This week YNOT Cam is sharing an article about why it’s important to reveal what you do for a living to those who are closest to you.
Written by Ana Cherry, an adult performer, published model, pro cosplayer, cam coach, and cofounder of TableTopless.org, the piece is candid, thought provoking and is filled with nuggets of wisdom that are helpful to newcomers and veterans. In it, Anna shares the struggle of telling her family about her career for fear of what they would think. She then discusses why it was crucial for her to talk to them and how refusing to live in the shadows under the guise of “privacy” helped her become a happier person.
Reprinted with permission from Anna and written from the heart, I think you’ll appreciate the thoughts of someone who has been there and back.
An Open Letter to Adult Talent on the Matter of Privacy
First thing they always tell you — Once it’s on the Internet, it’s there forever.
I remember I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant while also feeling the fear that heavy sentence carried. Nowadays, I can tell you with confidence that I discovered what it meant and have gone beyond to return bearing gifts of how to emotionally handle the adult industry public opinion job hazard.
I’ve been doing webcam live sex and filmed adult videos for a little over a decade. Almost half of that time was spent under an elusive but omnipresent weight of keeping it a secret from my family and public at large. In fact, though everyone in the city I lived in at the time (as well as people in at least 3 to 4 other states and millions more online) knew that I was an adult entertainer — my parents did not. Even after moving to pursue my chosen career further, my mother still had no idea of how I earned my living.
Truth is, we all have the equivalents of A.I. implants of the people closest to us in our brains. For instance, you can probably quote exactly what your mom would say in a particular situation. That means you hear the echoes of negative and hurtful attitudes in the back of your head if you have any unresolved cognitive dissonance. And trust me, you do. We all do. So, no matter how open I was with both strangers and immediate friends, and no matter how eager I was for my parents to find out so we could be over the whole issue, I still could not actually take the step to tell them.
Until a few years ago.
While you may successfully assure yourself in the strength of your slutty convictions, as long as there is still a feeling of a need for privacy, there will always be that unbearable weight in the background that will erode your soul and mental peace until you confront the secrecy.
Wage war on it (I dub us the Lipstick Warriors) by setting everyone you have ever loved free. You have to give them the opportunity to reject you and show the true colors of what kind of human being they are.
Then, you have to get mad.
Privacy is a tool we use to protect ourselves from the weapon of social judgment.
Think about the Belle Knox backlash as a microcosm of the slut-shaming we feel every day in countless imperceptible ways. It’s the same slut-shaming we hear in the back of our heads, quoting our sensible mothers and prim grandmothers and all of their nice, clean, wholesome friends.
Clean is a lie. Nothing is clean.
Any true expression of freedom is by definition an expression of rebellion. No matter what you do in life or what path you take, if you continue to follow your one true path there will be those who will try to enslave you, to bring you back into the fold of doing what they think you should.
Stripping away all need for privacy, armed in noble indignation, defend your right to your own life and strike down anyone daring to impose their limits on you.
Refuse to be defined by the fears of others.
Telling my mom what I do for a living was one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
That suffocating fear of revealing the truth is gone and I have never felt freer, happier, and more unstoppable in my career because now there is truly nothing holding me back. While I wasn’t fortunate to have a 100% supportive mother, I was rewarded with the discovery that I am still loved and no less valuable to my parents because of my career choice.
Fully keeping in mind that they have no right to make a value judgment on my choices in the first place, it’s still a nice feeling of acceptance and one not many adult industry performers are lucky enough to have. Still, even those who have been severely hurt by exclusion from their families because of the industry we are in, will tell you that total exposure is a must, and you will be better for it.
As cliche as the saying is, sharing your truth is like ripping off a Band-Aid … actually it’s more like breaking through a cocoon. You are in pain in the darkness, but if you welcome the hurt, expand and rush towards the light, you’ll break through, and BAM! You’re a butterfly.
Deal with the fear by knowing that they have no right to dictate the terms of your existence. Deal with it by knowing that you are allowed to erect a billboard showing you naked outside and inside and anyone raising even an eyebrow to that needs to go through some heavy self-acceptance. Deal with it by knowing that it is already too late to do anything about it anyway.
You can hope nobody close to you will find out… and they might not, after all there are plenty of ways to cover your ass if your parents suddenly announce: “Uncle Joe from Muskogee said he saw you naked on the Internet!” But beware that you are sacrificing a lifetime of true freedom, knowledge of who truly loves you, and realization of your dreams in exchange for the immediate gratification of ‘not rocking the boat.’
In the end, it is all about whether you chose what price to pay or if you let the price chose you.
I hope this helps.
To find and follow Anna, head to her website at annacherry.com.
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via firstname.lastname@example.org.