Have You Considered…?
April this year (2020) will mark my 10 year anniversary of working in the porn industry. I have modelled, organised and produced shoots and I have spoken with many applicants who were considering to do paid nude work. Some of them did it, and others decided not to go ahead. This is what I’ve learned.
Talking with women (there were very few male applicants) of different ages, ethnicity, and background was (and still is) very much my favourite part of work. With each conversation, I learnt something new, and each time I felt like I was making a meaningful change in someone’s life.
During these conversations, I would ask carefully crafted, open-ended questions that would be followed by silence. During these moments of silence, magic happened. People would open and tell their stories; they would analyse their decisions; they would think about how their determination to proceed with this type of work can change their lives and the life of their family. And more than anything, they were glad to have this conversation.
I learnt that asking the right questions can lead to a better outcome, and instead of telling the people what I thought, I empowered them to think for themselves, to consider some perspectives that they may not have thought of before.
Many conversations later, I put together a few critical thoughts that I believe any person who is considering to do porn, should think about. They are not to change your mind, but to provide you with some nudges to consider different perspectives.
*A side thought: men would always be less concerned about things like family or their work, they were very excited to enter the porn world. Women instead would worry about what their parents would say, how the family would react, how the colleagues would look at them if they knew about their porn work. They would be still excited, but more concerned. Though I have to admit that this data is unequal as I spoke to many more women than men. I find this dynamic interesting, and I still wonder why we women are more often concerned about what others will think about us.
Have you considered the opinion of your friends and family (including your future spouse and kids)?
Not everyone will be supportive of your nude modelling career.
Your parents, by nature, may be very protective of you. In their eyes, porn may be an unethical necessary evil (and yes, sometimes it may take a wrong turn, especially if you end up working with vague companies). They will try to protect you and may advise to not proceed with this path. Of course, that’s assuming you will have this conversation with people you care about. I recommend you always talk to your loved ones about this specific career choice. It’s good to ask yourself “what if my parents see my nude images online?”. It’s tempting to think that they will never come across it because they don’t use the internet or because they do not go to “these kinds of websites”. But imagine the following scenarios: your parents don’t watch porn, fair enough, but one of their friends does. One day the friend comes to your father and says “I think I have seen your daughter/son naked on the internet”.
Put yourself in their shoes. How would you react if someone would surprise you with such news? I firmly believe that communication is the key and if you care about certain people in your life you should discuss it with them, make them aware, just so when they are confronted they can say “Ohhh yeah I know, she told us!”
Of course, not every parent, friend or partner will be okay with it, and they may choose to leave you if you proceed with this career. In situations like this, you need to re-evaluate your choice and decide if the resistance on your way is worth abandoning the calling.
Have you considered your work environment?
If your fascination with being nude on the internet is only temporary, then I would recommend you think about your more permanent career choice. If you plan to work in any law enforcement role, politics, or you want to be a teacher, the nude modelling work may harm your future career. Unfortunately, in some cultures, society is not yet okay for a former porn actress to become a teacher, even though their past job may not have at all an influence on their current work. On the bright side, I have heard of models who are successfully teaching while doing their adult sex work. It’s not written in stone that if you do porn you will never be allowed to teach, run for a governor or be a successful lawyer but it is a consideration you should be looking to.
You may also be working as a waitress or librarian, but if your boss isn’t okay with your appearance on porn sites, they will let you go. If you are okay with losing your job, you are confident you will find something else, then no need to worry about your porn work.
The world is a crazy place, but luckily it’s big enough. If you don’t fit in one place what’s the point of staying there. Start seeking the sphere that will suit you.
Have you considered your mental health?
Too often I have heard about the models who have done nude modelling, and some years later they asked to remove the content from the sites because while they were applying or producing the content, their mental health wasn’t right.
When the material is already online, the company may never agree to remove it. It’s a hassle to take it down, and may not be as easy as you think. If you signed the agreement that says the company owns the rights to the content (often that’s the case, and it’s fair enough) your request of content removal may be denied.
Some companies stay unresponsive to your request of removing the content – but that’s just unprofessional and a lousy work ethic.
I believe every company should have a process for removing the content from the website (if requested on the legit grounds). It may cost you a lot of money (for example if you need to buy back the content), but it should be an available option. However, there is no question that it is a hassle for both sides.
The companies should take appropriate steps (for example: stop the shoot) if the model seems not to be okay. Seeing unhappy naked people is not empowering or appealing. That said, if you feel that you aren’t in the right mental space, don’t make life-changing decisions. Only you know how you feel and what’s going on in your head and body. You are in charge of your life and your emotions. You are an adult, be a responsible one!
Have you consider your motives.
Ask yourself “why am I doing it?”. Is it because the money is great or because deep inside you feel like expressing yourself sexually is the best way to be? Yes, the money is okay (I wouldn’t say great), but being motivated only by money doesn’t seem right. If you do something without passion and commitment, you will not be comfortable with it in the long run (and neither will you be good at it). And since being naked on the internet is relatively permanent, you should make sure you are comfortable with it and that you are motivated by something more than just cash.