*Trigger Warning: This article refers to graphic sexual content and features written references of real abuse.
More and more porn stars are speaking out against the porn industry.
In mainstream media, porn has a glamorized reputation as a tool of empowerment, sexual liberation, and self-discovery. However, when you take a moment to look behind the curtain and hear the real experiences of porn performers, you get a very different picture—one of abuse, manipulation, drug addiction, and physical and mental trauma.
Our 3-part documentary miniseries, Beyond Fantasy, takes viewers straight into the belly of the porn industry, through shocking interviews with both former and current porn stars and producers. The series reveals how ethical violations, coercion, and abuse are rampant in this globally influential industry.
Below are stories from five ex-porn stars, some of whom feature in Beyond Fantasy, sharing about some of the jaw-dropping and gut-wrenching experiences they’ve endured in porn.
Shocking Confessions From 5 Ex-Porn Stars
“I was an actress in the porn industry for about a year and a half from 2006-2007. During that time, I suffered tremendously at the hands of porn producers. I was coerced and forced to do scenes that I never agreed to. Some of this coercion included the threat of financial ruin and taking away my children, if I didn’t comply.
I was given drugs and alcohol before being filmed and then the porn producers would record me saying that I was NOT under the influence of any drugs or alcohol prior to filming.
I gladly accepted the drugs and alcohol because I didn’t want to feel the pain of penetration from an over-sized man or from being told to hold poses for still camera shots while being penetrated and choked.
I was even forced into doing “privates” which is just prostitution.
The porn producers would send me to their friends or a location of their choosing so I could sleep with them under the guise of it being a film.”
I was coerced into doing unspeakable things that I never agreed to but, if I didn’t, my children would not have been fed, clothed, and sheltered. I almost took my own life.”
“There came a point where [my talent manager] unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis and sat in a chair and said, ‘If you want to be a part of this industry, this is a part of it.’
And what he was doing there was basically seeing if I would be comfortable with exactly what was gonna happen to me in porn, where I was no longer in control of my body. Was I going to submit and do what I was told? Was I going to acquiesce to the demands of the producers and everyone else on set?
That’s sexual assault. But because it’s porn and because sex is the nature of the industry, sexual assault is the nature of the industry. It’s normal. This is exactly what goes on. He was right there, saying sexual assault is a part of this industry.”
Hear more of Aaron’s story here.
“I worked for a site called Facial Abuse…it’s basically a site that is extremely degrading and rough. It promotes explicit, horrible acts onto women…mainly to vomit…and be called names and to do really awful things on camera…I was 21 years old and confused so I agreed to do it.
I wish more than anything that I never shot for that company.
So the scene starts off with an interview type of thing…They start asking me questions like have you ever been molested as a child or touched by family members? They start asking these weird questions to dig for information that they can use against me… They wanted to break me.
The scene starts and right away its this bomb of physical abuse and I knew going into it that it would be like that but it still caught me off guard… I got called every degrading name you could imagine. They want to completely ruin a woman on camera and they will do anything in their power, legally, to do it. Maybe they overstep the legal boundaries at points…that’s their mission. There is no sense of respect in these videos…
I was physically and mentally exhausted, and emotionally, I was numb. I tried to really disassociate… I remember thinking ‘wow you made this decision and now it’s going to be on the internet forever and now it’s going to be a part of your past. Is this really what you wanted?’ but it was too late. If I stopped, I wouldn’t get paid.”
Brittni De La Mora
“I had minimal boundaries and let my agent book all my scenes without giving my input. I was 18 years old and looked very young when I first started performing in porn. The scenes I got booked for were basically child molestation fantasies. I hated it! They used to put me in schoolgirl outfits and pigtails, and they’d book me with much older men.
I got to a point where I had to put my foot down and eventually said no to those scenes. I refused to normalize pedophilia any more than I already had.
Read more of Brittni’s story here.
“After several years of doing porn and more than 1,000 films, I truly believed that I had ruined my life to the point of no return. So, I continued to say yes to the need to be accepted. I never was attracted to guys, but the idea of doing gay porn and the new level of fame, the money, the praise, and the attention all somehow made logical sense to me.
I was to the point that sex and shaking a hand were all the same to me. It didn’t matter if the other actor or actors were girls or guys, it didn’t matter if it was one camera or five cameras with a crew of 20, nothing mattered anymore. This went on for about six months, and then one day, I found myself wishing I would die.”
Read why Joshua left the porn industry here.
The Shattered Fantasy of the Porn Industry
Clearly, being a porn star isn’t as glamorous as the industry wants you to think. These stories fly in the face of the image normalized by the porn industry, but they only scratch the surface.
Thankfully, more and more porn performers are speaking out, and porn’s public image is beginning to falter in unprecedented ways. Still, the industry continues to prey on vulnerable individuals, especially girls aged 18 to 20, in order to produce teen porn—a genre which fetishizes child sexual abuse.
RELATED: 3 Reasons to End Teen Porn
In an open letter to the porn industry, published by Exodus Cry, 21 former porn performers are calling on all producers, directors, and agents within the porn industry to stop recruiting impressionable teenagers into porn, and raise the age of entry from 18 to 21.
Read the open letter and sign the petition in support! No teenager should be prey for an industry bent on exploiting vulnerability.