Fact or Fiction? Porn Performer Asa Akira Sets the Record Straight

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Ask the average person on the street what they know about the porn industry and their responses are likely to consist of more fiction than truth. Yesterday at the Adult Entertainment Expo, a panel of industry insiders, including 2013 AVN Performer of the Year winners James Deen and Asa Akira, gathered to bust some myths. Do all female performers fake orgasms? Is there a casting couch? Is it really the case that no one “flunks” out of porn?

The format was this: The moderator would share a supposed “truism” about the industry, and the panelists would raise a sign to indicate if they thought the statement was “fact” or “fiction.”

Not everyone on the panel looked like they wanted to be there, and there was more than one awkward moment during the hourlong session, including when AVN founder Paul Fishbein—who sold the company in 2010—leaned over and whispered something in Deen’s ear. “I was just told not to answer that guy’s question,” Deen blurted out, effectively ending an exchange with an audience member about mandatory condom use in porn.

Akira’s seemingly uncensored answers made the audience laugh on more than one occasion, however. Here’s a sampling.

To be cast in a movie you must sleep with a director.

Akira: I’ve been propositioned, but not by anyone worth shooting for.

Porn is recession proof.

Akira: I don’t know. I’ve only been in porn since the economy went to shit. It’s always been bad, so I have nothing to compare it to.

All female porn stars fake their orgasms.

Akira: You mean like once in a while? Because I have faked an orgasm.

Working in porn is easier than having a real job.

Akira: Porn makes my life better than if I had a nine-to-five job. The hours are long, and shooting a 30-40 minute sex scene involves makeup and all the things you need to do before you can even shoot the sex. It’s not as easy as people think, but I’d rather do this than any other job. But I’ve also never had a real job.

You can’t flunk out of porn.

Akira: Lying about an STI test is the worst thing you can do. You can show up on set high on meth 100 days in a row, and if you get clean you can be hired again. Outside of faking your STI test, there’s not much you can do to flunk out [of porn].

Porn stars can’t act.

Akira: For the most part, we aren’t actors that fell into porn. That’s like going to a doctor and asking, “Are you a good actor?” There are some [performers] who are, but for the most part, no.

Lynn Comella is a women’s studies professor at UNLV. Her column, ‘Unbuttoned,’ examines issues of sex and gender—with a Vegas twist.

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