Where’s the downside?

There’s been little emphasis on affirming any of society’s prevailing narratives about pornography on this blog to date, but that doesn’t mean that those narratives are  without credence.

With that in mind, let’s explore some common conceptions of the adult industry and those who work in it, with the goal of looking for the tough truth that might motivate their proliferation.

Exploitation

In one of this blog’s earliest posts, we took a look at why some people might choose to work in the adult industry, specifically mentioning that it’s not always out of dire financial straits. In other words, the argument was that there are more reasons than abject desperation that motivate people to enter the field.

That said, there are of course no universals. In this interview, for example, one woman confirms her original reason for getting into pornography was because she was broke; financial necessity had her spending some of her last cash on a flight out to where she would go on to participate in her first on-camera shoot and begin her career.

As one can imagine, if an unsavory industry professional is aware of their talent’s financial troubles when on-boarding them, that knowledge could certainly be used to manipulate or take advantage of those who are new to the job.

In fact, we see this in Accounting for it All, though not as a result of its protagonist’s financial need, but rather her lack of experience. Robin’s agent, Brett, initially opens a number of doors for her, and positively introduces her to the industry with help from the other talent in his employ.

As time advances and Brett‘s financial situation becomes more harried, though, his attitude toward Robin is significantly less professional and, in some cases, downright ruthless. He even goes so far as to attempt to coerce one of Robin’s friends, Sarah, into working in the industry herself, something she’s clearly not comfortable with.

Still, Brett persists, and it’s easy to see how desperation (his own or that of anyone in real life on either side of these transactions) might push one to take exploitative action or be exploited in order to guarantee one’s safety.

Hindrance of Future Opportunity and Encumbrance of Relationships

Last week, I wrote about the common misconception that working in pornography necessarily precludes one’s ability to advance their career, and previously I’ve written about how one’s work in pornography can have an effect on the family or one’s own romantic life.

There’s a reason these misconceptions exist; in fact, in all three posts I alluded to the obvious professional and personal downsides one might encounter after having worked in the industry.

It’s for those reasons that I depicted these mal-effects in Accounting for it All. Though Robin achieves professional success over the course of her career, there are a number of hurdles she must clear to get there, many of which she likely wouldn’t have encountered were she working in any other field.

Personally, her decision to work in the adult industry dogs her on and off for years, with some family, friends, and romantic interests not responding positively once her work in adult acting is brought to light—either directly by Robin herself or through unintended discovery.

Despite all of this, Robin generally views her experiences in porn as positive; they’re what ultimately lead her down her path to self-actualization, even if that path has its brambly patches along the way.

Hard to Account for it All

Much more could be written from this perspective: it’s in line with society’s prevailing narratives, after all. The above should provide some context, though, and perhaps as this blog moves forward I’ll do occasional posts in this vein for the sake of balance.

We’ll leave it here for now, however, and pick back up next week with a post that sticks with our stated mission: to challenge society’s prevailing narratives about sex, sex work, and pornography.


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