Known for her energy and enthusiasm in scenes, Debi Diamond was an active performer from 1983 to 1995, leaving the adult business as video started to replace film. “I left town,” she said with a laugh. “We had an earthquake in 1994, and I lost my home. I didn’t have earthquake insurance and my house was unlivable.”
She went on the road stripping, “and I had an itch to be a mother, and I followed it.”
The transition from adult performer to stay-at-home housewife and mother was tough for Diamond.
“I feel I have an addiction to sex, or the business, because that’s all I really enjoyed. It was a test for me not to partake in anything for 15 years. I cut everything off and devoted myself 100 percent to what I was doing. I did it 100 percent and enjoyed it thoroughly. Very hard work, and I’m not finished yet.
“You have to put yourself last, if you do parenting right, and I put myself last for many years. When the kids get old enough and they’re running around and doing other things, you’re like, ‘Wow, I’ve got some time left .... What do I really want to do?’ And I never lost the passion inside me for the only business I ever knew, so I decided to come back. I didn’t know in what capacity, and I didn’t know if my age was going to swing anything, but I wanted to see what was going on.
“I never thought anybody would remember me, or that I had made any impact on anybody. But going on MySpace and getting letters from people just drew me back. It was someone saying it’s OK to be involved again.”
What she found when she came back to performing was an explosion of technology.
“Things had changed. When I started it was just film. It wasn’t legal and we were outlaws. Then video came and we were shooting 20 scenes a day — I’m not complaining, it was one of the high points of my life [laughter] — the complete opposite of what it started as.”
Diamond has gotten back in force, not only performing on camera but establishing VOD sites and starting a new production company with Bionca Seven to shoot content for Internet sale.
“I’m doing things that make me happy. I’m With Lisa Ann, she represents the MILFs, and she got me with Zero Tolerance and my old friend Mike Quasar. We made a few movies. I don’t know about this MILF thing. I still love to do it, but I’m not 20 anymore.”
She has noticed some differences in scenes.
“The guys are always young looking. That’s a change. It’s weird at first, but I got used to it.
“Now, you can do pretty much anything you want because a lot of it goes right on the Internet. You can do different things, and you can do a lot more than before. Before, you would be told, ‘You can’t have this, you can’t have slapping and fucking.’ Now you can do pretty much anything.
“The other thing that blew me away was that after we finished the scene, Mike took the card out of his camera, popped it into his computer, and we watched it five seconds after I finished it. Technology. Wow. I love it. Now, after I shoot a scene, I can have it on the Internet in two days.”
The production company with Seven started slowly and is growing. It started with Diamond and Seven doing scenes together with a cameraman, and now they shot scenes with amateur talent, with Diamond and Seven working both sides of the camera.
“My big thing is I love to direct. I love to be in charge, and I love to find the people who really want to be there and really want to make a good movie.”
Diamond still is enthusiastic about her scenes.
“I did this gangbang for Jules Jordan, and I think it’s the best thing that I’ve done in many, many years. It’s in ‘Dirty Rotten Mother Fuckers 3.’ [laughter]”
Tabitha Stevens started in 1995 and left the adult business in 2002.
“I left because of a guy,” Stevens told XBIZ. “Things [in the industry] were changing and getting nastier, and he said ‘You should stop, because I can’t handle it.’ And I did.
“Then I dumped him, and I continued stopping. And then I started doing mainstream stuff.”
Stevens had been a regular guest with Howard Stern, and that continued after she stopped performing in adult. She also appeared in a couple of mainstream movies, and was a guest on “Dr. 90210.”
“I was the only celebrity guest who was on every season of that show.”
She has had extensive plastic surgery, which she freely admits, often paid for by mainstream TV shows like “Entertainment Tonight.” (“They don’t always pay for it, but they can get you a good price.”) But sometimes it wasn’t done correctly.
“The doctor who put the chin implant in my face put it in the wrong place, you’ll find out in ‘Dr. 90210.’ He put it right in the middle of my chin instead of underneath my chin. Insane. But I’ve gotten a lot of that stuff taken out, and the only thing that’s going in my face is — We all know what’s going in my face — but it belongs to somebody else,” she added with a laugh.
The TV shows and Howard Stern weren’t paying jobs, but they were exposure. She had saved her money, investing it and living on it after she left active performing. Outside the adult industry she opened a video store with an ex-husband, which failed, and has worked as a producer on an HBO series produced by her current husband.
After some grueling work producing a pilot for an episodic TV show, she decided to get back into adult performing.
“I spent so much time stroking other people’s egos. I decided I needed a break from producing, and I wanted to get back to being ‘Tabitha Stevens’ for a little bit. I’m getting older. Right now the MILF genre is huge. I’m right now in the best shape of my entire life. I said to my husband, ‘Would it be OK if I go back and do this? Because I really need a break from producing.”
She has noticed changes since she’s been back.
“When I used to go on a set, everybody knew everybody. It was a smaller group. Now there’s so much more talent, you don’t see the same people on set. I have not encountered the same person on a set unless I requested them.
“Some of them I’ve never met, and they’re kind of not friendly at first. They have to warm up to you. In the past, everybody was super-nice, even if it was your first time. That’s different. But once you get to know the people, it gets better. And good thing, too, because when you’re having a bad time at work, it shows in your performance.”
She noticed one other thing too.
The guys in the industry now, their penises are getting bigger. I’m like, ‘Where the hell did that come from? What are they doing?’ I was working with one guy and I measured my arm against it and it was bigger than my arm. It was Scott Nails. Huge, but he was super cool and he knew how to use it.
When asked if there’s anything she’s going to do differently this time around, she says there is.
“I’m doing an interactive project next week, and that’ll be the only time — for a while, at least — that I’ll be doing anal. It’s a little scary. Before, we used condoms, and now they don’t. I understand that everybody is tested and that’s great, but I get a little worried because every time I did an anal scene we used condoms. I’m going to hold off on that.
“I got back just to do it. I’ve been cool working with everybody. I’ve been under contract but I liked being out there more. If you want to be a star, work for everybody you can. “If you’re coming back, you want everybody to know about it.”
Mia Rose, 22, appeared in some 70 titles in 2006 and 2007 before dropping out of the adult business after being injured shooting an anal scene and meeting a new boyfriend.
“I’m still seeing him, but I’m shooting scenes on the side,” she said with a laugh.
While she was out of the adult industry, she started training guide dogs for the blind, doing glamour modeling and being a professional video game player, getting paid to play Warcraft while on camera.
“This January, instead of Adult Expo, I went to CES. I did a couple of interviews for the big gaming sites. They paid me to go out there, and it was really awkward. People paying you to be out there and be clothed. I’m a big dork.”
She says that one reason for her return to performing was the attention.
“I missed it. If you’re a human, you need attention, and I wasn’t getting the attention I wanted,” Rose said. “I wasn’t able to breathe, and attention is my air. So I came back.
“I like the way that I feel when I do porn. I feel good about myself. I like the way it makes me feel and I missed that feeling.”
Since returning, she has appeared in “Pornstar Workout” for Elegant Angel with Manuel Ferrara (“The first time in two years, he said,”) and a segment of the hardcore fantasy Internet site Whorelore.
She plans to pick and choose her projects and costars this time around.
“Acting is a dirty word. I can’t act. I wish everyone would be okay with that. I was in ‘Double Trouble’ for Adam & Eve and I failed. My sister [Ava Rose] is quite a good actress but I never got it. I got flustered and I get really nervous. I have social anxiety. When I’m having sex, it’s a whole different thing, because you forget about the people who are there. But when you’re acting, you’re forced to notice the people around you.
“I’m looking forward to shooting a new ‘Big Wet Asses.’ My sister just did her first anal for them. I can’t wait. This is going to sound ridiculous because I keep saying it, but I’m going to work with Manuel. I have dreams about that guy. He’s something else.”