how i became a porn star

Q: How To Become a Porn Star & Stay Healthy?

The sex industry is evolving rapidly thanks to the hardworking creatives that push the envelope while creating opportunities for more people. One of those creatives is Lumi Ray. An upcoming star in the porn industry, who we sat down with (virtually) to chat about how to take care of yourself mentally and physically as a sex worker.

Q: Let’s hear a bit about your (unique) upbringing and how that helped shaped your views on sex.

I grew up in the redwoods in Northern California (A hippie haven and center of California’s cannabis industry). Living there, I saw naked people and boobs on the river, and people being generally open. My aunt shared with me that she’s bisexual and that you can love more than one person.

My mom wasn’t necessarily like that, but Humboldt (county) has this free-love hippie energy. Growing up here influenced my ideas on polyamory and being comfortable with my sexuality while helping to destigmatize shame. People just live there.

Q: A lot of people are wondering how to become a porn star. What was your journey like?

I’m super grateful that I got to develop my cooking career by working for a strong, sexually liberated woman. Growing up with a very masculine mother and no father gave me a great work ethic, and made me proud to work in that environment and kick ass as a cook. 

Transitioning from that world to porn where not many people have the strongest work ethics, I realized that you still need to keep a sense of discipline to know yourself and not get taken advantage of. This is important to develop a good reputation amongst directors. 

I started doing OnlyFans by myself, and the more I did it the more I felt attracted to myself. I realized people want to watch me love on myself. It was great to realize I could monetize my sexuality and my looks without taking it to a place of feeding my ego.

I was approached by agencies through Twitter. They were fascinated with how natural I am, saying I have the “natural porn star look”. That was what I was put on a pedestal for. Just being me.

Before I signed with anyone I went and did a few shoots to see how I would feel. I had so many assumptions and felt anxiety before. You don’t know what it’s like unless you’re in this world. There are so many things we don’t allow ourselves to do in life out of fear of people’s judgment. After my first ever porno, all of that went away. I don’t care because I don’t feel ashamed. I did my first few shoots and never looked back.

Q: For people wondering how to get into the porn industry, what are some things they should know or understand?

In the entertainment industry, when you start “making it,” people start to tell you how important you are and that you mean something. You have to take that with a grain of salt. Once you realize that part of your image belongs to the public you almost lose a sense of yourself.

There’s a lot of power that comes with working in the sex industry that you have to be careful of. A lot of men can see what you do with it, and sometimes girls have a hard time staying professional. It’s a job, you need to treat it like one.

There hasn’t been a single director I’ve worked for that I have felt creeped out or dismissed by. Everyone was so sweet and accommodating. You’re choosing to be here, if at any point you say this isn’t something I want to do, they’ll still pay you.

People can have their opinions, but I don’t entertain them when they want to talk about them unless they’re able to listen to my story. It was so much more damaging for me to have sex with a stranger from a bar or be a cook where I was underpaid and my boundaries were overstepped all the time. I was sexually harassed way more in cooking than I have been in porn.

Q: How do you take care of your mental health as a sex worker?

I’m grateful that my mom always put me in counseling or therapy from a young age. That’s made me realize how important it is, especially in this industry. 

Before, I was in therapy because I was making decisions about my sexuality that made me feel disconnected from my womanhood. I got pregnant and had an abortion, and experienced a lot of growth from that. I realized I was having sex from a place of disassociation and started reconnecting to myself.

That’s what a lot of people think is damaging being in the porn industry. But all of us have to be sober. I’m not saying everyone is in a place of divine consciousness when having sex – but I try to be. 

People can read the look in your eyes if you’re checked out. If you’re just there for a paycheck, then it can be really damaging. In that sense, cooking and the sex industry have a lot more to do with each other than I thought they would.

Of course, there are ups and downs. I’m there to develop something, and to have good work relationships so I can show that I have a great work ethic and attitude toward everyone involved. Socializing and building a network takes so much energy. I have to be conscious of how I feel in my body, especially if I shoot a lot. I go for a walk or do other things so that I can check in with myself and reconnect. 

Q: You’re a huge advocate for promoting vaginal health in the industry. What are some things you do to take care of yourself in that department?

Personally, I’ve only gotten one infection that wasn’t an STI. Girls use makeup sponges when they’re on their period, creating an inhospitable environment. The more sex you have the worse it can get. I got an infection that I needed antibiotics for.

Now I take probiotics and prebiotics and eat yogurt religiously. I drink lots of water and quit drinking (alcohol). I try to sweat and working out helps. 

Before a shoot, I use 1-2 douches. Then I take my dildo and put it in coconut oil, put it in myself, and do a mini masturbation session to detox my region to keep it clean and healthy. That way it’s not super tight and tense when having sex. After a shoot, I try to drink a lot of water and douche after. This has helped keep my vagina nice and happy.

Q: How do you feel about the rise of ethical porn?

Porn is still a very male-dominated industry, but it’s definitely changing. There are more female production assistants, as well as directors and screenwriters. 

Whether it was “cancel culture” or people realizing what their reputations mean with social media, everyone seems to want to be respectful and create a good environment for the entertainers. It hasn’t always been like this. They’re realizing that we need to pay people better, especially since they can make the same rate on OnlyFans. Things are changing. 

If I can transition into directing and producing for one of those big female-focused porn companies, I know I’ll have made it. I’m so stoked these companies are getting the attention, funding, and credit they deserve. That’s the kind of porn I really want to do. 

Q: Everyone wants to know “how much does a porn star make?” Care to give us some insight?

Your porn rate depends on what you’re shooting. Boy/girl sex scenes go for $1,000 (USD) a day, or per scene, for anal people will pay $3,000-5,000, girl on girl $800-900, etc. The more you can hold out on shooting stuff, the more they’ll pay you.

You can sign a contract with production companies, which means you only shoot for that company. There are pros and cons to this. Some people are multi-millionaires. Once you get higher up, you can get six-figure contracts. 

I made more the first-day having OnlyFans than I did in a week of cooking. Now I make $2,000-3,000 a week. I never realized how deep my wounds were growing up without money. My mom grew cannabis, but I had a lot of siblings. My whole childhood we were financially stressed and struggling – there’s anxiety that came with that. I learned to be very content with very little. I’m still not a material person, I make money and I don’t want to spend it. This is the first time in my life I’ve experienced financial freedom, that’s great for my mental health!

Q: Thanks for opening up and giving us this insight into the porn industry, where can people find you?

Absolutely, thank you! People can find and connect with me on my Instagram, Twitter, and OnlyFans

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