Sasha Grey

From porn star to pop icon

Sasha Grey

By Marta Hurtado de Mendoza

Sasha Grey started doing porn because, according to her short autobiography ( I'm not dead and don't feel that a complete biography is yet warranted”), she had “a huge appetite for sex and self-exploration. I wanted to express my sexuality as a strong woman, to push my own boundaries and see which part of my psyche would take me to my next euphoric sexual experience. I wanted to do all of this in a sex positive way.” The first step to satisfy that sexually furious need was to move to Los Angeles at the age of 18. Until then, she had been living in a working class neighbourhood in the North Highlands (Sacramento, California) where everything was rather depressing. Sasha, who was then called Marina Ann Hatzis, refused to be “a negative product of that environment. I used it as a source of inspiration to challenge myself.”

After trying to combine work and studies and feeling that everything was still a bit of a dead end street, she took a decision, moved to LA, got an agent and shot her first porn flick, “The Fashionistas 2”. Right from the start, she tried to be different: “Despite the controversy that surrounds this industry, I felt I could ultimately bring an enigmatic quality to it. Many people in society believe that I am a victim. I was not sexually abused. I am not on drugs. The acts I perform are always consensual. I am a woman who strongly believes in what she does — it is time that our society comes to grips with the fact that "normal" people (women especially) enjoy perverse sex.”

Neü Sex So far, when you googled ‘Sasha Grey’ you would get hundreds of thousands of hits like “Sasha Grey savagely fucked in the ass by a guy with a moustache” or “Great Sasha Grey fucking compilation”. Since a few months ago however, you get a few results related to other art disciplines between aforementioned subtle options. Apart from participating in “The Girlfriend Experience” (2009), Steven Soderbergh’s film about the credit crunch and high-class prostitution, Sasha has been the undisputable star of the last season of “Entourage” and the reason why 98% of viewers haven’t abandoned the series, which right now is as depressing as the neighbourhood Sasha grew up in. In “Entourage”, Sasha is... Sasha. The first time main man Vince meets her in a club, his buddies rejoice thinking about the great (anal) sex he’s going to have that night. In fact, the incorporation of Sasha as Vince’s formal girlfriend has brought more sex and perversion to “Entourage” that the series has had in all six previous seasons together. But it has also proven that the “great Sasha Grey fucking compilations with guys with moustaches” are only a percentage of all the good things she does, and that Sasha Grey rocks.

The series shows how unique she is, and displays her quick and quite twisted sense of humour. Plus, she has a very pretty face (her other physical features are obvious and if you have doubts, you can Google just about every millimetre of her body, and for free, too). It’s slightly round, sweet, but with a touch of pride and superiority, which is what she transmits.

Her favourite quote is “Dark is the light. And everything is black”, a verse from “Sin Nanna” by Sunn O))). Her musical preferences –get a hanky because you’re about to cry– are Joy Division, New Order, Smashing Pumpkins [Sasha is featured on the “Zeitgeist” artwork], OM, Bauhaus, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Sisters Of Mercy, Coil, Nine Inch Nails, This Mortal Coil, Aphex Twin, Dead Kennedys, The Durutti Column, Tool, Magazine, Black Sabbath, Neu, The Smiths, KMFDM, Squarepusher, She Wants Revenge, Skinny Puppy, Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle and so forth. You want more tears? Check out her favourite film directors: Godard, Antonioni, Lars Von Trier, Herzog, Gaspar Noé, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Paul Thomas Anderson, Larry Clark, Terrence Malick, the complete Belladonna collection (the necessary select pornographic contribution). Some more suffering? This is the list of people she would like to know: Cosey Fanni Tutti, Martin Gore (extra points for not choosing Dave Gahan), Werner Herzog, Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Chloë Sevigny, David Bowie and Peter Hook. Tears of joy: all the Suicide Girls of the universe united in one person. And if you add all that to that perfect face (okay, and to the great anals with guys with moustaches and the huge appetite for sex thing), the result is a bombshell for all ages.

Sasha Grey is the wet dream of men and women with dark-pedantic metal and/or electronic tendencies. A constant inspiration. While she fiercely defends the use of preservatives on the porn set, she’s about to release her first book, “Nëu Sex” (a collection of self-portraits in her first artistic photography adventure, on sale from 29th March, published by VICE), she’s the webmaster of her own website, director and founder of LA Factory Girls, her own agency, and “I Melt With You” is in post-production, a drama in which she stars alongside Jeremy Piven (the other reason to not give up on “Entourage”) and which caused a stir at Sundance a few weeks ago.

If all of the above isn’t enough to offer up your soul to Satan in exchange for her love –sisterly friendship will do, too–, apart from being left-handed and playing the guitar, she is part of aTelecine (alongside Pablo St. Francis and Anthony DJuan), a band signed to one of the most exciting witch house labels to have emerged in recent years, Pendu NYC –temple of esotericism and the occult-. On Pendu NYC, aTelecine release splendid industrial records in ultra-limited vinyl editions with mesmerising artwork –the band’s logo is the work of Todd Brooks, the Pendu NYC guru. And the best thing is that now Sasha Grey, through the interviews about aTelecine, has opened a new window to her cultural obsessions that leaves the whole catalogue of tastes as described above somewhat stunted. Sasha talks, with great ease, about her favourite synthesisers (like for example the ARP 2600), about what it was like to be a teenage black-metalhead, about how well This Mortal Coil and sex go together, while declaring her breasts natural and giving the boys advice on how to get the highest level of dirtiness with their girlfriends without being flippant with the language or syntactic structures they use.

To define all this as orgasmic would be tacky, and she would probably find in very poor taste. We would have to invent a new word to describe the exalted. From now on, if something or someone reaches this level, we should call it “sashagrey”. There’s no other way. This girl is special.

Neü Sex” will be released on 29 th March via VICE. You can get it here . Sasha Grey, the famous adult film star, is much more than a sex goddess: she’s the muse of indie film, has a cult industrial band, makes television shows and does photography. She is a pop icon on all levels and is now publishing her first book.

Neü SexNeü Sex

We would have to invent a new word to describe the exalted. From now on, if something or someone reaches this level, we should call it “sashagrey”. There’s no other way. This girl is special.

Sasha Grey

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