Money In Pornography: One Of The Most Misunderstood Industries

Every second, there is an average 28,258 internet users watching pornography. Over 35% of internet downloads contain pornographic matter. That is exactly why the business has become so popular, the product is made fast, and has been made easily accessible, in fact every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is made in the United States.Most people associate the adult industry with busty blondes that makes guys super hot and girls really jealous. This is not always the fact, as per the findings of a recent study, moms and teens rule the world of porn watchers!

But If someone was to assume that men spend more time watching internet porn than women, that person would be absolutely correct. 72% of all online porn is watched by men while women only make up a mere 28%. In fact, 70% of women who indulge in online porn keep it a secret. 9.4 million women access pornographic material each month and 13% of women admit to watching pornography while at work.

This may seem mild compared to the 20% of men who admit to accessing porn while on the clock. There are over 4.2 million websites dedicated to pornography which is about 12% of the entire Internet. Most people tend to think of young men with raging hormones when they think of online porn watchers but men aged 35-49 make up the largest demographic. We should educate ourselves about one of the most misunderstood industries in the world and learn how the porn stars provide a life for themselves.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

8 Earnings For Men And Women 

Female porn performers earn much more than male porn performers. A porn actor can earn as little as $150 to as much as $1500 per scene. Gay scenes pay higher than straight scenes with actors earning $500 or more. An actress on the other hand typically earns anywhere between $400 - $2000 per shoot depending on the nature of the scene, the filming company and the actress' level of experience. Asa Akira for instance earns $2000 per scene due to her huge level of experience and popularity. A top female actress usually gets $800 for a gay scene, $1000 for a straight scene, and can receive $5,000 or more for more sexually compromising scene.  This is hardly a windfall paycheck especially if you consider the kind of money that top mainstream Hollywood actors make. On top of this, agents take 10% - 15% of the performer's pay.

7 Porn Stars And Strip Clubs

An average male porn star only makes $30,000 a year whereas an average female performer earns $50,000. As a result of the modest earnings from acting, porn performers usually have to juggle other responsibilities such as social media outreach and appearances at events, for example at strip clubs. When they feature in events at strip clubs, they earn much more than normal strippers do. They can earn as much as $2000 a night or even more. Jenna Jameson for instance used to make $2000 a night at the Crazy Horse Too strip club. Houston used to earn $20,000 a week from her strip club appearances.


6 How Much Do Contract Girls Make?

While there is almost an unlimited amount of freelance work for an aspiring adult film star, there are some porn actors and actresses that work strictly under contract. For example Julie Ane is the stage name of American adult film actress, dancer and former Penthouse Pet Julia Tavella. Ane is also a member of the AVN Hall of Fame and the XRCO Hall of Fame. Known for a preference for contract work, Julie Ane worked exclusively with Vivid Entertainment, Digital Playground and Wicked Picture for many years until she decided to venture off to new opportunities.

To earn a contract with major porn companies, a performer must first build their brand and become popular through freelance work or find an agency, yes there are adult talent agencies, to represent them and get them a contract with a major player. Porn stars under contract have a set amount of money they will make per scene, between $500 and $3,000 typically, but being signed into a contract means they can only work for that one company. Therefore contract workers have less opportunity to get work but they typically make more per scene and work with fewer partners.

Contract work has its perks, the girls and guys can be pickier when choosing their partners, giving the ability to make sure they only work alongside mates that they accept. Contract work also eliminates the need to travel for work, it ensures the work at a specific location.

5 The Biggest Companies In The Industry

Perhaps no name is more synonymous with nudity than Hugh Hefner who started Playboy in 1953 with a $1,000 loan from his mother. Playboy now has a number of websites, like playboy.com, playboyexclusive.com, and playboyarchive.com. Heffner now has a net worth of over $43 million and his websites earn him more than $1 million annually. Even though Hefner is one of the most well known names associated to the industry his company is not the biggest, over the years many companies have taken over the market.

Hustler is a name synonymous with pornography and sex and they have a number of websites, such ashustler.com hustlertube.com, models.hustler and many more. The company began in 1974 as a pornographic magazine publisher. Unlike playboy, hustler showed explicit views of the female parts. Hustler owner Larry Flynt is worth an estimated $400 million and his pornographic empire has made the transition from analog to digital and his websites are reportedly generating $1.3 million annually.

Mind Geek, formerly known as Manwin is hands down the number one distributor of porn in the world. If you're surprised that companies such as Reality Kings and Brazzers didn't make the list don't be. Mind Geek owns all of those, to better break it down, Reality Kings owns 38 pornographic sites and Brazzers 35. Making Mind Geek (MG) hold a strong monopoly on the industry. MG also owns all of the top five pornographic websites such as Youporn and Pornhub. They are among the top three bandwidth consumption companies on earth,  operating more than 73 websites in all-free, paid and webcam.  It has been reported that the company brings in over $200 million annually.

4 How Much Do Adult Actresses Make?

Hillary Scott is a baby-faced starlet who signed a $1 million contract with Sex Z pictures for a four year deal. An income of $250,000 a year is great money, especially for the industry Scott's contract is among the biggest one in porn history.

Maria Tagaki is the second highest paid actress still making adult films. Though she may not be very well known stateside, she has a 2.6 million dollar contract for 30 films with a Japanese company known as Max A. At $86,000 a picture, she isn't making Jenna Jameson money but she's pulling in more than nearly any actress currently making films and she has a net worth of over $6 million. Jesse Jane is the wealthiest porn star still making movies and the former Hooters waitress has a net worth of over $8 million. She has also made many appearances in mainstream productions such as Entourage and she has her own show on Playboy TV. Jane is probably the most famous porn star who still makes movies.

3 Popular Looks

As you can clearly see by the 3 the top paid porn stars, there is a wide variety of looks that make up the spectrum of adult beauties. Jenna Jameson is the top paid porn actress of all time and she has big boobs, blonde hair and fair skin. Tera Patrick is the second wealthiest porn star of all times and she has dark skin, raven hair and a curvacious chest. You might think being busty makes a porn starlets career but Hillary Scott and Maria Tagaki have average sized chests. Variety is the spice of life and everyone has a preference so no one particular look dominates the porn industry. Contrary to popular belief, busty blonde models don't get all the work.

2 Men In The Industry

Male porn stars don't typically get the same type of money that the ladies draw in because a producer could find some guy off the street who would sleep with Penny Flame for free. However there have been a few guys who managed to parlay their porn careers into a small fortune. Peter North has done over 1800 films and he has a net worth of $10 million. North launched North Star productions in 2001 and the company has produced more than 20 films since then. Another millionaire man in the porn industry is the living legend Ron Jeremy. He has made over 2,000 movies and counting and he has a net worth of over $5.5 million, making him the second wealthiest actor man in porn history. If you are thinking that these figures are big well they are but in reality you are looking at two net worths vs the amount of men working in the industry.

Though it took these men a lifetime to earn what many of the female actresses make in a few years, they can still become extremely wealthy if they properly market themselves. The same is true of female actresses which is why some of them receive million dollar contracts and others continue to work for peanuts. Most of the successful porn stars have some legitimate acting skills and make regular cameos for non-pornographic movies and TV shows as well. The odds that an aspiring starlet will ever become a household name are slim at best but the women and men that achieve that level of success typically know how to turn their screen name into a brand. The porn business is like every other aspect of show business, 10% show, 90% business.

1 Final Thoughts

Contrary to common belief, porn stars don't make that much money from acting. The earnings they get from acting are paid per shoot and don't include any royalties. They therefore don't benefit from the distribution and sales of the films. This leads them to seeking other lucrative income-earning avenues such as making personal appearances, social networking and branding their name. As a matter of fact, many of the popular porn stars have made most of their money from other activities besides acting. For example, Jenna Jameson made $30 million annually from selling her own brand of adult toys. Tera Patrick launched an agency that represents adult models and performers, and Teravision, a production company. Teravision has a net worth of $30 million. She says that she now makes millions for herself as opposed to making millions for others as she did during her acting days. Belladonna stepped away from acting and got into producing and directing films. This has helped her earn a net worth of $1.8 million. Despite having starred in over 1500 films, the bulk of Peter North's $10 million net worth comes from his work behind the scenes that includes producing and directing. He launched his production company, Northstar Associates, back in 2001.

Last Fact: Every second 372 internet users search the term "adult", most likely how you fell upon this article.

More in Celebrity Money