A lot of people get their first view of sex from porn stars; it’s a social norm to have a stripper at bachelor parties, and a lot of today’s party outfits set people one paycheck away from go-go dancing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Even though sex is so prevalent in almost all aspects of today’s society, sex-related professions are still considered to be taboo, and if not taboo then at least looked down upon.

I know I’m definitely guilty of it. I always say that if I was ever really down on my luck, I might think about doing porn, but in no other situation would I do it. Most other people would agree that their — for lack of a better term — “rock-bottom job” would be sexual.

That’s what society does with these professions. People describe these professions as things people do when they’re desperate or down on their luck, and while that might be true in some situations, it’s not a universal rule.

Some people genuinely want to be involved in porn. I personally might not understand that, but then again, I don’t particularly understand why people would want to major in math, either; if you don’t share that perspective, you might not be able to understand it.

People also typically think that porn stars lack in other aspects, which leads to them being categorized as unintelligent or unfit for other jobs, which again isn’t necessarily true.

Porn star Asia Carrera has over 275 videos and performed twice at Carnegie Hall before she was 15. Jenna Jameson led the Oxford Union, a debating society, back in 2001. Sure, some porn stars might not be geniuses, but it’s rare to be a genius.

In addition, jobs in the porn industry all thought of as dirty or grimy professions, which may again be true in some situations but not all. Porn stars in particular have a crazy amount of safety and cleanliness procedures.

Porn stars get tested for sexually transmitted diseases multiple times a month; they’re required to be tested a minimum of once every 14 days. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation even reports, “Porn stars in California might soon be forced to undergo the same rigorous safety training as doctors and nurses under new rules being considered by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.”

I’m not trying to get anyone to quit Decker or stop filling out grad school applications, but I do want us to open our minds to this prejudice. I still wouldn’t want to be a porn star, but I know I have a lot of unfounded beliefs about sexual professions.

Still, these professions do carry with them risks that other jobs don’t: Having many partners increases the risk you’ll get a disease, even with all that testing. Also, since sex professions are so socially taboo, you’ll probably get a couple of strange looks when talking about your work day.

The sex industry is something that’s surrounded by a lot of ignorance, and that ignorance easily leads to prejudice. When you don’t know about something it’s easy to look down on it, but that isn’t fair to these individuals.

For some it may be a burden and they may want to escape the industry, but not every case cries out for help. Some people do this because they enjoy it, and really, getting paid for sex with someone else who has that same mindset? There are worse things in the world.