Porn is hurting, but still brings jobs to America
At a time when it seems like no business is hiring, the porn industry in Southern California is still producing round the clock.
More people than ever are watching porn, and high demand is all that an industry needs to grow and keep jobs coming.The US is the top producer of video pornography in the world and Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley is the porn capital, with 90 percent of the industry.This huge appetite for sex is helping people to get their lives on track.“There are new girls coming every day. Hundreds of them,” said adult film performer Kelly Devine.Devine was hesitant at first to get into the business, but short on money and job prospects, she drove across the country from Pennsylvania to cash in on the sex trade. “I was worried about what other people would think and I didn’t even know what was thinking, but I was going through a really tough time, I was so broke,” said Devine.America’s insatiable desire for porn isn’t just helping the performers stay employed.US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC. In Los Angeles, one of the busiest sites for on location filming is this building operated by an adult film studio.“There is no doubt that there are tens of thousands of people impacted by the porn industry,” said Steven Hirsch, founder of Vivid Entertainment. “Either they work directly in the business or someone in their family works in the business,” Hirsch said.Keeping people working at a time when southern California is battered by record unemployment and imploding finances.Vivid entertainment’s stable of stars, includes the Russian born Russo twins. Taylor Russo was struggling, working in an office and as a waitress.She decided to trade her two jobs for what she sees as a more exciting and lucrative life in the adult film world.She is not the only one switching from a business suit to a G-string. “Who knows your bank teller might be a porn star,” said Russo.Director B. Skow said he has seen women from all different types of jobs make the move into adult film because of financial necessity.“I get everyone from accountants, to dental assistants, to librarians teachers, I had a girl who worked at Walt Disney World,” he explained.With the emergence of the Internet, many aspiring porn stars have found it unnecessary to hook up with big production companies, but it has also forced many of them to push the envelope even further to make a buck off sex.“I know girls who have gotten into it and they’re willing to do anything and they still can’t get hired,” said Russo.It is this that concerns many conservative groups, who see porn as exploitation of women.“I understand, but it’s not your right to tell someone else what they can’t do,” said Hirsch.“There’s no morality police out there.People have the right to watch, adults have the right to watch what they want in their home,” Hirsch added.In this age of risqué cable shows like True Blood or Californication, it is obvious that sex as entertainment is becoming more mainstream. In southern California, it is also keeping many people from becoming unemployed.Porn journalist Gram Ponante said the porn industry has become more difficult with increased competition, but there are still jobs and those who desire can make a good living in the industry. The Internet and new technologies have made porn more accessible for free, making it harder to earn big money in porn. This has impacted the industry, but innovative individuals interested in the industry still do well, he added.“If you want to get paid for it then you need wider distribution, same thing with mainstream Hollywood movies,” Ponante explained. There is so much porn available, the value is going down, but it is creating more and more jobs. Porn has grown in America in part to the pornographic nature of some mainstream TV shows, like Spartacus and Californication. “No less pornography is being made today as a result of widespread acceptance of it,” he said. As porn becomes more widespread, it becomes more and more relevant, with more Americans seeking out and enjoying porn. Ponante argued that in the future larger studies will begin to fall, but individuals will take on new revenue models based on online porn websites with a quasi one-on-one relationship design. “People still want a more or less tactile relationship with a porn star,” he explained. “More and more porn stars are able to deliver that. “