The Barenaked Ladies are hot.
Not just because they are one of the biggest selling pop bands in the United States or because
they truly believe in a strong plot when it comes to a good porn-flick, but because their fans have
come to embrace their refreshing pop-perkiness- hailing them as some of the most unlikely
sex-symbols on MTV.
In between takes on a Seattle-set for their latest video-single "Get In Line", BLISS got the
BNLs-Steven Page, Tyler Stewart and Ed Robertson to literally let their pants down. We found
out what they find sexy, their grading system for hotel pornography and why they think
circumcision is highly overrated.
A Rolling Stone article in August '99 said that the Barenaked Ladies hang out with porn
Tyler: Jenteal came to the show last night in L.A. and so did Dyanna Lauren -our bus driver got
to meet them and brought them back stage-apparently the female porn stars really like the
Is that because you have something in common?
Tyler: I think they relate to the performance aspect of us because they are such performers
themselves. I know they also like our music and our sense of humor. We met Jenteal at an
exotic dance bar in Nashville and we just hit it off with her, she's really cool and when we get to
L.A. she comes to the show and brings a bunch of her porn star friends. It's odd when you meet
a women and you've seen her having sex. I mean you've seen cocks going in and out of her
pussy. It's like Wow. I feel like I know you so well, but I don't. And the conversations I have with
her are never about sex. It's just like talking to an actor- you know porn stars are people too.
Do your perceptions of the porn stars change after you get the chance to meet them?
Tyler: I found Jenteal to be a fairly empowered person, like she is very aware that she is a
sexual object and she loves it. I found her like any other businessperson. Sometimes I meet a
fan after a show and she happens to have giant silicone breasts. I might remember a fan for that,
but then I might have a great conversation with them about the show or life and it's better than
just walking away with only the visual image.
The sexual objectification that happens with a porn star, is in a way similar to the iconism
that happens when you're a rock star
Tyler: Some people only see you as one thing, which is fine I don't need everyone to know me
personally. I can relate to objectification but not the part where guys get erections when they see
me. Although, maybe I should start relating to that, it's a market I haven't yet exploited. It's weird,
some fans are so polite they tell me that a BNL album was the soundtrack to their university life
and others say 'Oh my God, you're the drummer, oh my god, what are you doing here?' And I'm
like 'AHHH. It's a store, um, I'd be buying bread.' Sometimes people don't think you're real or
What about Internet porn?
Steven: The Key word for surfing Internet Porn is 'Amateur'.
Tyler: Internet porn is a drag. First of all none of it's free anymore and it is SO SLOW. I'd way
rather just rent a tape, the Internet takes too much time and it's boring. Although I do like good
erotica on the Internet. Like, I'll be looking at BLISS and hopefully become an expert at
That's what we want to invent at BLISS, a keyboard you can use with just one hand
Tyler: When you go to the Barenaked Ladies news groups there's always some guy who has
posted something in there like, 'See A Picture Of My Wife Pissing!" So amongst fan chats on our
live shows that say things like "Ed is gorgeous!"or "Steven is the best dancer!"- you have
"Download your free shots of Gillian Anderson's Pussy!" We finally got the URL registered for
www.barenakedladies.com- thanks to our lawyers.
What do you think of other sexual publications on the net?
Tyler: The Internet really needs something like BLISS where there is good quality. You know a
few years ago when Boogie Nights was released, it sort of hit me how pornography was not
taboo any more and it seems to be becoming more and more mainstream. But even though 'the
dragon' has become more accepted, most porn is still crappy. I think BLISS and other more
artistically and educationally inclined sex publications are definitely needed, but the truth is
sometimes people just want to whack off and porn serves that purpose. It's nice to be educated
and informed but it's almost a separate thing. Straight crappy porn is everywhere, but it's hard to
find the good stuff.
Do you have any interest in making a porn flick?
Tyler: Y'know, sometimes Steven and I think we could make an excellent porn flick. We might
be interested in directing one some day, you have to spend the money.
Why kind of porn do you like?
Tyler: I like the Annie Sprinkle stuff, you know the performance art aspect of it and also Nina
Hartley's [Tyler actually means Annie Sprinkle -ed.] Public Cervix Announcements. She is cool in
that respect. A few hard-core movies have plots, but they are so expensive to churn out. I don't
think there has ever been a porn masterpiece made.
Ed:All I know is I can't get aroused unless someone is being degraded in some way. (laughs)
Do you find overly thin women or women with breast implants particularly attractive?
Steven: Well in a way porn should be like fantasy-land. If it is about people you would actually
want to have sex with then it's not porn. I think a new trend in porn should be just cut to the
fucking! We see so much porn in the hotels and porn in the States shows no penises. You see a
lot of backs of girls heads and a lot of guy's asses. The Barenaked Ladies have a whole list on
how to grade porn:
Full-On: cum Shots, Money Shots*
Full-Off: no money shots, no anal, no cum shots-i.e. a waste of $$
Medium On: penetration but no money shots
Medium Off: penetration but no penis shots
*Money Shots: anal sex shots, cum shots
In Canada it's pretty constantly Medium-On-so it's like a challenge for me personally to find the
money shots. I get so used to lame, lame porn. The Barenaked Ladies have a code word for
whacking off, we call it the "doot-bap". We say to each other, 'Did you do the doot-bap?' It's like
that Spirit Of the West Song, 'Five Minutes To Myself'-it's about the five free minutes that
Spectravision (the porn channel) gives away before they make you pay. That's why we call it the
'Doot-Bap' because that's the sound that the TV would make when you turned the channel on
the TV. So we would ask each other, 'Did you doot the bapper?'
What makes a good blow job?
Tyler:Well first of all if there was ever a blow-job training manual it would be porn flicks, it's good
for that. The eye contact thing is very, very important.
What about Porn as an ice-breaking conversation piece?
Ed:Definitely! When we met David Duchovney we were on the set of X-Files and it wasn't until
we brought up porn that he perked up. We were joking with him and when we finally dropped the
porn reference he was all friendly. We ended up talking about male porn stars the whole time. It
all started because I said one of the actors on the set of the X-Files looked like a porn star
named Randy West.
Tyler: Nina Hartley has said that so many movie stars spend time in there hotel rooms whacking
off to her films but when they pass her on the street they can't even look at her.
The subculture surrounding pornography is fascinating. How do you feel about sharing
pornography with your partner within a relationship?
Tyler: I have watched porn with my wife and she likes it and she has the same opinion as
me-the sex scenes are great but you have to sit through the tedium of the rest of it.
Good porn is hard to find
Tyler: That's why organizations like the Good Vibrations store in San Francisco are so
important. You walk in and it's like, "Wow." Nice people and the women that work there are so on
top of it. I feel so comfortable in there, I could bring my wife in and ask about good movie
recommendations. For example, their book The Couples Guide To Erotic Videos is a great one
because when I'm on tour I tend to watch a lot of porn movies in the hotel rooms, so I kept hyping
porn to my wife and when we watched it together we decided it wasn't that good. So I went on
the hunt for some good porn and that book really helped. Another good store is the Come As
You Are store in Toronto, I've bought some good vibrators there.
Japanese vibrators are cool because they aren't legally allowed to look like penises.
Tyler: (laughs) No they have to look like polar bears!
Do you watch porn on the tour bus?
Tyler: Once I was watching porn on the tour bus and Ed asked me 'Why are you watching this,
you're not in a hotel room whacking off?'
Ed: Well I just can't understand why anyone would want to lie on a tour bus with a bunch of guys
and watch porn without whacking it.
That must mean he really loves you
Ed: (hysterical laughter) No! It's like, man just watch it, whack it and get it over with!
Tyler: I think pornography is a good barometer for the sexual hang-ups that people in society
have. Everyone is fascinated by porn and it's a training method as well.
One of BLISS mandates is to bring heterosexuality out of the closet
Ed: I think heterosexuality is a disease.
Tyler: Well homosexuals have had to be sexually "Out there" and uninhibited for so long.
Sometimes I resent the fact that they get to be out there like that all the time. Along with clothes,
flamboyancy and drag and all that stuff, they also have sexual forthrightness and freedom as part
of the arsenal to throwing off the chains of oppression.
Can you relate to magazines like Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler?
Ed: I don't read porn mags, but I do watch hotel porn simply for the purposes of masturbation.
The last time I actually looked through a porn mag was at a Hustler on the tour bus, and there
was this picture of this "perfect women" holding a raw steak between her legs; a hanging flank
steak. I thought what is going on here? Why exactly is that arousing? Who thought that would be
a good image, Larry Flynt?
Tyler: Playboy and Hustler are archaic and unimaginative, you know? But they are the
McDonalds of the porn world. Men have become ghettoized by the porn magazine and video
industry into what they are told is "Hot". It's like Jesus, there's so much more and so much hotter
stuff, which is not turned on enough as a culture. I think sexuality is way deeper than just imagery
and certain types of women; but as guys you get fed that "this is what you want". While many
women marry short, bald, fat guys because they have money, or they're funny or they'll take care
of them etc. With men, it's like a bit of an issue we're told , 'No, you need Superbabes,
Supermodels." I think that's totally reflected in porn and erotica publications.
What about European pornography?
Tyler: When we were in Germany we were like 'Say Yes To German Porn'. They have
un-amazing-looking people with no fake implants and it was awesome because it was the
ultimate unporn . It was just two decent people having sex, what a revelation it was!
Ed: I also liked German porn because you saw them having sex the whole time, it wasn't this
'Ah-Yeah! Ah-Yeah! Ah-Yeah! Give head. Film loop. With the occasional looped vocal of 'Yeah,
Tyler: This whole band is circumcised.
Steven: Which means I haven't sucked an uncircumcised cock in my life.
Do you think men should have phobias about not being circumcised?
Tyler: I heard that sex is better with foreskin, so I would have to say "No".
Steven: When it comes to hand jobs foreskin is actually better because it adds some natural