A report was done back in 2016 which found that every single second, $3,075 is being spent on adult entertainment. In fact, the adult film industry is worth a staggering $4.9 billion! It was also reported that 70% of males visit adult sites in a typical month, with over 40 million Americans being considered regular viewers.
We aren't watching it for long, with the average length being 6 minutes and 30 seconds, but we're sure watching it often, as every single day there are roughly 68 million search engine requests for adult entertainment.
But how much do you really know about the adult film industry that has surely played a role in your life? Below we're going to pull the covers back and unveil some of the dirtiest secrets the industry has to offer.
Some of it is tame, like what the average "size" of performers is, how much they earn per scene or little industry secrets that may ruin some of the mystery.
Other facts are horrifying and may shape your opinion on the industry when you read about the role of abuse, both physical and sexual, that seems to be rampant in the industry.
But no matter your stance, you'll surely be left with a far more informative look at one of the most controversial industries in society. Do you have thoughts on the article, positive or negative? Feel encouraged to comment below and share the list on social media.
22 How Many Performers Get Their Start
When it comes to people that know the adult film industry, Jenna Jameson is definitely high on the list of names you should trust. Which is why it’s devastating to hear how she describes the start of almost every actress in an interview where she says, “Most girls get their first experience in gonzo films – in which they’re taken to a crappy studio apartment in Mission Hills and penetrated in every hole possible by some abusive asshole who thinks her name is Bitch. And these girls, some of whom have the potential to become major stars in the industry, go home afterward and pledge never to do it again because it was such a terrible experience.”
When you consider the level of abuse that people already feel is present in the industry, that is hardly the first experience you want to be given.
21 The Average "Size" Of Performers
While there is absolutely no shortage of variety when it comes to adult entertainment, you may be curious as to what the average performer looks like. Jon Millward conducted a study of 10,000 performers and discovered that their average breast size is 34B. In contrast, the average American woman is 36C.
The average weight of a female porn star is 117 pounds, which is 44 pounds less than the average American woman.
The average male performer weighs 167.5 pounds, which is 27 pounds less than the average American man.
20 The Most Common Hair Color, Career Length, and Name
Above you read about the average physical size of the performers in the industry, but do you want to take a guess as to what the most common hair color is? Millward's study found that 32.7% of actresses have blonde hair, but 39% have brown hair. Black hair makes up 22.5% and redheads make up 5%. Kayden Kross (a blonde) spoke out about the matter, saying "There have been more brunette stars than blonde stars. It's just that those stars have never been as big as the blonde stars."
Kross was also asked about the average career span of a performer, saying that most actresses stay in the industry for 6 to 18 months.
It was also reported that Nikki is the most common female name, whereas David is the most common male name (bonus points if you find a video with Nikki doing David!).
19 The Girls Don’t Always Get Told About The Scenes Beforehand
Shelley Luben is one of the most outspoken former adult film actresses against the industry. Luben was 24 years old when she started and from 1993-1994, appeared in roughly 15 movies. She had an awful experience, contracting herpes and HPV during her tenure.
Luben stated in a past written article that “Actresses have showed up on the set not knowing about certain requirements and were told by producers to do it or leave without being paid. Work or never work again. Yes, we made the choice. Some of us needed the money. But we were manipulated and coerced and even threatened.”
This sadly is a theme among many former actresses. You'll read more below about the abuse that some of the women have suffered on set. As well as this, many women have admitted to feeling forced to work with performers that they did not approve of or were heavily coerced to push their comfort zones.
18 How Many Men These Women "Work With" On Average
When it comes to how many people you have slept with, most of us tend to like to keep that information pretty close to the chest. That becomes significantly harder when your "day job" involves meeting someone new, having sex with them and then repeating the process again the next day. When 177 female performers were questioned about their "number", it was reported on average that these women have 74 partners in their life. If curious, nonsexual performers reported an average number of 5.
Adult performers were also revealed to enjoy sex more and were also much more likely to identify as bisexual.
17 The Incredible Amount Of Preparation That Goes Into Scenes
No matter how "spontaneous" the scenes may seem to play out in the finished product, there is a great deal of work that goes into preparing for scenes, particularly ones that may involve some rear entry. A former adult film star has talked in the past about how she would have to skip meals, stick to a diet and forced to use enemas as well as other means before she appeared on camera.
Similarly while sometimes the filming may seem seamless, adult filmmaking is just like any other type of movie and scenes get re-shot all the time. Think about your own sex life, do you really think it would be as enjoyable if every time you made a move you were fearing you'd hear the word cut? When you make the movie you also need to be there for the photography, which one former male actor said would require him to stay still for 20-50 seconds without moving.
16 Ratio Is 70 Males To 10,000 Women In Japan
Do you have some huge aspirations to work in the adult industry and just happen to be Japanese? You just may be in luck if you’re a male, as it was reported several years ago that there were roughly only 70 AV actors in Japan in contrast to almost 10,000 women that were working in the industry. If you can do the math, that breaks down to some pretty intense group scenes!
One of the most successful male adult film stars of all time is Shimiken, who has allegedly slept with over 8,000 women and appeared in over 7,500 movies.
“Usually I sleep with two or three girls a day, so I have sex for about two hours every day. It’s my dream job — I’ve been doing this for 17 years and I never get bored of it. It beats working in an office. I’ll do this until I’m 100,” said Shimiken in a past interview.
15 How They’re Expected To Be Able To Perform
While the video may be edited down for when it hits the adult video store (or you know, the internet) the actual work that goes into making a movie can be intense. Men are expected to be able to stand at attention for up to 90 minutes, with other reports saying that scenes can take up to at least 2 hours to film depending on the type. As if that wasn’t already a tough enough task, you get to do it surrounded by a camera crew and director.
Brenn Wynson, a former male performer, has come out and said that he would often be given illegal injections to help extend his time standing up. A former male performer has also spoken out in the past saying that sometimes they’ll finish the “end of the scene” at the start, and then give the male some time to recuperate.
14 The Pressure To Change How They Look
When you look at the adult film industry you may start to wonder how these women feel about their bodies. After all, they are judged incredibly harshly and you can imagine many of them feel an incredible sense of pressure to look a certain way.
Former adult star Corina Taylor has come out speaking about this issue, saying “It became an obsession to always measure up and now I am lost in myself trying to measure up to who I think I could have been. Very emotionally disturbing actually.”
This is no doubt a huge reason as to why so many women in the industry turn to drugs and alcohol to help find some sense of escape. This is also why you see many performers, such as Aletta Ocean who is pictured above, turn to plastic surgery to help alter their looks.
13 Escorting Is VERY Common
While you may think the world of adult entertainment pays well, for many women that’s far from the only way they are using their body to earn a paycheque. A former videographer for Penthouse/Danni’s/Twisty’s and BangBros has come out and said that several of the women also provide escort services. Given they have a popular following, the videographer said that some of them can make up to $80,000 for a “weekend”.
Stormi Mountain, who is a spokesperson for an adult entertainer directory, said "A new type of adult star is emerging. Before, you just had to look good on film. Today’s bigger stars are more comfortable with that type of interaction, and that sometimes means they’re more willing to go on paid dates.”
This is a huge switch from how the industry used to look at prostituting, "It used to be that [performers] who escorted, if that was known, weren’t hired, because they were considered a higher risk factor with STDs. No one wanted them on their set.” said Kayden Kross who entered the adult film industry in 2006.
A former adult star who chose not to be named also came out and admitted that along with being a prostitute, she also spends time working as a cam girl to help earn supplemental income.
12 The Ending Is Far From Genuine
One of the common endings to many a video involves the gentleman noticeably finishing. While it may make viewers at home sometimes feel insecure about their own abilities, you may take solace in finding out that in many videos the ending is faked.
Max Huhn, a knowledgeable adult film insider, talked about the matter in an interview, saying "There are times when guys who usually perform, lose their 'talent' for the day. Cold medicines for example, are notorious for suppressing [the finish] and actors don't always realize this when they're taking DayQuil the morning of the shoot."
Max went as far as creating a new gadget, the "Magic Money Shot" which is meant to help produce a "deceptive" finish. Another film insider says that what you see is often a pina colada mix or Cetaphil hand soap.
11 The Role That Past Abuse Plays In The Industry
While adult entertainment may do its best to create a fantasy, many of the women in the industry entered it to try and escape a nightmarish past. Shelley Lubben spoke out about the matter saying "Many actresses admit they’ve experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse and neglect by parents."
When a study was done back in 2012 to 177 female performers, it was found that 36% of them admitted to being molested as children. Many women feel ashamed to talk about this past, including Jenna Jameson who admitted that she lied when she was asked about it on The Howard Stern Show.
While this percentage may also seem high, this is actually on average with the community surveys that place abuse between 20 and 40%. Performer and director Kimberly Kane spoke out on the matter saying "I’ve found that everyone is damaged no matter what line of work they’re in.”
Below you will also read about Satine Phoenix, a famous performer who was abused by her father for 9-10 years and turned to adult entertainment to gain a sense of empowerment.
10 The Extreme Extent Of Drug And Alcohol Addiction
While there are no official statistics, a quick look at interviews from former and current adult film stars will paint a very clear picture of addiction. Jessica Neely, who may be better known by her name Angela Aspen, was once the most googled adult film star in the entire industry. But when she decided to step away, she admitted her own addictions, saying “I would pop as many pills as I could get my hands on, and then just drink and drink and drink, trying to overdose.”
Andi, another former star also said “I sadly discovered that drugs and drinking were part of the lifestyle. I began to drink and party of out control – cocaine, alcohol, and ecstasy were my favorites.”
It was also reported that performers are also at a higher risk to take more extreme drugs. "I have a feeling we've probably, as a demographic, tried skydiving more. We've probably tried monkey brains in South Africa more," said performer Kayden Kross when trying to explain that adult entertainers are just bigger risk takers.
9 The Amount Of Health Checks
One of the biggest questions people have about the adult film industry is how often these people get tested for STDs. It is definitely a natural question to ask when you consider they are having sex with multiple people, sometimes in the same day. In the United States, the current testing policy is that performers must be checked every 14 days to make sure they are clean. This includes a screening for HIV, Trich, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, as well as Hepatitis A & B.
Despite this, back in 2016, a report was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found “Adult film performers and production companies, medical providers and all persons at risk for HIV should be aware that testing alone is not sufficient to prevent HIV transmission.”
This came on the back of the news that a 25-year-old male performer had contracted HIV and put several people at risk, including infecting two other performers.
Many former performers have reported thinking that they were safe until they discovered they had contracted something. Other actresses have also reported that they have felt coerced to try and work with other performers that had known sexual diseases.
8 The Sexual Assault That Can Occur
Above you read about the fact that some women get to the set and are then heavily coerced into doing scenes that they are uncomfortable with. Along with that, many scenes definitely go way further than they were ever intended. One of the most prominent examples came back in 2015 when Amber Rayne (a 10+ year veteran in the industry) talked about how she was sexually assaulted when doing a scene with the incredibly popular actor James Deen.
Rayne said that she was punched in the face, and left the scene bleeding from several areas. As well as this, Stoya, a former lover of James Deen, went to Twitter saying “James Deen held me down and f***ed me while I said no, stop, used my safe word. I just can't nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.”
Ashley Fires and Tori Lux have also both come out with accusations against James Deen. Trust us when we say you definitely don't want to look up the other countless women that have reported being abused on film sets without being prepared to be utterly disgusted.
7 How It Sticks With You After
One of the most damaging things about adult entertainment for the performers is the fact that it’s really hard to ever escape from this past. Vanessa Belmond is a former adult performer and has spoken out in the past saying, “Nobody really wants to date an [adult] star, webcam girl, stripper or escort. As to the whole family thing and having kids, I’m like ‘who’s gonna have kids with an ex-[adult] star?’ And even when I’m 60 I’m still gonna have this [stuff] on the Internet. It’s like having a virus or something that never goes away.”
She is not alone in this feeling, Corine Taylor has also spoken out, saying “[My career] has left a permanent stain on my life. I have been harassed by boyfriends because of my past. I am discriminated against in my community when applying for jobs and sometimes on levels that are illegal.”
You can imagine other actresses like Bree Olson (pictured above) who is not only known for her adult performances, but her relationship with Charlie Sheen, has an even harder time escaping her past. When talking about the situation, Olson said "Every time I consider going back to school, I Google sex workers’ experiences and am so discouraged. Back to the drawing board.”
Olson went on to say "People say, change your hair color, move to another state. People know me by voice alone. I can’t run. I can’t hide. I have to face this.”
6 The Injuries You Can Sustain
Just in case you aren’t aware, sometimes sex can become an incredibly dangerous thing! While that can be humorous if someone is just taking a tumble during a scene, sometimes the injuries can be a lot more significant. Daniele Williams is one of many women who had severe damage to her muscles around her rear area, which has led to significant reproductive issues. In some extreme cases, some former adult film stars are left unable to have children.
Jessie Rogers, a former adult film star, has also talked about the amount of pain that results from shooting 20-30 scenes a month, saying “I was not healthy…I was constantly going to urgent care...I think more than 10 times and then the actual emergency room I had to go twice…eventually I caught Herpes…I was not allowed to eat…I would munch on gummie bears and energy drinks.”
Rogers went on to say her excess of back entry scenes was why she was not allowed to eat. When she had already decided to leave the industry, she did a scene in which she was left bleeding and despite that, was heavily pressured by everyone involved to try and finish the scene. When she refused because she needed care, they kept pestering her days later. Rogers also commented on the fact that she was given no health insurance and had to pay for all her medical care out of pocket that she is still paying it off even after leaving the industry.
5 What It Does To Men’s Opinions Of Women
While you may assume that in general the adult entertainment industry leaves men having a worse opinion of women, research was conducted on just this topic and the results may surprise you.
Of the 28,000 people that were questioned for this study, 23% of the respondents (male and female) admitted to looking at X-Rated content in the past year. Male viewers reported had a more positive attitude (in comparison to non-watchers) in regards to women holding positions of political power, had a better attitude towards women working outside of the home and were also more supportive of abortion rights.
4 Where Most Of It Is Produced
You’re definitely aware of the popularity around adult entertainment, but are you curious as to where in the world is the biggest producing city? It turns out that Los Angeles is by far the most popular city, perhaps it’s all those women that never made it as a Hollywood actress? After that, we travel to Europe where Prague falls in 2nd place.
We get to travel to yet another country as Montreal is the 3rd largest producing city in the world. It definitely does not hurt Montreal that it is the home city for Brazzers one of the biggest companies in the industry, even if they do some of their shooting in LA, Las Vegas, and Miami!
3 Where Most Of It Is Watched
In our introduction, you read that there are roughly 68 million internet searches every day for adult entertainment, but making that up are 3 big search words "Sex", "Adult Dating" and "Porn." Adding to that fact is the new knowledge that 35% of internet downloads are related to adult entertainment.
While you may not have guessed this, Elmhurst Illinois is the #1 City in the US when it comes to searching for "Sex," and "Porn" but they also search "XXX" often.
In terms of paying for content, Utah (seen above) is the state with America's highest online subscription rate per 1,000 home broadband users, with a ratio of 5.47.
2 How Much They All Get Paid
No matter how much they all seem to enjoy it on camera, at the end of the day, they would not be there without that paycheque. Steven Hirsch who owns Vivid (one of the biggest studios), spoke out about the matter saying "When the girls first get into the business and they're new, I think they can command additional money for different sex acts. Initially they make more money, then it depends on how popular they become."
For a traditional scene (guy-girl), an average actress is compensated between $800-$1,000. If their reputation grows, their income can grow between $1,500-$2,000. Lower reputation actresses have been known to earn around $300.
The more extreme the acts, the more the compensation as well, with the biggest additional bonus being around $2,500.
For males, they earn on average $500-600, with better-known names earning $700-900 and the top-tier men earning up to $1,500. Stepping behind the lens, directors tend to earn $1,000-$3,000, writers earn $250-400, and the cameraperson earns $500-700.
1 Some Actresses DO Love It!
We know by this point in the list you're thinking that the adult film industry has a hell of a lot of doom and gloom, but at least we can end by telling you that some women love what they do for a living.
"I get to show different sorts of sexuality and sexual tastes and acts in what I feel is a pretty freaking ethical and enjoyable way. I think the industry, ironically, can be much more respectful and consent-focused than the 'real world' is," said Stoya, who is a long-time performer in the industry. Sadly, you may recognize Stoya's name as being one of the women that came out against James Deen who you see standing beside her in the above photo.
Satine Phoenix also has no regrets on her career choice, saying that adult entertainment was how she got over her father's abuse. "My dad molested me for ten years, nine years, on and off. But porn helped her regain her sexuality. That specific style of sexual empowerment, being able to wield sexuality as power -- I needed to do that in order to be able to turn into the woman I am now."