Wednesday, January 23, 2008

HC: Porno Parents

I have to write an article about family values, and in doing research came across the following story. Are these parents insane, or are they looking out for their daughter? When should a parent say, "No, I just can't support you doing this?" What do you think?


ABC News
XXX Family Values
Sunny Lane's Parents Say She's 'the Girl Next Door, Turned Hard Core'

March 13, 2007 —

As a girl, Sunny Lane wanted to be a professional ice skater.

Her mother, Shelby, decorated her glittery competition costumes, and her dad, Mike, cheered for his only child from the sidelines.

Years later, they're still at it -- only now they're helping their daughter chase her dreams of becoming a porn star.

"I like to be in front of the camera," Sunny said. "I like to show my talent. I have many, many talents in a lot of different areas, and I want to show them."

But it's more than just showing off the physical assets and the innocent pouts that have earned her the nickname the "Shirley Temple of Porn," because she looks much younger than she is. Sunny will only say that she's in her 20s.

"It would totally mess the fantasy up for my fans," she said about her reluctance to reveal her age. "I look very young, which I'm very grateful [for]."

Sunny sees more than the opportunity to show off her talents; she also sees dollar signs in an industry that made almost $13 billion last year, and she demands hands-on control of her career.

"I'm a businesswoman," she said. "I have an empire, and I have a massive team backing me."

Lawyers, a publicist and image consultants are on call for Sunny, but the foundation for her team is still in the Lane apartment, where Sunny lives with her parents.

Sunny Lane is her stage name, and her parents also go by the same last name. For the last year and a half, life in the apartment has revolved around the business of selling Sunny, whom they market as "The Girl Next Door Turned Hard Core."

On a recent afternoon, Shelby answered the phone while Mike sat nearby in the living room. Upstairs, Sunny packed a suitcase for an evening full of appearances and outfit changes. Shelby helped, filling small plastic bags with costumes, makeup and music.

Once Sunny has worn an outfit, Shelby puts it -- unwashed, of course -- back in a small plastic bags to one day auction off on their Web site. Sunny's underwear can bring in a lot of cash.

"They'll pay $50 to $100 for panties," her mother said.

'Dreams Do Come True'

"We're not kinky parents," Mike said.

Married for 29 years, he and Shelby say that their own secret to staying monogamous was watching porn movies. For them, Sunny's co-stars are her "dates," and they say they'd rather her have sex on a porn set than with a "civilian" who might eventually break her heart.

"She does her thing, safely, in a good environment, and I don't worry about that. When she comes back home, I just ask her how her date was," Mike said.

Mike and Shelby are proud of Sunny's success. Mike said that when he first saw Sunny on the Playboy channel, his reaction was, "Well, dreams do come true, I guess."

"To me, it's all entertainment. I see it all as entertainment," said Shelby.

Mike and Shelby say they fast-forward through the sex scenes in their daughter's movies, despite having made a cameo appearance in one of her early films. If she has a good scene, Mike relies on her fans to let him know whether it was good or bad.

"And if it's good, that means the movie's going to be good, her scene's going to be good, and everybody's going to make a lot of money hopefully," he said.

To keep making all that money, Sunny promotes herself relentlessly -- giggling, bouncing and blowing kisses at red carpet events and private parties.

"I'm a product," she said, "And I know that, and I'm a dang good product."

Promoting the Product

At the adult video convention in Las Vegas in January, Sunny was there to market herself, and her parents were right there beside her. But Shelby and Mike seem to have taken their support to a whole new level. While at the conference, they looked into getting life-size, anatomically correct sex dolls molded of their daughter.

"I do want to have a doll that looks exactly like me," said Sunny. "[My parents] support anything that I have to do with my business, and it's my decision. And if I want a doll, I want a doll."

But what does the industry think of her parents? Mike says he and Shelby are involved in Sunny's career to look after those people who want to use her. He sees himself as the porn equivalent of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson's father, Joe.

"Some of the industry has accepted us very, very well, and some of the industry don't understand any of it," Mike said.

But Sunny is adamant that her parents are only there for support.

"They do not make money off of me. If anything, I pay them. I pay them in return for everything that they have loved and supported me after all these years."



Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

6 comments:

sezhoo said...

Dear DW, I assume that the questions with which you open your post are purely rhetorical ...
-AV-

Patricia said...

Wow. This is the 2nd most disgusting thing I've heard today. Time to get these two to a fitting for a millstone. Someone I know once said, "It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble." (Luke 17:2)

The Write Bunch said...

HC: A reply

It is horribly sick, although in a strange way I think it's possible the parents are trying to protect their daughter? I don't think they are causing "one of these little ones to stumble." I think their daughter is jumping into an abyss and perhaps they want to try to save her when things get bad? Would it be better if this story were about the fact that she hasn't seen her parents in years because they disowned her?

Patricia said...

It would be nice if your theory was correct, but it sounds to me like they're in it for the money and they can't see that what they're doing is very destructive to their daughter. The girl says that they don't make any money off of her, but she pays them whatever that means. No, it wouldn't be good at all if her parents disowned her. Better for her parents to love her and be there to support her when her life comes crashing down and it will.

The Write Bunch said...

HC writes: You seem to KNOW stuff that I don't know: 1. The parents are in it for the money. 2. They are destroying their daughter. 3. They make money off her. 4. Her life will come crashing down. You may be totally right on all 4 points, but I don't know these people. I've never seen them or spoken to them, so I'm not so quick to judge them.

Patricia said...

1) "They do not make money off of me. If anything, I pay them. I pay them in return for everything that they have loved and supported me after all these years."

Sounds to me like she's giving them money. Maybe, they're not exactly "in it for the money", but it sure looks like they're benefitting financially.

2) They're encouraging and supporting their daughter in an endeavor that is clearly harmful.

3) See 1 above.

4) "I'm a product," she said, "And I know that, and I'm a dang good product."

A product is a thing that people consume or use. When you start thinking of yourself as a product (a thing and not a person), you're drifting into dangerous waters.

Sorry. I guess I'm just uncool.