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How These Moms Discovered Their Children Were Porn Stars

Do you know what your daughter’s doing?!

Those are no words no mother wants to hear, least of all mine. I’d been outed by my 70-year-old grandmother in a single phone call. Once a week, my grandma walked a few houses down to have morning coffee with a neighbor, who was also in his late 70s, and apparently still enjoyed watching porn. A naughty VHS was left out on the coffee table and grandma got an eyeful: her naked 18-year-old granddaughter on the cover. That old lady ran all the way home and her very first call was my mother. I’d been in the adult industry for six or seven months at that point—all my mom knew was that I was an actress. I’d left out the adult part.

“Why? What did you need so bad that you’d do that?! You’re so smart, why would you waste it on that?” I’d dreaded that phone call. Yet hearing my mom’s voice, as tortured as it was, provided an unexpected sense of relief. I didn’t have to hide anymore. Yes, my mom hated what I was doing, but she still loved me and that mattered. She worried a lot about me. The day I retired couldn’t come soon enough for her.

Being a mom means worrying about your kid, all the time, and that doesn’t stop when they turn 18. It can be even scarier if that 18-year-old enters a risqué business—like sex work.

Nominated for the 2021 Best New Starlet XCRITIC award, Avery Jane thinks back to the phone call she got from her mother that year.

“Somebody emailed my father, who in turn reached out to my mother and told her, so I got a call from her… she called me by my real name and said, ‘I heard something, and I know it’s not true, it better not be true.’ Right then, I knew what she was referencing. I knew this was the call, I’d been waiting for it,” recalls Jane.

Though afraid of that initial conversation with mom, Jane was prepared. She wanted her mom to understand why she was in porn and how much it had changed her life for the better.

Living in Los Angeles working two to three jobs at a time, Jane remembers the years she spent “at risk of losing my home and not being able to eat all the time because I was too paranoid to spend money on groceries because I was like, oh, I won’t have money for rent if I buy food.” She says porn gave her an opportunity for a better life, and her mom sees that.

“We’ve grown closer because of it. I see that unconditional love of a mother. She didn’t abandon me or freak out in the ways other people did,” says Jane.

Jane Wilde, meanwhile, entered sex work as an 18-year-old cam girl still living at home with her parents, but she wasn’t worried about telling her mom exactly what she was doing.

“My parents always supported me. It was never a situation where I felt unaccepted or scared of their reaction,” says Wilde, though she felt more apprehensive a year later telling her parents she’d started doing more traditional porn.

What surprised Wilde most was how entering porn transformed her relationship with her mom. Suddenly, the conversations they had were a lot more open.

“In the last few years, she’s had her own sexual awakening of sorts. She’s become more interested in things she’d never thought about before and I’m her link to a lot of new information,” says Wilde. “It wasn’t so much a discovery but a revelation. I was forced to think about my mom, who has a sex life as an older woman. It wasn’t something I ever wanted to think about obviously, because who wants to think about their parents having sex? But I consider myself an open person and I’m grateful to have such open-minded people for parents.”

Growing up in the Bible Belt of Alabama, Hazel Grace frets over the day the woman who raised her discovers that name—and prays it never comes. After four-and-a-half years in the adult industry, most of her siblings know, as does her biological mom, however they’ve all agreed to keep it quiet. Adopted and raised by her grandmother, a religious woman now in her mid- to- late 70s, Grace fears the era in which her mom was raised might prevent her from accepting her daughters’ flourishing career in porn.

“She was in high school when desegregation started to happen. Her high school was shut down when she was in 10th grade and she was forced to integrate with white students. My mom has lived through a lot, so when I told her I was a lesbian, and clearly I’m not but that’s what I thought when I was young, she reacted so harshly. That’s why I don’t know how she’s going to take it,” explains Grace. “I don’t know if she’s progressed and is going to be like, if you and your husband are OK then it’s OK. Or if it’s going to come down to a religious standpoint, like, you shouldn’t be sharing your body with other people and you shouldn’t be OK with just anyone viewing your body, just you and your husband. I know how she was raised and the environment she was raised in rural Alabama.”

Looking back, Dante Colle recalls summoning the courage to tell his parents he did porn. He too was worried they wouldn’t accept what it revealed about him.

“It was tricky at first. I had to justify telling them, and then if it was worth telling them. It was difficult, especially with the gay part. I guess I had a lot of shame about it at that point in my life but I don’t anymore,” recalls Colle who was surprised by how accepting his parents were.It was tricky at first. I had to justify telling them, and then if it was worth telling them. It was difficult, especially with the gay part. I guess I had a lot of shame about it at that point in my life but I don’t anymore.

Nine years into his career, and now a multi-award-winning “sexually fluid” adult star, Colle brought his parents to an XBIZ Awards show.

“It’s so hard to understand something like this without being in it, living with it, or living around it, and they always have questions, so I took my parents to an award show this past year,” says Colle. “It was a really cool experience to have them come and see my world so they could understand what I’ve been talking about this whole time.”

Before transitioning to porn, Tokyo born Penthouse Pet Marica Hase was a successful mainstream movie actress in Japan; in fact, she says the career move into porn was a common path for women who’d already achieved fame in other genres. Telling her parents was something her agents insisted she do from the very beginning.

“I won an audition by the biggest Japanese porn studio and debuted as a big contract star. My photo [was on] a big billboard in Shibuya, which is the most crowded place in Japan. It’s like New York Times Square,” Hase reveals. “So, my Japanese agency and I already knew that my parents will find out soon for sure. My Japanese agency wanted me to talk with them before I started porn, because I wanted to continue shooting porn as much as I could.”

Hase says she had multiple large contracts with this studio, one of which was for porn, and another as the lead in a mainstream movie—unlike the industry segregation in the States, porn and mainstream studios worked together. Even so, she worried about telling her parents.

“I didn’t want to argue with them or for them to make me retire [from] porn,” says Hase. “She [my mom] would prefer me to work in a more normal industry, but she is OK with it, as long as I am happy.”

Ultimately, isn’t that what all moms want?

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