Dorothy Le May was born Dorothy Staton Alder in 1958, to rural conservative middle class parents. She had an uneventful upbringing and it was not until she turned seventeen that she had her first sexual experience. "In High School I went with one guy all the way though it was terrible… I gave him blowjobs, but that's as far as it went… I didn't know a lot about sex at all so I had no idea about reciprocation." Her second serious boyfriend in High School led to a more lasting affair, and she married him soon after turning eighteen. "My best blowjobs came after I was married. I was encouraged to do it."
A year later Dorothy and her husband found themselves facing economic difficulties. "In 1976 I worked at the University of California at Berkeley. I answered an ad in their Berkeley paper that said 'Make $300 a day'. So I went on to an interview with my husband… and we started doing loops." In late 1977 one of these loops was included in the movie 'House Of Green Desire' in which she had sex with Bobby Taylor. Dorothy began making contacts and soon starred in her first proper full-length porn film. "John Seeman helped me start. He knew the right people to send me to, though my first movie (Formal Faucet, 1978) was a disaster… It was gross and I ran out of the theatre crying after I saw it. They had cut the film and were using someone else's voice and they weren't the words coming out of my mouth. It didn't make sense. That experience almost made me get out of the business. Also the filmmakers worked me 18-hours a day for three days. My second movie, 'Sensual Encounters Of Every Kind' (1978), was done by Harold Lime. It turned my head around. He paid me twice as much as I was paid for the other film and he was nice to me. That was the first time I worked with John Leslie. We did a hot, hot sauna scene."
Dorothy later claimed: "It seems like every time I do a film, I haven't had sex for like a month before. So when people call me I say yes. I know it's going to be good sex. I get off on cameramen." "During the making of 'Champagne For Breakfast' (1980)… there was a scene with John Leslie and Kandi Barbour and I'm just kind of watching them do this scene and we had a small fire and the lights went out for about half an hour… We were working on a stage in Oakland so there were lots of nooks and crannies around… the cameraman and I sneaked off and fucked. But unfortunately the lights came on before we were finished and we hadn't noticed it and everyone was waiting for us to finish up."
Dorothy Le May appeared grounded concerning her career in porn films. "I have my own life that I try to keep apart from making adult movies, but I do enjoy them when the right offers come my way… The right kind of people making the right movie, the right money, and a good script. People have to treat me well and I don't do loops anymore. I enjoy movies more than loops because movies involve more acting… Whereas a loop has hardly any storyline and it's mostly silly if there is one. It's just fast sex."
Her rising status within the industry meant that she was able to work with some of the leading directors of the time. In 1979 Gerard Damiano cast her in 'Fantasy', and a year later she co-starred with Lisa De Leeuw, Brooke West and Chris Cassidy in Robert McCallum's 'Garage Girls'. Her ability to play teen roles then led to Kirdy Stevens casting her in his classic incest story 'Taboo 1' (1980), which propelled her to new levels of popularity.
Throughout this period Dorothy remained married to her high school sweetheart. Not only was he not jealous about his wife being a porn star, he actually enjoyed it. According to Dorothy he was "into two chicks at a time. Trouble is I'd come home from working on a movie and he'd really be horny and he'd have a couple over there and then he'd want me to party with them and I would be so tired. He was into couples. He got off on seeing other guys with me… My husband had always told me that I'm a great cocksucker. He'd always have mirrors around and say 'if people could see you doing this'… I've sucked two cocks at once in front of him. That isn't too difficult. Keeping them hard is probably more difficult than getting them both in your mouth."
In fact, giving head became one of the things Dorothy was renowned for. "I love it. I really do… I just get really turned on by them getting excited. It's not only the growth in your mouth either… It's nice to notice or watch the fellow you're working on, you know, his expressions, if you're doing something the way he likes… You know, just looking at him and getting it all nice and wet and hard. I try to deep throat but my eyes water. I haven't gagged yet. I always stop before."
Her family, on the other hand knew nothing about her porn career. The closest they got was to see her in Blake Edwards '10', where Dorothy, along with other porn stars such as Annette Haven, Serena and Constance Money appeared in a nude scene at a swimming pool party. "My family doesn't know about my erotic career. My mother knows I was in '10' for ten seconds in the nude scene. My sisters and brothers went to see it and they came home and called me long distance at two in the morning, and said 'Dorothy, you're sinning.'"
"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 get crazy in our Culver City hotel room. Annette Haven had her leather party one night and room service walked into it. 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."
One of the things that made Dorothy so popular, apart from her youthful looks, was her ability to immerse herself into the sex scenes. "I like to get crazy. I enjoy seeing people and I enjoy what I do. Even in my first loop, I was never self-conscious about the camera, though I wasn't used to the angles." "I've always found it real easy to do these films… I'm not an exhibitionist in my private life. But I enjoy being watched while I'm doing these movies. I like the crew… like after a scene someone says 'You looked really good sucking that thing'… I think it's real important to keep the flow going. I've worked with some girls, like Desiree Cousteau, who right after they say 'Cut', for some technical reason, will stop dead in their tracks. They'll stop sucking on the cock or something and the actor’s wondering 'what's this chick's problem?' I like to get involved and stay involved. Even when the scene is over, I keep going."
In between making porn films, Dorothy also worked as a stripper. "Annette Haven and I worked together at the Mitchell Brothers [O'Farrell Theatre] 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 in her leather stuff. It was fun until she was pulling a string of balls out of my vagina, and she pulled hard and one was left inside of me. I got hurt and I couldn't perform the last day."
During 1981 she eventually divorced her husband and began a relationship with a man named Ernie whom she met while filming 'High School Memories' (1981). "I had a really good time on that film. John Leslie's extremely nice to work with… He turns me on." She then appeared in her favourite movie to date - 'Night Dreams' (1981). According to Dorothy "The people who made the movie were nuts." During the film she sucked off a black man wearing a giant Cream of Wheat box. "That guy apparently had never had a blowjob and he was 26. He was married and I don't know why his wife wouldn't get into that. He was nervous and he had to drink whiskey before the scene. And he was swerving the box so they laid him down on the floor. That was my first time working with a black guy. It wasn't something that I didn't want to do. I had just never met one in that situation." "I really enjoyed working in 'Night Dreams'. That was the first chance I had to act… 'Taboo 2' was fun too.'
Playing Kevin James' younger teenage sister in 'Taboo 2' (1982) is perhaps the role Dorothy Le May is most famous for. Director Kirdy Stevens continued where 'Taboo 1' left off two years earlier. Although perhaps not as big a success as the original, it was much more erotic and according to Dorothy, more fun to make "because I got to work more. In 'Taboo 1', I only worked one day, and in 'Taboo 2' I worked all the time… Although I do like Mike Ranger a lot, I still enjoyed my partner Kevin James in the second one. He's a very large guy but he's a real nice gentle guy." One of her most memorable scenes in the film was when she had sex with Eric Edwards. "I had on a real flimsy nightgown and I walked in and looked underneath the covers and got him hard. Then I sat on him and tried not to wake my mother [played by Honey Wilder]. We had to pretend not to make any noise to wake her up. It was really fun. It was the first time I had worked with Eric Edwards. It's not a real fantasy of mine. Maybe if I had Paul Newman for a father it would be okay."
Dorothy's relationship with Ernie often took her to new sexual levels. "I liked him a lot… we'd get kinked out and dress up. One time he wanted to put on all my clothes, garter belts and all the paraphernalia, at home and I said 'Let's go for it!' He proceeded to put them on, but then he wanted me to strap on this dildo and fuck him in the ass and I just couldn't do it… Even though I knew he wanted it, how much he wanted it, I couldn't. Maybe if I had been in a different mood… There's times when I want to be dominated and I want them to pull my head to their cock and there's other times where I'd rather be dominant and have them just lie back… I'm not sure how far I'd go to please someone. Probably not too far, I mean, I don't like to be fucked in the ass… I don't think I'd go that far. But I'm pretty easy about most things… If my boyfriend was into it [her being gang banged in public] and he wanted me to be into it and he wanted me to do it, sure I'd do it… I don't want to be hurt that's the thing… You know I'd like them to be rough with me, but not too rough. I like to be grabbed and told to 'Suck my cock', I really like that… My boyfriend and I have done some things I would probably not do with someone else. We were at Venice beach once, and we got the urge and we took a walk through one of those underground parking lots and we fucked there."
Although Dorothy claimed she was heterosexual, she often had sex with women on camera. As usual her performance would be passionate, despite occasionally being paired with actresses that obviously did not enjoy gay sex. "That happened with Desiree [Cousteau]. I didn't mind it at all. I just gave her head and I could sense that she didn't care for it. When the director said, 'Okay, cut, we're going to move some lights around,' she'd push me away from her… I've been told I give really good head to women."
By 1983, however, her relationship with Ernie had fallen apart. "I had my first lesbian affair because I hated Ernie." Her lover was Sharon Kane. "I've had a lot of pleasurable experiences with Sharon Kane, she's a really nice girl… She was my only female lover off screen." Her break-up, however, also led to Dorothy Le May drifting away from the porn industry. "I had a good job at ABC Messenger Service in LA, so I decided to cool out from the business for awhile." Her 'cooling out' period became permanent, and by 1984 she had left the porn industry for good. .
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