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.”