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I’m a Porn Star and a Dad. It’s Weird, but It Works.

Mickey Mod has been involved in the adult entertainment for more than 11 years. He’s also a new dad. Here, he walks us through how he balances parenthood with life in the industry.

Julia Barnes for Fatherly

What is it like to be a porn star? For Mickey Mod, who has been an adult entertainer for the past 11 years, it isn’t that much different than having any other job. He helps provide entertainment for consumers. It’s as simple as that. Currently, Mod works 9 to 5 as a web developer and programmer at an adult entertainment company and does his on-camera work in extra time. Right now, he says he shoots maybe two scenes every month. He’s busy in other ways, though. He’s married (yes, she knows about the job, and yes, she’s cool with it) and, a year and a half ago, the couple welcomed their first child. Like anyone with a toddler, Mod gets up in the middle of the night. He changes diapers. He wakes up tired. He calls himself, for all intents and purposes, a “regular guy.” Funny, that’s not really a descriptor we typically assign to porn stars. Fatherly spoke to Mod about sex, stigmas, parenthood, and how he balances his life as a dad with life in the industry.

How did you wind up doing porn?

I got into the industry much later than a lot of people. I was 28 when I first started. I thought performing would be a temporary thing I did for some side money, but it ended up turning into this wonderful, amazing experience.

What’s your schedule like today?

Right now, I do 9-to-5 work. I work as a web developer and programmer at a porn company, Kink.com. So with that schedule there’s only so much performance work I can do. I’ve also got to divvy up the schedule with being a parent and a husband. At this point, I probably only shoot a few times a month.

I’m sure you’re often asked about how you plan to tell you daughter about your porn career. How do you respond to those kinds of questions?

While we were pregnant, even when we were talking about getting pregnant, everyone wanted to know how I was planning on telling our kid what I do, or how I’ll talk about the subject of sexuality. I think it’s really interesting how often that question comes up for [adult entertainment performers] and how rarely it comes up for other people. I mean, we should all be talking about how we’re going to have those conversations with our children.

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So, how do you expect the conversation to go when it does come to pass? 

When it comes time to have the conversation with my daughter about what I do or what I’ve done for a living, well, I hope that we’re able to raise her with the perspective that all work is to be respected, so long as you’re not doing harm to people. We’re raising a person that can understand work has value. People do different sorts of work. And hopefully whoever she turns out to be is comfortable with that. But I don’t know what kind of person my child will be yet. I know don’t how she’s going to respond if that kind of ridicule would come her way. I don’t know how that’s going to affect her. I don’t know if it will make her feel ashamed. I know that may not be easy for her.

Do you have any regrets about your time in the industry?

The thing I think about the most is the type of imagery I’ve created over the years. Some of them seemed fun at the time, but now I look back and can recognize that I don’t like every production I’ve been part of. I look back at some things and wish I hadn’t participated in putting certain images out there. Or, I at least think, “Well, this scene requires a lot of context to explain.”

It is difficult keeping your “porn identity” out of your personal life?

You know, it’s something I worry about when companies like Facebook say they’re pivoting toward “facial recognition software” to make sure you’re tagging your photos correctly. I mean, I’ve got the same face under different social media. I’ve had friends who have told me that my porn profile pops up in their list of “suggested friends” on Twitter and stuff like that. I mean, it’s scary. I know people who have sent their children to private schools and the staff found out what they did for a living and asked them not to bring their children back there. The bias in some people is really, really strong. I just hope the people who may have an issue with it are willing to have a conversation with me about it.

How has life in the industry affected your relationship with your family?

When you decide to do sex work you think a lot about it as it relates to yourself. You think about how your family is going to be affected; you think about what your friends are going to think. If you’re a single person making that decision, I think it’s really easy to say, “Well, I don’t need those people if they don’t support me.” It’s really easy to make that decision for yourself, but it’s another thing to make it for others. Me and my wife weren’t even dating when I started to do sex work. We had a very hard time with her family, actually during the entire length of the pregnancy. They found out maybe two weeks after we got pregnant. It was a really difficult time for us. They ended up cutting off contact.

What would you like readers to know about life in the porn industry?

It would be nice to have people recognize my job as a job. We spend a lot of time defending what we do as “real work,” and that what we do is actually labor. But we don’t spend a whole lot of time talking about the fact that there are a whole lot of consumers. That is incredibly frustrating.