I’ve been working as a professional model for almost four years now. My image has wound up in books, gallery shows, promo material, and a lot of private collections. This is awesome. I love making (part of) my living doing this. It pays well, lets me contribute to communities and endeavors that I value (art, kink, etc), and gives my inner exhibitionist streak a chance to flourish.

My question is: Where do I go from here?

I’d like to do more work like this – and to take it further, as well. To make a larger percentage of my income from doing “fantasy modeling” – concept/fetish shoots that tell a story, play with fetish-fashion, or just Look Really Cool – locally and professionally.
I look at people like Sarah Hunter and Megan Massacre – just to pick two models pretty much totally at random – and wonder how to get that kind of paid, print-media work (maybe I should email them and ask?).

Whenever I consider branching out, I run up against two walls:

This first is: “If I do Real Porn for non-private collections, will this screw me over some time down the road?” The answer to that is pretty close to Zero at this point. I have no intention, or desire, to job-retrain for something like “lawyer”, “doctor”, or “politician”. I’m more likely to go for “alternative (pagan/kinky/poly) commitment-ceremony (wedding) officiant for hire” or “registered herbalist” or even “aesthetician” than anything where you badly need to present an ultra small-c-conservative face to the public.
This question basically boils down to: How much whorephobia (and related fall-out) am I likely to get hit with from (a) my community[1], (b) my family-of-origin[2], and (c) the general public[3]? Is this career path socially “worth it”?

The second is: “How much travel am I going to have to do for this, alone[4], and will it be on my own dime?”
My city isn’t a big one, and – while there is definitely work available – I feel like I might get more work in the particular fields I’m looking at if I were able to go out of town on a regular basis. Thus, while this question has a little bit to do with my personal safety (see footnote [4]) it mostly pertains to whether or not trying to further this particular part of my career is economically worth it.
If I’m going to be in Toronto for Unholy Harvest[5], is it worth it to let people on MM know that I’m traveling and would, potentially, be available for a shoot/sitting during a specific time-slot that weekend? If my partner and I decided to spend a week in Halifax, is it sensible to advise folks in Halifax that I’m around? … In those cases, yes, probably. I’m going to be there anyway, so why not make some money if I can? But in terms of making a special trip…? Maybe not so much.

So that’s where I’m sitting right now. Wondering (again) how I can do this on my terms, and make it a viable, enjoyable career at the same time.

Ms Syren.

[1] Probably not a whole lot, honestly. It might actually give me added Street Cred.

[2] Er… probably a fair bit, in a concern-trolling kind of way. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I can see my various immediate family-members looking a little askance at me and that can make for some awkward dinner conversations over Thanksgiving. This one actually does worry me a little. I don’t want to hear my sister say “do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to be related to you” ever again. (Er… I was the ‘omega’ in elementary school, and my sister felt tainted by association). Not so fun, I don’t mind telling you. :-\

[3] Yeah… Strictly speaking, I don’t actually care. Any of my neighbours who would be rude or nasty to me if I were a Known Porn Model… are probably already being rude to me, just because of how I dress and who I hang out with. That said, I’m cavalier about my work as a model up to and including the point of making stupid mistakes like telling the guy in the elevator that I had a one-hour job to go to… I’m sure he thought I was doing something a little more involved than just modeling with my clothes off. I don’t want to make a mistake like that when it could, potentially, get me an eviction notice. If ya know what I mean.

[4] “Alone” because my partner usually acts as my escort to this kind of shoot, and she wouldn’t necessarily be able to travel with me (depending on scheduling, but also depending on cost of travel – a shoot in a nearby city that coincided with a weekend, and that would give us a chance to stay with – and visit with – mutual friends? No problem. A flight to NYC or something? Not so much…)

[5] Also, have I mentioned that the Saturday Afternoon workshops (for example) at UH looking fucking amazing? I’m officially excited now! 😀