What’s it Actually Like To Work As A Female Porn Star?

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What does your average working day look like?

Angela White (AW): An average day for me is a lot less exciting than people probably imagine. There is a lot of physical maintenance that needs to be done to prepare to be in front of the camera – for example, keeping fit, waxing, tanning, manicures. But running my own production company means that the majority of my day, when not modelling, streaming live shows, or promoting via social media, is taken up with paperwork and editing.
Tasha Reign (TR): I’m in bed right now… My call time today, unusually, is at 12pm in Calabasas [northwest LA]. I still have to pack my anal toys for set, wash up, [go to] Starbucks, and get my booty on the road.
Usually my call times are at 8am. Tonight after I get off I’ll go to my bestie’s house and grab drinks and dinner before I fly to Pittsburgh tomorrow to dance at a club. This makes my job seem way cooler than I thought… Oh yeah, today I get to bang a hot girl!
Jessica Drake (JD): It depends on what I’m doing, but let’s say I’m directing one of my instructional DVDs. I’d get up early, get catering ready, get into make-up, wait for my crew to arrive. Assemble everyone at the start of our day and go over the shoot schedule and what everyone can expect.
As my talent is getting ready, I go over things with my cameramen and lighting guys and prepare the first set. I begin shooting – interviews, demos, and then finally the sex scenes. We shoot all day and usually quite late at night. At the end, we usually leave lights and equipment set up for the next day’s first set, which is my narration for the project, and anything else I might need covered. Depending on how late we wrap, we may have a later call time the next day.
Kelly Madison (KM): My husband, Ryan, and I have a giant antique desk with dueling computers on it. He rises at 5am, whereas I’m doing fantastic if I’m on it at 8am. We begin our day making sure the sites are working, that there are no problems, and that customers are happy. Then we make our gameplan for the day.
Just keeping track of the props, furniture, jewellery, and clothes that we use for the models, and the basic upkeep of the residences with eight in-house employees is a full-time job. I work, I cook, I walk dogs, I go to bed, and once a week I shoot some porn for my site and give my husband a blow job here and there.

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Tasha Reign / Via Twitter: @TashaReign

Tasha Reign, 25, starred in MTV’s Laguna Beach and entered porn after being noticed by Playboy. She has her own production company and a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from UCLA.
What are your passions outside of porn?

TR: I love Cardio Barre, Pilates, yoga, and keeping fit. I love my family and friends and doing activities like travelling abroad and going to the movies. I just graduated from UCLA and will probably apply to start a graduate programme soon.
JD: I ride a motorcycle, have two amazing rescue dogs, and I love the beach. I’m also really involved in several charities, both on a local and international level.
Little Red Bunny (LRB): I love movies, mixology, yoga, music, travelling – even though I don’t take much time to do it – and good food. Sometimes I like cooking, and other times I like going out to restaurants to treat myself and get inspiration for cooking ideas to try at home. My love for music, food, and travelling all come from my passion for international cultures – and I think these things really help give you a true sense of places.
KM: Right now I am caring for my sister who is suffering from stage 4 uterine cancer. She lives in Vegas, so I do quite a bit of back and forth juggling between her care and my business…so right now I would say driving on the 15 freeway is my new hobby!
AW: My passion is pornography. When I’m not working in the industry, I’m studying it or advocating for the rights of sex industry workers. I am currently writing a chapter for an upcoming academic text on media and pornography.

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Little Red Bunny / Via Twitter: @LittleRedBunnyx

Little Red Bunny won the 2014 AVN award for Favorite Web Cam Girl and the 2013 Sex Award for Best Web Cam Girl. She was described by The Daily Beast as “the Queen of Cam Girls”.
Have you ever refused to take part in a scene or refused to do something a camming customer asked you to do?

LRB: Rarely, because I’m really open-minded and I am a pleaser. People are generally surprised by my willingness and ability to accomplish their desires and bring them beyond expectations. I’ve also always been up to take challenges and have often gone out of my way to buy things they wished me to have such as outfits, food, toys, etc. I’m creative and imaginative, and I always find it stimulating to discover and share other people’s fantasies and “kinks”, and I enjoy developing it with them in a creative and exciting way.
JD: Yes. Before my contract with Wicked I was booked to do a three-way scene with another girl and a guy. It was supposed to be a condom scene – I’ve always been condom-only. When I got there, the director had decided to be the male talent in the scene, and it was non-condom. I left.
Other than that situation, the only “refusing” I’ve done has been in the context of being offered a particular role or scene in a movie and passing on it, and since my time with Wicked, that hasn’t happened very often.
TR: Of course! Who do you think I am? LOL. I have a strict yes and no list of acts I perform, most girls do. Then I still choose what I want to do every time someone tries to book me, I want to push myself as a performer, so I certainly try to open my mind more each year. The most extreme thing I have done is double penetration, and I did a five-guy orgy scene once.
AW: I’ve never been placed in a position where I would need to. I’m very fortunate that I’ve always worked for companies that have been respectful of my limits. Now that I run my own production company I choose everything from the location to the talent so it’s never an issue.
For example, my latest DVD showcases my first anal, interracial, and double penetration scenes, and the fact that I was able to have full control over who I worked with in front of the camera and who was there to capture it allowed me to be completely relaxed and able to explore my sexuality and lose myself in the moment.

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Kelly Madison / Via Twitter: @ImKellyMadison

Kelly Madison, 47, has been billed as “one of the most financially successful independent web stars ever”. She works exclusively with her husband, Ryan.
What do you think the future of online porn is? Where do you see the industry in, say, five or 10 years?

KM: It is so difficult to answer that question due to the popularity of free porn, but I do see there being larger divisions of certain niches. Studios have to find out what their viewers like and make more of it – create an online community in order to keep your fanbase put and to give them a reason to actually pay money. I see the companies that survive being big enough to produce enough content, but with a homely feel – for lack of a better word – so the viewer feels like they are a part of the family.
JD: That’s a great question, but I really don’t think anyone can speculate where porn is going. I can say that in my experience, fans are seeking out live shows and more personal interaction with their favourites.
I’ve gotten feedback from fans who admire Wicked’s long-term commitment to making a higher-quality product amidst a flood of poorly shot movies and scenes, and I’ve also seen a trend in more specific requests from fetishists. What I’d love to see, of course, is some type of reduction in the piracy that’s going on. Technology has advanced so much in the past 5–10 years, I can’t begin to imagine what the future holds.
LRB: People say the webcamming industry’s growing very fast while the porn industry is slowing down. I believe it’s because webcamming is so much more personal, and interactive, and it’s possible to explore and share fantasies/fetishes with a real person, creating an involved, genuine interaction rather then witnessing it. My guess is that technology will keep developing in the direction of realistic virtual proximity. 3D will probably be the first step, and toys that can connect via USB and be controlled by the other person that’s connected.
AW: I see the porn industry moving towards more live streaming and interactivity, which is what I’m working to accomplish with my site. The industry has been hit hard by piracy in recent years; however, the experience of seeing a live performance and actually interacting with porn stars in real time cannot be torrented.
TR: I hope the industry is at a strong place where many companies are thriving and justice is being served to those who have had all their content pirated on tube sites. Realistically, the adult industry will mould and transform to whatever comes their way and possibly invent a new revenue stream for the performers and entrepreneurs. As of now, there is limited work for a limited pool of performers, and I’m lucky to be in it!

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Jessica Drake / Via Twitter: @thejessicadrake

Jessica Drake, is an award-winning performer as well as a writer and director, and created the instructional DVD series Guide to Wicked Sex.
How long do you plan to stay in the business, and if you’re planning on eventually leaving, what would you like to do afterwards?

JD: I love the business and the career I’ve had so far. I still really enjoy being in front of the camera, and as long as I’m still happy doing it, I’ll continue. After being in front of the camera, I’d like to keep directing my line of sex instructionals, maybe more features, and keep giving sex-ed seminars and workshops all over. Speaking at universities has been a great experience, I’d do that as long as possible. I think I offer something rather unique to the realm of sex-ed.
AW: I will stay in the industry for as long as is viable. I’d like to go back to university to complete my PhD. For my university honours thesis I conducted qualitative research into female experiences in the Australian pornography industry, and I’d like to expand on those studies to include a broader cross-section of performers.
KM: I have never really worked for any other adult companies, just here and there, so my livelihood has always been my own company. Leaving really isn’t an option. Rather it is growing old gracefully and continuing to have my hand in our productions and day-to-day workflow. I still update my personal website, which I enjoy immensely. Obviously at some point I’m going to have to remain completely behind the scenes for all the sites because at 47 years old, I don’t know if I’ll have an audience three years from now. I don’t know if grandma porn is in my future.
TR: I plan to shoot In front of the camera throughout my twenties, and then I’ll step back and continue with my current behind-the-camera work as a producer/ director, as well as working on my website and toy design, etc. Shit, I may become a dolphin trainer – I don’t know!
LRB: I find that even if you plan ahead, life often brings you elsewhere. I never planned to do webcamming for five years, and yet I’m doing it, so it’s hard to say how long and what I will do afterwards. I really hope that the time I’ve invested in it – as a form of art and adult entertainment – will grow and lead me to something exciting, rather than starting over in a totally different direction.

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Little Red Bunny / Via Twitter: @LittleRedBunnyx

How do you react to accusations that the availability of online porn has exposed children to explicit images at a much younger age than before, leading them to act in a sexual manner before they fully understand what they’re saying/doing?

TR: First – where are the parents and authority figures of these children? Then, where is the sexual education system in our country, and when will we implement an effective one for the safety and protection of America’s youth? Why did I never have a class on consent in a school setting? What’s wrong with sexuality being a natural human characteristic that everyone of us is born with? Why have we been shamed for it our whole lives? Sex-positive parenting is the best idea I have ever heard of.
If we had a proper sex-ed system set in place, “children” who are illegally watching 18-and-over pornography wouldn’t “learn” about sex through adult entertainment. We make these movies for consenting adults. Once again – how are your children watching porn on computers that should be safeguarded? Do you know how many child molestation cases would and could be prevented with a simple sex-ed class starting from a younger age?
JD: I think that the accusations are unfortunately based in truth. I think that everything from easy access to social networking to technological advances and parental neglect is to blame. When I found porn, it was a few VHS tapes stashed underneath my boyfriend’s father’s bed. When kids find porn now, they’re even younger than I was, and there’s a wider variety of porn that they can see on all kinds of devices.
This does influence their first sexual encounters, and I think it can “imprint” them with ideas of what sex should be like. I spend a significant amount of time during seminars explaining to adults the difference between watching porn for the fantasy benefit versus watching it for sex ed, but kids don’t get that. I think that we all need to be open in our discussions about sex and porn, and never underestimate what they’ve already seen. I think parents need to commit to taking an active role in their child’s developing sexuality.
KM: I would say that hormones are what caused children to act in a sexual manner versus environment, but I beg parents to put blocks on all devices in order to keep your children away from porn, predators, and all other sorts of mayhem that they don’t need in their little lives.
AW: I don’t think online porn is the problem; it’s the lack of education that makes young people confused about sex, sexuality, and pornography. I think age-appropriate sexual education is absolutely necessary for all young adults and children. That way you empower young people with the tools to interpret what they are seeing and an understanding that not all pornography is meant as an educational manual for sex, just like the Fast and Furious franchise is not an educational manual for driving.

What can we do to make people speak more honestly about pornography, given how much of it is consumed on a daily basis?

KM: I suppose it would be for each of us in and outside the porn industry to communicate about our own sexual desires and urges, and talk about what we enjoy in our personal lives. Keeping the conversation going and letting that communication spread out into everyday America would create an environment where porn is not so pervasive or secret or dirty.
We all do it, we all love it, we need to talk about it, and articles like this where people in our industry can show that we are normal people helps normalise us all.
JD: The most important thing that everyone can do is to not “shame” the subject of porn or sex. As far as making people talk about it, it’s a trickle-down effect. That’s part of the reason I do what I do.
AW: If there wasn’t so much stigma surrounding sexuality in our culture, pornography wouldn’t be a dirty word. It would simply be seen as a interpretive representation of sexual desire and action. We need to get real about sex and accept it as a natural and healthy part of human existence.
LRB: Hopefully my approach with webcamming helps to create more of a bridge between the public and the porn industry. Even though there’s a sexual aspect to what I do, I also offer genuine interactions with people in my public chat.
While I do more pornographic, sexually explicit things in private chats, the way my public chat is set up, people have left comments saying that what I do isn’t porn – that it’s art, and it’s erotic, and it’s like being at a social event. It’s just so much more personal and real, and entertaining. It probably just helps people to talk more openly about it.
TR: Be comfortable with your sexuality but also be media-literate – know that what you are watching is sex performed by actresses. Remember how important consent is every time you go to have intercourse. Discover what turns you on and go with it (as long as it’s not harmful), and explore your desires.
Don’t laugh at “whores and porn sluts”; instead, celebrate them and own the fact that you love porn! Treat the sex industry as you would the mainstream industry and stop pirating the content you love. Most of all – let’s make porn normalised!

If you could create your ideal porn scene, what would it look like?

AW: An ideal porn scene doesn’t need to be set in an oasis with elaborate costuming and soft lighting. For me, an ideal porn scene is any in which the two performers have a genuine sexual connection and lose themselves in the moment.
TR: I would like to have a gang-bang with all my favourite performers in a comfy bed! LOL.
LRB: I always try to create an ideal atmosphere in my room, and one that is cosy and welcoming for people. When they feel like my room is comfortable, they’re already warming up in a sensual way, so every time I’m with someone, I make it as sensual I can. The way I entertain is to develop proximity with each guest so they feel close to me as a person, and I try to give the impression that there’s no technology between us. If I can transport them into my room – as if they were on the bed with me – that’s ideal for me.
JD: I love group sex. I’d put together all of my favourite performers in a masquerade-ball-type scene in a huge penthouse apartment and have the sex happening everywhere all at once – in all of the rooms, on the balcony, in the bathrooms, and shoot it in real time. It would be the longest scene ever.
KM: Well, since I am 47, zero gravity would be an ideal porn scene! Can you imagine the cum shot?

Original Interview featured in BuzzFeed News; October 2014