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Ep.5 Porn Industry Is Dangerous. It’s Like Drugs

Aly is my next passenger. It was dark when I picked her up. First I saw a silhouette approaching my car. She had a backpack on her shoulder and a skateboard in her hands. We hit it off immediately. We found a lot in common.

“Since you are from the Russian descent I said hey… my grandpa is from Saint Petersburg actually, and I’ve been there few times, Moscow, ballet and stuff. That is the thing a lot of people don’t think about because I look more African American than I do Russian.”

Then she said she works in ‘adult industry.’ I had to ask her several times: ‘What do you mean by that?’ And she told me how it all began and why, at this point, it’s difficult to get out of it.

“It was a year ago when I turned eighteen on October 13th. I went on Craigslist, and it’s like: ‘Cam girls wanted!’ And I’m like: ‘What a joke, ha-ha-ha!’ I’m like: ‘My name is Aly, I’m eighteen years old, fresh out of gate…’ just being cute and spontaneous. It was was really legit, and I was like, this is cool. And I started doing camgirling. It was really hard at first because I didn’t know how to be sexy on camera. I was like, oh shit, when the guys are like, show me your boobs baby, I’m like, that’s so weird. And after six months when they say show me your boobs I’m like: ‘No, fuck you, get tip me first, get money first.’

“Since I’m African American in the porn industry, there are a lot of Russians. A lot of the Russian females I’ve seen they have these nice long hair, really small bodies and that’s what the porn industry wants – really small body girls. White, Spanish, they have a lot of Turkish women, a lot of Swedish and Russian women in the porn industry. They do a lot of soft core, a lot of delicate scenes and then, you know, the darker ones, like Arabian women, Colombians and Black women they do hard core. So we do get put through the worst just because… if someone says hey, I want to choke you for this much money’ we’ll do it if it’s worth enough money.

“Age limit is basically like twenty five and it will be a good-looking twenty five. If you are thirty in adult industry you have to look like basically a child because the popular vote is small, teeny girls who are young. They have these older guys who over-dominate them, that’s what the public likes. So once you’re like twenty five-thirty they are like, either fix yourself and make sure you look hot or you can age and get out of it.

“Their standard is so high, it’s like going into the modeling. You have to be so small. If you want to make five thousand dollars you have to be certain image: very small white girl or very open to do crazy shit like fisting. A lot of girls have altering of their faces, surgery on their genitalia because there’s so much you’re doing to yourself all the time that your sex drive goes down and your vagina looks different after a while. It’s not as young or youthful looking as before. So, with the porn industry I would like to say, fuck it. I don’t like it at all.

“You get this really weird world of guys who… people just need people they could talk to. They pay me just to talk to them and in my head I’m saying, what’s wrong with you? Because people are really lonely and you never realize it until you’re put in that situation where people would literally spend hundred of dollars on you just to talk to you because they’re that lonely. But there are the people who pay me to degrade myself, like there are guys who are in ‘daddy-daughter’ thing, so they’d pretend, hey be my ten-year-old daughter. And there are guys, like people get call me ‘n’ word all the time. It’s a thing, like race play. It’s very taboo and they’re doing that because that’s what they are fantasizing about and after they’re done with me they’re like: ‘Oh, thank you so much, you know, I don’t really mean it, it’s just a fantasy.’ I’m like: ‘I understand how things work.’

“There are those assholes who are mean to you. I get called fat all the time and I get called ugly, but I’m like: ‘Whatever. Fuck you. I’m not your preference.’ I have to be pretty. I have to put makeup on, I have to have standard of myself because everybody is looking at me all the time. Sometimes I wish I would just go back to school, be behind the computer, and just do coding for the rest of my life because having all this attention is ruining a lot of relationship for me. Sometimes my boyfriend is not so accepting of that because the porn industry does make you do few things.

“The money is fast, so quitting is like: ‘Maybe I should quit.’ But living this lifestyle so comfortable – and that’s why the adult industry is so addicting. And there the bad sides, like it’s easy to get into drugs and it’s very dangerous too. That’s how I got – I’m going to get a little personal here – my first STD I got through doing porn and the end result of that is I got pelvic inflammatory disease and now I can’t have kids. Is it still worth it? I’m still doing this adult industry. I may not be doing in the scenes anymore but I’m still in it. After destroying my body why would I continue doing it? It’s just a money and if I don’t have money how am I suppose to live? Getting paid four hundred – five hundred dollars a day, if I’m lucky, is so much easier than standing at a Starbucks and being a barista.

“You think: ‘Oh, who wants to date someone who’s in porn industry?’ It makes you feel like a piece of meet that people have sex with and you don’t look at yourself as a human, you’re like: ‘Ugh…’ It does definitely make me go down into depression because it’s dangerous, it’s like  a drug. Porn can definitely make you feel worthless after a while.  To get my mind off of it I go play music, I go record or I go skateboarding. Little tiny things, like maybe walking my dog or maybe just walking down the train trucks and just talking to myself, like: ‘What are you doing? What do you want? Stop feeling so manic all the time.’

“So the industry is very cut-throat, very ruthless. I wanted to call out for one scene. I was really sick, throwing up, I’m like: ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ And they’re like: ‘Well, we gonna tell your boss and if you don’t want to get fired from you job maybe you should come in.’ I’m like: ‘Okay. I’m coming in.’

“You’d never think that those things going on next to a college or a news station. There’s a school right down the street from this cam girl studio. People don’t know anything until they hear and they’re like: ‘Oh my god, really?’ I’m like: ‘We’re not gonna come out naked and say hi to your children. It’s a business, like any other. We go, do our work and everybody leaves. There’s an audio engineer, we have this light guy. We have all those people and after we’re done we all pack up, get our checks respectfully and leave.

“After a year I’m already tired of it but the money is so consistent and so fast, like you don’t want to stop. I do feel like a loser sometimes because I see my friends and they’re going to Yale, and they’re going to all these cool universities and I’m like: ‘What? Am I stupid?’ At the end of the day, having all these clients is fun and all but it’s like you can’t do it forever. It’s going to destroy who you are.


listen to Open Conversation episodes also every Tuesday on KJZZ 91.5, NPR member station in Phoenix, Arizona, a bit after 9:30 am PST.

music by Loopstache, The Freeharmonic Orchestra, The Disco Boys

recorded, produced by Regina Revazova

note: this content is intended for listening. This transcript might not be accurate. We advise to listen to the podcast to get full range of emotional highlights and other story elements.