The Story of a Sex Worker

July 18, 2004

Get Off My Chest

There are a few things I have to get off my chest. Most people in this world thought there was nothing lower than porn, and certainly nothing lower than a porn actress. To people who were never behind the scenes, we probably did look like perverts, sex-crazed and brainless. But most times that was far from the truth. We were people with plans and ideas. I guess that's one reason I'm writing about it. To defend myself. To show that under any exterior, even one so glazed in sweat, there's a decency sometimes better than what is considered "normal." Call it a manifesto for the pre-judged.

Everyone in the world wanted a community. It was one of the most urgent of desires. Porn may have been an outlaw business but, almost overnight, I belonged. I was content for the first time in my life. That was an achievement most people in straight jobs could never boast. On some level I had made it. I was paid well. The movies were packaged and sold just like any movie and I felt some pride that I was going to be turning on some meek, lonely men. Watching a porn video might release some of their bitterness, make them less tense the next day when they went on to sell whatever it was they sold.

Certainly some people in the industry were mind-numbingly dumb, just like the blonde bimbo nympho stereotype. The brain of a child, the body of a woman. And of course some of the videos could be mindless. The work didn't reach any deeper than the body. But the humor was no more mindless than a sitcom. The acting no less forced than a soap opera. The situations no more degrading than most of TV. I didn't know why people thought porn was any more demoralizing than "Fear Factor" or "America's Funniest Home Videos." People eating insects, people falling on their ass, people actually hurting themselves and then having strangers laugh about it. I'd rather look like I was in sexual ecstasy, a beautiful experience, than look like a bumbling white-trash fool.

We worked hard as any job, even harder. It wasn't easy to fake it that long under hot lights and cameras. More than once I saw a girl give a glance to the camera, concerned if she was being filmed during one of the most convincing orgasms you've ever seen. I'm sure that when the girl had a real orgasm when she was with her boyfriend it was something entirely different. But in the studio room she could fake it like the best actress faking an accent. Certainly the movies were about flesh. But so were fashion magazines. So was everything, for that matter. We just didn't bullshit.

I may just be defending myself to myself, trying to make sense of it, to understand the strange events that have gone on in my life. What I do know is that day at Bernard's I made seven hundred dollars cash. I had more money in my pocket than I'd ever had in my entire life. I was also happier than I'd been in a long while.


  • At 11:48 PM, Blogger sinsulita said…

    Love the honesty.

  • At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hang in there, Shirley!

  • At 3:36 AM, Blogger Evan said…

    Don't worry about those people who think you're an idiot. They don't count. The most important thing is being able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be pleased with what you see. It sounds like you're on a good path, so screw those who doubt you. Keep up the good work.

  • At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I say Fuck 'em all hun! If you are having a good time and making an honest living, then what else matters? Some people are just too close-minded to even consider all the possibilities life has to offer. I say ignore 'em and keep the rest of us coming back for more informed... we love ya. :)

    Just Me

  • At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great insight! Love your blog. Keep up the interesting writing. Thanks.

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger Lady Charisse said…

    Just do what makes you happy. That's all that matters. Respectability should have nothing to do with your actions or your feelings. It's when you put other's feelings and reactions into the equation that you disturb your inner peace


  • At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wish this were all true and written by a porn star. Everytime I read an entry, I want this to be the case.

    Sadly, it's in the details that we see it's written by an aspiring (male) writer. It's not that there's too much detail, as some people have said, it's the stereotypical, two-dimensional characters and interactions between them.

    I'm offering this as constructive criticism. The eroticism is let down by this.

    Best of luck with it in the future- I hope your craft continues to develop.



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