What follows is a unique and very personal account from a dear friend, whose own experience within the UK porn industry still causes many problems for him today, six years on.
I hope you find this interesting...
Most people will have watched porn at some point, It's a thriving and ever growing, multi million pound industry that serves a very real purpose. However, is it something we want to observe and enjoy or do we want to go one step further and get involved?
Porn has become more and more sociably acceptable, and as somebody who has been involved, not only as the consumer, I wanted to highlight some things you should think about before agreeing to anything.
Six years ago, I was asked by a scout for a gay porn website to be in a shoot. I was 23 at the time. After a bit of deliberation and a chat to my boyfriend, I thought 'why not' and agreed to a test shoot.
I'd recently come out and felt a sense of wanting recognition; a sense of needing to re-etch my mark on my newly found community. I knew I wanted to do the shoot and at the time and it seemed like a good way of earning some easy money whilst making a statement about myself.
The date was agreed and I travelled to London. I arrived at a gorgeous modernised, Victorian house in a leafy suburb in the North of the city. I received a very warm welcome from the website owner (who is also the camera man) and we talked through what was to happen.
The shoot was to be solo, and involved stripping slowly for the camera and then masturbating to the climax. This was then followed by a second shoot, this time on video and in the shower.
The whole experience was very professional, honest and surprisingly not at as sleazy as you might imagine. I actually enjoyed it. It made me feel great.
Following the shoot, I was still on a high, not least because my pockets were lined with £350! ,
However, almost straight after, I started to feel nervous, apprehensive and used. Soon, my boyfriend and I started to argue more. Something I blame entirely on the porn shoot.
It is essential to remember that any pictures or videos taken do not belong to you. You have no say over what is published, how it is published, when it is published and to whom the rights are sold. The pictures will always remain the property of the website owner and can never be purchased back.
Of course, this was all explained to me and laid out in a contract for me to sign, but trust me, reading through this contract was not my top priority having just finished the shoot. I was excited about the results and had a wad of cash being waved under my nose.
Today, knowing that I have no control over these pictures gives me a worrying feeling of being out of control.
What if a family member sees them? What if I am ever in the public eye and they get sold on? All these things go through my mind daily.
My relationship certainly suffered as a result of the shoot. I was with my boyfriend at the time and still am today. Although we both agreed it was a good thing to do at the time, it has been the subject of hundreds of arguments since.
It's not nice when we're out together and a stranger approaches us to talk about my private parts. Also, the feelings my boyfriend has about people doing this when he is not there, often causes him distress. He constantly feels that people have seen and feel a sense of ownership towards something that should be for him only. Six years on, I completely agree but there is nothing I can do to change it, which in turn has developed into a feeling of guilt and regret.
Another thing to consider is your professional Integrity. I have certainly had people recognise me within my professional capacity (both colleagues and customers) and whilst it might be a source of amusement to them, it certainly isn't to me.
I have often overheard colleagues talking about me, but of course, its like Chinese whispers and things get added to the gossip as it swirls round like a whirlpool.
I am also terrified that my manager might get wind of the shoot, feel it threatens the professional integrity of the company and fire me.
This is not to mention any job within the public eye. Doing a porn shoot could have serious implications as the pictures would undoubtedly be sold and published in a newspaper.
Even though I don't work within the public eye, I would have quite liked to have been a presenter, but deep down, I know this wouldn't be a viable career option because of this little mistake I made years ago.
The porn shoot ended any possibility of a credible career within the media and I'm left with a feeling of 'what if?'.
Finally, you have the material itself. Whilst there were some very good comments and feedback, I was rated number one model for some time, I now find the pictures repulsive. No amount of flattery can change the way I perceive the material.
Luckily, none of my family have ever found out about the shoot, but the thought (and constant worry) sends a chill down my spine.
I have painted quite a bleak picture. This is only my personal view and experience.
Please don't get me wrong, it hasn't ruined my life, but it certainly hasn't added to it to either, except for some cash that had been spent by the end of the week.
I am not saying don't do it. Some people are cut out for it and have the qualities to make it big, but if we are honest, most don't.
Its a bit like being good at Karaoke compared to being the next Beyonce. There are millions of people who are good at Karaoke, but it doesn't mean they will make it. If they don't make it, they're left with their passion, good memories and a sense of achievement for trying.
With the porn industry I have only been left with a one time shameful secret.
I'm not a famous adult movie star; I am in fact, a twenty something, professional, with a hidden C.V. in the gay porn scene. Which I cannot erase.
If you do decide to give it a go, do it whole heartedly. Think it through thoroughly and be careful with your own feelings and those close to you.
Remember it is not just you that it will affect, and the images or video will be around forever. A lot longer than you will.