Sunday, June 1, 2008

Being the other half

It takes a strong being to hold our hands, to hold our hearts and hold our bodies close after we come home from our day at the office. As porn stars we open ourselves up to those around us, giving part of ourselves to the scene, connecting with new individuals on a physical and sexual level. Yes we all know it is work when the camera is rolling and for the most part everyone is very professional, but that doesn't mean that we remain mechanical creatures and that we aren't emotionally exposed as we are connecting with these individuals on a very personal level for your enjoyment. So how do we create that boundary? That boundary that lies between our personal and business relationships. This is the constant struggle that exists internally for adult performers.

Sex work is part of my sexual identity. It is a part of who I am. I had no idea how my professional life would impact who my personal partners would be. Some partners find it novel at first that there girlfriend is desired by millions of fans. But that can quickly wear off and be replaced with overwhelming jealousy. I had just begun my career as a porn star when I fell in love with my last girlfriend, Gauge. And although Gauge seemed supportive at first, when the constant travel kicked in and letters from fans, interviews, media and photos all over the internet of other people giving me orgasms, it was no longer something that she could handle. She felt that she was losing me to them. And although my love for her never faltered she was unable to handle being the partner of a sex worker. At the time we would scoure the internet looking for partners of sex workers support groups. And we found nothing. We were never able to find her the support she needed in order to deal with the emotions that she was having as a result of my career. One of my first porns that I produced is entitled The Tail of a Bondage Model and it is the story of the internal struggles of a sex worker and maintaining a lover in your life while you are working.

I now find myself on both sides of the fence. I'm still an adult performer and so is my partner. We have learned to communicate honestly about what are boundaries are, what we know that we can handle and what we know that we can't. We have learned to create sacred sexual activities that are only meant to be between the two of us and that are not for sale for entertainment. And we have learned to negotiate and that nothing is ever in stone, that people change, boundaries change and that we must allow for that. And although this may sound all well and good and perfectly healthy it has taken plenty of therapy and fights to get us to this point. And it would have been so nice to have tapped into a community of dialouge around this subject while in my relationships me and my partners are grappling to create some sort of language that works for communicating around a relationship in which sex work is added to the equation. And now there is.

Sexual revolutionary and artist Sadie Lune has been creating dialouge,art and activism around just this subject. Her new blog Working Hearts
is addressing issues such as how does your personal life effect your work and if my partner fucks or uses sexual energy at work will they have enough left for me at home? These are questions that run through our minds as partners of sex workers. She discusses the creation of emotional and physical boundaries around sex work. And gives a voice to both partners of sex workers that she holds dialouge with and gives voice to a myriad of different sex workers. Having these voices illustrated for us on her blog gives birth to a community of sex workers and their partners and lets us know that we are not alone. Sadie Lune is building connection amongst partners that can often feel isolated and ashamed of their insecurity, jealousy, and frustration.

Not only is Sadie writing about the boundaries between personal and work but she will also be exhibiting a site specific installation examining tokens of affection from lovers and clients, during the month of September in the windows of Madison Young's Femina Potens.

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