The Playboy Radio Experience
Ex-porn stars Christy Canyon and Ginger Lynn were about to interview me live on SiriusXM radio about my novel Cobalt Blue. I was, of course, nervous, casting about.
Maybe it would help if I knew what they were going to ask, something I usually don't inquire about in advance because I prefer to be surprised. But not this time. No surprises this time, please!
My initial contact with these folks had come from my publicist's office (Kim-from-LA): "Playboy on Sirius wants to schedule an interview with you, is this something that would interest you?"
Well, sure. You bet! Playboy magazine has always published good short fiction and this would be a huge national audience for my new book. And at the time, the interview was to be set weeks ahead. I put it on my calendar.
A conversation, I later saw, had already taken place between radio producer and book publicist.
Publicist: Are you sure? There are "unusual sexual circumstances" in the novel, yes, but it's a bit more literary, not porn.
Producer: We cover all kinds of sexual content, doesn't have to be porn. And by the way, how unusual is the sex? Don't want to break any laws.
That tickled me: she was worried that my book might be too off-color for Sex Radio?
But it all worked out. Cobalt Blue fit the erotic mission of the program without breaking any laws. Turned out they'd been thinking about doing something about tantra, which is central in my novel. And so the book was to be featured as, in effect, the novel of the month on this show.
As the time came close, I investigated further. Here's how the program was billed online:
The two biggest names in the history of adult entertainment,
Ginger Lynn and Christy Canyon
take you on a daily ride through a circus of sex."
With further research, I learned that these women were the real thing. ChristyCanyon.com offers "Hot and personal XXX photos" as well as "Hardcore Videos." Gingerlynn.com's home page is equally anatomically revealing.
I couldn't quite figure out where Playboy was fitting in beyond seeing the word in emails. Spice Radio appeared to be the name of the channel in places and also Radio Sex. And the name playboyplus was showing up in emails. The name of the program was definitely You Porn. Whatever…as the saying goes.
Then came the day in late May. What were they going to ask me? I emailed and asked. The reply: the show is pretty raw and explicit. They'll probably ask you about the book and your personal experiences.
No way. This was to be You Porn, not Me Porn. Not a chance! Me Merely Novelist, me make stuff up.
I freaked, called publicist. What to do? Do I call in advance and say: no personal stories from me? Do I wait until almost time to go on the air and call? I didn't want them to cancel me.
Kim called back: don't call, just go on the air and have fun, and if asked a question I don't want to answer, then just say something else, say whatever I want to.
That was reassuring. Okay, I can do that.
So the moment came. I sat on my sofa in my den with phone in hand and then: …On the Air! listening to myself being introduced. Though I now have no idea what she said about me.
One of them asked if I'd drawn from my experience with tantric sex in writing the novel, and I said no, that tantric technique was not a requirement: good sex was good sex however you got there.
Then I was asked a bunch of fairly sexy questions that I was fine answering, but I'd get two sentences into my answer and one of them would stop me and say "This is an amazing book!" or some variation on that theme. I think I kept getting interrupted because I was moving at a too-Southern pace, I'd start getting warmed up to my subject and then I'd be stopped again. But I certainly didn't mind being interrupted by wildly enthusiastic voices saying Cobalt Blue is "an amazing book!!" And again to a national audience: "an a-MAZ-ing book!"
They had gotten two copies and read it at roughly the same time and, as one of them said on the air, they called each other back and forth saying: did you get to page X yet? Then one of them mentioned a story about the other having sex with two men (which does happen in Cobalt Blue.) And moments later I was off the air.
And ironically, I was frustrated. I had somewhat sexier things to say than I'd gotten out. There had been too much interview interruptus. But not much sexier, so maybe it was just as well.
Bottom line: These two women, Christy and Ginger, were very welcoming and nice to me. Didn't put me in an awkward spot at all. I wondered if they were cutting an old literary lady some slack, since at 64 I'm likely considered to be past the prime-of-porn age.
At any rate, it was a lot of fun. I wouldn't mind doing it again.
(Note: The interview doesn't seem to be archived on line and I've been unsuccessful in getting a copy of the segment so far. Haven't given up.)