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8 Things I Learned from a Porn Magazine

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I've produced wild photo shoots and seen more naked bodies than you'd believe. And here are 8 things I learned that may surprise you.


1) The work environment is just that--work: Believe it or not, my 9-5 was a lot like working at a mainstream magazine: Every morning, I'd grab my coffee and head to the office for a day of idea meetings, editing stories, and conducting interviews. And, despite the photos of naked women lining the walls, poring over layouts of legs spread, and working in a mainly all-male office, my co-workers were perfect gentlemen and I never felt uncomfortable being female.

2) The girls look 'normal': Here's a question I'd get asked almost daily: "Do the centerfolds really look like that?" The answer is, not really. Labias get sculpted, breasts get de-veined, and waists are whittled down to the size of toothpicks, all with a click of a mouse and a program called Photoshop. What's more, lots of the girls--18 to 22-year-old strippers, or just pretty girls found in malls--had surgery. One even had three boob jobs, to make her breasts "perfect." Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying these women are dogs--but they certainly aren't the doe-eyed, pouty-lipped, tanned bedroom goddesses they resemble in the final product. Case in point: Even the centerfolds would flip through their glossy photo spreads and exclaim "Wow! Is that really me?"

3) Women are competitive: It should come as no surprise that not all the models were friends. And it makes sense--get any group of girls together who are vying for one prize (In this case, Centerfold of the Month/Year), and things are bound to get catty. One girl even stole another's platinum jewelry (a gift from the magazine) and had it replaced with a cheap imposter. And another time, one girl spread a nasty rumor about another to upset the competition.

4) My sex life sizzled: OK, this one's a little embarrassing, but it's true. When you look at sex, think about sex, and talk about sex all day long, it takes its toll. I wish I could say I was desensitized by all the sexual content, but the truth is, it just boosted my libido big time. My boyfriend even complained he was worn out from my robust desire!

5) Glam photo shoots are all for show: Given the photos are supposed to portray a fantasy (sex in a meadow, car garage, etc.) but the truth is, being on set just depressed me. Although it was never confirmed, many models seemed drunk while shooting. It was as if they needed to be numb just to get through the day. It made me sad. Sometimes I wanted to ask these girls why they did it, but I wasn't their friend. I was just doing my job.

6) Denial ain't just a river in Egypt: Turns out, I didn't need to ask. Many women defended their jobs without being asked. Some would say, "I feel empowered when I strip," or "My mom is so proud of what I do." Call me judgmental, but this was a hard pill to swallow. Chances are most mothers would object to a daughter who gets naked for money. But at the end of the day, it was just none of my concern.

7) It's all business: Once the girls achieve a certain title, their job gets busy. Besides appearing naked in the magazine, they also have to join the magazine's empire, which includes making erotic movies, dancing at the company's strip club, and having molds of their genitals made for sex toys. I often wondered if they realized what they had in store when they first came on board.

8) I was a hypocrite: In the end, I couldn't resolve my conflicting feelings--These girls have low self-esteem...Well, maybe it's not so bad...Ew, gross!--about the porn industry with my job. I grew tired of having a raunchy, sexual job and longed to fill my days with substance, so I left the magazine after 10 months. And while I attest that porn can be a healthy outlet to revive a snoozing sex life, I just couldn't handle it 24/7. Although the girls seem content with what they do, at the end of the day, it's just not for me.

next: Back to School Fashion Disaster
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
BigSlick August 27, 2008, 1:47 PM

Awesome Photo

shanna August 27, 2008, 2:40 PM

#7 makes me so sad….feels almost like abuse to get involved in this world. Fascinating insights…

maryann August 27, 2008, 3:13 PM


mom of a daughter August 28, 2008, 9:06 AM

It saddens me that young girls have lost themselves to what men want them to be. Don’t get me wrong sex is great, and I love it. But young girls in media and everyday life seem to have lost their
self respect and need to know they are
more than an object of men’s desires.

Sallee (mom raid) August 28, 2008, 1:22 PM

Yes there is a market out there for this gaebage. Sadly it is most demeaning to young girls who really donn’t know much better. To hsvce to see a vaginas spread over 2 whole magazines pages is to me a bit over board or men going at woman from both sides is well,,just gross. These people need serious help to maintain long loving relationships with LOVE being the key factor.

Mr-Yellow August 29, 2008, 8:12 PM

Probably not the case everywhere but I’ve always found the way everyones treated in the adult industry is a lot more respectful and empathetic then other industries I’ve worked in.

As for ppl in the industry not being able to sustain long relationships? I can’t believe that for a second. I have no solid numbers but I’d hazard to say that the military and it’s 80%+ relationship failure rate would beat the adult industry anyday :-)

L September 2, 2008, 2:27 PM


proud September 5, 2008, 3:25 PM

This has been going on for the last 100 years, so why are you all acting so surprised? If you don’t like it, don’t look, its that easy. Some people use porn as a way to keep our sex lifes with our loved ones exciting. This is why WE are not in that other article “Who is your Husband sleeping with”!

LIKA October 8, 2008, 12:05 AM

I hate man and porno. Women for them the just a piece of meat. The most sad thing that nathing can stop this porn industry. Nobody care that children grow and will watch this.

Erin November 27, 2008, 11:28 AM

Yeah Mr. Yellow, the porn industry is very respectful and empathetic of women. That’s why it ususally references women in four letter words and treats them nothing more then interchangable sockets that all that matters is their age, breasts and butt. And that’s why most of the women on her shoot seemed to have to be drunk. Come on. Most women who are educated and have options don’t appear in these videos. it’s just sad that so many men care about disrespecting women that loving and honoring us. Makes me wonder if men care at all about women beyond sex.

Angelique December 23, 2008, 2:19 AM

My ex-husband was Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt and Howard Stern all in one person. He was unbearable to be married to and it took a toll on me and my three children. From all of this; I began to talk to my-husband like he was a piece of garbage. I treated him as if I were in the porn business. I could not treat him with respect, because he showed me no respect. A cabinet of XXX movies, XXX magazines and tons of pictures of spread eagle women printed off the internet did nothing good for my marriage. It showed me what a low life; I chose to marry. The damage all this garbage did to my marriage was devastating. :)

D from NY January 10, 2009, 8:21 AM

okay…lets not get it misconstrued. women like to blame porn for their own short comings…when all else fails blame porn for ruining my relationship…why dont women start the blame with themselves…as for the women in the porn industry yes some and I mean some have low self esteem relatively the same percentage of women as the rest of the world… as for angelique’s post… you knew what you were getting into when you married him. blame yourself if you knew his preference for porn wasn’t for you you shouldnt have married him… porn didnt mess up your life you did…stop blaming porn or the adult industry grow up!!!

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 8:08 PM

Nice post! Nice and fun reading. I’ve just got a single observation to make about funny shirts.

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