Life After Porn

Tuesday nights are pretty boring for me- come home, watch TV, eat dinner, watch a documentary on porn…yeah, that last part is something definitely not in my daily routine (promise.)  Life throws you unexpected surprises sometimes.  Last night I went to a screening for a documentary of people involved in the adult entertainment industry and how (or if) they are able to adjust to “normal” life after they leave.  While I can’t say that it will become my new favorite documentary (that would be Jiro Dreams of Sushi), it was more interesting than I thought it would be.

Regardless if you are pro or anti-porn, porn stars are humans too, and their stories are as equally complex and interesting and as worthy of a documentary as any other topic out there.  A movie about them is not inherently worse or better than penguins or the Civil War or tennis stars.  In fact, it might be even more interesting because it is a topic rife with controversy and unanswered questions.  I admit that when we first signed on to promote the film, I didn’t know what to expect.  Kinky stuff?  Lots of gratuitous sex scenes?  Horror stories or surprisingly happy ones?

As it turned out, there were some sex scenes (it’s kind of a given, since it is a documentary about porn), but nothing too crazy.  It still made for an interesting day at the office when we first saw the movie.   Plus a lot of bad puns. But back to the actual question- can life be normal after porn, or is a scarlet letter that haunts your forever?  You’ll have to watch to find out!  Just kidding.

I’m sure you can guess the answer (which was answered a bit unsatisfactorily in my opinion, but this wasn’t a Cannes Film Festival submission, Oscar nomination-type movie so I’ll let it slide).  Life is what you make of it.  You might be in a crappy situation now, but if you work hard, you can move up and out.  Several of the interviewees now have families, different career paths, life goals.  They worked hard to get out because they wanted to.  But those who had no regrets also lead normal lives because they’re realistic- you can’t be a porn star forever.  Gravity and old age and wrinkles are equal opportunity maladies towards everyone. Though porn is an inescapable facet of their past (or present), they don’t let society’s disgust with it stop them from living their lives to the fullest.  That, I feel, is something admirable, even if you have qualms with their profession.

If I hadn’t seen the movie, I would have never guessed some of the people were porn stars (though apparently several of them still get recognized- I guess porn stars are that famous?  I wouldn’t know!)

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