Working On The Sidelines Of The Porn Industry Is Probably Different Than You Think It Is

By Nate Nkumbu

For many people when they think of the porn industry, they think of actors and actress getting paid to be naked and have sex on camera.

But there is a lot more to it then just that. And for the folks that make one of the largest content industries move, the sex isn’t even important.

Since the rise of the internet, the industry has seen a large amount of public knowledge and even a form of increased social acceptance.

Actors and Actress are well known on the internet and they are part of a massive $97 billion global industry that is expected to continue to grow. 

But what about the people working in the industry off camera?

Do they have different views about how the public sees and think of their work?  

We set out to find out.

JD Obenberger is Lawyer based in Chicago that works with clients within the porn industry. A veteran of four years in the U.S Army during the height of the Cold War, Obenberger said that he finds his current job to be a dream and interesting.

Photo Credit: stallio/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: stallio/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“I’ve always been a person that fought for the underdogs and for people that were less fortunate, so this job has been very enjoyable to me,” Obenberger said in an interview with RISE NEWS

Obenberger said that despite the popularity, many people still are not comfortable with viewing porn as a legitimate career choice.

This is especially tough for family members of people who get involved in the industry.

“It’s very difficult for a person to come out to their parents and say, ‘Hey mom, I’m going to California to become a porn star’, than say, ‘I’m gay,'” Obenberger said. “You would never admit to your parents that you watch porn, there’s a sense of shame that comes with saying that.”

One such issue is the repression of brick and mortar strip clubs around the country, which Obenberger said is especially common in the city of Chicago.

Obenberger said that it’s often impossible for joints to get licences to sell booze if they have nude performers.

While the internet has fundamentally changed the way most people access and interact with porn, Obenberger said that the technology has not been all good.

“The golden age of online porn was actually from 2001 to 2008,” Obenberger said. “There were multiple website that catered and produce videos to the many fetishes that people had, unfortunately for them, internet piracy was a major thing and often those sites would see their revenue go down as many of their videos would be pirated and uploaded to Tube sites.”

The legal battles over tube sites are still ongoing and could lead to lasting damage in the industry. 

Another person that works in the porn industry off camera is Michael Stabile, the Media Representative for Kink, an adult production company that caters to folks interested in BDSM. (Think Fifty Shades of Grey type stuff.)

A former journalist who wrote about the porn industry for 10 years, Stabile said that he finds his job to very relaxing and creative.

“This is the type of work in which you meet a lot of people from various walks of life sexually, professionally, so you’re getting mixed bag of people that you’re working with,” Stabile said.

One of the benefits of working at Kink Stabile said was that outside of his job being really fun and adventurous is the learning experience that comes with it.

“At Kink, we shoot 15-20 times a week,often we’ll have people who’ll be sick, can’t come to work so other’s who’ll fill in,” Stabile said. “In my case, the company needed somebody to do webcasts, so I learned and they even pay for me to get training in video editing.”

Interestingly enough, Stabile said that he most recent experiences with the industry is more of like a film school.

“It’s the type of industry that if you like to help, they are more than happy to give you work and help gain skills that can be applied outside the work site,” Stabile said.

Stabile said that they aren’t that many issues when he talks about his work with friends or fellow journalists.

Often he says, they are just curious about his work.

“They are some conflict that can occur, like me working for Disney and Kink would not fly for example, but because i’ve been working for 10 years in the industry as a journalist then media rep, it was easy for me not to hide what I do.”

 

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: fnogues/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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