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Risky business: starting a career in the adult entertainment industry

May 3, 2019

Throughout their high school years, students are often told to follow their dreams and pursue what they love.  Despite encountering obstacles — such as a difficult freshman year and leaving her house — Caitlin Fink, an 18-year-old senior at Bear Creek who recently started a career in adult entertainment, is doing just that.

Fink had a rough start to high school, admitting that she had a low GPA and associated with students who were poor influences on her.

“I didn’t start high school the way I wanted to,” Fink said.  “I didn’t take the right classes I needed to take to get in the university I wanted to, I hung around the wrong people, [my GPA was around] 2.6 or 2.8 and I wasn’t really trying that much.”

Unfortunately, Fink’s struggles did not end in her freshman year.  On New Year’s Eve 2018, Fink left her house and is now living with her friend’s family and paying them approximately $300 a month for her food, utilities and rent.

“The only hard thing so far is making sure I have enough money,” Fink said.  “Other than that, I’ve honestly been doing really good with myself.”

Fink’s career in the adult entertainment industry started when she began selling erotic photographs of herself on the instant messaging application Kik.  She then expanded to selling photographs on Tinder and other applications used for communication.

“When I first started selling, it was just for money,” Fink said.  “But then I liked the attention I got, [such as] being called beautiful.  I enjoyed it because it made me feel good about myself.”

Fink says she generated a substantial amount of money doing this, once making $475 in three hours.

However, Fink also admits that she has made plenty of mistakes throughout her career that have helped her grow, such as dealing with scammers and not understanding how Paypal — an online money transfer service — works.

“I used to sell my content first before receiving any sort of payment, and when I asked for the payment, [buyers would] save my content and block me,” Fink said.  “I’ve also had to put my name on pictures sometimes because people would try and sell them, claiming them as theirs.”

More recently, Fink became a verified member of Pornhub, a pornographic website in which members can post erotic videos for others to view.  After becoming a member, she signed a contract with an agency so she is able to partake in professional pornographic scenes.

Fink says the industry has policies in place — such as mandatory two-week sexually-transmitted disease (STD) tests typically paid for by agencies — to prevent workers with STDs from performing in scenes while infected.

“I still have the scars on my arm [from getting blood tested],” Fink said.  “[The phlebotomist] poked me four times in one arm, and she couldn’t get any blood out of it, so she poked my wrist for the blood.  Four [phlebotomists] tried to get blood from me, and they were like ‘I don’t know what’s wrong; it’s not working. I swear I had it!’”

Fink was scheduled to shoot her first professional pornography scene in March, but the scene was canceled at the last minute when the company that booked her saw her body acne.

“[The company] has 4K camera quality that is crisp and clear, so they wanted me to get my body acne cleared before they shot a scene with me,” Fink said.  “[My agent] told me the scenes I was going to be doing, too. I was so excited.”

Fink says she has not made money from Pornhub yet because members have to hit a certain view count before receiving compensation.  However, she provides insight into how members are paid.

“You can choose how you get paid,” Fink said.  “It usually goes by view count, or you can sell your videos if [users] want to download them.  There is also a tip option on [member’s] profiles. Pornhub sends money to your PayPal.”

On April 10, Fink had her first audition at a strip club in San Francisco, another path in the adult entertainment career that she hopes to pursue.

“When I auditioned at a strip club, I made $80 in what felt like five or six minutes,” Fink said.

Although Fink makes a livable income through her adult entertainment career, as well as her second job as a dish washer, she admits the industry is not always glamorous; workers are constantly at risk of being taken advantage of due to their occupation.

“People assume that just because you’re in the industry, you would do sexual things with anyone, and that isn’t true,” Fink said.  “Adult entertainment is a job just like any other job.  There’s always that risk of getting kidnapped or possibly not even knowing what to do after your career is over and trying to find work after that.”

In fact, Fink says she has had people threaten her if she did not do something they wanted, such as send them provocative photographs.

Fink says that people often view pornography as a taboo topic that should be pushed under the rug, leading people to make assumptions about her and other adult entertainers.

“I’m a lovey-dovey, old school romantic, and people just assume things about me,” Fink said.  “They don’t really know me or take the time to know me. I’m extremely nice. I won’t even say anything if people cut in front of me in line.”

Fink also says that failure to openly talk about pornography — especially between parents and children — gives children and teens an unrealistic expectation of sex.

“When kids watch porn, they think that’s how you have sex,” Fink said, referring to unrealistic and sometimes outlandish activities depicted in pornography.  “That’s not how it works!”

Fink’s main goal is to start modeling, which has always been her dream.  She plans to move to Los Angeles — where her agency is based — and eventually stay primarily in Florida, where her friends live.  In the meantime, Fink stays busy while establishing her career.

“I travel to San Francisco a lot, and I don’t have to pay anything because someone pays for the expenses, which I’m grateful for,” Fink said.  “I’ve been trying new things, going out of my comfort zone and meeting new people.”

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41 Comments

41 Responses to “Risky business: starting a career in the adult entertainment industry”

  1. Chad Watson on May 3rd, 2019 11:51 AM

    Caitlin Fink is her real name? The internet never forgets. Doing this article with her real name I can already tell she isn’t very bright and will not make it very far in life.

  2. Dsaniel Cook on May 3rd, 2019 11:56 AM

    Truly sad for this young woman. Extremely disgusted with a school that will promote young women to enter the pornography lifestyle. I read the article and that is what this article does. The so-called adult administrators that allowed this should be held to account for placing this entire community in jeopardy. So glad we left this disgusting state and Stockton back in 2006 and home-schooled. How low can you go?

  3. Jay on May 3rd, 2019 1:00 PM

    As someone who watches porn and had a family member in the industry, it is very disappointing to only read about positives views on this and the young woman’s naive first impressions of the porn industry.

    Questions that should be asked to make this a more realistic balanced article for the readers are as follows.
    1. What is the average age of actresses in the porn industry, what are her plans after she is too old?
    2. Does she worry about negative impacts on future romantic relationships?
    3. Is she aware that the detection of STDs and the time frame that they are transmittable are not the same thing, so you can contract diseases for life from people who test negative.
    4. Is she concerned about long term damage to her body?
    5. Is she saving the money for any type of exit plan, or considering an exit plan at this point? Is there a short term goal she is trying to get the money for, or does she plan on riding this career until she is no longer desirable?

    I have no problems with porn, or porn actresses and actors at all. I like porn and attractive women. What must be understood by average people is that EXTREMELY few actresses in the industry will be employed after the age of 30. Does she know that she will most likely not be able to get a job in the public eye once her porn career is over? Teachers for example are regularly fired (after being publicly ridiculed) when porn histories are discovered, so are many other professionals that deal with the public in any way.

    The author wrote this in a way that feels like a small overview of what this woman is doing. It highlights the money she has made, but completely ignores tough questions, or the long term reality and impact of being employed in this profession. If she plans on having kids, they will have extremely tough childhoods if other kids find out what she has done. Stripping is easy to keep a secret, even being a porn star before the internet was fairly easy to hide, but putting it online for all to see for all time is a lot different and much more permanent. The porn industry is much more permanent now than it was in the age of VHS tapes. You could do one shoot and quit, never do it again because you decide its a mistake, but that ends up coming up on the first page of Google when someone searches your name for the rest of your life, and that can happen even if you use a stage name.

    I hope this woman and any others who read this think real hard about the long term consequences, and aren’t blinded by the ability to make $1000+ per week at the age of 18 while working only a few hours. My sister was a stripper many years ago, and it still follows her to this day now that she is married with kids. People talk about it behind her back, and she is in a very progressive accepting family. Some things no matter how normalized they ever become, are still never going to be morally accepted.

  4. John Mucillage on May 3rd, 2019 1:29 PM

    We should be proud of this strong and independant Californian who is proudly going her own way to support herself and to make her contribuion to the State ecomomy. I predict a bright and lovely future for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Jessica Goolsby on May 3rd, 2019 1:34 PM

    As an editor of my own high school paper, I’m so glad you guys won this fight and were able to publish this woman’s amazing story.

  6. Mr James Greene on May 3rd, 2019 2:10 PM

    Congratulations. A very good article. I found it written in a fact presenting and thought provoking style. It sounded like the powers that be reacted before thinking. Keep up the good work. A situation like this always presents itself as a teaching moment. Hopefully the student and advisor learned that well written pieces can be received by all and the administration has learned there are good people in place instructing our students and if you hired them let them do their job until they prove otherwise.

  7. Bradley Greenwood on May 3rd, 2019 5:30 PM

    It is now clear why our daughter, who was a student at BCHS, came home with her deviant ideas.
    Her mind is warped forever; I guess home-schooling is not such a crazy idea after all.

  8. Ron Olson on May 3rd, 2019 8:21 PM

    Congratulations to you, Ms. Kirkeby. You are doubtlless the most famous student journalist in the country right now! You are also extremely lucky to have a role model like Kathi Duffel showing you what journalistic integrity and courage looks like. My highest kudos to you both!

  9. Mitchell on May 4th, 2019 6:14 AM

    Exactly why is she washing dishes?

  10. Nick Woodard on May 4th, 2019 12:24 PM

    I applaud Ms. Fink and the school newspaper for standing for what they believe. The world is full of people who tell you what you cant do. I’m glad that you were able to stand for what you believe and share the story to others. I am inspired and I hope this article is received the way you intended it

  11. Este Katanaya on May 4th, 2019 1:35 PM

    Can we get a follow up in 10 years?

  12. Leonard Wilson on May 4th, 2019 5:27 PM

    I was led to “Risky Business…” via Isaac Stanley-Becker’s WP ‘Free speech isn’t free, it it?’ and then Tiffany Hsu’s followup, “Writing About Teenager Who…” Hsu’s article had a link to The Bruin Voice and voila, what did I find? An excellent student on-line publication. I congratulate all of you who both stood by your teacher and demonstrate excellent appropriate writing (and media skills if you have designed and update your web page) about pornography and society. A few years ago was published in England an announcement of providing a college degree in pornography. The content of “Risky Business…” coincides with the prevalence of “porn” comments at the high school where I teach. Both circumstances promote the need to “openly talk about pornography[,]” human sexuality, and the future of human reproduction that has been transformed by assisted reproduction technologies (ARTS). Again, congratulations for exemplifying the possibility of an open society.

  13. Jimmy Flies on May 4th, 2019 6:40 PM

    This is some degenerate sh#t. From this sorry boomer teacher to the author herself and the female subject of this wonton article, clearly the Bruin Voice is in need of more #THOT patrol.

  14. Jimmy Flies on May 4th, 2019 8:25 PM

    Porn in America today does not satisfy a market need. We know this because hardly any of the actual end-users of porn pays for porn. Thus, the porn industry must be getting funded by some other means. Nothing else could explain how it has become so ubiquitous. So, my question to you, Ms. Fink, is “Who do you think is using you to help addict (mostly) men to pornography?”

  15. Pontus on May 4th, 2019 9:11 PM

    Your 15 minutes of fame are up.

  16. L.G. Senteno on May 5th, 2019 8:28 AM

    Came across a story on your school paper. GREAT STORY! Well written, nothing that is questionable, or obscene, and it is focused.
    Has the news staff discussed an ongoing series on students who are employed, going to school and the challenges, etc. faced by them?
    Keep up the GREAT news reporting!

  17. Hannah Muis on May 5th, 2019 3:18 PM

    I cannot believe that 13-year-olds are being exposed to this. Now every innocent freshman is going to be looking into porn. This is not a casual topic. How dare you expose so many young teens to this kind of life; making it a viable option for those not doing well academically. There are so many other options than becoming an adult entertainer. Fink even mentions how dangerous a job like this is, and you want to normalize this “career”? Normalize getting threats and getting attention for posing naked? Girls are worth so much more than their bodies. This is just so so sad.

  18. Joe Mama on May 6th, 2019 1:26 AM

    If the paper truly had integrity, it would have published Ms. Fink’s stage name on Pornhub, as well as a link to her videos.

  19. Sienna R. on May 6th, 2019 5:55 AM

    Yes this is risky business and no it is not just like “any other job”. It is not a path to modeling or acting. It will always carry a stigma and do little for your resume. The lure of fast, good money and attention will continue to attract young women–often troubled, uneducated, or lacking money and family support–to this industry. Ms. Fink, like most 18 year olds, can easily downplay the dangers and have trouble projecting how this kind of work can negatively impact their future employment and relationships. Eighteen year olds feel invincible. And without a supportive family, strong sense of self, and academic success, porn work can be an lucrative adventure for a while. Ms. Fink talks about going to LA like thousands of other wannabes thinking that is the gateway to Hollywood. I hope Ms. Fink achieves her dream but more than that, I hope she finds a different dream, a realistic one that is less likely to lead to drugs, prostitution, shame, or physical harm. In ten years, will she still be making sex videos? Did she think about having children one day or changing careers and having her films and photos forever on the Internet? Porn stars never achieve prestige, other than in their own plastic bubble. Be careful, Ms. Fink. It’s a tough world. I know. I’ve been there–hell and back. I lived to tell it.

  20. Diane McGovern on May 6th, 2019 12:42 PM

    Dear Bailey

    I just read your article about Caitlin Fink and her foray into “Adult Entertainment”. In my day they just called it what it was – prostitution. It was seen as a sad and degrading thing for all involved especially the girl who thought she was so worthless that she sold her body for the sexual gratification of strangers. Have the younger generation become so demoralized that they cannot use their imagination to see this? Perhaps you could use your journalistic talents to do some research into the physical, emotional and spiritual ravages on those who are manipulated into “Adult Entertainment” and write another article and rather than coolly giving tacit approval and even kudos to the harming of one of your fellow students you could demonstrate the truth of pornography and prostitution and warn impressionable young people from falling into the traps of these hells.

    Yours sincerely
    Diane

  21. David Carl on May 6th, 2019 1:00 PM

    Good article about a brave young woman. Thank you.

  22. Dodin Bouffant on May 6th, 2019 5:48 PM

    Such a sad story. I feel sorry for this young woman who obviously has serious self esteem issues that would drive her debase herself in this way. I presume she also has problems with her parents who either did not teach her good moral values or did not care. Who will marry her? What will she tell her children if she has them? How will she find redemption when she later realizes what she has done to herself.

    Publishing this article did not help her. Yes, it brought her attention, but not in a good way. She is now known, all over the nation, as an 18 year old girl/woman who performs sexual acts for money. She is someone’s daughter and granddaughter. Shame on her and shame on you.

  23. Mario Fuentes on May 9th, 2019 1:55 AM

    Nice

  24. Bethany Smith on May 9th, 2019 9:46 PM

    I am very worried about this girl. She admits that she gets death threats, and that people have stolen from her, and that she wants to participate in porn hub, and she only gets paid if enough people watch her or tip her (so she may not get paid at all)? She sounds like she is on a very desperate situation, estranged from her parents, and at times, in mortal danger. She is sacrificing her personal life and acquiring emotional scars along the way. Sex Is meant for love, and not for usury of another person as an object. It is incredibly unloving of everyone not to help this hurting teenager find actual housing and help so that she doesn’t have to sell her body. All of the men and women involved have their dignified incredibly harmed including their future romantic relationships by this activity. Not to mention that unplanned pregnancies conceived by in promiscuity risk termination. It is very unloving and selfish to support behavior that leads to harm espcially to desperate, young women who are taken advantage of and disrespected. Miss Fink, you deserve love. You deserve better. Most sex workers die very young before age 33. They are very wounded. Do not be the one to contribute to another’s pain and possible short life. Love her and help her get back on her feet so that she can be valued as a person and thrive. Women should be allowed the opportunity to be respected the way we respect our own mothers. Many women grow up to have families their own too. Think about her future, and seriously do what’s best for her and her future husband, her self image, and her children. Love her. Stop objectifying her and justifying this hurtful behavior that she already admitted was not financially stable. What if she had a health issue in the future? Wouldn’t it be better that she had better work? Think about these things and love your neighbor.

  25. Bethany Smith on May 10th, 2019 8:44 AM

    I care about Miss Fink. She said she didn’t do too well her freshman year and that her GPA was below what she would have wanted. It sounds like she was even concerned that her earlier progress would make it harder to go to college. She seemed to be feeling like giving up at advancing her education. Again, I disagree with the lack of support and positive reinforcement she is not getting for continuing her education. In the senior year, it would be better for the community to assist her in getting stable housing and a loving support system (friends and family) so that she could thrive in her last year of school and go to college. We should build her up. The industry she is in is not a long term career and very harmful to her psyche and future romantic relationships. Even modeling is not a long term career. Any job that does not respect a woman’s right to go on maternity leave and raise a family, such as sex work which often forces women to sign contracts promising that they will not get pregnant, is not a flexible career or supportive of her future life style if she does decide to get married and start a family.

  26. Bethany Smith on May 10th, 2019 12:53 PM

    How is this a “career” when there is no career advancement for women at the top? Who is at the top? Wealthy men? Is there equal pay between men and women? What kind of pension and retirement is there? What kind employee health coverage is offered? of How can this be a career when it does not provide benefits for employees? Or CA state disability medical leave related to a woman’s pregnancy?

    What is the long term goal of this? The average life span of sex workers is 33 years. Most of these people end up homeless and addicted or commit suicide. I have a family member of mine who went through these stages of brokenness, addiction, and homelessness. There was no employer to listen to her, no human resources to provide services for her, no healthcare. It was just homelessness and drug addiction and years and years of healing.

  27. Brenda Deane on May 12th, 2019 8:02 PM

    Well done to all involved. To the lass, may I suggest you do a business course of some type? You sound very level headed, and could well be very successful. Also, see if you can find a trusted FEMALE mentor who has been in the business for a decent time, I’m sure that there will be people to help you avoid pitfalls. You do you, honey.

  28. Obama's Mamma on May 28th, 2019 6:54 AM

    Brave? Give me a break. It’s not brave or courageous to be a hoe. Lol. Only in California would this type of behavior be praised. What a joke….

  29. Buddy Gilapagos on June 12th, 2019 9:09 AM

    I wonder if any of the people congratulating this story would feel the same way if it were their own daughter featured?

  30. Oumar Sow on June 20th, 2019 4:21 PM

    You are a true exemple of bravery but also of knowing what you aspire doing at your earliest years. I wish you success, follow your dreams

  31. Davian T. on June 20th, 2019 6:01 PM

    This story speaks volume for every woman that wanted to do something in life and didn’t care what others have to say. You go girl!!!! #freedom #freespirit
    #love

  32. Dave Davie on July 9th, 2019 12:26 PM

    Obviously California has lost its mind. Can’t even believe this is being applauded.

  33. Racep On on July 30th, 2019 3:43 PM

    People who support this sinful and harmful lifestyle choice are aiding in the destruction of youth with issues. This beautiful young girl don’t need applause, she need help

  34. Gretchen on August 4th, 2019 11:05 AM

    I will pray that she realizes that she is worth more than perverts will pay…and shame on all you creeper adults who encourage both the prostitution and the voyeurism in an entirely inappropriate venue….just ick. Hope she finds better advice and friends.

  35. Dory on August 5th, 2019 11:35 AM

    A HIGH SCHOOL publication promoting the adult entertainment industry??? Something very wrong here.

  36. Lauren B. on August 15th, 2019 5:09 PM

    The morality of porn aside, the breezy way this article depicts this young woman’s decision to trade her long-term professional career for short-term cash is extremely problematic. It is an act of egregious, willful delusion to pretend that a very young woman doing porn is anything but extremely damaging and utterly life-altering. The proof of this delusion is in the article itself: “adult entertainment” is not “just like any job” with requisite risks of kidnapping and professional ruin. The risk of kidnapping is generally abated in the workplace, and virtually all other jobs actually help one get jobs in the future.

    I hope one day our culture wakes up from this dark nightmare where the news of a woman doing porn who is barely-not-a-child anymore is not greeted by comments of applaud and #freespirit hashtags.

  37. Dayton on August 23rd, 2019 7:37 AM

    This is absolutely an abomination that you made this child a hero for getting into the disgusting filth of pornography. Since there are no negative comments, I can only assume that you filtered out the ones that did not agree with your agenda. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for glorifying this and reducing this child to an object. She should be guided into a legitimate career. All you are doing is taking advantage of her

  38. Walter E Gatlin Sr on August 24th, 2019 7:39 AM

    Totally ignorant and misleading story. You are so clueless of the porn industry and the ramifications that come with it. This is NOT journalism, this is ideology. Plain and simple!

  39. Robert on September 13th, 2019 6:46 PM

    The article’s lack of perspective or context is disturbingly aloof. Long term implications are ignored and the brutal dangers for sex workers and trafficking victims never mentioned. A real journalist should do a piece on Fink in 10 years. That will tell the real story.

    It’s a shame they included her real name. Even if she was willing, writing staff should have been clearer-minded. I guess you can blame that on it being amateur hour, but if you’re going to cry “free speech” then you have to wield that power with some responsibility – like real papers do. Free speech is not its own reward. The content still matters.

    This article, whether legal or illegal, is destructive. And worst of all, its omission of fact regarding sex trafficking makes it dishonest too.

  40. Chelsea Rose on September 19th, 2019 11:25 PM

    The funniest part about all of the negative comments on this article is that every single one of you has watched porn, and gotten off to it. If you are a woman who has never watched porn, your husband or your boyfriend watches it. (No, don’t believe him when he swears that he doesn’t. Come on.) It is narrow minded people like you who raise young people to believe that sex is dirty and degrading, when behind closed doors everyone is either masturbating or having sex, or both. News flash: sex is NORMAL and healthy. If this woman wants to pursue a career in the porn industry, who are you to judge? If she’s enjoying herself and making money, why not? For those of you who say she won’t work past 30, wake up, there is a huge niche market for mature women, aka MILF’s out there. For those of you who say ‘who will marry her?’ NEWS FLASH: have you ever considered a woman’s worth is not determined by whether or not she is married? Plus, any man who would judge her career simply isn’t the man for her. Maybe she doesn’t even want a husband or children; not every woman wants to be a suburban housewife you know. The people commenting here need to go watch some porn, buy some sex toys and embrace a healthier attitude about sex. I sure am glad I’m not the one who has to participate in your boring, vanilla as hell sex life (or lack thereof…?) 🙂

  41. KH on October 17th, 2019 5:46 PM

    I am not sure if you recognize, but this is a global issue not just in California. Born and raised in Asia, I know there are so many young women like Caitlin who need to sell whatever they can for living. It’s the market that exists because of buyers. Men buy used underwear. Underage pornography. There are people who desire things that should not be desired. I appreciate that this high school newspaper had a courage to write about Caitlin’s profile. It helps us recognize the need to protect the rights of women working in the porn industry and gives many women possibly an opportunity to speak up more. I think both the writer and Caitlin are right about the fact the more you open up, the more women who work in the industry will be treated better. I think that many who are shocked to read this article are missing the point. The career in the porn industry can be by choice or no choice, and it can be a transitional not permanent career. Many women use the money and funding to achieve what they want to do with their lives. I think demystifying the industry by explaining how they work and who works there is a really huge step forward. Pretending that such market does not exist will be a lie, and the market thrives on young women like Caitlin.

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