A day in the porn industry

For those who can’t fathom Tampa as one of the nation’s pornography capitals, take a glance around. From the corner sex shops (XTC Supermarket, “The Todd”) to the competing gentlemen’s clubs (Mons Venus, 2001, Doll House), to the numerous video production companies that parade as modeling institutes (V9, xXx), and you’ll see porn is all around us.

One day on campus, I grabbed a copy of The Weekly Planet and noticed a want ad looking for “male models.” However, what struck me the most was the fine print that read “nudity required.” My curious mind went wild imagining what the interview process would be like. Then it struck me: Why wonder how this stuff works when I can gain first-hand experience? Cell phone in hand, I immediately dialed the number and before long I had an interview on Monday, April 25. Soon after, I worried as to the nature of the interview and what was expected of me. Well, this account will hopefully shed a little light on what really does and does not happen.

As I opened the door, I was eager to know what lay ahead but, at the same time, petrified as to what might be asked of me. Instantly, I was greeted by a horde of beautiful, barely-clothed women who had me seated and undressed … wait a minute, that’s completely untrue. It was a normal waiting room with more tantalizing pieces of literature. In fact, Alex of V9 video production greeted me and kindly asked for my identification for proof that I wasn’t a minor. I spent the next few minutes taking in my surroundings and noticing the two other men peering through a glass wall separating the two rooms. It was strange, like they were judging and rating my worthiness to be filmed and distributed by their company.

Then came the interrogation:

“Have you ever done anything like this before?” he asked me.

Quickly, I replied, “No.”

My extent of involvement with porn is the occasional video I’ve seen, but for the most part I consider myself shielded. I’ve never been inside a strip joint or owned any pornographic material–seriously, none. No videos and no magazines.

“Will you be able to masturbate in front of the camera?” he said.

“Sure,” I answered, but it’s not like I’ve ever tried.

Alex then asked, “Do you have a partner?”

“Well, not right at the moment, I don’t,” I said.

He followed up with, “Do you like a gentle spanking?”

“Who doesn’t?” I would have exclaimed, but sorry folks, that question never came up.

After the question-and-answer session, Alex explained what the shots would require and the angle that the company was going for. As a “solo” performer, the first shot called for me to “spank my monkey” while Dominic DiGennaro filmed through a crack in the door. He told me this was to give the illusion as if my roommate was spying on my most intimate moments, which immediately made me feel sick to my stomach and sort of dirty, but not in a good way. Then the second shot would be left up to the videographer’s discretion and could range from a shower segment to a causal touching session on a couch. He told me the duration of the shot would take nearly an hour and would pay just $150.

“If you could find a partner, the pay would be a lot higher and we’d shoot you immediately,” he said. But sorry, even though the money is tempting, the shame of asking friends to participate in a video with me would be much higher. Maybe it’s the fact I grew up in a Christian home, but now with no religion I still hold a shred of moral dignity. To complete my interview process, Alex asked me to remove my shirt and stand against the wall to be photographed. Judging by my answers and incredibly burly chest, again with the jokes, the photographer would review my case and call if he liked what he heard and saw.

That sums up my experience in the porn industry. I’ve done a lot worse but I still can’t shake the eerie feeling that came over me while sitting in the V9 office. I guess the best thing to do is leave the sex, moaning and money shots to the professionals.

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