at the age of twenty-three, the youngest actor ever to win an AVN 'male performer of the year award. But his teenybopper popularity following flows in part from his utterly laid-back don't give a fuck social media presence. Not that he doesn't give a fuck about social media -- he tweets and blogs fairly relentlessly, and his commentary is a combination of amazement that he gets to fuck all these hot porn stars (who are, to hear Deen tell it, all really nice, fun people as well), and snarky digs at things such as airports, the various eateries he comes across in his porncentric travels, and his own Jewishness.

All of Deen's culminated in ABC's Nightline doing an interview with James Deen and asking him rather accusatorily whether he was doing something bad by 'luring' girls into watching hardcore pornography. Deen expressed his thought that there was nothing at all wrong with girls finding him attractive and delving into his body of work to learn about sexuality, since they're going to learn about sexuality somehow sooner or later. Later, Deen brilliantly shot a pornographic mockumentary of his own Nightline interview. He wasn't the only one to make light of it. The Young Turks asked whether porn actresses are not equally guilty of luring young men into watching porn, and why nobody thought to call them out on that. Deen's fanbase generally echoed the sentiment that Deen owned that interview and made his inquisitors look foolish by the very cavalierness of his response.

Ultimately, I think the James Deen teen fandom phenomena is a righteously healthy thing. It represents a rejection in part of the sterile and sexless public image which is usually imposed upon the 'Justin Bieber' types (even though we know that if that boy's got anything going on at all, then he's pleasuring Selena Gomez from every angle, orifice, and position). Young men fantasize and masturbate and have sex; young women fantasize and masturbate and have sex; both ought to get a better handle on the mechanics of the ultimate act before they start actually doing it, and if they are in the meantime enjoying their own bodies behind closed doors (whether being girls fantasizing about fucking James Deen, or boys fantasizing about being James Deen joyously fucking an endless parade of porn starlets), so much the better for the enjoyment of life which they will realize through that activity.

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Some sources of information:

James Deen's porn blog
The Young Turks take on Nightline's piece on James Deen
The ABC Nightline interview
A lengthy YouTube video of an industry interview of James Deen
Another interview with James Deen, part 1, part 2, part 3
James Deen discusses his homeless period

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