Leaving the traditional workforce as a woman in your 40’s is no small feat. Made even more so when the new career you are pursuing is in the adult industry! Well, I’ve never been good at taking the easy route and my pursuit of financial independence as a MiLF Domme porn star is no different.
I am one of the supposed millions of women who left the workforce in 2020 or 2021, called the Great Resignation, and have yet to return to traditional labor. Laid off in late Spring 2020 from my retail sales and design job, I was hesitant to re-enter in the same field. I had 20 years of retail experience, much of it in high volume flagship stores, as a manager and salesperson. I’ve peddled everything from $1 flip-flops to $20k custom closets. All that time I learned how to sell, to talk someone into applying for a credit card with a 25% interest rate, to convince them that paying for ONE. MORE. THING. would make them happy. I was good and I actually enjoyed figuring people out, finding that emotional connection to the product and exposing it.
Uneasily intimidated, I was bold and confident in my skills and my personality could be an asset. Customers loved my candor, I couldn’t help but be myself and that established connections with some customers that still persist even after I left the establishment I met them at.
For the uniformity and conformity of national retail companies, I was a square peg in a round hole, however.
Never more so than in my last iteration, a company that bills themselves as “employee first” and a “great place to work” whose reality did not meet the expectations they set. I committed to making it work, promising to do better and be less of a pain in the ass, only to get pulled aside for saying something on my lunch break that someone took the wrong way.
The pandemic brought that all startlingly clear to me as I was expected to perform, without any changes to the customer experience, as (news to me) I was an essential worker. I did not sell groceries, medicine or any kind of technology at all. At the time, I had sold things for wealthy people to put other things into and wealthy people were bored at home during the pandemic. I took a cut in hours, customers came in and got too close to me, refusing to back away as I attempted to keep 6 feet of social distance.
Concurrently, I had been doing part-time sex work on the side for about a year now, exchanging sexy pics and texts for money, accepting cash for someone to clean my house dressed as a French maid, and I found that my personality was an asset. People wanted to pay me for me to be myself, basically. I had spent the last 2 decades selling other people’s stuff, making other people more money, while trying to make myself more palatable for my employers.
Buffered by a newfound community in the BDSM scene, I hit “record” on my first fetish film in November 2019. I kept working because the thought of being a full-time fetish film star seemed like a dream I couldn’t afford to wish for. In my head, still even if I’m being honest, is a pale specter who haunts me with messages that I’m not talented enough to do this for a living. Imposter syndrome is a bitch and in my experience adult work is especially tainted by this! We all have this vision of what an adult film star looks like and I was nowhere near that. Dear reader, I’m happy to inform you that you probably see fetish film and porn entertainers all around you every day and don’t even realize it!
In the year since I left the workforce, I started my own company, built my website, attended countless professional conferences and workshops, learned how to do my own video editing, figured out bits of HTML code, navigated the changing terms-of-service of various apps and platforms and, generally, strategized how best to translate my skills from SFW to NSFW. I learn something new almost every day, grow my business with analytics and have become an erotic entrepreneur in the year since I was relieved of my traditional income source.
I want to do this as long as I can. I’ve never had a job where I have been as valued as I am as a professional fetish performer. As long as the traditional economy forces me to fit into a mold of what I can or can’t be, I have no desire to shrink myself into that box again. This is work that I am proud of, proud to put myself out there and loudly proclaim to all that want to know about it.
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