Another Question About Adult Industry Work and Marriage, Answered Badly
Last week, Ester shared a Modern Love piece in which two people in the porn industry marry and then the man tells the woman she needs to quit her job (and she does, because, you know, modern love). As Ester wrote:
But if you are in a relatively precarious position — because you’re agreeing to break your once-in-a-lifetime contract, say, and that contract represents your livelihood, and your own single-mother won’t be able to help you if things go sour — why would you do it without a guarantee that the person for whom you are trading your career stability can’t simply walk away?
Today, we get a similar conundrum, presented in a letter to Dear Prudence:
I am a freelance Web developer who was almost bankrupted by the economic collapse. A few years ago a client referred me to a friend who needed some search engine optimization. The friend operates an adult website. Adult websites make a lot of money but have trouble finding honest, competent help. One job turned into another, and working with adult websites has become a thriving business for me. My problem is that nobody knows I do this. My wife thinks that I design websites for local companies. I don’t work with sites that do anything illegal or that produce “desperation porn.” My clients are high-end, soft-core sites. I’m getting to a point where I can’t hide this anymore. I’m going to get a prestigious industry award, which means that an Internet search of my name will reveal the nature of my business. I also have had to hide profits in a secret mutual fund, because I don’t think my wife would believe that I make that much from designing websites for florists. I’ve wanted to walk away for a while, but the money has gotten us a lifestyle that we struggled to have for years. My wife doesn’t have to work anymore, our house is paid off, we have a college fund for the kids. I feel like I’m stuck between disappointing my family by turning off the money pump or having them find out that I work in the adult entertainment industry. I need advice.
1. Decline the award so you don’t ruin your SEO.
2. Tell your wife.
3. If wifey complains: “Before she insists you quit, let her know that will mean she has to return to her job, and you’ll all be eating spaghetti for dinner for the foreseeable future.”
Gaaaaah. There is nothing wrong with spaghetti, and there is certainly nothing wrong with working as a web developer for legal, consensual pornography sites. There is something wrong with laying down ultimatums right after telling your wife that you’ve been lying to her for years.
But hey, it’s modern love, right?
(Also: accept the award. Don’t be scared of the internet bats that lurk in search engines. Seriously, if you’re that good at web development that you’re winning an award, own it. It’ll make you stand out in future job applications.)