I think a lot of people reference porn as if it is one large entity—but it’s not. Porn is an industry that comprises many different companies—small, large and everything and anything in between. Each company runs its operation differently and every female performer runs her career differently. There are a shitload of women in the porn industry on the production side that don’t fuck on camera, for instance editors, agents, and directors. And there are also thousands of women who have office jobs within the industry.
The adult industry is not for everyone. Working in any faction of entertainment is difficult, and I don’t think it’s a good place for the weak. I have seen and read every mean comment under the sun in response to photos or articles I appeared in; I am not blonde, I am not toothpick skinny, etc. Since my boobs are natural, they get bigger and smaller depending on my weight and some days they hang kinda funny; when they do, I am told.
I have been doing porn for 10 years now and I do have a lot of loyal fans, but as a result of my looks I make one quarter of the money that a blonde, tan girl with big fake boobs makes, even if she has one quarter of the following I do. This is just how it is and it takes a lot of strength to fight off your own jealousy in these situations. It took time, but I have learned to be strong and take a deep breath and be thankful for what I have. I think a lot of girls’ demise in this industry starts with jealousy that turns to anger, which will eventually lead someone down a destructive path. In porn, it’s more common for women to discriminate against other women, than for men to discriminate against women.
I haven’t worked for a company other than my own, Burning Angel, in many years so I might not even be the right person to answer this question, but—generally speaking—I don’t think women are treated poorly in the industry. I do think it’s pretty common (not just in porn, but in a lot of situations, as I am guilty of this myself) to agree to things that, in reality, you don’t want to do. Several years ago I was dating a total douchebag who proposed the idea of being in an open relationship. I consider myself open minded; so, I thought this could work, right? Then he said, “Look. I am going to fuck anyone I want at any time I want, but I only want you to fuck me. Cool?” In my head I was screaming, “No! What kinda bullshit is this!” But for some reason, “OK that’s fine I understand” came out of my mouth instead. What followed were some of the most miserable years of my life. Yes, I realize I have to take some responsibility for agreeing to partake in something I didn’t want to do at all. But it also begs the question, why do women do this? And, to tell you the truth, I am not sure. And while this is a whole other issue, I do feel like most of the horror stories you hear about in the porn industry and its treatment of women happen because women say yes to things they should probably refuse.
When you get booked for a scene, you have a choice to take the booking or not take the booking. No one puts a gun to your head and forces you to do the scene. For example, a lot of girls will say they want to do anal because they want the extra money or they think it will get them liked by a certain director. But when push comes to shove, if you don’t like having anal sex, you shouldn’t do it as a profession. If it hurts when you put a dildo in your ass, you shouldn’t agree to a 10-guy anal-gangbang. And this does happen. The result will usually be the girl having a horrible time and then years later crying about it in a public forum.
In the industry there are directors who shoot rough BDSM scenes, directors who are shooting for romance series, and everything in between. It’s important for women to research who they’re shooting for and to be sure that the movie she’s cast in is something she’s emotionally and mentally capable of doing. Unfortunately, the more scenes a woman turns down, and the more restrictions she enforces, could mean less money in her pocket. But then again, you can’t put a price on your sanity.
If a girl tells me she want to do anal, but then looks visibly uncomfortable when the scene starts, I will tell her to stop, that we don’t NEED the anal position in the scene, and that she can try it another day. During such moments, I’ve had girls literally say, “No, I can do it, I really need the extra money,” at which point I will tell the guy to get his dick out of her ass. I won’t allow it. I don’t ever want to be the cause of any kind of porno PTSD. Does every director have this mindset? Probably not. In fact I’d be lying if I said every director in the entire industry will put an end to a position if it looks painful. But then again, some of them do. A lot of people (myself included) would rather get no anal in a scene than one position of awkward, painful-looking anal—both for business and moral reasons.
In short, porn is really not for everyone. I have seen this industry chew girls up and spit them out. I have also seen girls triumph in this industry. For myself, porn turned me into a very confident and happy woman. Prior to doing porn, I was incredibly sexually awkward, and this same awkward and insecure girl existed outside the bedroom as well. Experimenting with my sexuality in a controlled environment really did help me; I learned how to give a good blow job on set, I learned how to have anal sex, I learned how to give a woman a really amazing orgasm and I got comfortable with shouting out obscene comments while getting fucked. I learned how to direct movies and I learned how to run a business. I never imagined this business would make me so happy!
When people come see me at a convention or recognize me on the street and say they have jerked off to me, I love it. I get really excited and it gives me a rush and it makes me want to do more. From working in this industry I have learned about myself and I have grown—from an awkward overly emotional young girl to a savvy and slutty businesswoman.
Porn has been extremely healthy for myself and my wellbeing. It sounds crazy but it’s true. Even my orthodox Jewish mother who is definitely NOT a fan of what I do has begrudgingly admitted that she has never seen me happier. I am 32-years-old and this is what I want to be when I grow up. My entire experience in this industry hasn’t been perfect. There have been ups and downs (literally and emotionally), but even on my worst days I never wish I chose a different profession. I truly do love my job.