WWJDD: “I Want To Do Porn, But I’m Afraid My Family Will Shun Me”

Editor’s Note

After multiple women accused James Deen of rape and sexual assault in November 2015, The Frisky made the immediate decision to end our affiliation with the porn star and to cancel his sex advice column with the site. In addition to believing it would be inappropriate to continue publishing sex advice from someone facing such serious allegations, The Frisky is firm in its commitment to believing and standing in solidarity with victims/survivors when they come forward. After serious consideration and input, we decided to leave the previously published columns up on The Frisky with this disclaimer, as we believe the glaring divide between Deen’s consent-focused advice and the rape allegations against him should be part of the public record. For a more thorough explanation on our decision to end this column, click here.

*****

I’ve had an interest in doing porn since I was in my early teens, but I never really thought about it too seriously until the last year or so and have pretty much made up my mind that that’s what I want to do.

The thing is, my entire family are super strict Christians and I know that I’ll be shunned by my family if I do it.

I don’t want my family to hate me, but I also don’t want to end up doing something that I don’t really want to do to make them happy and regret not doing what I really wanted to do. Even if it turns out to be something I decide to only do for a little while.

What should I do?

The big thing to know, if you decide to enter the sex industry – whether it be the adult film business, working in a sex shop, writing a column about sex, or whatever it may be — is that you will encounter a lot of people in this world who are going to have very strong opinions about it. You cannot control these people’s opinions, you cannot tell people how to feel, but, in the case of this situation, you can’t avoid them by lying or not telling your family.

One of things the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) always is sure to tell people who are wanting to join the industry is to think of whoever it is you really don’t want to find out that you’re doing adult films, then go tell them before you do. Because they are going to find out. And if you can’t handle that – having that communication, and dealing with the reaction and the consequences of that person finding out — don’t do it. Unfortunately, doing porn is not one of those things where you can just be like, “Oh I’m gonna do this thing that I’ve really wanted to try!” It is a decision that does affect different people in our lives in different ways.

It your case, the decision sounds like it’ll affect a lot of people in your family and you should tell them before you go forward with it. It might be as simple as having an open conversation where you say, “This is something that I want to do. The adult film industry is a business, and these are the training protocols and the safety protocols. These are the government regulations. These are the industry regulations, which are more stringent than the government regulations,” and blah blah blah. At that point, it’s possible that your family will go, “Okay, well, we love you no matter what. We disagree with your decision, but we’re going to love you forever.” And it’s also very possible that they’ll say, “You’re shunned! We’re never going to talk to you again!”

I don’t know your family, I don’t know you, but I do know, from reading your question, that you definitely have thought about both ends of the spectrum. There is no right answer. It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of what your family is going to do if you do decide to do porn. So do you care about doing something you really want to do, and that might not last forever, or be a career, and might just be something you do a couple times, more than you care about your relationship with your family? Or do you care about your relationship with your family more than you care about the adult film industry? It’s not an easy decision to make. It’s not a decision that anyone else can make for you. You need to sit down and think about the different consequences.

But definitely don’t do porn and not tell them. Especially with the internet these days! You do one scene and it’s the same thing as doing 50 scenes for a year – a link will find its way to your parents. Go tell them beforehand! Don’t let them “find out,” because they will find out. It comes down to this: Be honest, use assertive communication and make good choices. Consider your best interests while understanding what the consequences to your choices are. Weigh those consequences, decide what you want to do and be honest when communicating it to your family.

I also always think it’s a good idea to educate yourself about the things you want to do before you do them. When I told my family that I was going to do adult films, the industry itself was their concern – they thought that it was all sex, drugs and rock and roll. They were worried about safety protocols and career longevity, things like that. So we had a conversation where I came with all this information [which you can find on the APAC USA website] and it made them a lot more comfortable. They were accepting after that — but in my case, I was like, “You know this thing that I’ve been talking about for years? I’m gonna do it! See ya, bye!” I’m not the example you should compare yourself or anybody to. I was a tough kid to raise. Not that I’m so unique, but if I decide I want to do something, I’m going to go do it. That’s the type of person I’ve always been. If my family had shunned me, I would have been like, “Wow, my family is a bunch of ignorant knuckleheads.”

That said, you shouldn’t compare yourself to me or anyone else. You’re an individual and your situation is going to be different. You can ask other people what they did or how they did it, but they’re different from you, and their family is different from yours. Every single person is going to have to be dealt with differently, because they’re going to react differently, and then you’re going to have to assess your situation and only your situation. You’re going to have to accept that deciding to work in adult films is going to have some serious consequences for you, and if you don’t want to deal with those serious consequences, you should not do it.

Already known as a porn star, actor, director, producer, sex symbol, and star of our masturbatory fantasies, James Deen can now add Frisky advice columnist to his resume. Each week in his new column, What Would James Deen Do?, he’ll be offering his straight up, rock solid, no bullshit advice to YOUR questions. Want to know what James would do? Email your questions to whatwouldjamesdo@thefrisky.com!