FTND note: SuicideGirls is an account on social media platforms that posts extremely triggering images. We advise that anyone who may struggle with porn (and everyone else, too) to steer clear of looking this up. Cover photo by Timothy Paul Smith. 6 minute read.
Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.
This is a real life story we received from a Fighter who was involved with porn, prostitution, and stripping. Her story shows the reality behind these industries, and how closely connected they truly are.
I grew up in a very strict home. I wore skirts down to my ankles and if I even wore pants—they would end up in the trash. I was homeschool and nerdy, so I actually went to national competitions for my academic accomplishments. I never dreamed I would ever be “that girl.”
My father left when I was three years old, and it hurt, but I wasn’t as hurt until I found out that he sexually assaulted my oldest sister who had been a child at the time of the abuse. When I finally found him online, I remember begging him for an answer as to why he would do such a thing. The only answer I got from him was that I wasn’t old enough to know, and I kept pushing for answers. After, he got upset at me for continuing to ask, and ended up denying I was even his child. I guess that played a huge role in my downward spiral into things.
Fulfilling a fantasy
When I was 17, I started reading literotica obsessively because I wanted some form of love or even attention, even if it was just fantasy. It helped soothe this ache I felt, until my best friend and I started reading it together. The first time I got into doing porn itself, I remember taking almost nude photos tied to a black pole in her room. I had gone from an angelic “good “ girl to being the girl I had always judged.
I was hurt at 18 when I first had sex, and the community I was in turned its back on me when they found out. I wasn’t allowed to talk or be near the other teens, because I was a “bad influence,” so I ran away into an abusive relationship just to escape my suicidal thoughts. I was hurt, dejected, and soon after, I was hooked on porn while I dated around.
When I was 19, I had a boyfriend that screwed me over and took so much of my money, and after that, I was short on cash and desperate. My friend suggested I try stripping, and her boyfriend could set it up for me. It would only be a “one-time thing,” I remember thinking. He ended up taking everything from me, including the keys to my car and my apartment. He had total control over me, and I was scared. Soon after, he prostituted me out. He was my pimp, and I was stranded.
An all-time low
Three months, later I stopped the real job I had while being pimped out, and ran away to stay with my aunt. I told no one my address besides my close family and friends. I was scared every day my mom would find out what I had done, or the police would come and lock me away. I did change my life for a while, but my hurt and pain weren’t gone.
I wasn’t in control of my life, and even after that, I was still addicted to porn knowing full well how a lot of them on set were treated. Two years later, my life was actually going well and a detective called asking questions about the man who pimped me out. Thankfully, I was never charged with anything since I had turned my life around then. Then, when I was twenty-three, someone stole from my neighbors, and they blamed it on me. I got evicted because of that. Again, I was stranded and stuck.
I moved to Texas and was desperate, once again. I had boyfriend down there and I had just started dating before the eviction showdown happened, and I ended up with no job and no license in that state. At that time, my boyfriend was really into the SuicideGirls—this “pin-up” style adult photography site—and I thought it would fun to be one. Online, they had ads for “girls modeling,” so I went ahead and did it. I figured I wasn’t having sex, so what was the harm? Still, I felt empty and dead inside doing the shoots, but I really needed the money. I still hadn’t found a good job that could support me, and I ended up meeting a guy who asked me if I wanted to do webcam. I still had the same mentality—I wasn’t having sex with anyone on camera, so what’s the harm?
Little did I know, it was harmful to me. I kept going down this path and I think I subconsciously knew where it would end up, eventually.
The last straw
I ended up breaking up with the boyfriend in Texas, and I was mad and upset at how things had turned out between us. Again, I was desperate and needed money to get back to my state and my old job…so I agreed to do a porn video.
I remember sitting there before the shoot and freaking out inside. Like, what was I doing? To myself? To my future? I think the producers could tell I was nervous and wanting to back out. Before I knew it, they got me drunk and I ended up going through with it. I felt miserable and at my all-time low. How did I get here? Not only had I been pushed into prostitution, but I also had then done porn. I had been used, then let myself be used.
They asked me what I wanted to be called in that porn video, and all I could think was that I wanted to burn the studio down instead.
Now, I’m scared my husband will come across something I’ve been in and realize it’s me. He was the boyfriend in Texas, and he took me back after time apart and married me, but he has no clue about the porn. He does know I was blackmailed into prostitution when I was younger. But porn? If I can, I’ll take that to my grave.
Truth be told, I just hate porn so much. Whenever the memories come up, I wish I could erase them. It’s not something I can take back now, but I’m hoping that by sharing my story I can shed light on what life is like on the other side of the screen. Trapped, scared, and pushed into going through with it, my pain is someone else’s sexual fantasy. My desperation and confusion is someone else’s objectification. I hope that by being open about what happened, people can know the truth about porn. It truly does kill love.
Her story isn’t unique
This real Fighter’s story is the reality of too many who are in porn, whether it be through a webcam or on a professional mainstream set. Society considers porn to be a “healthy” outlet for performers who enjoy their work and get paid well, but exploitation experts and stories like these depict the reality—porn isn’t only harmful for those who watch it, it’s also harmful for those who create it.
And those who agree to perform in it often come from a place of total financial desperation, not ambitious aspiration.
Fighting for love means seeing porn for the exploitation that it is. Porn is never harmless, and it has victims on both sides of the screen.
If you or someone you know has been in the porn industry and want to share your story, please reach out to us.