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July 13, 2011 09:23am
A Reality Check
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Richard L Moreland

Psychologists suggest that a woman’s body is in its prime between ages seventeen and twenty-six. Effortlessly sending out fertility signals, it’s her "hottest time" in communicating desirability and downright sexiness to anyone she comes near. Keeping that in mind, cinematographers are always hunting for freshly scrubbed new girls and the younger the better. They are porn’s lifeline to profitability. After all, a worn-down look is distant to a nineteen-year-old who wants adulation and fame... and is eager to please.

The average adult career for a woman is short, estimates run anywhere from six to eighteen months. This statistic discounts the one-shot wonder: "Cindy Lou from Kalamazoo" who does a single scene then heads back home with the startling realization that adult film is not as alluring as it sounds. Of course, some girls are able to forge careers and stay in the business for years. They become the legends.

With these thoughts in mind, I reviewed 2012's leading starlets published by Adult Video News. Checking over the bios, I noticed that at least five of the sixteen fall short of age twenty-one. Are they too young to be in porn?

An industry age restriction, a kind of gentleman’s agreement, to keep eighteen and nineteen-year-olds away from the camera’s lens is worth considering. Bill Margold’s "21 in 2012" is an example. I applaud Bill and want to tell a story about a performer who agrees with him.

I recently had a conversation with Tara Lynn Foxx who has returned to the business after some time away. She was "emotionally tired," as she put it, and needed a break. I first met TLF two years ago and a friendship of sorts between us developed. Tara felt comfortable giving me some details of her situation and I’d like to pass them along. Hers is a story of triumph but not without doubts and mistakes that in the end were beneficial.

Earlier this year, Tara drove to Oregon to visit her mother. TLF had her first taste of the business in the Northwest doing webcam. In the middle of her eighteenth year, she went south to LA, ready to please in an industry that can, as the late Marilyn Chambers said, chew up girls and spit them out.

Unfortunately, this much needed 2012 vacation turned into an unexpected emotional trial for the once naïve girl now turned industry pro. Tara came face-to-face with revelations that mark the maturation process.

Avoiding specific details, Tara explained that she had an "eye opening" experience. It "shattered everything that I grew up to think what reality was, what the world was, what my childhood was," she said. Tara confronted circumstances that challenged the memories of her youth, the world she believed was real in her mind.

"I just got a huge reality check," Tara said, and she "snapped" as a result.

Tara explained that her emotional "breakdown" occurred because she’d been away "working in porn for two years." Retrospectively, she now questioned her choices, uncertain if "It was okay" in her own mind to be in adult film. As the legendary Candida Royalle once said, putting your body on display for everyone to see can be an excruciating decision. Royalle was troubled by similar doubts during her performing years.

By moving away from her family, Tara lost contact with those she believed cared about her. Upon returning to them, however, Tara now saw people and circumstances from the lens of a twenty-two year old film veteran who fucks for money and has survived porn’s underbelly of unscrupulous agents and directors.

This is not a tragic tale and let me make it very clear that TLF is prospering. She is now back in porn because she loves what she does and is surrounded by a support network. She claims no victimization like the Shelly Lubben crowd or the late Linda Marchiano (Lovelace). Tara does not blame porn for her anxieties and stresses. In fact, she stands by her decisions. What she does question is the wisdom of filming at a young age.

Tara lost the innocence of her youth and grew up too fast. Being away from home at eighteen "In a strange place," both physically and emotionally, was overwhelming. She was simply unequipped to deal with where she had placed herself. "I wasn’t mentally prepared for what I was agreeing to," Tara said, and later spoke about her rude introduction to the casting couch, the many-tentacled demon that ensnares unaware newbies.

Despite her adversities, TLF learned to cope. She is lucky and she knows it. However, Tara is also resolute and a fighter, personal attributes that facilitate success in any competitive business.

"No eighteen-year-old is ready for porn," she said, firmness in her voice. I asked her to reflect on a topic we discussed some time ago: The idea that twenty-one is the best start-up age.

Tara enthusiastically supports Margold’s concept. There are others who are also concerned about performers entering the business unprepared, among them former Kink.com talent recruiter Ed Vincent. Though Ed didn’t expressly endorse an age limit, he explained to me that he had guidelines for interviewing candidates. Not everyone is ready to do porn, he said, especially the BDSM shoots required at San Francisco’s Armory. Ed often turned away Kink wannabes with the assurance that they were welcome back when they understood themselves better. Incidentally, one of Ed’s red flags was a candidate’s reaction to a single question. Why did she want in the business? If her reasoning was money, Ed knew booking her could be a disaster.

Where is Tara today in her own self-assessment? She is more in touch with her feelings and attitudes and has a cache of "business smarts" because of porn. Tara now takes responsibility for her finances, her health, and, most importantly, the larger reality of her own well being.

To the delight of her fans, she is again seducing the camera with high-energy performances.

"I’m very fortunate," she said.

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