The Shmooze

Meet ‘James Deen,’ Jewish Porn Star

By Nathan Burstein

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Apparently “nerdy Jewish dudes” are a hot genre in porn — or they’re becoming one, thanks to an up-and- (er, never mind) performer who’s had a bar mitzvah.

The star in question — whose nom de porn is James Deen — is billed as “What Women Want” in the winter issue of Good magazine, which includes a lengthy profile of the 25-year-old. Although the piece doesn’t go into serious detail about his upbringing, Deen clearly identifies as Jewish, regularly “crack[ing] Jew jokes” and referring at one point to his “overanalytical Jew brain.” (That’s not a euphemism.)

A prolific performer who has earned as much as $22,000 in a single month, Deen “still has the money he invested from his bar mitzvah,” the article reports.

Combined with his wholesome but unexceptional good looks, these sorts of behaviors are part of Deen’s appeal to growing numbers of female fans. “Deen has carved out a niche in the porn industry by looking like the one guy who doesn’t belong there,” Good reports, describing his less desirable colleagues as typically “sporting neck chains, frosted tips, unreasonable biceps, tribal tattoos.”

The 5-foot-8, 150-pound Deen, by contrast, boasts physical traits that include “wavy brown hair, bright blue eyes” and a certain appendage that is, shall we say, bigger than average.

Over at Slate, the female-oriented XX Factor blog analyzes the reasons for the porn star’s appeal, arguing that his “school-boy charms” and “ability to connect emotionally (or at least appear to) with his female co-stars” set him apart from his male colleagues. The piece argues that Deen’s desirability among female viewers may be a problem with men, which the author attributes to a “rather nasty and subtle strain of homophobia.”

Whatever you think of Deen and his profession, his background has increased his appeal for at least one presumably Jewish viewer. “He was almost like a guy that you would just hang out with at Hebrew school,” one fan tells Good — and she means that as a compliment.


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