Q&A: APAC Panel Offers Post Porn Career Advice
LOS ANGELES — In an effort to educate adult industry talent, the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) tackled a hot topic last week, hosting a panel on “Transitioning to Non-Sex Work."
As adult becomes more mainstream friendly, performers who have run their course or simply want to move onto other careers, are seeking any advice they can get. And considering the horror stories bandied about by some who say porn is a scarlet letter that prohibits any kind of gainful employment, the APAC panel was a welcomed event.
The talk was part of a series of monthly events planned by APAC to foster community and growth amongst performers.
APAC President, performer and director Chanel Preston told XBIZ that the organization's panels have been continually giving performers the opportunity to gain information on how to manage their careers and their life in the adult film industry.
“Although most of the performers at this most recent panel are not ready to transition out of porn, it’s important they are aware of the options they have and the experiences of others help them realize what path may work best for them. The adult film industry is not generally a place for longevity, so we always have to be prepared for a transition, and this panel helped people gain a realistic perspective of what it could be like when considering life outside of porn,” Preston said.
XBIZ also sat down with APAC vice president, performer and panelist Conner Habib (pictured) who answered some salient questions about the panel and the hot button issue.
XBIZ: What prompted APAC to present the panel on non-sex work?
Habib: The panel was on transitioning out of the industry or taking a break. Sooner or later, if you're a performer, you're going to want to quit or take a break. So it's a transition that all of us will experience.
XBIZ: Who were the panel members and how did you choose them?
Habib: The panelists were Emily Prior and myself. Emily is a former sex worker and performer, and I'm still in the industry, but taking a break for now to focus on other things.
XBIZ: What was identified as the major obstacles in transitioning?
Habib: There are lots of obstacles. From resumé gaps to getting used to not receiving the same kinds of sexual attention to simply not knowing what to do next. Everyone will experience different challenges.
XBIZ: What recommendations can you give talent that's thinking about transitioning?
Habib: Make sure you're thinking about what you might want to do outside of porn while you're doing it, not at the last moment. Start developing a portfolio or taking a class or two. Start thinking about how you want to use your porn identity or not. It's important to cultivate all that while you're in porn so the switch to something new isn't a sudden and total change, but an easier transition.
XBIZ: Describe the things most talent don't know about leaving adult for other careers.
Habib: Being in porn can be an asset to future careers. Remember that you've gained a powerful skill set by being in porn. You've learned about sexual health. You know how to take care of your body. You've learned how to interact (sometimes very intimately) with people you wouldn't necessarily interact with.
XBIZ: What areas (industries, companies) are most likely to accept former talent?
Habib: Being in California, where porn is a legal and accepted part of the economy helps. But in any case, some occupations are more accepting of people with porn careers than others. Academia, journalism, being a personal trainer, a real estate agent, and more are possible. Find the places where porn is an asset for you in your skill set and interests and you will be less likely to encounter any discrimination.
XBIZ: What advice can you give would-be talent concerned about someday leaving adult?
Habib: First, make sure porn can fit into the context of your life and your future plans. If that's all in order, then remember: By being in porn, you've decided to do something that others told you not to do — in other words, you know how to pursue your dreams even when they're discouraged; that takes a lot of strength. Remember that, and you'll realize you're capable of anything.