Rocket Man

How one enterprising Johnson Space Center physicist followed his dream to Hollywood and porn stardom

Margold met Styles on the set of Net Dreams, whose cast also included an African-American dwarf named Napoleon. More important, it featured Kim Chambers, the protégée of Ivory Soap Girl-turned-Porn Queen Marilyn Chambers, and Styles's future wife. Margold had helped Kim Chambers break into the industry, partly by making her jog six miles a day to help the 18-year-old lose her baby fat. He also looked after her like he looked after many of his "kids" in the industry. Ever protective of his young colleagues, Margold has established programs to help performers with emotional, financial, medical and legal needs. After all, as he says, performers are considered expendable.

"Immediately I saw in him this sort of strange form of purity," Margold says of Styles.

Margold told the newcomer he thought he was too innocent for an industry that completely disregards the emotional well-being of its talent. This includes the sin of omission, the smoke screen that managers, agents and producers use to obscure the Playpen of the Damned.

Staying well lubed between takes is a must.
Craig Malisow
Staying well lubed between takes is a must.
Styles tries to keep more than a leg up on the 
competition.
Craig Malisow
Styles tries to keep more than a leg up on the competition.

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"Nobody else warns anybody," Margold says. "Nobody else wants anybody to know that what they can do now could haunt them the rest of their life."

Margold felt Styles was walking right into the trap.

"He came out of the real world, he had this real career," Margold says. "He was sort of this strange, all-American kid stumbling into the X-rated industry, really sort of overwhelmed, I think, by it."

But soon Margold saw a glint in Styles's eye, something the veteran took for a sign of mischief. Whatever it was, Styles kept it to himself, never telling Margold why he wound up in L.A.

"Maybe he's doing this…for the rebellious nature of his psyche, or for some reason he maybe wants to thumb his nose at his past, or eradicate his past," Margold speculates. "No past ever goes away. It's always there."


Behold the paradox of the male porn star: He -- or, more specifically, the pop shot -- is an integral part of a sex scene. But since the woman on the box cover makes the sales, men usually earn about half what a woman makes per scene.

But the man's career potential is longer than that of a woman, whose value decreases with age. As Margold says, a man's job prospective is "as good as his dick. If your dick works, you keep on working. When your dick doesn't work anymore, you're through."

However, it's not as easy as it sounds. On the set, time is money, especially when homeowners can charge production crews hundreds of dollars per hour. A man must be able to stay hard and come on cue.

In this way, Margold says, "males are more valuable, because it's harder to find good ones. There's that famous line: 'A hard man is good to find.' "

Speaking with his down-home Dallas drawl, industry über-agent Jim South says, "Males seem to last a lot longer than girls do. A male performer, if he can perform, and if he doesn't have the type of personality that offends the girls that they're working with…there's no limit."

South says, "The guy is kind of like a prop. So since the concentration, even if it's a nice-looking guy like Scott, is not on the guy, they don't get shot up, where the girls can…After a while, they either rise to the top like Kim Chambers did, or they sort of get to where maybe some people are tired of watching them. That sounds cruel, but that's just the nature of the business."

A male must also be able to tweak styles depending on the subgenre.Oftentimes, Styles isn't aware of what he's starring in until he shows up that day. But he finds pleasure in the varying subgenres. Features offer two days of pay, one day for penetration, the next for dialogue. But the sex is usually more vanilla.

Wall-to-walls (scenes strung together with the same setting, e.g., an auto body shop whose staff of mechanics remarkably consists entirely of bottle-blond women with fake breasts) call for more positions and overall freakier sex.

Males must also be compatible with their female counterparts; bad vibes can ripple through the industry and turn a man into a pariah. The male must quickly learn and respect his co-star's boundaries.

"A big thing is kissing," Styles says, "which to me initially just blew my mind, that somebody would be concerned about kissing somebody else more than fucking them. But I actually understand it now…there's gotta be something sacred to them."

But male and female performers share the same woes when it comes to forging a romantic relationship approaching normal. Finding a mate outside the industry is burdened by the obvious, and marriages within the business tend to quickly fizzle.

Yet Styles and Chambers, 28, have been married for eight years, the industry equivalent of a lifetime. In their Redondo Beach home, far removed from their colleagues in the San Fernando Valley, the two work side by side, updating their Web sites in a basement office. In addition to his own site, Styles now builds sites for others. He's being creative, and using his brain in that way provides the balance necessary after a day of just using another body part, he says.

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