[Marxism] Theory of the leisure class: Dutch pornstar politics

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Wed Feb 4 15:31:01 MST 2004

While I was sitting in a courtroom yesterday waiting for my case to come up,
I heard the judge talking to a presumably unemployed woman. She felt that
she was unjustifiably overcharged by the electricity corporation for power
bills, and she would go broke if she did not pay the bills, but she would
also go broke if she did not pay the bills. In the end, she got frustrated
and exclaimed, "well I might as well go and work in the Red Light District",
whereupon she walked off. I had to think of that, as I read an article on
Dutch pornstar Kim Holland in a newspaper I'd kept from December.


by Marjolein Schipper

Holland seems to have had it with sex these days. Television directors no
longer want to screen programmes with nudity, and in Amsterdam, once the
most permissive European capital, pole-dancing in strip joints has even been
prohibited. But at a moment when we're not just feeling the pinch in our
wallets, but also have to dress warmly for the wintry weather, pornostar Kim
Holland puts her foot in the door. She's an ex-Jehova witness, and she's
used to doing that.

Shivering slightly, Kim emerges in the doorway when I ring the bell. She
looks attractive in her tight body suit, belly bared. On the other hand, a
jersey would probably have been more comfortable given windspeed 9 outside.
But okay, either you are pornstar, or you aren't. And she is. "No, pussy !
You are not allowed to go out, it is too wet", she admonishes her British
short-haired feline pet, as it tries to slip out the door.

She lives in an attractive Hague neighbourhood, where the neighbours nearly
all have children's toys standing outside. A big difference in life-worlds,
you might say, but it doesn't bother Kim, because Kim isn't bothered by
anything much. "They probably know what I do here in the neighbourhood, but
I have never had derogatory comments about it. There was a party in this
area recently, and there was nobody who tried to avoid me, I just stood
there happily, chatting with people. In one way or another, people always
get a lot from me", she calls out cheerily from the kitchen where she is
making a pot of coffee for us.

Her house, which looks out over water, is colourfully and lushly decorated
with velvet sofa's in purple and red, and silver-coloured cupboards stand
beside them. Kim presents a biscuit with the coffee, and swings her long
blond hair over her shoulders. "How nice to be interviewed by a woman", she
exclaims, "I have never been interviewed by a woman, apart from a telephone
question by Viva recently. But apart from that, I only get men sitting

Right. Various male colleagues of mine got shiny eyes when they heard that
Kim Holland was to be the subject of an interview story. Kim (not her real
name) produces four to six porn films a year, together with her boyfriend,
in which she acts herself, and also operates a number of Internet sites. She
writes a weekly column, engages in porn journalism, is writing a book, and
is the movings spirit in Club Live in Scheveningen, a nightclub where her
friend, the pole dancing champion Denise Mulder, offers very populair
courses in pole dancing. She became wellknown among the public through her
participation in the VIP edition of the Big Brother TV show.

Lim sees herself as an evangelist with a mission. It's not for nothing that
she is writing a book at the moment about sexual self-confidence. But isn't
that a bit like mustard after the meal, at the close of an era in which
breasts just about rolled out of the TV screen, and nobody feels much shame
anymore anyway ?

"Of course not, because sex is still taboo. It's true, believe me. Just take
a look at sex on TV: it was and still is aimed mostly at men. Now what would
be an interesting erotic programme that couples could watch together, which
gives helpful hints for their lovelife ? In those extreme pornfilms, you
only really see the sexual mechanics. In the profession, we call it
"handje-standje" - we meet, quick chat and whoopee, we're at it. That is why
I only work with amateurs who think it is exciting to do it themselves, and
who contact me themselves for jobs. I am not ashamed of my work, you know. I
was in a television programme of Catherine's once. A professional porn
actress on the show said, she could never watch the films herself. She had a
bit of shame there anyway. But I do love watching my own films. I always say
that if I really want to get excited, I get out one of my own tapes. I
noticed in the studio that people appreciated that comment. You can say all
sorts of things about me, but I am not hypocritical. I enjoy sex and I am
honest about it."

And other people should be too, Kim thinks. Because she had a time in her
life when sex seemed like something that happened on another planet. When
she was ten years old, her mother died. A few years later, she joined the
Jehova's Witnesses. "That is not as strange as it seems, because if somebody
promises you that you will see your mother again, then you might go for that
idea, you really want to believe. But that was not the only thing. It was
also a safe world with clear rules and prescriptions. If you do this, you
are bad, and if you do that, you are good. Above all, it was an explanation,
it was a very ordered lifestyle, and destiny was mapped out already. My
father and brother were not happy about it, though. But when they saw I was
happy, they accepted it. I think Dad also thought it would be safe for me.
If your daughter is a Jehova's Witness, well then she is at least sheltered
by an organisation that protects her ! In those days, I wasn't ashamed of
anything either. At school and later in my job, I also just told people that
I was a Jehovah's Witness, and people accepted it, although they were very
surprised often. Ah, I was such a sweet and innocent girl back then, I had a
teddybear necklace and everything, you know."

Kim married when she was 18, to another member of the sect. Only when she
was 21 and her father died unexpectedly, a crack emerged in her uncritical
faith. "I had worked so hard for God, committed my whole life to it, and
then I was suddenly hit by the death of my father. I loved him very much. It
occurred to me then, that I was living an unreal life. That I had never
really made my own choices, but had only followed my faith and my husband.
Whereas you only really develop personality through making your own

She left the Jehovah's Witnesses, divorced, and was sick for a year."I had
to come to my senses, and get my priorities in order. Of course I put an
entire life behind me; when you leave the Jehova's witnesses, you do not
exist anymore for them. Apart from my brother, who supported me through
thick and thin, I had nobody anymore. But perhaps it was for the best. In
that time, I realised that making my own choices, and directing my own life
is what matters. That was a complete turnaround, compared to the life that I
had before. I had the feeling that the life ahead of me was a blank, and
that I had to fill it out myself. And I wanted to go and do something that
would fit with me one-hundred percent. I discovered quickly that it had to
be something to do with the erotic. I met my current boyfriend, and with him
I discovered that I thought of sex as something self-evident. We looked at
porn films together, and I thought they were mostly terrible. I said to
Ruud, we can do a better job than that, and I grabbed the movie-camera. That
is how it all started. I am an exhibitionist, of course, in one way or
another. I do not have that taboo feeling: sex feels pretty innocent to me.
What is dirty or wrong about it ? People who think that, have a problem

She thinks the same way about people who think she is rancid. "That's their
own block. I am very free and open in what I do, I enjoy what I do, I enjoy
every day of my life. I am a very positively oriented, happy person. And a
large part of that constructive energy I get from my sex life. That
enjoyment, that self-awareness, is something I wish for others too. I see so
many people who tie themselves in knots about their body and their
sexuality. With my attitude, I can be amazed about the derogatory, negative
culture which has emerged in Holland in recent years. Everybody is calling
each other all sorts of nasty names. Maybe I am naive, but I think: why not
be a bit friendlier to each other. Give a compliment, say to somebody they
look nice, and you see people cheer up and smile. And surely that is much
more pleasant."

"There are so many single women these days. It's not so weird, if you look
at their partner criteria: he has to earn lots, but also look after the
children, he has to be goodlooking but shouldn't be a macho, he must be able
to cook and be an animal in bed, etc. Surely nobody can answer to all of
that ? You have to figure out what you think is really important in life,
and make a choice."

Kim herself has had a relationship with Ruud for eight years. "Sex with him
is the best, but I can also have sex without love. I can separate the two.
Then it is purely a question of lust, a question of insinct. It's not that I
want to promote the separation of the two, that is something that everybody
must decide for themselves. But people should use their instinct more, you
have to be able to let yourself go, that is good for your relationship.
Because, in the end, what makes a love relationship so unique ? It's the
sex. And if you do little or nothing about it, then you get all sorts of
tensions and frustrations, and the love goes downhill."

Kim's 34 years old now, but she has no problem with it. "To the contrary, I
feel better all the time. And I really mean that. It is not what you look
like, but what you radiate. I see it also in the club, girls aged 19 looking
a bit lost, whereas women who are 46 years old get a lot of attention. As
regards myself, I get the impression that men are sometimes a bit scared of
me. Perhaps they think: my God, Kim Hollland, imagine that I would land in
bed with her, all the things she would expect of me. Maybe I radiate a bit
too much confidence at times."

Translated from De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), 27/12/2003, p. 17, 27.

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