opinion

Living the Good Life

Tom Hymes
So I was hanging with Stuart Lawley on his private jet the other week, winging our way around the country on a frivolous jaunt to clear our heads after the .XXX seminar at the XBIZ Hollywood Conference, when a thought occurred to me: Should I be doing this? Should I be so cozy with this fellow? Will people care that I am in bed, so to speak, with "the devil?" The thought did not last. At that moment, we swooped low over the Grand Canyon and I lost all concern for repercussions or "doing the right thing." None of it mattered anyway. All I knew was that, as great a time as I was having with Mr. Funmeister Lawley — and believe me, the guy can partaaaay — I had to get back to L.A. in a few hours or I would miss my one-on-one dinner with FBI Special Agent Chuck Joyner. That I could not miss. We had a lot of names to go through and a tight deadline to meet.

Of course, my tête-à-tête with Joyner was not a freebie. I had asked for and received a very nice under-the-table stipend for taking time out of my valuable day to share so many of my secrets with federal law enforcement. And no one had twisted my arm, that's for sure. In the seven or so years that I have been dabbling in the porn biz, I've weaseled my way into many "secret" conference calls, been privy to a mountain of "insider info," and been the recipient of thousands of "off-the-record" comments, and it was time to cash in. I had never taken a dime for anything, never received a single perk at all, but there was no longer any reason to resist temptation. My plan was simple: string the feds along with just enough "tips" to keep them productive, but hold back just enough back to keep the green flowing in my direction.

Of course, for those who might be a tad concerned, I am playing both sides. For equal or greater "consideration," I will conveniently forget what I... never knew. Or better, I will conveniently remember something about a competitor. There are so many ways to skin this cat. And the thing is, I am not really providing anything they cannot get elsewhere. Yes, I have been present for many "confidential" discussions, but so by definition, had other people. Everything I know, other people know as well. If I do not make that information worth my while, someone else will, and I will once again have lost out to the lowest common dominator. Never again, as my people are wont to say.

There was, however, one last tricky factor, something that in one way or another I assumed I had to deal with. And that is my supposed reputation as a fighter for industry causes. Well, can I tell you how heavy that loathsome load has become, and how sick I am of defending the little guy? The fact is, and as some have noted, I am not even remotely impacted by either .XXX or 2257 inspections, and frankly, I could not give a shit. So, just to be clear, I am no longer your little secret-keeper, your little behind-the-scenes defender.

My new motto is, "...as long as the check clears." Lawley, of course, deals in cash. As the jet taxied to a stop, he pulled out a thick wad of very serious denominations; it was all mine, and even better, there is way more to come.

Yeah, right.

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