Book Review: Girlvert: A Porno Memoir

On Thursday, I spent the entirety of the day and night in my PJ’s, curled up on the couch, reading Oriana Small’s porn memoir Girlvert.  I read an article about the book online a few months ago and had been meaning to read it ever since.  The memoir chronicles Small’s journey through porn as Ashley Blue.

After attending an open call for ‘figure models’ at The World Modelling Agency in L.A. Small learns on attendance that the agency is actually casting for porn movies.

The book is one of the most:
honest,
raw
unapologetic
blunt
vulgar
revolting
brave
jaw-dropping
filthiest
memoirs — I’ve ever read.  

​Small does not hold back from discussing the ugliness and grotesqueness of sex.  At times I literally had to stop reading and have a rest — it was so repulsive.  Blood, vomit, shit, dick-cheese.  There are no details spared. Yet you can’t stop turning the page.  That’s what honest writing does, it commands you to continue reading.  

Oriana Small

Admittedly, I’ve always loved reading about the seediness and vulgarity of life.  Whether it’s Bukowski’s beer-shits or Miller’s dry-cunted women.  I connect with the authenticity of it.  It wakes me up, shakes me up and makes me feel alive.  Small’s memoir made me feel alive again.

Towards the end of the book, Small refers to her filmography in porn as ‘performance art’ and I totally get that.  Judgmental arseholes feel the need to belittle her large filmography in porn.  But the fact is any film medium demands performers to show up and put in the hours.   (And one cannot begin to comprehend the mental, emotional and physical strength it takes to perform in hardcore pornos).

I haven’t done porn but I do know what it’s like to have my life’s work disregarded. Over the last 20 years I’ve worked continuously on independent and low budget projects in film, theatre and writing.  


I’ve dedicated hundreds of hours to creativity in various art-forms — often without pay. But because it’s not mainstream or big budget.  My work is considered less.  Well it ISN’T less.  It’s my heart, soul, sweat, blood and cunt-juice. 

Oriana Small gives everything to her work. She spent a portion of her life creating porn for others, which has given thousands of hours of pleasure to people around the globe.

Oriana now works as a professional writer and visual artist in LA.  This talented woman deserves our  respect!