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Without porn, I wouldn't exist.

An interesting pill for me to swallow…


You see, my dad was a porn star in the 70’s and early 80’s. Like, that was his job for a good decade or so. He started doing pornography when he lived in San Fransisco with his first wife, my brother’s mother. He lived on the corner of Turk and Lyon St., and so his porn name became Turk Lyon.


After he and his wife split, he moved to LA where he could get more jobs, which is where he met my mom.


My dad died of lung cancer at age 43. I was 4. I didn’t learn he was a porn star until after my mom’s death when I was 24 or so. She never mentioned it. My aunt brought it up one day, all nonchalantly, as if I obviously knew.


He was a lot more than a porn star though. He was an artist of many mediums— he drew, painted, played the trumpet, wrote, and was a restaurant reviewer when he was my dad. The dude got paid to eat. Which seems like a natural transition for someone who got paid to f*ck.


Although I have photographs, his journal from when he was dying, several of his paintings on my walls, and these two stunning books filled with portraits he drew of everyone who came to visit him when he was bed-bound for the last year or so of his life, and even some home videos from the time when he was sick and going through chemo, what I don’t have are any of my own real memories of him.


Anyone who knew my dad is quick to share about how handsome he was. Some talk about how obnoxious he was. Some talk about how fun he was.


My birthday is in a couple of weeks. I had the random inspiration to have a Japanese inspired birthday. Two of my dear friends and I are going to SF to spend the day at the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park, and then head to Japantown. The other night I was google mapping the distance between the park and Japantown, and as I zoomed up on the 2 mile route, directly between, like right smack in the middle of them, is Turk and Lyon Street. I told my friends who are going with me about the significance of this discovery. One of them didn’t know yet that my dad was a porn star. And as I was filling him in on the situation over Banh Mi’s and boba tea, he asked, “would you ever watch the videos?”


“Ummmm” I said to buy myself some time as I contemplated my conundrum. My father…The one who left the greatest gaping hole in my heart before I could even understand what it was to have a gaping hole in your heart. The person I’ve longed to know the most. The one who’s love I’ve craved so desperately, without even knowing what it possibly could feel like to have a father’s love. This guy… is captured in over 50 videos in the prime of his beautiful existence. And yet, in all of them, he’s having all kinds of wild, naughty sex.


We googled, “Turk Lyon Porn”, and the very first link read, “vintage porn model Turk Lyon”. I clicked the link, and to my great bewilderment, there were direct links to his whole catalogue, including a directory of which scenes you could find him in. The last time I googled him, all I got was his IMBD page, with a list of the films he had been in, but not the films themselves. That was probably 10 years ago. The internet has evolved.


So, what does one do with that?


Well, I’ll tell you what I did with that. I told my childhood best friend about the situation. She didn’t know my dad, we met when we were 5, one year after my dad’s death.


Without even asking, she volunteered. “I’ll watch ‘em.”


And she got right to it. Sent me screenshots of him as a biker, as a sailor, as an office guy, as someone who worked for the rich. She watched the sex scenes and shared some anecdotes.

By the end of her day of viewing she said, “I have a crush on your dad. He looks good in everything.”


She described his hands as pristine, like a prince’s.


Bless the friend who will watch your dead dad’s entire 70’s & 80’s porn catalogue in one day, because you can’t do it yourself.


Even though he’s a more or less a stranger to me, he’s still my dad.


And there are just some things that you shouldn’t have to watch your parents doing.


Even if it’s your only way to see them alive and well.


So why am I sharing this story? I’m sharing this story because it’s something that’s up for me right now. And because life is a fascinating unfoldment. And when we learn more about where we come from, and who we come from, and what lead to our existing in the first place, we can ease up on ourselves for having complicated relationships to intimacy and love. And if there’s anything that I believe makes us better at loving, it’s being open and exposed, honest and real about our stories. It’s lifting every stone to see what’s underneath, or asking our closest friends to do so on our behalf, lol.


We are the glorious composite of all the weird shit that has happened and will continue to happen.


As I have a more low-key and cautious relationship to life than my parents did, it gives me some kinda odd comfort to know that I carry their wildness within me. Their zesty hunger to live this life fully. To celebrate pleasure. To explore the edges. To live on the fringes. To create create create.


Speaking of creations, I just dropped a new audio series! It’s a bundle of three, 30 min. audios to put on as you’re falling asleep, aimed to rebuild self-worth after experiencing a blow. Anything from a breakup, to any kind of rejection, to family drama, to struggles at work. You can check out samples of the audios on my IG page.


The series is $20 off for the month of June, $39 instead of $59. If self-doubt and insecurity have been up for you, and you haven’t been feeling like your grounded, confident self lately, I highly recommend starting your journey tonight. It’s designed to work on the deep subconscious layers of the mind where real change gets made.



Thanks for taking the time to read my story <3


With Love and a touch of Wildness,

Halley

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