Annette Haven was born Annette Martin in December 1954, in Las Vegas. She came from a religiously and politically conservative Mormon family. Nevertheless, she discovered sex at the early age of eleven. "I was playing with myself, exploring my body in the bathtub, and I had my first orgasm. I just sat there and was astonished. 'WOW', I thought, 'I have discovered something GREAT!'" Annette had her first sexual experience five years later when she turned sixteen. "I really started enjoying it to the fullest. Sexuality is enjoyable, but it takes experience to enjoy it." Later the same year she fell in love with her sixteen year-old boyfriend, and left home to get married. The marriage lasted two years, and she later admitted her ex-husband "was an idiot and kept trying to strangle me into unconsciousness and making suicide attempts. He went to the state mental hospital after he'd locked himself in the bathroom and slashed both his wrists and arm. I decided that being loyal to my marriage vows was something I could forgo."
Up until that point Annette had been supporting her husband through a variety of jobs. "I worked as a nurses aide… There was a phase I was doing nude modelling. And I worked in a massage parlour for a bit! They couldn't touch us on our breasts or genitals and we couldn't touch their penises. But, boy oh boy, did they have a good time massaging around the edges."
Following the dissolution of her marriage Annette moved to San Francisco. Having trained as a ballet dancer as a young girl, she began dancing in erotic shows, and eventually worked as a stripper. While working in one of the strip clubs she met porn star Bonnie Holiday and eventually moved in with Bonnie and her boyfriend Danny. "We were in a ménage-a-trois for three and a half years." In December of the same year, having just turned 19, Annette made her first porn film. "I was told about it by the lady I was living with [Bonnie Holiday]. She said that her friends were making this film called 'Lady Freaks' (1973), and then I met the producer. I hated the title. The original title was 'The Prowler'. Much more mysterious and classy. I guess that 'Lady Freaks' has more publicity appeal." The film also starred Bonnie. "We only worked with each other - no males. I thoroughly enjoyed myself." She later admitted "The sex was actually easier for me than the dialogue, although I was also scared of the camera quite a bit. But I got used to it pretty fast." Annette's second movie was 'Deep Tango' (1974), which she later described as "really funny and artsy-fartsy. I worked with a fag actor and had my first sex scene with a male, and that went fine. I wasn't ashamed of having sex."
Following 'Deep Tango' Annette made another two porn films before retiring in mid-1974. "I went back to college. I was majoring in video technology… I stopped in mid-stream to come back to the film business. I still get the 'guilties' for stopping school." By now her relationship with Bonnie Holiday and her husband had ended. She later admitted that the relationship "just got out of control, at least for the women… We all loved each other. She [Bonnie] wanted me to marry both of them. Now I think her expectations of the relationship, me to her and me to her husband were much different from what really happened. I saw a lot of jealousy develop in her. I think she expected to be the object of my love, rather than her husband, or thought he was more important to me than she was. Anyway, it didn't work out." Although the relationship ended, Annette continued having affairs with various women both inside and outside the adult industry. "I am bisexual in that I can have relationships with both sexes. I am a bisexual that leans heavily towards heterosexuality. I prefer men."
Despite being a straight 'A' student, Annette dropped out of college and returned to porn in 1976, appearing in films such as 'Autobiography of a Flea' (1976), 'Easy Alice' (1976) and 'Tell Then Johnny Wadd Is Here' (1976). She was later nominated as 'Best Supporting Actress' at the Los Angeles Adult Film Association Awards for her part in 'Autobiography Of A Flea'. Although Georgina Spelvin eventually won the award, Annette later admitted to being surprised by her own nomination. "I only had four lines in the whole film, and a small scene. I said 'Oh Pierre' four times. Of course there was a LOT of action between those lines, or exclamations." During the film she had worked with John Holmes. "There was a slight twinge the first time we made love, but I got used to it. The muscles stretch and are elastic for just that reason… to be accommodating. And also, even if a guy is fourteen inches long, he doesn't have to put all of it in… I do like men that are fairly well equipped, but fourteen inches are not a necessity for great sex. Sensitivity is important. Understanding is important. Technique is important. But not size to excess. The man has to be gentle too."
Annette had a soft petite figure that made her an instant success with the public. She admits that prior to appearing in 'Lady Freaks' she had no acting experience whatsoever. "I had danced a while, but not really acted. I made my first film not really knowing anything about acting or filmmaking. But I learned quick." During the late 1970's Annette's career went from strength to strength and she starred in some of her best movies. "It was just wonderful. Things just got better and I did a whole list of films I'm very proud of… I started out at $150 a day… I worked my way up and up, and I've kept it there. Everybody knows that my price is kind of high. If you don't want to pay it, don't fucking call." But people did call constantly. She established herself not only as a classy porn star, but also as a reliable actress. Furthermore, unlike many of her contemporaries, such as Serena and Vanessa Del Rio, Annette drew the line with what she would and would not do in front of the camera. "I won't let a man come on my face. It's degrading. I won't allow any degrading act unless it's vital to the story… I won't do any S&M scenes or anal sex… No weird kinky stuff. No golden showers. No animals. Nothing that isn't straight sex. I have even objected to dildos." Nevertheless, due to her natural beauty and acting abilities she was not only constantly in demand by film producers, but also by the public. She became known as "a thinking man's sex goddess: always sexy, ever a lady."
Nevertheless, Annette has appeared in a number of bondage and S&M photo-shoots. "Once we were working a mock-dominant scene in a borrowed house. The lady had rented us the house for the day while the children were at a neighbours playing. We were naked except for a few leather goodies and whips. Well, you can guess what happened. First the cleaning man, a cute little old chap, comes in the front door to deliver the lady's dry cleaning. He was shocked. He was faced with two gorgeous ladies, naked except for leather bras and garters and whips. My whip was wrapped around the other chick’s neck too. I remember it well. He was bug-eyed. He simply delivered the clothes and left, but he never took his eyes off us. Second, we resumed shooting, and before we fully recovered from the cleaning man, the next-door neighbour popped in for a visit. He got totally involved. He stood there and watched and watched and watched. He was still watching us when the lady's children came home… too early, I might add. I was in the bathroom touching up my make-up, and the other chick was in a robe, relaxing between shots. So the kids didn't see much, if anything."
Towards the end of the 1970's she underwent dental surgery. "I spent a fortune in pain and money to have my whole oral architecture rearranged. Now I can smile and look at it and be very pleased with what I see." While concentrating on movies, Annette nevertheless continued stripping and appearing in live sex shows at the O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco. Fellow porn star Dorothy Le May recalls how "Annette Haven and I worked together at the Mitchell Brothers for a week. Annette took this big dildo and stuck it in me, and I said 'Annette, you have no mercy.' We'd come in softly and she'd go offstage. I would be lying there and the music would hit a hard beat and she'd come out with her leather stuff. It was fun until she was pulling a string of balls out of my pussy, and she pulled hard and one was left inside me. I got hurt and I couldn't perform the last day. Annette can get mean - she's playing that role and she means it."
Annette Haven gained a reputation as a perfectionist. In 'Tower Of Power' she played the role of a manipulative high-level executive who keeps and fucks Hershal Savage. "The script called for him to submit, but he wouldn't. He wouldn't budge, so I threw him to the floor, which wasn't in the script. It surprised the hell out of him." One of her favourite actors was Richard Pacheco. "The first time I worked with him, I was so overwhelmed by my orgasm that I fainted. When I came to, Richard was holding me in his arms. Everyone else had gone home." He, in turn, admitted that she "was the first great beauty in porn… She shoots first and asks questions later. She knows the dark side of human sexuality and she has patterned her life and career as they embrace positive feelings and escape what has been horrific. When she was on a set, you did not see the same behaviour that you saw on other sets. If any of the males were abusing any females around Annette, she'd have them fired. And Annette had the box office to do that. And she took care of newcomers. She let them know that they did not have to fuck everybody and that they did not need to do this or that… Smart, she's like an efficiency expert for IBM. She knows the movie business"
Her attitude often caused friction with other female porn stars and problems for directors. Legendary female porn director and producer Svetlana Marsh recalled that Annette "was really a pain in the ass… If you're working with a 'star', you have a problem, but once they're into the scene, they do well. The trick is to get them into it. You have to treat them carefully." Annette also had problems with other top porn actresses that sometimes resented her star billing. "[I was] doing a ménage-a-trois with Desiree Cousteau. We were supposed to eat each other and fondle each other's pussies, you know. The director was giving us instructions and Desiree would not let me touch her body! It was awful! I would not want to… work with her again. The other actress I have no real love for is Seka. I was finishing a shoot, an explicit scene, and came into my own dressing room. I am very precise about my make up and usually do it all myself. Seka had come in earlier and pushed my stuff off my table and starts doing her make up. She wasn't even in my film. I saw what she had done and she said something ugly and very rude to me for no reason at all. I was calm, but seething under the surface. I do not believe in creating scenes on the set. It's unprofessional."
Unlike the actresses, male porn stars loved working with her. John Seeman recalled her as "beautiful and bright. She was her own boss and couldn't be pushed around. Would never take a come shot in the face. She had a certain glamour about her and deserved her popularity." Richard Pacheco also remembered her as "a talented actress. And she was great to have sex with." Annette herself believes that male porn stars "don't feel threatened by me like some insecure actresses might. That's their problem, not mine. I haven't time for that. Besides, if I were such a bitch to work with, do you seriously think I would be working so much, and now be one of the top actresses in the industry?"
Nevertheless she admits that she is "a strict person and you have to work within my parameters". However, she clarifies this by emphasising that "Everybody has to be very cool on the set… I demand that. If anybody wants to get snitty and say snitty things on the set, I land on them. It's too sensitive an issue, too sensitive an act and too sensitive a scene, to feel pressure and stuff… And that means that everyone on the set has to be calm and respectful."
Annette's position as one of the industry's leading actresses became evident in 1979, when John Derek, husband of Bo Derek, cast her in the lead role of his porn debut 'Love You' (1979). The film also included Leslie Bovee, Eric Edwards, and Wade Nichols. Unlike most porn films the sex was not overly explicit - although nothing was hidden, and the filming was lush and beautiful. 'Love You' is not a typical porn film, and involves extensive dialogue as two couples come to terms with the notion of swapping partners. Although Bo Derek did not appear in the film she produced it and was constantly on the set with the four porn stars as her husband's consultant. Annette later recalled: "Bo produced it and John wrote and directed the movie. We made it in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and did a lot of location shooting in Hawaii. It was an interesting experience. They're good people. I love them dearly."
One of the main things Annette stood against was child pornography. "I loath the thought of that. I have never seen any of it in the business, but that whole trip is too much. It's disgusting… Child pornography is inexcusable. I don't believe in anything that is not conducive to children growing up in a wholesome atmosphere."
Like many people involved in the first generation of porn, Annette viewed the industry as a means through which to confront the conservative perceptions and sexual inequalities of society. She truly believed in the value of pornography stating, "It teaches people that sex is normal, beautiful and fun… It teaches women in the audience how to fuck or give a good blowjob. A lot of people learned to improve their sexual techniques from watching adult films. They are very therapeutic…. My crusade is to educate the public to accept sex as part of their lives. It's unnatural to suppress a natural desire. We sleep, we eat, we breathe and sex is also something we have a natural urge to do." In 'All About Annette' (1982) she claimed that "I cook, I sew, I clean, I knit baby booties… the only difference between me and lots of women is that I think sex is ok, and I'm not afraid to say so… The whole point of my being in the industry is to help change American attitudes and establish that sex is a good thing. I still consider myself a lady." In attacking the negative stereotypes of female porn actresses she claimed, "It's because men in this society are allowed to have sex and women aren't. Therefore if women are participating in the sexual industry they get a lot of criticism. Men in the business get asked by people: 'Gee, what's it like to have sex with such a beautiful woman?' Whereas the women get asked 'How could you do such a thing?' And that's societal attitude." But there were other deeper issues at stake with Annette. "I thought it would give me an excellent platform from which to speak about sexuality, something I had an investment in doing… I had seen my girlfriends incestuously raped and forced to give birth. Patricia and Sharon were raped by their fathers. One was 13; the other was 17. The 13-year-old - 12 when she was raped - was forced to give birth and keep the baby. Patricia wanted me to find her an abortionist. I was 14. I didn't know how to find one; so I told my mother. She had both girls come to our house and take refuge, but the police wouldn't allow them to stay."
Nevertheless, Annette is realistic about the porn industry. "In the adult industry you're running into a lot of social stigma when you become part of it… If I want to become a lawyer, I'm going to have to fight the bar. I am going to have to prove to them that I am not guilty of moral failings… Because being in this industry puts a stigma on you. It's like: 'Oh my God, if they do it on screen, wow! We all know that girls aren't supposed to do it at all. And to do it on screen! Oh boy!' I'm proud of what I do. I don't deny it to anybody. It's called, 'If you don't like it, then you don't have to deal with me.' I don't think that most people could handle this job very well. I really don't. I don't think most people are emotionally equipped. I think you have to be a special kind of person. A person that can deal with the stress of having sex on camera. And then dealing with that position in life with society as a whole."
Not everyone shared Annette's beliefs concerning the value of porn. Actor/director John Seeman recalled how while filming 'Desires Within Young Girls' (1977), "I suggested that we shoot in this wooded area that overlooked the whole bay… Annette Haven and I were doing a scene. In the woods nearby, a woman was hiking with her son. She saw us and called the police. One cop came charging out of the woods. There were 20 of us. He took the film. Annette and I were arrested. I was released as I soon as I produced my California drivers license. Annette didn't have her license so she had to go to jail, where she spent most of her time signing autographs… We were convicted for nudity in public. We got off with a year or two probation."
Annette later recalled the same incident. "The production manager assured us that we would be secluded. No one would see us. If anyone came around we'd be warned… Naturally, while I was giving head to John Seeman, a lady and her child came by and called the police. They were right too. We had no business being there in public. I was, unfortunately, the only person in the group with no I.D. of my own… and I was the only one who got taken in… It wasn't bad. I was treated like a lady… four hours later I was bailed out and back on the set."
Annette & Mainstream Hollywood
During the mid to late 1970's Annette Haven became romantically involved with fellow porn star Paul Thomas and appeared eight times in various Playboy pictorials. In 1980 she renewed her relationship with Bo Derek by appearing in Blake Edwards' classic comedy '10', along with a number of porn stars such as Serena, Constance Money and Dorothy Le May. "I actually cast myself in '10' because I was involved in casting the party scene. I couldn't find enough females that were right, so I cast myself. It was fun… Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards were wonderful. Dudley Moore was a really nice guy and a genuine man. He took off his clothes with everyone else in the scene. There was no problem. He was absolutely cool." Dorothy Le May later recalled how "We were supposed to film for two days, but the weather wasn't right, and Blake Edwards didn't work if the conditions weren't to his liking. But we got paid anyway. And we'd [the group of porn stars hired for the film] get crazy in our Culver City hotel room. Annette Haven had her leather party one night and room service walked in. Jamie Gillis and Serena were there. Craziness. The hotel management didn't like us after that and we didn't get any more room service."
Annette's experience with Blake Edwards on the set of '10' was perhaps the only positive one she had from mainstream Hollywood. "He was extraordinary polite and nice. You can tell when someone's leering around you and he didn't do any of that. I actually didn't think that the casting coach existed in Hollywood. I actually for a few naïve years thought people got their roles for their acting ability… I have a lot more respect for my industry because at least we're upfront about it."
Her dislike of Hollywood mainstream though was also the result of personal interaction with some of its main characters. "I was pimped out by this piece-of-garbage publicist in LA. She set up this appointment for me to go down and see the people at Paramount… The premise was that the producer wanted this movie… So we had this big meeting in his offices, all very impressive. He and his confederate wanted a girl to work with who 'loved having fun, who loved to party'. After six hours of badgering, I got them to define what that meant: screwing them. At that point I terminated the interview. 'I screw on screen, but I don't screw producers.' Then he starts back-pedalling… So he put me up at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We were supposed to go out on a double date - his associate and this female. The two men tried to get the girl and me to have sex in front of them, which I wasn't going to do and neither was she. Then the confederate and his date left me and the Paramount person alone in the hotel room. At dinner I had eaten three Quaaludes and drunk a whole bunch of alcohol… I was really loaded, I know what my tolerance levels are, and I was about at my peak. I was okay except that he attacked me, and I wasn't in any shape to fight him off. He was coked up… So this guy stripped me and proceeded to do various things that were rather extraordinary. He's got his tongue stuck up my ass, and he's asking he to shit on him. He stuck his impotent little dick in my face, and it was just about the ugliest thing I had ever seen. I started vomiting… It's hard to rape somebody whose barfing."
In 1984 Annette was offered one of the lead roles in Brian De Palma's film 'Body Double' (1984). She was to play Holly Body, a porn actress who became involved in a murder case. According to Annette "I had the role except that Columbia Pictures is a subsidiary of the Coca Cola Corporation. They got very perturbed when they found out just how very x-rated I was, and that was that." The role eventually fell to Melanie Griffith. Annette remained on the set as consultant, and later, having seen the finished product, expressed relief that she had not got the part, as she considered the film too violent. Her support for pornography and repulsion for graphic violence often influenced her career decisions. "I turned down the role of the head female werewolf in 'The Howling' because of their use of the porno shop in the front of the film. The maniac gets the girl into a peep show emporium and tries to rape her and the scenario was very negative about the sort of violence and degeneracy we saw and the adult business. I refused the part. I hated 'Hardcore', too, but that was such a joke film, I couldn't get too upset about it. It was ludicrous. I turned down $23,000 in February  alone because of some violent or tasteless parts of the properties I was offered."
Annette did appear in a few mainstream productions that avoided extreme and graphic violence, such as the 'Hawaii Five-O' episode 'Boner of Contention'. The story involves McGarrett investigating the islands porn industry. Annette played the Five-O receptionist, while John Holmes appeared as the Chief of Police, and Seka as a Sea Life park attendant.
As the 1980's began Annette continued starring in quality porn films, such as 'Peaches And Cream' (1981), 'Memphis Cathouse Blues' (1982) and 'Bodies In Heat' (1983), but her appearances became fewer and fewer. The Video Age had just begun and younger starlets, such as Ginger Lynn, Amber Lynn and Traci Lords were out to claim her crown. Although none of these porn stars had the class or acting ability of Annette Haven, in a business that constantly seeks fresh faces, they began to overtake her in popularity. Furthermore, the advent of video meant that quality control within the industry began to slide. "They're trying to do these videos as cheaply and as rapidly as possible, and it shows… They don't know, or just don't care, about how much time and energy it takes to turn out something really good. In the mid seventies and even the late seventies, we were doing product that maybe wasn't all that terrific, but was getting better all the time." As a result she re-enrolled in college and began studying to be a computer programmer. One of her last films was 'The Grafenburg Spot' (1985) with Ginger Lynn. Ginger later recalled how "Annette won't take cum-shots in the face. We all have our do's and don'ts, and that's hers. Well in The Grafenburg Spot Annette played a doctor, and I was a patient. This movie is about female ejaculation… Everyone knew she wouldn't take the shot in the face; so the Mitchell Brothers said 'Be sure to get her in the face. This is real important. This is going to go down in history.' So they loaded me up, and I was all ready. She got her face down there, and I let her have it. It took two takes because she dodged the first shot. It was great."
Annette eventually retired in 1985 due to the fear of AIDS, although she did return in 1989 to make 'Bodies In Heat-The Sequel' (1989), and 'Talk Dirty To Me 6' (1989). In both cases, however, she only appeared in lesbian scenes. Nevertheless, despite being 35 years old she still looked slim and beautiful. Following these two movies she retired once again, later simply claiming "I woke up sick, not wanting to do this." Annette moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she completed her degree in computers. She eventually married a rich businessman with whom she resided in up-scale Marin County, California, living a quiet domesticated life.
Despite her retirement, Annette Haven never lost contact with the adult industry though. She eventually returned to the scene in the late 1990's with the blessing of her husband. "I wouldn't marry a jealous man. I think it's a sickness. You can't possess another person." Nevertheless, she only appeared in fetish and bondage movies. "I'm not in this business for money. If I wanted to be a prostitute there's people in the Mid-east who have offered a million dollars to fuck me." By this point her fear of AIDS within the industry had diminished. "The only people I know in the business who have got AIDS are needle freaks or homosexuals. I would fuck my husband unprotected [on screen] but no one's asked."
Annette Haven was one of the pioneers of adult movies in America and has worked with all the legendary male stars of her time, including John Holmes, John Leslie, Paul Thomas, Eric Edwards, Wade Nichols, Jamie Gillis and Joey Silvera. As was the case with European actresses such as Brigitte Lahaie and Cicciolina, she viewed her involvement in the porn industry as an ideological statement; something through which she could confront conservative values and educate. "I've never approached the business the way Ginger Lynn did and Traci Lords did and that whole crowd. They've made something like a hundred films and videos in a year in order to make a cash killing. That has never been my point in being in the adult industry. I felt that it would give me an excellent platform to speak about sexual matters… That to me is very, very important. I grew up watching most of my girlfriends get really ruined because of their lack of sexual education. I started in the business when I was 19. I left my home in Las Vegas when I was 16 when one of my girlfriends gave birth from an incestuous rape when she was only 13. That image has stayed fresh in my mind. Hopefully I've been able to reach people with a message."
Unlike Linda Lovelace or Traci Lords, she has never turned against the adult industry, often accusing actresses of allowing themselves to be used and abused. "A lot of these ladies fuck themselves over. Producers in the adult film industry are generally more honest and dependable than they are in Hollywood… The adult film industry is fairly upfront. It's like 'Will you work for me for a dime a day?' If you go for it you're an idiot… At one point I was on a set, and a prominent male actor was hurting this relatively unknown female. It was an anal scene. I was over in the other corner, and somebody was giving me head - we were doing an orgy. I heard this 'No, no, stop, please don't. Oh no stop.' The camera zeroed in on his dick because it was the first time he'd gotten it hard. He got it up by hurting people. He prefers to work with unknown little girls, because they're so stupid and complimented to be with him that they will allow him to hurt them. So this girl went ahead and did another anal scene three days later. Let's face it, the girl wasn't tied up!" Furthermore, Annette has often argued that the porn industry allowed her to grow as a person. "I was raised in a rather uptight home, sexually speaking, and as a result I was a repressed person… My boyfriend and I used to have discussions as to whether we would leave the light on while we made love." She was among the first actresses to be inducted into the industry's Hall Of Fame. Along with such names as Marilyn Chambers, Serena, Vanessa Del Rio and Leslie Bovee, she was also among the original superstars of porn. Not only was she beautiful, but unlike many of her contemporaries, she was also a good actress. The fact that she continued making successful hard-core films for 12 years before retiring the first time testifies to her ability and staying power.
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