Do you ever feel a little bad about what you do?
No. There’s nothing immoral about my profession. I’m earning a living and it doesn’t harm me or the people around me. I was just like any other kid who wanted to get married and settle down – until I was involved in an abusive relationship. I changed direction – and I’m much happier.
Seriously, do you and the other girls actually enjoy it?
None of us got into this business by accident. By that I mean we all found sex before we found porn – and it was something we all enjoyed lots, more than your average woman. Recently, I was doing a girl-girl scene and out of the blue this girl said, “You know you can fist me if you want?” So yes, we’re wild and highly sexual. And I can only speak for myself but every single moan or groan is 100% real.
How did you break the news to your family that you’d gone porn?
I told my father one Christmas Day; it was really tough. He knew I was into modelling and he took it well. But my little sister, well, she found out when she saw me in a magazine. She was with her boyfriend and he spotted the magazine and said, “Is that your sister?” So she called me and said, “Dude, are you on the front of Penthouse?” Poor girl. What a shock.
What’s the best thing about being in the adult entertainment biz?
I remember my favourite moment. I was in Cannes in 2000 at the porn festival and I stepped onto the red carpet and was hit by a barrage of camera flashes. The entire paparazzi crowd were calling my name and I just thought I’d made it. I love the fact that I’ve been to so many countries and shot at so many amazing locations. I’ve fucked on volcanoes, on beaches and under waterfalls. All that’s left is sex at the Pyramids.
You’ve started directing porn flicks. What do you do as the big cheese?
Everything. There’s so much to think about. I decide on how the sex scenes will pan out, the actors’ positions, when they have to change and who comes when. I work out all the schedules and the lighting and I have to work out how far I can push the actors. My main aim is to give the control to the girl though, because that’s what men want to watch. Dominant women are sexy.
Are you dominant?
When it’s a girl-girl scene I love being in control, but when it’s a girl-guy scene I love to be dominated. I love to be submissive and let the guy grab me and control me. My head tells me I prefer the more gentle scenes but my heart tells me I like it rough.
What’s the most regular porn injury?
For us girls it’s in the legs. The reverse cowgirl is the move that really takes it out of you. The next day is painful!
More importantly, what’s your favourite tipple?
I don’t drink. I used to have a booze and drugs problem. I’d be partying every day, drinking a bottle of wine and a load of Jack every night. I remember when I decided to quit booze – I was steaming drunk and had collapsed in a bar. My husband, Evan, carried me out and once we were outside I went for a photographer with my shoe. I actually attacked him with the heel and it was such a wake-up call I haven’t had a drink since.
What’s been your funniest moment while making a movie?
We were in France once, shooting in this guy’s house on the proviso that we were gone by the time his wife got back. Sure enough we weren’t and the wife walked in mid-scene. She flipped, ran to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and a hammer and chased all of us onto our bus. She was racing down the road waving this hammer as the coach sped off. It was just hilarious.
What’s the biggest misconception about the industry?
That we’re easy to hit on and that everyone’s on drugs – that’s insane. And that we’re all dumb. Some people in porn are so bright. Ron Jeremy, for example, is a special education schoolteacher. I’m a trained nurse…
Let’s test that. We have a stiff neck, we can’t look at bright lights and we have a rash that doesn’t go away when we press a glass on it. What have we got?
I don’t know.
No you haven’t.
Okay, you’re right, we haven’t. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sex in the last five years?
Three months, I think. On average, I suppose I do it about ten times a week. Evan has quite a sexual appetite, though – he’ll come to bed, we’ll have sex, I’ll go to sleep then he’ll watch porn and get off two more times, then in the morning we’ll go again. By that time I’ll be like, “Get off me, man.”
Is he allowed to watch porn that doesn’t feature you?
Has the internet affected the industry?
Yes, it’s had beneficial and negative effects. On the plus side girls have been able to set up their own websites and get seen. But I know magazine photographers are struggling as a result. Fortunately, I think there’s just about enough magazine collectors out there who will keep buying so the net won’t put them out of business.
What wouldn’t you do on screen?
Anything that makes me feel degraded. I won’t let anyone put their feet on my head and absolutely no punching or slapping. There’s a difference between degrading sex and hard sex – you can have hard sex and still be in control. That’s what I do, but then there’s the degrading facets of the industry like peeing: there’s nothing sexy in that.
What is it like on set between shoots?
Well, there are lots of gorgeous girls strutting around naked but when you see them bend over and use a wipe, it kind of ruins the dream.
Is it true that men earn nothing compared to women?
No, but they do earn less. If a woman is on $1,000, a guy would be on $600.
Do you enjoy writing your FHM column?
So much. I feel like the readers are getting to know me more every month and I love the UK. It’s in my top five countries in the world and the people are great. Hell, I even love the tabloids over here. And everyone is so polite. I was once in London and I was being photographed in black latex shorts and a bra clinging onto the gates of Buckingham Palace, and the police politely asked me to move on my way.
Is there anything our readers don’t know about you?
Plenty. Did you know I can put legs right behind my head? And I knit.
At the same time?
No – but I would for FHM.
Do you watch your films?
I do. I see them as good memories and hell, I’m sleeping with good-looking guys. When I first started, the men were experienced but not the best-looking. Now the guys are cute, so why wouldn’t I want a memento?
What are your boobs worth?
A million bucks. I sometimes wonder if I would be here if they weren’t the size that they are. I had the right attitude and determination to succeed, so I think I’d be doing okay, but perhaps not this well.
What’s the budget of your average bongo movie?
About $100,000. That’s not much if you consider what Hollywood spends. It’s only enough for us to shoot for eight days a month.
How about you, have you got enough money to retire?
And what’ll be written on your gravestone?
“Tera Patrick. She knew what she wanted, and she got it”. Or “Devoted wife and mother”, depending on how things pan out from here!
Original interview by Tom Cullen in the May 2006 issue of FHM UK magazine