The other day I had a rather unpleasant run in with a certain South African. He is trying to launch himself into a porn career in the USA. The whole experience left me quite perturbed about this guy’s life choices, the fantasy world he finds himself trapped in and his shortsightedness about his own future. In all honesty, I felt sad for him. But hey, it is not my business if someone I don’t even know well is fucking up their own life, right? But this left me to wonder, do we ever think about the people who are in the porn movies we watch? Who they really are and how they ended up doing porn? And if we did would we still watch it?
I have nothing against porn. I have watched my fair share in my life and if there are people who choose to make a living by having sex in front of the cameras, amongst other things, all the power to them. However, I do have to admit that I have sometimes watched these movies and wondered what went wrong in these people’s lives that caused them to end up where they are. Did they decide to go down this path out of necessity or by choice?
Out of all the career choices out there I am not sure how someone wakes up one morning and decide that porn is the career choice for them. I mean the requirements for the job are rather superficial. You do not require any talent, you don’t have to be smart or educated, you don’t require any acting skills at all, and as was evident with the South African, you don’t even have to be particularly attractive. However, what you do require is a good to fair body, the ability to do things with your orifices that could potentially damage them forever and if you don’t fit those criteria all you need is a very large penis.
Also, quite disturbing is the fact that the majority of porn stars out there are also prostitutes on the side. Probably to help them make ends meet during those times when they aren’t working or getting work. With the new revival of bareback porn amidst the real threat of contracting HIV (even with PrEP that is supposed to prevent infection) these men are also risking their lives every time they shoot a scene. Not to mention what happens when they rent themselves out to clients who may be less than honest about their medical statuses. It is worrisome that these men would risk their lives all for the sake of money.
The word “porn star” is also a very strange concept to me because are these guys really “stars”? Are they actually famous? When one thinks about it they really aren’t. Most of these guys’ shelf life is normally just a couple of years, if that long. Their time being cut short either by them getting ill, when long term drug abuse takes its toll on their bodies and/or their lives or when the porn houses find younger better looking guys to replace them. And then what happens to them?
This is where the real problem comes in. Sure they have made their money while doing porn but I doubt that any of them have the foresight of investing it. What happens when they run out of money and they actually have to find a real job? Sure using an alias while doing porn seemingly will protect their true identities. But with the internet these days just merely using an alias would not hide their debauched backgrounds from their future employers. With just a couple of keystrokes any future employer will easily unearth their previous illustrious careers and unfortunately this will make most of these guys unemployable. They would be a huge reputational risk to any company. Where will they end up then? Have you ever heard of any porn star making it to the Fortune 500 list?
As for my run in with the South African it was pure coincidence. I used to be Facebook friends with him but he was a casualty of one of my many Facebook friends’ cleanup efforts. I stumbled upon his profile by chance and saw that he was travelling through the USA and I thought “Ah, good for him. Wonder what he is doing with his life now”. Then I discovered that he was working for one of the well-known porn houses over there. On first inspection of his profile it appears as if he wanted to create the impression that he was doing modelling, however it soon became evident that he was doing anything but modelling in the true sense of the word. I was disappointed.
I thought he had so much more potential than this and my first thought was what his parents would say. No parent in their right mind would want their child to do pornography or be proud of that fact. Being a parent myself I can honestly say I would be mortified. I did comment to that effect on his profile and tried to do so in the most respectful way I possibly could.
However, he did not respond well to my concern, rather opting to attack me and my child: Saying that we would use our son as a “sex slave” and that I was a child molester because he could “see it in my eyes”. I didn’t take this boorish attack personally. I mean how could I? It’s not like he was speaking from any moral high ground whatsoever. He also wasn’t the type of person whom has proved to have sound judgment or to be a good judge of character. His own behavior and life choices tarnished his credibility in all these areas so I just decided to let it go.
I don’t pretend to understand people or why they sometimes make life choices that, deep down, they know they will regret someday. People who go into porn probably have their own reasons for doing so and I hope they do so comprehending the consequences thereof. I hope they know that their porn career will follow them around for the rest of their lives and will encroach in all other aspects of their lives as well, possibly at the most inconvenient of times. Possibly at the times they can least afford it. It will impact on their future relationships, their family and careers or hopes thereof. When I watch porn now, I see the failed dreams and the failed aspirations of people who made certain life choices that will haunt them for days to come.