How To Become A Professional Pornstar

Trading Shoots

Getting Started As A Mainstream / Professional Pornstar

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what it takes to become a professional pornstar. By professional, we mean “Mainstream Porn”, and not indie or amateur porn. “Pro-Am” works very similarly to mainstream/professional, so all the information here is applicable for pro-am as well. We’ll also contrast how the professional porn scene is different from camming and the amateur porn scene. Here is what you need to know about breaking into mainstream porn.


What’s Required To Become A Pornstar

18 Or Older – The main requirement to get into the industry is you must be eighteen years old or older. You’ll need to provide copies of government-issued photo ID to your agency, or to the producers if you’re self-booking. This is to stay compliant with “2257”, the record-keeping requirements for the adult industry. This is something that everyone will require, and that information is going to be associated to every scene you appear in. There are also strict testing requirements, and there will most likely be travel requirements.

Finding An Agency – If you’re not self-booking, you’ll need to find an agency to represent you. Be sure to research all the agencies carefully, as there are some bad players out there. It’s important to realize that it’s up to the agency on whether or not they’ll accept you.

Male Pornstars – Male pornstars will have a much harder time finding work in the industry. That is a simple supply and demand thing. If you want to become a male pornstar, expect to have to relocate to an area with a large industry presence, or go the amateur porn route.


Testing Requirements for The Adult Industry

The adult industry follows some very strict testing standards. Every performer has to test every 14 days in order to perform.  There are testing facilities located in all the major cities where you’ll find the industry. Many of them specialize in adult industry testing, provide fast (even 24 hour) turnaround time and might even have tools to encrypt/authenticate results and provide dashboards and reporting for performers, agencies and producers. The entire industry takes STIs and sexual health very seriously and mandatory testing is one of the ways it’s done.


How Much Money Pornstars Can Make

This is a very complex question with a very complex answer. Really, “It depends”. For one, gender is important. Males make the least, transgenders generally make more than males (but there’s less opportunities) and females are the highest earners. The per-scene can vary drastically as well. It might be 800ish on the low-end, although “AVN Caliber” talent can see 5-figures per shoot. That’s on the high-end of the spectrum.

What Pornstars Make Per Scene – What a pornstar gets per scene various on a lot of criteria. As mentioned earlier, gender and “star power” is huge. The more hardcore scenes will also go for a higher rate. For example; gangbangs and anal shoots will pay more than standard boy/girl content. How well the agency can negotiate will also impact how much a pornstar ends up earning. Another reason why you should vet your agencies carefully.

Multiple Scenes Per “Trip” – Unless you’re living in either LA or Miami (where the industry is), you’ll most likely be flying into either location, where multiple shoots will be lined up. This way, you’re not flying back and fourth for individual scenes, which is both expensive, time-consuming and definitely not time-efficient. Agents will generally provide some kind of accommodations; either a model house or compensation for a hotel. Having more shoots booked per trip will increase the overall annual income for a pornstar.

Lifetime / Career Income – How much money a pornstar can make during a career greatly varies. The greatest factor is how long the individual is performing. A long-term career will generally make more than a short-lived career. Because there’s no set salary, the lifetime value of one pornstar will generally vary when compared to another. There might also be other non-production related income as well. This might include events / PR and other gigs. Many pornstars also offer indie services which can generate additional revenue.

Offering Other Services Outside Of Mainstream Porn – Many pornstars offer other services outside of mainstream porn shoots. They might be producing their own content, running their own paysite, camming or offering other services. This can drastically increase the overall income of a pornstar. Camming has become very lucrative, and having the name-recognition from doing mainstream porn only helps. When producing and selling their own content, the pornstar manages to maintain the ownership and all revenue the content generates. Same with running a paysite. Pursuing these other revenue-streams can greatly increase the profits, and can also build a residual income that will generate revenue, even if the pornstar is no longer performing.


Partnering With An Agency: Do Your Research!

The most important decision You can make is choosing the right agency. There are a lot of bad players out there (HINT: Some are featured on several much-hated documentaries) and getting stuck with a bad agency can be a horrible disaster. Whenever you’re looking into an agency, it pays to do a Google Search and see if anything negative comes up. I’d also recommend making a post on XBIZ and other adult-industry forums and communities. There’s a lot of people on these sites with experience on both sides of the camera, and you’ll get feedback for just about anything.


Remember: You Can Turn Down Shoots

It’s important to realize that you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. Not comfortable with a specific type of shoot? You can turn it down. Don’t want to work with a particular producer? You can turn down the shoot. Don’t want to work with a specific performer? You can turn down the shoot. This is important to know, as there are horror stories about performers getting talked into doing shoots they aren’t comfortable with. This is especially common with newer performers who aren’t as knowledgeable about how the industry works.


Agencies Vs Self-Booking

It is possible to self-book. This means that the performer works as the agent and books their own shoots. By self-booking, the pornstar is able to get a larger cut of the profits. They also have to go through all the work the agency normally takes care of, and they’ll need all the contacts required to get booked. It’s possible to self-book while working with an agency. If this is a route you’d like to pursue, make sure it’s allowed by the agency. Some agencies will have it against their terms, while some will allow performers to self-book while also being represented by them.

If you are self-booking, make sure to do your due-dilligence on all the producers you are considering working with. Just like with agencies, there are some bad actors producing the content as well. You hear horror stories ranging from #MeToo, to contracts being much different than what was initially expressed via phone or email.


Should You Relocate For The Job?

Relocation isn’t mandatory, but is something you might consider if you want to be serious about a mainstream porn career. Los Angeles, California is the most obvious choice, as that is where the majority of the industry is at. However, political tension from both the State of California (CAL-OSHA), as well as the LA City Council, has caused an exodus our of California. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the major hub of the USA porn industry. Florida also has a huge industry presence, and there’s pockets scattered throughout the country.

Book More Shoots – Being in a location with a strong industry presence makes it easier to book shoots and get more shoots. Perhaps someone couldn’t make a shoot and the producer needs to find a replacement within a limited time window. Not having to travel makes everything more convenient in general. Also, being in a city with exposure to the people in the industry will help build rapport and name recognition.

Travel Is Easier – If you’re living in LA or another industry hot-spot, you will not have to travel for those shoots. You also won’t have to stay in a model house or hotel, and scheduling shoots is much easier in general. There’s also reduced overhead from airfare and other travel-related expenses. Not to mention, you get to remain at your own home while shooting in that city.

Interacting Within The Industry – Perhaps the biggest perk is the fact that you’re able to interact with many of the people within the industry. This includes producers, other talent, agencies and other industry professionals. This can help with building rapport, name recognition and industry connections. All this will help your career greatly.

Relocating Not Mandatory – Although relocating can be convenient, it’s definitely not required. There are plenty of performers that live in places where there is absolutely no industry. That does mean you’ll be traveling though. How much traveling and what windows is completely up to you. If travel is something that you are not interested in, you can always look into other amateur services you can do from home. Examples include becoming a webcam model or producing homemade porn.

Male Pornstars: Relocation Is Mandatory – The above reality does not apply to male pornstars. If you want to be a male pornstar, you better be living in an area with a porn scene. That’s just the way it is. Nobody is putting male talent on an airplane.


Making Extra Income: Events / Club Appearances

Many pornstars make extra income through event and strip club appearances. Often times, the agency will actually broker these arrangements, although it’s possible for pornstars to pursue these appearances themselves. Sometimes producers / studios or other brands will pursue pornstars to work their booths at trade shows. Not only are these events a great form of promotion, but they also result in extra revenue.


What If An Agency Turns You Down

If an agency turns you down, there’s several options. You can either apply elsewhere, or look into the amateur route. The one advantage of going the amateur route is that there is no agency and you are the producer and performer. There’s camming, clips, phone sex and tons of other services that can be offered, all explained below. Being an amateur pornstar can also help transitioning into mainstream. that is because you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’re knowledgeable about the industry, have a following and your content can generate sales.


Getting Started With Amateur Porn

It’s also possible to get into the industry as an amateur performer. In fact, there’s a lot of advantages going this route. You’re able to work from home, don’t have to travel, don’t have to deal with an agency and don’t have to deal with producers. You also own the rights to all of your content, opposed to professional porn, where the producer owns the rights to the content and the talent is only paid for each individual shoot. Because of this, you have the ability to monetize the content in a lot of different ways and can build a residual income stream. Camming and other services are also real hot right now. It’s also possible to offer your own amateur services while also doing professional porn. Here’s all the details.


What Is Required To Become An Amateur Pornstar

18 Or Older – The only real requirement is that you must be eighteen years old or older. If performing on a site, you’ll need to provide a digital copy of ID for age verification. This is to stay compliant with the same federal laws that professional porn producers have to be compliant with.

Equipment Requirements – It’s important to realize that you do need your own equipment and area to produce / perform. The equipment requirements vary based on the services being offered. For example; a webcam is required for camming, and a camera is required for producing and selling content. Certain fetishes might require additional equipment.

No Hiring Process – Unlike mainstream porn, there’s no hiring process for amateur porn. You don’t have to work with any agencies or producers. Anyone (regardless of gender, attractiveness or location) can get started in the industry. Instead of working with agencies and producers, you’ll be working with camming sites, clip sites and similar networks.

No Travel Requirements – There is also no travel requirements. You can work from your home (or in some cases, almost anywhere!). No bouncing back and fourth between California and Florida or working schedules, for that matter.


How Much Do Amateur Pornstars Make?

Just like with mainstream porn, this is a very complex question with a complex answer. Especially since amateur pornstars aren’t paid “per shoot”, and there’s a lot of different services that can be offered, each with a different way of generating revenue. For example; with camming, it’s either per-minute for privates or token-based for public. With producing porn, the clips can be sold individually on a clip store, or placed on a membership site and accessible for a monthly subscription fee. This makes it an even more complex answer than with professional porn. Here are some things impacting profitability.

Services Offered – It’s important to realize that different services generate income in different ways, and some are more profitable than others. For example; texting is charged per message and very marginal, while private camming is charged per-minute and much more profitable. Clips can generate sales organically, making it a residual income. Finding the right combinations of services will result in the most profitable business model.

Most Profitable Fetishes – The fetishes being catered to also impacts profitability. It’s possible to go 100% vanilla, and it’s also possible to go the fetish route. There’s tons of different fetishes (including ones you never thought existed) and you’d be surprised at what fetishes might become your best sellers. Playing around with different fetishes and finding the ones that work best will result in a more profitable career.

Customer / Fan-Base – The larger your customer-base, the more profitable your career will be. This is something that’s going to have to be built over time, but it’s definitely worth it. Your fan-base is more likely to purchase your new content, subscribe to your membership site or buy camming shows off you. This translates into more money.

Attractiveness – Attractive isn’t everything (especially for fetish models) but it does help. If you are an attractive individual, you will have an easier time succeeding. Keep in mind, you can’t just be hot, sit there naked and expect to make money. It doesn’t work that way.

Affiliate Commissions – “Affiliate Marketing” is where you get paid for referring new customers to the camming sites, clip sites and other networks you’re working on. Most of the camming sites offer affiliate programs, and some of the clip sites as well. If the company offers a “revhsare” (percentage of all new customer purchases) you’ll make money on the referrals, even if they’re not spending that money on you. This creates an entirely new (and residual) income stream.

Ballpark Revenue – Although it’s really hard to ballpark, here are some numbers. Making a couple thousand per month isn’t unreasonable, although there might be a learning curve to get over. Making 5-figures per month isn’t out of the equation, by any means, but you’ll need a solid customer-base and figure out what’s profitable for you, in order for that to happen. There are amateur pornstars who are “1%ers”. There are also performers who only make a couple hundred per month and most likely decide the industry is not for them.


Make Money Offering These Amateur Services


Producing and Selling Homemade Porn

Producing and selling your own porn can be very profitable. The great thing about producing and selling content is that is creates a residual income stream. That is because every piece of content has the potential to generate sales, as long as it’s available for sell. The porn can also be used for things like membership sites, that create a residual income from monthly subscription fees. The more content available, the more this compounds. But remember not to sacrifice quality for quantity. You can learn more about producing and selling homemade porn by checking out the link below.

Make Money Producing and Selling Porn


Become An Adult Webcam Model

Camming is another very popular and profitable service that you can offer. Camming sites are revolutionizing the adult industry and adds a new level of interaction to porn. Although all the different sites offer slightly different features, there are generally two types of sites. Private based sites specialize in private chat, which is charged by the minute. Public shows use tip goals, tip games, interactive sex toys and tip menus to generate revenue. You can learn more about getting started camming by checking out the link below.

Get Started As A Camgirl


Become A Phone Sex Operator

Phone sex has evolved a lot since back in the day. There’s no more landlines and everything can be done over a mobile phone. With smartphone technology, phone sex has evolved even further. Now texting is another service that can be offered, in addition to talking. Various mobile apps have also been developed, that allow performers to make money from offering a wide range of services. You can learn more about phone sex by checking out the link below.

Become A Phone Sex Operator


Build and Run Your Own Member Site

It’s also possible to make money running your own website. Websites are generally monetized from membership subscriptions, but it’s also possible to sell individual pieces of content and other store items from the site, as well as making money from live camming. You don’t need to be an expert webmaster, either. There are several platforms out there designed specifically for models. They have easy-to-use visual website builders, handle all the hosting and technical thing and are 100% free to get started using (Works on a revshare model).

Web Development For Pornstars


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