San Francisco- I spoke to the legendary Serena Tuesday morning. She will be making an appearance this week at AEE in Vegas and will be inducted Friday night into the Legends of Erotica, www.xxxdeepthroat.com
She was finishing up her career in 1986 just as I was getting into the business. And during the course of some recent conversations with Bill Margold, he was telling me that Serena is like a sister to him. I convey this to her and Serena says the feeling’s mutual, that Margold’s one of the first people she met in the business.
Serena wants to give a plug to her website, www.classicpornserena.com but I don’t see it coming up when I type in the name.
“It has a lot of photos both in the golden years and now,” she says, nonetheless. “And it has my daily journal which can be pretty hot. I still get in lots of adventures. And it’s a mish-mash of other things: as much hot stuff as I can get on there.”
By way of example Serena says she likes to travel, go to places and fuck the brains out of guys she doesn’t know.
“Stranger-fucking,” I love that,” I tell her.
“Then I come back to my boyfriend and I don’t have to tell him or I will tell him, it doesn’t matter,” she says. One of the escapades took her to Jamaica and she suspects that the hotel she was staying at provided her go-the-distance room service.
“It was like a couples resort and I’m pretty sure the front desk had sent over this gorgeous, tall black man; or maybe Puerto Rican,” she recalls.
“He had very dark skin. He was very good-looking, very lanky. He accommodated me for the evening. He brought over cocktails and we sat around. I had a private cabin and it had this patio in the front with a pool. So we took a swim and started fondling each other. He gave me a massage by the pool then just one thing led to another!”
“Talk about compliments of the house.”
“I think it was,” she laughs. “I don’t know how he found me, otherwise.”
“What did he do- just come to your door?”
“He came to my door with a tray of cocktails,” she swears. “Those rum drinks that are famous in Jamaica? One swig of those and I was, hello, come in for the evening. He wanted to stay longer but I finally had to kick him out.”
“So you’re a pick-up slut.”
“I probably am,” Serena admits. “The other thing I remember distinctly- I went to one of those seafood restaurants by the ocean and there was a really cute guy stocking the salad bar. I told him he should come home with me. He did and we started a kind of a fling. At the time I lived way on top of a mountain in Marin- like as high as you could get and he would bicycle all the way up to see me.”
“That’s working for it.”
“Really working for it,” she agrees. “And he’d come up and we’d take a hot tub and he’d spend the night. It was so nice. He had the most beautiful cock.”
Serena has always been an artist in fond of beautiful cocks. She paints and makes a living at it.
“I have done some erotic art and that’s on the site,” she points out. “It’s mostly paintings of blow jobs. They’re some pen and ink drawings though not all my paintings are like that. I have other ‘legitimate’ paintings.” She does occasional shows which will sell out. And Serena uses her real last name as her signature and plays down any connection to her former porn career.
She sold her first painting at the age of four- a water color of Japan Town when she lived in Hawaii. Serena and her father were having sushi in a restaurant and she was carrying the painting with her. And someone at the sushi bar bought it from her.
“I remember the painting- it was on a piece of cardboard,” she laughs. “It had lots of umbrellas.” Though Serena did go to college for awhile, her skill and proficiency is mostly self-taught.
“I went to college because I didn’t have a studio to work in,” she explains. “And I went to use their facilities though I have had other studios here and in Miami.”
She describes her style as being ‘figurative-expressionism.’
“I mostly paint people- faces actually,” she says. “Although I veer off into abstract, occasionally. Or just big paintings of flowers. But mostly faces. And I work in series- I have one series called ‘Big Women’ and they’re all six feet tall.”
“What’s behind your choice of that?” I ask.
“Actually I think they were an homage to De Koenig,” she says. “He did a painting called The Woman and when I was studying art in school that really impressed me. It’s my feeling of wanting to give power to myself. They’re all really large women. One of the paintings showed up in a museum here.”
“I’ve been chasing big chicks all my life,” I tell her. “We’d make a good team. You paint ’em and I chase ’em.”
Serena says she has sold a lot of that particular series of painting.
Never to let art get in the way of a good porn story, Serena’s asked the standard question of how she got into the business.
“I was a rebel,” she says. “I was very active sexually all through my teens. I got married real early and had a baby real early. I wasn’t so much promiscuous as wanting to explore sex in every aspect. I was never taught in school or otherwise- never by my parents- and I didn’t understand what my classmates were saying, except that I was a slut and I didn’t care.
“Towards the end of my teens I somehow ended up going to an agent then I went to Bill [Margold]. Bill actually got me a lot of work.”
Serena was living in LA and started out modeling for men’s magazines like Gallery where she had a cover one issue, the centerfold the next. She was also featured in Oui, Hustler and High Society.
“I did a lot of magazine work- including not the greatest magazines,” she chuckles. “Including the little jerk off magazines that came out of San Fernando Valley. Then I guess I graduated to making loops for bachelor parties and that turned into 16 mm extravaganzas.”
Serena’s first impressions of Bill Margold define him as “a big teddy bear.”
“I remember the office and the big desk and he had teddy bears everywhere,” she continues. “I always thought until last year that he was a Bears football fan. he’s actually a Lions’ fan- I didn’t even know that until last year. Anyway, we got along real well and he sent me out for a lot of work.” Serena recalls the one time when she and Margold had a scene together. They almost got killed.
“I worked on various movies with him but only did one scene I can remember,” she goes on to say. “It was too weird. It was too incestuous and I didn’t like it. We got into bed and we were going to have this scene and the entire lighting above the bed fell down and nearly killed us both- like all the lights. Somehow they missed us. The whole rigging could have fallen on us and it was really treacherous. We came out unscathed and just looked at each other. My God, this is not a good idea. That’s what I remember of our big scene. He may have other stories.”
Serena couldn’t begin to tell you how many movies she appeared in, but says her filmography is listed in detail on her site.
As a kid she also recalls taking dance and voice lessons with the idea of maybe going one day into legitimate acting and becoming a real movie star.
“When I was in front of the camera,” I was happy,” she says. “But I was never disappointed about going into erotic work.”
When she did get to do mainstream, Serena appears in the George C. Scott movie, Hardcore; another time in “10”. In Hardcore she plays a dancer and has a girly scene with Season Hubley who played Scott’s daughter in the movie. During the filming of 10 Julie Andrews, babysat Serena’s daughter, Diamond, who now appears on her website.
“She looks exactly like I did when I was 20,” says Serena. “She’s very hot. She’s a good girl. She’s not involved in the industry but her picture’s up there.”
Before she actually started doing hardcore movies, Serena recalls doing a simulated scene and being busted for it.
“I wound up in jail a few times,” she comments. “This was in LA and there was this big vice cop that was always going around and pounding on your door at four in the morning, dragging you off to jail. It was really awful.” She swears this actually happened.
“I remember going to court and Bill was laughing the whole time we were in court- he figured if he got all consecutive charges together he’d be in jail for 92 years. And he thought it was hilarious. I was scared out of my wits, of course. But it was only simulation and they inserted the hardcore. It’s obviously not me. But it was funny because the judge excused himself, went and watched the movie. Then they came back and said this has socially redeeming value, you’re excused.”
Obviously the experience didn’t scare Serena off enough. She began doing hardcore shortly thereafter. All of this is happening somewhere around 1974 but even Serena can’t put a definite time stamp on when she started in the adult business.
She does remember, however, working with literally a handful of performers.
“You could count maybe ten that were the core group- that’s male and female.”
By the time she decided to quit the business, it wasn’t for any one reason.
“I just got kind of tired- I explored all the avenues in LA, San Francisco and New York,” she continues. “I lived with Jamie Gillis for two years. It was very hot. We were in lust.”
Serena agrees that Gillis’ wacky ways on screen were just as much in evidence off of it.
“We’d go by train across country because he wouldn’t fly,” she recalls. “We were very in demand as a couple, so we’d be going back and forth all the time. We’d rent a car with a bed, then we’d go stalking pretty girls in coach and drag them back to our bedroom. And we’d be doing that for three and a half days.” Serena says it was pretty easy finding girls.
“It’s pretty hard to say no to Jamie,” she laughs. “He’s very much into S&M and he could go either way. So he’d either give them spankings and then he’d beg them to let him cum on their high heels. He’d always do something strange. But he was interesting. I learned a lot about the dark side with him. I was this white angel and he was the dark devil, but I loved him.”
The fact that Gillis lived in New York and she, yearning for California, ended the relationship.
“I got really homesick for California- he came out with me and that ended it,” she says. “He didn’t do well in California and I’m a California kid. I was very excited about Manhattan but he belonged there and I didn’t, really.”
The last time Serena was at Margold’s she talked to Gillis on the phone.
“He sounded great- he sounded like the same old Jamie.”
Though she watches an occasional porn movie, Serena finds little to keep her up to date with the present industry. She’s had occasion to watch a few old movies of herself and mentions Olympic Fever www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=19488 which was filmed in Big Bear with a cast that included herself, Margold, Ron Jeremy, Paul Thomas, Seka, Ron Jeremy and John Holmes.
“It was really a cool movie- it was very good, actually,” she says. “I was surprised how good it is. It wasn’t snowing, then it was snowing. It was great. I saw that recently and John Holmes was in that. John was a good friend of mine.”
Fans this week will be able to catch up with Serena at the Arrow Productions’ booth, www.xxxdeepthroat.com beginning Thursday.
“Arrow has a lot of my movies,” she says. “Then I’m going to be inducted.”