When it comes to porn, the $64,000 question has always been: What’s the adult industry’s net worth? The popular assumption, portrayed in Hollywood movies and TV shows, is that pornographers are a bunch of millionaires who spend their days taking sun bath by the pool and drinking. Occasionally, they fuck on film for a living on luxurious sets, and these nymphomaniacs enjoy every minute of their work. Let’s clarify something: This assumption is bullshit. In reality, the majority of pornographers are not millionaires, and they certainly don’t enjoy every minute of their work. They too have their good days and bad days. Moreover, nobody knows what the smut factory’s net worth is. You don’t know it, I don’t know it, and most definitely AVN, the self proclaimed “adult industry news outlet”, doesn’t know it. Before the hostile takeover of the porn valley by international organized crime syndicates that run pirate and tube sites, AVN used to claim the industry’s net worth is around $4 billion annually. AVN often, and rightfully so, has been accused of generating this number out of thin air, and its response has always been laughable: AVN cronies argue they take into account DVD sales, VOD sales, strip club and even phone sex revenues. Here, we have to “assume” that Joe Shmoe who works the graveyard shift at a crumbling adult store in small town USA, along with Suzy Long Legs who works at the local strip joint and Chubby Maggie who works from her trailer as a phone sex operator keep a detailed, Uncle Sam friendly track of their income and report to AVN round the clock. That’s right fellows, if you believe that, then by the same token you gotta believe me when I tell you I’ve got a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.
Nonetheless, who gives a shit about the truth when the fantasy is far more glamour and tempting? I mean try to explain that to dozen of young, naïve girls who hitch hike to Los Angeles to become“the next Jenna Jameson”. You can’t convince them not to come, they are being fixated on the image of the porn industry rather than its harsh realities. They have to come and see for themselves. Those who are smart, make some decent money and get out in 6 months to a year, some will stick around longer, and their profession impacts and transforms their lives in ways that they couldn’t imagine.
Case in point, let’s looks at Sheena Shaw. She started her performing career in late 2011. At first, she was only performing straight sex, no anal, no rosebud, no circus stunts. She didn’t come to my attention until the summer of 2012 when at an adult industry forum, I came across a press release posted by her agent, announcing that Sheena Shaw is now doing anal. I browsed her profile, she looked fine, I checked out some of her scenes at AEBN, and her performance was alright, although she didn’t seem like an engaging performer. In other words, I got the impression that she doesn’t enjoy sex physically and/or emotionally, everything, from speaking in a tuned down school girlish voice to her facial expressions and body language were pretense. When you work with talent as a producer/director, you develop an eye for details and can pick up on things like this, but on the other hand, you need to produce content and can’t always be too rigid about the casting. Sometimes you have to do the best you can with the resources that are available to you. In any case, I decided to book her for a scene, so I called her agent, we agreed on the rate and scheduled the shoot for the following week. Meanwhile, I got tested and got my results ready. A few days before our scheduled shoot, news broke out that a male performer, who later was revealed to be Mr. Marcus, had infected some female coworkers with syphilis. Sheena’s agent called me and asked if I heard the news. I said yes. He asked me if I wanted to proceed with the shoot or do I prefer to postpone it. I said that I have a current test, and have not worked with anybody in the past 3 or 4 weeks, so I’m good to go. If Sheena has a current test and is confident about her health status, then we can get on with the schedule. This syphilis incident doesn’t seem to be a big outbreak, the production of porn is down by more than %80, and people don’t work and don’t interact with each other as they used to. The agent said he would speak with Sheena and will get back to me. Some hours later, he called me back and told me he had spoken with Sheena, and she says she would do it if I agree to get an antibiotic shot, because that has been recommended by the FSC. I said: “So she wants me to inject myself with antibiotics even though I have a clean test and no symptoms of syphilis just so that I would be allowed to pay her to perform with me? I won’t do that, I’m calling the whole thing off.” I hung up the phone and thought what an absurd and outrageous demand, so now the FSC cronies are calling the shots and they know better than any doctor and specialist. According to them, the way to prevent an infection is by injecting antibiotics into a healthy body. I don’t know where the FSC gets their information from, but as far as I know, taking antibiotics if you don’t have an infection is a terrible idea, because it makes the body resistant and later, if you do get an infection, antibiotics won’t have the necessary effect.
Anyway, the shoot was cancelled and we moved on, I never made an attempt at booking Sheena Shaw again. She went on to become an anal champion, and got famous for doing double anal penetrations and shoving billiard balls in her asshole, stuff that I don’t think she could imagine she would be doing when she started her career in 2011. However, none of what she did on screen shocked me, what shook me to my core was her affair with a certain HIV positive gentleman who happens to be the owner of the company that produced most of Sheena Shaw’s anal scenes. The best part is that the affair was not exposed by a gossip web site, Ms. Shaw bragged about it on her Twitter account. Twitter, a place where people can air their dirty laundry in public and broadcast their brain farts on an hourly basis. Nobody needs Jerry Springer when we’ve got Twitter. Anyway, think about it folks, in 2012, this lady was asking her co-performer to get an antibiotic shot for a STD that he didn’t even have. One year later, she’s having an affair with an HIV positive person and at the same time, performs in bareback scenes. I can’t think of any career other than porn that so dramatically and rapidly changes people’s mindset, behavior and priorities in life.
The reason I decided to share this story is because Sheena Shaw has resumed her performing career after a hiatus, and I believe she poses a danger to herself and others by her reckless behavior, hence it would be in people’s best interest to avoid working with her. I can’t think of anything worse than fucking an HIV positive man in private and performing in bareback scenes at the same time. If she has no regards for her own safety and well being, then she has no regards for anybody else’s safety and well being. If she’s willing to gamble with her life like that, she would be willing to do anything. I heard in some of her Twitter posts, she had made references to bestiality. I don’t know whether she’s actually into that thing or is just bragging to get attention, but I know this: If one of these days I come across a clip of Ms. Shaw taking a horse dick in her ass, that won’t shock me. I’m well past the point of getting shocked by Sheena Shaw.