Some Practical Advice for Getting Out of The Adult Industry

Some people get into jobs without thinking about the consequences, and if I’m to judge statistics offered by some commenters from last week’s post, then I am one of the privileged few to get into the adult industry and survive, even if I happen to know quite a few people who are past the industry, or still in the industry after many years, and live happy lives. Honestly, I can’t believe that a person begins the self-destructive path of their life by entering a job unless that self-destructive path is already underway. Did postal work make the man ascend a building and start shooting people with a rifle, or were his feelings of estrangement and angst already within him? A woman who has suffered sexual abuse who gets into the sex industry may need help in dealing with her issues, but the industry didn’t create the issues. It’s a job that, unfortunately, does not have stipulations on who gets in, as long as that person is considered an adult, by law. So, the sex industry doesn’t ruin people’s lives, though it does sometimes facilitate the further ruination of a life already in ruin, but not beyond help. The same can be said for any industry. (P.S. – I know someone who got into the sex industry as a junkie and then got clean as a result of the industry people she met. She continued to work in the industry and even claimed that the industry saved her life. Lots of different perspectives in the world… all interesting, all valid…)

Maybe I am one of the privileged few. I had my family to keep me grounded. I didn’t even lose my filters until the very end when I was single. I’m talking about the filters that we have when we are around family and can’t talk about whatever we want. Filters are healthy. We tend to have a different set of filters depending on who we are relating to. You would not necessarily talk to your grandmother about bondage, and you would usually (I hope), sensor yourself in a restaurant where kids are present, but it is the case that the non-relationship between the sex industry and the rest of civilization infects isolation into this now extremely secular, niche group where people without a grounding force like family, tend to forget that it is not polite to go into jaw-dropping detail about their first call-girl-lesbian-experience at the top of their lungs at Starbucks. I’ve been on softcore sets where, all day, everyone gets along fine and then one sex industry person shows up and through their banter scares some young girl into almost leaving and alienates the rest of the women into a far away corner. There is an easy feeling, after entering the adult industry, that society doesn’t care about you anymore and it doesn’t matter what you do or say. Bad press, degradation in the form of uncaring and parental admonitions, interviews that are just an embarrassing and public setup by family members that are probably part to blame for any issues you might have in the first place, the constant recap of statistical deaths by drug overdose and suicide, all of this can leave a person feeling that only the adult industry does care about them, because if you really care you don’t push the person away by judging them, you pull them closer by understanding them. I can see where the split between the sex industry and the rest of society is so great that a person could feel it would be impossible to find the bridge one needs to cross in order to get out of the sex industry. It is possible, of course. The bridge begins in the mind.

I know people who are miserable in their lives. They work at insurance companies and have screaming kids that don’t appreciate them, husband’s who have affairs and wives that don’t care anymore what they look like and nag all day. I know men who have been molested as children and still find it hard to have stable relationships, women who hate men and transgender people who are so limited by stereotypes that they live extremely lonely lives. I know very few people from any given walk-of-life who are just happy, regardless of where they happen to find themselves in their lives… but they exist. That is the life I think we are all attaining to live. And we can live it, but it takes a good amount of common sense, a lot of heart, and believing that good things are not only possible, they are inevitable.

I had a good run in the adult industry, but eventually I just wanted to settle down, again. I wanted to be an average and faceless girl in the crowd. I first started this process by thinking about it constantly. I was single, so I had plenty of time to meditate and think about what I wanted and why. This is a good start if you find yourself wanting to get away from the sex industry and into something else, but I can also help you with some very practical things you may not be considering, things you may not be able to foresee.

Downsize. You may have money saved, but if you are like the rest of us, you will eventually have to find another way to make a living. Reduce your overhead, immediately. Being homeless is a dismal prospect, so cut spending as much and as quickly as possible. Get your food in bulk at any store that offers a lot for very little – Costco is where I shop. You can freeze anything that goes bad right away, so get zip-loc bags and section out your meat (if you’re not a vegetarian), and then you’ll just defrost it before you cook it and you will save yourself lots of money. When you need more clothes, shop at thrift stores. I live in L.A., so I shop at The Buffalo Exchange. The clothing is used, but they only buy nice clothes, so I find really cute jeans for ten dollars. I don’t like Target because the clothing usually doesn’t last very long, and it’s more expensive than what I can find at thrift stores that does last longer. Garage sales, in nice areas, can be a great source for household items. eBay proved useful for selling things I didn’t need anymore, in order to pay for things I did need.

Separate yourself from people who would lure you back in with work, politely, if possible. It’s no different from quitting anything abruptly, you have to separate yourself from the people who pose the lure because they will kill your progress even though they’re not necessarily trying to. A friend at my current job had quit drinking alcohol, and though I knew this, I still drink, so one day when the group of us coworkers were standing around, I suggested we go to our after-work-haunt. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking. When I realized how insensitive my suggestion had been, I quickly apologized, but the truth is I was drawing from our mutual past of having had drinks together. A friend may think they are helping you by offering you work, especially as you are struggling, so just cut the ties, at least until you get settled into aiming your life in the new direction. You can always come back to the people you like and reconnect with them later. I did!

Be prepared for some major personality changes. But be patient with yourself, because these drastic changes are temporary and necessary – assuming you got into the industry and have been in it for any real length of time. If you got in and only did two jobs, you shouldn’t feel any real trauma upon your exit… My one friend who exited the industry abruptly became agoraphobic – afraid of crowds. Incidentally, so did I. I’m from a breed of very ambitious models who are arrogant in their pointed goals. I was never aware of anyone when I was out. You can’t be too aware of people who recognize you because you could, through your body language, invite them to pierce the invisible bubble that surrounds you. We tend to be self-protected that way, but it can happen that when you find yourself living a completely different life and you are suddenly not so sure of who you are and what you’re doing, it can be devastating. It can leave you feeling very vulnerable to the outside elements. Deal with your feelings slowly, and patiently. This is when you need a friend to lean on, but if you don’t have someone to lean on, find a hotline you can call. Never hesitate to take advantage of those resources in the world that provide volunteers that help because they genuinely care. Call a suicide hotline and just talk to someone. It’s too difficult and dangerous to keep it all inside, so even if you have to call a number you don’t feel really relates to your situation, reach out to another person, vent, and get all of that excess baggage off of you. It makes you feel so much better once you’ve unloaded it. Don’t do what Desi Foxx is doing. The woman is “out”, but she still preys on any press she gets (especially the bad), in order to keep one foot in the door. I’ll write more about that another time. Just get out and focus on what’s ahead.

Try to find a hobby that you like that doesn’t cost anything. If you speak French, there are groups of people in L.A. that get together, no charge, and hang out and speak French with each other. Go hiking in Runyon Canyon. There are ways to get out and interact with people that don’t require much cost, except maybe transportation. The Metro is fairly cheap and can take you just about anywhere around L.A. Join a support group with people you feel may be able to sympathize with any issues you might have. There are support groups for just about anything: anger management, relationship codependency, alcoholism, other types of substance abuse, etc… You name it, you can find a support group for it. And do not overlook the library as a source of entertainment! Free books and videos, are you kidding me?! Doug and I were weekly regulars of the Los Angeles Central Library for four years. Not only can you go and check out many books at one time, if you get online and sign in to your online account, you can reserve any book you want, at any location nearest you. It may take a few weeks for that book to arrive, but you will get an automated phone call telling you your book is ready. You have to pay to park at the Central Library, but with validation it’s only one dollar, and everywhere else, it’s free! You do get charged if you don’t pick up your book within ten days, and you do get charged if you keep the books too long, but it’s priceless to get a free education. There are so many good books out there. Feed your mind!

Work on rebuilding those filters I mentioned before – filters you may have lost when performing stripped you of more than your clothes. Having those filters will help you communicate better with the world around you, regardless of the situation. Develop your language skills and continue to until your grave. Being able to articulate your thoughts and feelings is one way of ensuring your ability to get along with almost anyone and can save you in many conflictual situations. Good communication builds trust in others and is a real bonding force. The better we find we are able to communicate with others, the more confident and relaxed we feel, and that relaxes the people around us. You’ll find that when you let people in and also keep them at an appropriate distance (never underestimate the power of, “No”), most people want to care about you because it makes them feel good. And don’t let abusive people get you down. Really try to focus on positive things. A bully is either at your throat or at your feet. Identify why that person is singling you out and being abusive. More often than not you’ll find that it’s the same motivation that causes a person to be overly nice. They just want attention, but they don’t really care what kind of attention they get.

Try, and I mean this… really try to keep form placing blame on outside forces.
Learn to forgive other people and yourself. We go through things and then wonder why we still don’t feel any better about it after we’ve pointed our finger and accused someone or something of being the reason we’re miserable. Our ability to accept responsibility for our actions is the distinguishing trait that separates us from children. Really work on emotional maturity because that will heal you faster than anything else. Bad relationships, hurtful situations – don’t let these things color your judgment about the world outside of yourself, but instead, try to turn it into an illuminating guide for learning more about yourself. You are the person whose trust and love you need to gain. Ever hang out with someone for a long period of time and find yourself getting bitchy? Stop and think about it. If you’re secure with yourself, you’re not going to have a problem with anyone around you. Love yourself and tell yourself you deserve all the good things the world can give you. And what’s better, you don’t even have to be running from the adult industry to start doing just that. It doesn’t matter, because you deserve it, anyway. 😀

I guess we are all doing our part. I know industry people who literally tell people they should not be in the adult industry in any capacity. The only person who can survive and thrive is the person who is present. All you have to know is who you are and why you do the things you do. And it doesn’t mean that you won’t want to leave the industry someday, but it probably won’t be that traumatic.

Whatever happened to stevelick? He had started a story about some crazy mess he found himself in? I was enjoying it!

– Julie Meadows

29660cookie-checkSome Practical Advice for Getting Out of The Adult Industry

Some Practical Advice for Getting Out of The Adult Industry

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18 Responses

  1. GREAT blog/article! Very practical and real advice and insight. Enjoyed it and will be linking it up under the “getting out of porn” section of

    Thank you Ms. Meadows

  2. Thank you, Ladies!

    Your question went unanswered last week “monicaf”, so it seemed fitting to at least attempt to answer it. I kept thinking I was missing something, so if I did, let me know, and if you have anything to add, also, let me know. I was going to write something much longer, but it would have been too long, and honestly, after last weeks onslught of response, I was a bit drained thinking too deeply about anything. My head is still spinning from that! I only hope that my dear friends here can forgive me sooner than later. 😛

  3. instead of leaving basically to live hand to mouth. Why not have more of a plan, to ease out and have adult pay for schooling,training or starting a new new biz.All or nothing tends not to work.A ease out plan where the girl doesnt have to shop at thift stores and buying food in bulk. Will guarantee she doesnt go back. My wife wants to stop doing adult in 5 yrs she will be 35 she started at 19 so its a long time. We are researching mainstream businesses to go into. That we can start while doing adult so adult funds them and the transition can be smooth.

  4. Tony, that’s a great idea, but especially in these times of economical hardship, it is good and practical advice to downsize and not overpay for things that aren’t necessary. Mine is a ‘worse case scenario’ situation and not the be-all-end-all to getting out, just some practical advice that I think anyone can use when they’re making the transition from one job into another – especially in light of the fact that most people who do what they do have been doing it for a long period of time, making the competition pretty stiff. School is important, of course, but some women and men are single and still have to work before they can pay for school. I speak from my own experiences, and I am correct about changing spending habits.

    Maybe you should come back to this and write about your ideas. Unfortunately, there are many companies that discriminate, and personally (because I’ve been through this), I find that the transition is made much easier by expecting the worse and hoping for the best rather than the other way around. Any ideas you have are welcome to any person seeking to get out of their current job. Share your ideas in detail, please. 🙂

  5. So basically, as soon as you get into the industry start saving for when you want to get out?

    Smart move for any job you know will be temporary.

  6. I guess that is where it all comes back to one of last week’s points. Are there people who are actually “fit” for the adult industry?

    I do think there are people fit for the industry and they graduate into different roles along the way, but they make it their life and they excel. They go from being an actor to directing, to becoming an agent, owning their own company, etc… Anyone not fit for the industry in the long term should save as soon as they get in, in order to anticipate doing something else. But I saved money, and it still didn’t prepare me for how long it took before I fell into doing something else. It’s hard to just switch careers in your thirties, but people do it and survive and enjoy whatever they end up doing.

    Yes, Goddess. Save, save, save!

  7. ]So basically, as soon as you get into the industry start saving for when you want to get out?

    Yes, that would be the smart play. But I think we all know far too many that have gotten into the business because of the immediate cash aspect.

    Earn it today, spend it tomorrow. If it wasn’t already spent yesterday.

  8. In an ideal world, right?

    I’d love to hear the different stories there are from people who have gotten out of the industry. I hope “tony’s” wife makes an easy transition, but I have a friend who built super computers for a well-known company who had a very hard time transitioning into a job that wasn’t too very far from what he’d been doing, but it was different enough that it took several months for a company to finally take him on. He went from working for the military to making printers… again, not a huge difference, but he still encountered problems. I don’t think major life changes are easy. Me, I will always be one of those people who does something for a little while and then has to do something else. In five years I’ll be doing it all over again just to see if I can. Damn gypsy!

  9. I don’t think you missed anything at all in this article. You touched on some very solid points and wrote this piece from a very realistic perspective.
    I especially like the section of your article of which you touch on “downsizing”. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “I must have a designer purse and matching shoes” cycle – especially here in LA – primarily due to your other adult industry “peers” almost encouraging it.

  10. That is very true. It is definitely a status symbol to wear designer clothes, shoes, accessories. I read a book years ago about how to audition (for theatre, movies, commercials, etc…) and there was actually a section about how it is important to be crazy in order to get into entertainment, and how you must prepare for the games of buying all the latest and most expensive things to really brand yourself as successful because people will critique you by what you have and don’t have. I thought it was hysterical. Thank goodness people like Paul Newman have existed in the world to prove you don’t have to play those games to be fabulous and fascinating – R.I.P.

    Thank you, monicaf and thank you, backspace.

  11. My wife situation is different because all her years in adult she has worked for herself. The only content she shoots is for her sites. Her main site had its 9 yrs anniversary in June. And we love working together and will continue to work for ourselves just do something different. We have five years to figure it out and work on the plan. I left jobs just walked away and it was painful when I made a plan it was much easier. Also I learned in my 45 yrs the world doesnt have to black or white, gray works much better. I saw the quotes around Tony lol we are very real ask Mike I interned under him for a year to learn to shoot video and consider him family.

  12. Very cool. I put quotation marks around everyone’s “names” in the commenting area. I know it’s usually not a person’s real name. 🙂

    You have to be 100% about what you want. It’s good to know exactly what that is, but most people do not know. I’m sure you and your wife will make a decision and excel. That’s all it takes, really. Knowing you will excel. I whispered to my man tonight what we will do. I know it. It’s good to know, and then make it happen. 🙂

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