When it comes to porn, those who perform it are either worshipped for what they do, or demonised for the same behaviours.

But do we ever stop to think about their personal lives beyond the stereotype of abuse, daddy issues and drugs? Could they be good people and even great parents too? And how do you balance working in an industry that is blamed for the over sexualisation of youth while raising your own young impressionable minds?

I have spoken to many performers who privately discuss their family life but won't go on record. When you consider some of the down sides to the adult industry, that's fair enough. However, Manuel Ferrara, a proud father of four was open to explaining exactly what it's like to balance parenthood and porn, reports news.com.au.

Ferrara, originally born in France, is a five-time Adult Video News (AVN) award winner of male performer of the year and has four kids. One son aged 11, twin boys age seven from a previous marriage and one girl aged four with Kayden Cross, also a famous adult entertainer.


It's awkward enough to talk to kids about sex, so what must it be like when you have to explain you are a porn star too?

"As a dad you know you are going to have to have that conversation and it has to be from you. You don't want your kids to hear it from someone else or start to watch porn and see your parents," Manuel told news.com.au

But at what age do you start to have this conversation and what exactly what do you say? "You can't do it at a younger age, they won't understand. My oldest son is about to turn 11. I spoke to him and said, 'I do adult movies where there is nudity in front of the camera and I produce my own movies.' I only had that conversation with him recently. He has a friend with who has two older brothers who probably watch porn and I don't want them to be the ones to tell him."

Ferrara continues, "He stopped me and said. 'I understand what you do. You don't have to explain.' He didn't have questions. For him it was like OK. Kids can be a lot more understanding than we think."

But will this conversation differ when his daughter is of the right age to know?

Nikki spoke with Manuel at a recent event. While he's one of many adult performers with children, he is the only one who wanted to go on the record on the subject. Photo / Supplied
Nikki spoke with Manuel at a recent event. While he's one of many adult performers with children, he is the only one who wanted to go on the record on the subject. Photo / Supplied

And what is family life like when both parents are two of the biggest names in the adult industry?

"We do a job that's not common. But outside of our job we are super regular people. If you come to my house you won't know we are in the adult industry. We live in a very safe environment. It's a quiet neighbourhood and we are a regular family." Manuel explains. "When I talk to my kids, they are very well educated and us doing porn does not affect us as a family."

Although it sounds like a scene from The Brady Bunch with Mum and Dad spotting a few less clothes at work, Manuel still has his concerns.

"One of my biggest fears is to get recognised by people. It happened at the previous school, but it didn't have any negative consequences," he said.

But he does maintain that there is a big benefit to being a parent in porn.

"There are people that don't do porn that don't spend much bonding time with the children. My job sometimes is only two hours of the day. I might be a porn star but being a porn star has given me the luxury to spend quality time with my children."

When it comes to being criticised, Manuel is firm in his belief that there is nothing wrong with his job.

"If you want to have a discussion with me about being a parent and in porn, maybe you should know something about the subject or how it is in the industry. People think that porn is just hookers and junkies, but they (are mistaken)," he said.

"There are a lot of accountants and lawyers that do drugs and weird stuff in the family home.

"There are big movie producers who are judging us, but we are not the ones having secret extramarital sex with anything that moves and deceiving our partners. It's easier to target the industry for what we do, but we are regular people."

Many parents are concerned about their kids seeing porn, and the Ferrara household isn't any different.

"They have zero access to porn. All their phones and computers are blocked. Every parent should do that. I'm very careful with my kids and check everything."

But the irony is the industry that he is trying to protect his children from, is the industry that has made him a success.

"A lot of people are trying to blame the porn industry. But we don't put it out there for this crowd (referring to those under the age of 18) We put it out there for adults. I can't be in everyone's home controlling what their children see, I can only control what my children see," he said.

But it's not just the criticism of children possibly viewing this content but criticism from the impact on adults too.

"I like when people tell us, you guys show us the wrong way to make love. We are not making movies to show reproduction or to make love to each other, but rather for fantasy. I have more of a problem with movies where people kill each other. We are not here to educate people about sex. We are entertainment. We are here for one purpose, for people to enjoy to watch, not to use us as role models of what to do in the bedroom."

Manuel believes that being a parent in porn helps him to better discuss the subject of sex with his children.

"It's a good thing we are a lot more open sexually, but also when we talk about sex, we know what we are talking about," he said.

"I'm not going to talk about porn with my kids or discuss my sex life with my kids (besides telling them my career choice), but if they need any advice like about their first time or something to do with condoms, I'm going to talk to them about it. In the future with my kids, I will make sure they have condoms."

What about any of his children following in his footsteps professionally?

"If you are a good parent, you always want better for your kids than for yourself.

"It would be hypocritical to say don't do porn, but as a parent I want better for them. My concern would be that in the industry I know it can be very easy to go the wrong way. But no matter what they do, I want them to do something that they love."

While it's not easy for get adult performers to publicly talk about their family life, from the many off the record conversations I have had, the one common element is that these parents are able to have open, honest and educated conversation with their children around the subject of sex, something that is lacking and needing in many homes.

When there are children out there whose parents neglect and abuse them, how can we criticise a parent in porn just because they are getting paid to have sex? If they love and protect their children, should we criticise them no matter what job they do?