10 Tips On Getting Started In The Adult Industry!
First of, starting in the adult industry is super vague…especially in 2020. It’s so different than 10 years ago, 20 years ago…even 5 years ago. Back in the 80s or 90s, performers could make a LOT of money having sex on camera. Since then, times have changed and the internet changed about everything. DVDs are so old school. Everything is online, from live performances to vod, the same way you can only own one song of an album you can just buy A scene online…and do you even have a DVD player anyway?
Today, the adult industry is a vast array of verticals that didn’t exist before. You don’t have to have sex with a complete stranger on camera to be considered part of the industry. You can be on cam alone, you can be on cam with your significant other even, you can produce your own porn…
With the availability of cameras, including your cellphone camera probably capable of filming in 4K, anybody can make some porn.
Let’s look at MY 10 “tips” ,if we can call that tips, on getting started in the adult industry. I might get technical, only because I believe this is what can make a difference in your future success…that if you decide to take the DIY route.
1. Think about it!
Yes, you better think about it because the internet is not going away tomorrow. And your friends, coworkers…family WILL find out. So you better be 10000% sure that this is what you want to do. Ask around. There’s certainly some experiences your future fellow performers will share with you whether it was a positive one or a bad one.
The other thing to think about is how you want to be involved in the industry. Like I said earlier this is a vast industry with a lot of different verticals. Are you dreaming about being the next Vixen Angel or do you just enjoy sex and think you could make money doing it? Are you more comfortable online alone in front of a camera or in a big orgy with complete strangers? Are you into BDSM or more vanilla? Those are important considerations.
2. Know your limits
Which brings me to number one. NEVER think that because you want to get into the sex industry that you have to do everything and anything. Unless you’re trying to up the ante and try a quintuple anal…although, by the time I write this, someone may have already done it 😉
Anyway, my point is you do NOT have to do what you don’t want to do. Yes most videos you’ll see on Pornhub have girl girl sex and it seems fairly “standard” in a lot of production. But what if you don’t link girls? Don’t think you have to do what you don’t want to do…EVER. Especially nowadays. There’s something for everybody, literally. If you like to dress up as a baby and pop balloon there’s a niche for that too. So you don’t have to have sex with a girl, you don’t need to do anal…heck you don’t have to give blowjobs if this is not your thing.
Of course the more you niche yourself, the less people you’re reaching but also the more vanilla you are the more you’re competing against a lot of other performers just like you. So there’s no right or wrong. The first thing is know yourself and think about what you want to do and what you want to achieve.
Now, if you’re open to anything, it’s good too. Take your time. Don’t “give away” your anal scene 6 months into your career. I remember back in the 90s, they would make a big deal about the first anal or the first DP. Make people wait for that shit!
Now an important question for you is are you looking for someone representing your interests? I’m only giving my two cents here as this is a question you’ll have to ask yourself. What we’re talking about here is an agent. Do you really need an agent? Are agents really protecting your interests? There’s a few agencies out there. I’m not gonna name them, they’re easy to find. And the main reason I’m not name dropping is that I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m endorsing one or the other. Personally I think finding an agent is like finding a friend, it’s really hard! You know the kind of friend that you can rely on when shit hits the fan, that you can trust to have your best interest at heart etc… And I know some agents are exactly like that. Go ahead and contact them and if you hit it off, good. It might help you find some work faster. Some producers works with specific agents and trust them to send them performers that they believe in…but we’ll get into that later.
My personal opinion is that agents are going to be irrelevant soon, if not already. The main reason I’m saying this is that with social media and how people communicate with each other these days, it’s very easy for someone to reach out to about anybody. If you’re someone motivated you’ll find your way in. If you want to be taken care of not have to worry about anything, an agent might still be the best option for you. But some agencies might have specific “requirements” and you might be out of the “norm”…”you need new boobs”, “you need to lose weight”….could be what you’ll hear. Back early 2000s someone we all know today. Joanna Angel, started Burning Angel because if you were heavily tattooed back then it was a little complicated to find work. So if you don’t want to hear how you should be or what you should be doing, forget about the agent to represent you.
In fact, a few well known pornstars like Romi Rain went “free agent” recently. I’m guessing the main reason is to take full control of their career.
4. Make a name for yourself
Ok so now you thought about it, you made your decision, figured out what you want to do and decided if you needed an agent or not…But Jane Doe is not gonna cut it..or may be it will. In other words, you have to find a name for yourself. There’s a few porn name generators out there, you can play with it if you want see what they can come up with. This one seems fairly good if you want to try it. Back in the days it would have been fairly easy to find a name but today it’s a bit more complicated. You have to make sure the social medias are available, potentially your domain name etc etc. It’s not just finding a name that you like, it’s making sure that you will be able to use it online. Without an online presence and strong branding, I don’t care how good you are, it’s going to be a tad bit complicated for you to stick out.
What I usually use is namecheckr to check a name against all the social media platforms and domain names all in one place….and a good old Google search too. Let’s say you want to use ”Alice jones”, well a Google search will show you that from poet to actress there’s a few Alicia Jones. To show up on a Google Search might be complicated. I know some of you add xxx at the end and call it good but I don’t think it is. Try to search for “Romi Rain” now…you see the point.
So your name might take you a while to figure out but this is important because your name is your brand. Here’s a few thoughts when it comes to name:
- Avoid numbers or generic terms. BigBoobs36 might be relevant because you do have big boobs but nobody will find you.
- Try to stick with the same name on each social media platform if you can. Although for non adult friendly social network being under the radar might also be a very good idea. For example Rocky Emerson branded as “thatonetattooedgirl” on Instagram.
- Don’t be a smart ass by replacing letters with numbers like 0 for o because your name with the o was not available. You can imagine how hard it would be to find you.
- If you have to spell your name, it’s probably not the best name. If there’s any question like is it one s or two, or is it with a I or y…then it can be the difference between finding you or someone else.
- Don’t over complicate things either. A lot of performers are using their real first name and you can see why it’s convenient. First when people call you, you don’t have to think twice if they are calling you, the real you or the person behind you. So yes it’s only practical…and may be your real name is a good name too. I don’t know a lot of performers that kept their entire full name but Tana Lea is one of them. Refer to number one first as using your real name has ramifications potentially…although, don’t fool yourself, someone will give your name on social media eventually. This is not a secret anymore. Especially if you are born with the internet and social media, you may already have a Facebook account or if you’re older like me a MySpace account, yes that was a thing.
5. The first impression will last
This is the case in pretty much in any situation. The way you conduct yourself will change how people see you and this is no different in the adult industry. Please, thank you….go a long way, trust me.
It’s not because you’re a “star” or soon to be a star that you can be mean, or bitchy…yes I know some of the fans can be trolls, mean, idiots….all of the above. But always stay positive if you can. The way you conduct yourself online can have a big impact on the future of your career. The same way future employers watch future employees Facebook and social media, producers and companies do watch your social media. If it’s mostly negative they won’t want to take the risk to hire you and take a risk that the way you are online is the way you will be on set.
On set, same rules apply of course. It seems obvious but be nice to everybody from the director to the assistant guy. Productions rely on a group of people working together to make some magic. They don’t want or need someone to come in and be mean, needy, divas…I’m not saying some of you are, but it’s always a concern for producers to have a performer that is gong to be difficult to deal with.
6. Self produce!
This one is important even more so now that production is pretty much all shut down because of self distancing. Whether you chose the working with companies or DIY route, ALWAYS produce your own content. The main reason if you only work for companies is that the content you are paid to shoot does NOT belong to you therefore you’re paid once and that’s it. The content YOU produce is yours forever and you can make money off of it forever as well. If for any reason there’s a production shut down which happens from time to time, you always have a backup plan. So signup for whatever clip platform you want, Manyvids, Clip4sale, Iwantclips or any fan platforms, there’s plethora out there, and upload your content there. Don’t overthink it. No need for complicated production. If your fans will find your super professional well produced content, they might be interested in homemade videos. In fact on Pornhub for example, homemade is way more watched than professional content. You probably remember the sex tape trend. A sex tape is just a home made video of people having sex. Do the same. Your phone is probably good enough for that too. Anything that looks more real is always better.
Networking is very important in any industry and again the adult industry is no different. And it’s so easy to get to know someone these days, on social media AND in person. There’s a lot of adult industry events out there where you can meet and collaborate with fellow performers. That part has a cost of course. Traveling across the country to attend an event can be costly. But it’s also an investment…well potentially. Whether it’s a B2B (business to business) event like Xbiz or a fan even like AVN there’s good networking opportunity everywhere. Although to start with I would definitely choose a business event like Xbiz. Why? Because you’ll get to meet potentially all the people that are working for YOU. If you do cam, all the cam companies will be there, if you work with producers, chances are they will be there too, people who pay you will be there, industry lawyers will be there…and that’s always good mojo to network with all the people that make the industry what it is today. Other events like AVN would be more to network with your peers which is important as well. And meeting people face to face is very important. Social media is a good introduction but you only know a person once you got to meet face to face and get a feel for who they are…in real life.
8. Reach out
I started by saying this is only MY input on the industry and how to start. Every person is different, everybody has their own experience, their own advise etc…so reach out! Don’t believe anything I say. Take everything with a grain of salt. Because this is based only on my experience or just my two cents or what I believe in. First I’m a guy so if you’re a woman it’s possibly very different for you as so many levels. You might think an agent is super important for you and you think it’s your first step…go ahead! You absolutely want to do anal on the first shoot…be my guest. You make your own experience in this industry. If anything reach out for referrals or references. If you publicly state your will to start in the industry, there will be a LOT of people reaching out to you to work with you. I’m sure you’ll figure out how to weed out the guys that are just the random dude wanting to have sex with you with no experience…but asking for references is always a good idea. Another woman might give you an honest feedback about a specific performer. Are they nice? Rough? …weird? It’s always good to know. And also safety first. If you just started you don’t know anybody and having references can ease your mind at least. I’m sure a first shoot can be a little stressful.
But reaching out to fellow performers can be as simple as asking for what brand of lube is best, tips to prepare for a scene, and many tip in general. It can always be helpful to learn from the ones that came before you.
This one is mostly for people who decide to make their own content, which is a perfectly acceptable route by the way. With the crazy cost of production, competition is fierced. But there’s so many platforms for “amateurs” content out there that you can make a lot of money doing that. By the way amateur doesn’t mean bad. It means not a professional, studio type content. It’s not because you’re considered amateur that your content is going to be poor quality. In fact there’s so many things you can get for cheap that can make your content very good quality. If you don’t want to break the bank, don’t look further than in your pocket..or your purse…wherever your phone is. Unless your phone is 5 years old or more, chances are it can record at least 1080p, if not 4K. And that’s way good enough…as long as you use your phone horizontally NOT vertically like I can see here and there. It’s fine if it’s for Snapchat but if it’s for a clip you’re gonna sell remember to use your phone horizontally. Now phone is good enough for video but it’s definitely not good enough for audio. And actually I see a lot of videos where the audio is not really good enough and audio is probably THE most important thing. Yes you heard it right. Imagine your favorite movie and now imagine bad audio and cheesy music. The audio is that secondary thing that you notice is bad only when it is. There’s NO camera out there, webcam, camcorder, phone…that has a sufficient audio recording device, and often records way too many things so you can hear the neighbors next door, the hand touching the camera….EVERYTHING. You can get an external microphone for fairly cheap, including for your phone…anything that can isolate more frequencies so you only hear clearly what’s directly in front of the camera aka directional microphone. If you are a geek like me, you go all in and have a totally separate audio recording with a microphone on a boom. Post production aka editing might be a little more tedious but it’s totally worth it trust me. If you need gear advise, that’s where you refer to 8 and reach out to anybody…including me;)
10. Get help
I’ll finish this top 10 with the getting help part which I see a little bit different than the reaching out part. You can reach out to your peers and get advise, input, etc. But if everything is overwhelming and it can be, time to seek help from the pros. You need professional pictures for whatever reason and your friend can’t help you or your phone is not good enough or your selfie skills are questionable…find a photographer. Here again, remember that there’s a LOT of what I call DWC (Dude With a Camera). Nowadays everybody can own a fancy camera and call themselves photographer. That’s the part where you rechristen out to get some good referrals. EVERYTHING could go wrong in a photoshoot with someone that is not really a photographer.
You know you have to do a lot of social media…and it’s a full time job on it’s own…and you can’t keep up? Find professional help. There’s a few companies specialized in social media that can help you….or you can find an assistant. There’s lots of people looks to show off their skills…even better for free. So why not use that extra help with someone you trust obviously.
If you want someone to throw your name out there and help you communicate the best way possible, you might want the help or a PR agency. There’s a few in the industry…and again get referrals!
Last but not least…youtube is your friend. There’s nothing you can’t find on youtube….from how to make a self portrait with a phone to how to use any social media, to video production, video editing….make up tutorials…Personally that’s my go to when there’s something I don’t know. Yes believe it or not I don’t know everything 😉
Browse around and there’s always the answer out there.
Ok I’m not gonna lie, finding 10 things was hard. I feel like I may have forgot a few things here and there. Like I said at the beginning, there’s so many avenues in the industry and depending on what you want to do a few of these steps might be completely useless. Because of ultimately the industry itself is what you’re interested in and not necessarily in front of the camera than it would be a completely different discussion. After all you can be in the industry behind the scenes, holding a camera or editing…or building sites, selling content, etc…and no fluffer is not a thing anymore, forget about it!
If you think there’s things I should have mentioned, please let me know. Getting in the industry is a very personal experience, there’s no right or wrong and my 2 cents might not be yours. If you want to share YOUR experience, please do!