Tag Archives: Aurora Snow

Crunch Time and Changing Times

by Rich Moreland, December 2014

book cover porn.fem.

It’s crunch time for me and I don’t mean holiday shopping. John Hunt Publishing of the UK is preparing my book, Pornography Feminism: As Powerful as She Wants to Be for distribution. The official release date is January 30, but it is available now at a pre-release price. You can find it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I’m beginning a new phase in the life of an author, marketing. It has become my holiday version of “got to get this done” and I’m learning as I go, just as I did when I first ventured into the adult film community.

Six years ago I began to mingle with pornography people. I listened, took notes, watched them work, and paid for my share of meals. Never did I imagine that a blog would come out of my industry networking. In fact, it was a student of mine who suggested I begin a journal. Inevitably, a twitter account followed and then the big break, an offer to write for Adult Industry News, an online publication out of LA. It’s among the websites included under the Links of Interest tab at the top of this page.

To make a go of the book I wanted to write, I sought out feminist performers and directors. Of course, feminism and pornography aren’t exactly bedfellows (pun intended) in American social history. Consequently, I never knew where the field work would lead and I did have my surprises.

What is missing in Pornography Feminism is an epilogue. Because careers in the adult film industry can be absurdly brief (as in why did she even give this a try?) to five plus years, a lifetime in porn, I never knew if or when contacts I valued would suddenly decide to hang it up.

Two things I have learned when girls step out of the limelight. First, some will immediately disappear, drop off the radar without a forwarding address. Negotiating life after porn is a tricky proposition that can inhibit available options in rebuilding a civilian normality. In some cases, an “I don’t want to talk about it” mentality takes over and must be respected. Second, and this is related to the first, some girls show up again in the industry with renewed purpose. The most recent example is Nadia Styles who was “saved” by anti-porn Christians but has returned to filming with the message that she is glad to be back.

Nadia’s story, as reported by Adult Video News, is here.

Another example is the legendary Aurora Snow who retired to the American heartland a year ago. Word is that she will be around during the AEE convention in January, but has no intention of stepping in front of the camera.

Transitions and Change

Since the presses are now rolling, it’s appropriate to update a pair of retirements with personal “thank yous.” Each performer contributed significantly to my field work. First, Bobbi Starr, without whom Pornography Feminism would be an unfinished shell of a book. Recently retired after eight years in the business, Bobbi now lives quietly in married domesticity. Raising a family takes all her energy, she tells me.

I’m not surprised. I remember meeting Bobbi for breakfast a few years ago in Vegas. In our conversation, she mentioned that adult film was a phase of her life she was doing the safest way possible. When she started a family, the formally trained oboist insisted, all on-screen appearances would come to screeching halt.

The native Northern Californian always had a plan, a sense of responsibility, and a ton of industry respect to go with it.

Bobbi and Jiz Lee in Toronto. Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Bobbi and Jiz Lee in Toronto in 2011.
Photo courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Transitioning from performer to director, Bobbi understood what it meant to call her shots in a male-dominated industry. Undoubtedly, the statuesque brunette could have remained behind the camera for decades to come, but she walked away on her own terms, contented and ready for the next phase of her life.

Next is Tara Lynn Foxx, who like Bobbi Starr, was always generous with her time and opinions. I remember talking with TLF when she was just breaking into the business. Over the years, catching up with this sweetheart had its amusing moments. Once I interviewed Tara while she was taking a time out in Vegas. She was without her undies, a violation of convention protocol, and was waiting for their delivery! In another instance we chatted as she sat in the make-up chair. That night, everything was a rush.

TLF in Vegas. Photo couresy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

TLF in Vegas in 2012.
Photo couresy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

The San Francisco girl who started in webcam paid her dues and on occasion suffered the vagaries of being in the business. Over time her personal grit forged a solid career that, like Bobbi’s, will be worthy of eventual induction into the AVN Hall of Fame.

For an understanding of TLF’s time in porn, turn the pages of Pornography Feminism. She, along with Bobbi and a handful of others, are featured.

In the meantime, Tara Lynn Foxx informs me the end is at hand. “I’m actually retired and not shooting anymore. I’ve changed paths.” The performer I watched develop from a teenager into a sultry young woman is moving toward a new profession in the culinary arts. For more on Tara’s plans, check out her website.

Postscript

Establishing a respected porn resume is an accomplishment fueled by an irrepressible spirit and when the inevitable arrives, fan accolades and generous checks for shooting scenes are hard to replace. However, times do change. The body wears down, especially with the modern definition of rough sex, and an exit strategy moves center stage.

Nevertheless, memories often linger because transitioning into civilian life is not always easy.

Will either Bobbi or Tara return to porn? My guess is no, but one should never say never. If they do, their fans will be back, lined up and ready for a moment’s attention, an autographed photo . . . and a smile.

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Farewell, Aurora Snow

by Rich Moreland, July 2013

An acquaintance of mine is leaving the adult business after four years in front of the camera, a lifetime by porn standards. It’s time to move on, she told me recently, though her exit strategy is a work in progress. She admitted that all the pieces must fall into place for her to make the final move.

The business still has its appeal for her; she continues to pop up on internet shoots and in an occasional DVD. In truth, unless she has established a direction out, a hasty departure may not serve her well and I believe she knows this. Should her post-porn road be paved with fits and starts, a return may be in the cards, something adult actresses do more often that is generally imagined.

For ex-performers, the “civilian” world often resembles barbarians at the gate waiting to consume anyone who ventures beyond the adult film cocoon. Transitioning out can be culture shock. Coping with new demands and curious people, whose knowledge of the adult film universe is hearsay at best, is ever present. For instance, dealing with a potential employer who wants to know how the previous working years were spent can be a nervous and formidable experience.

However, in the process of adjustment a performer may discover qualities she never imagined she possessed.

Photo Courtesy of New Sensations.com

Photo Courtesy of New Sensations.com

Consider the retirement of Aurora Snow. The adult industry is going to miss her intelligence, controversial opinions, and legendary film performances. During her lengthy career, Aurora joined an elite few recognized within the business. She was Adult Video News’ 2003 Performer of the Year and was enshrined in the XROC (X-Rated Critics Organization) Hall of Fame in 2011. These are not minor accomplishments. The number of women who have bared it all since porn’s modern era began in 1972 runs into the tens of thousands.

After a decade of filmed sexcapades, Aurora leaves on a positive note. Her recent article in The Daily Beast, “How a Porn Star Retires: Aurora Snow on Life After Porn,” examines some of the shortfalls performers face and offers timely advice for the day a model walks away.

It should be required reading for every newbie who is considering an adult film career.

A Master Plan

Aurora Snow reflects on what I’ve heard from industry people, too many girls lack the responsibility to manage their affairs. They can earn into the six figures, but find themselves impoverished when their days are done. Too many dollars are wasted on expensive apartments, clothes, cars, facials, and partying. Because they know a couple of bookings will replenish their bank account, a rainy day fund is far from their thoughts.

The adult industry offers no retirement plan, film residuals, or health insurance, and does nothing to prepare a performer for the day the phone stops ringing. Needless to say, there is no union like mainstream Hollywood’s equity system. A performer is left on her own.

Nevertheless, Aurora explains how difficult it is to leave the biz, especially if sex-for-money is all a girl knows. She tried to do it gradually but was continually caught in a spiral of shooting scenes to pay the bills.

Extracting herself was problematic, so she went cold turkey, packed her bags and got out of town.

But the emotions hung on, Aurora says. Pulling away from the spotlight and fan adulation is a downer. Yet, a girl eventually must figure out how “to do something with your clothes on,” she insists, a real challenge because the usual options are not the long-term answer.

Too many female performers rely on archived web cam shoots as their retirement ticket, Aurora points out, and some continue with a dancing career (she is mum on escorting). But everyone ages, so exit preparations need to be on the table. Timing is important, Aurora indicates, and quotes talent agent and former performer, Shy Love. “‘Don’t quit until you have a master plan for what comes later.’”

Aurora Snow’s departure is an opportunity to encourage all performers to take responsibility for their future. She goes over the list. Develop investment alternatives early on. Experiment with daily life constrained by a budget and curtail the urge to blow away dollars on unneeded and fanciful wants. And, don’t ignore that nagging feeling to improve educational opportunities. At the very least, consider picking up college credits on a regular basis.

Photo Courtesy of MrPOV

Photo Courtesy of MrPOV

Eventually, Aurora took decisive action to break the pattern of doubt that was not serving her well. The result introduced new horizons she never expected.

“Once I hit the eject button and became far enough removed from the porn machine,” she says, “I found that brand-new opportunities eventually presented themselves.”

Aurora Snow’s exit tells us that porn people have more skills than they realize. They are truly people-friendly, just ask their fans. Personally, I’ve seen this up close. Circulating among industry people has proved to me that everyone has something to offer once the last shoot wraps up and a career is concluded.

So, farewell Aurora Snow, I wish you Godspeed. You leave a legacy of top-notch performances and an articulated wisdom. Your message is clear for every girl in the business: invest “wisely” and remember there is “life after porn.”

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