Meet James Deen, Porn’s Hot Guy-Next-Door

This is James Deen — or at least that’s the name he goes by in the hundreds of porn films he’s made over the last several years. Deen is an unlikely looking porn star, with an unlikely story — and he’s perhaps heralding in a new aesthetic into the porn scene, long dominated by ripped, buff, overly-muscled guys. Deen is a porn star with nerd appeal.

Deen’s strengths, he believes, are that “I’m kind of average, normal-looking, I don’t know, I’m approachable,” he said in an interview with ABC’s “Nightline,” to be aired tonight. But his average looks and appeal seem to be winning him fans the world over, and the award for “Male Performer of the Year” at this year’s Adult Video News Awards.

“The first time I saw him, it was kind of really relieving,” explains Deen fan Christine Ahlsen, one of the legions of college girls who enjoy his films and follow his totally NSFW blog. “Because in porn, the males are usually guys I’m not even close to being attracted to. He is just accessible, he looks like somebody that I could see at, you know, a coffee shop or something and actually approach, I mean, if he were, you know, just a regular guy. He is a regular guy.”

But that’s not all — he’s also added a touch of sensitivity into the “hit it or quit it” porn universe. Deen peppers his performances with long, slow gazes, hand holding and romantic gestures. And that has huge appeal for the women watching. “It’s much more personal,” Ahlsen said. “You will remember these moments in fantasies and that’s what it does. It’s not often just the visual, it’s the whole package. It’s very, very much, you know, brain-based too. Like words, like vibrations, sounds, there’s a lot that goes into it.”

So, is Deen’s rise to fame a sign of bigger changes to come — a move toward porn that’s more appealing to and in touch with women’s needs? The jury’s still out, but Deen says he loves his job more than anything. “If I had to do porn, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it,” Deen said. “I get to do porn. I get to go to set. And I get to, you know, make out with girls. And I get to meet different people. And I get to, you know, experience all of this stuff. It’s awesome. I can’t think of anything else I would ever want to do or be.” [ABC News]