Thanks for Luke is Back:
I spoke by phone Wednesday afternoon, 11/6/02, with Diane Kane aka Penelope Pumpkins of www.penelopepumpkins.com. She developed the game "Who Wants to Date a Porn Star?" at www.whowantstodateapornstar.com. Dream Games, a division of Federation X (www.federationx.com) operates the contest.
Diane: "I came up with the concept five years ago of combining a killer game with the prize of dating your favorite porn star, Penthouse Pet or Playboy Playmate. I thought this would be the Coca Cola of all games on the internet. It took me five years to get it funded. During the search, people either wanted to have sex with me because of the industry I was in or steal the idea.
"The game starts out as an ancient Chinese Mahjong. Then the second part is a roulette pertaining to each porn star playing. The person with the best score wins an all-expense paid trip and date with the porn star."
Luke: "Because it's a game, you won't have to worry about harassment from police for prostitution."
Diane: "I've been getting a lot of that in the interviews I've been doing. People wonder if this is an escort service. But no. There's no possible way with the rules we've stipulated plus the contracts that the models and players sign. This is a true game. We will announce our first winner December 10."
Luke: "How did you get so many stars to participate?"
Diane: "I've been in the industry for many years as Penelope Pumpkins. I've been a good person and I've never burned a bridge and I've made some good friends. It pays off in the end. The industry is a tight closeknit family. Since they knew me anywhere, they were glad to come aboard. Plus they are being compensated well.
"Our entertainemnt lawyer Fred Fierce is entertainment lawyer to Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stone, Mirage... We're trying to get this on network TV like MTV or Fox with a series like 'Who Wants To Date A Rock Star, Sports Star, etc...' Dreamgames is a part of the entertainment and media group FederationX.
"Federation X's Torbjorn Jorgensen does all the illustrations for Lord of the Rings, Star Trek... It's a mainstream company."
I read Penelope's bio on www.penelopepumpkins.com:
My life as a dancer is like most other girls. I was 17 and the black sheep in the family. I left home, dropped out of school and needed money. So, I started dancing. I tried out for a troop called Fantasy Playmates and made it. I also started doing bachelor parties and made great money.
A couple of years went by and a club opened called A.J's, so a few of us dancers started a new troop. The club started growing, and more girls came aboard. It started to become a sisterhood. Oh, I forgot to tell, you this all started in my home town of San Jose, California. I must tell you, those were the best 5 years of my life! I learned so much.
I studied dance ever since I was a little girl, but I learned teamwork. I put my way through culinary school and became a chef, but wanted more for myself. My girlfriend and I went to Mexico on vacation and I met a old friend of mine who was also a dancer. I went to visit him in Arizona and he took me to a club called Tiffany's. I never knew what a feature was. I saw a show and said to myself, "If she can do that, I can."
Luke: "How did you get into the adult industry?"
Diane: "I go way back. I was first with a female Chippendales show and then I started seeing a feature [dancer] at the club Tiffanys in Phoenix. I thought that if she could do that, I could do it. I'd done Girls of Spring Break for Playboy around 1992. I was put together with [dance agent] Marty Foyer. He created the duo Fire & Ice [Diane used the name Blake Winters and she performed with Tiffany Summers] and we became the number one dance duo in the country, [presaging] Blondage [Jenna Jameson and Nikki Tyler].
"Tiffany and I did a pretty pictorial for Penthouse.
"Those were some of the happiest days of my life. I'm really proud of the shows we did.
"I did a lot of mags and got my tits pumped up really big. I became Penelope Pumpkins and did all the busty mags - D-Cup, Gent, High Society, Hustler, Hustler Busty Beauties. I went to Lee Network [dance agency] and started doing porn.
"I did hardcore videos as Penelope Pumpkins to aid my marketability and price as a feature dancer. I did 20 to 30 videos in 1998-99."
Luke: "What were your breasts naturally?"
Diane: "Everyone wants to kill me when they see my natural pictures. Because I'm Greek and I had a killer body and I was a 34-C. I modeled for a lot of abstract body art. Then, I thought for the industry, I should have really big tits. And for some odd reason, I just wanted them bigger and bigger. Hey, they make good flotation devices. I was a 43-F - 24 - 34. I was lean. I trained hard.
"A lot of the big titted chicks were fat. They thought that because they had big tits, they could carry a lot of weight. I thought that was gross.
"Now I'm a DD. I had 15 pounds on my chest. It was hurting. I was doing hyper-extensions and back exercises to keep my back strong but I got tired..."
Luke: "Do you still dance on the road?"
Diane: "I quit three years ago. I used to tour seven, eight months a year. I lived on the road. You get tired of it. I was known for my shows. I had $45,000 worth of costumes. I've studied dance since I was a little girl."
Luke: "Would you describe your overall time in the adult industry as a good experience?"
Diane: "Oh yeah, I've had a great life. If I died tomorrow, I will have lived a full life. I've done it all. I've experienced bad and good. What you put into it is what you get out of it. It's how you embrace it and who you encircle yourself with. If you start doing drugs and getting in some bad cliques, it's not going to be a good experience for you."
Luke: "Any good stories from your five years trying to this date a porn star thing off the ground?"
Diane: "I met with this one company that I could've sworn was the maker of Everquest - one of the biggest games on the internet. These guys, after I f---ed them, this is the blonde root coming out of my head, I thought they were the developers of Everquest. In the end it turned out they just wanted to f--- me. It happened a couple of times."
Luke: "Is it hard to get guys to take you seriously with your big breasts?"
Diane: "I didn't have DD when I was trying to get this funded. I had the full rack.
"If you sit down and you really talk to me, I'm kinda smart. I have great ideas. I think initially that anyone is going to say, 'Gosh, she's got big tits. She's a porn star. Give her $10, she'll suck my dick.' Yeah, it was hard. And it was cruel.
"FederationX is based in Sweden. [Chairman of the Board Torbjorn Jorgensen] sent me his resume. He wanted to do illustration work of me. I saw his game. I figured this was my last shot. He flew down from Sweden to meet with me. We met in LA. He did the posters of Lord of the Rings. He's a well known illustrator for Disney...
"It's kinda cool now that I am more into a mainstream world even though the game isn't. The calibre and class that it's brought with it, there's nothing like it."
Luke: "Do you own PenelopePumpkins.com?"
Diane: "That's me. It's been up and running for five years. If only I had thought like Danni [of Danni.com] at the beginning? I was one of the first ones she did an interview with way back when... If I would've known I could've made a fortune."
Duc finally got up the courage to send Asia Carrera a polite email inquiry about a thread on www.theeroticreview.com discussing whether or not this handsome lady was available for escorting. One answer said yes, but for platonic escorts only for $10k an evening.
Asia replies: "Oh don't be gay! I don't even do public appearances if I can help it - why the heck would I be out escorting with complete strangers? Ugh, perish the thought! Happily, I don't even have to bother responding to the thread though, because I see my loyal assistant dictator has already 'been there and done that.'"
Luke: "Uhh, then, would you be available to have lunch sometime. For strictly professional reasons, swapping stories and such."
Asia replies: "I'm flattered that you find me interesting enough to warrant taking out so you can pick my brain, but doesn't that contradict with your belief that pornstars are a bunch of flaky heathen bimbos who are morally bankrupt and can't be trusted? LOL! I'd like to think that maybe I inspired you to reconsider your opinion, but one never really knows WHERE they stand with you. For all your blatant up front honesty about who you are and how you think, you're STILL impossible to read! (hmm, now I understand how some of my fans feel about ME! LOL!)"
I think that was a knockback.
Duc then finds out about this date a porn star game where he can win an evening out with Asia Carrera. He inquires of Asia if she is really participating.
Asia replies: "Yeah, it's not exactly my idea of a good time, but they 'made me an offer I couldn't refuse', so to speak. I'm just looking at it as a mini-public appearance, which is basically what happens anytime I out go to a store or restaurant in makeup anyway. I ALWAYS get recognized if I go anywhere with makeup on, so I can only thank my lucky stars that I look completely different without makeup! But if they're paying all the other girls as much as they're paying me, I may never actually have to go on my 'date', 'cause I believe I'm the last girl slated, so they could quite possibly be out of business by then. I know that's a horrible thing to say, but in this business, it's not that far-fetched a concept.
"Damn, it sure is a pain in the ass writing emails to you. I have to double and triple-check every one of my words while carefully considering the potential repercussions of my words being posted for the public to see. It would be nice if i could at least rely on you to ask permission before making my emails public knowledge, but I'm not sure I'd believe you even if you DID promise! :P But on the other hand, I do have you to thank for teaching me (the hard way) to always think before I type, because the joys of digital information mean anything I say in an email or a chatroom can come back to haunt me for the rest of my life. So I'm always careful to watch my butt by maintaining a politically correct tone, and that's a lesson all celebrities do need to learn eventually, so I thank you for that."
Duc replies: "This is hilarious. I was just asking you about escorting. Fast Eddie wrote on the thread that you will do it platonically for about 10k. Then you said, are you crazy? I am socially phobic, would never do it, platonically or otherwise. Now what you are doing is about the same as that $10k platonic escort. I am making no judgment of you here. It's just funny because you say you feel so shy with strangers et al. I would've sworn you would never do anything like this. Damn, maybe I will have to enter this game after all."
Asia replies: "Well, call me naive, but I always thought 'escorting' was just a euphemism for 'high-class hooker'. I didn't know there WAS really such a thing as 'platonic escorting', but I wouldn't be interested in doing that either. Anything that involves me going out alone with a stranger is not going to happen, period. I okayed this particular gig because (a) it does pay well, (b) it will be chaperoned the entire time, and (c) hopefully I'll be getting some p.r. from doing this, and that's the name of the game in this business!
"I know some girls don't see any difference between making movies and hooking, but to me there is a big difference. I feel safe and in control on a set, but hooking means you're all alone with a stranger who you did not choose to work with, so you could wind up having sex with the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or even worse, stuck in a scary situation with a complete psycho! Another thing to keep in mind is that every movie I do increases my marquee value and notoriety a little more, whereas hooking has no such benefits - in fact, it lowers your market value in many people's eyes. So I'll just stick to doing legitimate adult work, thank you very much!
"So does that clarify my reasoning a little better for ya? hugs, Asia"
Luke: "Do you think I might be gay?"
Asia replies: "Can I post that on my website?? LOL just kidding!
"But what a bizarre question. Maybe i missed something you said in the past, but what on earth would suddenly make you start wondering if you're gay? There's really only one criteria needed to answer that question though - do you find yourself more sexually attracted to men than women? Then you're gay. If you find BOTH sexually attractive for various reasons, then you're bisexual. If you'd screw anything that moves regardless of sex, I have another word for that - omnisexual. Sooo... which is it? hugs, Asia"