30 Seconds With…Ron Jeremy

Club Sesso mascot Ron Jeremy waxes philosophical on the potential of a sex club across the street from a synagogue or church.

By Victoria Nguyen July 20, 2009 Published in the August 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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Image: Casey Jarman

Sesso is Italian for “sex.” So it’s fitting that Club Sesso, which opened on SW First Avenue this June, is, literally, a sex club. What was it about Portland that screamed, “Ron, we need a new sex club?” This is a liberal city—I know it has to be because Bill O’Reilly said it is, and he would never lie. Plus, Portland has always fascinated me. When I used to come here years ago, I noticed that it was the first city where almost every girl—dancer or stripper—was pierced or tattooed. Then I heard there were all these S&M clubs and B&D clubs out here as well. That, and it’s always raining—so this is just another interesting indoor activity.

How did you meet Paul Smith [Club Sesso’s owner]? I’ve known him about eight years, through his girlfriend. I got her into an R-rated low-budget film about taxicab confessions. We were riding in a cab and wound up having sex. [Paul] was totally OK with it because he has a swinger’s mentality.

Is Club Sesso only for swingers? It allows for a normal date, too. You have a great buffet, great dancing, a nice bar, and you also have a place to go if you do want to get a little frisky with your date. Or boyfriend. Or husband. Or whatever. It’s a very friendly, open, fun environment.

Do you worry about the reaction from your neighbors? There’s a gym right across the street. Nothing is going to affect the public. You could have a church on this side and a synagogue on the other side—it wouldn’t matter. No one’s going to catch anybody naked out on the street.

Are there any legal hurdles you have to worry about? No one is paying for sex here. They’re paying to get into the club, or they’re paying for membership. And then there’s the atmosphere. This place is like Studio 54—and then some.

Will you have any involvement with the club in the future? I’m putting my name behind it, but I’m not an owner. I’m an actor endorsing a product I happen to like. I’ll come make an appearance every month or so, which is cool. I want to show that I’m not just a name on a wall.

When you’re in town and not hosting a Lingerie and Love Party or hanging out in the club’s Orgy Room, what do you do? I love the Portland zoo. I mean, I love elephants, and there’s a dancing elephant there. They play music for it, and it starts shaking its head. It was so darn cute.

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