The huge, throbbing amount of traffic that porn gets and the industry’s high overall earnings are nothing new. It’s all enough to make anyone wonder, how to become a porn star?

Just hanging around the industry’s edges isn’t the same as jumping right in, though, and we understand why. After all, professional porn is more demanding than shooting homemade content with your partner or filming yourself masturbating before uploading the video to Pornhub.

However, in exchange for this higher engagement, the pro scene has a whole lot of money and fame to offer. In fact, going hard and shooting a bunch of professional flicks, then taking a break or transitioning to OnlyFans (or another easier line of work) is a certified life hack — as Mia Khalifa, Mia Malkova, and Lana Rhoades can confirm.

Of course, you could find yourself enjoying the glamorous porn star life enough to make it a long-term career. Either way, the industry is welcoming, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself along the way.

To help you along that path — and decide if becoming a porn star is for you — this article will cover:

Why Become a Porn Star

Let’s thrust right into the matter at hand. Porn stars make a lot of money and lead interesting lives, on and off-camera.

Even in amateur, straight-as-an-arrow porn, the stars can make around $1,500 per shoot.

For reference, a whole flick typically wraps up filming in one to two days. So, if you’re willing to put in a few months of work, you can easily make about $40,000!

To get that kind of dough elsewhere, you’ll need tons of experience and years of climbing corporate ladders. Why not climb a dick, instead, and earn good money right off the bat?

Yep, in porn, everyone earns high numbers, which only get higher with fame and experience. Plus, you can make even more if you’re willing to do niche scenes such as gay porn, extreme BDSM, or even weirder stuff — between $2,000 and $5,000 per scene, in fact.

Pick a Location

While you’ll find smut anywhere, most big studios are in the US. On top of that, the majority of porn is filmed at a handful of specific locations.

If you want to become a porn star, consider the following places:

  • Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, California
  • New York City, New York
  • Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, Florida
  • San Diego and San Francisco, CA
  • Portland, OR

There’s a reason we’ve made our first option — Los Angeles — so thick and juicy, as it hosts the so-called Porn Valley. In the previous decades, it was the first stop for anyone wondering how to become a porn star.

Recently, however, the Porn Valley has slowly been losing its prestigious place at the top of the porn pyramid. This is a consequence of a relatively recent LA law, requiring all porn performers to use condoms in adult films.

The area is still one of your best choices, though, perhaps even the best. After all, it’s where most of the world’s porn flicks were made!

But you won’t have to go with the Porn Valley. In fact, moving to any of the aforementioned locations would be a great first step toward making it big in professional porn.

After all, it’s where the biggest industry big shots are. And when you want to go far, it’s not what you know but who you know.

However, if you happen to be too far away from the aforementioned porn capitals of the world, your next best option would be your nearest state capital. Putting some feelers out in a big city will significantly increase your chances of finding steamy gigs.

And even if you don’t feel like moving, you’ll still be able to make things work from where you live, as local porn agencies can be found pretty much anywhere. Just keep in mind that finding work with them can be a bit harder than in big cities, and that the rates they offer can be a bit lower.

Set Up a Portfolio

Simply put, a portfolio is a demonstration of your work in the adult industry. Its purpose is to present you at your finest, and give potential employers an idea of what they can get by hiring you.

You’ll typically keep yours online, on a job listing site or a personal model website. However, if you choose to hire an agent (explained later), you may need it as a single file.

You can create such a file as a document, or by making an archive in software like 7zip. Either way, your future agent will likely request a portfolio via email, and if you get one ready in advance, you’ll be able to send it as soon as they ask.

Speaking of getting ready, we’ll cover what you’ll need to do in that regard, below. Pretty much all of the following will be necessary to make a decent portfolio, and you won’t want to skip a thing.

Prepare Some Sexy Photos

Attracting producers will be your first step toward becoming a porn star. And to do that, you’ll need to show off your goods.

In practice, this means setting up a portfolio and having it display some flattering, sexy pictures of you. Or, to get even more specific, you’ll need:

  • One headshot
  • Several nude shots that show your entire body
  • At least one full-body, clothed shot

If you don’t have all of these, you can easily fix that by taking some on your own. Alternatively, you could hire a professional photographer, which we’ll cover below.

Either way, take a bunch of photos — both in skimpy outfits and fully nude, as explained before.

These will be your main means of grabbing potential employers’ attention. So, take a hundred only to pick out ten — the better they are, the sooner you’ll find work.

And if you plan on doing niche pornography that focuses on a specific body part (such as feet) make sure to get that in at least a few amazing shots.

Finally, watermark the photos you choose before uploading them anywhere. The last thing you want is someone grabbing your pictures and claiming them as their own.

Luckily, you won’t have to spend a dime doing it. Free software like Watermarkly will let you quickly and easily mass watermark as many photos as you want.

Consider a Professional Photographer

If you really want to blow everyone’s mind, you can find a nude-friendly professional photographer near you, and hire them to do what they do best.

Sites like Peerspace and Yelp can significantly speed up that search. To save you even more time, we’ve gone and picked out their resources for the biggest locations around:

  • For photographers in Los Angeles, check this list
  • For photographers in New York City, check this list
  • For photographers in Orlando, check this list
  • For photographers in San Diego, check this list
  • For photographers in Portland, check this list

And if those don’t work out, try googling or searching for boudoir photographers on your local job sites.

Before arranging anything, though, keep in mind that a professional photoshoot probably won’t be cheap. Expect to spend between $500 and $10,000, depending on its duration, the number of photos you need, and your location.

Come up with a Stage Name

In an industry full of names like Nikki Benz, Chloe Cherry, and Lexi Belle, it’s no secret that most porn stars aren’t working under the names Mommy and Daddy gave them. While a performer may take on a pseudonym for any number of reasons, privacy is usually the main one.

Sure, the modern porn industry is pretty safe to work in, but there’s no denying that fans can get creepy. And by creating a porn star persona and naming it appropriately, you’ll be putting some healthy boundaries between yourself and those unfamiliar with the concept.

So, aside from your real name, don’t include any references to your age, date of birth, nickname(s), or other personally identifiable information in your stage name. Make it brief, catchy, and sexy — like the ones we’ve listed above or any others from this list.

And if you find that you need help coming up with something memorable, here’s a convenient porn name generator.

Create a Yes/No List

Along with displaying your pictures and name, you’ll want your portfolio to clarify what’s on the table and what’s not. Be detailed and precise with these, or you may end up losing gigs when applying to become a porn star.

For example, let’s say that you write that you’re only doing lesbian scenes. If a potential employer looking for a solo shoot model stumbles upon your profile, they might decide to skip you.

Outline Your Porn or Acting Experience

If you’ve got experience on OnlyFans or as a cam girl, make sure to include that info in your portfolio. You should also mention any acting experience from videos or films, in general.

No matter how much you enjoy it, giving a sexy presentation during a shoot is a performance. Therefore, if you can act even a little, producers will see it as an absolute plus.

Check Existing Portfolios for Reference

Given that there is no exact portfolio format that everyone needs to stick to, it’s easy to get confused when creating yours. However, when you’re in doubt, you can always check what experienced porn stars are doing.

To help you out with that, here are some porn star CVs, in different formats and on different websites:

Looking for Employers

Once you’ve got your portfolio, you can start applying for gigs and actually become a porn star. You’ll have a handful of choices in that regard.

Namely, you can find an agent to personally represent you, directly apply with companies, post as a jobseeker on adult job sites, or launch a website of your own. We’ll outline the pros and cons of each option and help you make an informed decision.

Finding an Agent

An agent is someone who’ll represent you as a model and send your application and portfolio to various agencies and companies. They can also help you avoid uncomfortable situations, such as agencies demanding more work than you agreed to, or refusing to pay you.

While the specifics of hiring an agent will depend on your location, there are several key points to look for when picking one out.

Most importantly, they should have a long history of work with existing porn stars. If you recognize some of the names on their list, that’s even better.

After all, someone who has serviced dozens — or hundreds — of clients during their career is probably good at their job.

Second, you should make sure that the agent is willing to represent you.

Some agents specialize, only taking stars that look a certain way or work in particular niches. If you reach out to one who obviously won’t accept your application, you’ll be wasting both your time and theirs.

To avoid such situations, familiarize yourself with their brand and all the information listed in their portfolio.

Third, avoid agents who take a larger cut than the 20% industry standard, unless they’re really experienced or well-known.

Sketchier agents often try to scam amateur performers out of more money, assuming that they aren’t familiar with industry standards. So, if someone is expensive and their portfolio can’t back up their price tag, walk away.

Where to Find an Agent

Like cougars around seedy bars, you can typically find agents wherever you can find porn shoots. This includes most large cities, especially the ones we mentioned earlier.

Again, you’ll want to stay away from shady characters with no apparent background in the adult industry. Established directories such as AVN and XBIZ will help you avoid them, and find reputable agents.

If that doesn’t work out, you can always google porn agents near me, but be more careful with those.

A great way to check if one is reliable would be to find their current (and past) clients, reach out to them, and ask for their feedback. If you hear a bunch of positive testimonies, the agent is likely good.

Your agent won’t have to be in the same city as you, just within the same state or county. Therefore, if you use the Google method, favor experience over proximity.

Pros and Cons of Hiring an Agent

Hiring an agent comes with the following pros and cons:

Pros Cons
  • They will represent and promote you
  • Their industry connections will make finding a job much easier
  • Agents will filter out bad offers or ones that don’t fit your criteria, letting you focus on your performance
  • Agents will take a cut from your earnings — usually around 20%
  • If your agent is not reputable, you may end up getting scammed, and depending on where you live, finding reputable agents might prove difficult
  • If an agent has trouble finding work, they may try to pressure you into a bad contract, or into doing something you may not be entirely comfortable with

Directly Applying for Jobs

If you take this approach, you’ll effectively be acting as your own agent.

Sure, the idea might seem intimidating if you’re still figuring out how to become a porn star. However, all you’ll need to do is look at reliable sources, sift through promising job listings within them, and reach out.

It’s like putting on a condom; with just a little bit of experience, everything will go swimmingly.

As for where you should look, porn companies in need of models often post listings on adult job sites such as SexyJobs, PornRecruit, or ThePornAgency.

You can check those listings, find the ones that fit your location and preferences, and note them down. Then, directly send out your application to the companies that posted them.

Also, some porn companies have modeling opportunities listed on their sites.

If you’re interested, we suggest visiting Venetian Productions (BangBros), AdultTime, or Vixen. Alternatively, look for a casting or Join us link in the footer of your favorite porn site.

Everyone’s experience is different, and it’s often a good idea to check out an adult podcast or two. For instance, the girl in this interview had her friends encourage her to join the industry, and the army ended up paying for her boob job.

You can apply for as many job listings as you want, but we only recommend companies that seem reputable. To separate the chaff from the wheat, do a cursory Google search, and check how long they’ve been operating and if any negative experiences pop up.

That being said, if you’re willing to take the risk with a smaller company, you’ll be more likely to get accepted. In addition, you might be called in for more shoots later, as the company — and you — build a following together.

Finally, you’ll absolutely want to ask how a company addresses health and safety concerns. Namely, any worthwhile porn producer will request that their performers bring negative STD results before each shoot — no older than two weeks.

Some will pay for the tests, while others will ask each star to foot their own bill. The former is obviously preferred, but the latter is also fine as long as they are transparent about it.

And if you’re shooting in California, the health regulations become even more rigorous.

This is no joke — companies that skimp on safety will often skimp on other matters. Therefore, if you can’t get a straight answer on the topic, we suggest passing on their offer.

Pros and Cons of Direct Application

Pros Cons
  • You will be in charge of your career
  • No one will take a cut from your earnings
  • You won’t need to spend any time looking for an agent, and will immediately be able to start applying for jobs
  • You’ll be more likely to get scammed than if you had an agent representing you
  • Given that you’ll have no initial contacts in the industry, a dozen or so companies will likely reject you before you land your first job
  • Because you won’t have an agent to negotiate on your behalf, potential clients may lowball you and offer less than you’re worth
  • You will have to inquire about each company’s health and safety practices — specifically regarding STDs

Putting Up a Job Listing

Even though this is your most passive option, it may end up getting you a lot of action.

To use it, create a profile on a site like SexyJobs, and populate it with your relevant information. That information typically includes:

  • Your name
  • Your portfolio
  • Your location
  • Your age
  • What you are and aren’t comfortable with
  • Any specific fetishes or kinks that you’d like to cater to
  • Possibly additional details, based on the site in question

Any porn company worth its dildo collection will have recruiters prowling these job sites in daily search of new talent. Sooner or later, they’ll stumble upon you.

Those who decide that your portfolio and details (location, the work you’re willing to do, etc.) suit them will reach out to you with offers.

However, you shouldn’t just upload everything you’ve got on every adult job site. In fact, a lot of them actually won’t let you post sexually explicit images as part of your portfolio.

To avoid breaking those policies and getting into trouble, you should always check each platform’s terms of service in advance. Then, when you know what you’ve got to work with, pimp out your profile(s) with the details from above.

Either way, nothing will stop you from directly sending forbidden material to potential employers once they reach out to you.

Another reason for checking out each platform’s ToS is the fact that a lot of them won’t let you list or even mention certain fetishes.

For example, SexyJobs goes all soft at the mention of watersports or hardcore bondage, and therefore forbids them. So, you won’t want to include those anywhere, even if you’re fully comfortable with the idea of doing them.

It’s important to note that having a job listing won’t exclude you from actively applying for gigs.

In fact, it could make it easier for you to get a job. Instead of sending a CV when you’re applying for a shoot, just drop a link leading to your job listing and you may be on your way to becoming a porn star sooner than you expect.

Pros and Cons of Job Listings

Pros Cons
  • Your listing will be a steady promotion method once you complete it
  • Quick and free to set up
  • An entirely passive way to find jobs; once your listing is up, you can just relax and wait for clients to find you
  • Unless you target a specific niche, getting your first job might take a while, as the mainstream market is highly saturated
  • Your agent won’t be there to shield you from scams, so exercise common sense when considering an offer

Making a Model Website

While launching your own website can get costly and requires more upkeep than any of the previous options, it’ll greatly increase your profits in the long run.

However, there are shortcuts that you can take on this road, if you choose to walk it. Namely, website themes such as ModelX will let anyone launch an adult website quickly, affordably, and with no coding or design skills required.

Whether or not you go with a theme, though, you’ll enjoy certain benefits by going your own way.

Pros and Cons of Model Websites

Pros Cons
  • Potential employers will know that you’re serious about your work, making it more likely that you’ll get hired
  • If you host your site with an adult-friendly hosting provider, you’ll be able to feature whatever you want, as long as it’s legal — including extreme and higher-paying stuff
  • You won’t be limited in the size of your portfolio and the kind of pictures that it can contain, such as close-ups and explicit shots
  • More expensive when compared to your alternatives, even if you go with a website theme
  • Website upkeep will require steady engagement on your part

Preparing for a Job

So, you got a job — what do you do? As it turns out, there’s plenty, and we’ll try to cover it all.

Learn About the Job

For starters, make sure to learn about any specifics or unusual details regarding the upcoming shoot. Typically, your agent or the porn company will inform you about these, so that you know what to expect.

Most of the time, this information will include the general scenario and the poses you’ll need to assume during the flick. These are usually decided in advance, giving you ample time to prepare.

For instance, if you’ve got a reverse cowgirl anal scene coming, you’ll need to do a bit more leg (or rather, ass) work than for ye olde missionary vaginal.

It’s rare for producers to ask for something on set without notice, and if it happens, you’ll be in the right to decline it.

Make Sure to Look the Part

You’ll want to follow the client’s instructions regarding your appearance. If they want you makeup-free, that’s how you should appear; if they ask you to come up with a certain look, that’s what you should try to do, etc.

Bigger producers will have their own makeup artists and costume collections, which will make everything much easier. Otherwise, you’ll need to provide your own.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should maintain your personal hygiene and shaving routine — unless the flick is going for a Stone Age or Horror Porn vibe.

Also, having some body spray or perfume at hand is another good idea. Things can and will get smelly once you really get into the performance, and you’ll want to get that body odor under control.

Take Care of Your Body

Doing porn can be tiring — unlike your typical sex session, a porn shoot can last five or six hours. If you’re lacking stamina, you can end up exhausted after just an hour or less.

To prevent that from happening, mind your health and exercise often, as you’ll likely be asked to repeat at least a couple of scenes during the shoot.

Test Yourself for STDs

Unsurprisingly, you’ll need to undergo an STD test before each job. These are free or cheap, and many companies will arrange such tests for their hired performers.

If you have an agent, it’d be good to request that they learn about who’s going to foot that bill. In any case, make sure to bring the results to the shooting location when it’s time.

In addition, you’ll require at least two forms of ID — one of which will have to be a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

While sex is fun, performing in a porn flick can be as taxing as acting in any other movie, especially if you reshoot a scene a dozen times.

You’ll need to be ready for these situations, so we recommend taking at least a day — preferably even two — to relax before the shoot, especially if you’re new to the business.

And if you’re working in an intense niche like BDSM, you may even need more.

Be Ready For Breaks and Touch-ups

Expect to take breaks during the shoot to spruce up your appearance (or let the resident makeup artists do it), rethink some poses, or just give your orifices some breathing room.

Porn shoot sex doesn’t last as long as you might think, and downtime and on-set coffee breaks — while absurd in theory — are very much a thing.

Consider Performance Enhancers

When the industry has cheat codes, there’s no reason not to use them.

We don’t just mean Viagra or Cialis for male performers; we’re talking a glass of wine before the shoot, perhaps a blunt if weed is legal where you’re rolling, or whatever else that can help you put on a great show.

As long as it doesn’t endanger your health or land you in trouble, there’s no shame in using it!

Lighten Up

With all that said, try not to take everything dead-serious. Porn shoots are professional arrangements, but they can get pretty damn funny. Just relax, do what everyone agreed on, and you’ll have a great time.

Getting Paid

What’s better than having sex? That’s right — getting paid for it!

To keep the money coming in and avoid wasting your time, you’ll want to mind the following if you want to become a porn star.

First off, never accept payment in exposure. While getting exposure for your work is good, getting paid for it will always be better. The companies that claim they’ll make you a mainstream star in exchange for one free shoot will almost never have the power to do so. They’re simply trying to get you to work for no compensation.

Second, make sure to agree on a price before the shoot starts. This should be a given, but some seedier companies might say that you’ll discuss payment after they see your performance. Avoid such arrangements like the plague, and always have a price set before taking your clothes off.

Third, consult other people in the industry to ensure that you’re getting paid fairly. As we’ve said earlier, you can expect to make around $800 per straight porn shoot, but this number can vary. As long as your figures remain close to what other performers are making for similar scenes, though, you can rest assured that you aren’t getting ripped off. However, if you’re doing less conventional work for around $800, you’re absolutely getting shafted, and not in a hot way.

Finally, never sign a model release agreement, or any other sort of release contract, before you get your money. If anyone tells you that signing the agreement is industry standard or that you’ll be required to do so by law — they are lying and are not entirely trustworthy. Only ever sign off on your work when you have the money or check in hand.

Conclusion

The fact that a porn star career isn’t exactly for everyone shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, those with the goods and the drive to own it will get far — even if they’re laying on their back for most of the way.

Given that you got this far in our guide, we hope that you now understand how to become a porn star. So, get out there, flaunt those assets, and earn a killing while having the sex life of your dreams!