Posted in Advice For Writers, The Journey

Desperate Times Don’t Always Call For Desperate Measures (NSFW)

Or: How I Almost Had A Career In Porn

Note: while there are no graphic images or videos in this post there is language that might make your boss raise an eyebrow or two.  Don’t read it at work.

No, really.  I almost had a career in porn.  And not the type of fetish porn one would imagine by looking at me.  For those who don’t know me in real life, I do not look like a porn star (okay, other than my bra size).  I am bookish and would rather do anything that isn’t shaving my legs.  I do shave them, but usually miss a strip.  Or behind my knees.  I generally don’t wear makeup unless I have a social engagement, can’t remember the last time I put in contacts, and spend most of my time barefoot.

Things have been interesting in my freelance life.  Good.  But still interesting.  My first client, a wine blog, is based in Greece and with the current austerity measures it’s not easy to be a Greek in Greece right now.  What with limits on cash withdrawals, bank account transactions, and general financial woe.  For that reason my editor has taken a little break.  The other wine blog I write for is still going, but I’ve lost about 3/4 of my wine writing.  And I’m a wine writer.  Now, I also write for several other industries as an independent contractor for a digital marketing firm, but I miss writing about wine.  A lot.

And so I decided to find some travel jobs – travel writing was how I first started exploring freelancing before I was doing it full time.  I’m good at it.  I enjoy it.  Why not?  And so I applied for a travel writing job I was invited to on a freelancing site.  A few days later I received an email through the site – the guy (a digital marketing firm type) loved my writing and was disappointed in the writer he’d hired (someone who’d applied before I) and wanted to hire me in the future, we’d keep in touch.

I sent a quick thank you.

And then he wrote back.  Turns out that he has another client and is having trouble finding writers for the gig.  He said it was in the “adult industry” which, yeah, means porn.  I knew that going in.  His email was sweet – he totally understood if it wasn’t my cup of tea, etc.  He said the job would be writing descriptions of videos and galleries.

So, if your brain works like mine that translates to: watching/looking at porn and then writing about it?!

Yeah, that’s exactly what it is.

I woke Kris up (it was early in the morning when I saw the email).  “What do you think about this?”

“It’s totally up to you.”

“My name wouldn’t be attached.”

“That’s probably good.”

Honestly.  I don’t care.  I mean, I don’t have an issue with porn.  Well, I didn’t think I had an issue with porn.  Turns out, what I don’t have an issue with is “ethical porn” (I believe I coined this phrase last week).  Actors who are willing, respected, tested, allowed to say no, properly remunerated, unionized (if that’s a thing in the adult industry anymore)… why the hell not?  So I seriously considered it.  But then I did a little research and realized that my knowledge of porn is pretty lacking.  Porn is probably not the fade to black things my friends and I snuck peeks at on Cinemax at sleepovers.  With no visible penetration or fluids.  Or even full frontal.  Although I think Skinemax has evolved since I was in middle school into things a tad more racy, I clearly don’t know about porn because in my research.  Well, let’s just say I was a little scared.  But hey: whatever floats your boat, those more educated in porn than I.

I also discussed it with my bestie via text, which is something that should be screenshot and saved for posterity.  Like most of our text conversations.  We agreed that it would be perfectly acceptable to ask for the site name to do a little research, and to be upfront about my boundaries.  And I realized, pretty quickly, that my future in the adult industry was becoming less and less likely with each passing moment.  The email I wrote was one of the most bizarre I’ve ever written… I felt like I was Anastasia Steele drawing her hard limits line in the sand… although my hard limits were built with brick and mortar and probably far too restrictive.  Even so, I kept typing them…

  • Straight and gay and small groups (3-4) got the green light.

And that’s pretty much it.

No:

  • Money shots/squirting
  • Rape Fantasies
  • Incest Fantasies
  • Underage actors
  • Sites that don’t use protection/test actors/pay legally
  • Shit that looks illegal or like it should be illegal

I ended my list with something about how I’m all for a little consensual kink (I have never written this phrase before… surprisingly not even in my past professional life*) but that my limits were limits.  No negotiations.

The email I got back wasn’t unexpected… he was going to talk to his client on Friday about the travel stuff and would get back to me.  I’m not surprised that he hasn’t.

But there’s a lesson here.  And an important one.  As much as I thought I could find a new steady gig and that I could make it the right gig for me.  Some jobs, are never going to be for me.  And some jobs are never going to be for you.  And it’s a good idea to have a sense of what that was.  Prior to full time freelancing I had said, “I’ll never do gambling sites.”  Porn hadn’t even crossed my mind in the briefest of seconds.  But it’s out there.  While I do write some stuff in industries that bore me to absolute death, that’s okay because I enjoy the research and the writing and they aren’t something that tests my boundaries.  But how much porn could I watch in a day?  How much writing about porn?  I think after the first five minutes of the first day it would get pretty old, pretty quickly.

And so I won’t be writing about porn.

—–
*This is strange considering some of the stuff I had to deal with in my last job.  Which was also not in porn.

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2 thoughts on “Desperate Times Don’t Always Call For Desperate Measures (NSFW)

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