“Must be open minded,” read the closing to the job description. Well, I thought, I am. I am also extremely resourceful. So I applied. I google’d the address before I went in because everything in Miami is sus. It took my interviewer 40 minutes to mention the company’s name, but it made no difference—I knew what it was. My future boss then danced around the topic before ending the interview by asking, “Are you comfortable with words like tits and pussy being used regularly in the office?”

Sure.

Shortly after, I became a full-time employee of BangBros.com, one of the biggest porn companies in the country. I had an assistant and a graphic designer as direct reports and was responsible for the email marketing program for the company’s 16 or so owned and operated sites (Bang Bus, Ass Parade, Milf Hunter, etc.) as well as a few cam sites we worked with. I wrote a lot of copy, selected the videos we would feature in emails, approved images, and occasionally wrote bios for new performers. Bang Bros was a regular 9-to-5 in some ways. During my first week, we had a baby shower for a woman in the finance department, complete with croquetas and cupcakes. There wasn’t any filming done at our location, so the 100 or so employees who worked in the office never saw any fluffers, economy-size barrels of lube, or talent. The closest I came to experiencing the Boogie Nights life were the times the video editor I shared an office with forgot his headphones and attempted to edit footage with the audio on. I offered to go out and buy him earbuds—it’s hard to focus while an ongoing loop of a porn star on the verge of a fake climax plays in the background.

Most would think that men would love to have a woman who once worked for one of the largest porn companies in the world, but nah.

That said, the job obviously influenced me. After a year of staring at still images of penetration every day, I became desensitized to sex, not unlike the young men from those studies about the overconsumption of porn. Unlike them, however, I wasn't left with unrealistic expectations. Instead, this kind of exposure made it difficult for me to genuinely connect with anyone who is uptight, uncomfortable, or prudish about sex.

Add to that the fact that I’m six feet tall, have a thorough knowledge of sex thanks in part to a health education minor, and little regard for the male ego. It’s not tough to imagine why male friends and former partners remark that I am “a lot.” Most would think that men would love to have a woman who once worked for one of the largest porn companies in the world, but nah. Societal norms historically put the responsibility of sexual knowledge and experience on men. Flip the script and things get a little fuzzy. Following my time working at Bang Bros, the course of most situationships (thank you, Fabolous) has been unsettlingly similar. When dating New Yorkers, the neighborhood you live in, where you hang out, what you do, and where you used to work are all commonly discussed very early in the game. Normally, around the second or third date, and almost always before we’ve been intimate, I work my former workplace into the conversation. It’s like my own little litmus test. There are usually two distinct responses: there are the ones who react physically by sitting straight up as their jaw drops, before they catch themselves and try to not reveal to me just how much porn they watch. And then there are the others—the “real ones”—who immediately start to ask questions. “Have you ever been on set?” “Did you meet any porn stars?” “Do you even like porn anymore?” I especially like to disabuse dudes of the notion that the plotline of Bang Bus is real and that there are real women on the streets of Miami being picked up and kicked off the Bang Bus. Sorry, they’re all booked talent.

This test, more or less, tells me how open guys are to talking about topics they traditionally discuss with their boys, not the potential object of their affection. I hope it lets them know that there's nothing sexual they could dream up that they shouldn’t be comfortable bringing up to me. This creates more unrest than the ease I wish it would. Things usually end one of two ways: I’m bored because it’s so much work to communicate and subsequently stop making the time to see them or, more often than not, their immediate infatuation goes ice cold just as quickly as it heated up because although I may seem like a great idea up front, it seems they bite off more than they can chew.

Seeing that much porn was like a subconscious guide to what every man fantasizes about alone.

In the “all-bark-no-bite” camp, one guy really built himself up as if he was going to be the best dick I'd ever encountered. We had lunch and hung out a couple times for some work-related stuff before it was apparent where we were taking it. Later, over text and after he was fully aware of my time at Bang Bros, he tried to make sure I was “nasty” enough to talk dirty with him. In a domineering manner, he asked, “Can you handle it?” As I stifled the urge to laugh out loud, I tried to explain to him that, although it was years ago at this point, I once spent my days writing copy specifically in the service of making people like him pay for porn. Naturally, it fell on the deaf ears of his ego. I wound up having to talk dirty to him in order for him to get off. The sex was fine—consistent, lots of eye contact, and lots of missionary. Earth-shattering it was not. And, obviously, we didn’t end up working together.

Here’s something I didn’t expect: The excessive exposure to sex during my employment at Bang Bros made me averse to PDA or having a man sleep at my place. There was one guy I was seeing on and off while I was living in Miami and later in New York who I never invited to any of my places. Despite being the best lay to this day, we just weren’t there, ever. Further, it’s fairly safe to say that I can count on one hand the number of people in this city who have seen me kiss anyone in public. PDA, my home, and my friends are off-limits until we decide to not see other people. I don’t want to hold hands walking around SoHo unless you are my boyfriend. In my opinion, PDA takes the privacy away from underdeveloped or insignificant relationships. I share this experience with a former Bang Bros coworker who is also one of my best friends, who also recognizes a very similar change following our work there.

Then there was one very attractive, very busy man (I love busy men, nearly too busy to be involved) who seemingly embraced my “guardedness,” my anti-PDA stance and, at times, my excessive desire for privacy. He openly acknowledged that he was probably overwhelming me when he tried to discuss relocating to New York and the name of the child he wanted to have with me the morning after the first night we spent together. To be fair, I waited a while to sleep with him as he doesn’t live here, despite him being very transparent and very capable of discussing his feelings. It honestly scared me. By then it had gotten to the point where men that I was intimate with so easily turned me off with their emotional immaturity and haphazard communication around sex. So when I found one who was willing to openly discuss his feelings, I took that as a red flag rather than a relief.

Although I cautiously moved forward, I was prepared for the inevitable end to be as grand as his lengthy, emotionally demanding pursuit. The disconnectedness I felt following my time working in porn offered me a very realistic awareness of the big picture of each relationship. Whatever happens, I will get over it. And exactly as I predicted, this 33-year old threw the brakes on extra hard, blocked my phone number (never been blocked, there’s a first for everything) and unfollowed me on Twitter. The end stemmed from an argument he initiated regarding a tweet I made a joke about, citing it was too much pressure to be with me, and he didn’t care enough about himself to give me what I deserve. Dramatic, yes, but expected.

Just because my Twitter and my ’gram don’t rival Amber Rose-level thirst traps, doesn’t mean I’m conservative.

Working in porn has offered its benefits. It’s undoubtedly improved the sex I’ve had. Seeing that much porn was like a subconscious guide to what every man fantasizes about alone, allowing me to figure out what worked for me and own it. But would I say it’s improved my sex life? No. Yes, I am a world-class sexter, but it seems more strategic than natural. It’s like I have a cheat code that other women don’t. But unlike any other circumstance, a woman who knows a lot about sex is viewed negatively by most men. Just because my Twitter and my ’gram don’t rival Amber Rose-level thirst traps, doesn’t mean I’m conservative. I’m reserved. I’m observant. I decide what I reveal because it’s easier to not let everyone know what I know.

I want to believe you can be comfortable talking about sex and owning your sexuality, be successful in your career, respected by your peers, attractive, classy even, and totally comfortable with your partner’s hand gripped around your neck occasionally. I don’t consider myself an anomaly but, seemingly, men’s (and even society’s) perception is more black and white. It’s like you’re an IG thot or you’re not. You’re an erotic model or you’re not. You’re Rihanna or you’re not. You’re the homie, an ex-girlfriend, an editor, a sister, a best friend, and quite possibly someone’s side joint (you just never know). I know a lot more about porn and sex, in a business sense and content-wise, than your average 17-year-old with a WiFi connection and, more than likely, the average man. And I make them uncomfortable.

This feature appears in Complex's Feb/March 2016 issue. Buy a copy today!