While there are numerous benefits to being an adult entertainer, there are some definite disadvantages, too. The lifestyle, itself, may lead to certain bad habits, while others are a result of association with the adult entertainment industry. Before getting too involved, it’s always wise to know exactly what you’re getting in to, so that you can make an informed decision. For some, these pitfalls are simply too much. Others, though, see the disadvantages as simply a risk of the trade. It’s up to you; weigh the pitfalls and determine if they are too much for you to handle:
- Stalkers: Being an adult entertainer attracts a wide variety of fans. Some are very nice, polite and “normal.” However, there are others who don’t understand boundaries. Some fancy themselves more important in an entertainer’s life than they actually are. They think that if an entertainer could just get to know them, it would be just like their fantasies. Many adult entertainers are the victims of stalkers who follow them, send them unwanted communication, threaten them and make up ludicrous fantasies about them. While most stalkers are not violent, they are guilty of invading an entertainer’s privacy by snooping and spying on them. A few of them are actually physically threatening, when they feel like they aren’t being taken seriously. Many entertainers have found that their stalkers lose interest, eventually. But, others have had to get help from law enforcement. It’s a risk that you will take. Fans don’t usually cross the line, but it’s possible.
- Careless with money: When you’re not used to having much income, it’s tempting to blow money like crazy when you start to bring in bigger bucks. Successful adult entertainers easily make more money in one evening/session/encounter than they did in an entire week in their past careers. It’s easy to go a little crazy with the new found cash. However, poor management of your money will lead to being just as broke as you were before. You’ve got to find a way to avoid going nuts with your new profits. Make a budget. Analyze what your expenses (both personally and professionally) are and establish methods to ensure they are met, prior to any other spending. Save money for a rainy day. Create a fiduciary plan that includes goals and checkpoints to get you where you want to be. Maybe that means you want to buy a home, start a business or save for your children’s education. Determine what you need your money to go for, before getting too wrapped up in spending it on senseless stuff.
- Drugs and alcohol: Some careers are just more apt to be around temptations, such as drugs and alcohol. Much of your work may occur in an environment where alcohol is served, especially if you are an exotic dancer. It’s only natural to enjoy a drink, especially if a customer is paying for it. But, when you imbibe too much and too regularly, even if it’s “good for business,” it isn’t good for your health and general welfare. Many performers, of any nature, are around drugs. Then entertainment industry is riddled with drug use, and it may be commonplace to be offered substances that will supposedly enhance your performance or make it easier to stay awake or get rest. Falling into the trap of using any kind of substance to prep you for entertaining clients/customers is a bad one. Feeling like you are becoming dependent on any drug or alcoholic beverage to get through a shift or another day is going to have a long-term negative effect on your life and career. Turn away from the temptation and stay clean and sober when performing.
- Family issues: Despite your own personal moral code being comfortable with what you do for a living, your family and friends may have issues with your career. As a result, when/if they find out what you’ve been up to, they may shun you or judge you critically. Relationships with significant others may be damaged, because they feel cheated on. (They don’t always understand that your heart still belongs to them, even though you may be sharing intimacy with others. ) Maintaining your relationships is a top priority when you become an adult entertainment provider. If you don’t share your secret with your family and friends, you still need to do your best to foster these relationships. Without knowing your secret, they are apt to become suspicious of your new success. Don’t give them reasons to doubt you or wonder if you’re telling the truth. Stay true to yourself and your friendships.
- Societal stigma: Without even understanding the nature of your profession or anything about you, society judges anyone associated with the adult entertainment industry. It doesn’t matter what kind of background you have, how educated you are or how “good” of a citizen you are, our general culture looks down upon adult entertainment performers. You are considered many things, including: unintelligent, mentally ill, suffering from nymphomania, diseased, immoral, perverse and “dirty.” Once people find out what you do, they rarely give you chance to impress them with anything besides your label of stripper, escort, prostitute, webcam girl, etc. Their opinion of you is mostly unchangeable. It’s possible to start believing you are worthless, like they try to make you feel. It’s likely that you’ll wonder if what they are saying is actually true. Don’t allow people to make you question yourself, simply because they are closed minded.
- Envy from others: While much of society is unabashedly judgmental of you and “your kind,” others are envious of what you do for a living. They think your job as an adult entertainer is easy. They may tell you how you have it made, implying that you don’t really “work,” at all. And, while it’s true that you can earn more money in the adult industry than you did in your previous career, it’s not much fun hearing from others how easy you have it. In addition to their suggestions that you don’t really do anything for your money, they may become angry and belligerent with you, as they berate you for the easy life you have. Envy and jealousy can bring out the worst in people. Even those around you who you thought were friends may turn over an ugly leaf and insult you for how undeserving you are for your income.
- Star struck fans and family: People think you have a glamorous job. They assume that you simply get paid for being beautiful. They suggest that it’s easy for you, because of your appearance. They fail to realize how much behind -the-scenes work you put into your career. For instance, escorts have to market their services, communicate with clients, do their own administrative “stuff” (accounting, scheduling, profile updates), maintain their appearances (spa visits, mani/pedis, tanning, hair appointments, make-up sessions) and work out. It’s not all wine and roses, despite what others think. And, few of your fans realize how miserable some of your working conditions are or what jerks many of your clients are. They believe that your career is easy and wonderful, without realizing there are many unfortunate parts of it, too.
- Insulting and mean clients/customers: Despite the very nice people you run into as an adult entertainer, there are always those who ruin it all. Clients are often mean and insulting. They berate you for your looks, even when you meet the description for what they asked for perfectly. They may criticize your efforts to please them, despite trying your very best to do as they asked. Some are just looking for someone to spit mean words out at. They need someone to yell at, and you’re an easy target. Others don’t know how to be kind or sweet to people. They don’t know how to exhibit affection or gratitude. They don’t say “thank you” or “please.” They don’t appreciate you or try to make you comfortable at all. They think that your services are a result of their payment and they are entitled to treat you any which way they please. These clients are terrible. But, they are a certain pitfall of your entertainment career. Once you have a large enough client base, you can surely cut these duds out of your black book.
- Exhaustion: Especially when you’re new to the industry, your schedule may not be as consistent as you might prefer it. Odds are you that you will be working late nights and erratic shifts. It’s hard on your body, especially when you’re exerting a lot of energy performing. You may find it difficult to rest during your off times, either due to it being a weird time to sleep or other demands that your life has. Getting accustomed to a crazy schedule takes time to work out. Additionally, some sessions with clients/customers are just extra tiring. It’s not only physically taxing, but it’s mentally exhausting, too. You must provide small talk, emotional support and think on your feet, in addition to always being aware of your client and surroundings. It’s a tough job and takes some time to acclimate yourself.
- Lies, lies, lies: The adult entertainment industry is one that often requires you to lie to your “people.” Many performers keep their careers top secret, for fear that their friends and family members won’t accept their chosen lifestyle or them, anymore. It’s common to tell a white lie to cover up where you’re heading out so late, then have to tell another lie about your activities while out, then another lie about that….and before long, you’ve got a ton of lies about one 30-minute session with a client. If you’re covering up your entire life, you’re going to be telling lies daily and leading a secret identity behind your loved ones’ backs. Many people can’t take the lying, but are afraid to come clean. It causes emotional and physical stress that contributes to exhaustion (mentioned previously) and other mental issues.
- Disappointment in the human race: After seeing your clients cheat on their partners, lie about their identities and treat others poorly, it’s easy to wonder what the human race is coming to. When you get to know your clients and customers better, you may find that they are not very nice people. You will see them lie, shirk their responsibilities and take advantage of others, including you, throughout your career. It’s disheartening to see clients so unconcerned with the feelings of their loved ones, due to their desires to see you. It’s discouraging to see other entertainers stab each other in the back for a little bit of recognition or the chance for a single booking. You will see a dark side to people when you’re working in the adult industry. It’s discouraging, especially when you may be the type of person who wants to see the very best in people.
- Deceit is rampant: As an adult entertainer, you will see people who are obsessive about maintaining their reputations. Often, these clients/customers are much different behind closed doors than they are in public. Out in society, they are kind, generous and very traditional. However, when they are alone with you, the craziness comes out. They may show very risqué sides where their sexual preferences are less than “normal.” Bondage, S & M, kinky role playing and a myriad of other activities are their top desires. They may be violent, when they normally maintain a very “good” image. The people you run into are rarely as they seem, often in a bad way. It may be very disappointing to see how different some of your clients are when you get them alone. Their lack of consideration and courtesy, alone, makes it disheartening. But, when you discover that someone rarely practices what he preaches, it makes it even worse.
- Identity crisis: When you’re an adult performer, it’s essential that you live up to the image you create professionally. You may have a dilemma later in your career trying to separate who you are on stage or with clients and who you are individually, as a person. Confident, sexy and alluring may be your persona…but, personally, you may be shy and reserved. It’s inevitable that your performing character will rub off on who you are; but, it’s essential to retain your true personality underneath it all. Don’t allow the industry to direct your beliefs or morals. Avoid letting society determine what you think about yourself and how you behave. Keep your personality and values intact…all while delivering one heckuva performance for your fans.
The pitfalls of being an adult industry services provider are far and wide. However, if you are aware of them ahead of time, many of them are easy to avoid or ignore, altogether. Some are just part of life as an entertainer, of any sort. Others are specific to the adult industry. But, if you stay true to yourself and remain grounded, the career won’t negatively impact your life, unless you let it.