Every now and then I get an email, comment, or a tweet or a myspace or facebook, fetlife, ourchart, digiromp, etc… etc… etc… message from someone wanting to move out to SF to start a career in queer porn. As talent.
Fuck. I can’t keep it a secret any longer.
The truth is, there’s not much money doing queer porn. (If you’re surprized, then we’ve been doing a good job at raising the industry standards.)
There’s shit for pay. Like, very very very little. Like, you probably don’t want me to actually tell you how much I made doing some films because it might make you sad. Note: it doesn’t make ME sad, because I do it for the passion of it all. (Of course, I’d always do it for MORE money, but that’s not where the industry is at right now — I have hopes that with a growing market, yes, one day we will all be able to be queer pornstars. And make a living off having sex on camera the way we want to without having to shave our armpits – let alone our ass hairs.)
Queer porn has come a long way. Pink & White Productions pays, as far as my experience goes, the best in the industry. Even their website CrashPadSeries.com pays adult industry standard, when you consider how little time is spent on set for sex, and how really frickin’ flexible what you’re expected to do sexually, or look. For example, one could get a standard Girl/Girl gig — that is, if one didn’t identify as trans — and have to shave all their body hair and do exactly what the director wanted, which could be even worse if their co-star let them know as they met before the scene that “just so they didn’t get any ideas, I’m not a gay”. Uh, yeah. THAT’S worth the money. (Note: Not a personal experience but one that I’ve heard many times.)
Other companies pay okay. I’m gonna be completely transparent about this because I think it’s telling, and people have a right to know. Some film companies have not paid me yet, granted, the scene was shot 2 years ago and has yet to be produced. I’ve even been approached to work with start up websites in other cities, where the owners wanted me to send in photo sets that I would have to arrange, for free, so that they could get their websites going. Um… Other companies have amazing work ethics and treat their models with respect. Madison pays the same for her films as CrashPadSeries.com pays for their website. However, with CrashPad I have an affiliate program so I make a cut everytime someone signs up through my site, sorta like royalties. Some other talent do affiliate programs as well. But most of us also have 1 or 2 day jobs. Especially in SF, this city is expensive.
I don’t want to rain on folks who do porn as a living, who do Girl/Girl as a living. I’m not out to shame them or invalidate what they do. I’m just saying that it’s not MY thing, and I’m lucky to know the directors I work with. I wish for the day when there is so much work being shot, so many films being released each week and so many websites featuring queer talent that I can actually work each week and make a living doing what I love. In the meantime, there’s the occasional AWESOME film or website shoot that comes around, and I’m thrilled to participate. And maybe in 5 years, this will be true. And at least in my case, I wouldn’t have had to retire.