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by Katie Peachesa April 10, 2020 3 min read

Life after porn: is it possible?

By Ksenia Sobchak

We might think that we have a liberal view of pornography, but some adult actresses find it incredibly difficult to work in a 'normal' career after having spent time in front of the camera in the adult industry. In 2005, Gauge – a successful adult actress – unexpectedly retired from the adult entertainment industry after a contract dispute with her management company.

After four years and 140 films, Gauge was ready to try something new. 'Some girls enter the business without a long-term plan, or maybe they think they can't do anything else,' she told Salon.com. 'I was never like that. I always thought I could do anything.'

Gauge saved up for her education through feature dancing and later attended school to obtain a qualification as a surgical tech. She soared to the top of her class and logged double the required number of hours, proving that she was more than capable of achieving her goals. That was, until an anaesthesia tech recognised her and circulated rumours around the department. Within months, Gauge was unable to graduate because nobody would sign off her hours, and people started treating her badly because of her past career in making porn.

Things became unbearable and the hospital later issued an apology, but still wouldn't employ Gauge as a surgical technician and continued to make her feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. 'I'm thinking, why isn't anybody asking [the anaesthesia tech] how he recognized me?' she pointed out. 'OK, so what – I'm the provider, you're the freaking consumer. Why is what I did so much more wrong than what you did?'

She left the hospital and subsequently attended criminal justice school and make-up artist school, qualifying effortlessly with her increased aptitude and ability. When she applied for jobs, she wouldn't get hired – while people with less experience and fewer qualifications would land all the positions. Her previous career, it seems, had a serious impact on her future career prospects. Despite training for three additional career paths and becoming qualified and well-experienced in other areas, Gauge was still facing prejudice and discrimination because of her four years spent in front of the camera.

'I have a family now, and if I've exhausted all my avenues and the only thing left is the adult industry, then I'm just like, well, look, I've tried this and I've tried that, year after year after year. It's 2013. I've been going to school since 2007 … what else am I supposed to do?'

She announced her return to the small screen last month. She's not alone; Tiffany Six, a retired porn actress, was fired from her job as a middle school teacher after students found her videos. She appealed the decision but was turned out, with one judge labelling her 'unemployable' and another pointing out that she would continue to be judged and could not be considered an effective teacher and respected colleague. Another actress was fired from her job as a real estate agent, despite gaining weight and attempting to change her appearance.

The adult entertainment industry might be liberating and a great job for some, but it's not all bright lights and smooth sailing. Despite a society obsessed with adult encounters and near-porn experiences (just think about Miley Cyrus's behaviour, points out Gauge), it seems that life after porn involves disguises and denial.

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.


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