An article was recently released in The Daily Beast (written by Aurora Snow) that asks … Can Porn Stars Stay Faithful?
When your job is getting paid to have sex, lines become blurred between the professional and the personal. And for porn stars, it can be tough to maintain a monogamous relationship.
My civilian boyfriend at the time knew I was a porn star, something I was always very upfront about before ever getting involved. In my personal life, I’ve always felt monogamous. I get attached, become overly loyal, slightly possessive, and only have eyes for my significant other. We were in a committed relationship, I didn’t want to date other people, and I certainly didn’t want him to. We never discussed my work in too much detail, and it was never a problem until he came across one of my most recent scenes online.
From everything I’d described my boyfriend imagined me in a make-up chair, a set filled with lights, crew members, a director calling action, and awkward movie sex. While those shoots do exist, not every shoot is a major production. This particular scene was POV, just me and the site owner in his home studio, and like always I gave the performance I was paid to give. Acting or not, it was a little too real for my boyfriend. To him, it felt like cheating.At the time, I’d been in porn too long to see his point. I was desensitized to the conflicts my job created having primarily dated within the industry. I’ve never been a cheater; I don’t believe in it, and I’d leave a relationship before I ever cheated. Yet to my non-industry boyfriend my work made me one.
Porn stars handle monogamy differently than most. Even though going to work means having sex with various partners, porn stars in committed relationships often consider those monogamous.
Paid sex counts as work, so any sexual encounters on the job shouldn’t count. Not emotionally, anyway.
Work stress might be a common hurdle for couples, but when your work is sex the relationship becomes an emotional minefield. Established performer and director Derrick Pierce jokes that the best way for porn stars to handle a relationship is delicately. With over a hundred scenes to his credit, Pierce has learned how to handle the conflicts his work creates and explains the complications of maintaining a relationship, in or out of the industry.
“When you date someone who isn’t in the business, all they know is you’re having sex with someone else and they don’t care who it is. Some say, ‘I accept what you do but I don’t want to hear about it,’ so you can never come home and talk about your day, no matter how horrible it was. In their mind how can you have a horrible day when you’re having sex? If you can’t talk about your day, how do you involve your significant other in your day-to-day functions?” says Pierce.
There’s nothing wrong with having a good day at work, but when you’re in the adult business few significant others want to hear about it. Due to the intimate nature of the work, most people still find it morally inappropriate, a fact anybody who dates a porn star will have to face frequently.
“Your significant other ends up defending you all the time, even when you aren’t around. They have to defend you to their friends, their family, and on top of that they have to deal with what you do,” says Pierce. Being in porn changes a person’s reality, after so many years it feels almost normal, so it’s easy to forget how much flak anyone you date might receive for it.
Dating a fellow porn star certainly simplifies things. It also relieves some of the social pressures when meeting the family; no one’s going to focus on your job if you both do it. The problem then can become not what you’re doing, but whom you’re doing it with.
“I tell the girl I’m with she can’t work with a certain male performer, not because I’m jealous but because he doesn’t deserve to work with a girl I’m intimately involved with. The guy just doesn’t respect women… I don’t care who you work with as long as you get treated with respect,” says Pierce.
This goes both ways when you’re dating within the business. Overhearing another female performer gush about how many times your boyfriend made her orgasm or how they kept going at it when the cameras stopped might make a girl feel insecure. Of course, part of the male performer’s job is to make his co-star feel good about herself—the better she feels the easier his job is.
“Even when I find a girl attractive, I have to go above and beyond because I want to make sure we have solid rapport. I don’t want to leave any room for her to have a bad day,” says Pierce. “I also have to do that same thing for the girl I’m dating; whatever I do for someone at work I have to do even more for the girl I’m dating, really—go the extra mile.”
Like most performers, Pierce considered his relationships monogamous because the sex he was having was strictly for work. “When I dated a civilian I don’t think they saw it as monogamy. I think they just saw it as me having sex with a paycheck attached, but when dating someone in the industry that’s all they care about. If there’s a paycheck attached it becomes acceptable, as long as you get paid for it,” says Pierce.
It’s easier for porn stars to think of sex in less emotional, intimate terms when money is involved. That’s what differentiates work from play. But it’s almost impossible for people outside the business to comprehend. In addition to always wondering how they measure up to your last scene partner, they may never get over the “feeling” of being cheated on.
Adult starlet Layton Benton says it’s hard to maintain any kind of relationship while pursuing a career in porn. “Honestly, I haven’t had one successful relationship since I’ve been in porn,” says Benton. “I’ve been in a monogamous relationship and an open relationship, but I’m a very jealous person so I felt like the open relationship was harder. Even though I like to see my partner having sex with another girl, I don’t feel comfortable if he’s texting her afterwards.”
Despite the obvious pitfalls, Benton is more at ease dating civilians (people outside of the industry) than her fellow XXX colleagues. “I couldn’t deal with my partner having sex on camera all the time. I know that’s a selfish answer, but that’s how I feel.” For now, Benton says it’s so much easier to be single while working in porn.
Sex has a tendency to stir powerful emotions, good and bad. While I dated and eventually married outside of the porn industry, my relationship wouldn’t have worked had I continued in the business. I’d always planned to retire from my porn star ways before turning 30, and from a family perspective that was the right choice—for me.