“Here’s my question,” began Jack, a bald, bearded man who’d been the first to raise his hand at a packed question-and-answer session with Sasha Grey at Housing Works on Monday. Ms. Grey, a semi-retired porn star in a sheer black dress, was promoting Neü Sex, her new photo book and the latest bid in her campaign to break into the mainstream that began with her star turn in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience.
All of the images in the book feature Ms. Grey, and most were taken by her partner, Ian Cinnamon, whom she thanks in the introduction along with Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin.
“I have a 39-year-old-son,” Jack continued, his voice trembling. “When should I tell him that I’m a Sasha junkie?”
“Uh,” Ms. Grey, 23, replied. “Anytime’s a good time, my good man!”
Jack attends most of Ms. Grey’s East Coast events, she told the Transom afterward. Not that the attention bothered her.
“It’s more awkward when I’m just out in public, on a day-to-day level,” she said.
Earlier, the Transom had asked a few of the attendees what drew them to Ms. Grey. “She is a dirty girl,” said a pointy-haired 30-something, making way for a camera crew from the Daily, his eyes planted fixedly on the chair she’d soon occupy. Others called her “flexible,” “generous,” “a special lady” and “enthusiastic.”
The Transom failed to find an unaccompanied woman at the event who was there for a non-work reason. This isn’t to say that the crowd was entirely made up of perverts.
“I don’t think it’s attractive,” said an attendee named Ross, of Ms. Grey’s oeuvre. “So much of it seems really driven by male aggression. It’s a little too icky.”
Ross was there, he added, as a Soderbergh fan. –Dan Duray