The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee: APAC

by Calico Rudasil

Porn’s Most Necessary and Vital Organization

A new adult industry organization burst onto the scene this week, one that is sorely needed and ought to be much appreciated and widely supported by everyone with a stake in porn – from producers and company owners to consumers and fans: the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC).

A coalition of adult performers led by Nina Hartley, James Deen, Stoya, Jessica Drake, among others, APAC’s inaugural effort is a primer of sorts for people interested in breaking into porn as performers, called Porn 101. If this video is any indication of the quality of work – and advice – that APAC will offer, then APAC is an effort that is unquestionably worthy of our respect, admiration, and perhaps most importantly, our financial support.

For a relatively short video (it runs a little over 14 minutes), Porn 101 covers an astounding amount of ground, and provides a great deal of sound, practical advice. The tone is perfect; there’s no scaremongering, nor is there any sugarcoating. Factual information is prioritized, while rhetoric is minimized. What you get is veteran performers speaking from firsthand experience in the industry – and clearly speaking from the heart, as well.

APAC, or Adult Performer Advocacy Committee is a non-profit organization who aim to maintain and improve safety and working conditions in the adult film industry by giving adult performers organized representation in matters that affect our health, safety, and community.

Clearly designed to assure that would-be new performers come into the industry with their eyes open, fully prepared for the realities of day to day life for those who choose a life in porn, the video starts with some fundamental things that newcomers simply must accept before they appear on camera – including the Digital Age fact of life that once you have made porn, the images and videos you appear in will be out there on the Web forever. The assembled performers further note that you cannot rely on the use of a stage name to prevent your friends and family from finding out you’re in porn, so it’s crucial that you are certain that this is a decision you’re comfortable with, before you perform in Scene One, so to speak.

Somehow managing to be sprawling and focused at the same time, Porn 101 communicates the basics of the industry’s testing protocols, emphasizes the importance of safe sex in performers’ personal lives, and gets into a fair degree of detail about the types of STDs/STIs performers may be exposed to, how these infections spread, and the importance of frequent testing and immediate treatment upon detection. There’s also an entire section on “set etiquette,” advice on other means of generating income and information on the other opportunities that working in porn presents, like the chance to learn videography and editing skills, priming one for a transition to a behind-the-camera career when one’s performing career has come to an end, or as a means of supplementing your income while still actively performing.

Below are just a handful of the important ideas communicated in the video, all of which are delivered with crystal clarity, in a tone and presentation that is as matter-of-fact as it gets:

• Make sure you are comfortable with the rate you are being paid
• You always have the right to say no and you do not have to defend or explain your choice.
• “I do not want to” is a perfectly good reason for saying no to something.

One of the most important things that Porn 101 has to say to prospective performers is this: “There is a support system in porn; we are a community and we care about the people in our community.”

All in all, Porn 101 is a primer that’s both broad and detailed, and definitely the best of its kind that I’ve seen. The video efficiently and effectively communicates a great deal of information in a format that’s easily digested and far more likely to reach the young people entering our industry than a flat, dry pamphlet or faceless “how-to.” It’s essential that the message is delivered by performers, all of whom do a great job communicating a serious message in a way that’s still welcoming; nobody else could speak to these issues with more authority and firsthand experience, and it simply wouldn’t work coming from the mouths of producers or adult business owners.

Here’s hoping that APAC receives the support and encouragement it deserves, not just within the adult industry, but from consumers as well. After all, whether you make your living from porn, or enjoy the products created by these performers, you must recognize that without them, there can be no adult entertainment industry. The performers quite literally embody this industry, and it’s about damn time they got the respect and support they deserve.


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