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On Porn Stars and Nice Jewish Boys

This week in Jewcy, our partner site

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Each week we bring you a quick look at the best from Jewcy.com, our partner site.

If you read the press surrounding him, James Deen is a nice Jewish boy and comfortable with that. Deen is among the most popular male porn actors, and he also stars in Bret Easton Ellis’ upcoming film, The Canyons (here’s the new trailer). Deen is also the latest in a list of porn veterans (see: Sasha Grey, Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy) about to be marshalled into the mainstream. That is, if he isn’t there already: Deen’s distinct brand of stardom has been widely dissected, including in GQ, GOOD magazine, and ABC’s Nightline (which fretted about his following among teenage girls). He’s tremendously popular on Tumblr and Twitter and often tweets back at fans.

The rap on Deen is that he’s an unassumingly handsome (and well-endowed) guy, who cares that the girls he performs with enjoy themselves. He does a lot of BDSM but he doesn’t cross any lines. He’s approachable and funny, he loves his job, and he doesn’t have any perceivable hangups or history of trauma. He’s frighteningly normal, even modest and cool. It’s not just that (heterosexual) guys want to be him and girls want to do him; it’s that they all want to hang out with him.

For a lot of commentators, this set of characteristics has proved alternately thrilling and baffling. Some of it comes back to Deen’s regular-guy looks—he’s 5’8” and has the body of someone who jogs often but doesn’t try too hard—but also his Jewishness. A New York Observer profile of Deen carried the subhed “In defense of the not-so-nice Jewish boy.” Nightline wondered, “So how did Deen make his transition from a young Jewish kid growing up in SoCal, to a teen internet porn sensation?” (You can almost see where the writer highlighted “nice” and replaced it with “young.”)

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On Porn Stars and Nice Jewish Boys

This week in Jewcy, our partner site

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