L.A. Direct's Scott Stone described why the agency took a chance on Thomas: "She's great. She's a great performer, not just on film, but she's great onstage with feature dancing. We've gotten inquiries from as far as London about her feature dancing."

One of Thomas' first movies upon returning to porn was Please Pay My Tuition. It was on the set of that film, in the fall of 2007, that she met and filmed a scene with her fiancé, Brett T.

Ten years older than Thomas, Brett's stocky with dark, slicked-back hair. He was already a successful businessman when he met Thomas. He made money on-camera as a performer and off-camera as a director and producer, and he also owned a massive arcade on the Jersey shore. Brett talks enthusiastically about stocks, the way a lot of guys talk about sports.

Taryn Thomas and Poppy Morgan, partners in porn.
Jamie Peachey
Taryn Thomas and Poppy Morgan, partners in porn.
Ron Jeremy mingles with dancers at Pink . . .
Jamie Peachey
Ron Jeremy mingles with dancers at Pink . . .

"I get off watching my bank account numbers go up," he says with a smile. "Sometimes, I lay awake at night and just think of more ways to make more money."

As soon as they started dating, Brett made Thomas change her priorities. "Think about all these girls that blew all this porn money," he says. "If they would have put a little bit of that money [away] and kept working, they would have had a nice, tangible asset that, in six or seven years, would be worth [millions]. But hindsight is 20/20. You can't tell a young girl what to do. Young people know it all."

Thomas admits that's the way she felt: "I knew everything at 18, but a fancy Chanel purse isn't going to pay your rent."

She and Brett bought a 5,400-square-foot house in Scottsdale last year, and they also own a home in their native New Jersey. They've poured a lot of money into their recently incorporated Taryn It Up Entertainment. Though Brett couldn't provide an exact figure, he broke down various costs for props, video equipment, Web design, editing, special effects, makeup artists, and talent. "It's more than six figures," he says. "It's substantial."

Launching a new production company is a challenge because the sluggish economy affects the adult industry, too, and the technological advances of the Digital Age aren't helping. There are more performers than ever, and while amateur Internet porn sites are growing, paychecks from DVD-production companies are dwindling. Just like the digital shift in the music industry, the traditional business model of the adult industry has been changed by easier and more direct user access to the product.

Selling sex has become a tricky business, but Taryn Thomas has some new tricks up her skirt.


A  lot has changed since Thomas started her career in porn eight years ago. The adult industry, once viewed as recession-proof, has suffered profit losses for the first time in its history.

With estimated yearly revenues of $12 billion, the porn industry has traditionally made more money annually than the NFL and the NBA combined (the NFL and NBA reported $6 billion and $3.2 billion in revenue for 2008, respectively). And though the January request by porn moguls Larry Flynt and Joe Francis for a $5 billion federal bailout of the industry was largely viewed as a publicity stunt, the economic squeeze has indeed affected every sector of the industry — especially in its L.A. hub.

A recent article in the LA Daily News listed the 2007 combined revenue of more than 200 San Fernando Valley-based companies at $1 billion, a figure that's not even a tenth of the industry's former annual average.

According to Adult Video Newsletter, sales and rentals of adult DVDs have fallen more than 30 percent since 2005. The DVD market is disappearing as more people download online pornography — and for free, most of the time. The result is that production companies are shooting less new content and performers are offered smaller paychecks for more extreme scenes.

Thomas says her flat rates were $500 for a solo scene and $1,000 for a girl-girl scene (her rates for a boy-girl scene varied). When she re-entered the business, she was asked to shoot an anal sex scene for $1,000. "Even with the economy the way it is, I'm not going to do that for just $1,000," she says. "I could make $1,000 being an escort for one night."

Such budget squeezing has pushed some performers to the edge, like one actress who accepted $15,000 for a "55-guy" orgy video, Thomas says. Most male talent won't work with that woman anymore, she says.

Dr. Sharon Mitchell is the founder and director of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Southern California that provides HIV and STD testing, counseling, and group support for performers in the adult industry. Before her current profession, Mitchell was a performer and director in the adult industry for more than 20 years, beginning in 1977, and she's seen the ways the industry's changed over time.

"You were able to make a career out of this at one time," Mitchell says. "Now, I don't think it's that easy to do. And the sex is very risky. A lot of it is very rough and extreme. Today, I wouldn't join the porn business as a young actress."

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18 comments
Guest
Guest

The porn industry today is in bad shape, and will likely become worse before it gets better. Porn has become a victim of its own success. When a product has been commoditized to the point it's nearly free, there's far fewer willing to pay for it.

http://www.latimes.com/busines...

Josh Reading
Josh Reading

The Phoenix adult industry has surely came along way in a short period of time. It is truly amazing to see it growing right before my eyes. I am really thrilled Taryn Thomas has started her own company and is making things happen for herself. Way to go Taryn!

Now on to other things. All of you bad mouthing Taryn is absolutely uncalled for. So stop being so childish, and saying things that are not facts.

John Philips
John Philips

I think this is a wonderful story. Taryn sure did a great job with taking control of her life. I have to give the girl credit. Congrats to Taryn and The New Times for such a great story.

Layal
Layal

At the risk of nerding up the drooling frenzy and the smack talking battles, I have a few observations and questions:1)Her dad creeps me out. 2)I wonder if the AIDS mess in the LA porn industry will follow them here, or if they are doing anything to prevent it. 3)What type of health care are they provided in conservative AZ? - Does Taryn require STD tests and provide them to her employees? - Are there organizations or clinics that cater to them here?

Now, back to your regularly scheduled flame war.

Someday, I'd like to read a story about a porn star without a troubled past. But then again, we all have trouble in our past.

sean
sean

Carly, think you made ya point with all ya posts??

Wanted to say that i wish Taryn the best.If anyone deserves a shot at this she does.

Good luck

Carly
Carly

Agree with John..

All you shit talkers need to get laid!

I Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve this girl!

So what if she put a bit of weight on.. its called "growing" for all you dumb assholes out there..

She looks fucking awesome now as she did back then. And if anyone knows anything about her then you'll know that her movies rock!I love the way she gets right into her movies..I watched porn for a few years now, and there is alot of dumb sluts that fuck good, but I havent seen anyone who really gets into it as much as Taryn.

fuck all ya'll!!

Carly
Carly

Agree with John..

All you shit talkers need to get laid!

I Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve this girl!

So what if she put a bit of weight on.. its called "growing" for all you dumb assholes out there..

She looks fucking awesome now as she did back then. And if anyone knows anything about her then you'll know that her movies rock!I love the way she gets right into her movies..I watched porn for a few years now, and there is alot of dumb sluts that fuck good, but I havent seen anyone who really gets into it as much as Taryn.

fuck all ya'll!!

Carly
Carly

Agree with John..

All you shit talkers need to get laid!

I Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve this girl!

So what if she put a bit of weight on.. its called "growing" for all you dumb assholes out there..

She looks fucking awesome now as she did back then. And if anyone knows anything about her then you'll know that her movies rock!I love the way she gets right into her movies..I watched porn for a few years now, and there is alot of dumb sluts that fuck good, but I havent seen anyone who really gets into it as much as Taryn.

fuck all ya'll!!

Johnathan
Johnathan

I read this article and smiled at all the shit talk all you lot have said about Taryn.

I've followed Taryn since the day she stepped foot in the industry and i am aware of all the shit talk that has been said about her too, but i guess that comes with any line of work people do in their lives.

I got a question for all you "none" Taryn fans out there, have you actaully seen any of her movies??

This girl is fucking AWESOME!!

"wannabe mobster"?? how old are you dude..?

AND you think if they was under federal investigation, Would Taryn of even done this article..? Would she still be the number one sort after pornstar in LA?Would there be such a fucking high demand to see her when she feature dances?

Mykal
Mykal

Tarny is a talentless angry drug addict.

Her "boyfriend" is a wanna be mobster who lies and is under federal investigation.

She is fat and her XXX scenes are very week, or phoney.

Her comeback is a joke.

Liar and thief is a they are.

Jon G
Jon G

I have to laugh at how other people have revered Arizona as "the next upcoming porn capital".... This comment was made before when Channel 5 did an expose 5 years ago and it's not any closer now than it was then. When in reality, more adult based businesses are in Florida or even New York. Does our proximity to Cali make us the next big thing?? It's a good article overall, it actually makes Taryn It Up Entertainment great PR too. But nothing is what it seems in this business; other than the fact that people make money in it. And Christian values continue to give free press to it and drive sales... ;0)~

Zac
Zac

I really liked this article. I enjoy this author's writing style and the way she handled the risque topic. The goal of the article was not to be accusatory or inflammatory, or to attack Ms Thomas, least of all with rumors. The author didn't hide Thomas' troubled past, and felt free to mention her problems and slight impropriety. I look forward to reading more of this kind of writing!

Will Donovan
Will Donovan

1. California is the only state where it is explicitly legal to produce pornography. See the case Miller v. California. In any other state, pornography can be considered a form of prostitution.

2. Taryn is not well liked in the XXX community. She burned a ton of bridges when she left, few people would have anything to do with distributing her DVDs. They derisively refer to her as "Chub-Chub) for her frequent weight gyrations.

3. Your writer failed to ask--or reveal--how Taryn got all the money to buy a house in Fountain Hills and start her own business--working on the East Coast for 3+ years as a prostitute.

4. She didn't start spreading her legs for money until 2004.

Will Novak
Will Novak

^Huh? Why would shooting porn be illegal in any state? Maybe its illegal in some backwards place like Utah, but not here we wouldn't do that.

Anyway, good to here the Valley is diversifying its economy, always glad to have an industry thats not tied to the housing industry :D

Steve Langord
Steve Langord

Excuse me but isn't it illegal to shoot porn in Arizona? I thought California was the only state in which porn can be legally shot on video.

 
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