by Rich Moreland, August 2015
This is the fifth installment of the Mercy West Story. After making a commitment to enter the adult film industry, Mercy’s summer has been busy with shoots and modeling assignments. Here she talks about her mom and their relationship.
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“I don’t ever remember being disciplined by my mother because I never did anything worth disciplining!”
Mercy West had a secure upbringing though her family structure, like that of many young people nowadays, was flexible with re-partnering parents doing what they could to keep blended relationships afloat.
“I blossomed and matured very early,” Mercy says, which can be a prescription for unwanted sexual attention. “I experienced a lot quite young and not in a bad way.” Her mother was supportive, allowing her daughter to make her own decisions, an attitude born of trust. “I was able to communicate better and deal with things a little more rationally than most people my age,” the twenty-five-year-old adds.
Mercy’s father took a different view. Divorced and remarried, he noticed that his daughter hung out with a bad crowd, so he suspected, and dressed differently than most kids. He believed she was “smart” but “problematic,” Mercy relates. Truth be told, she didn’t spend much time with him in her developing years and once she turned eighteen, little at all.
“I just can’t be open with him much about my life and I don’t think he really wants to know.”
Perhaps not, but a visit to the Paintoy or Intersec websites to check out Mercy’s promos will let him know what his daughter is into now.
But that’s of no matter, Mercy’s life is all about the mom factor.
No Attached Shame
When Mercy got her first boyfriend, mom insisted she go to Planned Parenthood for birth control. A good move because today the emerging porn model credits her mother with establishing an open and honest dialogue with her daughter. “Nothing was dirty or shameful. I didn’t have to hide anything. I had the freedom to make the right choices and most importantly the wrong choices . . . and still feel loved and cared for.”
Mercy reveals that her mother was ill for much of her daughter childhood but managed to keep a household together despite divorce, remarriage, then another divorce. “She tired to keep things as normal as she could,” Mercy says with great affection. “I didn’t have a traumatic childhood. I have very good memories of being a kid.”
Incidentally, Mercy’s mother was an exotic dancer, a sex worker. “I’ve known since I was fifteen or sixteen. She never attached any shame to it and I’ve never had any issues talking about it.”
Like many women who populate the adult film business, Mercy understands a vital truth. “When you do things that you want to do and you are in control, it can be very empowering regardless of what it is . . . being a stripper or a CEO.”
There’s a name for such an attitude: feminism. Mercy and her mom are examples of how it fits into adult entertainment.
Mercy’s adolescence gave her another lesson.
“I never look down on people because you don’t know what someone is going through.”
Mercy credits this attitude to her mother who suffered from social anxiety, despite her profession. In fact, dancing may have served to create a persona to help deal with self-consciousness.
Mom didn’t want this social handicap for her little girl, so it was off to theater and performing arts classes designed to broaden Mercy’s perceptions of the world around her and to encourage interaction with others. Together they volunteered at an Arizona ranch to teach “physically and mentally handicapped folks to take care of animals.” Mercy met autistic children, those with Down’s Syndrome, and others afflicted with physical disabilities. Later she volunteered in special needs and special education classes during her high school years.
It paid benefits. Today Mercy is outgoing with an attitude that this writer finds endearing. She has a real passion for helping others and insists that one of her reasons for doing porn is educational. Mercy believes that sex is nothing to be reticent about and for people with sexual hang-ups, there’s a better way.
Quite frankly, I’ve heard this before from new girls in the business and I tend to dismiss their comments as justification for shooting porn or simple naiveté. But with Mercy, I believe it is genuine.
More like roommates than family, Mercy and her mother share living quarters in a way that is flexible and supportive. “She is aware of all my partners, my activities, and my work. She knows exactly what I do.”
Sort of, because mom has seen only “some of the more niche fetishy things” that “are not too sexual,” Mercy explains. Of course, the “more explicit stuff” is only a matter of time because, Mercy says, her mother “wants to see me make my own content.”
“That’s going to be awesome. She knows that if I want to do it, I’ll make it work.”