ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES:

  • When interacting with a studio, co-performer or fan, make sure to establish your personal boundaries upfront. If someone tries to push or violate your boundaries be assertive in maintaining them. It's important to demonstrate your boundary control, especially if others are present. Keep in mind that your actual personal boundaries may differ from the boundaries of a character you play in a roleplay scene.
  • If you do meet a fan at some point or you are concerned about your safety at a production, the “Buddy System" is the practice of you telling a friend where you are and who you are with, with the expectation of you calling back once you are in a safer environment. Otherwise, the friend will travel to the location to check if you are ok. This is often done so those you are with are aware that a friend is looking out for you. Some establish codewords meaning something is wrong and for them to call for help.
  • Most platforms for porn prohibit depictions of substance use and may ban performers for breaking this rule. Performers may however feel the need to use substances to get in the mood to perform due to the stress of competition on the platform, hiring criteria or perfectionist expectations of themselves.
  • To prevent closure, many platforms may be obligated to prevent opportunities for performers to escort with fans. Be aware of what is allowed on platforms you use.
  • Set firm boundaries around your work and free time, preventing burnout, identity issues and limits on time impact from chems sessions.
  • Separate times you make money from your partying, such weekdays vs. weekends or set days or times you keep for. Alternatively, only using chems in your personal life, when you are performing or having a fan meeting.
  • Be cautious of fans if meeting them, they may behave even more unpredictably on substances, same for studio staff and/or co-performers.
  • Consider only accepting gifts as money or products you want instead of substances. This helps with quality control on the chems.
  • Be aware of and avoid new substances in the community until you know more about them.
  • Recognize and leave triggering environments or networks to avoid dependence on substances building up.
  • Telling yourself "I can handle it, others don't know their limits" is how all habitual use is rationalized.
  • Regularly ask yourself 'Does *seeking support* trigger feelings of identity anxiety, more than pride in your self-awareness?' If anxiety towards support goes unchecked, what could prevent chems in your life becoming unmanageable?
  • If you are expected to climax, consider practicing how you might fake it if your body were unable to do so.
  • Prepare ahead what you would do and would say no to if your body were not performing during a scene. Would you feel ok requesting to rearrange? Otherwise, having an alternative lined up such as a kink scene to redirecting focus without that body pressure.
  • Carefully read any paperwork that productions offer you and avoid contracts with clauses you disagree with. Ask to read paperwork ahead of time without pressure to sign unread paperwork on set.
  • If you are given free chems ensure they know it is a gift, without you then owing them something in return. Outside of kink roleplay, feeling owned can lead to depression.

 

ANTI-SPIKING TIPS:

  • If having some, always get your own chems or drinks.
  • Don’t leave drinks or chems unattended. If they were, replace them as potentially spiked, regardless of your gender. Recall the UK’s worst perpetrator of this practice targeted random men.
  • Watch out for non-consensual blowback kisses (blowing Tina smoke into your mouth).
  • Watch out for substances on someone’s bum or genitals, placed there to affect you non-consensually.
  • Bring a few types of your own lube, so a studio or co-performer can't have a preference to get you using theirs. They could be spiked, throwing off how much chems you are aware of taking.

 

CHEMS GOING WRONG TIPS

  • If you are meeting a fan or co-performer who experiences psychosis, communicate calmly and clearly, take them to a calm environment away from the sex setting, with TV /music turned off. Call 999 if necessary.
  • Have Naloxone to hand as a precaution against overdosing on opioids (such as heroin or fentanyl).
  • If a fan or co-performer overdoses, don't leave them alone. Walk them around, keep them awake if unconscious, put them in the recovery position, call for help.
  • The presence of chems or sexual performance or service situations (most aren't illegal in the UK) does NOT mean ambulances report them to police or other services.
  • Struggle to find sex exciting without the use of chems, but currently need the extra money from hookup-for-reward on chems sessions? Consider trying to earn and save enough to enable doing it without chems to get your body used to how it is again, even if for a week or so. The more familiar the feeling is again, the more reliable your body will be.
  • Explore the chems harm-reduction advice here, it’s easy for your information to become outdated without you being aware.

 

SAFER SEX TIPS:

  • “PrEP” is a pill routine that people who don't live with HIV can use to prevent them acquiring HIV. It is a useful failsafe for anyone having sex regularly, it’s available free from the NHS and you can arrange to access it via your sexual health clinic.
  • After exposure to HIV you can go to an A&E or sexual health clinic and ask for "PEP", a month-long course to try to reverse the new acquisition. It must be started within 72 hours of exposure. The sooner it’s taken, the better the chances of success.
  • People living with HIV maintaining effective treatment are Undetectable, meaning their HIV cannot be passed on sexually.
  • "Window Periods" refers to the time taken before an STI exposure could react on a test result. It is unique to each test type used and it impacts who you should notify to have an STI test. Clinics can anonymously notify people for you if requested. Window Periods can affect how you interpret your own and other’s results, including on the “ID seen” Sexual Health certificates shown to each other, by many porn performers.
  • Maintain a record of sexual encounters and contact information for a year. This way, if you test positive for an STI later, you can see who the relevant individuals are to get a notification to get tested. Starting from relevant exposures, going back to your previous negative result for that STI, continuing further back for the duration of the Window Period for that STI’s test type.
  • "Shedding Durations" refer to the time after STI treatment where tests would still be reacting to the treated STI. It will affect how accurately you are aware of a new STI. Shedding Durations may affect your access to the “ID seen” Sexual Health certificates, shown to each other by many porn performers.
  • Many porn studios will ask for you to have monthly tests. Some internationally owned studios even ask for you to have 14 days tests that the NHS does not provide. Some tests required for syphilis may also not be available on the NHS. You can find access to private clinics offering these at a discount, contacting your trade union listed in the useful resources at the end.
  • HPV vaccination ahead of exposure to different strains can prevent later need for cancer treatments of the cervix, anus, penis or throat, and can prevent genital warts. The vaccination is available to all genders from the NHS.
  • Some vaccines that others just like you found useful include the Hep B vaccine, Hep A vaccine, Covid vaccine, Mpox vaccine.
  • Explore the sexual health advice here, it’s easy for your information to become outdated without you being aware.

 

LEGAL RISK TIPS (UK):

  • Avoid getting substances for other performers. The law would consider you a dealer, whereby the legal risks increase hugely.
  • The presence of chems or sexual performance or service situations (most aren't illegal in the UK) does NOT mean ambulances report them to police or other services.
  • You can access legal advice via the trade union “Sex Workers Union” who welcomes porn performers, along with adult content-creators, cam models, gogos, professional doms, escorts & people who hookup for reward.
  • Being in a trade union before an incident makes it simpler for the union to respond fast when needed.
  • The union has template paperwork, such as model releases with 2257 compliance, pre-filming forms and venue release forms.
  • The union may be able to point you to a legal witness for productions you are in to observe that your agreed consent, boundaries, professional practice and terms for distribution are respected.
  • Carefully read any paperwork that productions offer you and avoid contracts with clauses you disagree with.
  • You can collectively organize in the union resisting studio or platform policies, payment processor or banking mistreatment, or laws which are impacting you negatively.

 

FINANCIAL RISK TIPS:

  • If a fan is paying for time with you privately, accept payment upfront, potentially taking deposits to arrange time and cover travel costs to reduce chances of being unpaid.
  • Budgeting reduces the chance that the cost of your chems will affect you, meaning that porn is not earning you enough to pay your bills or losing you money compared to other work.
  • Think about how long chems would stay in your system and whether you are being paid for all that time or only for two hours (e.g.)? Being aware that footage recorded when seemingly under the influence means that it’s unlikely for a studio to be able to use it. Said content would be reportable, as the sexual consent may be questionable.
  • If you feel you need to be high to earn this money, but you spent the money on getting high, where is the moment when it becomes not worth doing?
  • Concerned about robbery or spending too much while high? Only bring the cash you intend to use out when partying or at chillouts.
  • If necessary, consider bringing a stamped and addressed envelope when out partying at a cash paid gig. This way you can store cash you don't want to use in the envelope and mail it to yourself at a postbox. Be cautious of risks of others seeing your address/PO box, following you to the postbox to rob you or a mail handler taking any obvious cash envelopes.
  • For online transactions consider using a burner PayPal account with details you wouldn’t mind others seeing, but just for transferring money from it to your main PayPal account with your legal details on for withdrawals to your bank.
  • Be aware that PayPal closes accounts of porn performers, cam models, adult content-creators, escorts etc. if they learn how the money is earned.
  • Transfer funds straight away to a main PayPal account to avoid ‘chargeback’ robbery.
  • PayPal burner accounts need to be under a threshold amount (which varies) before ID verification is requested. Verification prevents the use of other names for your security, as names appear on transactions.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau can help you determine if you're eligible for financial support due to a disability, neurodivergence, being a carer or based on your income level.

 

WANTING CHANGE TIPS:

  • Many found it useful to be assessed for neurodivergence to access advice for handling it. Some neurodivergence can also affect relationships to substances, e.g. ADHD is a lack of dopamine production, which some substances create.
  • Many found it useful to access therapy to overcome anything holding them back, such as trauma, hidden fears of failure, identity conflicts or internalized negativity etc.
  • If you are wanting change but keep facing workplace rejection, consider asking someone who can help with tasks like your CV or cover letters, maybe AI could help with wording.
  • Reverse-recruiting can apply for civilian jobs for you if it is overwhelming you, be aware it is a paid service.
  • Consider finding work within a comfort zone that you can hold down while applying for or training for the jobs you really want if you're facing repeated rejection in a job search.
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau can help you determine if you're eligible for financial support due to a disability, neurodivergence, being a carer or based on your income level.

 

USEFUL RESOURCES:

 

We want to thank JASON DOMINO very deeply for helping so much with the preparation of this document. Jason is a UK sexual health and wellbeing advocate, sex work activist and porn star. He is also a notable member of The Sex Workers Union

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