It's never too late to tell the truth...
Years ago on Melrose Ave, before I could feel my upper thighs chafe when they rubbed together, I went to lunch to catch up with an Aussie friend. In this story I am younger, thinner, freshly divorced, and in the middle of a decidedly non-linear healing process. As I glance up from the buffalo mozzarella I’d sold my engagement ring diamond to afford, I notice international porn performer Ron Jeremy at another table. And he sees me see him, and he’s up and talking to us almost instantly.
I notice vaguely that his seatmate is Seymour Butts aka Adam Glasser aka the hottest Jewish porn star you ever saw and, since I happen to know his mom runs his ass-porn business, almost wholesome. Ron Jeremy is neither hot nor wholesome but has a certain New York swagger that gets my attention and is (at least 1 out of 3) Jewish. Jeremy is an intriguing character and kind of infamous, which must have appealed to me at the time, as by divorcing my husband in the small beach town community I called home, I’d achieved a kind of infamy of my own.
Ron Jeremy appears to be very sweet, probably because many predators have a special way of making themselves seem adorable.
I was very depressed, you see, a decade or so ago, after a particularly vile break-up, so I’d embarked on a three-month commitment to voluntary celibacy. To digress for a moment, I am one of the few people who has a great deal of sympathy for incels, the involuntarily celibate. I know exactly what that’s like because I’ve been married.
So back to Ron Jeremy, and how he is enough of a curio and is at least talking to me like I’m not a pariah (pariah recognizes pariah) and suddenly I get motivated to fire up my old podcast. Desperation can be the kernel of a good idea and stunningly he agrees to be my first guest back, right there in the restaurant. He warbles, “Sure I’ll do your podcast I think you’re terrific,” and when I text him the next day, he still promises he’ll do it, but first I should ‘get to know him better’ and meet him at the Rainbow Room. Not the cool New York one, but the (still somewhat) cool 70s Hollywood haunt featured in the credible sexual abuse allegations against one Ronald Jeremy Hyatt. I agree to go, because I still have one fingernail hold on stand-up comedy, am looking for the next thing, and sense Ron Jeremy might hold a clue.
So, a few days later I’m sitting in a booth at the Rainbow Room and since I don’t drink (in fact, I once went to an AA meeting upstairs) I’m nursing a stupid cranberry juice, when in walks Ron Jeremy like he owns the place. He’s acting like a VIP, ordering before he’s even seated, he just shouts the order over his hairy shoulder, that’s how I remember it; I don’t think he drank alcohol either but don’t quote me, that part is hazy compared to the next for perfectly understandable physio-neurological reasons.
So, Ron Jeremy starts hitting on me pretty quickly and luckily, instead of scaring off my future-podcast guest with the truth that I find him physically repulsive/energetically slimy, I just simplify and tell him I’m in a phase of celibacy. He keeps saying things like, “Just my luck. I had to meet you when you’re a nun.”
Then, Ron Jeremy tells me he “wants to show me something” in the bathroom. That he’ll only come on my podcast if I follow him in there. And I think ‘fuck it’ because I’m two heads taller than him and buff from break-up yoga, so I figure I can take him. So, I follow him in there (like a rube, but an intuitive one) and he says, “Do you want to see it?” And I shoot back “What?” even though I know what, and he says, “My cock” and I say no thank you, but he grabs my hand and says you have to feel it and puts his hand on this LUNCHBOX underneath his sweatpants. I touch it neutral and definitely don’t grip and say very impressive now can you please leave I have to pee.
And because I really had no one I could share this with at the time, due to the divorce and the whole pariah thing, I just sort of BLOCK IT OUT. I just sort of make myself forget, in the manner of millions of put-upon women throughout history. However, on the day of the podcast I do try to cancel, I even tell Ron Jeremy that I’m too depressed to talk and he says, “Come on, it’ll be good for you to get out of the house,” and as I’m driving there I think, at least I have makeup on and I do feel a little better and gosh darn it if that molester Ron Jeremy wasn’t right!
As if the aforementioned wasn’t enough, we are recording the podcast at his weird friend’s house in West Hollywood, which upon entry features an Eastern European woman in her early 20s, sitting on the Miami Vice couch, who informs me excitedly that she is in LA to “break into porn.” I tell her I’m sure she’ll be very successful. She is so young and bubbly, and clearly, I don’t have much better judgment than her at this moment (though I do text a friend my whereabouts in case I’m never seen again) so who am I to present a harsher reality?
Ron Jeremy and I record the podcast in the other room next to one of those hanging egg chairs, which is made groovier because the entire room is drenched in violet lighting. I have no memory of what we discussed on the air, only the off-the-record conversation when Ron Jeremy bemoans women just “accusing men of rape for the hell of it these days,” and it’s “he said she said anyways,” and if he meant it as a threat, I dismiss it in my typically dissociative style of the time and also because he says ‘anyways,’ which to this day I maintain is not a word.
So, we commemorate this grand occasion with a promotional photo (see below) and then we’re walking back out past the Eastern Euro who is still fizzing on the very same spot on the couch, and Ron Jeremy insists I can’t leave until I see his car. And I think it must be a Maybach or something, and instead it’s an old junker, and I’m marveling how great it is that porn is one industry where women make more money, when he opens the trunk and it’s full of So. Much. Crap. Then Ron Jeremy adds conspiratorially, “Look at this,” and opens a box, inside which is a perfect silicone replica of his head. I mean, the face is uncanny. “I got it for a movie,” he says. Because the rest of this encounter hasn’t been creepy enough.
I start speed walking to my car with Ron Jeremy trailing behind calling, “Wait, let me walk you.” He’s still talking about how sad he is that I’m a nun now, and his simian legs are barely keeping up with my long strides, as I laugh uneasily, open the driver door, and get in my car, slamming it shut. He then OPENS THE PASSENGER DOOR and because it’s one of those high, West Hollywood curbs, the corner of the door scrapes horribly and sticks in the sidewalk and as I hear the sound I think, “Better that door than me.”
As Ron Jeremy is practically shouting inside my car, I’m thinking how if I had a newer car since this divorce, all the doors wouldn’t have opened automatically when I opened the driver door WITH A METAL TURNKEY. I realize ironically that Ron Jeremy wouldn’t be harassing me right now if I hadn’t gotten fucked in my divorce. Just another way money equals safety, I’m thinking, when Mr. CharmSchool finally, with another wrenching screech of metal, slams my car-door shut with his greasy, dirty-nailed paws.
As I gun it out of there as fast as anyone in a second generation Prius from 2005 can, I’m contemplating how RJ probably has self-care/hygiene issues and a hoarding problem, and that it’s kind of weird that in the interview he said prefers vanilla sex and how that kind of makes sense once you’ve done it 10,000 ways; maybe you become a kind of purist, when suddenly I realize I’m feeling alive and quite… not depressed. Like at least something is happening.
When I post the picture of Ron Jeremy and myself as my first ever Instagram post, I’m told I have won the internet. It is a great allegory as subsequent revelations have shown that, like most things online, few of us are winning the internet on any given day, unless as it pertains to cute animals.
So that’s my Ron Jeremy story and while I don’t seek to minimize his abuses and believe his accusers wholeheartedly, I am lucky that I was not, on balance, negatively impacted by meeting Ron Jeremy and made to touch his honker through his sweats.
Does it make me shudder in disgust? Yes. Does it make me laugh, now, in hindsight? Also, yes. Do I have to be a victim? Nope. I never want to give anyone the satisfaction of making me one plus frankly, like most women, I’ve been through worse. I seek not to condone, but to forgive, for the clock is ticking, my friends. And just like for Ron Jeremy, who likely remembers neither his heinous actions nor the head that once lived in his trunk, the truth comes out in the end; it’s coming for us all, so it’s easier just to let it out, while we still can.
Susanna Brisk is a Sexual Intuitive® who coaches individuals and couples to get their needs met. She has a nicer Prius now.
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