I've recently been asked to make a website for an escort service,

I was wondering if anyone personally has any rules involving any websites or freelance work involved in the adult industry.

I'm trying to get a feel for wether or not having a project like this in my portfolio would damage it more than help it.

I personally have no issue with this type of work the industry is what it is, i'm more thinking about future clients who look at my portfolio

  • I don't take such projects and I would never put them in the portfolio unless you aim at the XXX industry.
    – Peter MV
    Jul 9 '15 at 15:40

I guess what you need to consider is

(a) Is business legal? (aside from any moral stance: are you opening yourself up to the possibility of prosecution from participating in, for example, human trafficking?)

(b) Is this the "niche" you really want to be in? Having adult sites in your portfolio may tend to bring more adults-only work (happy clients will refer their colleagues to you, so you'll get more clients like this one)

If you can answer "yes" to both questions, then go for it. There may be future clients who are turned off by seeing an "adult industry" project in your portfolio, but maybe you don't want to work for those people anyway.

  • 2
    Having said that, does he necessarily need to include that particular website in his portfolio that he publicly advertises? I think he'd still be able to leave it out and get business anyways.
    – Canadian Luke
    Jul 9 '15 at 15:33

Adult content will offend some people.

Any decision to include the work in your portfolio should consider the fact that you may instantly lose a prospective client because you've offended them by showing the type of projects you'll work on.

Realize this isn't much different than if you created a web site for the Republican Party and a client is a Democrat. You can offend prospective clients that way as well. So it's not so much that it's "adult" oriented, it's that it's a divisive topic.

Obviously, if you are willing to do the work it doesn't offend you. There's no rule which states you must include these types of projects in a portfolio. You could do the work, then just not use it as a portfolio piece.

Be aware, there is a stigma much of the time... do one adult project, make it known, and you'll have a much harder time getting other projects. But you may find it easier to get more adult-themed projects. I'm not saying it's "right" or "fair" but often that one topic can do more to work against you than any other topic you may work on.

From what I understand (without any direct experience), you can still make a decent living by just working on adult-oriented projects. But much like being an adult performer, I hear it's very difficult to make the transition back to regular work after a period of adult-themed projects. Again, no direct experience with this, just what I've garnered from others.

For my business, I do my best to remain autonomous. I don't want to do any work which is overly opinionated and divisive. I'd really dislike it if I was negotiating with a $50k client and they stumbled upon some $1k web site I did 5 years ago that offends them enough to disregard me.

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