How about you, Ben Dover?

You probably haven’t heard of Lindsay Honey, but you might have seen him, or some of his work.  He’s an extremely successful director of more than 150 movies, directs and stars in his own video series, and has won a multitude of awards. Of course, that’s more than 150 adult movies, his own video series of ‘gonzo’ porn under the name Ben Dover, and awards including Best Speciality Video for Duke of Knockers 2, and Best Foreign Film in the Hot D’Or, the adult section of the Cannes Film Festival.  He pioneered the only Scratch ‘n’ Sniff movie, Smells Like Sex, and has his own line of adult toys, the Ben Dover Signature line. He’s a fiend at creating groan-worthy porn titles (Sex and the Settee, anyone? How about The Porn Supremacy?), and as Ben Dover, Honey has slept with over 1,790 women. (Incidentally, he’s also the father of Tyger Drew-Honey, who plays the eldest son in Outnumbered). For pornography is Honey’s craft, and he’s one of the best in the business.

Under his directing name, Steve Perry, Hustler crowned Honey one of the top 50 most influential people in the adult entertainment industry in 1999, but Honey’s all too aware the industry has changed a great deal since then. ‘The internet is the main poison that’s now rapidly killing off the industry. Back in 1986 you could sell a 3-hour VHS porn tape for about £65.00, which would be about £150.00 in today’s money. Now you can get anything you want at the click of a mouse. For free. One of the other major things that has changed over the years is that all the girls in the industry now are shaved. Back when I started the girls always had hair at the downstairs buffet, and if I was doing a shoot for Shaven Ravers I’d have to pay the girls extra to shave because it was thought of as a bit weird. Now it’s completely the other way round. Having hairy lady bits is considered weird! Also, in the days of yore, you very rarely saw a model with tattoos. Now, you very rarely find a model who hasn’t got several. Strangely, girls think the tattoos makes them more sexy, when the reality is actually most men find them a complete turn off.’

‘Right now the only real money to be made is in the so-called ‘celebrity’ sex tapes. Even if they’re not  celebrities, just some girl who’s been ‘on the telly’.  It’s strange but you could make a great movie with the best looking porn stars in the world, and you’ll probably make a very small profit over several years,  but if you’ve got 10 minutes of grainy footage shot on a mobile phone of some no mark ‘Z’ lister whose sole claim to ‘fame’ is that she was on Big Brother and had a picture taken with a footballer at a premiere of a rubbish BritFlick starring Danny Dyer, you’ll make money. Quite a lot in fact. At this moment in history, if any footage of, say, Cheryl Cole, emerged of her enjoying a bit of ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’ action, you’d make enough to retire. Yes really.’

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With admirable stamina and desperate fans needing their fill, Honey hasn’t let this shift towards internet pornography end his career.  Earlier this year he was inducted into the adult entertainment industry Hall of Fame, and has picked up 4 lifetime achievement awards for his efforts.  But having got the fame and the riches while the video porn industry could still offer it, Honey has moved on to a new, and frankly, much more fun sounding project.  His greatest success? ‘Doing my one man show Ben Dover — Innocent ‘til Proven Filthy at the Edinburgh festival for 27 nights straight. I never thought I’d have the confidence to do it but I did, and it was a success.’  Impressively, Honey has managed to turn his bumbling porn persona into an expanding business.  On his website not only can you buy caps, mugs, t-shirts, underwear, even window stikers, emblazoned with his moniker, but you can book a Ben Dover stag or hen weekend (God only knows what that would involve). Shrewd Honey hasn’t missed a trick in catering for the clubbing generation either, his events include the tempting-titled ‘Ben Dover Porn Disco’, where us lucky ladies receive a free pair of hot pants.  There’s even a competition to be extra in one of his next films; anyone of us could be the next star of Ben in Black 3 or Top Rear!

 And of course Honey is still making and directing films using his distinctive ‘gonzo’ style of filming. Honey lets us in on a few of his keys to good porn directing. ‘Getting the right angles in porn is very important, you need to see the action clearly. I never hold a shot for longer than 15 seconds. Don’t fall in to the trap of holding a shot for ages just because it’s a good shot. I usually stick to the following sequence of shots; wide, close up of action, pan to girl’s face, back to wide, and repeat. My golden rule? Never show the guy’s face when waiting for the Money Shot! No-one wants to be enjoying that bit of the movie only to find themselves looking at a big  close up of some mulleted German bloke gurning away whilst muttering “Ooh ya, das is gut baby” at that critical moment!’ So what’s more important, good acting or a good narrative? ‘Neither. Good looking, sexy girls being filthy is all that matters.’

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I think Honey possesses the self-assurance verging on arrogance that would make a lot of people hate him if he wasn’t so damn charismatic. Just don’t expect him to be apologetic about his achievements. ‘My critics do affect me badly.  Sometimes so badly that I have to leave my 6 bedroom mansion in a gated executive park in Surrey, get in my Ferrari and drive to the airport to fly out to my luxury villa in Spain and take a long leisurely swim in my beautiful blue sparkling pool overlooking the Jalon valley!’ 

A career in porn only followed after a fleetingly successful job as a drummer in The Ian Mitchell Band — Honey’s original passion being music.  So how does our rock star to cock star feel about his career choice and the industry that’s made him famous?  ‘The porn industry’s been very good to me, of course, but I don’t really like the way it has become so corporate nowadays. It was much more exciting when there was just a few of us, taking risks and trying to stay one step ahead of the law!’ Honey takes on a warning tone, ‘Don’t pursue a career in it unless you have independent wealth and want to do it for a bit of fun. There are no Ferraris to be had in this business any more. Well, that is unless you get lucky with Cheryl Cole, and you happen to have your mobile phone in video mode!’

 

www.ben-dover.org