A couple years ago, I had this terrible temp job, where a woman and I sat in a conference room with a broken table, and had to use our own computers to access the company's online order processing. It wasn't even full time, it was a forty five minute drive from my shitty apartment, and we were "supervised" by two dudes a couple years younger than me. The whole thing generally blew.
A couple weeks into the project, they brought on some new people. One guy I was sure I recognized. He was nice enough. We talked about the shows going on around the city. It turned out he wrote for a few local websites and was writing a play. I mentioned that I was a writer, but avoided admitting what I wrote, since we were in, more or less, a professional workspace.
We worked together for a couple days before I pieced together enough information about him to realize why I knew him. We had been briefly introduced by a friend after a show she was working on. She had tried to convince me to let her set me up with him, and another friend had shut that idea down instantly because, due to the small-town-factor of the largest metro area in Minnesota, she happened to know that his ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against him.
And, like it always does, the conversation about writing changed. He was instantly superior to me because his handful of snarky reviews were "Real Writing" and my actual, profitable books were "just porn". A few months after that I had a couple guys email me out of the blue because they'd heard I was making money writing and wanted to know if I had any advice. I sent them links to Evernight's submission page and a few anthologies I had heard about. They both shot me down. They wanted to pursue "real writing".
All erotica authors have a story like that. So I wanted to give characters a similar struggle. What happens to two professional young men when porn becomes part of their life? When it's something other than quick late night jerk-off inspiration. What happens to them when porn actually changes their lives and their relationship?
Innocence on Film is the first book of the Selling Out Series, which follows ambitious Iowa farm boys Shawn and Fletcher as they try to make it in the big city. When both boys lose their jobs and are about to lose their apartment, they encounter their saving grace in the form of Fritz, an... entrepreneur they meet in a bar. Fritz runs a very classy, very successful, very pornographic website, and is in need of performers. The boys need the money, and decide to damn the consequences, but never imagined what else would come out of their quick tryst on film.
Innocence on Film was influenced pretty significantly by cockyboys.com, an artsy gay porn site that I highly recommend, but as I began to the develop the rest of the series, I realized that I also needed to address the fact that my heroes, Shawn and Fletcher, luck out. They are desperate and destitute, but Fritz is a good guy, running an ethical company. He cares about his performers, makes sure they are comfortable and well treated, and gives them safe working conditions.
Romance and Erotica are fantasies, but I feel like it's important to address that not all porn performers have the experience that Shawn and Fletcher have. It's chilling to realize that a lot of porn does not meet these very basic safety requirements. Women are treated terribly, forced into situations they did not agree to, and are often threatened and abused. A lot of porn is flat out rape, sold and stolen all over the internet.
So, after you enjoy "Innocence on Film", check out some ethical or feminist pornography.
Here's a quick definition from Tristan Taormino:
Feminist pornographers are committed to gender equality and social justice. Feminist porn is ethically produced porn, which means that performers are paid a fair wage and they are treated with care and respect; their consent, safety, and well-being are critical, and what they bring to the production is valued. Feminist porn explores ideas about desire, beauty, pleasure, and power through alternative representations, aesthetics, and filmmaking styles. Feminist porn seeks to empower the performers who make it and the people who watch it.