We get a lot of e-mail from men and sometimes women who want to know more about what it takes to model for our adult sets. Some are serious and many are just curious.

For men (and women, to a lesser extent), there’s so much more to being an adult film actor than just sexual desire or prowess. There’s attitude, internal drive, intelligence, self-confidence, and lots more that makes each person unique. If you ask, “I’ve got a great body and I’m great in bed, can I get into porn?” The answer is who knows? There’s more to consider about you than we could possibly get from a photo and e-mail, let alone a face to face meeting.

If you ask me, the willingness for someone to give you a chance and your own follow-through are two of the most important things affecting your success or failure. You wouldn’t believe the number of folks who have been offered to do an adult photo or video shoot, who totally flake out when they’re actually given the opportunity. Those guys miss an incredible opportunity to make money, gain experience in the business that could lead to even better jobs and bigger money, to hang out with attractive models, and to just have fun all because they’re not willing to take a chance and because they let their own fears get the better of them – and most of those fears are totally unfounded.

The sections below will give you a good amount of information to go by and help separate the myths from the facts. If you think you’ve got what it takes and you’re willing to follow through, then This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and perhaps we’ll give you a shot.

So you want to be an adult film star? Just about every guy has thought about becoming a porn star at one time or another… and many women have too. For some it’s a fleeting thought, for others it’s a fantasy, and some just wonder if they’d be good enough. And then there are those who really want to get into porn, but have no clue about how to get started.

If you’re one of those who thinks you’d like to be an amateur adult film star, whether you just want to do one or two shoots or whether you want to make a career of it, then you’ve come to the right place. Matrixwerx is always looking for new models. The question is: “Do you have what it takes?”

Porn Star FAQ’s:

** These are generic FAQ’s about getting into the business and what to expect. While they are pretty similar to what you can expect by modeling for Matrixwerx, not all sections necessarily apply. Matrixwerx is a smaller company that focuses primarily on amateur men. We do have a business license and professional equipment. We don’t have a public studio so most of our shoots take place in a private home studio or a hotel room. We don’t have a lot of staff. We tend to focus on solo guys. Depending on the availability of other models, there’s always the possibility of shooting a scene with another person – male or female depending on your preferences. We never pressure anyone into doing anything they are uncomfortable with.

  1. What is it like to be a porn star?

Being an adult film star may offer notoriety, fun, money, rubbing elbows with other hot models and celebs, freedom with your work schedule, travel, and exciting sexual experiences, but it’s not for everyone. You’re the only one who can decide if it’s right for you or not. That’s one thing we’re trying to do with this FAQ section.

  1. What kind of resume, experience, or personal attributes do you need?

Women – can generally get into porn no matter what. An attractive woman with a nice body can make lots of money. She won’t be rich, but it will probably be more money than she could make in 6 months otherwise.

Men – usually have to live in a town where they actually shoot porn. If you don’t already live there, then you need to move there. Beyond that, guys fall into two categories: Those who have a chance on their own and those who don’t. Just remember, there are ALWAYS exceptions!

In order for a guy to have a chance on his own, he generally has to be very attractive, have a good attitude, have a decent package, a good appearance, be fairly intelligent, and be able to impress a potential employer regardless of the job he is applying for.

If you don’t think you have a chance on your own, then you’ll need one of three things: 1) a female friend who gets into the business and brings you along with her; 2) a connection to someone in the business who is willing to give you a chance; or 3) your own money so you can start your own company to make movies with you as the male star.

  1. What states do shoots take place? Will companies pay for my travel?

Most companies operate out of California (Los Angeles) or Florida (Miami), though there are other smaller companies operating out of other states. Matrixwerx operates out of Virginia (Norfolk). As far as travel goes, unless you’re working with a really big company or are a well-established adult film star yourself, most companies will NOT pay for your travel expenses. The ultimate reason behind why most companies won’t take a chance on any new or unproven talent is due in part that too many porn star wannabes have “flaked” on their travel plans with them in the past. Some companies that actually do pay for travel expenses will also either take those expenses directly out of the model’s net pay at the end of their shoots or will want the model to shoot complimentary scenes before the model can start shooting their paid scenes. In this way, the company gets reimbursed for the monetary investment they have made.

The other thing that you may wish to consider is that when any company books you directly and pays for your travel expenses to do a shoot with them is that they will want you to shoot with them exclusively while you are in town. This leaves you less opportunity to do more shoots and earn more money while you’re in town.

  1. What are the risks?

Getting involved with the wrong people, being taken advantage of, social stigma, getting involved with drugs and alcohol, STD’s, and moral dilemmas are the most commonly reported downsides.

  1. How are porn stars treated by the companies they work for?

If you’re good to them, they’re usually good to you. If you have your act together, do your job, and are generally pleasant at work, then you’ll have positive experiences. If you bring your problems to the set, are difficult to work with, or are a liability to the director instead of an asset, then you’ll probably not be treated with respect.

There’s a stereotype that most porn stars are irresponsible, snotty, stuck up, or unreliable. While there are a lot of great people in the business, there’s also a reason for the stereotype. Directors usually aren’t surprised if an actor/actress doesn’t show up for a scene, has been drinking or is on drugs, or if someone has an emotional outburst that causes a disturbance. They’re not surprised because everyone in the business is a loser, but because they’ve just about seen it all.

  1. Are there any guarantees?

These days there aren’t guarantees with any job you have… so the answer is absolutely not!

  1. Are there misconceptions about being a porn star?

The first one is that you get paid thousands of dollars. While there may be some big names in the business that make that much, if you think you’re going to get $5000 for dropping your pants or start out making thousands of dollars a shoot, that’s really the exception and not the rule.

The second is that you’ll get seen online or caught by someone you know. With more than 50,000+ adult sites online, the chances of that happening are slim to none, and if it does happen you can always question what they were doing looking at porn anyway. Now we certainly can’t guarantee someone won’t recognize you, we can say with years of experience… we’ve evaluated thousands of adult sites and not once have we been able to ID anyone we’ve known from school, the community, or the workplace. The very few times that we’ve heard of this sort of thing, it’s because the actor has been bragging about a shoot they’ve done.

  1. How much money do porn stars make?

It depends. Generally women make more than men and the range is wide. Women might make anywhere from $500-2000 per sex scene with the actual amount depending on who she is and what the scene involves.

Guys – In general, men make about half as much as women, and their rate is usually the same regardless of what type of scene they’re doing. The range for guys is anywhere from 0-$500 per scene (many guys will do a scene for free to be with a certain actress/actor). Usually a new guy starts with small companies and small projects making $50 to $250 per scene (Matrixwerx usually pays in the range of $75 to $150 per scene, and does have a sliding scale based on the type of scene and attractiveness of the actor). If the smaller companies and actors/actresses you work with like you and your performances, word will travel fast and you may get offers from larger companies, higher budget projects, and work with veteran performers before you know it. Likewise, if you’re difficult to work with, unreliable, or flake out on scheduled shoots, you’ll likely get yourself blacklisted very fast from all but the lower dregs of society who you’d probably rather not work for anyway.

As you climb porn’s “professional ladder”, your “per scene” rate will increase if you expect it to. But you may have to ask for it with some companies. It basically follows the law of supply and demand. If there are other comparable actors out there working for less, you may have to accept less or be replaced by someone who will. On the reverse, if a company has fewer options, you may be able to ask for and get higher pay. It never hurts to ask, so long as you ask and don’t demand.

Guys usually get paid their per-scene rate for any scene that they do, and the same or slightly less for magazine and photo-only shoots.

Women – The range for women is usually from a few hundred to $2,000 per scene. Her starting point is usually determined by how marketable she is. If she’s Playboy or Penthouse material, companies will pay a lot more for her services. Most women start off making around $400-700 for a male/female scene, and after she becomes better known, she can raise her rates and expect to get it. There are typically only two types of performers – independent and contract.

There are only a chosen few models that actually land that elusive contract. So for all the rest there are a lot of independent performers who make $150,000+ per year just from shooting movies alone.

Factors that go into how much you can make include:

  • Your age (younger is usually better, 18-25 is optimal, but MILF’s, cougars, and daddies can make good money too)
  • Your appearance (your general attractiveness and how you present yourself, muscular guys have an advantage, excessive tattoos and piercings are usually frowned upon unless you’re going for a fetish market)
  • Your restrictions (the more you’re willing to do the more options you have and the more money you have the opportunity to make)
  • Your location (most companies, especially the larger ones, are located in Los Angeles or Miami)
  • Your attitude (how confident and comfortable you are performing scenes in front of the camera)
  • Your marketability (your general experience level and popularity)
  • The size and budget of the agency you’re working for (are you shooting for a large well-known company, the photographer guy down the street, or a smaller company?)
  1. What are the different ways that porn stars make money?

Performing hardcore and/or simulated sex acts; other nude modeling for videos, magazines, websites, adult product catalogs; performances; personal appearances and autograph signings at conventions, adult video and book stores; web cam modeling; phone sex operators; erotic dancing; and escorting.

Guys might be asked to do solo jerk off shoots; hardcore and soft-core male-female shoots or male-male shoots, group sex scenes, and fetish scenes. The scenes may involve simulated or actual sex. Usually you list what you’re not willing to do in a set of restrictions when you’re interviewed or hired. You might also be asked to do nude modeling for adult catalog companies and sex toy catalogs.

  1. How often do porn stars work?

Just about as often as they like. If you make it… that is, if you impress the right people at the beginning, then you’ll get hired enough that you’ll stay as busy as you like. If you want to put a number on it, the average performer can do between 2-6 projects a week, and some may choose to do more and some may choose to do less. It also depends on whether there are a lot of companies in your area to work with or only a few, and also how big a budget they have. Matrixwerx typically does only one or two adult shoots a month and spends the other time focusing on our tamer photography including swimsuit, athletic, and undergear shoots.

  1. How much control do porn stars have over the work they do or the projects they do?

Not a whole lot unless they produce the work themselves, meaning hiring their own photographer and video crew, and do the shoot as their own project. The down side to working as a performer is that your image isn’t your own and the images can be sold from here to eternity, while you make the basic fee for “performing” and that’s it… usually. I have seen some companies offering royalties to models on any photos or videos of them sold, but it looks more like a desperate marketing ploy to get new models. Since many photos and videos go on the internet and are part of subscription sites with lots of other models, I just think this would be a logistical nightmare keeping track of every image or video sold and also trying to keep current contact information on every model that’s ever worked for the company. I guess it could work for a very small company that only works with a few models and produces very few products for sale, like maybe a photo book. It could probably also work for a very large company with a huge staff that could track these things. For most companies, this probably isn’t an option.

One other note on control of your work, while you’re within your rights to set limitations and to ask for what you need, be careful not to overstep your bounds. If you do this too much you might be labeled a “diva” or someone difficult to work with. You are the one getting paid to do the work just like any other job, the producer is your boss, and you’re limited by your employer’s guidelines and vision. I’ve worked with models with control issues who wanted to control everything from the camera angles to photo and video editing. As you can imagine, these models were never invited back to do more work nor would they be recommended to other companies.

  1. What are the companies like? Who runs them?

Some are large and some are small. Some are professional and some aren’t. As a new performer, you’ll find that some companies don’t even want to talk to you. Others will tell you to call after you’ve gotten some experience “under your belt.” Your agent and other performers will fill you in on which companies are the most reputable, professional, and so on, and which ones to avoid like the plague. There are many up and coming companies out there (like Matrixwerx). Don’t discount them because they’re smaller or less well known. They may be the ones to give you the experience you need to go on to a better job. At the same time, be wary of smaller companies and individual photographers. Many of them are great people to work with, but others are less than reputable. It’s always good form to let a trusted friend know where you’ll be before meeting with someone new and to call them again after the meeting. You could even have someone drive you to your interview, audition, or shoot. Just realize that not all companies or photographers allow outside folks on the set. Not all companies or photographers have dedicated studio space (this is usually reserved for the larger companies). Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to perform in a hotel room or even a home studio.

Some things to look for to determine a company or photographer’s credibility include: a website, an online portfolio or other samples of their work, application forms, professional equipment and lighting regardless of whether they have their own studio space, references from other models and performers, and a business license. Small companies and individual photographers may not have all of these, but the more they have the more legitimate they're likely to be.

  1. What is a “go see”?

Most companies will either meet you at a “cattle call” or a “go see.” Typically they are like the standard “square” casting calls but naturally since you’re doing adult work they involve nudity. If you have reservations about taking your clothes off for these simple auditions, then adult modeling is probably not the line of work you should be in. This is to show what you are like in front of the casting staff and usually also the director. It only involves standard information paperwork and a few nude shots of yourself. This is their point of reference for when they are looking for new talent to shoot. These are “unpaid interviews” that eventually lead to paid shoots.

  1. What are the people like?

As with most jobs, you’ll find plenty of people that you like and dislike, as well as a few attitudes and egos. In general, when you first get into porn, there will be some who accept you immediately, and some who will be standoffish… some may be downright rude. But there’s really a place for just about everybody in porn and after people have heard about you through the “grapevine”, others will start asking about you. They’ll be curious about the new guy (or girl) and everything after that is pretty cordial.

  1. What’s it like being on a porn set and performing a sex scene?

The director is usually a man. He sometimes has a producer who puts together a cast of men and women for the sex scenes and any other non-sex roles that are called for. Sometimes he does all this himself. The director may have a production assistant on the set the day of the shoot to take care of the little stuff like food and beverages, towels, lube, dealing with “talent” who are late or can’t find the location, collecting the legal paperwork from the performers like model releases, age verification (companies are required by law to keep proof of age on file), and so on. There may also be camera, sound, lighting guys, and production crew. It really depends on the size of the operation.

You might be asked to do anything from a single sex or jerk off scene to larger productions consisting of five or six scenes with dialogue mixed in. The sex scenes are what sells, so that’s the priority. A single scene might take an hour or two, whereas a larger production such as a full porn movie might take anywhere from one to three days to shoot. Usually you show up to a set and you wait. That’s because something or another always makes porn shoots with more than one person involved always go off schedule. You learn to call ahead of time to see how the day’s going and it’s good form to confirm that you’ll be there as many new performers flake out and more experienced performers are not always reliable. In most cases, they’ll be happy you called and you can make sure things are going to schedule.

When you do your sex scene, you’ll usually do the scene from start to finish with dialogue coming first to set up the sex scene. While acting isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to this type of work, you should be comfortable saying a few lines here and there. Sometimes the lighting and sound need to be adjusted at this point, but after the sex starts, there’s usually not much interruption – not much that is.

During the sex portion of the scene, camera men might pop in and out to get still photos for box covers and other promo stuff. The coordinate with the video crew so it flows pretty smoothly. The video crew will get different angles and different views for both hardcore and soft-core versions. They snap off a few shots during each sexual position and get out of the way so the video crew can resume without delay.

Some of the positions are comfortable, and lots of them aren’t, and your job is to keep an erection, and make it look good no matter what. Sometimes a position just won’t work, and then you adjust so that it’s good for you and the cameras. It’s what’s on video that counts, and if you’re having too good a time, it’s usually not going to look right for the camera. So you enjoy performing, you enjoy the sex to some extent, but not fully… at least not the whole time during the scene.

Many performers joke that getting to fuck on a bed is a rarity, and such a nice change of pace! Usually it’s on a kitchen counter, bathroom tile floor, tub, Jacuzzi, pool, or outside on rocks, in a tree, on a motorcycle, on a horse, or something equally “erotic.”

After you’ve done your “fake internal pop” or “FIP” (faking an orgasm while penetrating a woman) then there’s the real pop shot on her ass, tits, pussy, mouth, or whatever. After the shoot, you collect your things, take a shower, get paid, say your goodbyes, and hit the road.

  1. What is expected of a porn star?

For a woman… hot performances, and that almost the extent of it. However, you must never forget that you’re being paid to be cooperative. The producer and director have hired you to do a project that they envision. Most of them have spent hours developing a project that you could ruin in minutes by being uncooperative. Although most film-makers will listen to constructive criticism, or ask for some creative input, be very tactful since they are paying you to be in their project and not the opposite. Also be courteous, friendly and respectful of your co-workers as well. Prima Donna attitudes are not tolerated easily. It can lead to less work simply because nobody wants to be “stuck on a set with him/her.” Punctuality is also a key element in determining how long you will last in the business, since you are usually not the only person scheduled to be there. At most larger shoots, you will have your co-stars, camera crew, makeup crew, and the director. If they can all make it to the set on schedule, so should you. If you blow off a shoot, or arrive very late, you will develop a deserved reputation for being unreliable. That will lead to less work, because time is money and the producer will still have to pay everybody waiting for you and sometimes for the location too. Don’t depend on anyone but yourself to get you to the set on time. “My ride was late” is not considered an acceptable excuse. Also, don’t go out partying the night before a shoot. You want to look fresh and have your energy level up. Sleeping through an alarm clock is also considered unacceptable behavior.

Women are usually the “hot commodity” in the heterosexual porn world. So you’ll usually see lots of new female faces and the same regular guys in straight porn. The guy is usually just there to make the woman look good and to supply a cock so she can be filmed getting fucked. Anything else pleasurable can be considered a bonus. There are some porn sites targeted toward a female audience (like Playgirl, Sssh, and For the Girls). Most work for men is in the gay or “gay for pay” market and these can pay men better than straight porn since straight porn always pays the women better. Not all gay sites require you to participate in gay sex. Some will have guys jerk off in solo shoots, there are a number of sites focusing on male feet, and some feature naked bondage without any real sex. There are also some where guys get handjobs or blowjobs from other actors, so technically aren’t requiring you to participate in gay sex per se. If you have restrictions or hang-ups on what you’ll do, it’s always good to make this known and to get any clarification needed about what is expected of you before the shoot actually takes place. If you’re worried about other guys looking at you naked or getting off to your photos and videos, get over it. Many gay and bi men look at the guys in straight porn too.

Regardless of the whether you’re working in straight or gay porn, guys are generally expected to get an erection and deliver a cum shot when and where it’s needed, regardless of other factors.

  1. Is being a porn star like being a mainstream Hollywood actor?

No! But that’s not hard to figure out. There’s more money and respect given to mainstream actors. Even a porn “superstar” remains largely unknown to the amateur nudist masses, but as a porn star you get recognized by people here and there who think what you do is really cool and want to meet you or what to ask you about porn or how to become a porn star themselves. And there are times when porn stars get special treatment because of who they are.

And then there are times when someone will approach and ask, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” That one’s always kind of funny. That’s when you know there’s a good chance that they do their grocery shopping at the same store as you, or they’re a fan of porn… or maybe you just have a “familiar” face!

  1. Does penis size matter?

As long as you have enough to make it look good on camera… which 5 or more inches, you’ll be just fine. The camera has to be able to see penetration, and when you’re taking stills, they’ve got to be able to see enough cock to see that it’s hard and they’ve got to see penetration. Girls don’t like getting rammed all day with a huge cock, so you can be too big in a practical sense. The optimum size seems to be 7 to 9 inches.