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October 07, 2013 04:41am
Shooting at 21
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland

Shooting at 21 Shooting at 21, by Rich Moreland

When I was first introduced to the adult industry, I had no inkling that years later I would have a column and a blog on the business.

As an outsider who knew very little about porn, I was aware of the popular myths concerning it. Among them is the prevailing thought that porn girls are victims of abuse, snatched off the bus by predators whose aim is to turn 17-year-olds into sex slaves.

Of course thatís pure hogwash, as we all know. But what always nagged at me was that the industry allows 18-year-olds onto a film set when they are not mature enough to understand the ramifications of their decision.

A few years ago a talent recruiter for a major studio told me that maturity can come at any age (which I believe) but that the older the performer is when shooting that first scene the easier it is to build a career. The importance of his words cannot be stressed enough, just ask some agents who sign girls at 18 then try to teach them some responsibility. One told me he sometimes feels like a babysitter.

As a college professor who encounters students just out of high school, I understand the issue entirely. A significant number of my students are not yet mature enough to take ownership of their education.

Bill Margold is one of porn's living historians whose longevity in the industry has encountered every vagary that plagues it. Bill is an advocate of putting an age limit on performers. His "21 in 2012" was a great idea but a voice in the wilderness at the time. But maybe somebody listened.

The report is circulating (AVN, October 4) that Axel Braun, the winner of multiple director awards and the son of the famous Lasse Braun (a legendary name in European porn), has put his director foot down on age. He will film only 21-year-olds from now on reasoning accurately that to begin a porn career earlier can be a devastating decision. He is absolutely correct.

We all know that porn girls have short careers for the most part; former AIM director and industry veteran Sharon Mitchell once claimed 6-18 months was average. Starting too early is partially responsible for that statistic. From my talks with performers the most comfortable ones tend to have begun their careers in their 20s. They are psychologically and emotionally balanced in their expectations and their ability to handle the ups and downs of the business.

Some girls who walked on to a set too young say they wished they that had waited. Long time vets tell stories of girls who have no clue what theyíre doing in the business in the first place.

If the 21 age limit spreads among shooters, itís a change that bodes well for the future. It puts to rest those nasty myths about victimized teenagers and insures that those who do decide on a porn career will be better equipped to handle it.

So with whatever power my pen holds, permit me to stand squarely behind Bill Margold and Axel Braun. Hopefully the 21 standard takes hold as the industry navigates this new century.

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