The Wild And Short Life Of John Holmes — The “King Of Porn”


John Holmes was known as the “King of Porn” and helped bring pornography into the mainstream. Then he fell victim to drug addiction and HIV.

John Holmes

The life of John Holmes plays out like the script of one of his movies: full of twists and turns, and drugs and women — copious amounts of the latter two. After all, what does one expect from a man known as the “King of Porn,” with over 2,000 hardcore films under his belt and a bedpost with about 14,000 notches on it?

Despite the ridiculous number of films he’d made and women he supposedly slept with, Holmes still felt the need to embellish. During conversations, he’d invent facts and figures about himself so often that the real facts were often lost in the mix of wild tidbits.

Tidbits like the fact that he had several degrees from UCLA, that he had been a child actor on Leave it to Beaver; and that he had a 13.5-inch penis that had rendered him unable to wear underwear, and had, in fact, killed several people were all pieces of info that he felt compelled to tell whoever would listen.

So imagine people’s surprise when they realized that that last one was true, at least in part. While it never actually killed anybody, John Holmes’ fame, his glory, his prowess and his downfall could all be attributed to one thing: his 13.5-inch endowment.

Before making his big break in the pornography industry, John Holmes worked in relatively mundane jobs. He worked as an ambulance driver, a shoe salesman, a furniture salesman, and a door-to-door brush salesman. He had tried his hand at a job stirring chocolate at a Coffee Nips factory and he’d driven a forklift at a meatpacking plant. For several years he tried just about everything there was to try, each of them working out worse than the previous one.

Then, while at a poker parlor in Gardena, California, his luck changed.

While in the bathroom of the poker parlor, he met a professional photographer named Joel, who noticed that he was extremely gifted and suggested he put his gifts to good use. Before long, he was doing pictorials and dancing in nightclubs where he was making more cash than he dreamed possible.


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