Though he’s maybe best known to the general population as “that dude from VH1’s Dr. Drew Sex Rehab show,” Phil Varone doesn’t think he’s much of a sex addict. In fact, the Skid Row and Saigon Kick drummer is releasing a new porn DVD, Phil Varone’s Secret Sex Stash, on which he totally bones seven of the more than 3000 women he’s slept with in his lifetime. Varone will be hawking the DVD, as well as copies of Playgirl in which he’s the centerfold, this weekend at the EXXXOTICA Expo in Rosemont. The A.V. Club talked to Varone about Dr. Drew, his limits, and his girth.
The A.V. Club: There’s going to be a whole bunch of porn at this convention, so what’s so special about yours? Why should I check it out over everyone else’s?
Phil Varone: Obviously there’s going to be so many people there to check things out and buy, but for me it’s my first time at EXXXOTICA and one cool thing is that, for me, I come from the music side, so I’m getting e-mails from fans who want to come out and say hello and get some of my stuff. This is the first thing I’ve put out there, and I don’t know why it would be better to see me than someone else, but I hope people will come out and say hello. I’ll be there selling my new sex tape, Playgirl magazines, and 8-by-10-inch pictures. I have these tank tops made for girls that say “Got girth?” on them. That’s my thing because of my girth, if you will. I’m also hosting a VIP party on Friday night over at the hotel in the ballroom, and I’m leading a seminar on Saturday as well.
AVC: If you’ve never done porn, why did you decide to do it now?
PV: It’s a bucket list thing, even though that sounds funny. It’s my outlook in life these days to have fun. If I’m not hurting anyone and having a good time, there’s nothing wrong with that. I did Playgirl in January, and that was another bucket list thing. As for porn, it seemed like everyone was doing it. I was on a reality show, and my music career only took me so far. I have a certain look, and things just connected. I wanted to do all those things, though. I have a comedy show that’s adult-oriented, and about both music and comedy. It’s a variety type show. It’s all relevant, really.
So, anyway, I talked to Vivid about doing a celebrity sex tape, and they thought it would be interesting to go to my private sex tapes that I do, just stuff with my friends on a regular basis. These are friends that I have sex with and personal videos that I took, and it’s different than watching a sex tape, which can be boring as hell. Sex tapes are always the most boring sex you’ll ever see in your life, and it’s so disappointing when most of the women you crave appear to be the worst lays you’ve ever seen. So, in my tape, it’s a variety of girls.
AVC: So, it’s not a video set and porn stars?
PV: I’m not a porn star. I’m a rock star that wanted to show you some private tapes. The girls in my video I sleep with on a regular basis. Since I shot these tapes, I’ve seen them on a regular basis, and they’re my regular friends with benefits, or however you want to say it. People ask, “Who do you have sex with?” Well, these girls. At least, these are seven of the people I have sex with. And this was all done with my personal little camera. I hold it and I try and get angles, and hopefully my dick looks big and I don’t look fat.
AVC: We have to talk about you being on Sex Rehab. You say you’re not an addict, right? How does this jive with being on the show?
PV: What people don’t really know about reality shows is that it’s pretty much planned out how they go. They cast certain people for certain reasons, so Sex Rehab followed the same blueprint as the drug-oriented version, except with Sex Rehab, people aren’t coming off drugs and going ape shit. The drama’s not there.
My agent called me and said they were casting and they needed a rock star. They had the porn star and the supermodel and the playmate. Because I slept with a couple thousand women when I was touring, I seemed like a good candidate. I don’t identify as a sex addict at all, though. I was just a rock star on the road, and I did what every other rock star does. If we were all sex addicts, we’d have to put the whole industry in a room and start doing a program.
If you asked me if I’d do the show now, I’d never do the show. The producers did an awful job with it. They didn’t know what sex addiction is and they just wanted to show drama and Kari Ann asking for her juice every day. There are real problems with sex addiction that people don’t even realize.
AVC: People definitely overreact, like Anthony Weiner texted a picture of his dick and now he’s a sex addict.
PV: He doesn’t need rehab. When I text a picture of my dick, my fiancée knows. We’re swingers, and we’re open. A lot of this bullshit happens when guys get caught cheating on their wives, and they go, “Oh, I need sex rehab.” No, you’re a man who needs to get laid.
But sex addiction, I’ve heard stories and it can be brutal. I think people do have an addiction to it, and that goes beyond having sex every day. It’s dark, deep, and disturbing, and I don’t identify as a sex addict. It’s not as cut and dry as doing cocaine, though. I did that, and I did everything like that, and I’d lock myself in a room for three days, and I spent $50,000 a year on cocaine and lost a marriage because of it, so, yeah, that’s addiction. With sex, though, I never felt like an addict, and after the show, my real therapist said to me, “You’re not an addict. You’re a guy with a tremendous ego because everyone said yes to you for years. Girls threw themselves at you.”
Now that I’m off the road, though, I don’t do those types of numbers at all. I don’t have that access like rockstars do, and I did what any man in my position would do.
AVC: So you’re not out at bars every night looking to pick up chicks?
PV: I have zero game. I can’t get laid if I tried. It’s horrible, really. I’m so used to having the band. My pickup line was just that—I was on stage playing drums. Girls came up to me asking to have sex and I’d say, “Yes, cool,” and it was great. If I went to a bar now, though, and tried to pick you up, it would do nothing. It’s funny how the band helped me to do that. I was this guy in high school on the golf team who wasn’t the most popular, and I had one girlfriend, and I didn’t even have a prom date. If having a record allows me to bang a prom queen then, shit, I like it. That’s what I’ll do.
AVC: A lot of people really hate Dr. Drew. If you didn’t like doing Celebrity Sex Rehab and don’t identify as a sex addict, how do you feel about him?
PV: I think Dr. Drew is an amazing guy, and I respect him to death. He’s a caring person, and he’s getting a bad rap for being on TV. He’s nothing but class. I can call him up right now and say, “Hey, Drew.” This happened recently, like I’m not naming names, but a good friend of mine needed rehab and he ended up being on the show last season. Another friend, Drew put in rehab for me for free. That was from Drew and Bob Forrest, who’s on the show, too. Those are two guys who really care. I think TV gives them a bad rap they shouldn’t have, though.
It’s like anything else, really, when you’re saturated. You know how people got sick of Paris Hilton? I love her, but back then when I saw her every day, I was like, “Okay, enough.” Or if a band has a hit song that’s on 20,000 times a day, everyone gets sick of it. In Drew’s case, because he’s on these shows, I mean, he really is a doctor, and that’s getting looked over because he’s on TV. He’s famous now and your credibility goes down. Dr. Phil is a douchebag and a big joke. Dr. Drew is a real doctor who’s licensed and in facilities and really does care. Phil is a character on TV, and I wouldn’t listen to one thing he has to say. It would be like if I went on TV and called myself Dr. Phil. Lumping Dr. Drew into that category is just unfair. He’s a great guy—a great guy.
AVC: Do you have limits? Like, are there things you won’t do or won’t talk about? Are there things you won’t involve your fiancée in?
PV: Everything I do, as far as my fiancée is concerned, is open. She knows everything I do. I asked her before I put the tape out, and she has a great career and doesn’t want to be part of this stuff and that’s fine.
As far as my career, though, I’m in entertainment, and in all aspects I have to entertain, whether it be in music, jokes, or watching me have sex. All that has to be entertaining in some way. I’m not embarrassed by anything.
America’s caught up on nudity and think people who do porn are sluts. I have a lot of friends who are adult performers, and they’re great people who are really lucid. People come out against porn, and they’re the ones watching it at home. There’s nothing wrong with nudity and having fun.
As far as what’s off limits, I don’t do anything illegal. To film two adults having some sex and having fun, to me, that’s fun. I’ve been an open book on life. I was on Oprah. I did a movie about my drug problems. You can ask me just about anything and I’ll give you an honest answer. If I don’t answer you, you can look it up online. That’s my life, and I’m having a good time doing it, and there are people around me, so why not? I’m not out there ripping people off or scamming and being bad. I’m just being good and having some fun.
Plus I have a fantastic penis, and people should see it. That’s all I’m trying to say.