Sinner Takes All: A Memoir of Love and Porn

January 01, 1970

 (Gotham)

 

http://us.penguingroup.com/

 

BY ROXANA HADADI

 

In
Tera Patrick’s Sinner Takes All: A Memoir
of Love and Porn
(Gotham Books) she often reiterates how she, the sinner,
“takes all.” But what that “all” is, exactly, is never really described – and
as a result, it ends up being her book’s most crippling flaw.

 

If
you ever wasted hours of your life by watching VH1’s “SuperGroup,” or hey,
maybe you’ve seen Patrick directly in the dozens of pornographic films in which
she’s starred, then you’re fully aware of her lifestyle. After spending her
teenage years as a model abroad, Patrick (real name: Linda Ann Hopkins, of Great Falls Montana)
returned home to the U.S.,
bored with the fashion world and ready to venture into something new. Soon,
nude modeling turned into softcore porn, which then turned into hardcore – and
over the years, Patrick expanded into other media, hosting shows, dancing
internationally and eventually starting her own production company. But unless
you want to read an embellished version of her resume, don’t bother picking up
“Sinner Takes All.”

 

Instead
of giving readers any intimate, revealing aspects of the reasons behind
Patrick’s decision to enter porn, relationship with her parents or the
crumbling of her marriage to musician Evan Seinfeld (of mook-rock nu-metal band
Biohazard), whom she spends much of the book describing favorably (it’s only
the book’s afterward which discusses the break-up, since Patrick says most of
the memoir was written before the couple started to fall apart), it all reads
like somewhat expanded-upon diary entries. From the first half of the book,
which breezes over Patrick’s dysfunctional relationship with her mother, time
partying and modeling abroad and her dependent relationship on sex, readers
don’t really get answers, you get simplistic stories that just seem strung
together to fill the pages at hand.

 

For
example, in the chapter “Homecoming Scream,” you don’t really learn anything
about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Paul; you just find out that he taught
her “how to fuck, how to have an orgasm, and how to master my blow-job
technique.” There shouldn’t necessarily be a little how-to section regarding
each of those topics, but Patrick adapts that technique later on in her book,
so it seems weird not to use it here. Similarly, Patrick describes her first
penetration scene on-film as being exciting and invigorating: “I knew that I was
not like the average girl. Things like this turned me on. I wasn’t ashamed. I
wanted more,” but that doesn’t seem to jive with her earlier explanation of her
first sexual experience, which was with a much older photographer and which she
didn’t truly enjoy. It doesn’t really seem like you’re getting the real Tera
Patrick – more like the woman she thinks you would expect.

 

Nevertheless,
that’s not to say the book doesn’t have its moments: It’s interesting to read
about Patrick’s transition from softcore to hardcore and how that decision
affected her relationship with her parents, but those truly emotionally
intimate moments are few and far between. Instead, too much of the memoir is
spent mentioning other interesting aspects of her life, but not giving enough
detail to them – for example, she often touches on her lawsuit with Digital
Playground, but can’t divulge too much information on it, so readers are
obviously left wanting more. And similarly, though she often gushes over
Seinfeld and their sexual practices (“It was a passionate, crazy, emotional,
sex-crazed time,” she says of their first few months together”), it seems like
lazy writing to not include more about the dissolution of their marriage. Also
lazy is all the bashing of Jenna Jameson, which seems unnecessary and childish,
and numerous excerpts from her diary regarding her time after being committed,
instead of more in-depth reflection on how that period affected her life and
relationship with Seinfeld. A lot of it seems like Patrick is cutting corners
and not fully divulging all of her thoughts and emotions.

 

But
maybe – just possibly – these really are all of Patrick’s feelings, and
this reviewer is just expecting too much from a woman who constantly argues
that the only reason she entered porn was because she loves sex and isn’t
craving any other kind of societal acceptance. Too suspicious? Maybe. Simply
put, though, “Sinner Takes All” just doesn’t seem honest enough, and merely
falls flat (unlike Patrick’s chest, the size of which she brings up over and
over again). If that shouldn’t be enough to turn you off, maybe you should try
thinking with one head and not the other. Just an idea. 

 

***

 

About Patrick’s
co-author: Celebrity journalist Carrie Borzillo got her start at
Billboard before graduating to such dubious
achievements as columnist “Dr. Love” for Gene Simmons’
Tongue magazine and penning love/sex advice column
for SuicideGirls.com. She later published the 2007 book
CHERRY BOMB:
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, a Hotter
Girlfriend and Living Life Like a Rock Star.

 

 

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