So You Want to Be a Porn Star…

 Posted by on June 14, 2011
Jun 142011
 

By Sexquire

If I told you that right now there are places you can go on the Internet to find amateur porn videos and pay to download them, would you be shocked? This is a ridiculous question, isn’t it? Well what if I told you that some of those videos could send the people who make them to prison? You’d probably assume that these must be really “out there” clips…things that many mainstream porn companies won’t produce films about…because this is America, land of the free, home of the porn on the internet, right?

Wrong. In fact, just this month, Kimberly Kupps and her husband, Florida residents who make and sell porn via Clips4Sale and Kimberly’s own website were arrested on 13 counts of obscenity charges (or, as the statute reads, “the wholesale promotion of obscene material.”) All performers in the clips were consenting adults, and none of the clips could be considered “out there” or “taboo” sex acts. Most of them were downright vanilla. So how can this happen? Isn’t porn on the internet ubiquitous? And how can other amateur pornographers avoid a similar fate? Below are some good places to start:

· Keep Good Records – If you are filming porn, you’re going to need to get good at paperwork, and to have a very organized filing system. Federal law (often referred to as 2257) requires creators of porn to have proof that any people appearing in the work are over the age of 18 at the time of filming, and to make these records available for inspection on very short notice. Requiring models and actors to sign releases acknowledging that they are consenting to and aware of all aspects of the work, are not under the influence of any drug, alcohol or undue pressure, and that they are aware of the method (or lack thereof) for STI prevention used on this particular set is also a very good idea to prevent issues down the road.

· Know the Law – Many of the reactions and comments to the Kimberly Kupps article consisted of people saying “but the First Amendment protects porn, this isn’t illegal.” This isn’t the entire story though. Bear with me here, because we’re going to have a bit of a history lesson as background to this explanation. As you likely recall from grade school, the First Amendment is part of the U.S. Constitution (actually part of a list of additions, or amendments to the Constitution, the first 10 of which are known as the Bill of Rights). But the U.S. Constitution governs Federal law enforcement personnel, while local law enforcement (state/municipality) are governed by the state constitutions and local (city/county/etc.) ordinances. And these laws are enforced by whoever is in power in the particular state/locality at the time. In Kimberly Kupps’ case this meant the Polk County, Florida sheriff, who has earned a reputation for being on a moral crusade through the cases he has chosen to pursue through his office.

· Location, Location, Location – In a nutshell, don’t move to Polk County, Florida. Seriously though, if you are thinking of starting a cam site or filming porn in your home, do some research into the politics of your town/county/state.

· Research – Cases such as Kimberly Kupps’ become hot topics among other porn producers (both professional and amateur) and often lead to additional discussion, which will surely lead to additional items that should be added to this “list of things to know and take into consideration before taking the plunge into porn”. In fact, as I was writing this column I received an email from the XBIZ (adult industry magazine) message board with notice of a new discussion titled “Places to Avoid.” The discussion specifically named the Kupps’ case as the inspiration behind the post. Porn, like any profession, requires one to keep up on the latest goings-on in the industry and to always be aware of new developments.

At times it seems the internet was made for porn, but cases such as this one remind us that there is still a very real threat of legal action against many porn producers and actors, and amateur porn/sex work remains an industry without a voice in lobbying and other political matters. Until everyone who watches porn becomes unashamed to admit it, cases like Kimberly’s will continue to be prosecuted by small-minded politicians.

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