It's a Wednesday night in late May, and Ryder Sky and her husband, Bill, are celebrating their third anniversary. They keep it simple and order in pizza. The next morning, Sky heads to work at a boxy, modern house in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles. Before long, backdropped by a floor-to-ceiling window, she lowers her mouth onto the erect penis of a sideburned actor who calls himself James Deen.

"That's beautiful," says a scruffy-faced director. "Now give me a jawbreaker."

Sky adjusts Deen's penis so that its head causes her left cheek to bubble. "Do you ever do anal?" the director asks her.

Nine hours later, Sky, a 24-year-old porn actress, pretty in a girl-next-door kind of way, returns to the cozy house near Studio City that she shares with Bill, who works as a driver for a talent agency. Inside their neatly organized home, mainstream DVDs are racked near a flat-screen TV and remnants of supper cool in a pot on the stove. Husband and wife are sprawled across the sofa. Bill, in his mid-thirties, muscular and handsome, wears jeans and a pullover; Sky's in plaid pajama pants and a tank top. If it weren't for the handblown glass dildo artfully displayed on their coffee table (Sky's name is etched on the bottom), this would be a standard picture of American domesticity.

Sky and Bill met in 2002 while working together at an independent film-production company. They have a seemingly solid marriage. It's only when Bill thinks too hard about what his wife's been doing in the year since she quit her job as an executive assistant to become a full-time porn star that things get difficult. Occasionally, he can't keep from mulling over the fact that he's home alone while she's getting it on with another man. "Sometimes I think about it when she works late and I'm going to bed," he says. "It's not negative, though. It's more like, eh . . . " He trails off with a what-can-you-do groan.

This is what it's like to be married to a porn star. While you toil away at a conventional job during the week, your wife spends eight hours a day getting plowed by guys with nicknames like Thug of Porn. There are the indelible mental images. There is the awkwardness of explaining to friends and colleagues—let alone to your parents—what she does. And then there's the fact that you don't even get to have sex with her all that often—intercourse is off-limits before a shoot, and afterward she's too tired and sore.

Bill describes his sex life with Sky as vanilla; "We schedule sex," he says. But that bothers him less than his wife's habitually telling colleagues she's "in a relationship" rather than married. "She hardly ever wears her wedding ring, even off-set," Bill says. "Why be ashamed of being married?" Sky insists that it's not a matter of shame. "I don't want to get typecast as a MILF," she says.

Otherwise sanguine as Bill seems about their arrangement, he shows some discomfort when he explains that his family doesn't know what his wife does for a living and admits that he doesn't go out of his way to tell coworkers about her occupation. At his previous job, a colleague saw a picture of Sky on Bill's desk and recognized her. "He said, 'Hey, that's Ryder Sky,'" Bill says. "I said, 'Yeah, she's my wife.' He said, 'You're a lucky guy.'" This hangs in the air for a beat before he continues. Being a porn star is what Sky wants. She makes good money, she doesn't get bossed around by a suit, and she has time to attend college (majoring in women's studies). He isn't going to stand in her way. "I want her to be happy. And it's a turn-on, in a way. On the downside, though, there are guys having sex with your wife."

But rather than avoid seeing her work, Bill watches Sky's movies religiously and stealthily posts positive sentiments on porn sites, occasionally attacking critics. "I don't look at it as sex," he says. "I look at it as a guy with his dick in my wife, but they're working and it's not emotional. She never orgasms in porn. That's for us. If it happened on the set, it would be a little weird."