You may remember PVV’s Back Story on Eric Masterson from a few weeks ago… and you may even remember the way he described his relationship with his life-long love Maya Divine.
Ahhh… Maya Divine.
Maya got into the adult film industry in the late 1990s and has worked in front of the camera as talent and behind-the-scenes in myriad other capacities since. She recently retired from doing scenes, however, in order to pursue her Bachelor’s degree full-time.
Maya Divine and her vast experience with many different parts of the rapidly shifting industry really make me think about some questions you all ask me – How has the industry changed since the 1990s? What do talent do once they are done working as performers? How do people working in the industry balance “work sex” and “relationship sex” (two very different things)?
I could try to answer those questions, but I figure it might be better to take it from someone actually who knows. Maya took some time out to answer a few questions for Porn Valley Vantage and give us all a clearer picture of what happens when time passes, things change, and we inevitably evolve. Read on!
Hi honey! Thanks so much for taking the time out for this interview. Just so everyone is super clear, how long have you worked in the adult film industry, and what exactly do you do?
“Well, I started in the industry about twelve years ago now. I got in first, and then I helped Eric get in shortly after. In the beginning and up through this past year, I was acting on camera and doing scenes. I worked in feature films mostly, with a few gonzo movies here and there. All the internet stuff, of course, came later, and eventually that took off as well.
About two or three years ago, I started getting involved with other aspects of the business. I started doing makeup, and I’ve helped with wardrobe and props on some projects for friends. I also do PA (production assistant) work here and there, and I wrote a few scripts for Vivid Video/Chi Chi LaRue several years ago. Basically, I’ve done quite a few things and have tried to stay involved in one way or another.
And what exactly got you into the business? What did you do before?
Well, I started dancing when I was eighteen. After a while, I did a few shoots with some adult magazines, but I needed more than just a few credits to get more bookings (at a higher rate) as a feature entertainer… plus the clubs where I lived were changing their laws, and I wasn’t going to be able to work where I liked anymore… so Eric and I decided that I would give porn a try to add more credits to my name and put more money in our pockets. I went to the CES convention in Vegas, and that was it. I was in.
(pictured: Maya Divine)
So, not really an uncommon path then… I’ve actually heard many people describe a very similar trajectory. Now I know you’ve moved on, but back when you were working primarily as talent, what was your favorite part?
My favorite part? Well, I always thought being in the makeup chair was very relaxing! But honestly, it’s the people – my friends and the ones I worked with either in a scene or on set. My favorite part was being with them and doing something that made me feel like I was a part of something bigger. That’s what made the whole experience more fulfilling.
What about all the other aspects of your work in the business? What was enjoyable or unexpected or surprising about that?
Well as far as what I liked best, I’ve enjoyed being a part of production. Meaning, when I’ve done wardrobe and props and sometimes makeup, I like the idea of being behind-the-scenes and doing something that helps make the show happen.
As far as surprising… I’d like to say that I get surprised sometimes, but after twenty years of working in the adult industry in one capacity or another…well, there isn’t much that surprises me these days. But I have learned that, when dealing with people, you never know what can happen. Good or bad, people will always be a form of entertainment! And, you know, I guess it’s surprising that I’ve managed to do as much as I have in the business over the years.
(pictured below: Maya and Eric)
People often talk about how much the industry has changed during the past decade. In your opinion, has it? How?
Well, they certainly don’t make stars like they used to. It seems like producers want to crank out the work and the people as quickly as possible, so you will see a girl one day and then not the next. If the public likes a girl, then they better jump on the opportunity to see her while they can because she may not be around for very long.
There are still companies that like to promote girls, Wicked Pictures and Adam & Eve for example, but most of the industry turns talent over really fast. Porn, to me, used to be more glamorous; and though there are, like I said, a few companies that still play to this side of it, it seems like the business has become very cookie-cutter and monotonous in general. I suppose I just like variety and style. It seems like, aside from the companies I just mentioned and the few others that are similar, porn has lost a certain sense of style maybe… a sense of style that I liked when I first got into it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still fun and entertaining, but I miss the feel it had years ago.
Yeah… a partial by-product of consumerism and being able to access everything we want when we want it I imagine. Sigh… Ok so now I’m gonna get nosy – How has working in the industry affected your personal life and, in particular, your marriage?
Working in the industry has affected my life in hundreds of ways. To name them all would take forever. Let’s just start with the basics…
Working in the industry has affected my marriage, but in a great way. My husband and I are a stronger couple and more fiercely loyal to one another than anyone I know. We have learned so much about each other and our relationship during the course of working in this business that we may not have learned otherwise. We’ve found a measure of sexual awareness that I don’t think many people take the time to develop in their relationships. We’ve had many opportunities to express ourselves in films and with the friends we work with, and these opportunities have added that much more to our home life. Though we’ve seen many relationships not make it in this industry, we’ve also seen several others use it to their advantage and make it work beautifully. My husband and I got into this together (marriage and porn), and we have refused to give up (on our marriage) no matter what.
And how can our sex life not be affected? Of course it’s fun, silly, crazy, and not typical, but we also have intimacy and plenty of loving, caring moments. We’re very much in love, and that just compounds itself every day. We’re closer than ever and are determined to show people that if you love someone, nothing is impossible. Love and marriage take work. If you’re willing to commit then you also have to be willing to accept the good with the bad. Nothing is insurmountable because when you love someone as much as we love each other you will always find a way to work through it.
(pictured: Maya and Eric being adorable)
I have no response to that except that I think I’m going to cry… Honestly. You two are such a wonderful example for the millions out there who seem to get going, rather than tough, when the going gets rough. It’s really beautiful. So we’ve talked a little bit about the past and the present… what about the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am currently retired from doing scenes and pretty much from porn altogether, primarily because I am in school full-time and working toward a degree in Psychology and Anthropology. If all goes well, I may be finished with that in five years’ time and be working in the field in one way or another.
I have a feeling that you are going to be able to do anything you want Maya. So, I guess in sum, is there anything else you’d like to add or share? What do people need to know about you?
I am a silly, witty, and caring person. I am passionate about life and learning, and I hope to some day help other people in any way I can as a result of my current efforts in school. Of course I strive to do that already, but I am working toward being able to do that as a career as well. I love to read and explore other worlds through that medium, and reading has also given me an opportunity to grow spiritually and become more self-aware.
Porn has taught me a lot about myself, my marriage, people as a whole, and about so many other things… I can’t even begin to list them all. My experiences have enriched me and my life in such a way as to only add to all the things I do from here on out. I met a lot of wonderful people, I have had plenty of great experiences, and I’ve really enjoyed myself.
I wish that more people could be open-minded and realize that porn isn’t about something ‘dirty’ or ‘wrong.’ It’s just about human nature and our attempt to take advantage of it fully. We are all sexual beings, so why not have fun being what we are? There is nothing bad about sex being done freely with other free people…
…but this is just my perspective, and I am more than just a sexual being – I am an intellectual with a sense of adventure. I have many interests and continue to look for new ways to discover the world around me. I hope to travel more in my life and to see as much of the world as possible, and I look forward to learning about other cultures as I do so. I am a multifaceted individual, and I’d like people to know that yes, I was in the porn industry, but it is not that industry that defines me. It’s me. I am what defines me, and I am more than what meets the eye.”
You know, sometimes you meet people in life who attempt to convince you that they’ve got the inside track, that they somehow know something, and that, consequently, they’ve somehow “evolved.” And then sometimes you meet people who are capable of just being – people who are in their process with open hearts and are ready to accept where others are in theirs. People who are just like Maya – divine.
(pictured: Maya Divine off on her next adventure – school!)
pictures courtesy of Maya Divine and Eric Masterson
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PVVOnline’s feature Back Stories explores the lives of people who work in all aspects of adult production.
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage/PVVOnline, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”