Interview: Rhonda Jo Petty
Rhonda Jo Petty, “The Farrah Fawcett” of Porn?
CAV: You rose to fame as “The Farrah Fawcett” of porn. Did you ever meet Farrah?
RJ: No, but I’ve gotten letters from her. I don’t think she likes me.
CAV: She actually took the time to write you?
RJ: Oh, sure. She threatened to sue me for that first movie, “Little Orphan Dusty”.
CAV: How could she sue? All the publicity said was that you were a Farrah look-alike.
RJ: They were using her name. So she threatened litigation, but it never got to court. I think the smartest thing she ever did was not sue them. When Cheryl Ladd sued “Taxi Girls”, they had to take her name off the poster.
CAV: And “Dusty” was a big hit and got your name and Farrah’s on a lot of marquees… But the truth is that you don’t look anything like Farrah.
RJ: No, I don’t. I never thought I did. But my hair was real long back then and that hairdo was “in” and the gimmick worked. Do you realize that was almost ten years ago!
CAV: You started out as a magazine model…
RJ: I did a lot of bookstore work at first. Hardcore. Then I got into “Velvet” and “Hustler”. Hustler started the whole Farrah look-alike business. They shot me looking like Farrah – but she was suing them over a dirty drawing they’d run. So they didn’t publish the shots for two years and when they did, they hid them in Chic. Later, I did another shooting for “Hustler” where I was a “Playboy” Bunny reading “Huster” in the company of Hugh Hefner. But HH threatened to sue, so they stuck that into Chic, too.
CAV: The face that launched a thousand torts.
RJ: I guess. but none of them ever went to court.
CAV: You entered the business to do what?
RJ: To make money. In the beginning, I wanted to sell my face for legit work. But I’m telling you, fashion modeling is all casting couch. It was ridiculous! So I got into the nude stuff. I was much happier.
CAV: Have you always had super big tits?
RJ: Yes, I was a 38-D.
CAV: I heard you had ‘em shrunk.
RJ: Yup. They were too… pendulous.
RJ: I’m only 36-D now, but I’m more comfortable with them. Plus, I can wear nicer clothes.
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CAV: When you started your career, was superstardom in porno part of your game plan?
RJ: Never! I planned to get into the business and out again quickly. In those days, porno was no big deal. I was so naive I used my real name. “Who goes to porno movies?” I said. “Who gets famous from porno?” Then “Dusty” came out and “Disco Lady” and all those newspaper ads, and all of a sudden, it’s my father on the phone and he’s blowing his stack! People in the street were calling me “Dusty” and talking about my cocksucking technique. I just about died!
CAV: Do you remember your feelings about your first movie?
RJ: I wasn’t exactly a virgin. I’d done several loops for Swedish Erotica. But, on the set of my first film, “Disco Lady”, I was real nervous.
CAV: You’re very proper and lady-like today. I’ve heard that you were very wild back then…
RJ: I can act very wild. I’m known as a screamer.
CAV: In private and public?
RJ: I will say that my boyfriend frequently has to put his hand over my mouth to keep from waking the neighbors.
CAV: How far do you live from the nearest neighbor?
RJ: We’re in an apartment building right now – in a small town in Massachusetts. But we’re negotiating for the purchase of fourteen acres.
CAV: So you can have better sex?
RJ: Sex and fights.
CAV: What’s the hardest thing you ever had to do for a movie?
RJ: I don’t know the hardest. But the easiest is girl-girl. It’s a lot less work. You don’t have to worry about keeping the guy up all the time and stopping and going.
CAV: So you’re fairly blase about your work. What we see of you on screen is all acting?
RJ: Is it?
CAV: You don’t “get into it”?
RJ: Not most of the time. But if I have a good director and someone to egg me on, they can get it out of me.
CAV: It’s not your co-star, it’s the director that gets your juices going?
RJ: Yeah, there have been a few guys I’ve worked with who can get me to lose my head. That happened in “Satisfactions” – and I think it’s the main reason I’m getting so many compliments about that film. I enjoyed him and that’s rare.
CAV: Who was he?
RJ: Some big dark-haired Italian-looking hunk. Gosh, I don’t even remember his name.
CAV: Blase is not the word!
RJ: I was on a construction job with Ron Jeremy and two other boys and this one Italian-looking guy just went nuts over me…
CAV: That turns you on?
RJ: It was good… what can I tell you? He was new, he was excitable. A lot of the guys I work with, they’re all the same guys I always work with. You get used to them. It’s just like being friends and going to work with someone. Except for Ron Jeremy. He asks for a little bit more. He wants you to get into it. He himself loves it. He could do it all day long.
CAV: How would you know? (Silence) Have you been with him all day long?
RJ: All night long. When we do films in California, he’ll follow me home and stay at my house and grab me all night and all day.
CAV: And you let him get away with that shit?
RJ: I slap him around a little bit… He drives me nuts. He wants too much. The guy never gets tired. But we work great together. I like being with him. I’ve run into some guys… newcomers… and they’ll be very rough with me, just to keep themselves up. They might even hit me or yank my hair and tug on it. And I’ll stop the show after a while if they do that. When a guy gets too aggressive with me, I will stop the scene and ask him to leave.
CAV: Right now you’re pretty heavily embroiled in a relationship.
RJ: Yes, I am.
CAV: Does he watch your movies?
RJ: He does. I don’t like him watching them though, to tell you the truth.
CAV: But you met him while you were working.
RJ: True. I was on the road. He was in the audience at The Blue Max… I don’t like him seeing my films because I’m really not happy with my work in most of my movies.
CAV: Which ones do you like?
RJ: The newer ones. Especially the ones in which I’m… how do you say… sleeker.
CAV: Tell us a little about your mail order business. What do you sell?
RJ: Anything. Everything. You want me to come to your house?
RJ: Just kidding. But, seriously folks, I’ll merchandise anything short of my affections. I’m selling pictures, sound cassettes, centerfolds, pantyhose, autographs, personal letters, phone calls, panties, sweaty stuff, cummy stuff, bathroom stuff, whatever someone wants to buy, I’ll accommodate them – except for the bod itself. You can tell your readers that all the prices and information are contained in my monthly newsletter, Rhonda Jo’s Journal, which is available for $19.95 from me personally at P.O. Box 2281 Worcester, MA 01608.
CAV: Are you rough on your underwear?
RJ: For sure! I jog. I try to have sex at least once a day. I even make a bathroom mistake every now and then. For the right guy, I’ll even wear my underthings until they are rank!
CAV: So they’ll be heavily scented and lightly perfumed, too.
RJ: Depends on how… active.. I am that day. I’ll even custom odorize them for the right guy.
CAV: So you have sex every day?
RJ: Not really, but I’d like to. My boyfriend thinks I’m a little pushy about it, though. I guess I just wanted it too much. I’m learning to tone down my demands.
CAV: Were you an aggressive slut in high school?
RJ: I certainly was. I was so loose I lost count. My girlfriends used to keep a tally for me, though. I remember the day the list went over five hundred and I was only a junior in high school!
CAV: My god, the girl of my dreams – the town punch!
RJ: I was that. I think I was searching for lots of love and attention, really. I believed that every guy I went to bed with would take me home with him… See, I wasn’t very happy at home.
CAV: You were a bit overweight at one time.
RJ: Yeah, but not during those sexually active years.
CAV: So you were a fox with big tits, eh?
RJ: Yeah, too big.
CAV: And you had problem parents.
RJ: Life was motorcycles and sex and drugs for my dad. My mom was a Mormon and they didn’t get along at all. My dad was physically abusive and couldn’t control his temper. I had good times with them and I had very bad times with them.
CAV: Another battered progeny making her way into porn, huh?
RJ: I think you’ll find a lot of girls in this business come from abusive homes and didn’t have much of a self-image… My dad started beating up on me from the time I was 8 months old. I’m surprised I survived it. Yet I do think him for the open-mindedness he bestowed on me… But, on the other hand, it was my father who gave me my hang-up about being heavy. I only weighed 114 and he started telling me I was fat. He’d come home every day and start mocking me, ‘You’re fat. You’re fat.’ My response was to start stuffing my face.
CAV: Not with papa’s pepperoni, I hope?
RJ: No. He didn’t want to screw me. He just wanted to possess me totally. He didn’t want other men to be with me. He was jealous. A couple of times, he came on to me, but I knew better. I knew he’d slit my throat if I responded. He was raised strange himself. His mother kept her children tied up to doors in harnesses.
CAV: Where do you draw the line between sick and healthy?
RJ: It depends. I can get a little kinky, myself.
CAV: What’s the kinkiest you’ve gotten?
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CAV: That’s what you consider kinky?
RJ: To me it is. I prefer good wholesome sex. Lots of it.
CAV: But you enjoy anal.
RJ: Yeah – but not a lot. I have to be very drunk.
CAV: Is drinking one of the ways you get horny?
RJ: Not really. I’ve never had any problems with sex. I think that’s the reason some people have hang-ups is because of the society we live in. I think the U.S. is the most sexually hung-up country int he world. Pornography is so big here because of the problems of our culture.
CAV: Do you get into women?
RJ: I had one girlfriend when I lived in California. We’re still friends – but that’s it.
RJ: I like to get rough but… no. I like to get wild more. I think I rough up men more than I take it. I believe in doing different things and trying different things to keep ones sex life interesting.
RJ: I’d kill my boyfriend if he brought home another woman!
CAV: Group sex?
RJ: I did that a lot when I was in Hollywood.
CAV: Private parties?
RJ: Sure. I know a lot of big people in Hollywood that I used to do things for.
CAV: For money or lust?
RJ: Money. For people from the studios.
CAV: This was after you became a household name?
RJ: Yes. They liked to be seen with us porno people. One of my men was very famous from a recent huge scandal. He was nuts. He used to pick me up at the Beverly Hills Hotel in his Rolls Royce. His wife would be out of town and he would spend ten minutes with me, then pass me $700 or $800. He had an outrageous house. One night a cabbie picked me up and he goes, “Who lives there?” And I said, “Why do you want to know?” And he says, “Well, you’re the fifth blonde I’ve picked up from here tonight.” …Another thing this guy used to do was to have me come down to MGM and watch him, right in his office, with another girl. This was to “teach” me how he liked it. He was very easy to take care of. In fact, the first thing he paid me for was just to come and watch him and this other high-priced hooker.
CAV: How do you make these connections?
RJ: Mainly just hanging around Hollywood.
CAV: Doesn’t it embarrass you to reveal that you’ve taken money for sex?
RJ: Not with these people. I’ve never done it just to grab a few hundred dollars. It’s only been a few guys, very classy guys, and they’ve been continuing relationships.
CAV: So the orgies you went to, you went to for pleasure, huh?
RJ: Oh sure… There’s one very famous guy. All he does all day is sit there and watch X-rated movies. He’s a riot. I love him to death. A real sweetheart. If I’m sick, he’ll send medicine and flowers.
CAV: Does he off you legit movie roles?
RJ: No, the only thing he’s interested in is sex movies and keeping up with the business and talking to me and having me call him once in a while.
CAV: Let’s change the subject. How do you like stripping?
RJ: I like it, but I’m not too happy about the new trend to one-on-one peepshows. That means seven hours a day on your back and you have to hassle the guys for money. I’d do it for a flat rate, I guess. It’s unclassy. And some of the guys! One girl told me she had a guy come in who wanted to be dominated and she made him lick all the deposited come off the floor. Sick!
CAV: Do a lot of guys jerk off while you’re dancing?
RJ: If I see that, I’ll get them eighty-sixed. It distracts me too much. To see that big thing hanging out while I’m trying to dance. I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing. As far as I’m concerned, they can do it in the back rows but not in the front seats. It’s a very disrespectful act… I remember, however, one time there was this black guy and he was bigger even than John Holmes. For a minute, I forgot even where I was. I was mesmerized by his member!
CAV: How do you feel about external come shots?
RJ: I don’t like them in the face. I refuse doing them on the face anymore.
CAV: Why? Do you break out?
RJ: Well, no… I used to get it in the eye a lot and that really stung, and I don’t like it in the hair. I just don’t like it on the face. It’s too much.
CAV: What about in your private life?
RJ: I still haven’t gotten used to it yet.
CAV: Because your boyfriend started out a fan, does he want you to do those things? Did he want to do external come shots just like in the movies?
RJ: No, no, with me and him, it’s just love and lust. You know how two people just click… at first he was fascinated with me, but we fight and yell and scream and bitch at each other just like any other couple.
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CAV: It’s the longest relationship you’ve ever had?
RJ: I was with one other guy before this. I’ve only had two boyfriends.
CAV: All this stuff about being a party girl and having fucked all these people, your boyfriend knows all that about you?
CAV: Does he like to hear the stories would he rather not know?
RJ: He doesn’t like me to sit there and say anything and bring it up.
CAV: We just interviewed another actress who said she felt the major complaint of women in this business is that they didn’t get to meet their co-stars beforehand and get to know them and develop a personal relationship. Would you rather have a fresh guy every time?
RJ: No, that doesn’t bother me. You can throw anything at me as long as the guy knows what he’s doing.
CAV: Are you interested in making more movies?
CAV: Do you ever watch other people’s porno movies?
RJ: Yeah, I like ‘em. In fact, I like to go to X-rated motels.
CAV: Can you think of some films that you really like?
RJ: I loved “Roommates” and “This Lady is a Tramp”.
CAV: Is there anything in your films that your heart pounds a little heavier for?
RJ: I like threesomes. Two women and a guy. What fascinates me a lot is gay films. They don’t turn me on, but they fascinate me.
CAV: You’ve been in the presence of two men making it with each other?
CAV: Really? All this stuff you’ve done and you’ve never seen that?
RJ: I believe I haven’t. I would love to see it, though.
CAV: Does size matter to you?
CAV: Say that loud for all our readers.
RJ: Size has nothing to do with it, really. It’s how you use it. And I think a woman, if she knows what she’s doing, can use it to her benefit. It’s nice to have a big dick, but it’s not really what goes in, it’s how you use it.
CAV: Have you ever done films with John Holmes?
RJ: Yes, Swedish Erotica. In the beginning, we hated each other.
RJ: He thought I was being stuck up and really I was just very shy. I was just acred to death because I was very quiet on the set and I didn’t say anything. I was afraid of him and the business. And then we started talking about animals and he was talking about saving the whales and I was living at the beach. Then I told him I would help him out with it. And I went around and collected money to save the whales, and we became good friends after that. We have something in common. Once he started talking to me and getting to know me, we were fine. But when we were making the film, in the beginning, he would say, “I’m really gonna give it to you!”
CAV: He threatened to punish you with his penis?
CAV: Did he”?
RJ: Well, he doesn’t really get that hard. And it’s hard to put it in all the way really.
CAV: Al Goldstein wrote a terrible story about him in Playboy.
RJ: Did he? John Holmes just kind of took the wrong road. John Holmes has a very big heart. A lot of people misunderstand him. He just stuck it where he shouldn’t have stuck it. You know, nobody knew he was married until he got busted. Nobody. John was very secretive about where he lived, what he did. I’d lived with him and Suzanne off and on for a while.
CAV: Did he stretch your pussy?
RJ: No, ’cause I never let him penetrate all the way. I’d hold him back.
CAV: When you talk about people getting into this business because they’re abused as children, is that for real?
CAV: Have you found love and affection in this business?
RJ: I’ve met a lot of good people in this business, you get a lot of pats on the back. You get a lot of people that look up to you. You get good things you didn’t get when you were younger. But it does affect you mentally. Listen, I went to a psychologist for four years. I could probably still go. It takes a lot of strength to withhold it and go to your job and leave it behind and just go home and not let it bother you. There’s been times I just stood there and said, “Oh, my God. I can’t do this. I’m going to take all my clothes off in front of these people?” Sometimes I look at stripping as being ridiculous. They really come here to see me take my clothes off. This is so stupid. And dancing out on the stage like this?
CAV: What kind of life do you have mapped out for yourself?
RJ: Hopefully, I’ll marry something very wealthy. Something that’s going to take care of me. The only thing I’ve done besides films and stripping is working as a veterinarian’s assistant. Believe it or not, I used to raise show dairy goats, Nubians and La Manchas.
Interview Originally Published September 1983