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  • Adam Butler

Porn Is Far More Dangerous Than You Might Think

The following article is comprised of 2 chapters from the book, "Monsters in the Closet: Exposing Real Threats to Children and Teenagers Within the Home"

 

Monsters in the Closet - Chapter 2: Porn Hurts Women


There is a reason that porn actors are just that—actors. The things on the screen are often not what they seem. In the film industry, everything is about the art of the movie. This is sometimes referred to as “movie magic.” Not everyone can pull out a camera and make a movie; it takes a director, a cast, a videographer, editing, and countless reshoots. Essentially, the actors are at the disposal of the director if they want to get paid. That is, the director gets to decide how the scene looks and plays out. Unfortunately, pornography is no different. In fact, it is often worse.

Actors in porn shoots are often abused at the hands of the directors or their components. In this chapter, I am going to focus on specifically the female roles in porn, being that they are possibly the most susceptible to abuse and even trafficking, as we will discuss later. Female abuse in porn is nothing recent, however. Author and professor, Nancy Pearcey, discusses the root of pornography this way:

Recent translations use the term “fornication” or “sexual immorality.” But those expressions are still far too tame. The word porneia comes from the word meaning “to buy,” and in the polytheistic literature of the day, it meant “prostitution” and “whoring.” And the practice of porneia was at least as dehumanizing then as it is today. In ancient Rome and Greece, a porne or prostitute was normally a slave. Sex slaves were often physically abused. [1]

Like I said earlier, porn is not about sex—it is about the presentation and the profit. Viewers will not be satisfied unless the video is presented right, with the correct amount of exaggerated acting. The way the industry achieves this is often not as simple as acting school, though sadly, women and men often have to attend these “sex acting” classes as well.[2] Both men and women have to learn how not to feel anything, in order to keep up the acting persona and fulfill the desired role. For this, they are trained to be able to withhold orgasm, the climax of sexual intimacy, in order to get through the entire shoot. They also must learn to suppress any romantic or intimate feelings toward the other actor, in order to keep with the theme of the video. While this process sounds simple (yet disturbing), it is a heartbreaking reality.

Former porn stars are often unable to establish lasting sexual relationships with people after having been involved in the porn industry for so long. In addition, porn viewers experience the same travesty. We will delve into the personal effects of porn later. The porn industry has hijacked the intimacy and relationship of sex and made it completely about a profitable show of extreme, brutal, and unrealistic behavior. Even so, modern culture has adopted this narrative, with a message of “Don’t be boring. Be like porn stars.”[3] This is the pornified culture that has been created and is still growing. A study on representations of orgasms during porn says this:

Social representations, which appear in a variety of media, can influence the way sexual experiences are perceived and understood. While pornography is not the only medium in which orgasm is portrayed, it is the most explicit, and it is widespread and easily accessible. As such, pornography is an ideal medium for examining representations of male and female orgasm.[4]

What the study is claiming, rightly so, is that what is displayed in pornography then becomes what is expected in real life. As a result, men who watch porn end up expecting their partner to behave as the female role in the film. Likewise, women who watch porn expect men to behave as the actors do. The women are also left believing they should act as expressly as the female actors. When these two false expectations collide, neither the male nor female in a sexual relationship is satisfied. The porn culture has created a one-sided representation of sex.

This is especially problematic, considering the vast number of children who are exposed to sex via porn. Hence, Pearcey notes, “From childhood, young people are awash in sexual imagery, but sexual intimacy is increasingly difficult to achieve.”[5]

In fact, researchers have analyzed the top 50 most viewed videos on one of the world’s leading pornography websites. In the videos, 78 percent of the males achieve orgasm, while a mere 18.3 percent of women orgasm.[6] The industry is adapted to the audience which views it the most—men; they are therefore the ones who benefit the most in the scripts of the videos. The lack of mutual pleasure demonstrates the false narrative porn has created—devoid of intimacy. In fact, none of the physical and emotional intimacies which should be experienced by a couple that loves each other are displayed in porn videos. There is most often no talking (unless it involves vulgar language, often demeaning toward the partner), no romance, no cuddling, no sign of a healthy relationship at all. Instead, women are often beaten and yelled at, to which they almost always respond with pleasure.[7]

So, what? Isn’t it her body, her choice? Shouldn’t people be allowed to do what they want with porn? Not when that choice may be severely harmful to the woman. The problem is that women in porn are often not doing what they want; they are being forced into extreme scenarios, most of which they are not aware of beforehand.

Porn hurts women. As mentioned before, most of what is seen on the screen is not real—it is acting. In order to keep with the theme of the film, and the theme of women in porn, women are often forced into extreme scenarios.

The following descriptions are graphic. These are real examples from actual former porn actors explaining the realities of the porn industry and how women are treated.

 

“[One particular film] was the most brutal, depressing, scary scene that I have ever done. I have tried to block it out from my memory due to the severe abuse that I received during the filming. The [male performer] has a natural hatred towards women, in the sense that he has always been known to be more brutal than ever needed. I agreed to do the scene, thinking it was less beating except a punch in the head. If you noticed, [he] had worn his solid gold ring the entire time and continued to punch me with it. I actually stopped the scene while it was being filmed because I was in too much pain.”

“It was the most degrading, embarrassing, horrible thing ever. I had to shoot an interactive DVD, which takes hours and hours of shooting time, with a 104 degree fever! I was crying and wanted to leave but my agent wouldn’t let me, he said he couldn’t let me flake on it. I also did a scene where I was put with male talent that was on my ‘no list’. I wanted to please them, so I did it. He stepped on my head […] I freaked out and started bawling; they stopped filming and sent me home with reduced pay since they got some shot but not the whole scene.”

“After a year or so of that so-called ‘glamorous life,’ I sadly discovered that drugs and drinking were part of the lifestyle. I began to drink and party out of control—cocaine, alcohol, and ecstasy were my favorites. Before long, I turned into a person I did not want to be. After doing so many hardcore scenes, I couldn’t do it anymore. I just remember being in horrible situations and experiencing extreme depression and being alone and sad.”

“I got the **** kicked out of me . . . most of the girls start crying because they’re hurting so bad . . . I couldn’t breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset and they didn’t stop. They kept filming. [I asked them to turn the camera off] and they kept going.”

“People in the porn industry are numb to real life and are like zombies walking around. The abuse that goes on in this industry is completely ridiculous. The way these young ladies are treated is totally sick and brainwashing. I left due to the trauma I experienced even though I was there only a short time. 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 full up a void. 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 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.”[8]

 

Those are just a few examples of the abuse women in porn endure. So, when someone objects with the claim that women do porn voluntarily, understand that oftentimes the acting required of them is not voluntary; rather, it is harmful. We cannot stay silent about the abuse women are enduring in the porn industry. Only by exposing the realities of the industry will anyone be motivated to speak out against its atrocities. This is one of the reasons I have written this book. People will not fight what they do not know exists.



 

Monsters in the Closet - Chapter 3: Porn Hurts Children


In October of 2019, the #1 most viewed porn video on one of the largest online pornography websites was titled, “My Step-Brother Brazenly Took Advantage of My Helplessness.” Laila Mickelwait, President and founder of New Reality International and author for Exodus Cry, revealed this shocking truth on Twitter. She commented, “in [the video], a young woman gets stuck & her brother rapes her while she says repeatedly “no,” “stop,” “I’m afraid,” & “it hurts.”

The sad truth is that this genre of content is not unique at all in the porn industry. In fact, “incest” videos were among some of the most searched among porn sites in 2018.[9] Even more disturbing, “teen” videos which involve underage teenagers, have also been topping the porn charts for 6 years! Finally, among others, a commonly searched theme is group sex scenarios.

Rape, incest, pedophilia, and group sex. These are some of the most viewed porn videos on the internet today.

An even more disturbing fact is that the Twitter account for the porn website tried to defend the actors in the video. They replied to Mickelwait’s Twitter thread, arguing that everything that happened in the video was 100 percent consensual. While this may be true, it reveals an ugly truth about large porn sites like this and the industry as a whole: they are not concerned about the images of sex being portrayed. They are not standing by, letting users upload their own content. No, the porn industry controls the type of content that is getting people addicted.

What does this mean for young people indulging in pornographic content? They are being fed blatant lies about sex, completely contrary to God’s design. But are there negative effects from porn consumption? Aren’t these things simply immoral fantasies that we ought not act on? Let us dive into the effects that porn has on the consumer.

A great amount of research has been conducted as to the link between porn consumption and sexual tastes. As was mentioned earlier, one of the leading themes of porn over the past few years has been “teen.” Right away, this should raise a major red flag. After all, “teen” is simply an abbreviation for “teenage” which is another word for adolescence. Why is teen porn such a popular theme? Secondly, one can only imagine that many are searching for videos containing younger and younger sexualized subjects.

In many cases, as porn-defenders would argue, the “teens” portrayed in the videos are not actually adolescents. Remember, we have already established that a majority of pornographic content is not real—it is exaggerated, unrealistic acting. To a degree, this is a good thing. But before you get too comfortable with the idea that teenagers are not actually participating in sexually explicit videos, let us take a look at the implications of such content.

Watching videos which even portray the idea of underage people engaging in sexual acts can lead to the desire and curiosity for more extreme scenarios. An article from Fight the New Drug delves into these facts: “Mental health experts have learned that when someone becomes addicted to child porn, they progress to younger and younger children. They seek out more sadistic or masochistic images, and in extreme cases, bestiality.”[10] The article goes on.

Dr. Julie Newberry is a psychologist who has worked with patients who have stories like the one above. In an article for PsychReg, she writes: “My therapeutic experience is that a person who views child abuse images, though committing a sexual offense, is not necessarily a pedophile. A pedophile has a primary sexual interest in children. I suggest that for some people, it is porn addiction rather than pedophilia, which is the cause. A person, usually a man, who has no sexual interest in children, can find himself ‘crossing the line.’ She continues on to describe her experience, saying, “[My clients] didn’t go onto the internet with the intention of looking at child abuse images, but nevertheless ended up there. They couldn’t understand why they continued to do something that disgusted them and which they knew was illegal. I suggest that each of them became desensitized to mild porn and sensitized to extreme porn. Their higher thinking brain, compromised by addiction, could not win the battle, even when it came to viewing child abuse images. Porn sex was too powerful a need and withdrawal too difficult.”

The problem is much deeper and more serious than a mere fetish. Porn is ultimately creating a culture of sexual tastes centered around sexual exploitation of teenagers and children. The New York Times published an article in 2019 which explained the remarkable number of images of child sexual abuse floating around the internet.[11] Could this be one of the contributing factors to the pedophilia movement? I say yes, undoubtedly.

It is real, despite the claims that many LGBTQ activists will utter. There is an ongoing movement to normalize pedophilia. In fact, in many instances this is already occurring. Many still recognize the egregiousness of the issue, but many are fighting against the backlash. After all, in a society that has redefined marriage and sexuality completely, why shouldn’t pedophilia be wrong?

One example is the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). This group is currently attempting to lower the age of consent. What is even more shocking is that, as an ACLU attorney, Justice Ruth Bader once advocated for lowering the age of consent to twelve years old.[12] Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House, marched with one of the leading activists for “man-boy love” in a 2001 San Francisco gay pride parade.[13] Even more recently, an article on Pink News, a UK-based online newspaper marketed to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, featured an article with the headline, “Gay couple Mark, 55, and Kayleb, 22, have been dating for 6 years and regularly get mistaken for father and son.” That means they began dating when Kayleb was only 16 years old! I believe the outrageous themes of hardcore pornography are most likely some of the most significant contributors to this terrible movement of sexual culture.

The sad reality, which many are either unaware of or choose to blind themselves to, is that sex trafficking and child sexual abuse are very real and very prevalent in America. The false pornography narratives being spread vicariously throughout the internet are merely fuel for the already raging fire. We as the church have an obligation to step in and act.





 

[1] Pearcey, Nancy. Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI. 2018.

[2] Szulman, Jennifer. “Pornography actor opens up ‘Porn University’ for aspiring adult performers.” Daily News. October 6, 2015. https://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/porn-university-opens-aspiring-adult-film-performers-article-1.2387263

[3] Owens, Alice. “My Rape Convinced Me That Campus Hookup Culture is Really Messed Up.” Verily. July 6, 2015. https://verilymag.com/2015/07/sexual-assault-campus-hookup-culture-date-rape

[4] Séguin, Léa J.et. al. “Consuming Ecstasy: Representations of Male and Female Orgasm in Mainstream Pornography.” Journal of Sex Research. (2018). doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1332152

[5] Pearcey, Love Thy Body.

[6] Fight The New Drug. “One-Sided Orgasms: Pornhub’s Most Popular Videos Don’t Show Mutual Pleasure.” Fight the New Drug. April 3, 2019.

[7] Bridges, Ana J. et. al., “Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update,” Violence Against Women, 16(10) (2010). https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801210382866

[8] Fight The New Drug. 10 Ex-Porn Performers Reveal the Brutal Truth Behind Their Most Popular Scenes.” Fight the New Drug. September 3, 2019. https://fightthenewdrug.org/10-porn-stars-speak-openly-about-their-most-popular-scenes/

[9] Fight The New Drug. “Can You Guess 2018’s Most Viewed Categories On The Largest Porn Site?” Fight the New Drug. July 9, 2019.

[10] Fight the New Drug. “How Mainstream Porn Fuels Child Exploitation and Sex Trafficking.” Fight the New Drug. December 9, 2019. https://fightthenewdrug.org/inside-the-industry-where-child-exploitation-pornography-and-sex-trafficking-collide/

[11] Newberry, Julie. “Viewing Child Abuse Images: Pedophile or Addicted to Porn?” Psychreg. August 8, 2017. https://www.psychreg.org/paedophile-addicted-porn/

[12] Keller, Michael H. and Gabriel J.X. Dance. “The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong?” New York Times. September 29, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/28/us/child-sex-abuse.html

[13] Whelan, Ed. “Slate’s Noah on Graham and Ginsburg: Wrong Again.” National Review. September 30, 2005. https://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/slates-noah-graham-and-ginsburg-wrong-again-ed-whelan/


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