5 Times The Actresses in Porn Were Forced To Perform

“Masturbation is healthy. Porn can be empowering. Open sexual dialogue is important, masturbation and pornography are not victimless crimes, they are victimless pastimes.[1]

A pervasive and damaging point of view, the idea that porn is OK because the people involved in its making are there willingly was conceived as a way to justify our world’s escalating fascination with voyeurism.  The trouble is, it isn’t very hard to find testimonies from ex-porn stars detailing their horrific experiences in the industry, experiences which, even though they are taking place simultaneous to filming, due to fear, intimidation, and 21st-century editing, never make it to your screen.  The smiles and sounds of supposed enjoyment are meant to convince the audience, but the turmoil in the stars’ minds portrays anything but.

  1. “I was in California, and I had like a blowjob scene, and I was like, for sure, $300 for a blowjob scene, that’s nothing, you go there, and you don’t even have sex, cool. I go there and he’s like ‘Oh, yeah, it’s a forced blow job,’ and I’m like what? Just one guy, one little camera and a tripod.  I don’t…f**k. I was scared. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know if I could just f**king leave, like, then what? Then I understanded like that’s how like rape victims feel like they feel bad about themselves.  But then that’s where it all comes in, like, did I really want money that bad?”[2] The now former amateur porn star Ava Taylor was eighteen when she said this in the documentary “Hot Girls Wanted”.  This example shows how even when they walk into the situation willingly, it can easily turn into something that they’re not comfortable doing, but there’s no recourse for a porn star in this situation to get out of the situation. Like many porn stars, she is a small girl; nothing compared to a grown man. Sometimes, they do things just to avoid a worse situation. On top of that, the “you don’t even have sex,” doesn’t sound to me like someone who thoroughly enjoys their job.
  2. “It’s really not that hard to take advantage of an 18-year-old that’s f**king on camera. I mean girls whenever I was in the industry would always say yes to anything so. If it had a dollar sign in front of it, sign me up.”[3] This quote from the now former amateur porn actress who went by Stella May speaks to how this notion got started in the first place-the stars are getting paid, so they’re choosing to do it. What the porn industry hides, however, is its reliance on the naivety and emotional damage of the performers coming in, and their fear of retribution afterward. She uses the words “take advantage of” for a reason: young girls are targeted not just because their youth is what sells, but because they are more easily emotionally and physically manipulated into doing things. Another question this brings up is, how fair is this compensation? Is any price tag enough for some of the things they’re asked to do?
  3. “That last part I f**king hated. There is nothing sexually arousing about that. A lot of porn is like that. You’re just like ‘this is so just work right now.’ In the amateur porn world, you’re just processed meat.”[4] A lot of people will say that the actress who stays in porn brings the consequences on herself, but consider how society views porn stars. Once they’ve made the leap into porn, it’s really hard to get out. They’re not building any skills that are marketable outside the industry, and in any other position, once someone finds out they were in porn, their careers and lives are ruined. Saying that it’s ‘just work’ drives home that it’s often not fun, despite what’s shown on the screen.
  4. “There was no crying allowed. I saw what happened to other girls who cried and wrecked scenes. I wasn’t going to get yelled at or worse, punched in the face.”[5] Shelley Lubben describes a lot of awful moments in her book, and she doesn’t pull any punches. She was in porn for a lot of reasons, and clearly one of them was fear.
  5. “Don’t believe the in the big top fantasy. Porn is nothing more than fake sex, bruises and lies on video. Trust me, I know.”[6]

There are a lot of reasons to be against pornography, and for me, the treatment of the actors and actresses happens to be a big one. There’s nothing fun about sex that’s coerced, and when I hear people spout the opinion that porn is OK because everyone is enjoying themselves, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. The truth is, the only way you can believe that porn is just people having consensual sex is to not pay any attention at all beyond the poorly constructed façade on the screen in front of you. The fact that many scenes are forced is pretty obvious to anyone who actually cares. As one of my male friends put it “if people bothered to look into the eyes of the actresses, they’d see the truth.”

 

[1] Michael Leahy, Porn University What College Students Are Really Saying About Sex on Campus, (Chicago, Northfield Publishing, 2009), 59.

[2] Jones, Rashida. Hot Girls Wanted. Netflix. Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. 2015.

[3] Jones, Rashida. Hot Girls Wanted. Netflix. Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. 2015.

[4] Jones, Rashida. Hot Girls Wanted. Netflix. Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. 2015.

[5] Shelley Lubben, Truth Behind The Fantasy of Porn The Greatest Illusion On Earth, (Shelley Lubben Communications, 2010), 89.

[6] Shelley Lubben, 7.

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