How would a guidance counselor react if a student shared their desire to become a porn star when they grow up? I'm guessing a dropped jaw and a lot of stammering. But, hey, porn is work. It's a job. This week's Sex Stories We Love shares some experiences of folks working in the porn industry and sheds a bit of light on what that work is like.
Sex Stories We Love: What It's Really Like to Work in the Porn Industry
Fuck the Casting Couch
The idea of a "casting couch" has always been abhorrent while at the same time maintaining an aura of unconfirmed fantasy. A trope in countless television, film and stage shows, there was a foolishly quaint sense of unbelievability to this idea. We felt it was possible, but those of us outside the entertainment business have never known if casting couches actually exist.
Not only do they exist, as evidenced by the countless stories coming out of the #MeToo movement, but there is, of course, a porn genre dedicated to the casting couch scenes. Because of porn's complicated connection to blending fantasy and real-life situations, casting couch porn is under some scrutiny as more revelations are shared. What do you think? Should this type of porn exist in the same climate that is finally helping women share their own stories of sexual assault and misconduct in the entertainment industry?
A Personal Story
Fortunately, not all porn performers were or are subject to dangerous casting situations. Some get into the business on their own. Vex Ashley, of Four Chambers, experienced many different ups and downs in the porn industry. She started her porn career by using her body in her artwork. Over time, her interest grew in different ways. Her desire to continue to explore creativity in sexuality expanded her sexual expression and pornographic output. Through all of her experiences, both on and off set, Vex has grown her own ideas of what she wants to produce as well as come to understand essential aspects of human interaction. The porn industry is a big, varied universe. Understanding it involves hearing many different experiences. Thank you, Vex, for sharing yours.
How does that old song go? "Love and marriage ... go together like a camera and web page?" No, not really ... but for some people working in porn, balancing their private lives with their work can be tricky. While some folks might find it hard to believe, it is possible to have a happy, fulfilling, monogamous relationship with a porn star. Take it from porn superstar and porn veteran the happily married Joanna Angel. She's had relationships with both performers and "civilians." She's experienced the difficulties both situations offer. However, she is married to civilian-turned-performer Aaron Thompson. They share with us that the problems of monogamy do creep into their relationship, but their perspective and situation make working out problems a different experience. That said, their methods for dealing with jealousy and insecurity must work well because they seem to be the picture of a happily married couple.
Preparation Is Key
How do you get ready for work? Make some preparations the night before, have a shower in the morning, get a good night's sleep. Some of us might enjoy a little masturbation if there's time. Some of us shave ... in a variety of ways. Some of us do some anal douching. OK, that might not be as common. Really, when you read about how porn star and comedienne Silvia Saige preps when she has an upcoming scene to film, the concept of porn being just another job becomes more of a reality. Silvia is committed to being a good performer by preparing her body in ways she feels comfortable and that enhance her performance. She also demonstrates she's a good coworker by talking with her scene partners and ensuring everyone is on the same page before the shoot. Guess who's getting an Employee of the Month Award in the future?
One of the more common misconceptions people who view porn have about people who produce porn is that the job is one big sexual thrill ride. To be fair, most people probably aren't having as much sex or the types of sex they really desire, so it's easy to look at porn stars and see folks who get paid to fuck. Seems pretty damn ideal, eh? Well, just like any other job, porn is work that can be difficult, stressful and ripe for health challenges. A recent study of porn performers found that some of their private sex lives are being negatively affected by their work in the industry. While the public might think of them as sexual superheros, some performers are actually suffering from various types of sexual dysfunction. More of this type of research is key to ensuring performers in the porn business are educated and knowledgeable about the risks of the work before they start their careers.
Growing a Genre
Finally, if we're talking about porn, it is important to remember that there are many different frontiers of porn that are still expanding. If you've been searching for top-notch trans and non-binary porn, be sure to check out these producers and companies.
Jon Pressick is a sex-related media gadabout. For more than 20 years, Jon has been putting sex into our daily conversations at his long-running site SexInWords—as a writer, editor, publisher, sex toy reviewer, radio host, workshop facilitator, event producer and more. These days, he focuses on writing for Kinkly, GetMeGiddy, The Buzz and PinkPlayMags and editing Jason Armstrong's series of Solosexual books. You can find him on Twitter at @Sexinwords.