The best way I can answer this ?open-ended? question is by providing
both facts about the industry, as well as perspectives from those who
work in it. It is up to you to decide your perspective on these
First of all, pornography is vastly more widespread than most people
imagine. Some impressive statistics can be found at
[ http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html ]
Some of the highlights from that page include:
?-Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all
professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.
-US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (6.2 billion)?
As you mentioned, many aspects of the industry are changing, mostly
due to this increase in size represented by the above statistics.
Other changes are occurring as well. An interview at
with two LAPD detectives mentions:
?Peters: We've seen a lot of changes in twenty years--for example, in
the type of material we're prosecuting. When I started working the
industry, the material was tame compared to today's violent sex, S&M,
child porn, group sex, bestiality, sex snuff films, and so on. ?
Also, contrary to twenty years ago or so, porn is often now marketed
towards women as well as men. It is also true that women are no
longer simply the objects of the films, but are playing a quickly
increasing role as directors and producers. The page at
[ http://www.soapboxgirls.com/feb02/editorial/ ]
gives a second-hand account of a talk by USCB Film Studies professor
Constance Penley on the subject:
?Constance Penley began her talk with the following two facts:
- Porn is the only sector of the film industry in which women make
more money than men.
- There are a higher percentage of female directors, producers and
stars in the porn industry than in the ?traditional? film sector.
It seems that the prevailing attitude among adult stars is that if you
don?t want to be in this business, you don?t have to be. Those that
choose to do so seem to be just fine with the industry. I found an
interesting article/interview with a quite famous porn star who is
happy with her profession who feels ?empowered? because of it:
[ http://www.xmag.com/archives/11-12-jun04/feature1.html ] tells of a
similar story of one actress.
However, there are still many personal and social issues that arise
with life in the adult entertainment industry, exemplified by this
?In porn, there is no office and the line between personal life and
professional life is blurred to the point of irrelevance.
"When you work in the industry, you sign on for problems with
relationships," Mitchell says.
It's rare that you'll find a happily married porn performer. It's even
rarer that you'll find a porn performer married to someone outside of
the industry. In porn relationships, abnormality is the norm.
"It's far more important to find someone to sleep next to than sleep
with," says Margold, a former performer who currently runs Protecting
Adult Welfare (PAW), a counseling and performer welfare group. Margold
recounts a story from the 1970s when he and co-star Sue Kay were
staying in a motel in the California desert after a day of shooting.
"I was completely worn out after shooting that day," Margold says.
"Sue Kay came to my room and said, 'Can I sleep with you?' and I said,
'Oh my God, I can't f**k anybody anymore.' And she said, 'No, no, I
just want to sleep next to you' and she crawled up next to me and went
Rarely do performers find long lasting relationships with those
outside of the industry. Laurie Holmes, a performer active in the
1980s and widow of porn legend John Holmes, has been married twice ?
formerly to John and currently to performer Tony Montana.
"When you marry someone who's done what you've done and more, they
can't throw it back at you," Holmes says.
"You're always going to be called a 'f**king whore,'' Mitchell says.
"No one fights fair when they've got an ex-porn star as a spouse."
Jasmine Klein, a performer and a single mother of three children in
her mid-20s, is determined to keep her personal life and professional
"My life revolves around my children, it revolves around my family,"
Klein says. "I'm a member of the PTA! Being a single parent, who do
Klein's kids don't know what she does for a living.
"I tell them that that mommy does production management, because I
also do production management, on movies they can't see," she says.
"They will probably find out eventually and if they do, I'll explain
to them, 'Look, mommy had to make a living to support everyone.'"
As Klein asserts, keeping a porn career secret is not always the best
way to deal with the issue.
"At Christmas I was visiting my family in Texas and my brother and his
friend went to a club, and his friend pulled me aside and said 'I've
just got to tell you, I really respect your work,'" Klein says. "And
he said he worked at a porn shop and I was hanging on a poster on the
Klein's mother now knows all about her career and says she's fine with it.
"She says it's great as long as I'm happy," Klein laughs.
"My dad's dead but I'm sure he'd be high-fiving his friends."
Unlike Klein, Jane Hamilton, 45, a former performer who now directs
movies for VCA, reconciles her porn career with her family life
through frank and open dialogue.
"Yes I'm a pornographer, yes I'm a mother of two teenage boys," Hamilton says.?
There are resources available, such as the PAW Foundation
which seek to help support the personal lives of those in the porn
industry. There are many large organizations and conventions with the
sole purpose of protecting women and promoting their welfare in the
industry, such as that described here: [
The biggest threat to the welfare of adult stars today, however, is
probably the threat of HIV infection, which simply wasn?t an issue 20
years ago. Although frequent testing is mandatory among actors and
actresses, more and more stars and producers are requiring the use of
condoms in scenes, such as described: [
I trust these resources have shed light on your question, but if you
require a clarification, please request one, especially before rating
this answer. Thank you for bringing this question to Google Answers!