WIA Profile: Fiona Patten
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives. Women like Fiona Patten, Executive Officer, Eros.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE BUSINESS?
I came to this industry via politics which I guess is not the normal path. After running as an independent in a small election on a civil liberty platform I was approached by the adult industry to establish a national organisation that lobbied state and federal politicians on their behalf. That was a lifetime ago when the adult industry was simpler!
WHAT IN YOUR BACKGROUND PREPARED YOU FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW?
After 20 years lobbying for the adult industry I feel ready to run for the Senate. As a lobbyist for adult businesses you develop a very keen sense of when people are being straight with you and when they are not. Sex is the universal truth serum on Capitol Hill! I know how politics works now but I know better how it doesn’t work! As a politician with a background in porn, you will give everyone a go. There’s no casting couch in the porn industry and I wouldn’t have one in my Senate office either.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE CHALLENGES OF WORKING IN THE ADULT ONLINE BUSINESS?
Getting governments to recognise that this is a valid industry with a large consumer base is still a major challenge. Many of our younger customers have never known a world without the internet. We need to be able to convince our customers to change their vote on the basis of these personal freedom issues and to politicise censorship and prohibition issues. Child protectionists and feminists who call for increasing censorship without proof or evidence of harm are still gaining traction in political circles and there is an enormous challenge there for adult industry advocates to get adult companies to put more of their profits into this crucial area.
DOES YOUR WORK LIFE AFFECT YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
My work is now 24/7 and personal and professional seem to blur. This has made it hard to stay in close touch with friends and family although fortunately so many of my friends are my colleagues. And like so many of us we have found a family in the adult industry. I try and swim every second day and I now get up at 5:30 every morning to deal with the enormous amount of email and Facebook correspondence that I get. That affects my ability to have a big night out but at 48 I feel like I’m entering the power decade of my life, so I’m OK about leaving behind some (only some) of the party culture that I have embraced for the last few decades!