Shelley Lubben believed she was ready to shoot her first porn film. She was in for a shock: ‘When I walked in, it’s like a dark satanic anointing just fell on me. It was creepy, it was dark, it was eerie, and it was nothing like prostitution. I knew I was in the devil’s territory; this was the final frontier of Satan.’
During the little satanic ritual that followed she hit rock bottom: ‘I sold what was left of my heart, mind and femininity to the porn industry and the woman and person in me died completely on set.’
Then something remarkable began to happen; Shelley’s survival instincts kicked in and she re-connected with the Christian God of her childhood and, after taking a long and slow period of rehab to recover from her ordeal, she started on a crusade to expose the reality of porn.
She has marketed herself as a charismatic public figure in the televangelist style, telling her life story in a confessional manner as an entertaining way to deliver her message. The hub of her operation is the Pink Cross, a charity that launches fierce grassroots activism and collects data on the industry.
There is one overriding truth to Shelley’s work; behind whatever thin veil of glamour they might masquerade with: porn stars are prostitutes. Delete any notion in your mind of a glamorous ‘porn star’ now.
Using Shelley’s research, I have written this article with the hope that it will act as a wake up call to men in the western world with an addiction to a quite pathetic act; self-pleasure to film footage of prostitutes at work.
Porn stars rarely get started out of a free-willed love of sexual exhibitionism. Along with poverty and broken families, childhood abuse is very common.
Shelley said: ‘Many actresses admit they’ve experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse and neglect by parents. Some were raped by relatives and molested by neighbors. When we were little girls, we wanted to play with dollies and be mummies, not have big scary men get on top of us. So we were taught at a young age that sex made us valuable.’
Often they are teenage runaways picked up by pimps. They only escape one circle of abuse by entering another; they can’t run from the pain so they go towards it. Fast forward a few years and they find themselves in a zombified state, drunk and drugged on a porn set as they re-live the same abuse they experienced growing up.
Shelley continues: ‘The same horrible violations we experienced then, we relive through as we perform our tricks for you in front of the camera. And we hate every minute of it.’
Crissy Moran was a famous and ‘successful’ porn star. Did she enjoy it?
‘I went through more heartbreak and became suicidal. I was taken to the hospital for panic attacks. I tried to overdose on xanax, strangle myself, and cut my wrists but not nearly deep enough. I was too scared of the pain. I prayed God would just take me away! I felt helpless. I even went to church for a few months but the guilt I felt was overwhelming that I would feel as if I were choking when I was at church. I had to choose and once again I chose to continue sinning. It was easier and I needed the money.’
The brutality of most porn videos is obvious to anyone who has seen one. A typical film consists of one or more huge guys on steroids having violent sex with a girl.
Porn users only see a well-edited film. They don’t see what happens behind the scenes; the girls that are crying and throwing up because they can’t handle the hardcore acts they are being told to do. Jersey Jaxin explains what awaits you on set: ‘Guys punching you in the face. You have semen from many guys all over your face, in your eyes. You get ripped. Your insides can come out of you. It’s never ending.”‘
A girl’s first time on camera can be horrific. She is disorientated under the bright lights and the sex is shockingly violent. The experience is more akin to an abusive alien abduction than a pleasurable sexual one. This is how Genevieve described her first scene:
‘It was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was very scary. It was a very rough scene. My agent didn’t let me know ahead of time… I did it and I was crying and they didn’t stop. It was really violent. He was hitting me. It hurt. It scared me more than anything. They wouldn’t stop. They just kept rolling.’
Her horror was in sharp contrast to the indifference of the crew.
‘I had bodily fluids all over my face that had to stay on my face for ten minutes. The abuse and degradation was rough. I sweated and was in deep pain. On top of the horrifying experience, my whole body ached, and I was irritable the whole day. The director didn’t really care how I felt; he only wanted to finish the video.’
Whatever artifice of control the girl had is now removed and Lubben has described what is left as ‘traumatised little girls living on anti-depressants, drugs and alcohol acting out our pain in front of YOU who continue to abuse us.’
The sex you see in porn is a lie; sexual enhancement drugs are used on set. ‘Drugs are huge. They’re using viagra. It’s unnatural. The girls will be on xanax and vicodin,’ according to Sierra Sinn. No wonder the sex is so vicious.
Perhaps there should be a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen noting what drugs the performers are on: Gary is on Viagra and coke. Candy drank half a bottle of Jack Daniels and then smoked some crack. Enjoy the film.
Most porn stars take drugs, in fact they are often on film to pay for their habit. The girls are traumatised and get high to numb their pain, as Becca Brat will tell you: ‘I hung out with a lot of people in the Adult industry, everybody from contract girls to gonzo actresses. Everybody has the same problems. Everybody is on drugs. It’s an empty lifestyle trying to fill up a void.’
However it is a void that cannot be filled, and as the drug abuse spirals more and more out of control their lives get dangerous. Brat said: ‘I became horribly addicted to heroin and crack. I overdosed at least three times, had tricks pull knives on me, have been beaten half to death – the only reason I am still here is God.’
Ask a young guy when he last saw a drug addict; chances are he pleasured himself while looking at one that very morning.
It should be no surprise that sexual diseases are at pandemic level in the porn industry.
With chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and herpes being passed from performer to performer there is a backdrop of sickness to a porn set. In fact, they often act as laboratories for the creation of whole new sexual diseases, such as the novel herpes of the throat.
When disease is added to the already traumatic nature of being a porn actress, it can all get too much, as Tamra Toryn found out: ‘I caught a moderate form of dysplasia of the cervix and later that day, I also found out I was pregnant. I had only one choice which was to abort the baby during my first month. It was extremely painful emotionally and physically. When it was all over, I cried my eyes out.’
Most performers develop some form of incurable sexual disease during their career and some are killers; AIDS is still loose in the industry. Every time a performer steps in front of the camera they are playing Russian roulette with their lives.
Lara Roxx got HIV on film without knowing the risks. She said: ‘We should think about these issues right now, to change stuff around to make this a safer f**kin’ business. It isn’t a safe business, and I thought it was, and I would not have done that scene with no condom with Darren James if it would have crossed my mind that those tests weren’t good and that I couldn’t trust him or the people he’s been with. I thought porn people were the cleanest people in the world.’
There is nothing clean about porn; it is diseased prostitutes having sex with other diseased prostitutes.
It is incredible to realise that it has become the norm for young men to grow up watching videos of trafficked women being abused for their amusement. It is legitimised by the silence of the media, education system and religious groups, who rarely denounce it.
A porn habit can terribly pollute a man’s image of women and sex. He will become cynical and believe that any nice qualities a girl has mask her true essence; the whore he sees on screen.
Shelley was that girl on screen. It nearly killed her. What saved her was spiritual elevation to a state where she could make judgments on good and evil. When she awoke to see demons running amok in the sex industry, she finally had the strength to leave it.
This is her most important lesson: to reclaim what is right and wrong and start imposing it on our amoral culture.
David is a 22 year old British man. He writes: “My generation have been conditioned to accept porn form a young age…. In primary school I even remember my classmates having soft porn material and phoning sex lines. Then, growing up watching porn online was sort of 15, 16 onwards all the way through university was normal for all the guys my age.
This was all normal to me. What set alarm bells ringing was that I went to a college in university with a diverse range of foreign students and met girls form India, Kenya, China, Japan, Ghana and so on and they were very different. They warmer, more gentle and caring than english girls and thought english guys acted like sexual animals. So I had to figure out why we were like that and porn is the main reason. I dated a chinese girl, she was caring and presumed we would always be together, for my english generation that’s dinosaur thinking, but when with her I suddenly felt tremendous stability for the first time in my life. She would care and love me no matter what and I felt free to focus on my two main passions, politics and music. I then realised how much pornography and lack of stable relationships were making men too obsessed with sex to focus on anything important. So I came to the conclusion porn was an attack on us.