I’ll always remember the day of my very first porn shoot, every single detail of it. Think of it as the day you decide to jump off the edge of a cliff. You know there’s no turning back, and soon you’ll be swimming in completely new water. You don’t know if the water below is rocky, how deep it goes, how warm, or how cold. All you know is that you are going to jump. So everything you do to prepare for that unforgiving leap would be a vivid memory, wouldn’t it?
The night before, I couldn’t sleep much. I remember staying up as late as I could with my roommates talking on the outdoor patio. At the time, I lived in a house in Miami, Florida with four other women and one man. Some people would call that a model house since we were all involved in the porn industry and living together. Living with them played such a huge role in my growth as a performer during my first months in the industry, but that’s a story for another time. On that fateful night before I made my big cliff dive, they were the comfort and support I could have only wished for.
“Go get ’em girl!” they screamed to me on the way out of the door. My agent was even kind enough to drive me to the shoot himself. In the car, we blasted rap music, drowning out any nervous jitters I may have had. Before I knew it, we were parking and he was taking my suitcase out of the trunk. In the rearview mirror, I could see someone waving towards us walking over to the car. I thought to myself, “This is it. Anya is who you make her.”
Once deciding in my head that I would be strong, the day seemed to go as smoothly as I hopefully imagined it would. The man who met me at the car took my suitcase and asked if I’d like to order breakfast from the cafe in the lobby of the lofts we’d be shooting in. I was relieved to find the menu filled with the most creative breakfast sandwiches, wraps, juices and smoothies with tons of varieties. “Get whatever you’d like.”, he told me. I knew then, that the day would be great and that I could swim in the water that awaited me. After being equipped with fuel, we took the elevator to the 15th floor of the loft building where we walked to the end of the hallway and entered a room.
The room turned out to be one for preparations only. My heart began to slow its heavy knocking even more so now that I knew there was more time to adapt. First, a woman sat me down in a chair and told me she would be doing my hair and makeup. I talked to her the entire time and her words were like morphine. Many times, we forget that the big decisions we make in life have already been made by someone else. After she soothed me through conversation, curled my hair and winged my eyeliner, I sat down at a table to fill out the binding paperwork.
I can say that it is extremely nerve wrecking to sign your name and provide personal document information before getting naked in front of a camera lens. The photographer took photos of my passport and driver’s license, photos of me holding them next to my face, and photos of them on top of a newspaper with the current date on it. I had to initial lots of pages consenting to my knowledge of so many legal formalities, it made my head spin. No matter how bizarre I believed this paperwork to be, I understood the necessity and it made the shoot feel more professional than I’d expected.
After the nasty part, which was unexpectedly the paperwork, I went back down the elevator and got into a car that took me to a nearby house. It was clear that this was “go time”. I won’t get into explicit details of the action of intercourse because I’m sure we all know how that works. The technical and theatrical parts of creating a pornographic film are also a story for another time. I will say, however, that the man who was my first love interest for my very first shoot, four years ago, is still my friend to this day.
I remember the house being salmon colored, small and quaint with a flower garden and loads of shady palm trees. The photographer and I connected instantly and we had so much fun taking pictures. Since I had the entire morning to get comfortable, I was ready to take smiling photos while taking off my clothes piece by piece. I was completely nude when my scene partner walked in, shook my hand and introduced himself to me. All of a sudden I was a 12-year-old school girl, blushing and snorting after she laughed. He was drop dead gorgeous! What? How could the day get any better? Oh yeah, I get a large paycheck at the end.
Now that I’m more experienced, I know days like that are not to be expected all the time. Regardless of that, I’m grateful to have had such a divine first experience that I know helped to shape my overall career and kept me going. There are women and men who were not exposed to the same kindness and endured traumatizing ordeals the first time around. I always think that if I hadn’t had such a welcoming experience, I may not have viewed the industry the same way.
When I got home to the model house that day, everyone was all ears about my first time. It was a cause for celebration, which we were always looking for. There’s a special feeling you get when you’re taking steps in life that seem to be in the right direction because everything just happens to fall in line. For me, that day was one of those perfectly aligned, reassuring, undoubtedly God-ordained days.