The Porn Industry Has Changed…
They say the oldest profession in existence to this day is sexual intercourse for monetary gain; also known as prostitution. A lot has changed since the medieval times where goats were exchanged for woman as property. Now with the advancements of technology and evolution of humanity we have attempted to add a sense of prestige to prostitution with a change of name, “pornography”, and a change of title, “adult performer”. In this essay I will be sharing a brief history of pornography, problems within the industry, and where the industry is going from here.
In 1972 one of the most popular adult films to hit theatres was released; Deep Throat by Gerard Damiano’s. It was a high value production with a complex storyline, cinema quality cameras, and they had to have studio time. Fast forward to today the production has changed from that, to random joes with a cellphone making porn. The point is anyone and everyone is making porn, and anyone and everyone is watching porn. In fact, according to a study done by Nielson Company reports that more than 21 million people accessed porn on work computers in March 2010 alone (Montopoli, 2010). That’s 29% of working adults. I don’t even feel comfortable checking my messages on my phone without worrying that my boss will see. I can’t imagine how 21 million people are comfortable watching pornography with their boss in the same building.
Life working in the industry as an adult performer can be polarizing. At one instance a performer named Carly Rae said that porn has “given me independence and self-esteem” (Knight, 2018). In the opposite spectrum a porn star by the name of August Ames committed suicide after receiving a barrage of negative remarks on her twitter post where she shared that she would not have sex with a performer who previously worked in gay porn as a “crossover performer” (Horn, 2018). They called her homophobic, discriminatory and in the end, Ames could not take the criticism and hanged herself. Her husband Moore believes that cyberbullying was what pushed her into despair. Ever since her death became public the adult industry has been doing more to address the mental health of their performers.
Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) is one of the few organizations that support adult performers and provide resources such as physicians, attorneys, therapists, and other professional support. Moore, August Ames husband, plans on establishing the August Project, a suicide prevention hotline staffed with people who understand the situations adult performers go through. APAC has a model bill of rights on their website that offers new performers, and existing performers, a code of ethics that “helps guide moral and to maintain a general positive experience in their careers” (2018).
The changes in technology have allowed us to be ever more connected with expanding networks of friends, acquaintances, and “followers”. As well as the advancements in camera technology we no longer need a high budget to create quality porn. Videos created on mobile phones are getting just as many views as a video from a film production company making it less enticing to spend the unnecessary money. Furthermore, the performers are finding themselves needing different ways to make money and since more people are getting into the industry the competition is fierce. Sex will never die because it is essential to life and if we want to thrive we innately, subconsciously, and genetically need to reproduce. The money will follow.
APAC. (2018). “Model Bill of Rights”. Retrieved from http://www.apac-usa.com/model-bill-of-rights
Horn, T. (2018). “How August Ames’ Suicide is Changing the Porn Industry”. Retrieved from
Knight, K. (2018). “Student-turned porn star: My job has ‘changed my life for the better’”.
Montopoli, B.(2010). “29% Accessed Porn on Work Computers Last Month”. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/29-accessed-porn-on-work-computers-last-month/