November 02, 2000 11:00pm
It Had to Happen: Sex Survivor
Source: Wired News
by: Noah Shachtman
In this version of Survivor, Rudy has to do the nasty.
(LOS ANGELES, CA) -- Sex Survivor 2000, a weeklong, Internet-only miniseries premiering Nov. 11, features an adults-only analogue to every aspect of the hit TV series: an L.A. mansion instead of a deserted isle, Roman orgies instead of rats for dinner, and a retired Lt. Col.-turned-porn star instead of Rudy, the crusty Navy SEAL.
For $70 each, online voyeurs get to see streaming video of all the action and can vote which of the 28 contestants will remain in the pleasure palace.
The carnal won't be all that draws viewers, executive producer Michael Caruso claims.
"It's about more than just sex. (The contestants) have to cook for each other, clean for each other, make each other's beds," he says earnestly.
But, curiously, the tidying-up duties are absent from Sex Survivor's tagline ("screw the most, suck the most, lick the most, to survive" [sic]) and from its posted schedule. Instead, viewers are promised a steady diet of "Musical Blowjobs," "Blind Man's Muff," and the ever-popular "Great Dildo Scavenger Hunt."
In fact, the hardcore fare distinguishes this event from other, adult knockoffs of "Survivor," like the R-rated Pornstar Survivor, which features topless football and nude Twister, but doesn't promise real, up-close-and-personal sex.
By successfully navigating Sex Survivor's triple-X maze, one male and one female contestant will each land a $350,000 grand prize; second-place winners get $100,000; third-placers will earn $50,000.
And since Sex Survivor is a "no-condom" event, contestants will be medically tested as if they'd just emerged from a hot zone along the Ebola River.
Supervising the HIV screening and other tests is Sharon Mitchell, the androgynous, old-school porn starlet who now runs Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, a clinic specializing in the treatment of sex workers.
Mitchell will also be at the Sex Survivor mansion 12 hours a day to serve as a counselor for the contestants.
"We're talking about lots of relationships between people with the large egos and low self-esteem that runs rampant in porn," Mitchell describes. "So there's bound to be issues."
Mitchell's 28 patients for the week are, theoretically, divided equally between men and women, triple-X veteran and neophyte. But the "amateur" performers all seem to have more than a little work under their belts. Kansas City native Tyler Lane, 19 -- classified as a "Rook" (short for "rookie") under Sex Survivor standards -- has done Barely Legal videos and nude photo shoots for such girlie magazines as Hustler, Leg World and Hawk.
Billie Britt, 26, another "Rook," is a self-described "porn queen in England" with over 200 filmed sex scenes to her credit -- including 60 since coming to the United States in June. Britt says she used to work as probation officer.
"The men in prison said I could make a lot of money with my body," she rasps in an angular Bristol accent.
The only real departure from the cosmetically enhanced crowd is Dave Cummings, a balding, 60-year-old star and producer of the "Sugar Daddy" porn series. A 25-year Army veteran, he claims to have earned a bronze star in Vietnam, directed personnel for the Department of Defense in Saudi Arabia, and served in West Point and Fort Bragg, N.C., eventually becoming a Lt. Col.
Impossibly cheery -- "Oh gosh, I did a bunch of foolish things during the Tet offensive" -- Cummings still chuckles about his unorthodox career change.
"The best dream I'll ever have is the dream I'm living out in real life," Cummings laughs. "I still pinch myself."
For Cummings, the show is an opportunity to make some extra cash.
For other contestants, it's a little more serious.
With the exceptions of a few triple-X megastars, "the girls make nothing, nothing [up front]. And there's no residuals for them," Mitchell, the sex care worker, said.
According to Cummings, the going rate for ladies is $500-$600 for a boy/girl scene, with an additional $100-$200 thrown in if there's anal sex, and another $100-$200 if there's a second guy involved. The men make $250-$500 no matter what's involved.
That makes first prize in Sex Survivor worth about 700 scenes for the blue-collar workers of the blue movie business.
In other words, Tyler Lane can go back to college and get her beautician degree. Billie Britt can start her own company ("I'm a businesswoman, darling," she purrs), bringing European wannabes to L.A. to "protect them from these sleazy bastards calling themselves agents."
For the winning Sex Survivor, Mitchell explains, this is "the ticket out of this hole. We're in a trap here, honey, and we're all trying to get out."