We interviewed Aja Mercury, 21 year old in-person and virtual provider from the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Olympia, Portland). Aja tells us it’s their Birthday on August 1st – so read this interview and then go shower them with some birthday love! Let’s get started.

How long have you been working in the adult entertainment industry, and how did that start for you?

I’ve been working in the adult industry for almost 4 years now.

I started working as a waitress in a strip club in Tacoma because I needed a place to hire me quickly so I could save to get out of an unhealthy situation. I lasted about 2 or 3 weeks there before being fired (but encouraged to reapply, either a few months later for the same position, or as a dancer immediately). I forget if i applied to the brothels before or after I was fired but within a week or two I was hired in Reno as an “Independent Contractor.”

Talk to me about the early days and learning how to run your business. What was your biggest challenge getting started in this industry?

This industry was a fantastic place to learn what my boundaries are and also how to enforce them safely.

To be honest one of my biggest hurdles has been finding the right community, even if it’s online; For right now I’ve been wanting to expand my face-to-face connections, but otherwise am very happy with the progress I’ve made online.

What’s your primary job title these days?

I’m kind of a Jack of All Trades; I was able to better expand my online presence after leaving the brothels but I do still slightly consider myself an in-person provider first.

What is your preferred platform? Where do you connect best with clients?

I use twitter as my main platform, but with my work I tend to connect best with clients through email or text if they’ve seen me in-person already.

How has working in porn changed you as a person or affected the way you see yourself?

It’s definitely helped me value myself more, and not just in a capitalistic sense.

Aja Mercury enjoying some fruit.

I would say that my self-photography helps me be more present and comfortable in my own skin. It has also made a bit more willing to care for myself, since I am my business.

How has your work affected your daily life and relationships with family and friends?

I didn’t really have too many friends before getting into the industry. My oldest friend is now coincidentally also in the industry so ultimately it’s probably a small net gain. My immediate family knows and doesn’t care.

How has your work affected your view of society or perspective of porn in the context of the world today?

It’s probably made me more accepting ultimately.

What do you think is the most important issue facing the industry today? What can we do?

Anti-porn/trafficking organizations and each other. Organization is the obvious solution but is difficult to implement with constant in-fighting and general prejudice.

What are your thoughts about the future and continuing evolution of the adult entertainment industry?

Unsure but we’re usually towards the forefront of business solutions so not too nervous about whatever comes up.

What do you wish you’d known about the adult entertainment industry before you took the plunge?

Most of my mistakes have been fairly educational, but needed I would say. Might have gone directly into it or left the brothels sooner, but I had my reasons/nerves for all that at the time.

What is the most important piece of advice you would offer someone just getting started in the industry?

Don’t be crazy, but charge whatever you want/need.

This goes for high or low end; both are a totally different hustle. Work whatever works for you and doesn’t destroy your mental health.

Our society has a lot of opinions about sex work. Tell us something about your work that would surprise the lay person who doesn’t know better.

We’re normal people who pay taxes.

Have any surprising stories to share?

I can’t tell too many without violating clients privacy.

How can folks connect with Aja Mercury?

Twitter.com/AjaMercury
AjaMercury.squarespace.com
Ajafans.com

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