What separates the pros from the amateurs?

There are likely two unique conceptions that come to mind when one is asked to describe those who work in pornography: that of the professional who stars in full-length films, and that of the amateur who might produce content on their own or appear in smaller, lower budget features.

Aside from the distinctions mentioned above, there are other ways definition can be given to separate industry professionals from amateurs. So what are these distinctions, why are they important, and how is it all featured in Accounting for it All?

Keeping it Professional

To keep things simple, we’ll present common traits associated with professional adult actors in list form.

Professionals generally

  • appear in full-length, scripted features
  • are represented by agents or other industry professionals
  • earn more for their on-camera work than do amateurs or newbies
  • work on sets with a full production team

Amateur Hour

In contrast to professionals, amateurs generally

  • are new to the industry
  • are introduced to the industry through lesser-known recruiters
  • do not have representation
  • produce their own material with a webcam or other more readily available recording equipment
  • participate in or run their own live cam shows
  • earn less for the same work as their professional counterparts

The Space Between

The lists above likely feature few surprises. Interestingly, however, the line between professionals and amateurs has become increasingly blurred. What would traditionally be considered professional performers might now participate in cam shows of their own to earn money on the side, and some unagented actors might occasionally take part in longer, scripted features after their independent work lands in front of the right eyes.

Granted, we’re speaking in generalities here; everyone’s experience is unique. This should, however, provide a general framework through which one can begin to further understand the two conceptions mentioned at the start of this post.

It’s important to work toward a more nuanced understanding of these distinctions in order to challenge one’s archetype of adult actors, which is likely informed overwhelmingly by society’s prevailing narratives about pornography and those who work in the adult industry. As we’ve covered in many posts on this site, these narratives—though often with some basis in reality—can paint a woefully incomplete picture of the diversity of experience one might have when working in adult acting.

Accounting for it All

In Accounting for it All, our main character, Robin, is introduced to the industry through an online recruiter. Robin ultimately works in “the space between,” finding herself both in feature-length work while also camming on the side to earn extra money.

Over the course of the novel, her popularity waxes and wanes, leading her into and away from the more professional side of the industry in a cycle that’s almost as expected as the phases of the moon themselves.

But what does Robin encounter specifically in her journey? Where does it lead her in the end? To find out, you’ll have to wait until November 2018 when Accounting for it All is released through NineStar press. Until then, you can subscribe to this blog, our newsletter, or follow the book’s author on Twitter.


“Why do people typically get involved in the porn industry?” on Quora

“An Honest Conversation with a Woman who Works in the Adult Film Industry” on The Financial Diet

“The Adult Industry Doesn’t Pay as Much as You Think” on The Daily Beast

The Feminist Porn Book edited by Tristan Taormino, et al

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