Industry News

What Porn Stars Look for When They Google Each Other

We all want to work in an environment where we like (or are at least able to tolerate) our coworkers. And when your office interactions go beyond water cooler chatter and the occasional post-work happy hour and into, well, full-on bareback sex, making sure you can get through a workday with someone is even more important.

But how, exactly, do porn performers make sure they’re getting on set with someone they can actually get off with? It’s not like Glassdoor is offering windows into the workings of porn sets, and LinkedIn doesn’t really allow for adult industry-relevant endorsements (though the site would be much more interesting if they did).

In an earlier era, porn performers might have researched one another by watching each other’s scenes—an onerous task in the days of VHS and DVDs—or relying on word of mouth and recommendations. But these days there’s a different option: social media.

“At the end of the day, it’s just sex. But I absolutely refuse to fuck anyone who supports Donald Trump.”

Yes, now that anyone hoping to make it in the skin biz must aggressively market themselves online, virtually all porn performers (or would-be porn performers) maintain robust online presences—and the digital detritus left by all those public accounts can offer a number of clues for a potential costar hoping to suss out their situation.

For many performers, Twitter is the first stop, though other social media sites, especially Instagram, are important as well. Once some accounts (and, importantly, some pictures) have been found, a performer can use a potential costar’s collective online presence to start to piece together a picture of who they might be boning. What are their politics? Do they have a positive attitude towards life? Are there kinks or quirks they seem to especially into? And—of course—is there any physical attraction at all?

“The thing I like about Twitter is that it’s hard to front for very long. The nature of the platform makes it hard to keep up a mask,” Sovereign Syre told me over email. “Your real personality is going to come through at some point.” Though she acknowledges that sometimes people who are charming in person can come across badly online, the risk is relatively low (and, of course, it’s always better to be pleasantly surprised by someone’s charisma than surprised or disappointed by an off-putting personality).

In the best case scenario, online research will reveal someone a performer knows they’ll totally click with and, even better, provide ample evidence of all the things they’re into. Sometimes this can fuel some awesome pre-scene flirtation: over the phone, Ela Darling told me of a recent exchange with fellow performer Addie Juniper, who messaged Darling in advance of their first time together to tell her she planned to “lovingly finger [her] butt,” having seen on Twitter that that was right up Darling’s (figurative and literal) alley. “Who says romance is dead?” said Darling.

But it’s not always the best case scenario, and in those situations, a performer’s detective work is even more important. Knowing that someone isn’t their type, or that they’re unlikely to offer up stimulating conversation, can be crucial info to have before winding up entwining your genitals with theirs. And when it comes to those questions, sites like Twitter, Instagram, and wherever else people offer up their various thoughts and feelings (Peach?) can offer some very essential answers.

“If I’m not attracted to the person, then I just know that I need to find something to be attracted about. If they have really shitty politics, then I just prepare to go in and focus on something else, and not really engage with them,” Darling said. Regardless of whether her costar is someone she’s super hot or just lukewarm for, it’s important to know beforehand what she needs to bring to the table to convince viewers that she’s never been more turned on.

Of course, there are a few things that can be actual deal breakers. Of the performers I spoke with, Zak Sabbath, who’s less dependent on sex work for his income than Darling or Syre, was the pickiest; if he’s not attracted to a girl, or she’s not into him, he’s unlikely to commit to the scene. Darling prefers to avoid male performers who seem disrespectful to women (a good sign they won’t be respectful to her, or her boundaries, on set), openly racist performers, or anyone nasty to other porn performers and sex workers. Syre was the least picky, saying that, “At the end of the day, it’s just sex. But I absolutely refuse to fuck anyone who supports Donald Trump.”

Beyond helping a performer prepare for a scene, sometimes social media serves up crucial information that helps protect their health. That could mean either by tipping them off to another performer’s cavalier attitude towards protecting themselves off set, or, as happened once to Darling, offering evidence that a costar for an upcoming scene might be battling a nasty case of the chalky white.

In that instance, Darling saw a new performer posting a picture of her soaked panties to offer proof that she was incredibly turned on. “But her come was very clearly the beginnings of a yeast infection,” Darling said. “And I think she didn’t know.” Darling gently reached out to her to give her a heads up that she might want to delay any planned scenes and take a trip to the doctor.

Saving sex workers from yeasty outbreaks might not be the primary intention of XXX Twitter. But by offering performers the opportunity to digitally know someone before they biblically know them, it’s benefiting us all by giving us better porn.

Source: Vice

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