Maggie Mayhem on the social suicide of starring in a porn film
Mayhem is one of my blogging heroes. She is fiercely, uncompromisingly honest. She's class conscious. She rails against corporate injustice and gentrification. She's a badass, basically.
Here is a long piece about how she got into porn and what it's *really* like to work at Kink.com. (Hint: it sucks as much as any other job, but in surprising ways.) And about how the boss of Kink.com just got busted for cocaine possession and operating an illegal shooting range in his porn palace.
I did porn because I couldn’t come up with any reason not to do so that didn’t involve the stupid stigmas and bullshit that people project onto people who work in porn. I guess I wanted to cut the strings that kept me accountable to the standards of my society rather than the extent of my dreams. I came into the decision with privilege and I operate in the underworld with a great deal of it. That doesn’t make the claims about an ethical workplace and the rights of workers invalid. I am amazed at how quickly Ivory Tower feminists with tenure or vying for it will be so quick to point at my privilege that has meant living hand-to-mouth without being certain of a regular paycheck because I could be fired for off duty work at any time, has meant living without health insurance while relying on that uninsured body for my bread and rent, has meant that my path to tenure is a little less certain, we shall say.
What do you consent to when you make porn? If you ask most people, they seem to believe ANY AND ALL BAD THINGS THAT HUMANS CAN EVER DO, FOREVER, GO FUCK YOURSELF, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT WHORE. This is literal. Look at the comments on all articles about porn on the internet. They use a lot of caps and I’ve taken a great deal of liberty in spelling and grammar. Tautology, moving goal posts, and outright directed physical violence, stalking, and rape are par for the course. I am still amazed by the ways that people will rage against sex workers and do great harm of all kinds to them as the bastion of sin when we know about and read about actual horrific crimes taking place everyday. We take the rage of our disempowerment from politics and banks and hardship out on that which we can control. Still, it’s never made sense to me that “corporate whore” is somehow worse than “corporate.”
I showed up to the Armory and did my paperwork with sweaty palms. I have long since memorized my driver’s license number because of porn but it was still new to me then. That’s a quick tell of a newbie not to know your DL# ; not only do you have to look it up, it probably isn’t coming out of that plastic holder as easily as it does at the bar. Before I did the shoot itself, though, I was told that there was a writer who was interviewing people for a potential reality show about Kink.Com and it was a great opportunity to sit down with someone before they actually went through with it for the first time. There’s all kinds of energy around a first time, it seems.