Linda Lovelace was born Linda Boreman on 10th January 1949 in The Bronx, New York.
She was born into what she said was a strict Catholic family. Her father was a NYPD cop and her mother was, according to Linda, a strict disciplinarian
Not the type of start you expect to find for the star of Deep Throat,
the most famous porn movie of all time.
At high school, Linda was known as 'miss holy holy' because she preferred holding hands with boys than making out in the back of a car.
All this was to change...
Looking for a new way of life, Linda Boreman's family moved to Florida when Linda was 16. In those days, many parts of Florida were not the pleasant 'place in the sun' US senior citizens aspire to retiring to today. For a lower class family living there, it was an unbearably hot, unsociable, existence, with the nearest local shop several miles away and social life extremely limited.
People did the best they could to make the most of life in working class Florida, and so did Linda Boreman.
Of course, girls grow up and their attitudes to boys change. At the age of 19, Linda became pregnant.
According to Linda, her parents tricked her into signing her son away for adoption. She insisted they told her she would be signing foster care papers, but she really signed adoption papers. In the late 60's, with a fairly naive girl, this was probably the case.
There is hardly any doubt that signing those papers would play on Linda's conscience in later years and harden her attitude to her parents and life in general.
She moved back to New York for a time, enrolling in a computer school there. Her aim was to run her own boutique. But fate again took a hand.
One day in NY, she was involved in a serious road accident. Her jaw was broken, her liver lacerated, several ribs were broken, and she had to receive a massive blood transfusion.
There was no option but to return to her parent's house in Florida to convalesce.
The accident was to come back to haunt Linda in later life, when she contacted Hepatitis C and had to have a liver transplant (although some would claim this could have been down to drugs use, it was probably the result of that earlier blood transfusion and liver complications).
But at the time, the main thing which probably worried this young woman was the large scar she now carried on her body, stretching from her chest to her abdomen (this is why it is very difficult to find fully nude photos of Linda Lovelace; she was always covered in some way to hide that scar). One more scar of adversity for Linda to carry throughout her relatively short life.
But Linda Lovelace was always a fighter. This was not going to stop her heading forward. The problem was where she was heading to...
Soon after Linda recovered from her injuries, her parents decided they preferred life back in NY. By this time, Linda had made a few contacts and decided to remain in Florida on her own.
Phased or not by the scar on her body, Linda used her body to obtain work. She found a job at a local bar, working as a topless dancer. It was not a glamorous job, but there is very little glamour in the life of Linda Lovelace. Just a mix of struggles with adversity, coupled with disputed 'facts'.
At 5' 8", slim in line with the times, with long dark hair and a reasonably pretty face, Linda Borman was quite an attractive girl. It seemed (probably to Linda) that this was the best thing she had going for her.
And while convalescing from her accident, Linda had also met the man who was to have a large input on her future career as a pornstar - Chuck Traynor.
Chuck was an ex-marine. Although only a minor figure in pornography, he had already started making the odd porn loop. He also owned the 'gentleman's club' where Linda Boreman eventually ended up stripping. Chuck may well have loved Linda, but he also saw his financial prospects through her.
So began their intense relationship. Today, many would call it a dominator-submissive relationship. In those days there was no such label.
Chuck was a controller with a violent temper. His attitudes to women were 'old school'. As far as he was concerned, a woman should do what he told her to do, otherwise she deserved a slap. Not at all unusual within the social sectors Chuck and Linda grew up in, but this was an attitude which was to lead to so much
controversy later - for Linda Lovelace and for the porn industry in general.
Chuck Traynor encouraged Linda's career first in his Florida club. An interesting point here is that Linda Lovelace was one of the first pornstars to shave her pubic hair. For Traynor, this was a must. Florida laws at that time stated that strip joints must allow no showing of pubic hair. Chuck's answer to that was to get Linda to shave hers off.
Of course, that 'law violation' didn't last long and Traynor and Linda were forced to consider their porn careers elsewhere. Traynor had already been encouraging Linda to sell sex for cash, so what followed must have seemed like a natural progression to her.
However, what follows is, to my mind, the seediest part of Linda Lovelace's rise
to fame. And this occurred on their road trip to New York.
On the journey, the couple made their money by using Linda's 'skills'. She would blowjob a petrol attendant for fuel, or Traynor would 'rent her out' to be fucked by anyone who paid a decent price.
Why didn't Linda just get up and leave?
Well, where would she have gone? Traynor kept all their money. Had she run away she probably wouldn't have got far before he found her and even if she found someone else to take care of her, their relationship would most likely have been pretty much the same.
There was also the fact that, as many observers have stated since, Linda was inordinately fond of Chuck Traynor. For a girl who had been raised in a very strict environment, she had already taken on the role of submissive. Sure, the beatings hurt and being very careful of not doing anything to incur his wrath must have felt
like walking a tightrope. But being unable to do anything without Traynor's permission, probably (at that time) seemed to Linda like second nature anyway.
It has been suggested that Traynor kept Linda 'drugged up' to keep her obedient, but other observers say, that considering the openness towards drugs at that time, Linda Lovelace was surprisingly 'clean'. It was also the case that a porn performer hooked on drugs is not going to perform very well. No, it appears the
heavier use of drugs came later, along with the fame.
It is much more likely that Linda felt accepted by Traynor and (in her mind) secure. Later testimonies certainly state that she 'became unhinged' when he was not around. Of course, she would have been afraid that making any decision (or doing
anything) outside of Traynor's presence would lead to painful recrimations later...
Either way, the relationship, for all its faults, at that time was accepted by both parties.
Linda Boreman and Chuck Traynor married in 1971. And that was also to present dilemmas later on. Because in those days a man could more or less do anything to his wife. And he had law and prejudice on his side.
Chuck settled Linda in a crummy New Jersey apartment and went about 'making connections' in nearby Manhattan. He soon met Bob Wolfe, a producer of 8mm porn 'loops', and introduced him to Linda.
Over the months, Linda made a number of loops for Wolfe, mainly straight hardcore, but Traynor had suggestions to take things a little further...
Wolfe, always interested in 'new ideas', was very willing to listen. The result was 2 loops of Linda giving a blowjob to and being fucked by a German Shepard dog.
The film was released to 'raincoat theatres' as 'Dogorama' (sometimes called 'Dog Fucker'). Something else destined to come back and haunt Linda Lovelace in later years. It was swiftly followed by two more films, involving pissing and foot-fucking.
But Traynor was busy making other connections and introducing Linda to the big names in porn, getting her to 'demonstrate her skills'. Traynor introduced her to Gerry Damiano and got her to perform a technique he had taught her - a deep throat blowjob.
Damiano was not only impressed with Linda's performance, it fitted in with an idea for a porn movie already at the top of his mind.
And thus Deep Throat (called 'The Sword Swallower' during shooting) was conceived.
The World was about to have its attitude to sex changed for the better and porn was about to become mainstream.