Laure Sainclair was born Laurence Fontaine, in Bains, a small town in Brittany close to Rennes, France, on 24 May 1972. She came from a traditional middle-class family and had an uneventful childhood. As a little girl she was timid, and although clever, found school boring. Her dream was always to become a famous model. Laure began to change when she reached puberty, "From the age of 12-13 I've been a bit of an exhibitionist. I enjoyed dancing. I would dress sexy and dance in clubs showing off the fact that I was wearing g-string." She eventually went to college to study marketing, and after graduating began working in Rennes.
According to Laure, “I used to regularly watch porn films or read adult magazines before I entered the business.” Her boyfriend also enjoyed pornography, and so when she decided to answer an advert for nude models, he fully supported her. Using the pseudonym Maud, she posed for a number of French adult magazines, and was an instant success. She quit her marketing job, and began to supplement her income by stripping. “I’ve always enjoyed showing off my body. I’m an exhibitionist.” She then began working for the film company M6 that produced a soft-core television series entitled ‘Sexy Zap’.
The turning point, however, came in 1995 when Laure and her boyfriend decided to visit the Erotic Festival ‘Curiosa ‘95’ that was taking place in Rennes. “When I was in a sex club in Rennes I saw Draghixa, Julia Channel, Beatrice Valle, and I thought their show was really good and that they danced very well. They asked me to join them on stage... I thought they were really nice and I had a lot of fun.” Laure’s impromptu striptease on stage with the three porn stars caught everyone’s attention, and she was immediately approached by a number of adult film producers.
Laure would later claim: “I’ve always loved sex. Making porn films is like living a fantasy. I love to show off, to dance, to take my clothes off in front of people. I’m a very sexual person.” Her foray into adult movies though almost ended before it even began. The first adult film producer she met not only expected her to take part in six sex scenes in one day, but also asked her to masturbate in front of him during the casting. “It was horrible. I went home in tears after that.”
Luckily for her, while she was stripping on stage at the ‘Curiosa 95’ “Someone took a photo of me which eventually reached Marc Dorcel. He then contacted me through an intermediary. He said he absolutely needed a girl within three days and would I be interested.” “When VMD Productions asked me to appear in an adult film, I was very hesitant. But the director, Marc Dorcel, asked me to visit the set and see for myself how films were made. So I did, and it changed my opinion of adult films.” Dorcel would later state: "Her angelic and romantic image completely seduced me."
According to Laure the difference between Dorcel and the producer at DEFI “was like comparing day and night. He treated me with respect. He only films one sex scene and one lesbian scene a day.” “It was in a large classical mansion with a professional set-up. None of the girls were forced to do anything against their will. I watched them film one or two sex scenes and realised that this what not what I expected.” “I was very timid, but very excited. It was incredible! I thought I was hallucinating! The guys that that were taking part in the sex scenes were all standing around naked in between shoots, just eating and talking to me, and they all had incredible dicks!”
Laure made her first porn film, ‘Le Desir Dans La Peau’, in September 1995. Before it was released she signed an exclusive contract with VMD, thereby becoming the first contract girl ever in French adult cinema. She also decided to adopt a new pseudonym. “I wanted to use a French name that Americans could pronounce.” "I made up the name Laure and Marc made up the name Sainclair."
Over the next six months Laure Sainclair appeared in eight porn films, quickly becoming the most popular star in France. When asked to explain her sudden rise to fame she replied: "Perhaps because I've remained myself, natural. I don't act like a star, and it hasn't gone to my head." By her own admission though, the adult industry did change her: “A year ago, when I first arrived from Rennes, I was extremely timid and scared. Making these films has transformed me and I’m a lot more confident now. Last month I was in Budapest making a film. I didn’t like certain things in the script, I complained about the make-up and accommodation, and I got things changed. A few months ago I would never have had the confidence to do that.”
One of the people she worked with in Budapest during that trip in 1996 was Hungarian porn actor Andrew Youngman. “She’s amazing in every way. I had one of my best sex scenes with her… I rarely get so excited but I was so turned on I was jerking off while waiting for the scene to start. Eventually I was able to lift up her short black skirt, pull down her white panties and sodomise her!”
According to Laure, “When I started, around the time of ‘La Princesse Et La Pute’ (1996), I saw the sex scenes I had to do merely as work, a contractual obligation. There was no emotion involved. But since then my outlook has changed as I’ve changed. Working with Christophe Clark and David Perry helped me. Christophe is an incredible lover! He knows what to do in front of the camera; he knows what to do to me, and how to talk to me, so that by the end of it I’m completely turned on! David Perry is different. We have a complex relationship. Christophe and David are very different, but they are my favourite actors to work with.”
Porn also opened her up to new experiences. “I discovered my bisexuality on film. I had never made love to a woman before. Now I love it and get as much pleasure from sex with a woman as I do with a man… My favourite scenes are lesbian scenes. Especially when I’m having sex with two or three other woman at the same time. There’s a certain sensuality when you’re having sex with a woman that doesn’t exist with men. With a man it’s always the same: you give him a blowjob, he penetrates you… with women there is a lot more caressing, it’s a lot more tender.” “I like Anita Blond. I did a lesbian scene with her in Budapest. My anticipation before that scene was incredible, as I love her body! She turns me on like mad, and I think I do the same for her.” "I prefer to live with a man, but it wouldn't be honest of me to say I would never have a relationship with a woman."
Laure had always been sexually adventurous in her private life: “Swinging turns me on from time to time… I like to begin with a lot of sensual foreplay, and then end with a really hard fuck! My dream sex scene would be to have sex with Rocco Siffredi in a helicopter.” “My favourite fantasies are threesomes and lesbian sex. I’m bisexual, and I love to have sex with couples.” Nevertheless, she was the first to admit that having sex in front of the camera was very different from real life: “If I like the man I’m working with, and if he knows how to treat me, I’m not afraid to come in front of the camera. But it’s rare… When a scene lasts for five hours, and you’re constantly pausing to change positions of the lighting, it’s hard to remain aroused”
According to Laure, “What attracts me to adult films is the fact that I’m a complete exhibitionist and showing my body off in front of the camera excites me. Of course money is also very important, but if you offered me a lot of money to do a scene I wasn’t happy with, I would refuse.” “I choose my partners for each sex scene, and I refuse to take part in fist-fucking, pissing or shitting. Giving blowjobs or having anal sex is not a problem for me.”
By her own admission, Laure was lucky to be associated with a reputable and professional company like VMD. Marc Dorcel had been in the French adult industry for twenty years and had established a reputation for producing well-made, story-driven films reminiscent of those made during France’s Golden Age of porn in the 1970’s. “If I felt that I was being treated like a prostitute I would quit immediately. But at VMD it’s quite the opposite. They treat me with respect.” “The first time I had to do an anal scene I wasn’t properly prepared, so the director just stopped things. We continued it another day. I know girls that have ended up in hospital because directors refused to stop an anal scene for fear of losing money.”
She would later state: "If I couldn't make films with Dorcel, I wouldn't make them." “I wouldn’t say Marc Dorcel is my spiritual father, but he’s close. I would never have survived in the porn industry without him. It can be a little dangerous for a young girl on her own.” By the end of 1996 she had won the awards for Best French Actress at the Brussels Erotic Film Festival, and Best European Starlet at the Hot D’Or in Cannes, while the French edition of Penthouse voted her one of the seven top porn stars in Europe – the others being Anita Blond, Anita Dark, Olivia Del Rio, Lea Martini, Coralie and N'J Bahia).
Throughout her career as a porn star, Laure continued her relationship with her boyfriend in Rennes. “Sometimes I feel guilty about what I do, but when I tell my boyfriend he always says he just wants me to be happy. He knows that this way I can become famous and have a good life. With my family it’s a lot harder.” In a 1996 interview she admitted: "It's hard breaching the subject to my parents. I've told them about the nude photographs, the M6 soft-core films... but if I told my mother that I was appearing in hardcore porn films without preparing her first, it would be very hard for her." Her original plan was to “Tell them slowly”, but unfortunately the issue slipped beyond her control. “When I first arrived in Paris a reporter asked me about my family, but promised not to write anything. A few days later I discovered that he’d approached them for an interview. I was furious”, “then they saw a program about me on television. Anyway, I come from a small town, so it’s hard to keep anything secret.” Despite the tension that ensued with her parents over her career as a porn star, relations were never severed, and in 1997, at the height of her fame she announced: “I’m in constant contact with them.”
In 1996 Laure had announced: “I’ll probably remain in the adult industry for another three or four years, if the public still likes me… I’ve had a lot of propositions to make mainstream films. My contract with VMD finishes this year, after that we’ll see.” She eventually remained with VMD until mid-1997, appearing in a total of 16 adult films. She starred alongside almost every major porn actress in Europe, including Lea Martini, Anita Blond, Anita Dark, Olivia Del Rio, Karen Lancaume, Maria De Sanchez, Kelly Trump, Vicca, Coralie, Sylvia Saint, Fovea and Erika Bella. She also made her first and only film in America, namely ‘Wicked Weapon’, in which she worked with established US-based actresses Jenna Jameson and Nici Sterling.
Laure had always made it clear that "As long as I feel comfortable I'll continue making movies. I never had a problem with making porn films. When I stop feeling good about myself, when I say I can't do another film, that's when I stop… I don't think porn is bad... but I don't want to grow old doing porn." By the end of 1997 she had started to look beyond hardcore porn films.
“I’ve enjoyed my career in adult films, and it would be dishonest of me to say otherwise, and I’m not quitting adult films just because I made a music video clip with Marc Levoine… I’m now taking acting lessons… I’m writing my autobiography… My long-term aim has always been to enter mainstream cinema.”
In 1996 she had admitted: “I’m not under any illusions. Adult films are a ghetto, and I’m not going to be offered any major roles in mainstream films tomorrow. I’m a realist.” As is the case with many adult actresses, she faced difficulties in ‘crossing-over’. “I have been to mainstream castings for films, but because they know I work in adult movies, all they want me to do is take my clothes off.”
Despite leaving VMD “Marc and his partner Marie-Laurence continued to guide me and give me advice. We have a very good relationship and still meet up regularly for dinner.” Unable to break into the mainstream she agreed to make a final film with VMD, ‘L’Empreinte Du Vice’ (1998). In 1996 she claimed: “I will do vaginal and anal sex on film, but never a double penetration.” In ‘L’Empreinte Du Vice’, however, she took part in her first, and only, double penetration scene. The film’s success led to her winning, for the second time, the award for Best European Starlet at the 1998 Hot D’Or in Cannes.
Realising that she was unable to break in to French mainstream cinema, she turned to singing. “Sony has offered me an album contract… I want to be a singer and I’m using the fame I acquired as a porn star to sell records. I’m also taking singing lessons… I’ve always admired Sophie Marceau. She’s one of the few great French stars. I’ve always admired her courage and personality.” Despite extensive publicity the album never materialised, and in early 1999 she again returned to VMD to star in the two-part porn film ‘Contrat Des Agnes’. Despite being well made the film was not a success compared to her previous releases. Laure still looked beautiful, but refused to have sex on camera and only took part in two mediocre lesbian scenes. It was her final foray into the world of hardcore pornography.
In late 1999 Laure eventually released her first single ‘Pourquoi Tu Pars’. It was a minor hit in France, and over the next couple of years was followed by similar lightweight pop songs. She never really established herself though, and remained more of a curiosity than anything else. Her reputation and fame rested on the fact that she had been such a successful and popular porn star.
In a 1996 interview Laure Sainclair said: “Just because I do porn it doesn't mean that I'm unable to do other things… I have a porn star image, but I don't want it to end there.” If she is to be remembered at all though, it will not be because of her forgettable pop songs, or failed attempts at ‘serious’ acting, but rather as the first-ever French contract girl. Laure Sainclair was without doubt the best-promoted porn actress in Europe during the 1990’s; she successfully combined innocence with raw sexuality, starred in some of the best European adult films of the decade, and became the most popular French porn star since Marilyn Jess.
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