A Newcomer’s Perspective
By: Dave Slick
For a long time now, I have shared the opinion that our business is comprised of two types of people. There are the driven and ambitious sort, who will remain for the long term. And then there is a substantial population that is just happy to be a part of it. The adult industry is something that many perceive as larger than life. What we do sits on the fringes of what many would consider to be conventional in both the personal and professional realms. The result of this is that we attract all kinds of people, some better suited to longevity than others, with all kinds of personalities.
Now as I have begun to navigate this business over the last fifteen months, learning how to deal with all the people within it has been a fascinating exercise. For us ambitious types, it can be vicious and cutthroat. For the excited newcomer or person passing through, ignorance is bliss. I remember those first couple months, when I was simply in awe of it all. And that was the sentiment, awe. Gradually, I became disillusioned.
I learned that not everyone was interested in being my friend; everybody was not concerned with the success of the group. There were enough people who saw others succeeding as their failing, and would go so far as to gossip about or even sabotage their competition. And this was just my impression as far as fellow talent. Of course, I started to surround myself with people I could trust and depend on, which has become increasingly important. It’s easy to look at every bit of drama as a crisis, and it’s a trap I’ve fallen into, as do so many others.
All this has been a very roundabout way of getting to one crucial idea, and hopefully some substantial food for thought, as much as I hate clichés. This culture that we have within our industry is not merely a consequence of personalities. That would be thinking too small, and not embracing the bigger picture.
Like every other aspect of life, much of what we do is learned behavior. How is this applicable to the world of adult? All the pettiness and drama exhibited by talent is learned. The veterans of this industry have a responsibility to act as role models and set the tone for how we conduct ourselves. While many rise to this calling, others flat out dismiss it. When others attack, and even slander or libel fellow industry members, it angers some and yet still emboldens others. When it comes from someone who is supposed to be in a position of leadership and credibility, the effect is far worse. These people, people who are in the best place to foster positive change and growth, elect to seek profit through opportunistic sensationalism at the expense of others.
This is my opinion, nothing more. Call it a newcomer’s perspective. The at times negative and hostile culture that pervades our industry is fostered and condoned by some of our most valued members. That culture has consequences that hurt us and our longevity. It creates a wholly unnecessary deterrent for those who would seek to enter our industry. It disillusions some of our most talented members. It leads people like me to become jaded and cynical. And inherently, it means that those who choose to make their careers in this business do so in spite of that culture, not because of it.