The ASK FIRST Campaign and Tumblr was created to promote awareness and consensual behavior in all sexy, kinky, party, and public spaces. Consent is a mutual and enthusiastic agreement to participate. It is not only your responsibility to GIVE consent, it is also your responsibility to GET…
Ms. Holloway, I saw your complaint about the quality of your questions on Twitter and wanted to offer condolences. You're hot, funny, and sharp as a tack. If I could give you an idiot-filter, I totally would. In lieu of that, do you have any advice for someone (me) looking to start a career in porn?
But I want to talk about the stuff that nobody told me when I was a lil’ baby pornlette. I learned most of these things as I went, sometimes the hard way. And I am still fumbling through the mercurial Bay Area sex work world. But I have somehow made it through the last half of the decade in the adult industry with all of my fingers and toes, so hopefully these five suggestions will be helpful to you.
1. The porn community is difficult. There, I said it.
I say this with immense amounts of respect for everyone in the adult industry. We are a group of bold, unique, driven people. At our best we inspire, collaborate, and support each other. At our worst we are ego-maniacs, talk behind each other’s backs, and turn on each other. We over-use words like “community” and “ethics” but we don’t always put these words into practice. I have met some of my favorite people and dearest friends through sex work, and I am so grateful for that. But there was a learning curve about the nuances between friends, community, coworkers, and toxic people. I suggest maneuvering through the industry with an open mind and heart, but with the knowledge that at times porn life can feel like a cross between the movies ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘The Hunger Games’.
2. Learn what you need for self care. No really, please do it.
This is the hardest part of sex work for me to be consistent with. Performing can be intense on your body, but it is also really draining energetically. You must restore that energy to be sustainable in the adult industry. If my self care is off I start to have horrible sleeping and eating patterns, tears, tantrums, and once I quit working for almost 6 months - it’s no fun. Self care doesn’t have to be all bubble baths and massages - though those are wonderful and incredibly helpful. I definitely use things like turning my phone off, swimming, yoga, working on other projects, and taking time off in order to take care of myself. It is really beneficial to have a strong support system that includes other people in the industry. Sometimes no one else can quite ‘get it’ like a fellow coworker.
3. Have a plan for when things get hard. For some reason people feel entitled to have an opinion about people who take their clothes off on the internet. The peanut gallery can range from trolls on the internet, friends from high school, or your mother. Judgements and comments WILL be made about you - your choices, your body, your relationships, your family, your future, your safety, your values. Sometimes it is easy to roll your eyes and laugh off the ignorance. And sometimes it really hurts or is scary. Be ready for unsolicited opinions, and even threats to your safety or life. This when your support system of fellow sex workers comes in very handy.
4. Don’t be a social media monster.
Social media is the biggest tool for porn and cam performers. Being in porn suddenly gives performers an online platform to talk about anything and everything. What I love about our community is that I can look at my twitter feed and see lots of sexy photos, porn links, AND news, interesting articles, and fresh viewpoints. Having a platform for things we care about is exciting and powerful… but sometimes power destroys!
I have witnessed online meltdowns. I have seen twitter fights ruin someones day, week, and career. It’s not all boobs and cat memes out there.
-Picking your online battles carefully. If it is worth it to you - go fucking get them in 140 characters or less! But sanity and sleep should always win over being “right” online. Know when to walk away.
-TRY not to use twitter as a diary. We will talk about you at dinner parties. #sorrynotsorry. Same goes for drunk tweets, vague tweets, and #hastagsofADELElyricsthatarereallysecretmessagestoyourex #oops
-Consider your social media sites as your professional XXX calling card. This is where producers, directors, peers, and fans/clients will look to check you out. It may be a good idea to think about how your posts promote your career goals or brand.
-The whole world is watching! The media is very interested in sex workers right now, they want to know what the fuck we are up to all of the time. This does not mean to change or censor yourself - just be aware of and ok with whatever impression you leave online.
We ALL do things on this list at times. Don’t stress too much about your online presence - just be yourself and have some fun with it.
5. Know your worth.
Porn can be so fun, and it can make some of your wildest fantasies come true. But it’s also a job that you get paid for. Get familiar with going rates, and stick to them. If a producer asks more of you - ask for more money. Be smart with the amount and types of performances that you donate. Sometimes volunteering yourself to projects and companies is a great way to gain exposure and let the industry know what you are capable of. But give these same people a reason to hire you to come back.
I hope these recommendations will help save you some blood, sweat, and tears as you embark into the porn world. Best of luck with your XXX endeavors!
Summer inspires me to do the best of very bad things. Something about the heat makes me restless and excited…I feel like anything can happen. In the summer you also get to have Popsicle after sex, and I like frozen treats.
Your questions are getting better, and making me feel less mad at the internet. Thanks xo
I have always wanted to be raped by a leather clad mistress with a huge strap on dildo, do you do theses like this?
I don’t care about what you want, and your question doesn’t even make sense. How about you try proof reading your emails before you hit send.
General Rant: I’m super disappointed in your tumblr questions lately. I do not even answer most of them because they are sooooo stupid. When I do, I have to be a bitch to illustrate just how idiotic they are. I give you guys all the smutty boobs and ass that I possibly can - at least TRY to be creative or entertain me with your tumblr questions. Or just don’t ask.
And stop sending me your phone numbers - I’m not going to call you, but I will start posting that shit to the public. Then other stupid people will call you.
I’m actually a really nice lady and pretty easy to impress. So stop being so dumb.
Have you ever rimmed a guy? And what do you think of rimming in general (both giving and receiving)?
What a question before breakfast… So I’ve done a lot of fun things with butts… I’m pretty much into most things booty related as long as it’s clean and consensual. *IF* I was picking favorite spots, there’s prob a lot of other areas a would want to put my mouth on first. My butt tastes pretty cool though ;)
I'm a DMAB agender person who presents femininely. I don't know who else to ask, but are there companies who want this sorta person to do cam shows? I'm sick of not being able to reflect who I am at a job even slightly.
That really sucks that you can’t be yourself at work - big, big hugs to you. Webcamming can be a job that allows you to present your gender and sexuality as you wish. You get to be your own boss in a chat room - choose your own name, clothes, toys, and actions/conversations that you want to participate in. What brings you the most money can influence all of that, depending on the clientele you attract and what your financial goals are. For me it felt the best to bring a lot of myself into my cam shows, and that brought me a great group of clients that clicked with my identity and personality. Other people enjoy having an online persona. And you can always blend the two as much as you like -cause you are your own boss! Most webcam companies do not discern who joins their website, so how you ID or present is a non issue for getting started. It’s all about who you can connect with and bring into your chat room to make it financially viable for yourself. I personally recommend www.skinvideo.com/cam - it is run by a bad-ass, bay area, queer babe named Kathleen. And the people who visit the site for the most part have been super sweet and open. I want to note that I recognize the privilege I have as a cis femme woman in the webcamming arena. Webcamming is a really tough gig (prob the hardest sex work job I’ve ever had) - it is a community that is pretty sexually open. But not everyone is coming from a sex/gender educated place…questions about your personal sex life and identity can be really intense. But it can also create some really fascinating conversations and experiences. If it’s something you are really interested in there definitely ways to operate that can that feel safe and fun for you. I hope that is helpful. Feel free to email me at Ms.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions. Best of luck! Xo
Of hidden knowledge, buried ambition, and secret sonnets scribbled on cocktail napkins; of aching arches, ranting cooks, condescending patrons, and eyes diverted from ancient Greece to ancient grease; of burns and pinches and savvy and spunk; of a uniquely American woman living a uniquely American compromise, I sing. I sing of the genius waitress.
Okay, okay, she’s probably not really a genius. But she is well-educated. She has a degree in Sanskrit, ethnoastronomy, Icelandic musicology, or something equally valued in contemporary marketplace. Even if she could find work in her chosen field, it wouldn’t pay beans—so she slings them instead. (The genius waitress is not to be confused with the aspiring-actress waitress, so prevalent in Manhattan and Los Angeles and so different from her sister in temperament and I.Q.)
As a type, the genius waitress is sweet and sassy, funny and smart; young, underestimated, fatalistic, weary, cheery (not happy, cheerful: there’s a difference and she understands it), a tad bohemian, often borderline alcoholic, frequently pretty (though her hair reeks of kitchen and bar); as independent as a cave bear (though ever hopeful of “true love”) and, above all, genuine.
Covertly sentimental, she fusses over toddlers and old folks, yet only fear of unemployment prevents her from handing an obnoxious customer his testicles with his bill.
She doesn’t mind a little good-natured flirting, and if you flirt with verve and wit, she may flirt back. Never, however, never try to impress her with your resume. Her tolerance for pretentious Yuppies ends with her shift, sometimes earlier. She reads men like a menu and always knows when she’s being offered leftovers or an artificially inflated soufflé.
Should you ever be lucky enough to be taken home by her to that studio apartment with the jerry-built bookshelves and Frida Kahlo posters, you will discover that whereas in the public dining room she is merely as proficient as she needs to be, in the private bedroom she is blue gourmet virtuoso. Five stars and counting! Afterward, you can discuss chaos theory or the triple aspects of the mother goddess in universal art forms—while you massage her swollen feet.
Eventually, she leaves food service for graduate school or marriage; but unless she wins a grant or a fair divorce settlement, chances are she’ll be back, a few years down the line, reciting the daily specials with her own special mixture of warmth and ennui.
Erudite emissary of eggs over easy, polymath purveyor of polenta and prawns, articulate angel of apple pie, the genius waitress is on duty right now in hundreds of U.S. restaurants, smile at the ready, sauce on the side. So brush up on your Schopenhauer, place your order—and tip, mister, tip. She deserves a break today.