It’s Not Your Grandparent’s Porn. Oh, Wait …

Grandma? My, what big phones you have!
Grandma? My, what big phones you have!
What a glorious wonderful way to start a Thursday! If my knees weren’t made of balsa wood and I had any rhythm, I’d be dancing for joy. Even the usual cacophony of car alarms and screaming couples sound like music to my ears. Suffice it to say that, without getting into the gory details, I’m in a good mood. In fact, I’m in such a good mood that I’m going to forgo my usual litany of Apocalypses and Armageddons. Instead, today, I’m going to write about a subject that most of you probably never consider. Well except for my good buddy, Gregg Potter. This kind of stuff is all he thinks about. When he’s not winning Emmy’s or playing drums in mega-hair-bands, that is.

Today we’re going to talk about the joys of senior citizens who star in porn.

Now, before you start running around, hiding your eyes from all the nakee folks and demanding a smiting or two, keep in mind that there’s been porn for as long as man has made graphic art. Even back in the legendary city of Pompeii, scholars and plebeians alike have found thousands of examples of art featuring naked people doing naked stuff with other naked people.

Far from being ashamed, they put that stuff on their living room walls.

“Oh, hi Sparticus. Yeah, that’s Bathsheba and me from last Tuesday. I think it really shows off her good side, don’t you?”

As time went on and cameras were invented, do you think everyone was out taking pictures of nature and family portraits? Of course not. They were taking pictures of naked women. And men. And whatever else struck their fancy. You’ll have to Google for that stuff yourself. I don’t want to be held responsible for your moral decay.

In the last few decades, thank to the Internet …. wait, actually the Internet should thank porn. All of the advances required to post high quality graphics and videos on line were developed in the porn industry and nowhere else. In other words, the internet owes more to the disciples of Hugh Hefner than Al Gore. Keep that in mind the next time you watch a video on You Tube.

What was once relegated to smoky back rooms and seedy bachelor parties is now feted with award shows. Chicago’s very own, and regular guest on Nude Hippo, Jim “Mr. Skin” McBride recently hosted his annual Anatomy Awards. With categories like “Breast in Film” and “Nudecomer of the Year,” starlets the world over anxiously anticipate winning a trophy. Seriously, the Anatomy Awards get more pub than most any other accolade.

So I guess this all explains why a former U.S. Army Lt. Colonel made a career change at the tender age of 54 to become a porn star. As David Moye at AOL News notes, not only did he become a porn star, he’s been added to porn’s ultimate Hall of Fame.

The phrase “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” seems completely apropos for porn actor Dave Cummings.

Although Cummings (born David Connors) turns 71 in a few weeks, an age when many of his contemporaries have retired, he is still working hard at his craft, almost 17 years after entering what insiders refer to simply as “the industry.”

The efforts have paid off: Cummings is one of this year’s inductees in the X-Rated Critics Organization’s Hall of Fame Class of 2011, an honor handed out to, as the press release says, “only the best and brightest in the world of porn.”

“I feel like I’ve accomplished something I never would have imagined,” Cummings told AOL News.

There is no physical address for the Hall of Fame. Cummings’ induction ceremony in April will also honor Tricia Devereaux, Jessica Drake, Lynn Lemay, Juli Ashton, Manuel Ferrara and Peter Van Aarle.

He is the oldest inductee ever, four years older than actor Jamie Gillis, who died last year at the age of 66 from AIDS.

But Cummings sticks out among these luminaries of lust, not only because of his age but also because of his rep for not relying on, shall we say, performance-enhancing drugs.

“I pride myself on never using Viagra,” he said. “When I started out, I never did. Now I might use it if I’m working with a particularly demanding director, or if I’m doing two scenes right after each other.”

According to XRCO member Gram Ponante, the Hall of Fame honor is given only to performers who show some kind of staying power.

“For those of us who appreciate adult films, this is very prestigious,” Ponante said. “We don’t bestow the awards lightly.

“I live in Los Angeles, and when I go to lecture in other parts of the country, [Cummings] is one of the few names people know. He bridges the gap between ‘creepy uncle’ and the person the creepy uncle wanted to be,” Ponante said.

Cummings is only four years older than the second oldest inductee, Gillis, but he is a bit of a late bloomer. Gillis started his career in 1970s, while Cummings only entered the world of porn at the age of 54 after a long career in the military, where he worked his way up to lieutenant colonel. Along the way, he served as an Army unit commander with the 4th Infantry during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.

He was awarded a Bronze Star and, later, had a stint teaching personnel management at West Point before moving to San Diego.

“That was a great experience,” he told AOL News. “My teenagers were surrounded by more than 4,100 role models.”

Cummings was working as a mortgage loan officer (which he still does on occasion for some of his fellow performers) when his life changed forever at the age of 54.

“My wife left me after 22 years of marriage,” he said. The story he tells is that she left him for a man with more hair. Although he claims he was faithful during the marriage, once he was single he decided to explore the swinger lifestyle.

But being a single male in the swinger world is hard (and not in the good way), and Cummings took his lumps. Still, he had a chance meeting in the biblical sense with famed porn actress Nina Hartley.

“We were having sex two rooms away from where I’m talking to you now,” Cumming said proudly. “And I asked her why they had a guy younger than her playing a judge that was supposed to be older, and she told me I should try out.”

Cummings had to pay his dues, though. His big break came when he was holding a light during a scene and the male talent was unable to, er, finish the job.

From there, he started getting steady jobs, in films with titles like “Every Granny Has a Fantasy” and “It’s A Daddy Thing,” often playing doctors, politicians, judges and, occasionally, a military officer.

“I never wanted to desecrate my uniform,” he said. “So I changed it by adding a medal for Antarctic exploration, and I changed the name on the name tag from my real name to ‘Cummings.'”

As much as Cummings enjoyed being on camera — and still does — he quickly realized that the real money is in production.

“When I started out, I was paid $300 per scene,” he said. “I won’t do that. I might for $500.”

He currently has three successful series, “Dirty Dave’s Sugar Daddy,” “Sex Fun” and “Kneepad Nymphos” and prides himself on the way he treats his talent.

“Some of the girls who enter the business are a little skittish at first, so sometimes their agents will send them to me because I’m nice.”

Believe it or not, much of what he learned in the military for dealing with soldiers in the heat of battle is transferable to dealing with young actresses who are in, well, the heat.

“It’s important to be thorough and do lots of pre-planning,” Cummings said. “For instance, when booking girls for ‘Kneepad Nymphos,’ I give an advance fact sheet to the agents, I set a private bathroom for the actress with her name on a star and I pay cash on the spot. Some people might just give hundreds, but I break it down a little because I understand they might need gas and the station can’t break a hundred-dollar bill.”

The extra touches are why Cummings has a good reputation among former co-stars such as Jewels Jade, who is currently on the cover of Penthouse.

“He’s done a lot for me,” she said. “When I was starting out, I didn’t know a lot of people in the business. He took me under his wing and told me who I should and shouldn’t work with. He also helped me get in Playboy.”

Trisha Uptown, who has never worked on film with Cummings, as she only does girl-girl scenes, also has high words of praise for him.

“He’s always a gentleman. He gives me his jacket if I’m cold. He’s so adorable. He’s just this old man who does what he loves,” Uptown said. “I always say that if I ever transition to boy-girl, he’d be on top of my to-do list.”

Cummings doesn’t just have admirers among professional porn actresses. He claims he’s got a few groupies made up of coeds from the University of California at San Diego, which is a few blocks away from his condo in San Diego.

“I call them the ‘groupie girls,'” he said. “They are students, many of them Asian, who need to relieve stress so they can study hard. Some jog, some go to nightclubs and some call me up.

“But I have rules. I insist on using protection, and I tell them they’re not spending the night. Also, if it’s within my birthday month, I insist they bring chocolate chip cookies.

Since Cummings turns 71 on March 13, he expects the cookies to start coming in soon.

“I can tell which are homemade and which are made with store-bought cookie dough,” he said.

Cummings also has admirers among his own gender as well, so much so that he keeps a hat and glasses in his car so he can avoid being recognized by guys who wish they were him.

“It happened just today,” he said. “I was having lunch with a friend, and a guy recognized me and wanted his picture with me. One picture led to four questions and, basically, my friend gets to eat his lunch while mine is going cold.”

It might sound strange that a man who spent so many years fighting for our country might choose to spend his golden years having sex with women old enough to be his great-granddaughter, but Cummings feels that one of the freedoms he defended was the right to make or watch porn.

“It’s all about freedom, whether it’s the freedom to do porn, or to worship in a church, or to be a parent or to vote,” he said.

The official induction ceremony isn’t until April 13, but Cummings is already working on his acceptance speech during his daily run.

“I will probably talk about the problem of piracy, remind the audience of the soldiers fighting for us and then I will probably remind everyone to vote,” he said.

“Gosh Grandpa, while that Bronze Star is nice and all, the kids really love your work in Kneepad Nymphos 3!”

Yeah, the lighting is fantastic and the plot is scintillating.

I’ve taken up enough of your time today. Go, frolic, watch some porn and have a great day. If you need a soundtrack for your day you can’t do much better than the video from, Chicago’s very own, LaTour.

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