LOS ANGELES — It took me several days after the release for me to finally watch the new “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” documentary series on Netflix. It seemed like everywhere I looked, adult entertainers were either praising the new series or trashing it online. There was no middle ground.
As the main subject of the third episode, I was terrified and prepared for the worst. To avoid putting my nose and opinions where they aren’t wanted, this article will mostly focus on my episode instead of the entire series.
A little over a year ago, the producers contacted me about a new series they hoped to film that would revolve around how the world of sex and pornography has been shaped by the internet. After sharing some of my concerns regarding the first “Hot Girls Wanted,” I was assured that this new series would be more positive and contain a much broader view of the industry than we saw in the original documentary. It was made clear from the start that I wouldn’t be compensated for any of my time. This obviously sounded like a perfect fit for me as a cam girl, and I was making enough money camming to commit the necessary time needed to complete the documentary. I agreed to get involved with the series.
There was one issue though — I needed to find a MyFreeCams member who was willing to meet with me and be filmed by a film crew. I couldn't find anyone willing to put their face on television and had to turn down the opportunity. I was later asked to elaborate more about my time in the porn industry and how it was possible for me to be involved with porn while only camming and shooting solo content. Next thing I knew, and somewhat by accident, I found myself helping coordinate an episode that focused on building a business for yourself in the porn industry.
I received a wary but immediate confirmation when I asked my agent at the time if he’d be willing to help include his agency into my episode. I’d been doing recruiting work and running the agency’s Twitter account for a while at that point. He had me pick up two new models from the airport during one of the documentary filming sessions. Everything went pretty smoothly for a few weeks.
I talked to the girls about starting and owning their own businesses, the importance of owning their own content and the importance of staying within their comfort zones at all times. Both girls said they were interested in shooting solo and girl/girl content only, so that’s what we focused on. I emphasized the importance of branding and informed them that building a name for yourself as a solo and girl/girl model can also bring additional monetary benefits if they ever decide to shoot boy/girl later on.
Sadly, I feel that my attempt to help these girls start out with solo and girl/girl content was taken in a way that made viewers see boy/girl content as “too far” and beyond any female talent’s comfort zone. This is already a stigma we are constantly fighting within this industry, and it saddens me that the producers may have felt that I was against girls ever shooting boy/girl content. I don’t have any issues with shooting boy/girl as long as it’s what the talent wants to shoot.
The girls in my episode wanted to start with solo and girl/girl, that’s why we focused on those specifically. I had a few other issues with how I was portrayed in the episode, mostly involving dialogue that was taken out of context, but my view on boy/girl content is really the only issue worth clarifying. I’m getting several emails a day from women who want to enter the adult industry because they see it as very empowering, so I’m not going to sit here and complain about how I was portrayed. That’s a huge compliment to the industry too.
Another stigma we’re constantly dealing with is the assumption that all adult performers have to do drugs and be high constantly to cope with this job. To my disappointment, the film crew came in contact with several instances that could easily reinforce this belief. Thankfully, the majority of this footage ended up on the cutting room floor (I’ll discuss this more later on). I really appreciated what the producers wanted to do after the situation with the original “new girl” began to go downhill. The producer I worked with asked if I could bring in another model.
They wanted to show someone who was empowered and successful to help change the path that my episode had begun to go down. There were a few possible choices, but Salena Storm had actually already come out to L.A. for go-sees in the documentary before that point, so this was a great reason to give her a much bigger role.
I really wish Salena had a bigger presence within my episode, but she wasn’t the original girl and I understand that all stories needed to be told realistically. I appreciated how professional and business-minded she appeared to be in the documentary. I don’t know what we would have done without her. Also, the original girl who was to be featured was in a tough position. She was in a completely new city, entering a new industry and everything she did was recorded by a film crew for her first few months here in L.A.
The beginning of her career in the porn industry wasn’t the smoothest, and she took a long break just a few months after coming out to L.A., but I’d like to think that she is still learning and growing as a person. What happened a year ago on camera doesn’t necessarily define her as a person or professional today. We have to keep in mind that this is an outsider’s perspective and it’s also television, not everything will be portrayed 100 percent accurately.
There have been several complaints that personal information was shared and performers were exposed in this documentary. I had a few personal details shared as well. I don’t believe the producers tried to expose anyone on purpose but I feel that this could have easily been avoided. Most of us have to hide more info than most people realize. I can understand how that could be difficult to keep up with for editors who aren't familiar with the needs of adult performers.
Inviting an industry member to scan through all of the final edits would have most likely solved this issue before the release. Performers know what to look for because this is something we deal with in our day-to-day lives. Legal names, address info and unwitting inclusion within this documentary (the Periscope clip) are all things that I think most adult performers would have pointed out as unacceptable if they were given the chance to help review the final edits.
I’ve also noticed a few claims that the goal of the producers was to take away female empowerment within the adult industry. I can only speak for my segment, but I feel that by omitting the most damning footage from my episode, this can’t be true. Considering this footage would have been very entertaining to viewers, I believe it was left out of the episode in order to protect everyone involved and the industry as a whole.
We can’t expect a documentary to lie on our behalf, or only show the best parts of our industry if they have footage that says otherwise. In my opinion, leaving out the most undesirable footage and adding a business-minded model at the last minute is a good sign that the producers tried to have the industry’s best interest in mind within the third episode. Mistakes were made, but I don’t believe these were as ill-intended as some adult performers are claiming. As far as the other episodes go, I know different producers worked on each one and I don’t know enough to comment at this time.
I had some say over who else was in the third episode with me, but I can’t censor anyone else’s personal life, what they say on camera or what they post on social media during production. I can look back and regret not choosing the girls that I picked up at the airport that day myself. I can even hate the fact that I went into this thinking that this episode would be a perfect, beautiful representation of everything that is good in the world of adult entertainment.
In the end though, what’s done is done. We don’t have a perfect industry and that’s okay. We already knew that. I can’t think of a single industry that is perfect. We’re all human and we all make mistakes (it’s just usually best to make your mistakes outside of the spotlight). In conclusion, “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On” is streaming and it isn't going anywhere. We should stand up for anyone who feels they were wronged during the documentary, but without dismissing it as a whole (the public won’t, so we can’t either). It’s up to us, both individually and as an industry, to decide where we’ll go from here and what we’ll take from this whole experience.
Featured image courtesy of Penthouse.