Former Porn Actress: The Lure of Pornography

By GospelVideo

My friend and fellow Treasure wrote the following paper on porn for a class she is taking.  She combines true life experience and empirical data to paint a thought provoking picture of the lure of the porn industry and the realities behind it.

 

The Lure of Pornography

by Dorian Tardiff

For many young women, the fantasy of the porn lifestyle is a great temptation. What they don't realize is that behind that fantasy, lives a harsh, dead-end reality.

I remember the first time I sat in a make-up chair at the studio. I remember the way the vanity lights warmed my skin & gave me a natural glow. Sitting in that chair, I felt that I had finally made it. I was a professional. People wanted to see me. People got paid to primp & polish me. I was a living doll.

They gave us fluffy robes & slippers to wear while they made us beautiful because they didn't want us to have any lines on our bodies from our clothes. The make-up artists were gifted in gab. They had a way to make us feel that we were their best friends & everything we said was interesting. They not only made us look good on the outside, but they made us feel good on the inside. I remember what it was like to watch the whole process unfold. I would come in with clean hair and face & watch as they transformed me into the ultimate bombshell beauty queen. While we were on set there was a make-up artist on standby to powder our noses & gloss our lips at the first sign of imperfection. The photographers knew how to make us look good, too... "Chin up, pop your hip" & my personal favorite, "No Fonzie thumbs!"

They would have snacks put out for us & later, an always delicious catered lunch. We would sit with the production crew & staff & I remember feeling so connected with these people, like I belonged. We would laugh; take behind the scenes pictures... just like the movies! At the end of the day, which was usually 6-8 hours, we would sign paperwork, grab some snacks, maybe a bottled water & then someone would escort us to our car. Usually, it took about 2 weeks to get our paychecks... $1,000 for a day's work. Not too shabby to be treated like a princess for a day. At the peak of my career, I was living in Malibu on PCH & driving a $36,000 car. I was flying all over the country with Gucci luggage. I had a little toy Yorkie who went everywhere with me. I was living the dream.

This is the same dream that lures so many other young girls. In a multibillion dollar industry & during a time in which more women are employed in the sex industry than at any other time in history, many of these girls are leaving home for the first time with stars in their eyes & desire for independence. These days, it is not uncommon for many young women to aspire to be porn stars. They feel empowered by their sexuality & the attention it earns them. Walk into any adult talent agency today & you will see that there is no shortage of young hopefuls, thinking they can be the next Jenna Jameson. The producers, directors & agents know it is in their best interest to woo potential talent. Everyone will tell you how great you are & because of that so many girls have a false sense of security & importance. They don't realize that in the business everyone is expendable. There is always going to be a steady supply of fresh, young faces to take your place. In the industry you better mind your P's & Q's, unless you want to be labeled as "difficult", "a train wreck", or "a bitch". If your body & face aren't in top condition, you risk being put on public blast when reviews come around. For a lot of young women, the false sense of security is shattered the first time they are not the center of attention on set, or the first time that they get sent home for being too fat. Many girls turn to drugs to manage their weight, cope with constant scrutiny & deal with a rigorous schedule.

At some point in every porn career, a performer will be asked to do something they don't want to on camera. I have heard of too many instances when the performer was not made aware of what was expected of them until they got on set. For example; a woman who has stated that she will only do girl/girl scenes, may be surprised when the producers coerce her into a boy/girl scene. Many times this will be the crossover point, due to the fact that their money and/or reputation are on the line. They can say no, but many do not. Sadly, a lot of agents will push their talent into performing outside their comfort zone. They threaten loss of representation & withholding of money. Many agents will stoop to degrading their clients as a means of manipulating them to get what they want. They will call them names & tell them they are worthless. The worse they can make these girls feel about themselves, the more these girls are likely to do to win back their attentions. The agent/client relationship is really not that different from that of a pimp/prostitute. Everything is great as long as you're making them money. This is not too different from any other job, except that the circumstances found in the porn industry are abnormal at best. The rigors of sex work can often cause injuries similar to those found in rape victims.

Eventually, the work starts to dwindle & the lifestyle becomes difficult to maintain. Most women faced with the challenge turn to escorting, or "providing" as it is called in the circuit. There is good money to be made for a porn star turned provider. Many men, who call themselves "hobbyists", are willing to pay top dollar to have a session with their favorite porn stars. These hobbyists take what they do very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they write reviews on a girls performance. They oftentimes will write these reviews with little regard as to how they might make these women feel. These women then have a choice; to either let it get to them, or become very thick skinned & cold. It really is no wonder that many women in the industry turn to more drugs to help them cope. When the time comes that a woman decides to leave the business, it is often met with a great deal of skepticism. It seems as if people have a hard time believing that a woman could, or would want to do anything else. A woman wanting to leave the industry faces a serious dilemma. What does she do with herself since she can't feasibly put "porn star" on her resume? How does she explain her absence from the real world? Even if she can come up with some sort of excuse as to where she's been for the past few years, depending on how well known she was in the business, she runs the risk of being recognized by someone. Not to mention the fact that in this day & age, the Internet is making everyone's personal & private information, public knowledge. It is no wonder why many of these women have such difficulty transitioning back into the real world.

Though it is difficult to obtain accurate data, the studies that have been done reveal that in comparison with the general population, women in the sex industry experience higher incidents of; substance abuse, depression & PTSD (rates comparable to war veterans). With these kinds of statistics, it is my belief that in treatment of drug and alcohol addiction, sex work should be dealt with as a co-occurring disorder.

Why, with all these statistics out there, would anyone make the decision to enter this kind of life? The answer is temptation & the promise of a lifestyle beyond their wildest dreams. The problem with that lifestyle is that while it all looks good on paper, no one really ever bothers to read the fine print. Porn isn't pretty. Porn destroys lives. Anti-porn groups say hundreds of thousands of men have become addicted to pornography, leading to anti-social behavior, and causing divorce and family breakups. Divorce lawyers attending a 2002 conference of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers claimed that excessive interest in online porn contributed to more than half of the divorces handled that year. In addition, they stated pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven to eight years earlier. Recent statistics state that between 2007 and 2010, at least 36 porn stars have died from HIV, suicide, homicide or drugs. Luke Ford, who spent 7 years writing an Internet gossip column about the adult industry, blames its "cool popularity "for luring in the 18-25 age groups. The accessibility & its ability to cross over into mainstream media, such as VH1 & HBO, the "fantasy" of porn is everywhere. With pole dancing workout classes being commonplace, and pop stars like Miley Cyrus incorporating stripper poles into her stage shows, how can our young women of today not be drawn in?

Pornography is not something we can ignore. We cannot take the stance of "out of sight, out of mind." We must all fight the war on pornography... if not for the sake of ourselves & our marriages, then for the sake of our children. It is for them that we must not take this situation lightly.

© 2013 I Am Treasure Ministry  

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Harmony Dust; lure of porn; porn; reality; sex industry