Atlanta's King of Porn 

How Mike South evolved from a computer geek to a well-known pornographer

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"If you're not strong and completely comfortable in your skin," she says, "this business will eat you alive."

Like Fox, many Southern-bred porn stars did their first scenes with Mike before entering the higher-profile Porn Valley scene. Felicia says Mike offered her $1,200 for her first shoot, a hardcore scene involving her, Mike, and her boyfriend, Tim Case. Titled South Pole Invasion, it was a porno with all the bloopers left in.

Felicia, who works as a top-billed exotic dancer around the country, says Mike worked hard to make her feel comfortable about her first onscreen threesome. Felicia now appears regularly in feature-length films released by Wicked Pictures and Vivid Video, among others.

"If I hadn't shot with Mike that first time," she says, "I'm not sure I'd still be in the business."

There's one place Mike refuses to film or discuss adult material: his home. Inside his two-bedroom townhouse off Pleasantdale Road in Tucker, Mike devotes one room to the technological side of work. The space contains six computers and rows of bookshelves holding computer theory books, DVDs, videos and some of his raw footage.

Outside of that room, Mike's home is ordinary. There's an upholstered couch, a flat-screen TV and a fireplace. He even turns off his cell phone and uses an entirely different laptop for non-business endeavors.

"You have to get away from [porn]," Mike says. "If you don't, it'll consume you. That's why I make my house a safe haven."

He lives alone. He's only had a couple of serious relationships following the breakup of his marriage in 1984. He said he and his wife divorced after she said she wanted kids; he felt their lifestyle wasn't conducive to that.

These days, he's sort of dating a 19-year-old who lives in Ohio. But they've only been together a couple of weeks. Most of his social life revolves around the various adult trade shows he attends, such as the recent Adult Video News Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

click to enlarge WIDE OPEN: Taylor, a budding porn starlet, has shot several Bukkake scenes, a quirky Japanese fetish, directed by Mike South. - JIM STAWNIAK
  • Jim Stawniak
  • WIDE OPEN: Taylor, a budding porn starlet, has shot several Bukkake scenes, a quirky Japanese fetish, directed by Mike South.

Outside of that, Mike seeks refuge in the open waters of Florida, off Mexico Beach. He enjoys catching big fish: grouper, mackerel, mahi-mahi and bluefin tuna. He earned a captain's license and often trolls the waters with a couple of buddies for six hours at a time, basking in the sun and reeling in catches. He even claims to have once caught a 1,200-pound tiger shark. (It's possible; the world record is a 1,785-pounder, according to the International Game Fish Association.)

"If I could be doing anything in the world at any given time, [fishing is] what I'd be doing," Mike says, amazingly.

Mike's content may bore viewers who prefer scripted fantasies, soft lighting that hides flaws such as cellulite, and spiffy DVD menus that play toward a fetish. But Mike's simple approach appears to attract a following. He self-reportedly brings in six figures a year in profits.

Mark Kearns, senior editor at Adult Video News, wrote in his review of Mike's Southern Belles 2, "There's nothing like playing from strength ... in this highly-watchable amateur production. This tape is a sure seller, so stock up."

Kearns also describes Mike as an accomplished pornographer. "His stuff has a fresher look than the thousands of other videos that come out of L.A.," he tells CL.

Perhaps it's not just his approach to porn but his understanding of cutting-edge technology that helps give him an edge, too.

In 2002, Mike spent three months figuring out how to break into cyber-porn. He was looking for an under-exploited online niche, one he could easily market. He searched news groups, read books on fetishes and watched international adult channels.

He finally narrowed his idea to two options: girl on girl sex with the girls peeing on each other, and Bukkake, a quirky Japanese fetish. He chose the latter, because the one-word term would be easy to advertise on search engines. At the time, Bukkake was an underutilized keyword; it's only recently entered the pop-culture lexicon, thanks largely to Howard Stern's syndicated talk show.

Originating in Japan, Bukkake means "to splash in a rude manner" or "a heavy squirt." Traditionally, it involves 60 to 100 men taking turns ejaculating onto a woman's face in an act of erotic humiliation. Mike's version follows the same methodology, though he has a woman perform fellatio on approximately 20 men before they ejaculate on her face, giving her, he argues, some sexual control.

"It's a power trip to be in control of that many penises at one time," Mike says. "That tends to be the common thought out of the girls that I hire."

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