Get local news delivered straight to your phone

It’s midday, and the three duck into an efficiency apartment in downtown Washington. Although the women have just spent an hour “entertaining” businessmen at a bachelor party, they waste no time in stripping off their clothes yet again. Shannon—a taut, tan, Barbie-doll type—wears a black thong. Vicki’s long black hair hangs to the middle of her back; her slender body seems barely able to support her enormous breasts.

They are here to make a movie. Dirk, a Fabio lookalike, hoists a handheld Super 8 camera, and offers some perfunctory direction: “Why don’t you show us what you do to get off, Shannon?” In response, the 25-year-old demonstrates the practicality of her long, white fingernails.

The movie doesn’t yet have a title. For Dirk and Vicki, it marks their 30th foray into “amateur porn,” one of the hottest subgenres on the market. Forget character. Forget plot. Forget high production values. These movies’ appeal lies in their realness—or at least, the semblance thereof. They’re supposed to look unfinished, unedited, unscripted. They’re supposed to be reports on what goes on behind your neighbors’ closed doors—America’s Horniest Home Videos, a sexy cinéma vérité, the kind of wildlife documentary that National Geographic wouldn’t touch.

But Vicki and Shannon are hardly the girls next door. From a dresser drawer, Shannon pulls an assortment of toys more diverse than a box of Russell Stovers. She rakes her fingers through her long blond hair, then occupies herself with an orifice version of Milton Bradley’s Perfection—only in her variant, the player doesn’t have to worry about the timer going off and the pieces popping out. After exhausting her own possibilities, she extends the game to include Vicki. The accoutrements seem endless: There’s the black strap-on dildo, the thin white vibrator, the ribbed dildo….

Eventually, Shannon takes a break to lick a few of the toys clean. It’s an opportunity to interject dialogue into the film.

Dirk: “Pretty pussy. I think I might have to touch it.”

Shannon: “I hope it doesn’t make you hard.”

Vicki:“Why don’t you come join us?”

Dirk: “Believe me, you won’t have to ask me twice.”

He extends an exploratory finger, then returns to his camera duties. As the two women play tug-of-war with a limp, two-pronged dildo, he moves in for a close-up.

Vicki and Shannon tumble from end to end of the queen-size bed like Cirque du Soleil performers in the throes of passion—an act not too different from the one they perform at parties. Amazingly, Vicki keeps her white leather stilettos on during the spins. She confides later that while simulating ecstasy, she was mentally running through her day’s schedule. “I knew that after this we had two more bachelor parties to do, and that we had 10 more minutes of tape to fill up. At some point, it just becomes a job.”

So much for reality. So much for cinéma vérité.

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

At Dirk and Vicki’s suburban home, the two hours of raw footage are cut to 30 minutes. Eventually, the couple will package this scene with other bits of homemade kink and will sell the resulting video for $20 through their stripping business. Dirk says he’s also seeking a distributor to place the movie in porn shops across the country.

The film-to-be includes a boob-bumping contest between Vicki, Size 34 triple-D, and Elisa, Size 34 triple-E. (Though Vicki is outmassed, she manages a tie.) Other sequences show an all-female orgy and Dirk mounting a young brunette woman. In the most amusing scene, Vicki bounces up and down on Dirk as he attempts to hold the camera steady; the footage is definitely in your face.

Amateur porn is a relatively new sideline for Vicki and Dirk. For 10 years, Dirk has operated a stripping service. (He occasionally strips for women himself—but the demand and the money, he says, are far better for female performers.) He met Vicki six years ago at a wet-T-shirt contest. After a brief fling, he dumped her for another woman, and Vicki returned to her husband. Years later, Vicki says, she and Dirk “found each other” again. Now, along with Vicki’s two kids, they live in a three-story house. Says Vicki, “It’s sort of an old-fashioned love story, in a sleazy sort of way.”

About a year-and-a-half ago, just after Vicki had undergone her third breast-enlargement operation, a local video-store owner suggested that she had the makings of a porn star. The potential income was seductive: Once a stripper headlines in a nationally released movie, she can command $2,500 to $10,000 a night to dance at a high-class topless joint.

Vicki and Dirk made a few amateur movies, then traveled to Hollywood. They both hoped to break into the major leagues, joining the likes of Rocco Siffredi, a well-endowed GQ type; Ed Powers, the middle-aged star of his own dirty-debutante series; and John Stagliano, a former Chippendale’s dancer known for his “Butt Man” adventures.

But L.A. proved too fast even for aspiring porn performers. “Hardly anyone there uses a condom,” Vicki explains. “Instead, you’re supposed to rely on your AIDS test results. I went out there to shoot with several guys and they wouldn’t wear a condom, so I refused.”

But plenty of women were willing to accept the risk. “There would be a model call, and 300 girls would show up,” says Dirk. “If you wanted to, you could go out to L.A. and fuck night and day. They just keep pumping movies out.”

The couple decided to return to the Washington area, and continue producing and starring in their own movies. They’d long since mastered porn’s basic formula: “Some penetration, good moaning, and a cum shot,” according to Dirk.

So far, filmmaking hasn’t made them rich or famous. “You make some money off it, but not enough to live off,” Vicki says. The costs are high: Besides the expenses of film, cameras, and hotel rooms, their actors draw $750 to $1,500 a day, plus a couple hundred more for anal work.

It’s good money—but then, work in the sex industry generally pays well. For their one-hour bachelor-party act, Vicki and Shannon each earn a cool $250. And thus, today’s filming is squeezed between parties. When the taping session ends, Vicki, Shannon, and Dirk hustle to a grocery-store deli for sandwiches. Then, back in Vicki’s black luxury car, the women grab a couple of bites and fall asleep.

Dirk drives quietly to the site of the next bachelor party, waking Vicki and Shannon only when they arrive at the hotel. For the next hour, Vicki and Shannon perform their two-girl show for the sweaty, drunken men; Dirk sits in the back of the room, acting as a kind of bodyguard. After that gig, yet another party awaits. The threesome again cycles through their routine: collapse into the car, drive, perform. At 1:30 a.m., Dirk and Vicki finally head home, exhausted.

American entrepreneurs, finishing another hard day at the office.