Porn: The word has changed a lot over recent years. Once it used to be scandalously whispered and limited purely to your 14-year-old brother's desperate Google searches. Now it's everywhere. It's no big deal. We talk about it casually and like it's the most normal thing on Earth. A normal workplace conversation these days might start a little something like, "Hey Jim, how was your weekend? Watch any good porn?"
So, to honor this new open attitude to openness and transparency, let's debunk some of the major porn myths, courtesy of cracked.com.
Myth 1: Being A Male Porn Star Is, Like, The Best Job Ever
When your 14-year-old brother did eventually hit the motherlode of internet hanky-panky, he probably felt a confusing concoction of arousal and jealously. I mean, do male porn stars basically get to have sex all day, everyday? And, wait, they paid bags of cash for it?
It's Incredibly Hard Work
Well, the reality is somewhat different. Being a male pornstar is actually incredibly hard work. In fact, one of the hardest bits is getting hard in the first place. Like normal film sets, porn sets are not exactly conducive to arousal - sure you might be loving Crystal, Candi and Woody going at it like rabbits on speed, but achieving and maintaining an erection while being filmed isn't as easy as you might expect. Indeed, most now turn to Viagra, Cialis or an injection (in the penis) called TriMix to make things easier.
Furthermore, a lot of professional porn is filmed over a rather long time. Soon, the mood slips, chafing kicks in and things can get really uncomfortable.
If porn looks fun, remember it's because it's been explicitly filmed to look that way.
Constant STI Checks
Other than the hard physical work, there is also the very unsexy, but incredibly necessary STI testing regime which all professional pornstars must abide by. This is necessary, purely because working in porn and having sex with hundreds of different people a year does increase your chances of catching an STI quite a bit - including the dreaded HIV. Although the system is generally robust, someone does occasionally slip though - which brings the entire industry to a halt as everyone is once again required to be tested. While this happens, no one gets paid.
Normal Relationships are Difficult
Then there is the loneliness. Cracked.com make it clear that being a male porn star isn't exactly the most desirable occupation for the opposite sex. Working in porn can make it difficult to meet other people and have a normal relationship.
Sure, when you're young and horny maybe you think 'who cares'? But things will change, and the suicide of veteran male pornstars isn't a completely unknown occupational hazard. In fact, it has become somewhat of an epidemic.
This isn't unique to male stars either, ex-pornstar Veronica Belmond explained:
Nobody really wants to date a porn star, stripper, escort. As to the whole family thing and having kids, I'm like 'who's gonna have kids with an ex porn star.' And even when I'm 60 I'm still gonna have this porn on the Internet. It's like having a virus or something that never goes away.
Myth 2: You'll Make Loads of Cash!
Just because a lot of porn is filmed in swanky Santa Barbara jacuzzis doesn't mean every pornstar is living the life of an over-sexed Riley. The industry is actually struggling to make money, especially when it comes to professional pornstars - and like everything else in the world, the internet is to blame.
Free Online Porn Has Destroyed the Old Model
The porn industry is going through the same kind of issues as both the music and film industry. The internet has opened up the world to the extent we are now drowning in free porn. What's more, amateur and homemade porn is also becoming more popular and is replacing the old industry developed standard. These types of pornography are extremely difficult to monetize, and indeed, if you pay for porn these days it's kind of assumed you're some kind of luddite granddad who hasn't figured out where all the free stuff is at.
To Make Money You Need To Constantly Adapt
Of course, the porn industry isn't going to collapse any time soon. Ever since ancient humans made big-titted fertility idols or scrawled cocks on the walls of Pompeii, people have wanted to see other people getting at it - even if they didn't actually admit it until 1996. But, if you do want to continue to make money in the business, you need to be flexible and move into new areas (or kinks) - perhaps areas you wouldn't particularly enjoy in your private life. It's also not uncommon for heterosexual men and women to get involved in homosexual porn. But hey, you got to pay the bills.
This issue is particular tough for male pornstars, who are traditionally paid less than women (actually porn is one of the few industries where women are on average paid more than men). Personalized 'cam-girl' services are now a good way for female pornstars to make money - and it also allows them some control and flexibility over their work. However, this often isn't an option available to many men, who are increasingly seeing their role in porn downplayed.
Of course, this is not to say this the same experience for everyone working in pornography, and I'm sure there's loads who thoroughly enjoy their work. But's let's just remember maybe more is going on than meets the eye.
Do you think working as a pornstar is still the dream job?