Don’t Shame Me For My Porn Career – I’m Paying for College

A student known only as Lauren (not her real name) is a porn star and student at Duke University.  She uses the proceeds of her career choice to pay tuition.  She believes that she will leave Duke University with a good education, ready for law school, and be debt free.  Good for her on being debt free.

The problem has become that someone on campus saw on of her “films” and has outed her as a porn star.  She feels she is now being bullied for her choice.  She tried waitressing, but apparently that didn’t work out as well for her:

“I worked as a waitress as a job for a year in high school,” Lauren told Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle. “Not only did it interfere with my school where I was barely sleeping and wasn’t doing my work, but I also was making $400 a month after taxes.”

She also found working as a waitress humiliating.

“I felt like I was being degraded and treated like s***,” Lauren said.

I don’t know, I managed to waitress/bartend my way through college and never felt degraded.  Where are going as a society that a college freshman feels that being a waitress is more demeaning that taking your clothes off for a rough sex porn site?  That is the better alternative?  

“For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy. When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day’s work. It is my artistic outlet, my love, my happiness, my home,”

How often is she tested for STD’s?  That is something that you don’t need to take into consideration when you are working as a waitress.  At least that was not my experience.

Sexually transmitted diseases are highly prevalent in the pornography industry. Among 825 porn performers screened in 2000–2001, 7.7% of females and 5.5% of males had Chlamydia and 2% overall had gonorrhea. Dr. Sharon Mitchell confirms the STD prevalence in an interview with Court TV, in which she states: “66% of porn performers have Herpes, 12-28% have sexually transmitted diseases and 7% have HIV.”

Well if that isn’t something that should bring joy to your life, I don’t know what is.  Oh, but it gets better.  This from a male porn star:

“Drugs are a major, major problem in my business. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. I can’t tell you the number of girls who have disappeared and dropped out of the business because of their drug problems. It is unbelievably sad to think about, and seeing some of them fall into a downward spiral hurts me more than others. But I think we all can agree that a huge majority of drug users will never change unless they get professional help. I have seen all manner of drugs on set, at parties, in cars, everywhere. If I had to guess, I would put marijuana use at 90 percent of ALL people involved in the industry (performers, directors, crew, agents, drivers, owners, office workers, etc.). I have been on a set where a girl has passed out during a sex scene with me (she was abusing oxycontin). Just recently a girl overdosed on GHB (a party drug that is a clear odorless drug that doesn’t mix well with alcohol) on set. I have seen a girl win a prestigious AVN Award, not show up to accept the award, and then fall into the throes of drug use that caused her to lose at least 50 pounds and drop off the face of the earth. Why is drug use so prevalent in our business? Well, let’s figure that out. First of all, remember that the business is populated largely with girls aged 18-21. And the majority of those girls are uneducated (many haven’t graduated high school). Add to that the fact that many come into the business because they have no money and are working at menial jobs like fast food places. So you have young girls who are uneducated with very little money entering the business.

We can now move onto the violence in the industry.  Now, I have never seen a porn film, but I would assume that most of the violence is generated towards women.

Former pornographic performer Alex Devine shares her violent experience and writes:

“Donkey Punch was the most brutal, depressing, scary scene that I have ever done. I have tried to block it out of my memory due to the severe abuse I received during the filming. The guy, Steve French, has a natural hatred towards women in the sense that he has always been known to be more brutal than EVER needed. I agreed to do the scene thinking it was less beating, except the ‘punch’ in the head. If you noticed, Steve had worn his solid gold ring the entire time, and continued to punch me with it. I actually stopped the scene while it was being filmed because I was in too much pain.”

There is a very heavy emphasis on rougher, more sadistic sex, with slapping, spitting, violent hair-pulling and scenes of extremely abusive hardcore sex acts. In one film, the man forces the woman’s head into a toilet during the final scene, a technique that seems to help him achieve climax.

Just lovely.

From Australia:

A recent University of Sydney study, in which two professors surveyed more than 800 men, found that excessive porn consumption was reported by almost half the respondents (85 per cent of whom were married or in a relationship), and was harming their professional success and relationships.

The numbers were dramatic: 47  per cent of the male subjects watched between 30 minutes to three hours of porn per day, one in three said it harmed their work efforts, and one in five would rather watch porn than have sex with their partners.

So Lauren, do you still want to believe that you are just being free and enjoying your “kink”?  What you are doing is adding to the misery of people all over the world.  You are complaisant in the act.  She says she doesn’t like the whole virgin/whore dichotomy that goes on at Duke University.  Ok, that may very well be a problem.  But is men viewing the violent nature porn that you star in helping with that?  I have this feeling it is actually adding to it, not solving the problem.

From feminist Naomi Wolf:

Young women tell me that hair-pulling, and even pressure around the neck at orgasm, are normal parts of courtship sex these days. These are ‘porn cliches’, as one young woman put it. I am not surprised by these shifts because  we all know about the pornification of society.

I believe more voices would be speaking out if the new research on this issue were better understood. What we’re not being told – and this is a view which many scientists now confirm, but too few ordinary people understand – is that porn use poses health problems.

Porn actually promotes the notion that women are sex objects.  It doesn’t cure it.  Your little money-making venture dear Lauren is robbing more and more young women of real experiences of what sex should really be about.  Two people coming together to enjoy each other.  Instead, we now have a generation of people who don’t see mystery in sex.  They don’t see it as something that is to be enjoyed between two consenting adults in a relationship based on mutual love and respect, but nothing more than scratching an itch.

Lauren was also upset by the one of the papers who interviewed her noticing that she had a very expensive designer handbag as part of her new-found riches from her job.  Yes, she may be making good money.  Yes, she may graduate law school debt free (her career goal after getting a pre-law degree from Duke).  Yes, she is far from the only one who has chosen this path in order to pay the bills during college.  But, don’t be surprised years from now that you can’t have children due to the STD’s you received.  Don’t be surprised that many a decent man will not be willing to marry or raise a child with someone with this past.  Don’t be surprised if you fall into a deep depression when you a woman tells you how your films shattered her marriage.  Remember Christie Brinkley’s very public divorce?  Someone was starring in those porn films her ex-husband was watching.

You keep doing what you’re doing because you don’t want to demeaned by being a waitress.  It is really not that big of a deal.  The “bullying” is really the least of the issues your career choice will bring to your life.