Porn.

glam.riot's picture

Please be aware of the graphic nature of this post. If you are triggered by descriptions of violence and abuse, do not read it.

The Reality of Porn

I was inspired to write this after reading an article in an old magazine on Linda Lovelace, star of the most famous porno of all time, "Deep Throat".

I had always found porn to be distasteful, but I was not aware of how truly horrific the industry is behind the scenes until reading this article and doing more research. Linda was often beaten, raped, and even forced at gunpoint to perform unspeakable sexual acts by her boyfriend. Apparently - I have not seen this for myself and I don't wish to - heavy bruises were apparent on her thighs in the movie "Deep Throat" from her boyfriends' bashing.

This is not an uncommon occurance in the porno industry. Despite what some choose to believe, women in the porn industry are not sexually empowered and often do not have free choices. Many of the tanned blondes you might see in a porno film probably started in their mid-teens, after suffering horrific sexual abuse and violence their entire lives. Most of them are probably high on hard drugs in order not to proccess what is occuring to them while they are being filmed. They may be being raped right in front of you.

All the survivors I researched had very similar lives. They were all raised christian, most admitted to being sexually abused as children, and many had served in the military or had boyfriends or pimps who served/had served in the military. They usually engaged in illegal prostitution first, from about age 14 or 15, before moving on to do porno films as they got older.

These two industries are highly interconnected, with porn actresses more often than not engaging in street prostitution as well, or being forced too. Payment for sex is payment for sex, whether it's filmed or not.

Studies and Statistics

Studies conducted in the 1990's by Melissa Farley and Howard Barkan, find that fifty-seven percent of prostitutes reported a history of childhood sexual abuse, by an average of 3 perpetrators. Forty-nine percent of those who responded reported that as children, they had been hit or beaten by a caregiver until they had bruises or were injured in some way. Many seemed profoundly uncertain as to just what "abuse" is. When asked why she answered "no" to the question regarding childhood sexual abuse, one woman whose history was known to one of the interviewers said: "Because there was no force, and, besides, I didn't even know what it was then - I didn't know it was sex."

Eighty-two percent of respondents reported having been physically assaulted since entering prostitution. Of those who had been physically assaulted, 55% had been assaulted by customers. Eighty-eight percent had been physically threatened while in prostitution, and 83% had been physically threatened with a weapon....Sixty-eight percent...reported having been raped since entering prostitution. Forty-eight percent had been raped more than five times. Forty-six percent of those who reported rapes stated that they had been raped by customers.

78 percent of 55 prostituted women reported being raped an average of 16 times annually by their pimps and 33 times a year by johns. Twelve rape complaints were made in the criminal justice system and neither pimps nor johns were ever convicted. These prostitutes also reported being "horribly beaten" by their pimps an average of 58 times a year.

The average age to enter prostitution is just thirteen years old.

Porn Industry Survivors

I gleaned some of these stories from thepinkcross.org, a religious website, but not your typical "porn is bad because God says so" website - they provide well researched facts.

Kristenye Riddick

Kristenye Riddick's parents were alcoholics. She was molested at 12, gang raped by teenage boys at 13, and was a stripper and hard drug user by the age of 16. At 17, she started performing in pornographic movies. Soon after, she was forced into prostitution. She was raped repeatedly and forced to take drugs by clients.

Erin Moore

Erin Moore became a porn actress at 19, and was often abused on set - choked, slapped, and forced to continue by male actors even after she had said no. Porn industry agents lied to her by telling her she would be shooting a scene, when in reality she would be sent to perform an act of prostitution.

Becca Brat

Becca Brat became a prostitute and a porn actress at the age of 19. She would be hospitalized over and over again from the beatings she recieved.

Shelley Lubben

Shelley Lubben was kicked out of home at age 18, and stripped and prostituted to survive. She was threatened at gunpoint to perform sexual acts and was almost murdered many times. She wrote an article on her experiences, The Truth Behind Porn.

Quotes

"I say stop. Okay- if you say stop or ouch in a scene the director must cut! It eventually led to me crying saying out loud "stop, ouch, director stop the scene" the director did not stop the scene. And the man would not get off me and stop throwing me around like a doll."

"I've been forced to work when I am bleeding from injury. I've been locked in a room and not allowed to leave until I finished my scene."

"I remember one of the worst times I had sex for money, I had a customer that wanted me to have anal sex and he forced me into it. He raped me. I went to the police and the hospital but they didn't help me because I was a prostitute."

"On-site prostitution was allowed and encouraged, during working hours, in which the bouncers, having knowledge of the practice, would guard the booth for extra money and in case police were to arrive."

Final Words

Please understand that this is not a call to make the porn industry illegal. Anti-porn legislation is an ineffective treatment for the symptom, and does nothing for the actual cause.

My purpose in discussing the porn industry is to expose it's dark heart - the sexual exploitation and degredation of children. This is what must end if we truly want a future without sexual violence and prostitution.

"Incest is boot camp [for prostitution.]" -- Andrea Dworkin

Links

Prostitution Research

An interview with a young porn star [extremely disturbing, graphic descriptions of sex acts]

Jenna Jameson: 25 reasons not to be a porn star

Strip Clubs according to strippers: 1 2 3

Thepinkcross.org

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Comments

I thank you for the post and I take some differing views.

arvan's picture

Sex work is not painted with one broad stroke.  Sex work is not always violent or involuntary.

I have worked with and am friends with many sex workers for whom, their career is voluntary and rewarding. 

Yes, there are people that have been forced into sex work.  However, there are many men and women who choose sex work and enjoy it.  I choose to support the rights of both voluntary and involuntary sex workers. 

Yes, there are cases of violence in sex work.  However, violence occurs in other places of work like.  Violence occurs because someone chooses to take violent actions.  I am of the opinion that because societal norms allow us to look down on sex work, we are encouraged to blame the sex for the violence.  In my view, this is a responsibility dodge.  The perpetrator of violence is responsible for the violent act - not the industry, not the sex act and not god.

I am in no hurry to see sex work removed from the planet.  I won't mind seeing the abuse of sex workers go the way of the dinosaur.  I will gladly part ways with police that rape sex workers.  I will happily bid farewell to medical and religious campaigns to abuse, ignore and vilify sex workers.  I really won't mind seeing the end of politicians scaring people with tales of moral horror as a means to garner votes or support for their abuses of power.

I oppose slavery and abuse and I don't much care whether the slave is forced to clean floors, dig for diamonds or perform sex work.  I don't lay the blame for the evils of slavery at the foot of sex.

I often speak with people that conflate adult films (porn) with prostitution and slavery.  It is very common actually.  However, they are neither synonymous nor inseparable.  Each one is a separate conversation. 

Finally, I believe that each person must make their own personal choice for how they live inside of and define for society - their sex, gender, body.  This can include the freedom to say 'no' and 'yes' to sex work - by their own volition and for their own reasons.  I can think of no greater gift than to hear and respect each other as we declare for ourselves, how and who we will be as we live.

Thanks for this thought provoking post,

-arvan

 

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