Breaking news (nsfw — surprise, surprise)

Breaking news: it is now retro to watch Gauge.

I believe Gauge was one of the best adult stars of the early 2000s, and represented an important trend, the resonation of which is still reverbating in the industry today: the individual, the self-made star, the branded girl who has put some time in to her scenes and has control over her career: the end of the casting couch and the rotating door of painful implants and bleached blondes. She arrived in porn with GoliathGirls at a time when it was first making the jump to streaming video, and that has obviously been a key role in the industry ever since. But I would argue that Gauge really emerged at the head of the pack in that initial grab-bag of amateurs and contracted girls who were the first computer screen queens.

This picture exemplifies several of the reasons that I make that assertion.

  • Gauge knew the value of looking the part. She kept on key pieces of jewelry, and not just cliched junk like a crucifix or a wedding ring. Simple stuff, like a pair of stud earrings or a black hills gold ring on an index finger. Stuff you’d be wearing and not taking off for sex. That’s important for making it realistic.
  • This went for hair, too, which she generally trends toward the lightly fetishistic with pigtails and braids, but never anything fancy or over the top. White scrunchies, they look like they came from the Walgreens, no crazy amounts of hairspray or spiral curling iron updos here. This is a chick who came straight from band practice or something, you know? Like how it really is. A+ all the way.
  • She closed her eyes during the good stuff, and she kissed a lot in her scenes. That’s 99.9% of it, in my opinion. At least for me.
  • Finally, she knew what she was about, she knew what the business was and how to do it and gave it thought (not, like, Sasha Grey or Belladonna levels of thought, but Sasha and Belladonna are very bright and special cases). She eventually made the natural jump to behind the camera, but she had creative direction and control over her scenes even before that.

    X: What about guys?
    G: Who cares about the guys. (laughs) It’s all about the chicks.
    –Gauge, Interview with Cindi Loftus, Xcitement magazine

    I think she is right. No, I’m not going to be all mousy and not admit my opinions anymore, right? So what I mean to say is that I know she is right. And it’s at the heart of porn vs. erotica, of the intersection of sex and love … I have more to say about all this, later. It’s percolating.

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