From what I can tell, there are a few reasons that people go into acting/modelling in the porn industry. The first is to satisfy their exhibitionist needs. The second is to satisfy financial needs. The third is to satisfy a need for attention and validation.
The first two reasons I understand completely. Exhibitionist streak anyone? Who hasn’t thought about doing porn, even vaguely and remotely? God knows if I’m in the right mood I love an audience. Financial needs can be broken down to urgent need for a sudden injection of a decent chunk of cash or simply a job for people with an open mind and both options are valid if you have the guts to do it and you aren’t concerned (too much) about how it may affect you later on.
The third reason is the one that scares me. The porn industry is a place that will chew you up and spit you out if you aren’t strong enough to cope or doing it for the wrong reasons. Erik Rhodes (second from the right) died earlier this year after a very long and public struggle with depression and acceptance. Erik had even had himself circumcised in an attempt to “fit in”. The man was a very successful porn actor but never thought he was attractive or muscular enough.
A guy I photographed that will be in my next exhibition has left Australia and has done the first of what he hopes will be many porn movies. If I thought he was emotionally ready I’d wish him well, but I’m worried about him. He has cut all ties with his friends here after two of them, who were also in the photos I took, asked him to take them off his porn persona profile on facebook. I don’t mind him using imagery I’ve taken to promote his porn career but I completely understand the other guys not wanting to be included in those photos. He is the typical young guy that if it’s not posted on facebook, then it didn’t happen and he does everything for attention. If you say anything that isn’t blindly supportive, you get blocked, as we have all found out. I just don’t think he’s ready for the cutthroat nature of the porn industry.
Yes there are some very supportive and protective people out there in the industry but ultimately it’s a business, a big business, it’s not going to hold your hand and gently stroke your ego. How is he going to cope when a new flavour of the month comes along and he’s not getting the attention anymore, if he even gets any to start with?