Here we go again. A new day. New life. New ways of thinking about things, and not allowing myself to shove my emotions into cute little nicely wrapped boxes. Two therapy sessions today, one with Jilly Beans, my love and sex therapist, and one with Dr. Kareem, my Mr. new pants dark haired easy to talk to psychiatrist, and I like how I have a lady to deal with my heart and a man to deal with my brain. I think it is a good way to separate the issues at hand, because lord knows there are issues at hand.
When I started this blog, I didn’t expect anyone to find it. I expected to be able to creep under the guise of a nameless character, sort out some issues with no hopes for responses, and that was that. Ironically enough, the meeting today with Dr. Kareem pretty much centered around my identity, or lack thereof. We played 20 questions, him asking, and me with diarrhea of the mouth, which happens quite often after years of pent up emotions and words, and by the end of it, I think he knew what is going to be most important in my recovery…..from substances and porn. I must find my identity.
The funny thing is, and not like funny haha, but funny strange, is that I can’t help but wonder how other pornstars have done it. How other people in general have been able to separate work from personal, because at one point, I quit taking off the Penny mask when I got home. I kept wearing it right on through dinner with best friends (all of them cried when they realized that Jennie is back to stay), through nighttime romps with lovers and insignificant others, even in the shower, which I have desecrated by filming myself getting clean before heading to work to get dirty. I’ve been wearing this Penny Flame mask so much that it somehow ended up superglued to my face, and ripping the thing from my cheeks has caused blood spill and tears. Guess that’s what happens right?
I had become so into the character that when people would ask me “Are you Penny Flame?” I would reply yes. Yes I am.
At no point did it ever occur to me that I am not Penny Flame. That I am Jennie Ketcham playing a character named Penny Flame, for monetary and sexually profitable purposes. I truly became Penny Flame.
I had become so into the character, that on the show, it took two days to figure out who people were talking to when they’d yell “Jennifer” down the hall. I would walk past Duncan while he said “Jennie, come here” and continue walking outside. It took the mic guy yelling “Jennifer” for ten minutes, and then finally “PENNY” for me to turn around and remember, oh yes. That is my name. Jennie is my name. Damn. My bad.
So my first step in becoming a functioning adult, in becoming the woman I wanted to be as a little kid, is doing things that I like to do. Things that have nothing to do with Penny Flame. Things that are truly Jennie Ketcham. My shit. yes. time to do my shit.
Dr. Kareem questioned my ability to still participate in the adult world, not so much worried, but speculative about my ability to keep Jennie and Penny separate. Jennie is me. Penny is my character. Check. And these are things I have worried about as well, things that would keep me up at night long before VH1, or any of this had all started. These were questions I asked at the beginning of my adult career, and questions that have gone unanswered for 8 years.
Where do pornstars go when they die?
Well my answer has always been for other pornstars:
Easy, they turn into hookers or make-up artists. Duh.
These are never answers I applied to myself. For a few reasons. One, I can only be a camera whore. Penny I mean. Penny Flame is a camera whore. Minute the camera is off, we are done. Promiscuous yes, hooker no. And two, I can barely do my own make-up let alone someone else’s. If I can’t make myself pretty then how the fuck am I going to make another chick pretty??? Besides, I don’t have the patience or sugar coating capabilities for that, because make-up artists are some of the most patient and sugar coating capable people on earth.
Model: “Can you cover this zit?”
Make-up artist: “sure honey, don’t worry. You won’t even know its there.”
My mouth is much too quick, and my brain too incapable of lying.
Model: “Can you cover this zit?”
Me: “That’s a fucking crater, and its a brush not a wand. What the fuck did you do to your face???”
No, my pornstar heaven couldn’t have been in make-up artistry, or hookerdom, and because those are the only two options I’ve seen, I refused to commit to a heaven for myself. I figured just go where the wind takes you, and when you get to the end, you will know what you want to do.
But now, I’m calling bullshit on myself. I’m calling shennanegins. Because that’s like getting on the freeway and saying
“Oh, well, I don’t quite know where I am going, but when I run out of gas, I’m sure I’ll know where I want to be.”
Why the fuck was I going to just let myself run out of gas? What if I’m in the fast lane, and can’t get over to the side quick enough? What if my tires get bald before the gas tank goes empty and I blow all four tires trying to find someplace to go? And what if I’m fucking stuck in Chatsworth when my car dies? I don’t want to be stuck in Chatsworth for the rest of my life!!! Jesus Christ….What a fate.
So Dr. Kareem suggests that I do things I like doing. To which I replied, “I already am.” I’ve started this blog, I’ve been painting and drawing (actually working on a whole series of charcoal sketches meets canvas), I’m hiking, and moving away away away from porn valley. I still intend on doing some things in adult, like directing for Vivid, but I can wear my Penny Flame directing mask for a couple days without feeling like I have to put on the whole fucking suit. Or I guess take it off as the case would be.
And the most amazing part of this entire situation? When I got on the computer today to write, I didn’t expect for anyone to have read my musings. And what happened? My box was full of supportive comments, with people calling me Jennie. I sat there and cried as I read every single comment, bursting into hardcore sobs every time my name appeared. Jennie. Jennie. Jennie. I’m crying now just thinking about all the wonderful people in this world who don’t give a fuck about the death of Penny Flame. Who realize that she is just a character created by me, and coincidently lived by me. The massive amount of support from friends, fans and complete strangers completely overwhelmed me, and I haven’t been able to shut off the messy tears since I sat down to write.
So thank you. Thank you for extending your hearts, and your souls and reaching out to me in a way I never expected. Thank you for knowing my name and for caring. It means more to me than you will ever know, and you’ve touched me deeper than any stallion pornfuck ever could. Ovaries smovaries. Every single person who has read this has touched my heart, and that is something I haven’t felt for years. Thank you for reminding me it is there.
Entitled “Personal Growth”