I Was a Pornhub Intern for a Day

Young people these days have two choices: earn poverty-level wages or work unpaid internships. The model for success for college graduates might be the two Pornhub interns who have turned their gigs into an internet-famous Twitter account and their own...

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Dec 19 2013, 9:00pm

From left: Madeline, the author, and Amber. Images by the author. Video courtesy of Pornhub.


From left: Madeline, the author, and Amber. Images by the author. Video courtesy of Pornhub.

These are dark days for young people in America. According to the Guardian's Jana Kasperkevic, only 63 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds have found work in the wake of the Great Recession, and 18- to 25-year-olds make up 35.5 percent of workers who earn a yearly wage below the poverty line. Many millennials turned to unpaid internships to jump-start their careers but found themselves working for free for years instead. Several interns sued Conde Nast and other companies, hoping the lawsuits would encourage companies to create paid internships, and in response Conde Nast killed its internship program.

As a 22-year-old who landed my first real-world job because of my several internships, I’ve found this chain of events depressing. Yet in the midst of this crisis, there has been a ray of hope in @Pornhubinterns—two interns at the popular porn website (link NSFW, obviously) who have turned their internships into an internet-famous Twitter account and their own personal brand.

Although Pornhub receives an average of 35 million hits a day and a billion hits a month, Amber and Madeline are the company’s first interns. It launched a contest to find two interns a year ago, and a friend sent Amber a link so she could enter. A big-breasted blonde in her mid-20s, Amber had spent the last several years stripping and traveling—she thought interning at Pornhub was something she was born to do.

Madeline found the contest on her own. Between her long dark hair and intense stare, Madeline looks like Wednesday Addams would in an Addams Family Values remake created by a movie studio trying to “connect with millennials.” She saw an ad for the internship while she was high on Ambien in her bed during senior year of college, a moment that seems right out of three or four New York Times trend pieces about young people. The contest seemed like a solution to Madeline’s problems. She had struggled with anxiety her entire life. “I was too cool for school, but I didn’t have friends,” she said about her time at Catholic school. “I was the cool girl who was mean to the rich bitches.” But when she left for college, she found herself rarely leaving her house. “I don’t leave the house because I’m a fucking loser. I don’t have any friends. I’d rather play The Sims.This internship will be so good for me, she thought.

After several rounds of auditions, the two girls won the internship. Almost immediately, Pornhub flew the girls to the AVN Awards in Las Vegas, where they met for the first time. “We were so turnt up, we didn’t sleep,” Madeline said. They ended up at Ron Jeremy’s party, but refused to say what took place. “Ron Jeremy was influential personally, emotionally, and physically,” Madeline assured me.

“And we may have caused his aneurysm,” Amber added.

Today the girls rarely attend industry events and spend most of their time working from home. Madeline lives with her parents outside Chicago, and Amber has spent the last several months living out of a hostel, although she has a permanent residence in Montreal. Their duties for Pornhub include tweeting dirty jokes, leaving comments on porn videos, and interacting with fans on Pornhub’s social media community.

In their first few months on the job, the girls didn't pick up many fans, but since the fall, their Twitter following has grown to nearly 8,000 and they have become a subject of fascination for many porn fans and others with too much time on their hands. Many companies have their interns tweeting, but only Amber and Madeline have managed to parlay their intern work into their own cult-like internet following.

What makes the Pornhub interns different from other people my age? I decided to become a Pornhub intern for a day to find out.

Because the girls work from home, Pornhub flew them to Brooklyn so I could hang with them for a day in a sketchy motel room. The day of my internship, I woke up to a text from Madeline: “Turnt up.”

When I walked into their lime-green motel room at 11:30 AM, I found the girls lying in their hotel bed in black dresses. Immediately Amber asked if we could go on a wine run.

“I’m sober because I hook up with other people’s boyfriends when I’m drunk,” I said.

“Awww! We have so much in common.”

The differences between the two girls became clear almost immediately—where Amber was blonde and smiled a lot, Madeline had jet-black hair and tended to pout. Amber brought a stuffed Piglet doll to cuddle with, and Madeline came equipped with an ugly toy that looked like an alien. As Amber showed me her huge Hello Kitty suitcase and box of beads she traveled with, Madeline shot her a death stare. “I brought a sensible black suitcase,” she said.

I removed my composition book from my Snoopy bookbag to jot down notes about what the girls were saying, and within minutes, Madeline was tweeting shit about me:

Then Madeline told me she had e-stalked me before I arrived. “Do you only write about mainstream stuff?” she asked me. “SELL OUT.” Like notorious Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke, the Pornhub girls have discovered a way to speak in caps lock.

Amber joined in and insisted I wear Pornhub panties and a twink-y Pornhub intern tank top. “He needs to wear the panties to show the confidence and radiance from within!” I was apprehensive about wearing panties, but then remembered that I’ve always enjoyed tight boxer briefs.

In the bathroom, my phone lit up as my friends favorited what the interns had tweeted about me. I swung open the door quickly, and the girls laughed, but everything changed when I walked out of the door in my new outfit. I felt a connection to my fellow interns. Something about my ball sack leaking out of the way-too-small panties made me realize that the girls weren’t making fun of me—they simply have a dark sense of humor that is both unconventional and part of their success. I was spiritually connected to what they call the #CreamTeam. It was time for the girls and me to tweet out photos of us together from our social platforms to spread the news about our burgeoning collaboration.

Afterwards, we debated how I should sign my tweets. The girls sign their tweets as A (for Amber) and M (for Madeline), but I have the same first initial as Madeline.

“Should I sign my tweets as MS?” I asked.

“Isn’t MS a disease?” Madeline said.

We decided I should tweet using my own name to use their social media platform to promote myself. For my first tweet, I decided to jokingly try to fulfill one of my sexual fantasies and tweeted Harry Styles and invited him to our hotel room, so I could participate in a One Direction bukkake.

I knew 1D would never fly to Brooklyn to ejaculate on my eyes, but something about tweeting the boys from the Pornhub intern account felt empowering.

Tweeting made the girls also feel the #CreamTeam connection—Amber pulled out her bead kit, turned on Khia’s “My Neck, My Back (Lick It),” and began making me a friendship bracelet.

“I’m in the porn mood now,” she said.

After we finished making jewelry and tweeting about rim jobs, the girls covered me in Pornhub stickers so we could go on a food run.

We stopped at a local Subway, and a black guy buying a sandwich stopped me and said, “I thought you were a billboard for Pornhub.” We explained that the ladies were the internet-famous Pornhub interns, and I was a journalist writing a story about them. We asked if he'd pose for a photo with us, but he thought we were lying. When he got home, he googled "Pornhub interns" out of curiosity and realized Amber and Madeline were the real deal and tweeted at the girls,

When we returned to the hotel room, I changed back into my panties, and we began exploring the Pornhub community platform. Madeline had chosen a dick pic as her profile picture, and dozens of men had sent her their dick pics. Amber said the users were more than men jacking off though.

“We have a lot of poets on Pornhub’s community,” she said.

“They’re expressing themselves,” Madeline added. “It’s like how you’re wearing panties.”

Each of us then chose a porn video we’d watch and then leave a comment. Madeline put on “DIRTY OLD MAN GETS SERVICE BY 18-YEAR-OLD SLUT IN WHITE PANTIES.”

“Everyone’s seen this... I’m numb to porn now,” Madeline told me. “I have to get off with weird shit. I’ve always been into facesitting luckily.”

I thought the porn star's bush was gross, but I'm only into bushes if they're coming out of an Asian bodybuilder's asshole, so I probably wasn't the person to judge a straight porno. After we finished trolling their employer’s website, we played catch with Amber's anal douche and tweeted to see if the fans had any questions so we could film a Q & A video.


Pornhub Interns Meet Vice! Part 1 brought to you by PornHub

Pornhub Interns Meet Vice! Part 2 brought to you by PornHub

In the video, we discussed how Madeline enjoys vomiting on guys' dicks. “I clean up the vomit as soon as I can,” she later said. “Most of them don’t remember it because I give them Ambien. I don’t roofie them—there’s some guy who says I did, but he just wanted his feminist girlfriend back. Oh, and you can print that.”

Some of Madeline and Amber's comments disturbed me. On the subway, a boy wearing a yarmulke stared at me, and Madeline shouted, “Happy fucking Hanukkah!”

But their comments weren’t any different than what one might hear in an office or locker room (or any online comment board). After all, throughout the day, I spent time on Grindr sending ass pics and anal hole pics—or “holies” as the interns called them—to strangers I was trying to fuck. Who was I to judge?

Is that any grimmer than Madeline’s jokes? The difference between the Pornhub interns and most people is the girls are daring enough to say this shit in public, and it's beneficial to their careers. They don't care if their tweets might make them ineligible for a job at a buttoned-down corporation. Why should they? Those jobs don't exist any more.

After we had dinner in Williamsburg, the girls and I lay in their motel bed before we went to a strip club. After a day of tweeting and taking sex selfies, they finally opened up about their opinions on their naysayers and their past.

Madeline said Christians send her Bibles all the time, but she sees her sinful unpaid gig as the road to her salvations. “I’m not happy,” she said. “I’m living with my parents. I don’t have a job. My diploma is really useful. I was supposed to have a job before I graduated. I know we don’t live in our parents' world, but that’s hard to adjust to. I wish I hadn’t gone to school. I feel like I was wasting my time at school.” Her internship has proved more useful than school and helped her find freelance web-development jobs. “Pornhub has given me great opportunities,” she said, and unlike in a more traditional job, she doesn't have to worry about what she says or does.

Amber is also grateful for her internship. “I already had offers,” she said. “I’m absolutely happy.” However, like Madeline, she has had a difficult life. She had a painful relationship with her mother and ran away at age 17. She began stripping, partying in sex clubs, and traveling. One night, the sex club she was partying at burned to the ground, but Amber managed to escape. “I do what I want,” she said, “but I sacrificed a lot for it.”

Amber and Madeline have bonded over their personal problems. “When I went through my breakup, I cried to Madeline on Skype,” Amber said. “She saw me in agony.”

The Pornhub interns weren't that different than me or anyone else my age. They were fucked. The only difference is they've found a way to use their fucked-up situations to their benefit. I pulled my laptop out of my bag and put on Britney Spears's “Dear Diary.” Amber and I started to cuddle with her doll as Madeline rolled over on her side.

“Dear Diary” turned into “Everytime.” Madeline sat up. “Oh my God. Is this the Spring Breakers song?” she said. “Let's watch it.” We found the scene where James Franco and the Disney Channel girls murder people as Britney plays, but we didn’t need to watch it. Being a Pornhub intern made me feel as empowered as a Mouseketeer getting laid on screen for the very first time.

An hour later, we sat in the back of a cab on the way listening to P!nk’s “Just Like a Pill.” As our taxi cab driver cut off other drivers on the highway, I thought, This wouldn’t be such a bad way to die. This might seem depressing to Madeline, but to me it sounded like a happy ending. I was with two girls who had been fucked over and decided to risk it and do what they want. It seemed like my ideal way to end it all, but we didn't die—we ended up at Pumps, a strip club, instead.

At the club, we met up with several bloggers and punk singers who follow the Pornhub interns online and wanted to meet them. We sat at a long bar surrounding a stage. None of the girls wore colors—the crew was more Hot Topic than Forever 21—I was the only boy in the group until my gay friend from the New School, Michael, arrived with his straight roommate. As I jotted notes down in my composition book, a stripper leaned over the bar and asked me to slip a dollar in her tits.

“I'm gay and here for work,” I said.

“That's what they all say.”

I gave her a dollar to go away. My gay friend wasn't looking at boobies for work, so he left to go to a gay bar—his roommate stayed to check out the strippers. While the interns handed out Pornhub shirts to the girls and asked them to assemble outside for a photo, I asked the straight guy to join us. “I can’t do that,” he said, “I want to become a politician.” As if any kid who studied at Eugene Lang could actually become a politician.

I turned away from him and saw the girls looking in the mirror, primping themselves for their photo with the interns. My friend’s roommate was a straight guy, someone who could do virtually anything in the world and get away with it, and he was afraid to take a photo with a few Pornhub interns?

But as we gathered to take the photo outside, I forgot about this heterosexual wuss. Pre-recession jobs don't exist anymore, college graduates are working poverty-level jobs, and the Pornhub interns are the most free and badass girls in America. I ran into the picture, and then as a dude from inside the bar took the photo, Madeline shouted, “millennials” instead of cheese. I couldn't help but laugh—Madeline and Amber didn’t really resemble millennials anymore. In the darkest of economic times, the girls and their sexy selfies have become a symbol of hope.

Looking for something to masturbate to? Follow the @PornhubInterns on Twitter and check out Pornhub.

@mitchsunderland

More adventures with Mitchell:

The Barbie Dream House Experience Is the Scariest Place on Earth

Trying to Understand the English Gays at Oxford

The Gay Sex Club Next to the Vatican Is the Saddest Place on Earth