Every day, porn star and University of Southern California journalism grad student Tasha Reign wakes up to a curious string of emails from her fans, a devoted group of men and women she lovingly refers to as “Reigndeer.” Said Reigndeer ask her questions — so many questions — about her perspectives on sex, love, relationships and life itself, and as someone who’s had more firsthand experience in these areas than four average adult women combined, she’s become uniquely up to the task of answering them. Every Saturday then, Tasha will select a few of these questions and grace us with her insight, advice and expert wisdom in the hopes that she can help you fuck long and prosper, too.
I really love my partner, but there’s something about him that keeps tripping me up: We’re together because he cheated on his girlfriend with me. We started hooking up when they were dating (which they were for four years), and he broke up with her for me. I have no reason to think he’s cheating on me, but clearly he’s got it in him. I want to be practical, but should I be worried? Can a relationship work when it originates with cheating?
You’re right: Your partner does have a demonstrable capacity to fuck up, cheat and lie, so I can see why you might be just a teensy bit worried he’ll do the same thing to you.
However, like you said, he hasn’t given you a reason to think he’s cheating on you, so why beat yourself up over it? You’re not a fortune teller and you don’t know what’ll happen next, so instead of wringing your hands over what seems to be nothing, I’d focus on the good parts of your relationships and the joy you have with him.
After all, you don’t know exactly what their relationship was like or what the real motivation behind his cheating was. It could have been that their connection had fizzled or that things had grown unhealthy between them. He could have fallen out of love with her long before you came along, or she could have become a different person than she was when they started dating.
Cheating is (almost) never okay, but I’m just saying: There are situations in which his infidelity might have been more understandable, and you won’t know for sure how worried you should actually be about it unless you ask him some hard-hitting questions. So I’d bring up your concerns to him and have a conversation about why you’re feeling the way you are. Make it known that you want an exclusive and monogamous relationship (if that’s what you want), even though yours wasn’t founded on those principles. Have this talk while you’re both feeling undistracted enough to be vulnerable with each other, and not while you’re in bed about to have sex or fall asleep.
I like to use the handy trick of a compliment as a conversational tool to have difficult discussions like this one. Start with something kind and sweet, then lead into how you’re feeling insecure. Make sure to acknowledge that he hasn’t done anything in particular to make you feel this way; it’s just been on your mind given the background of your relationship. Discuss what boundaries you’re comfortable with each other having:
- Can you flirt with other people?
- Can you be friends with your exes?
- If you’re attracted to someone else, should you tell each other?
It doesn’t matter what you decide here; you just have to get down to the specifics so no one feels betrayed in the long run. Also, make sure to really listen to his answers without projecting your own fears onto them. Lastly, end on a positive note, and have awesome sex afterwards if all goes well.
After that, just chill, and enjoy what you have together. I’ve never had someone leave their partner for me, so I’m not sure exactly how you’re feeling right now, but if I were you, I’d probably feel like the “chosen one.” Lean into it! The fact that he left his ex for you is unique and means you had a strong enough connection for him to make a major change in his life for you. That’s why I’d trust him until you have a reason not to.
I get so insecure about my body when I hook up with new people that I find it hard to let go and really get into it. Any advice? How do you deal with body image stuff when it’s your job to be naked?
I struggle with this all the time. Although sex work has helped boost my confidence, it’s also placed me in a competitive role where I’m constantly comparing my body to others, and therefore, feeling insecure. I didn’t think I had body image issues back when I was thinner, but now that I’m a little older and have gained weight, I’m constantly beating myself up over how I look. Luckily, I recently realized that my ego and society’s unrealistic standards need to take a back seat when it comes to negative self-talk. In doing so, I learned a couple body-image coping mechanisms that I’ll share with you.
First, meditate. There’s an amazing app called Headspace that allows you to get in quick meditation and mindfulness sessions on your phone, and I use it when I wake up in the morning and when I fall asleep at night. I feel so much more centered in my body afterward, and it really helps calm any anxiety I’m feeling about how I look.
Next, keep a gratitude journal or say daily affirmations aloud to yourself about your body. If you can’t think of anything affirming to say about how it looks, say something positive about how it works or what it does. For example, “I am strong,” or “These hands absolutely slay on the piano.” One of my personal favorites is, “This body has the best orgasms.” I’m constantly amazed at how much pleasure my body can bring me, and even if I’m feeling insecure about how it looks, remembering what it does for me makes me appreciate the truly amazing things it does.
Now, there’s also a third crucial step that, if you’re like me, you’ll loathe doing: You have to work out. That’s key. Whether it’s actually getting you into shape or not, you have to exercise, and it has to be multiple times a week. We all can make the time. It’s 30 minutes of your life, and afterwards, you’ll be so fucking happy you did. You can sleep better, fuck better, and most importantly, love yourself better. It’s less about sculpting yourself into a perfect hourglass or muscleman, and more about connecting with your body and doing something that honors it.
Next, I remind myself that the photos I see in ads or on Instagram are usually heavily edited. No one actually looks as good as they do in their best, most public-facing photos, so I consciously think about that whenever I’m scrolling through pictures of people who seem like they have perfect bodies. Also, having a so-called “perfect body” doesn’t mean you have a perfect life, so I also remind myself that I never really know what’s going on for the person behind the filters and Photoshop.
Oh, and one more thing: Entertainment and porn have become so much more inclusive lately, and there are finally actors, models and performers of all shapes, colors and sizes all over your favorite websites and social media platforms. I find that looking at other women, models, actresses and advocates who remind me of myself is a helpful tool as well, because it reminds me that it’s okay to show off my body type. If they’re doing it, so can I. So find people who look like you, and focus on them.
I’m a lady who’s been thinking getting into porn, and it seems like you’ve really figured it out. How did you get into it? Is it still something you’d consider worth doing? And if so, how would you go about it?
When I got into the adult industry 10 years ago, things were so different than they are today that my advice for new performers has completely changed.
Let’s start with how I got into this. I yearned to be in the adult industry since I was in high school, and when The Girls Next Door came out on E!, I knew it was my calling. I was a fan of Playboy and nude modeling, but I didn’t know how to start, so I got my toes wet by working at a strip club. There, a patron offered to take me up to the Playboy Mansion to meet Hef, which is how it all began.
From there, I sought out agencies that represented women like Tori Black and Alexis Texas. However — and there is a “however” — I would not advise getting an agency to represent you. Times have changed, and it’s more of a woman’s world than ever before. You can now start your adult career on your own. You don’t need a boss. Just set up your webcam account from myfreecams.com or streamate.com. You can grow an audience from there and be in your own home, safe and comfy. It’s so much better than showing up to some set where you don’t know what to expect, and it gives you the option to get comfortable with being naked on camera instead of just getting launched into it. I know doing it all on your own sounds daunting, but the truth is, porn sets aren’t as regulated as they should be, and you never know what’s going to happen. When you work on your own, you get to control the variables you don’t when you’re on someone else’s set.
If you want to get entrepreneurial like me, I’d advise you to take the money you make from camming and create your own adult movies. You can start small and grow by reaching out to performers to work with via social media or agencies. Then, you can make even more money off social media platforms like premium Snapchat via FanCentro and new sites like OnlyFans. I strongly recommend building your own content collection that you own the rights to so you can reap the rewards later on when you’re no longer performing.
Most importantly, though, keep in mind that the content stays online forever, and your family, friends and future employers will find out. If you want to be successful in this game, you have to be okay with that. The good news is that there are millions of other girls just like you who are doing this, which means that, while they’re still taboo, webcam work and porn aren’t nearly as stigmatized as they once were.
If you think you have what it takes, I give you my blessing, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Feel free to send me your sex, love and relationship questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!