Tammy slips on a pair of long black gloves and strikes an Evita pose for fun. Then she gingerly makes her way to the square of glass she'll pose upon first. The effect of the glass, in addition to playing up the veins in her brand-new four-pound breasts (she recently weighed them, at 2 a.m., on a grocery store's fruit scale), is to make her look like one of Hanson's happy German recipes.
"Don't ask me to smile," Tammy says in her rough Pennsylvanian accent. "I look stupid when I smile."
But the last thing on earth Dian Hanson wants is a smile. Tammy's target reader, she tells me quietly, is the man whose fantasy is to marry a bad girl -- one who will cheat, bring strangers home, have sex with them in his presence. "Do the smirk," she tells Tammy. "There! There's the resentful look. It says, 'Your penis isn't good enough!' "
Within minutes, Tammy collapses on the torture shoes. Hanson rushes over and lowers her to the floor like a mortally wounded soldier. "She's crippled but beautiful," Hanson says. "We're a full-service magazine."
Tammy smokes. she's been dying for a cig anyway, and now has the double joy of smoking it while she works. As Hanson is proud to remind us, Tammy was Leg Show's very first smoker, way back in 1996. Some readers were electrified; others dashed off complaints, desperately hoping their "favorite woman" would give up this filthy habit before she died of it.
Over the entire shoot, the spite in Tammy's baby eyes never dims. She is tireless. Into the fifth hour, the entire crew's performance has taken on an air of athletic prowess. Anneli Adolfsson, herself a classically beautiful woman, has not faltered in her singsong praise of Tammy's dirty poses. Dian Hanson presides over the event playfully but with a hidden gravitas when it comes to the exactitude of poses.
For the nude shots, Tammy taps her labia to wake them for the lens. Hanson has a score of euphemisms for vagina. She asks Tammy to reveal her "bunny parts," then, moments later, compliments her on the "cootchie." Tammy, sprawled upside-down beneath three 2,400-watt klieg lights, doesn't alter her smirk by one degree.
"Hey -- let's get some butt shots," Hanson says, as if this is only now occurring to her. "We can't waste those fine buttocks of yours."
"Oooh, very nice," Adolfsson chirps. "Yum, yum, yum, yum!"
"More, Tammy," Hanson says. "Obey Mommy!"
Tammy gives more. She suddenly shouts, "Kiss my ass! Lick my shoes!"
Hanson corrects her: "Buy me shoes!"
The shoot ends. Hanson steps back into the gray light of Chelsea. People on the street alternately smile at her, glance at her, ignore her. Unlike the masturbators and transvestites who favor Leg Show, she has no secret terror that she'll be revealed as an Unacceptable Person.
Quite the opposite. Last year, a German fan wangled her a ticket to the 300th performance of The Sound of Music as well as a private party with the Von Trapps. Hanson dined across from one of the storied couple's grandsons. "They were a hearty bunch -- genetically superior people with fabulous blue-green eyes," says Hanson, as ever connecting beauty to biology. "I sat behind Maria during the play, listening to her whisper, 'Oh! That isn't how it happened at all!' It made me realize: What a wonderful life I have. And I owe it all to pornography."