Well aren’t you a peach, thank you very much. I think it’s fantastic that you are an aspiring porn performer…I stalked you on tumblr a bit and discovered that you are a total babe, so you already have that going for you! I recommend reading Courtney Trouble’s article on entering into indie porn. http://www.indiepornrevolution.com/indie-porn/how-to-get-started-performing-in-indie-porn-queer-porn/
It is full of really great advice.
But I want to talk about the stuff that nobody told me when I was a lil’ baby pornlette. I learned most of these things as I went, sometimes the hard way. And I am still fumbling through the mercurial Bay Area sex work world. But I have somehow made it through the last half of the decade in the adult industry with all of my fingers and toes, so hopefully these five suggestions will be helpful to you.
1. The porn community is difficult. There, I said it.
I say this with immense amounts of respect for everyone in the adult industry. We are a group of bold, unique, driven people. At our best we inspire, collaborate, and support each other. At our worst we are ego-maniacs, talk behind each other’s backs, and turn on each other. We over-use words like “community” and “ethics” but we don’t always put these words into practice. I have met some of my favorite people and dearest friends through sex work, and I am so grateful for that. But there was a learning curve about the nuances between friends, community, coworkers, and toxic people. I suggest maneuvering through the industry with an open mind and heart, but with the knowledge that at times porn life can feel like a cross between the movies ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘The Hunger Games’.
2. Learn what you need for self care. No really, please do it.
This is the hardest part of sex work for me to be consistent with. Performing can be intense on your body, but it is also really draining energetically. You must restore that energy to be sustainable in the adult industry. If my self care is off I start to have horrible sleeping and eating patterns, tears, tantrums, and once I quit working for almost 6 months - it’s no fun. Self care doesn’t have to be all bubble baths and massages - though those are wonderful and incredibly helpful. I definitely use things like turning my phone off, swimming, yoga, working on other projects, and taking time off in order to take care of myself. It is really beneficial to have a strong support system that includes other people in the industry. Sometimes no one else can quite ‘get it’ like a fellow coworker.
3. Have a plan for when things get hard. For some reason people feel entitled to have an opinion about people who take their clothes off on the internet. The peanut gallery can range from trolls on the internet, friends from high school, or your mother. Judgements and comments WILL be made about you - your choices, your body, your relationships, your family, your future, your safety, your values. Sometimes it is easy to roll your eyes and laugh off the ignorance. And sometimes it really hurts or is scary. Be ready for unsolicited opinions, and even threats to your safety or life. This when your support system of fellow sex workers comes in very handy.
4. Don’t be a social media monster.
Social media is the biggest tool for porn and cam performers. Being in porn suddenly gives performers an online platform to talk about anything and everything. What I love about our community is that I can look at my twitter feed and see lots of sexy photos, porn links, AND news, interesting articles, and fresh viewpoints. Having a platform for things we care about is exciting and powerful… but sometimes power destroys!
I have witnessed online meltdowns. I have seen twitter fights ruin someones day, week, and career. It’s not all boobs and cat memes out there.
-Picking your online battles carefully. If it is worth it to you - go fucking get them in 140 characters or less! But sanity and sleep should always win over being “right” online. Know when to walk away.
-TRY not to use twitter as a diary. We will talk about you at dinner parties. #sorrynotsorry. Same goes for drunk tweets, vague tweets, and #hastagsofADELElyricsthatarereallysecretmessagestoyourex #oops
-Consider your social media sites as your professional XXX calling card. This is where producers, directors, peers, and fans/clients will look to check you out. It may be a good idea to think about how your posts promote your career goals or brand.
-The whole world is watching! The media is very interested in sex workers right now, they want to know what the fuck we are up to all of the time. This does not mean to change or censor yourself - just be aware of and ok with whatever impression you leave online.
We ALL do things on this list at times. Don’t stress too much about your online presence - just be yourself and have some fun with it.
5. Know your worth.
Porn can be so fun, and it can make some of your wildest fantasies come true. But it’s also a job that you get paid for. Get familiar with going rates, and stick to them. If a producer asks more of you - ask for more money. Be smart with the amount and types of performances that you donate. Sometimes volunteering yourself to projects and companies is a great way to gain exposure and let the industry know what you are capable of. But give these same people a reason to hire you to come back.
I hope these recommendations will help save you some blood, sweat, and tears as you embark into the porn world. Best of luck with your XXX endeavors!