from THE DAILY BEAST:
Confessions of a Porn MILF
by Aurora Snow
Ten years ago, I was one of adult film’s hottest stars. Now I’m 28—and dismissed by directors as over the hill. How did I go from “barely legal” to “older woman” so fast?
I was 18 years old—“barely legal,” in industry jargon—and halfway through my first year of college at UC Irvine, worried about the debt I was incurring. In search of a high-paying job that required very little of my time, I found a newspaper ad that read “Girls make 2,000/day.” In much smaller print under that it read “nude modeling,” and then listed a phone number. That was how I ended up in the offices of Jim South, who had also notoriously recruited the underage Traci Lords.
My career in porn started out with a few photo shoots, but since my goal was to make as much money as possible in one year and then get out, run, and never look back, I decided to start doing video the very next week.
I showed up on a set one day and was told I would be playing a MILF.
Hours before I was to do my first video shoot, I received a call from Ed Powers, a well-known producer of amateur girls performing for their first awkward time on camera. He offered me an outrageous sum of money if only he could have my first scene. I drove over to his house right away and shot my first porn scene of many—and directly after that, drove to my second “first” scene with the director who’d originally scheduled me. Two scenes in one day was my introduction to the world of porn, and for the next few years, it was the type of routine that I would come to see as perfectly normal.
Those first couple of years, I was in demand—a new face, fresh, hot, and most importantly, young. Because, as I quickly learned, when you work in the porn industry, “barely legal” is synonymous with “VIP.” Directors lavished attention upon me. Producers clamored to get me into their films. I was put in movies with titles like Naughty Little Nymphos and Trained Teens. I quickly adjusted to playing the part of nymph. They dressed me in school-girl uniforms and tied my blonde hair into pigtails—anything to make me look every bit as young as I was. A thespian at heart, I enjoyed the performances more than I expected, and soon shed the promise I made to myself to leave the industry within a year. I had been a shy, conservative girl with more book smarts than street smarts. But in porn, I was a star. I discovered the free spirit within, embraced the experience, and marked the beginning of a very unexpected career.
One of these experiences brought me face to face with the legendary Jenna Jameson in a ten-girl orgy scene starring Jenna in her I Dream of Jenna presentation. I never had any physical contact with Jameson, which sometimes happens in all-girl scenes—she was simply the gorgeous centerpiece in the midst of carnal exhibition taking place all around her. Watching her command the scene, with the presence of a professional exuding a creative strength, showed me how a woman in adult film has more power over her career than first impressions might dictate.
Three years whizzed past in the blink of an eye. From age 18 to 21, I’d gone from novice to seasoned pro, and done scenes I never thought I would do: multiple partners, girl-on-girl, even agreeing to perform in scenes that involved what I’d previously deemed an “exit only” cavity. My natural enthusiasm led me to try it all and discover my own quirky sense of sensuality.
After 250 movies, I was honored as Female Performer of the Year at the AVNs, the Oscars of the porn world. I was shocked and wasn’t sure what it meant to me. It was an unexpected honor, and yet it was hard to see myself as a star who shone brightly enough to be graced with it.
Where do you go after winning the top award in your business? For starters, Playboy TV. I signed on to host my own show, Private Calls. I also made my directorial debut, and soon went on to write and direct over a dozen titles. Thanks to a blind man convincing Howard Stern I was his favorite adult actress due to the unique sounds I made, I was invited onto the shock-jock’s wildly popular radio show. That was the beginning of my popularity on Stern, particularly with the daily sound clips and clever innuendos crafted around what he dubbed the “duck noise.” Such a sense of humor! I heard my distinct gagging sounds set to “Old MacDonald had a Farm.” With such an outpouring of media attention my career seemed to be at an all-time high.
And then, it happened: I showed up on a set one day and was told I would be playing a MILF. Seemingly overnight, I’d gone from teen sensation to an actress who plays … sexy moms? It was shocking, to say the least.
I guess that’s what happens when you turn 24. I thought 24-year-olds were supposed to play college girls. I knew that I hadn’t aged in dog years, but that’s how it felt when producers would read my age on paper and pigeon-hole me without even bothering to see what I looked like. Because I was 24, I was immediately slotted into the “older woman” category. My days as a barely-legal actress were forever over.
I soon learned that it’s unwise to state your age on set unless you can say you’re somewhere between 18 and 21. Never mind that I look young—in porn, they care more about your birth date than how you actually look. A director who’d once wanted to hire me on the spot after meeting me later refused after learning my real age. He was dead-set against hiring any girl over 21 years old. A photographer on set managed to convince the director to hire me anyway by showing him some provocative photos we’d recently shot. But by porn standards, once you hit 25 you’re pretty much out. I can only be thankful that I understand the rules of the game. I don’t take it home with me, and I can look back at my career, and even the industry’s slights, with a sense of mirth.
Today I’m 28—still relatively young, as far as I’m concerned. But once my career took a turn for the older, I decided to look on the bright side. I would be able to produce new videos in a niche market previously unavailable to me. What better way to broaden the fan base? There is something for everyone in porn, a niche that appeals to each fantasy and taste. I had obviously hit the teen market hard, but those who watch the young-girl lines are unlikely to also watch the MILF-series lines. I began to see it as an opportunity to create new fans.
As such, my career has changed in the last few years. In addition to the MILF market and the porn parodies, which also hit the mainstream media with Not The Bradys XXX (I played Jan), I’ve expanded into fetish work. Despite spending a decade in this business, it is exciting to discover there’s still so much I still haven’t done. There are still new genres to explore—the world of bondage, submission, and domination, for starters—all branches of the same tree. I have only just begun to sample its fruit.
Oddly, my changing role in porn doesn’t seem to register with the mainstream world. If anything, I have been pleased to discover that thanks to the Internet, what might be bad for the industry is good for me. My name gets out there and more people, people who don’t even watch porn, discover me. I have been approached more often for mainstream projects, like my cameo in Judd Apatow’s Superbad. I have also begun doing nonpornographic independent films like the not-yet-released film A Place to Die, directed by Sage Stallone, Sylvester Stallone’s son. And I’m set to do a similar indie film at the end of August.
But I'm still at my core the girl who changed her major in college to business, and now I have a new goal, too: One day, I'm going to law school. I think my years in the industry will make me a great lawyer. Porn has helped me there. I may be still be shy, but being “Aurora Snow” has taught me that my ambition can take me to the unlikeliest of places.
Award winning actress Aurora Snow has been a performer/director in the adult business for the last ten years. She currently splits her time between her career and being a caretaker for her brother, a recent quadriplegic. Keep up with her at www.twitter.com/MissAuroraSnow