Here is my edited version of a post by Steez. I think the points they brought up were interesting. I hadn’t posted anything regarding this topic, so I thought this was a good choice. Click here for the original post.
Economically exploited is not a term I would have thought to use when describing porn stars. I always thought they made a lot of money. For a few scenes they are paid thousands of dollars. However, they get no residuals from their performances. They get paid once and that is it. The real people making the money are the producers and distributors.
A porn star may perform in a few movies and make a nice living during the year. However there is a lot of competition out there and they are dispensable. There are a select few individuals that are “contract players” such as the Vivid Girls. Like the name states, they are contracted and have a set schedule with some benefits and perks. These ladies can also call the shots. They have their dos and don’ts and may even be able to select who they perform with. This is not the norm however. They are in the upper echelon of the industry perhaps making up a small percentage of total performers. One Vivid girl, Savannah Samson even stated, “It’s like the girls are respected”; which may give the connotation that if they aren’t contract players they are not respected.
Looking beyond the “contract players” porn stars are easily replaced. If a girl refuses to do a scene according to direction, she will be fired and not be able to work in the industry again. In a sense she is forced to do what is asked or she will be replaced. In addition, as woman age and their bodies deteriorate, a younger woman is right behind her to take her place. Due to the amount of young women who are willing to act in porn, wages cannot rise because there will always be new talent to replace an actress who may be demanding more.
Contract and non-contract players need to supplement their income from video in other ways. Most women go into selling their own line of sex toys and products, to becoming an escort or stripping at a local club. Some get parts in mainstream film, but consider that a stepping stone or a boost for their “adult” career. In other words, it looks good on their resume. When they are seen by all viewers, it gets their name noticed and will attract more fans to their main career.
In conclusion, I always thought porn stars made a lot of money when in reality their salary per year or per career is not that large. Like most people in America, with the cost of living rising, they are finding themselves in need of another job to make their ends meet. This is unfortunate. They are being exploited by the industry. Whether you agree with their line of work or not, the producers and the distributors should not be the only one reaping the benefits from the performers work.