was a defining moment in pornographic history at Dante's
Caffe Italiano, Saturday, February 17, as Ginger Lynn
took the stage and gave her last show. For her first
two numbers, the fog machine pumped out a smokescreen
that couldn't conceal the reality that all good things
must come to an end. The good old days of her 69 adult
films are gone forever. It's all been sucked and come.
And while Ginger's comeback two years ago in VCA's White
Lightning was widely appreciated by fans and critics
(including this one) alike, it could be time for this
gutsy, courageous and talented lady to hang up her G-string.
is like a firefly on an August night that sparkles through
the lines in her face that won't stand taut and firm
as the bored,
distracted beauty queens poised inside their empty,
"I don't dance anymore, retired over
a year ago," she told the audience after her three song
twirl. "This was a special occasion; I've never been
to Portland." Until now. And so it was Ginger's last
nude scene ever onstage at Dante's in Portland, Oregon.
There's nothing to be ashamed of, passing forty, rounding
the bend, heading for home. But if your job is to sexually
arouse, if your job is based upon your looks, it might
be time to find a new job. And so Ginger has.
"I will be appearing in the movie, The
Independent, starring Janeane Garofalo, and on Comedy
Central's The Man Show and in a new TV show called
This Life; I'll be the guest star of the first
episode," Ginger proudly announced to the audience,
wearing only her Ginger Lynn T-back and her sweet Midwestern
Stage side photographers had been warned
by this point, "No more pictures please." I tried to
conjure up how magnificent she was in White Lightning--her
scene with Chloe, the rising star, simply sizzled with
the kind of heat rarely seen in the burned out porno
industry these days. But our culture is all about vanity,
about looks, about youth. Age, wisdom, and even legendary
status don't have much place in the spotlight of pop
culture. You can't see or define or touch the depth
of a person's experience on the surface of their skin.
Ginger Lynn did four months in federal prison for
refusing to testify against the Traci Lords' producers,
who shot Lords doing the nasty on film before she
"My daddy didn't raise no snitches,"
Lynn told us why.
Ginger Lynn wouldn't turn them in,
rat them out, so she did the time. You can't really
see that, experience that, touch that in the shape
or tone of her flesh when scantily attired, under
a spotlight onstage.
Sometimes girlish and cute, Ginger's
Midwestern relaxed charm is like a firefly on an August
night that sparkles through the lines in her face
that won't stand taut and firm as the bored, distracted
beauty queens poised inside their empty, perfect vessels.
She gave it her all and did something that takes more
guts than most of us can imagine: Here's the body
of a middle aged woman, used to be porn star, now
mother, standing naked before a paying public for
all to judge and see. That takes a special kind of
belief in and acceptance of yourself. Standing up
close and personal at the lip of the stage, having
passed the frightening four-oh myself, I was lucky
enough to glimpse what lies beneath. The new ones
are coming up, but will they have her class, her ass,
her conviction, her diction sucking cock. Will they
know the meaning of, "To thine own self be true?"
She put herself out there, Saturday
night, with no apologies. Though the light does fade,
the ones that stay and adapt, and don't flame out
in a blaze of youthful suicides, overdoses and reckless
accidents, we should stand
and applaud them, as I did, Saturday night, just for
what it takes to keep coming back. Recreating yourself
when everything outside and inside wants to push you
out to pasture, that's the defiance that says, 'No,
I will not go quietly.' So play on Jimi, and suck
on this, Ginger: Up close and personal, I could still
see the white lightning in your eyes. And that's all
that matters in the end.