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I hope that no one at the nursing home gets us confused
April 19, 2014 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Grandma: What are you doing for a living? Because your mother says you’re "kind of like a model," and she wouldn’t say "kind of" if you were, and, no offense honey, but you’re a bit short.
Stoya: You know like Bettie Page, right? I do stuff like that except, because everybody runs around in skimpy clothing now, I do the modern version, where I have sex with people on video.
Grandma: Oh, you’re a nudie girl in the moving pictures!
Stoya: Yes!... I’ve got to tell you another thing.... I’m using your name.
Grandma: Ooooh no.

Coming out as a porn performer. (SLVox)
posted by tybeet (101 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, you’re a nudie girl in the moving pictures!

New favorite phrase.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:15 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


Grandma: I hope that no one at the nursing home gets us confused and tries to put my feet behind my head, because I don’t bend that way anymore.

I like Stoya's grandmother.
posted by arcticseal at 7:22 AM on April 19 [61 favorites]


I'm having difficulty with the format on mobile: which performer has the story with the grandmother?
posted by jb at 7:22 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


arcticseal: thanks
posted by jb at 7:22 AM on April 19


"Hey, guess what I’m doing for a living now! In the butt!"

Heeheehee.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:27 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


and Vera can be a pretty sexy name.
posted by jb at 7:34 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Belle Knox just got an internship in Montreal.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:40 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


She had two master's degrees and a bachelor's degree by age 22? (Shy Love)
posted by gt2 at 7:51 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Stoya's mom is awesome:

Stoya: There was a common view at the time that porn was especially empowering and I remember my mom sitting there going, "I guess doing things that you want to do can be empowering but there’s nothing inherently empowering about showing up in front of a camera with your nipples out. That’s as empowering as brushing your teeth."
posted by Dip Flash at 7:52 AM on April 19 [23 favorites]


Good for Belle!

I'm really impressed with Belle Knox and how well she's handling her situation. It makes me so uncomfortable to see how porn performers are treated in society at large—like they are somehow lesser than other people, just because of the work that they do.

I'm a big fan of Game of Thrones, which features several actors who have previously worked in porn, and I see this a lot in the way that these actors are discussed. Somehow people get the idea that they can't be good actors because of the work that they have previously done, rather than letting their acting speak for itself.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:52 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


I'd like to get into porn. People in porn seem to enjoy their work. Maybe I could write scripts or something, or just like, be the guy who disinfects all the furniture.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:54 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


By the way, this article is really cool for interviewing an actual variety of industry workers.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:57 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. Meta-discussion of "what MeFi is like" really needs to happen in MetaTalk, not here. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:04 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Is the site's name a pun on the phrase 'racial abuse'?
posted by colie at 8:04 AM on April 19


Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story by Asa Akira is worth a read[1] if you like confident porn actresses who do things on camera which are absolutely the cliché for being exploited and yet articulately explain that they do this out of choice and have full and complicated lives to talk about.

[1] I have no idea how much of it she actually wrote or how much of it is true or sincere. But most reviewers agree it is engaging and comment provoking. It is almost impossible to read without thinking good or bad of here story, you can't be indifferent. Which is something at least.
posted by samworm at 8:05 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


i have no problem with pornography, but using my name in the credits? that would be a problem.
posted by bruce at 8:06 AM on April 19


Now that I've read the whole thing, I think the full transcripts (at the very end of the piece) are better than the edited sections.

Also from Stoya, about her grandmother:

She has a goatee because she’s Serbian. And I know that that’s in my future. I said to her one time, "I don’t mean to presume that you want to remove the hair on your face but if you did, I’m kind of an expert in hair-removal tactics." And she doesn’t care, because she says the boys at the home are so blind that they don’t even know she has a goatee until it’s too late, because they’re already kissing her. She’s so badass. I want to be her when I grow up.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:08 AM on April 19 [48 favorites]


colie: "Is the site's name a pun on the phrase 'racial abuse'?"

No. Facial is a common term in pornography.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:15 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Is the site's name a pun on the phrase 'racial abuse'?

I'm (I think) a fairly progressive American, and the term "racial abuse" isn't really familiar to me. Googling the phrase seems to get me a lot of U.K. & Australian results, almost nothing U.S. based. So if the owners of the site are American, the similarity might just be an accident of differing cultural terminology.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:15 AM on April 19


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuse#Racial_abuse

It is a pun on the phrase 'racial abuse'.
posted by colie at 8:30 AM on April 19


colie, I think you are putting more effort into discovering the meanings and roots of facialabuse dot com than the people who are actually affiliated with the website, and are just trying to make a living.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:36 AM on April 19 [19 favorites]


I wanna grow up to be Stoya's grandmother.
posted by egypturnash at 8:38 AM on April 19 [6 favorites]


I agree that this may be a cross-cultural communication issue, but I also wouldn't have read facial abuse as a pun on racial abuse. Having said that, "facial abuse" sets off my ick-o-meter, just because I don't love the word "abuse" in an erotic context. But you know, you don't have to like every instance of porn in order to defend the right of people who act in porn to be treated with respect. I don't think too many people would dispute that there's a lot of gross porn out there.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:39 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


you don't have to like every instance of porn

No, but it's pretty clearly a racist joke (I Googled the phrase and the first page threw up a result from the New York Times - "Racial Abuse Is Alleged at San Jose State University"), and how come porn gets a free pass on that very sensitive and complex issue? You're OK with just saying 'well, the guy that runs the site might not have meant it or really thought about it?'

Strange that ultra-hardcore pornographers get the benefit of the doubt where others don't.
posted by colie at 8:54 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


[colie, at this point, the question about the phrase 'racial abuse' and US vs Australian phrases is becoming a derail from the actual article, so maybe we can just let the objection stand as noted, and bring the discussion back around to the linked article?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:56 AM on April 19 [16 favorites]


[A few comments deleted, please reload the page. This thread really needs to not be a referendum on one person's views about porn in general; there's a linked article to discuss.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:15 AM on April 19


All these degrees when they're so young. Fascinating.
posted by dabitch at 9:15 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering if the surprisingly high percentage of Jews is an artifact of who Vox could get in touch with, or a fact about porn that I didn't know.

And yes, Stoya's grandmother is awesome. But then, Stoya is awesome, so I'm not entirely surprised.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:19 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Story sounds interesting, but that formatting is terrible and leads to me closing the article. What's hard about making it so that I just scroll down with maybe the occasional in-line image.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:25 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Stoya seems really cool.

I'm 100% pro-porn...in...y'know...theory... But, man, why is so much of it so bad? I mean, it's not just me, right? It's bad? I mean, this is not a moral objection, but a purely aesthetic one... It's just weird that there are like eleventy-billion porns out there and, like, one Andrew Blake...

People probably know about this, Clayton Cubitt filming Stoya reading erotica...with a NSFW twist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQuT-Xfyk3o
posted by Fists O'Fury at 9:27 AM on April 19 [11 favorites]


A lot of porn is super misogynistic.(see, eg, facial abuse) I don't think that needs to be danced around.
posted by jpe at 9:30 AM on April 19 [9 favorites]


"Mom, I have some things to tell you: I do porn; I just got busted for weed; and the wife's pregnant."
There was a pause long as the day is solstice short.
"Sue's pregnant?!"


Moms are funny.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:44 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


But, man, why is so much of it so bad? I mean, it's not just me, right? It's bad?

I think it has to be bad artistically because good art involves complexity, but complexity detracts from arousal.

I mean, have you ever had a sex fantasy where you began worrying about the plot holes? I have, and it's really annoying because everything goes straight off the boil.
posted by Segundus at 10:04 AM on April 19 [21 favorites]


i don't think we need to dance around the misogyny in porn, but i also think it's important to talk about the people right in front of us who are telling us about their experiences, many of whom have been a really positive influence in porn, specifically as it relates to misogyny.
posted by nadawi at 10:05 AM on April 19 [36 favorites]


I was surprised at how positive these coming out experiences seemed to be overall.

Some of the performers' families were OK once they satisfied their concerns about welfare, such as Stoya's parents: "Are you on drugs? Are you being forced to do it? No? Then cool." and Shy Love's mom "If this is what you want to do, I want to know you’re safe about it." That's more or less the reaction I would expect from my family if I was in that situation.
posted by tybeet at 10:36 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


But, man, why is so much of it so bad? I mean, it's not just me, right? It's bad?

No, it's not just you. Professional porn is pretty uniformly bad, and that goes beyond just artistic quality or story. It's just...bad and un-erotic.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:42 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


i really enjoyed the stories from queer performers about how it aligned pretty closely to their coming out, and since a lot of the heavy lifting was done there, the road map was already drawn for this conversation.

stoya talks more about her mom (and her cats and relationship and feminism) in an interview last year with the awl :
"My mom was… a feminist. She’s the first woman working in the engineering department of the nuclear plant that she eventually started working at—and she raised me, like, “You can do whatever you want! Any job you want. You are not constrained by your female-ness, or your vagina, or anything like that.” And she struggled for a few years—or at least, seemed to struggle—with the idea that her daughter, who she raised to do whatever she wanted, then wanted to go do porn. And not just do porn, but do super mainstream, commercial, fake-eyelashes, high heels…My first two movies I had pigtails! And so that was a little bit of a thing. But she’s come around!"
posted by nadawi at 10:44 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


[One comment deleted. The thread is not about "what do we think of porn in general?" -- again, maybe we can try to stick to discussing the actual article?]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:32 AM on April 19


This was really interesting, thank you for posting it.
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


People in porn seem to enjoy their work.

Not to say that people in porn don't enjoy their work, but I think the degree to which this is a pervasive meme within the porn industry probably has more to do with wanting people to forget Linda Lovelace ever happened, and less to do with job satisfaction on an individual level as compared to other fields.

It is really, really important that the people who make porn are seen as having agency.

Aside from that, I'd imagine that it's just like any job, no?
posted by Sara C. at 11:49 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


I mean, if you were Stoya, you would probably be really happy. She's rich and famous and hangs out with cool people and wrote an editorial that was in The New York Times. Being Stoya would be incredible. Just being your average porn performer? I mean, I don't know, but I don't think it would be very much like that.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:05 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


The FPP is about what it's like being at the level of Stoya or Joanna Angel, based on a set of interviews with them. It's not about what it's like to be "Blonde girl #6" in a low-budget production.

It's like having an article about "What it's like to be a writer" with interviews from Steven King and Zadie Smith, rather than the anonymous and exploited people cranking out material for a content farm.

Both are totally valid (and interesting) approaches to look at an industry, but they don't have a lot to do with each other, and it's something of a derail to keep focusing on that.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:13 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


I mean, I don't know, but I don't think it would be very much like that.

It might be. It might not be. It might be like lots of things. The porn industry isn't limited to the glossy butts-n-boobs movies you see on the shelves of your local adult video place. I know quite a few pornographers and porn performers (including my boyfriend) for whom their contact with the "porn industry" is a few photoshoots a couple times a year, or a cam show every other day, or a video once three years ago, or their weekly tumblr photoset, or a 9 to 5 job that requires networking and dedication and gives them RSI from editing videos for little-to-no recognition and plenty of stigma because people learn about what they do and assume they are slaving away at something they hate because they have no choice. I'm not saying there aren't people like that in the world, or that the best porn industry is without fault, but there are plenty of people for whom making porn is a job. And that's it. And that's okay.
posted by fight or flight at 12:16 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


...keep focusing? I see only one comment discussing their porn-stardom in that fashion.
This is a very eggshell walking thread it seems, why isn't it allowed to evolve like any other FPP?
posted by dabitch at 12:18 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Also, if you want some insight into what its like working in (certain parts of) of the industry, Google the Feminist Porn Conference. There are some amazing people out there working incredibly hard to change the face and the culture of the industry for the better.
posted by fight or flight at 12:22 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


It might be. It might not be. It might be like lots of things.

Yup. But it basically can't be what it is for the wealthiest, most well-known mainstream porn performers, and Stoya's experience certainly can't be that of most, as she's basically the Brad Pitt of her profession. I'm not making a value judgment, I'm just saying hers pretty much can't be equivalent to the experience of most people in porn. Doesn't mean that the article isn't interesting or that her experience isn't worth reading about.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:24 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Is mega-hardcore porn totally cool if the people in it like doing it and their parents don't mind? I honestly haven't kept up with this. 'They like doing it and I like watching it' didn't used to be the end of the debate. Genuine question.
posted by colie at 12:28 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Is mega-hardcore porn totally cool if the people in it like doing it and their parents don't mind?

Not sure what you mean by "mega-hardcore" as that term could mean a number of different things depending on who you ask, but yes, sure. Provided the performers are being paid a decent living wage and having their boundaries, consent and agency respected, I don't see how its any different to asking if any person who uses their body to make a living is "totally cool". Would you ask that of a skydiving instructor, for instance? A wrestler? A Hollywood star?
posted by fight or flight at 12:32 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I'm curious about the parents who ask if their performing children are "safe", and what do they define as "safe"? The shoot with Cameron Bay followed safety procedures, did it not?
posted by dabitch at 12:33 PM on April 19


The thing that's weird about being involved in a sexuality industry as a performer or content creator is, to me, it would be weirdly distressing to have my family members view that material that I'd been involved in. This isn't limited to "porn stars," at all, like if I wrote smut for a living, I wouldn't be thrilled about having my parents or siblings reading the smut I wrote, not because I would be ashamed, but because it, hm. Because it feels like it would be like inviting family members into a sexual situation with me, I guess. And that feels weirdly isolating -- "I do this thing and I'm really proud of it and you can never see or hear about it in any way or I will be gigantically creeped out."

Clearly that's not an issue for everyone, nor do I think it should be, but I'm surprised to discover what a firm hypothetical boundary it is for me. I am totally pro-empowered-sex-work, I don't feel like sex work is inherently any more exploitative than a lot of other jobs, and yet I can't think of another industry where I'd feel compelled to keep my family out of it.
posted by KathrynT at 12:38 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Provided the performers are being paid a decent living wage and having their boundaries, consent and agency respected, I don't see how its any different to asking if any person who uses their body to make a living is "totally cool".

Plenty of fashion models make as much money as porn performers and yet it seems to be fair game to debate whether the images/fantasies/ideals that they contribute to are a good thing or not.
posted by colie at 12:38 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


stoya is an interesting case in this - because, yes, she is sort of the brad pitt of porn (so i guess james deen is the angelina jolie of porn. heh) - but also, she's a strong voice for choice/consent focused pornography and what that means.

she started out working for razordolls, a company with a similar aesthetic to suicide girls. like she talks about in this interview, she did some photoshoots, some nonsex roles in movies, then some softcore stuff, and then she signed a giant contract with digital playground - but a contract that was really awful (according to her). there was some friction between her and the digital playground owners that came to a head one day when a performer she had agreed to shoot with wasn't available and they wanted to sub in a performer she had specifically said she wouldn't work with. one of the guys in charge told her that she had little choice because of her contract and, "what are you going to do? wait tables? harharhar." and so she left, hired some lawyers, became a waitress, took a couple writing jobs, and she started messing around with aerial acrobatics. basically, waiting it out and trying to see what a different sort of life would look like if she was done with porn.

eventually it all worked out, digital playground got sold, they struck a deal that she feels is far more fair, and she's back to work in porn. but, it could have just as easily not worked out, or she could have decided to not go back, or a bunch of other outcomes. she was huge when she signed with digital playground, but she's arguably far, far more famous/lauded/etc now - and a big part of that is how she reacted to her consent being challenged.
posted by nadawi at 12:46 PM on April 19 [37 favorites]


The shoot with Cameron Bay followed safety procedures, did it not?

Depends. I think the shoot for Twilight Zone: The Movie and The Crow probably followed safety procedures.

I don't feel like sex work is inherently any more exploitative than a lot of other jobs, and yet I can't think of another industry where I'd feel compelled to keep my family out of it.

I know a lot of cops and soldiers that don't discuss certain aspects of their jobs with family. And I was struck by the comments that Stoya made about her discussions with her father.

I think the key to this is the money. As you said, industry. We've come a long way towards eradicating the stigma when it comes to alternative sexual lifestyles, and we're still fighting on that front; but as soon as money becomes involved, and there is ANY questions about consensuality, we get the willies. Because: motivation.
posted by valkane at 12:47 PM on April 19


I'm not so sure getting your head decapitated by a helicopter is a risk as closely associated with being an actor (instead of a stunt performer), as getting a sexually transmitted disease is to being an adult entertainer. This is why I wonder how their parents get over the "high risk job" idea. Sorry I didn't make that more clear, valkane. They seem to shrug it off in a way my parents would not.
posted by dabitch at 12:53 PM on April 19


I'm curious about the parents who ask if their performing children are "safe", and what do they define as "safe"?

I assumed they were thinking about STIs, physical harm (i.e. anything from bruises to rope burn to muscle or joint trauma to god knows what they get up to in the kinkier stuff), that sort of thing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:53 PM on April 19


In the age of HIV you think "are you safe" means "you're not getting rope burns, are you?" ??
posted by dabitch at 12:55 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I think the shoot for Twilight Zone: The Movie and The Crow probably followed safety procedures.

OK you can die on a movie. My 21 year old sister works (at the lowest level) for Marvel/Disney on feature films and is fully unionised. It's hard work and there are lecherous men around. But can anyone seriously doubt that the average director/production company working for 'facial abuse dot com' is more likely to expose a teenage woman to a far higher percentage of low-life men, drugs, and general work crap?
posted by colie at 1:00 PM on April 19


pretty sure that porn has a much lower hiv rate than the general population and other stis are caught and dealt with very quickly. it would be a worry for the parents, i'm sure, but some of the interviewed people are also sex educators and probably had a good amount of facts at their disposal when the topics came up. i'm sure like many high risk or controversial jobs, some parents come to terms and are supportive and some aren't. the article had examples of both. i also wonder what this would be like if they also interviewed the parents (but i can totally understand why the performers and parents wouldn't be up for that).

people who work for pink&white productions (like madison young and jiz lee) i'd argue are seeing far less "low-life men, drugs, and general work crap" than someone who works for even a huge unionized entertainment company. porn is not a monolith.
posted by nadawi at 1:07 PM on April 19 [8 favorites]


In the age of HIV you think "are you safe" means "you're not getting rope burns, are you?" ??

I did mention both. "Safe" can simultaneously refer to a spectrum of potential dangers.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:09 PM on April 19


porn is not a monolith.

That's why I specifically referred to 'facial abuse dot com', which is kind of the straw that broke my camel's back in terms of tolerance of the line that goes 'I like it; the performers like it; therefore it is OK'.

Anyone know who is the boss of that site? Anyone following the money?
posted by colie at 1:15 PM on April 19


Sara C.: "It is really, really important that the people who make porn are seen as having agency."

It's really, really important that all workers in any industry have agency.
posted by chavenet at 1:18 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


colie: "Plenty of fashion models make as much money as porn performers and yet it seems to be fair game to debate whether the images/fantasies/ideals that they contribute to are a good thing or not."

I think the critique to be made with porn performance is not whether a given kink or fetish is good or bad, but whether the context in which the kink/fetish performance occurs is good or bad. For example, do the performers have agency? Is it clear that there is consent? Some of the feminist porn that I've seen satisfies this criteria by prefacing the performance with an explicit, video-taped consent process.
posted by tybeet at 1:24 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


the straw that broke my camel's back in terms of tolerance of the line that goes 'I like it; the performers like it; therefore it is OK'.

I don't think "this is an OK workplace" necessarily has to go hand in hand with criticism of porn from a media standpoint.

I'm pretty ambivalent about porn in general. There's some good stuff out there, there's lots of terrible stuff out there, and it sort of is what it is. I'm fully versed in porn's origins as a form of misogynist hate-speech, and the extent to which things that do that are definitely still around.

But I don't think we have to see all porn industry participants as victimized to critique the content of any given pornographic work. Nor do I think "these people choose this life and enjoy their work" is a good enough reason to give all porn a pass in terms of what it depicts. The two questions are entirely different from each other, just as working conditions in any other media career would be.

I work for a show that routinely wins glowing accolades from social justice orgs and critics alike. It's a huge feather in the cap of "representation" and diversity in media. But it's also sometimes a pretty shitty place to work in terms of gender dynamics. I'm the only woman in my department. The dudes I work with try, but I still get exposed to a lot of shit. It's not lost on me that the creators of the show are white guys, most of the writers are white guys, and all the assistants (which is the first step on the ladder to becoming a TV writer) are white guys.

So in a lot of ways, the squeaky clean GLAAD award-winning show I work for is as bad or worse than a lot of porn, in terms of working conditions and gender equity in the workplace. Does that mean the most disgusting porn is A-OK? Does it mean that even TV shows that represent diverse families are evil and should be banned for life because sometimes I hear sexist bullshit at work? It's kind of neither here nor there.
posted by Sara C. at 1:27 PM on April 19 [11 favorites]


I've done a shoot with P&W and it was honestly one of the best working conditions I've ever had - and I'm including working with international media companies here.

There's a lot that's fucked up with the porn industry (though I'd question the assertion that it originated as misogynist hate speech) but a lot of the issues that plague porn aren't inherent or specific to porn. Making it solely porn's problem erases issues of similar abuse in other industries, and it also silences people who do work in porn and who do have legitimate critique about porn but aren't going to blame porn for all their issues.

Look up Kitty Stryker, she writes a lot about this sort of thing.

Also I don't think "will your parents approve?" should be a litmus test for legitimacy. My parents don't approve of many of my choices but that doesn't make them any less legit.
posted by divabat at 1:45 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Given the current lawsuit against X-Men director Bryan Singer and the charges alleged in that suit, I'm thinking that consent and agency is not just an issue for the porn industry.
posted by Ber at 1:51 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


My parents don't approve of me not being an engineer like everyone else, but this Vox article is asking what it was like coming out to the 'rents, and the FPP is focusing on a grandmothers reaction. I don't think anyone in the thread suggested parental approval was a litmus test for a decent career.
posted by dabitch at 2:14 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


consent and agency is not just an issue for the porn industry

Nobody said that. But plenty of other branches of the film industry do not see the kind of talent burn out rate that female porn performers typically experience.
posted by colie at 2:22 PM on April 19


I don't know how you'd go about showing that. It isn't obvious to me that it's true.
posted by Justinian at 2:25 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Nobody said that. But plenty of other branches of the film industry do not see the kind of talent burn out rate that female porn performers typically experience.

It seems to be an accelerated version of the same early turnover that affects Hollywood actresses, and not necessarily "burnout" as we would mean that in most other careers. There is a high premium placed on fitness and the appearance of youth, qualities that for obvious reasons are difficult to sustain.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:30 PM on April 19


I'd like to get into porn.

I almost did in the late '80s, as an Accountant. But I turned down a lucrative offer after researching the company and finding some possible organized crime relationships that the FBI was looking at. Mobsters who'd owned much of the Porn biz when it was illegal were now reportedly using it to launder money they'd made in still-illegal ways and this company was one of those being watched. Because of my experience with the IBM System 34, a computer they'd just acquired, they wanted me to help develop "a new accounting system". If the FBI moved in, they'd come after the Accountants first, so I decided this Work was Not Safe For Me. Instead, I went to work at a Financial Services firm heavily invested in Junk Bonds with a CEO who was a friend of Michael Milkin. Guess which company is still in business today.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:54 PM on April 19 [43 favorites]


There's a particularly balanced docco, which I believe is this once, called After Porn Ends which some kind soul has uploaded to YouTube, I've been recommending to people for a while. It's a bit older but if I found it fascinating.
posted by Mezentian at 4:11 PM on April 19 [6 favorites]


colie: Plenty of fashion models make as much money as porn performers and yet it seems to be fair game to debate whether the images/fantasies/ideals that they contribute to are a good thing or not.

Sure, but then your concern has nothing at all to do with the well-being of women in the industry, and totally with your abstract notions of social morality. That's a different discussion entirely, and not an interesting one.
posted by spaltavian at 4:31 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


jessica drake: I wasn't close to my mother at all, and she took it upon herself to tell my father in the worst way imaginable: she sent him pictures of me having sex

Wow. That's.... harsh.
posted by Mezentian at 4:49 PM on April 19


yeah - i gasped at that part.
posted by nadawi at 4:52 PM on April 19


I'd like to get into porn.

I almost did in the late '80s, as an Accountant.



I just...

*snicker*

That is way too funny. I have this picture in my head of a bean counter wandering around the studio during porn shots.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:16 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I'd imagine that it's just like any job, no?

No. A stint of porn the CV will inevitably restrict all sorts of options in life.

That's a different discussion entirely, and not an interesting one.

Not to you, perhaps, but it has been an interesting subject to many, many others for hundreds, even thousands of years.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:22 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I have this picture in my head of a bean counter wandering around the studio during porn shots.
For the record, my office would've been in the same building as SOME of the working studio (it was Granada Hills, aka Porn Valley), but most of the shoots were done at private homes with good views and the best chances for a 'show' in the building were in the editing rooms.

A stint of porn the CV will inevitably restrict all sorts of options in life.
The interviewer assured me that there was a division of the company that distributed non-porn video tapes (1980s, remember?) that I would be 'officially' employed by.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:27 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Who designed this website? It looks like Jackson Pollock puked and the puke designed this website.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:28 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Who designed this website?
Designers Georgia Cowley, Ted Irvine.

The layout might be Tumblr bad, but I quite like the photos.
posted by Mezentian at 5:41 PM on April 19


I have this picture in my head of a bean counter wandering around the studio during porn shots.

Hot.
posted by homunculus at 9:39 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I rather like the site design. Though the winking freaks me out a little.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:13 PM on April 19


Wasn't it Kitty Stryker who said that appearing in porn was committing "social suicide"?
posted by mlis at 11:31 PM on April 19


I long to live in the world where appearing in porn is fine and being an exec at Goldman Sachs is social suicide.
posted by Justinian at 12:07 AM on April 20 [31 favorites]


mlis: she has mentioned something to that effect, but that was in reflection on how society treats porn performers with such disrespect that she couldn't even find a non-porn job without people judging her for her sex work history. Even her years of activism and education around sexual assault, consent, and sex worker rights becomes fraught because they are tied to her sex work identity.

I really suggest looking up her writing: she has a very nuanced, intersectional take on the sex industry, sexuality in culture, and sex worker rights that are way more than just that one-liner.
posted by divabat at 12:12 AM on April 20


Wasn't it Kitty Stryker

If she's an X-man fan... what kind of message is she sending with a name like that.
So conflicted.

I long to live in the world where appearing in porn is fine and being an exec at Goldman Sachs is social suicide.

I am sure there is video of this sort of thing, but sadly it's hard to bring an investment bank into disrepute.
posted by Mezentian at 2:02 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


I long to live in a world where being an exec at Goldman Sachs doesn't mean you're a thieving ass a la "Wolf of Wall Street" but I guess I'm oldschool.
posted by dabitch at 3:41 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


So, basically, you're a vampire?
'cause Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869.
posted by Mezentian at 6:22 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I don't see investment banking isn't inherently evil or morally dubious just because there are "Wolf of wall street" types out there. Raising capital for businesses who need it to grow (and hire people) is a pretty good idea. So while you're wishing porn star work is "socially fine" and working as an investor is a social pariah move, I long for bankers whose moves aren't detrimental to society as a whole. Different strokes, mate.

I could probably explain that better, but I'm sure that's off-topic for this thread.
posted by dabitch at 7:09 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Maybe like this:
This (currently socially acceptable) thing has been shit recently.
Therefore this (not currently socially acceptable) thing should be socially acceptable.

It's not a logic I subscribe to.
posted by dabitch at 7:13 AM on April 20


IndigoJones: Not to you, perhaps, but it has been an interesting subject to many, many others for hundreds, even thousands of years.

Yes, it is so interesting to scolds that they have missed "porn: bad, or very bad" isn't the topic of this thread.
posted by spaltavian at 9:55 AM on April 20


[One comment deleted. Seriously, personal jibes now? You people are not new here. If you don't like the actual topic of a thread, flag it, skip it, make your own thread, whatever, but the normal rules of conversation around here aren't suspended just because you feel strongly about a topic.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:49 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I'm halfway through the documentary that Mezentian linked to and I concur that it's really interesting. There's lots of fascinating material but this strikes me as something that must be common:
I didn't do boy/girl when I was with him for the first six months. And then he was like, "Don't you think you should go get a new porn contract? Because that's extra income we can have every month."

And I was like, "Well, do you want me to have sex with other guys?"

And he was like, "Well, it's only six times a year that you're going to do it, and it's with a condom."

And then of course two days before the movie my ex was like, "I don't want you having sex with other guys."

(probably-NSFW but humorously silly film clip)

Every two months I'd have to shoot a boy/girl scene. Usually about two days before he would start being really mean to me and calling me names. Even though he doesn't really want me to do the movies.

Then, on the day I'd shoot the movie he'd go with his friends and get really drunk. And then he usually would not, like, kiss me for two days later.

And then when my check would come in he'd say, "That's my check since I let you have sex with other people."

And then when I would be asleep, sometimes I would hear him watching my movies. 'Cause he would go and put them in slow motion to make sure the guy was wearing a condom and I wasn't lying about it.
posted by XMLicious at 11:25 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Ok, back on topic then. I think the web site design is kind of awesome, with the right-arrow taking me to the next page and the names linked to the specific stars personal interviews. Colors are a tad played out but the function is cool.
posted by dabitch at 12:05 PM on April 20


BlueHorse: "I have this picture in my head of a bean counter wandering around the studio during porn shots."

James Been?
posted by chavenet at 12:34 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Yes, it is so interesting to scolds that they have missed "porn: bad, or very bad" isn't the topic of this thread.

To the extent that the article is essentially "how people I know react to what I'm doing", it seems to me that the question of judgement call is very much the topic of this thread. It's not like they're telling grandma that they're becoming accountants, or even considering the priesthood. Absent a judgement call, there would be no article.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:48 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Ezra Klein is reading this thread somewhere and laughing on a giant pile of UVs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:01 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Absent a judgment call, a set of taboos, and indeed any kind of 'abstract social morality' there would be no such thing as porn.
posted by colie at 1:24 PM on April 20


I don't think that's the case. We would still want a word for stuff which is primarily intended as an aid to flogging the bishop. People just wouldn't be so judgy about it.
posted by Justinian at 1:31 PM on April 20 [4 favorites]


"I have this picture in my head of a bean counter wandering around the studio during porn shots."

James Been?


No, chavenet, it would have to be The Foop, himself, in purple silk briefs, a lavender bow tie, rhinestone glasses and carrying a clipboard with a large pencil and a BIG pink rubber eraser on the end.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:54 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


A little story:

Back in the very early 90's I was friends with a lot of people in the industry, mostly hair, makeup, producers, etc. and a few models. I was offered a non-sex role in a video and took it and the scene happened to be with the accountant for the company playing a lawyer in the scene. So, yes, sometimes the accountant is on set!

That said, at least with this production company - with people I knew - there was really nothing particularly skeezy at all. Everyone was really nice, everyone was professional, I saw no drugs on set and as time is money, things moved pretty quickly. Just my perspective.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:33 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]




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