Note: The following article, in three parts, is Chapter 11 from my book “The Dark Side of Technology: Restoring Balance in the Digital Age”. In this book, I have tried to be as clear and honest as I can be. It is my goal to shed Light on what are some of the darkest areas of our culture. Please let me warn you that, in this article/chapter, I do not hold anything back. This is an honest – and, please note, explicit – appraisal of the nature of pornography in technology today. It is important to me that you understand that as you begin to read.
Work Conditions in the Pornography Industry
The website www.antipornography.org describes common work conditions when Shelley Lubben was a porn performer:
As a former porn actress, she has suffered much at the hands of the porn industry and their illegal activities and hazardous work conditions. She was subjected to being forced into scenes with several male performers while there was blood, feces, urine, and seminal and vaginal fluid all over her body. These conditions are common on the sets while the performers are working. At times, the performers are made to stand on piles of rags.1
According to the Pink Cross Foundation:
- 66% of porn performers have Herpes, a non-curable disease.
- Chlamydia and Gonorrhea among performers is 10x greater than that of LA County 20-24 year olds.
- 70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females.
- Over 100 straight and gay performers died from AIDS.2
Television talk show host Tyra Banks featured a sex industry survivor named Tiana, porn star Sasha Grey and Dr. Drew Pinsky of MTV fame. The following exchange took place:
Sex industry survivor (speaking to Sasha Grey):
“…what you’re physically doing to your body… by the time you are thirty years old, you’re going to be wearing a diaper.”
“No, actually that’s not true.”
Sex industry survivor: “Because you’re not going to be able to hold in your bodily fluids.”
“Dr. Drew, tell us. He’s a doctor. Dr. Drew Pinksy: “If she doesn’t get prolapse of those organs, yes, she will be wearing a diaper. Yes.”3
If you are one who enjoys pornography, force yourself to think about these things the next time you start to masturbate.
Extremely High Drug, Suicide and Death Rate Among Porn Stars
One of the things that moved me as I studied the subject of pornography is the sheer number of porn stars that have taken their own lives. Following is a partial list of names and how they died:
- Anastasia Blue – died from an overdose of Tylenol
- Missy – died from an overdose of prescription pills
- Savannah – died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and drug abuse
- Chloe Jones – died from liver failure due to alcohol and drugs
- Emily Sander – murdered
- Eva Lux – died of heroin overdose
- Vanessa Freeman – murdered by prostitution client
- Naughtia Childs – overdosed on Acid and threw herself off a balcony
- Clarissa Doll – committed suicide
- Karen Lancaume – committed suicide by drug overdose
- Amber Sexxxum – died from a drug overdose
- Talia James – committed suicide
- Taylor Summers – murdered by a pornographer in a bondage scene4
- Karen Dior – died from cirrhosis of the liver and AIDS
- Camilla De Castro – leaped to her death from 8th story building
- Angela Devi – committed suicide by asphyxiation
- Susan Britton – committed suicide
- Juliet Jett – died of heroin overdose
- Rebecca Steele – died of drug overdose suffering from AIDS
- Celia Young – committed suicide
- Charlie Waters – hacked to death by a client
- Arcadia Lake – died of a drug overdose
- Linda Wong – died from drug and alcohol overdose
- Alex Jordan – died by suicide hanging
- Lisa de Leeuw – died of AIDS
- Elisa Bridges – died from heroin and meth overdose
- Megan Leigh – died from self-inflicted gunshot wound
- Joe Romero – died from complications from AIDS
- John Holmes – died of AIDS
- Kirby Scott – died of drug overdose
- Jon Dough – committed suicide from drug overdose
- Johnny Rahm – hanged himself
- Mike Henson – was HIV+ and overdosed on heroin
- Tim Barnett – hanged himself in his jail cell
- Kent North – committed suicide
- Cal Jammer – died from a self-inflicted gun shot5
Space does not allow for an exhaustive list of porn stars that have died in similar fashion.
Are you getting the idea that the happy faces on porn websites and porn DVD covers are just a little deceptive?
Creating New Lows
A group of experts testifying before a Senate subcommittee compared the addictive and “toxic” nature of pornography to that of cocaine.6 As with any drug, one spirals out of control because he or she has to have more and more of the drug in order to get the same high. The same is true of pornography. As an industry, pornography continues to stoop to lower and lower levels of degradation in order to feed the ever growing demand of addicted users around the world. So many things that were once considered unthinkable now have been given legitimacy within the porn industry. Some of the categories include: child pornography, bondage pornography, rape pornography, menstrual, incest pornography, bestiality, gay pornography, scat, and a host of others that are disgustingly unimaginable.
Dr. Sharon Mitchell, a former porn performer, now runs the Adult Industry Medical clinic that tests porn stars for STDs. In an interview with ABC’s Primetime Live, Dr. Mitchell describes where the industry is today:
It’s as extreme as possible. Its multiple penetrations, it’s fisting, it’s all about unprotected anal sex. A few people still do vanilla, regular sex but for the most part, it’s as kinky as they can get and as much as they can push it as possible. That’s the majority of the porn that’s out there and that’s what we’re dealing with.7
In an article titled “The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn”, Shelley Lubben writes: “We hate being touched by strangers who care nothing about us. We hate being degraded with their foul smells and sweaty bodies. Some women hate it so much they can be heard vomiting in the bathroom between scenes.”8
If all of this is not shocking enough, Christians are feasting on this smut in extremely high numbers.
xxxchurch.com is not a religious porn site. It is a very effective online Christian ministry that seeks to help those who are struggling with pornography. A nonscientific poll on their website found that 70 percent of Christians admitted to struggling with porn everyday.19 Read that sentence again.
More scientific studies show that “53% of Christian men consume pornography, 57% of pastors call pornography the most sexually damaging issue for their congregations, 51% of pastors say that porn is a temptation, 69% of pastors started looking at porn out of curiosity, and 37% of pastors say it is currently a struggle.”10
Not Just a Guy Thing
It has been known for a long time that, in general, males are more visually stimulated toward sex than females. Some experts are now learning that women’s brains are beginning to be rewired toward being more visually stimulated.11 In an article titled “Dirty Little Secret” originally published by Christianity Today, it was reported that 34% of “Today’s Christian Woman” online newsletter readers admitted to looking at Internet porn.12 I suspect that it is the males who are causing this rewiring because they are increasingly pushing females to view pornography with them. I also believe that after a while, addiction takes over and females will search out porn on their own.
Porn Goes Mainstream
Porn is so popular that we are now beginning to see porn stars in the mainstream media. For example, Sasha Grey (mentioned earlier in the Tyra Banks “diaper” excerpt) received a starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s, The Girlfriend Experience.13 Grey was also added to the cast of the HBO’s series Entourage.14 And what is Sasha Grey famous for in the world of porn? Many things including sadomasochism, which includes spitting, slapping, choking, punching, and sensory deprivation. Because Sasha is young, she is often cast in “young girl” roles aimed at the pedophile market.15 She is also known for drinking her own urine as well as the urine of other porn actors.16 I cannot list Sasha’s other activities lest I have to give this book an xxx rating.
In the mainstream comedy film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Zack and Miri decide to make an adult film to raise money to pay off large debt. In the movie, Traci Lords, an actual porn star, was enlisted to help Zack and Miri.17 NBC’s Saturday Night Live presented a skit titled Wong and Owens, Ex Porn Stars. In the skit, Wong and Owens decide to leave porn industry and get legitimate jobs. They are hired by a born-again Christian played by Alec Baldwin. As you can imagine, the skit contains numerous sexual references. When Owens and Wong discover that Alec Baldwin’s character used to be a famous porn star, they are in awe. At the end of the skit a scantily-clad cleaning maid enters the scene, Alec Baldwin reverts back to his porn days and begins to show Wong and Owens that he still has what it takes to do porn.18 This is a slap in the face to Alec’s brother Stephen, who is a real born-again Christian. Where is the respect? Porn is often talked about in mainstream comedies as though it is a normal part of life. The reason? For many, it has become a normal part of life.
Porn has found its way into mainstream advertising. New York Times Advertising Columnist Stuart Elliot, in a Newsweek interview said, “Pornography is now so widely available and is so much less, I don’t want to say ‘condemned’ because there is still a lot of criticism about it, but the idea that of being able to watch and see things online, making it so much more prevalent than ever before, I think that to some degree that is beginning to reflect itself in the content of advertising and marketing messages.” Interviewer Jessica Bennett invited Elliot to look at some advertising prints to see if porn was an inspiration. One mainstream ad after another was viewed and each one could have been taken straight from a porn movie (except the models were wearing at least some clothing). Advertisers that were observed included Sisley, American Apparel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Clinique. The Clinique ad shows a glob of moisturizing lotion on a model’s face which, in porn terms, is called “The Money Shot”.19 “The Money Shot” is where a man ejaculates on a woman or another man’s face.
In describing how pornography has gone mainstream, author and journalist Pamela Paul has a creative title for one of her papers: “From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm”.20 In her paper, Paul reports that porn is even popular with pre-adolescents with many being treated for pornography addiction.21
In Part 3, I will examine The Johns and the dehumanization of women, hooked teenagers, and most importantly, what we can do about pornography.
Brad Huddleston has degrees in Computer Science and Bible. He is an author, speaker, and Evangelist. He and his wife Beth travel the globe ministering in conferences, churches, schools, and retreats. Brad often appears on radio and television. His book can be ordered at www.bradhuddleston.com and www.darksideoftechnology.com, and he can be reached at email@example.com.
© 2011. Brad Huddleston Ministries. All rights reserved.
- “Ex-Porn Stars Exposing the Truth About the Harms of the Industry.” http://www.antipornography.org/ex_porn_stars_expose_truth.html. July 2010
- The Pink Cross Foundation. “Porn Industry Statistics.” http://www.thepinkcross.org/porn_stat_page. July 2010
- “Pt 3&4 Porn Star Sasha Grey on Tyra…” 21 Sept. 2007. Online Video. You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8dIxHSxeUk. July 2010
- Shelley Lubben Communications. “Dead Porn Stars.” http://www. shelleylubben.com/dead-porn-stars. July 2010
- Anti-Pornography. “Dead Porn Stars Memorial Video.” http://www.antipornography.org/dead_porn_stars.html. July 2010
- Martin F. Downs. WebMD. “Is Pornography Addictive?” http://men.webmd.com/guide/is-pornography-addictive. July 2010
- “Lara Roxx Interview-HIV Porn Scandal on Primetime.” 27 Oct. 2008. Online Video. You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=wpHTNsP7q7A. July 2010
- Lubben, Shelley. Shelley Lubben Communications. “The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn” “www.shelleylubben.com/articles/ TheTruth.doc. Online Document. July 2010
- Jason Rovou. Cable News Network. 6 April 2007. “’Porn & Pancakes’ fights x-rated addictions.” http://www.cnn.com/2007/ US/04/04/porn.addiction/index.html. July 2010
- X3Network. “Pastors”. hhtp://xxxchurch.com/gethelp/pastors/ stats.html. July 2010
- Rachel Zoller. Focus on the Family. “Girls Snared by Porn and Cybersex.” http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/teen_booklets/girls-snared-by-porn-and-cybersex.aspx. July 2010
- Ramona Richards. Kyria. 2003. “Dirty Little Secret.” http://www.kyria.com/topics/hottopics/womensissues/5.58.html. July 2010
- Mandi Bierly. PopWatch. 7 May 2010. Porn star Sasha Grey to play Vince’s girlfriend on ‘Entourage.’” http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/05/07/sasha-grey-entourage/. July 2010
- Diana Cowan. TV Guide. 7 May 2010. “’Entourage’ to end.” http://tvguide.ca/TVNews/Articles/100507_entourage_to_end_DC. July 2010
- “Pt1 Porn Star Sasha Grey on Tyra…” 28 July 2007. Online Video. You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxUq_zzvAaA. July 2010
- Ibid. Video Commentary
- Entertainment. “Zack and Miri Make A Porno.” http://entertainment. ie/DVD-reviews/Zack+And+Miri+Make+A+Porno/6235.htm. July 2010
- “Saturday Night Live: Wong and Owens, Ex Porn Stars.” 9 Dec. 2009. Online Video. Hulu. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/ x7ms9b_saturday-night-live-wong-and-owens_fun. July 2010
- Newsweek. “The Pornification of a Generation.” http://www. newsweek.com/id/162792. July 2010
- Paul, Pamela. Social Costs of Pornography. “From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm.” http://www.socialcostsofpornography.org/Paul_How_Porn_Became_the_Norm. pdf. July 2010