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Why I Quit Working in Porn

I didn’t leave the porn industry because I object to porn. I left because I love it.

Sixteen naked young women stared at me from a contact sheet of photographs. Some stood tall; others cocked their hips in a coy slouch. One girl with short, curly hair smiled broadly. The rest seemed to be searching for something in the camera.

I scanned through each photo, noting hair color and style. I looked for tattoos and piercings, for stretch marks and scars. I searched for the right one.

Each girl held a paper with a name scrawled on it—not in front of her, but to the side.

They didn’t want to hide their tits.

When I found the one, I circled her stage name with a red marker. Sharon. Sharon glowed with a light tan. Her hair shimmered with natural blond highlights. She smiled with her big blue eyes while her full lips curled in a faint grin. And her pale pink nipples stood pert—like perfect little gumdrops. She looked like a cheerleader. Athletic. Clean-cut. Shaved.

“Does she do anal?” I asked.

My boss rustled through some papers, and then shook his head. “No, but she does boy/girl.”


An Eye Full

Maybe you know me. I’m the one who stays quiet, simply listening, as other women discuss the evils of pornography. At risk of outing myself, I choose not to share my opinions. But I have quite a few. After all, I spent three years working behind the scenes for a company publishing porn websites and DVDs.

What started as a position copyediting business proposals for an empire of porn paysites quickly evolved when my boss noticed I had an eye for photography. When he began developing a new site focusing on a select handful of premium models, he assigned me with the task of selecting them.

I spent hours watching videos, fast-forwarding through long hardcore scenes, listening to interviews and sifting through thousands of images. My role was part quality assurance, part production manager and part casting director. I called photographers to criticize them for unrealistically faked cum shots and bad lighting. I emailed models to thank them for taking the time to fill out tedious surveys about their personalities and hobbies.

I sat in my office with my hand on my mouse and made decisions that would affect the budding careers of young models who would never know my name or face.

East End Girls

Eastern Europe supplies the porn industry with thousands of fresh faces each year. Thanks to several premier erotic photographers and adult production companies in Budapest and Prague, pretty girls don’t have to look far to find work. Though video is king, photography remains popular—especially for magazines and websites marketing to US audiences.

A college student from the Czech Republic can be transformed in a flash. Oksana becomes Andrea. Stepanka becomes Stephanie.

Though not mainstream, adult industry work doesn’t have quite the same stigma in most of Europe as it does in the US. The girls I surveyed and emailed preferred modeling and acting to dancing or escort work.

Of course, not all the girls are in it for part time work. Every year a handful makes it big, leaves the world of amateur style porn for the high end DVDs and glossy magazines. One or two become legitimate porn stars, usually leaving Eastern Europe for Los Angeles.

We chose to work with Eastern European models to cut costs. Once we put the word out, our European photographers submitted hundreds of models, most of which were far too experienced. They were already all over the web, with a dozen different stage names.

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