The Dark Reason Porn Stars Keep Dying

0 Shares
Instagram

Who is going to believe a porn star who says she was raped?

That question highlights the silence these women suffer from, which inevitably leads to a downfall in their mental health.

Four young porn performers have been found dead since November 2017, most recently 20-year-old Olivia Nova who was found dead in her Las Vegas home earlier this week, the cause of her death is still unconfirmed.

Nova had only begun her adult entertainment career in March 2017, but the young actress’ resume included films with Brazzers, Naughty America, FTV Girls, New Sensations and Digital Sin.

Shyla Stylez, from Canada, died in November aged 35 when she died suddenly in her sleep.

23-year-old August Ames died on December 5. Ames, whose real name was Mercedes Grabowski, died from unknown causes, although a close friend told Hollywood Life that the star had taken her own life after a reported battle with depression.

Yuri Beltran died aged 31 less than two weeks after Ames, on December 14. She was found dead of an apparent drug overdose.

Olivia Nova/Instagram

Mental health issues have always been a big problem in the porn world, but the recent spate of deaths of such young porn performers raises serious questions for how women are treated in the industry.

Steve McKeown, a psychoanalyst, founder of MindFixers and owner of The McKeown Clinic, told UNILAD:

Nearly 90 per cent of women in the sex industry said they wanted to escape, but had no other means for survival and also experienced post traumatic stress disorder at rates of nearly 70 per cent equivalent to veterans of combat war.

We spoke with Dr. Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, and Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality, about why this is happening, and how we can stop it.

Here is Gail’s TED Talk where she talks about growing up in a ‘pornified’ culture:

Simply put, the current #MeToo campaign, though proving positive for women in other industries, silences women in the sex industry more than ever.

Gail told UNILAD:

Just imagine everyone is telling their stories of rape and assault and being listened to, and you know full well that if you come forward, they’ll just say ‘what did you expect, you whore’.

We live in a world where a woman’s consent, to what is often sexual torture, is being preserved from the paper contract she signed when she was 18-years-old.

As in any industry, there are different sides to the coin. Independent porn stars in Europe such as Harriet Sugarcookie own their own porn businesses, controlling every aspect of their porn performing and career.

Amazon

However, the majority of the mainstream porn that you see on sites like Pornhub or Brazzers is created in studios controlled by male directors, where women are often sought from all over the world by pornography ‘suitcase pimps’, and exploited.

Gail goes on to reveal a harrowing fact, gathered from her interviews with porn performers, that one of the first things directors do when a new woman come to the set is contravene one of the rules put in place on her contract, as a way of breaking her.

Dr Gail Dine, Founder and President of Culture Reframed, told UNILAD:

What I do know, because I’ve been doing this work for many years and worked with many women who are in the porn industry and have exited it, is that given the violence that happens to their bodies, given the diseases they get, they come away with PTSD because they’re raped regularly on the porn set.

Just because they’ve signed a contract doesn’t mean they’re consenting to what goes on at the porn set. A lot of them are not prepared for what’s going to happen to them. A lot of them are young, they think they’re going to be a ‘pornstar’ like Jenna Jameson was. They’re not prepared for the violence.

Gail made the point that most of the adult actresses should not be called ‘porn stars’, but instead ‘porn performers’, due to the fact that most of them never make it to the level of being a ‘star’ and are simply forced to perform, before ‘ending up in poverty’ and ‘lucky to leave the industry with the clothes on their backs’.

The well-oiled PR machine of the pornography industry paints a picture that most of the women in it are ’empowered’ and enjoy shooting porn, and maybe some of them do, but Gail made the point that ‘all porn actresses will say that’ while still involved in it.

Gail, a professor emerita at Wheelock College, Boston, explained:

To have three men, one with his penis in your mouth sideways, one in your vagina, one in your anus, your two hands are jerking off two other guys, so you’ve got five guys surrounding you, your being rammed with viagra-strength penises, and then they ejaculate all over your face. How would you even get up after that off the floor? Think what it takes.

You get up, you’re covered in five men’s semen, every single orifice is sore and red raw, and the next day you have to get up and do the same thing again, and you have to pretend you like it, and you know that men are jerking off to that image. It’s an unbearable emotional experience.

If you interview any woman who is now working in the porn industry, she will always say she loves it.

She explained that you have to speak to women who are out of the industry, because while they’re inside they’ll never tell you, ‘first of all because they’ll get fired, and emotionally, how are they going to acknowledge what’s going on if they’ve got to get up tomorrow and go to a porn shoot?’,

Gail continued:

So many women I’ve spoken to have said to me ‘you know if you asked me two years ago, I would have given you the best story you’ve ever heard about how great it is and how empowered I felt’. It’s all bullsh*t. It’s a way to to protect yourself psychologically, from the violence that’s being done to you.

Gail has been told by numerous porn performers that after they go to their first porn shoot ‘something changes in them’ – a response that she translated as meaning ‘they become a rape victim’.

These women are experiencing this constant emotional and physical trauma of sexual assault but are ‘forever silenced by virtue of some decision you made at 18 to go into the sex industry, not understanding the ramifications’.

Gail has created an informed consent form, highlighting the lack of transparency in the current contracts given to women starting out in the pornography industry.

???

A post shared by August Ames (@msmaplefever) on

They sign a contract that gives consent to the following:

  • Losing control of the most intimate part of your life for as long as you live and after (because the images will live on long after you die). Exposing your body to untold millions of porn consumers who will view you as a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore.’ You will never be able to regain control of these images and they will be owned and distributed by and across the porn industry. Should you decide that you no longer want the pornographic images circulating across multiple platforms, you will have limited to no legal recourse to prevent this, and most likely, you will make no money beyond the initial payment
  • The possibility of the following happening on the porn set: Anal/Vaginal/Throat rape, Vaginal or Anal Tears; Rectal Prolapse; Miscarriage if you are pregnant; Being forced to doing sex acts you clearly stated in your contract that you
    would not do; Damage to surgically implanted breasts that could cause rupture and would need removing; Developing PTSD because of the ongoing abuse to body and soul.
  • Catching numerous STDs, many of which are antibiotic resistant.
  • Being attacked on social media by the pornographers if you sue to prevent further distribution of the images. There is a strong possibility that they will set their lawyers on you, dig into every part of your past and present life, smear you on social media as mentally unstable, a ‘slut’, a criminal, and so on.

If young women were given this sort of contract, do you think they would sign it?

Society struggles to digest the concept that though a woman is taking part in a pornography video, she is not consenting.

Gail challenges men to watch the video after you’ve ejaculated and when you’re not aroused. She challenges you took really watch it and look at the girl, and think if she actually wants to be there and what pain she is in.

The distinction made between women inside the sex industry and those outside is an issue that contributes to their isolation and silence.

Resting bitch face in full effect. #zoolanderface #yurizanbeltran

A post shared by Yurizan Beltran (@yurizanluv) on

Gail said:

All women are potentially vulnerable to being pulled into the sex industry. We’re all one pimp away from the sex industry. As a society we like to think there’s a group of women who just happened to be different to the rest of us.

They want to be fucked, anally, vaginally, orally, they want to be ejaculated on, gagged, eyes rolled back, they’re just a bunch of whores, sluts and cunts, they’re not like you. That is a complete lie.

There was no woman ever born who should be separated off from the rest of us and be given all the creepiness and sexual violence that these men perpetrate.

When you watch porn, you’re buying into an industry based on the mistreatment and sexual torture of a lot of women.

The current mainstream industry, as it exists now, is leading to a worrying decline in the mental health of women involved because they’re completely silenced.

We need a #MeToo campaign for women in the sex industry who currently have no one to bear witness to their pain.