START THE TALK. "WHAT AN EX-PORN STAR TAUGHT ME"



If your son is over the age of 12, I might encourage you to do what I did, assume he has seen porn. Perhaps he has sought it out himself or maybe he was shown it by a friend, or some snippet has been texted to a group of boys. There is a very high likelihood he has seen porn before, trust me. When my son was in 7th grade I began with "Ok, I know from the research I have been doing that you likely have seen porn. You do not need to confirm or deny this fact. I want you to know that I am not mad at you and its very normal to be curious about sex and bodies and all this stuff at your age. It is really important however that you understand about porn, and we discuss what happens to your brain, body and view of women when you see porn. We will discuss a lot of this at another time. However, I am just curious, what do you know about porn stars?"

Now your question can be framed differently, like "I just saw this TED talk or my friend just found porn on her son's phone and it seems like a lot of kids at your age have seen porn...."

Once you have broached the conversation let them tell you what they know, which is likely not a lot. Many porn stars have instagram accounts and they follow them (it's true) and most porn actors talk about how much they love sex and the industry is great and they love XYZ sex acts. Porn stars are coached by their agents and managers what to say...they do not share the dirty truth of the industry because it would break the illusion of what the industry needs our kids to buy into and get addicted to. Here is the truth as told to me by my dear friend and former adult actress, CiCi. It is heartbreaking but illuminating. While I did not share all of this with my son it helped me to understand the underbelly of a sad industry and share the truth with my son.

I am posting the story here so you can pull the parts of it that help you to talk to your son or daughter so they understand what they are seeing and the impact it has on the lives of the 2D women in the videos. Plant the seed, as I mention in my TEDx talk it had the greatest impact on him as he considered watching porn...

(all names have been changed, by me out of respect for my friend who wrote it and is trying to start a new life without the world knowing her past. Porn actors can never leave their past in the past. Eventually everyone finds out what they did and they become social pariahs...forever!)

What comes to mind when you imagine a porn star? She’s probably very attractive, and definitely insatiable—she just can’t get enough. She’s always happy, smiling and turned on. And she never says “no.” Ever.

This is exactly what the porn industry wants you to believe. It has been lying to women and to the public for decades, and it’s very good at what it does.

It’s no secret that porn is a multi-billion dollar business. And in a society like our’s, money talks. “Big Porn” is rich, powerful and influential. It has many millions of people fooled into believing that not only does it provide a valuable service to society and harmless entertainment to the public but also that it fosters an empowering environment for its performers.

The porn industry is a lie. It is not only manipulating and exploiting women, but also YOU, the consumer. They only reveal what they want you to know. For example, it flagrantly portrays unprotected sex in 95% of its content, but you don’t hear about the staggering statistics on performer STI contractions every year in the industry.

When a girl enters the business, agents and producers are quick to assure her safety with the prospect of stringent bi-monthly testing for infections like gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV. They know perfectly well but don’t tell her that she will very likely contract herpes and venereal warts while working. And they never bring up the HIV scares, which do happen.

So again, here’s this beautiful stranger on your screen. She probably has perfect hair and makeup, a big sexy smile and wants to please. Who wouldn’t be turned on? But what if I told you that she might not actually be old enough to consent to this? What if I told you that what led her to that porn set that day was the sheer desperation to get her next hit of whichever drug she’s addicted to? What if she doesn’t want to be there, but fears violent retaliation from her pimp or boyfriend if she refuses? What if she just has to keep a roof over her head for the night and doesn’t see any other way.... And what if she is in a lot of pain in that video? Ask yourself if you think any of this is sexy. Is it a turn-on?

If you knew you were enjoying something at someone else’s expense, would it be the same? Maybe these girls don’t mean anything to you because they’re distant 2D images flickering on your screen...you don’t know anything about them. And you heard that they love sex and make a ton of money, right?

But imagine that she is someone in your life you really care about. A woman you love, like your mom, sister, cousin, girlfriend or even best friend. How would you feel knowing that people out there were hurting and humiliating her and plastering it indefinitely on the internet for the world’s entertainment? What would it be like to know that someone was profiting from her suffering and degradation?

Maybe we’d be a little more relatable if you knew our real first names. There’s my friend, Jacqui, for example. She was considered to be successful in the business, and I’m sure some of you have seen her before. It’s probably not as enjoyable to watch when you know that she’s dead. She hung herself in her closet last year. There’s my friend Autumn, too. You can still see her videos today and surely well into the future. She is now HIV-positive.

Jessi and Sofie both passed away from overdoses a couple years ago.

Josi was one of the first girls I ever worked with in porn. High on pills, she crashed her car on an interstate three years ago, killing herself and her 4-year-old son. This is the tip of the iceberg, not just from my personal account and those of girls I know but also that of historical statistics.

I am lucky to be here, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to share this with others. I hope it makes a difference.

My name is CiCi, and I’m a human being just like you guys, just like everyone else. I am not “meat” nor “it” nor “that” nor “pussy,” as I was so often referred to in the industry. I have a soul, which now bears the painful scars and the heavy weight of memories from that time in my life. For the record you guys, you men, you are not the problem. You are an invaluable part of the solution to this.

I invite you to reflect on any porn habits and/or attitudes you may have. With the advent of tube sites, porn no longer thrives on subscriptions but rather on your “clicks.” The greatest threat there is to the industry is your critical thinking. They don’t want you to think for yourselves. So I invite you to seek the truth and truly empower yourselves and others. I cried when I read this account...so honest and sad. Kids, teens, boys, girls are human, they do not know the cost to the porn actors, when they do it is hard to push that information and truth aside when they consider clicking on a porn the next time.

xoxo Good Luck!

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©2018 by STEPHANIE BOYE

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