On Being a Woman in the Porno Industry

Mainstream pornography – made by men, for men – seems to be getting more and more brutal towards women. Are actress more abused than respected? Do they make a conscious choice when they enter this trade? We sneak behind the scenes in adult entertainment with a couple who has “retired” from the sex industry.

By Veronique Trudeau

Nancy (alias Nalaa) and Jocelyn (alias PopSSycle) have been in a relationship for 13 years. Now in their mid-40s, they first met in elementary school in Val D’Or. Their paths crossed many years later during an electronic music night. It was the beginning of a relationship unlike most others.

They worked in the sex industry for a decade. He was an escort for ladies (sensual massages); she worked as an escort for men. Insatiable, they earned their money through sex during the day, frequented swingers’ clubs evenings; then partied all night at raves. Jocelyn and Nancy explored the infinite possibilities of their libido in pairs or in gang bangs, as they liked it.

At age 40, Nancy was approached by a production company to film her first professional porno. It was a golden opportunity for the escort to become known to a much wider audience, as she’d already filmed several amateur videos with clients.

Her beloved was happy with her opportunity, but one thing remained clear: they agreed never to film scenes with each other. They are open to a lot of things, but preserving their privacy as a couple is non-negotiable.

Nancy had her first experience as a porn actress in the film Les 4 Mousquetaires Contre MilfLady under the watchful eye of Jocelyn, who was present on site as a cheerleader. He was also there to give actors advice on how to “take his lady” in order to get the most intensity in front of the cameras.

Consent, Really?  

While negotiating a contract, Nancy set limits. She was inflexible on certain points: no choking, no hitting her behind or her breasts, no spitting. She refused certain positions and also refused to be kissed on the mouth, a privilege reserved for her man. These demands seemed to have been listened to and accepted by the production team.

“But once a contract was signed and we were on the film set, it was something else,” explains Nancy. “I had no problem doing a gang bang with the guys, but it wasn’t enough. The team often tried to get me to do things I wouldn’t do, and it made me ill at ease.”   

The production team wasn’t used to working with a woman who stood up for herself and who was supported by her husband on the set. This escort turned porn actress stuck to her guns to do things differently. “Stopping every two minutes when we’re in full action, I find that counterproductive. It kills the intensity of the moment. I told them to let me go and to film without cutting, from very close. It lasted for two hours without stop. They had a lot of material to make their film. I think the guys will remember it for a long time, because I took care of them between takes!” she says, laughing.

Pushing the Limits

The couple – who watch a lot of XXX films – deplore the current tendency to present increasingly violent content, in which real and mutual pleasure seems more rare. Watching a scene, Nancy can tell right away if a woman is having pleasure or not, and if it’s against her will. “Just the way a guy gets it on with a woman, and according to the dimensions of his penis, I can see right away if it’s painful. I feel everything that’s happening. I can tell if she’s compensating for the pain by positioning herself in such and such a manner, or if she’s working to get the right camera angle.”

Whether it’s on a film set or in a hotel room, most women are there for the money and not out of choice. “For me, it’s there, or it clashes. In both aspects of my work, I want to be there purely for the pleasure.”

But Nancy and Jocelyn quickly realized that they weren’t made for the porno industry. Appearances in two films was enough for them to realize that they were swimming against the tide in an industry culture that imposes its norms, its positions, its clichés costumes and its degrading film titles.

Just before quitting, Nancy tried to work with her favorite actor, in vain. When she read in the paper that he’d been arrested for domestic violence, her fears were confirmed. “I realized that I made them afraid, because I am not a victim,” she says. “A more broken, vulnerable woman is the ideal casting for a film with a dominant, sexually violent man.”

Jocelyn decided to return to work in the mines. Nancy, who had never stopped working as an escort, felt that she had to distance herself from the sex industry. Her clientele was increasingly disrespectful and draining, with requests as twisted as “play incest” during sex.

In 2019, after having come home in tears too many times, she quit the work she so loved. “I never had so much fun. At the beginning, it was 90% pleasure. And at the end, a paltry 10%,” she recalls.

These days, this forty-something finds happiness taking care of her pets at home and cooking her little vegetarian meals.

The Chicken or the Egg?

When two people passionate about sex quit the industry, something’s not going right. But Jocelyn and Nancy don’t blame the porn industry, because it reflects the demands and the needs of its viewers, they think: “The real problem comes from society and not pornography. What’s worrying is that people are asking to see psychological or physical violence. And that most of the time, they take pleasure in devaluing someone.”

The couple believes that the sexual urges of a good part of the population are best expressed in mainstream porn. “People are addicted to all that is bad in diet, lifestyle, interpersonal relations, and, of course, sex. Things could be better if we offered more diversified fare, but for that, people would have to be open to the idea of changing what they consume. And changing patterns is very difficult.”

First seen in Reflet de Société magazine, Vol. 29, no. 5, juin (June) 2021, pages 22 – 24.

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