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Paula Meadows

(AKA Lynn Paula Russel)

Paula Meadows comes from a middle class British background. During the late '80s, she shared a London apartment with writer Frank Russell, and painted erotic art under the name Lynn Paula Russell.
As an actress, she appeared in Hair, then began posing nude for English sex magazines in the late '70s. "Some of the photographs were for export but the others were soft stuff for England. Someone told me about Mike Freeman who had just made a hardcore video. Once I'd taken my clothes off I thought, what the hell. You get this feeling that it doesn't really matter after a while."

Paula met Mike Freeman and debuted in Truth or Dare, based on a script by Frank Russell. "The second thing was called Happy Birthday. It started off conventionally with two people bumping into each other in the street. My character gets talking to this housewife and I find out that her husband wants to spank her and she doesn't like it. He's got a birthday coming up, so I say why don't I become the birthday present?"

Meadows then fought with Freeman and moved to New York to pursue her porn career. "In the early days conditions were appalling. The money was appalling and they were often shooting in places with no running water? They were pushed around, touched up by everybody. But conditions are nothing like that now. When I worked in the United States I was pleased to find that things were totally different from Europe. It was very professional. No groping of people backstage or any mucking about. God! Those girls wouldn't stand for that. No extraneous people were allowed in to ogle.

"We had scripts, scene breakdowns, even a dialogue coach. He used to come round and take us through our lines. All the people who work in reputable porno, those who work with the well paid, with the good producers, with good directors, feel they're a cut above those who slum around. There are things they definitely won't do and they pride themselves on good performances and being well turned out." (Porn Gold by David Hebditch and Nick Anning)

"Some things are obscene. It doesn't mean you mustn't do them but they are obscene because they're ugly. It's the context they're used in. If you want to fist-fuck somebody, generally you want to give them humiliation and pain."

Paula remembers when Lasse Braun directed 1985's Young Nympho. "The men said he was disgusting because he wanted anal scenes. We don't want to do that, it's disgusting. Event he cameraman thought it was disgusting. He thought Lasse was a terrible director and that everything was awful. They do it [anal sex] now, but they didn't do it when I was there."

"People would come into my office," remembers Bill Margold, "and I would say: 'Will you do anal sex?' 'Oh yeah, I do that all the time?' I'd say, 'Really' I'd ask this to guys. 'You'd take a dig up the ass?' 'No, no.' 'Would you fuck someone up the ass?' 'Oh, no, no.' So I'd ask, 'What's anal sex?' 'Going to the bathroom.' They don't know. They're so incredibly uneducated in the United States."

Paula says that porn does not work as drama. "The moment you start performing a sex act for real, you become yourself. You have to! Otherwise you can't function in it and you are not thinking of your character. Perhaps women can act while they're doing it. Men can't because they've got to concentrate on what they're doing: keeping a hard-on. Otherwise everything falls to pieces. I think that's why you can't get any good drama followed through to the sex.

"I don't think you should expect people to act while they're screwing. Filming a lot of dialogue scenes requires rehearsal and care. Ron Sullivan takes that care. He choreographs every bit of it and I think that's right. You have to cast people properly, so they are acting something they feel happy with?."

Meadows says that the most angry attacks against porn comes from women. "When women are aroused and defensive, they become vicious. I was once helping Tuppy Owens {English pornographer] at a swing party. I was weraing just a G-string and going around sitting on men's laps, adjusting their ties and getting things warmed up. Suddenly I was aware of a pair of glowering eyes and there was this gorgeous blonde lady standing there and looking at me as if she could murder me. I still remember that look, how glacial it was, uncompromising and prejudiced. Only a woman could look at me like that. Withering?. So I imediately got up and said, 'Is this your husband?' She said, 'Yes.' I said, 'Do you mind?' And she said 'Yes.' So I said, 'Why are you here, madam, this is a swing party.'

"Many women have that side to them. They are aggressive and close themselves to anything that might com ein and disrupt their lives. I hate the thought that women feel that insecurity - they should be coming out of that now.

"I don't mind being the subject of a sexual fantasy. I like to be a sex subject. To be an object is to be just passed around and not considered, and I'm not happy with that."

Paula's brother-in-law told her mother about her porn work. "She went dead white. Absolutely numb. My response was to rush over to her and put my arm round her and say: 'Mum, it's all right. I haven't changed. I'm still me.' And we had a drink and we talked about it. In the end, the color returned to her cheeks and she started talking away like mad. She said 'I wish I'd had the courage. Yes, you've become so brave.'

"I think girls fall by the wayside because they're not thinking. They damage themselves by not being selective enough. Then they get resentful against men and start to get into a fury. I've not been damaged because I've always been in charge of what I do. I think you have to minimize the number of things you are going to regret later on. I've done one or two things that I don't particularly want to see now, but you've got to think ahead if it's going to keep coming back at you. That particularly gruesome fistfuck you did, or the horses or whatever it was that you weren't sure of at the time?. Don't do it, for God's sake, because you are going to spend the rest of your life brooding?