Q&A: Tera Patrick – “I’m No Different than Any Other Hot Chick”

At 36-35-34, she’s apparently lost her figure but none of her humility with that above comment…

from www.newyork.metromix.com – “We’re all hos on this bus.”

That nugget of wisdom can be found in “Sinner Takes All: A Memoir of Love and Porn,” the autobiography of adult film star Tera Patrick. The book, released this month by the very mainstream publisher Gotham/Penguin, is a candid, funny, occasionally scary look at the X-rated film biz and Patrick’s personal life. It’s also perceptive; at one point, Patrick accurately points out that “nude modeling and porn are the only areas of the entertainment industry that seem to truly embrace women of all shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds.”

In a year that saw adult video vixen Sasha Grey star in a Steven Soderbergh film, it’s little surprise that Patrick, now retired, has carved out a space in the mainstream (it doesn’t hurt when Margaret Cho is writing your book foreword and the New York Post is mentioning you in Page 6, either). Before her book tour started (it hits New York on January 5), we talked with Patrick about her, leaving the adult business on good terms, and why Tiger Woods should be destroyed.

Why put out a book now?
It was the right time. I’ve been in the adult industry for ten years, in the adult Hall of Fame…and I’ve retired. I haven’t shot a film since 2006. There were a lot of requests from my fans about what I’m up to.

So besides the book, what are you up to?
I’m still modeling and doing magazine shoots. I’m also starting a burlesque show at one of the major casinos in Las Vegas that should be ready by March. It’s basically Cirque du Soleil meets the Pussycat Dolls.

Are you a good dancer?
I love dancing – and I’m pretty good. I’ve spent a couple of years perfecting it. Admittedly, when I started dancing in clubs around 2003, it was a little more….primitive. But now I’ve got some moves and some feather boas. I’m working with the choreographer from Cher’s Vegas show. I’m doing some Pilates and yoga to get in shape.

I always wondered how adult film stars stay in shape.
My weight has gone up and down. I was pretty thin, and I was once a natural 36D, 28, 35…now I’m a 36-35-34. I’m 33-years old…my body is changing! But I look at my mom – she’s 50 and looks 30. I take good care of myself, but I’ve never been strict on my diet.

Speaking of looks, what do you think of your old industry going hi-def?
A:That’s so scary! Who wants to see anything that close-up? Thank God for laser hair removal.

Your book, much like the one by Jenna Jameson a few years ago, is being released by a major publishing house. And this year, one of your old co-horts (Sasha Grey) starred in a Steven Soderbergh film. Has it become easier for people in the adult industry to cross over to the mainstream?

A:I don’t know if it’s easier for someone in this industry than it was a few years ago. It was a natural progression for me. But it’s different for everyone. I actually think it’s hard enough as it is to get into the mainstream no matter what you come from. Models, waitresses…everyone’s pounding the pavement.

You’re about to embark on a book tour. What kind of fans are you expecting?

A:You know, everybody’s a fan of porn. At Fashion Week, Kanye West came over to talk to me. Or I’ll just run into someone at the local AT&T store or Forever 21 who knows me. And I’ve got a HUGE military following – there’s been a lot “you got me through five tours in Iraq” or “we made our baby to you” types of comments. 99.9% of my fans are fabulous. Why would they be rude? I bring cheer and mirth! And without my fans – well, they gave me my life! They’re the reason I have a nice car and live in a beautiful home. I’ll stop and sign autographs or my book for anyone.

I think I’m no different than any other hot chick – people look at Cameron Diaz the same way, they just haven’t seen her naked. Look, I was put on Earth for a reason – maybe not to be a porn star – but I’m making the best of what I’ve got it. I’ve made a lot of money, and thank God in America you can do that. I’m a businesswoman first and foremost.

I’d be curious to hear your opinions on Tiger Woods.

A: Well, every guy cheats. Why not get a little on the side? Accept that, and you’re fine. Most women are so devastated, though, when they find out their husbands aren’t monogamous and faithful. With Tiger…I know those girls. They’re hookers. It’s kind of sad. That said, he doesn’t seem like a good guy, and I hope his wife beats him. She deserves better.

Do you have any desire to do a mainstream film?
A: It’s not something I’m striving for. I want to become a brand, not a Hollywood actress. I’d love to have a nightly talk show, something like Bill Maher or Larry King. Anderson Cooper is my big crush! I know a lot of girls get into porn thinking it’s the way to crossover to the mainstream – which doesn’t work.

I take it, after your breakup [with NYC musician Evan Seinfeld, of Biohazard fame], that you’re maybe looking for something a little different in any guy you date.

A:(Laughs) I’m very single right now, and my taste has evolved. Anyone I date can’t be a rock star or have tattoos. No more bad boys. I’m actually seeing this Armenian businessman who treats me like a princess.

Margaret Cho wrote the foreword for your book – how do you know her?

A: She’s a friend of mine, and she’s hilarious! Margaret came on my radio show on Sirius, and we totally fell in love. She’s another Asian American girl with some similar experiences growing up with stereotypes. We have a lot in common. We’re Asian and female and showing off our “strong, sexy sides” in public, which isn’t always appropriate in our culture.

The book starts with you in a psych ward – why start there?

A:Trying to kill yourself – that’s a good place to start re-examining your life. I wanted to know what led me down that path. It was weird having all this adoration and not loving myself. I’ve always loved Marilyn Monroe, and I kind of felt like she must have at the end of her life. It’s strange now – a lot of men think my life must be a party. But I’m living with my mom and my dogs in Vegas. People don’t see that side.

Any advice for people who want to enter the adult biz?
A: Treat it like a business. And don’t sign anything without a lawyer. It’ll ruin your life.

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