Everyone says “you can’t do this forever” when it comes to the adult industry, but is that true?
~ You can find all my links on my About Me ~
While all genders work in the sex industry I will be centering women in this article because that’s the experience I can speak to. Though I think everyone in front of the camera has thought about the effects of that all-important factor we can’t control. Aging.
There are a lot of stereotypes and stigma sexy workers have to face on a daily basis. If they’re open about their work, even with just close friends, chances are the question of ‘aging out’ has come up. Sex work is considered inherently temporary. There aren’t many jobs where you automatically ask what the person is going to do after it as if there were an invisible countdown ticking above my tits. When people ask me about it I usually point out how no one knows if they’ll be doing the same job in ten years.
Civilians don’t think of this as a career. I’ve been in the adult industry since 2013 and have had the same job longer than most of my millennial peers. Still, I’m always asked what I’m going to do after. Some people will even go so far as to point out my beauty will fade. However will make money then?! These same people seem to think there aren’t any porn actresses over 25. The top porn actor in the world right now Angela White, is 35.
The temptation to lie about your Age
The stereotype of there only being young people in porn gets reinforced again and again. The pressure to adhere to these strict imaginary sexual guidelines can move a lot of workers to lie about their age. Someone may stay 22 forever or not list their age at all. Others who don’t start right at 18 sign up and trim a few years off their birthdays in an effort to compete. There’s a not so unspoken demand for ‘teens’ and young 20s in porn. Youth is highly prized in U.S culture.
Going further the pressure to look the part looms overhead of many sexy workers. Plastic surgery, fillers and botox. Diets and gym memberships. Thousands of dollars on skin treatments and beauty products. Encouraging age insecurity is big business to some. For those in the adult industry, it’s yet another strain to deal with.
The idea of aging out of sexuality is puritan and prude
I think especially in the U.S we’re raised to believe that you become old at thirty years old. You’re supposed to have everything figured out by then. You’re supposed to disappear from public life to start a home. Perfect heterosexual monogamous relationship with 2.5 kids and a million-dollar mortgage right? Live the dream or suffer the ridicule and judgment around and above you. This spreads to the idea of how long we’re allowed to remain sexual beings in the public eye. Keep the emphasis on the YOUNG, dumb, and full of cum trope. Certain authorities don’t want to imagine someone owning and displaying their sexuality past a certain age. They won’t want to grasp the idea of being paid for it on top of that.
If you engage with the adult entertainment world even on a casual level you can see that this stereotype isn’t reflected in the real world. Look around and you can see sex workers have proven they can continue to work in their 30s, 40s, and beyond. Not surprisingly, the workers with more years under their heel are usually making more money than when they were younger. After all, we get better at our jobs over time. It also goes to show you don’t have to start right at 18 to be a success. In actuality, life experience and outside skills can crossover into making someone even more popular. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it.
My personal journey with aging
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use to be scared of aging. Though I tried pretending I’d be young forever and magically not wrinkle. It’s hard to ignore everyone telling you you won’t be beautiful once you reach a certain age. As if being lucky enough to live long only rewarded you with sexless bingo nights and no one finding you attractive ever again. I don’t know what it is about being a millennial but it’s like no one thought life went past thirty. So I did what any other functioning adult would do. I tried not to think about it. I felt unstoppable in my twenties. Feeling like I’d be young forever despite the birthdays piling up.
I started looking in the mirror and seeing smile lines. People didn’t automatically assume I was 18 anymore. I’d go to cam model events and be surrounded by women just getting out of high school or college. I started questioning whether there really was a limit? I needed only to look ahead, at beautiful successful peers who had a few or a lot of years on me. Thriving. There were already plenty of women showing me it was possible to go for as long as I wanted.
The thing is is that age wasn’t something I was insecure about naturally. But people berated me and reminded me constantly how much it was tied to my worth as a woman and as a sexual being. I think the rejection of ‘aging out’ that sex workers stand with contributes to the rage of those who wish we’d simply disappear. Sex workers have already been pushed to the outskirts of society again and again. Since when do they follow the status quo? Women aren’t sexy past a certain age? I don’t think so. Aging out is the real myth.