The iconic Vanessa Del Rio embodied the male fantasy of the sexy adult film star who does porn because she gets off on it, and plenty of women have admitted that her movies taught them to act upon their sexual desires. Many of you are likely here today because your parents fooled around after watching a Vanessa Del Rio flick.
Born in Harlem to a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father, Vanessa was and still is a New York girl. Before her film career, she supported herself as a sometime go-go dancer and Times Square streetwalker, among other things. Vanessa was, in short, a bad-ass long before any of us had the pleasure of getting off on her.
With her luscious lips, bodacious body (she got into bodybuilding and never lost those tits), and insatiable hunger for sex, Vanessa was practically born for porn. She has said that her private sex life back then was even wilder than her movies because there was no camera up her ass and in those days porn was part of a lifestyle, not a business. It was only the AIDS epidemic that made her briefly quit the business in the ’80s, but she came back.
Known as the “anal queen,” Vanessa was also credited with pioneering double penetration in porn, even on her first day as a performer. She filmed for about 120 productions, including loops and feature-length films, during a career that began in the mid ’70s – and is still going strong today, if you count webcam shows for her official website. Aside from her voracious sexual appetites, Vanessa’s claim to fame was being the first Latina porn star. She was also known for her 42DDs and a large clit. It never looked bigger than it did in her must-see “gangbang in hell” scene from “Devil in Miss Jones 3,” one of the most memorably weird and intensely erotic scenes of the ’80s. You might say one of Vanessa’s other claims to fame was a knack for appearing in creative adult movies, the kind we rarely see anymore.
“A Scent of Heather,” released in 1980, is an erotic drama in which two newlyweds on the brink of consummating their marriage discover they are half-siblings. They have to remain married in order to keep the estate in the bride’s family, so they swear secrecy and chastity – at least when it comes to each other. Husband Paul Thomas is finally overcome with lust and has a threeway with two maids, Vanessa and Tracey Adams. You’ll hear Vanessa begging PT to fuck her in the ass and Tracey to kiss her tits. This movie is all about the kind of eroticism that stimulates your brain, something rare in modern porn.
Released after “Animal House,” “Coed Fever” is the college sex comedy that Hollywood couldn’t make. There’s Vanessa on the cover, tongue-kissing a co-star. This remains one of her most popular movies for a reason: it’s truly funny while giving you a raging boner (or lady-boner, as the case may be) and it delivers one cum-inducing sex scene after another. Vanessa has a threeway in the fifth scene with Michael Morrison and a young, very different looking Ron Jeremy, and she gets her kicks with a cock at each end.
Sometimes you just want good meat-and-potatoes smut, and Vanessa was always great at that too. “Tigresses… and Other Man-Eaters” features a scene in which Vanessa plays a seductive businesswoman who lures two horny prospective partners and a secretary into her lair for fucking. There’s a little bit of girl-on-girl, but if you’re interested in seeing many sides of Vanessa then you’ve got to see “Deep Inside Vanessa Del Rio.” She plays with girls and boys alike and the film ends with an orgy. It’s a great place for a generation who didn’t cut their teeth on Vanessa’s porn to start getting to know this pure sexual athlete.
Vanessa’s popularity extended into the mainstream. She was cast as herself in a 1996 episode of “NYPD Blue” (“Head Case” was the name) and had a cameo in the music video for “Get Money” by Junior M.A.F.I.A. featuring Notorious B.I.G. in that same year.
AVN and XRCO have both honored Vanessa as a Hall of Fame member. German art book publisher Taschen released a photo-illustrated biography of her in 2007, titled Vanessa Del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior. It’s still available, even in a swanky collectors’ edition. Of that cheeky title, Vanessa has said that by today’s standards, she thinks her sexual antics don’t seem as extreme. Oh, Vanessa, if only more women could be as “slightly slutty” as you!