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”I want James Deen to Deen Me with his Deen”: The multi-layered stardom of James Deen

Smith, Clarissa and Taylor Harman, Sarah (2017) ”I want James Deen to Deen Me with his Deen”: The multi-layered stardom of James Deen. In: Revisiting Star Studies. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 261-278. ISBN 9781474404310

Item Type: Book Section


The term ‘porn star’ most often refers to the female performer, where her renown is understood to rest on the particularities of her bodily presentation – her stereotypically large breasts, big hair and plastic smile – and who, in much critical discourse, simply demonstrates conformity to patriarchy’s hegemonic ideal of the available (and through her seeming availability, dirty) woman. For male porn stars, the constructions are just as limited: a recognisable and easily caricatured iconography of rampant masculinity reduced to their penis size, the male performer is often placed under erasure as the faceless substitute for the male viewer (Hardy 1998; Shelton 2002), or he is discursively positioned as the ‘man of action’ whose place within the narrative and/or mise-en- scène is as the ‘fucker’, pile-driving orgasms out of the woman (Dines 2010). Made to come, her body is the primary object of the spectacle, displaying her subservience to his big cock. His dialogue is limited to exhortations, his body is large, pumped up and often tattooed. Traditionally paid less than his female co-star, the male performer is rarely the main attraction (at least in pornography aimed at heterosexual audiences).In this chapter we examine the multi-layered stardom of James Deen, the straight American performer variously described as the Tom Cruise (Helmore 2012), Daniel Day-Lewis (Ayala 2013) or Ryan Gosling (ABC Nightline 2012) of porn. Deen has become a very visible persona in and outside of pornography, creating considerable media speculation about the causes and effects of his popularity, particularly for young women. It is in this ‘crossover’ that James Deen becomes particularly interesting, as the coupling of pornographic performer and celebrity persona ruptures usual understandings of relations between male stars and their fans.

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Depositing User: Clarissa Smith


Item ID: 9312
ISBN: 9781474404310
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Clarissa Smith: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 13:28
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 16:06


Author: Clarissa Smith ORCID iD
Author: Sarah Taylor Harman

University Divisions

Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Media and Communications


Media > Cinema and Film
Media > Media and Cultural Studies

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