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One of the porn industry’s most popular performers has spoken up about how the growing appetite for abuse porn is damaging new female performers who are being required to take part in increasingly extreme scenes in order to get work.

Formerly the most searched porn performer on the world’s most popular porn site, Lisa Ann left the industry in 2014 and is one of the few who have successfully transitioned into mainstream media. She now hosts a Fantasy Football show on Sirius XM radio. Unlike most performers whose careers within the industry often span just months or a few years, Ann performed in porn for 20 years and appeared in over 500 adult films.

In various interviews, Ann is now talking about how she’s witnessed that the industry is leaning more and more heavily on extreme and hardcore videos.

Drugs, porn, and abuse all go together

Speaking to The Guardian, she claimed the difficulties some porn performers face after leaving the adult industry often relate to the growing demand for extreme porn, and performers abusing drugs.

“There were times on set with people where I was like, ‘This is not a good situation. This is not safe. This girl is out of her mind and we’re not sure what she’s going to say when she leaves here,’” she said. “Everyone’s a ticking time bomb, and a lot of it is linked to the drugs. A lot of this new pain comes from these new girls who have to do these abusive scenes, because that does break you down as a woman.”

Related: 10 Ex-Porn Performers Share Their Most Disturbing Stories From Within The Industry

The demand for abuse scenes was addressed in the first installment of the documentary Hot Girls Wanted, which included a raw look at the amateur porn industry and what it’s costing countless of unsuspecting 18-year-old girls. The doc includes disturbing footage from a scene constructed to make a sex act appear forced on a female performer.

In an industry where pay rates have continuously declined, extreme acts also pay more, with the most radical commanding up to $2,500 per scene.

Related: Hall Of Fame Porn Star Speaking Out After Being Stomped/Choked On Porn Set

Rashida Jones, producer of Hot Girls Wanted, sat down for an exclusive interview with VICE to address the harmful porn culture that has been created in our society. She described the cycle young women face when they start making amateur porn that she says encourages them to participate in more extreme scenes.

WATCH: 5 Celebrities Share Their Experiences With Porn

“Generally if you’re 18 and go to Miami, you’re done in a year, because there’s not enough amateur jobs for you. You can get some other jobs, but the niche stuff pays more, and the niche stuff is harder on your body,” she said.

“The pay can be $800, $1,000 a shoot, but they still have to pay for hair and nails and make-up and travel and clothes, ” Jones said. “Plus, they’re trying to live in a lavish way, so it ends up not being cost-effective. It’s not worth it.”

RelatedWhich Is Better: Paying For Porn Or Watching It For Free?

“Then you have to make further negotiations with yourself, like, ‘Will I do torture porn? Will I do fetish porn? Will I do […] forced blowjobs?’ and things that you never expected to do,” she said.

Violence is mainstream

Basically, the high demand for more extreme, violent sex acts and fewer performers who are willing to do them means relying on amateur performers or fresh, young recruits. And on top of that, piracy and free tube sites make working conditions often unsafe, putting the content before safety or health of the performer.

“The focus is on quantity over quality. Day rates are often much lower than in mainstream film and television,” popular former performer Chris Zeischegg said in an interview with Forbes. “The reality that performing is no longer a way — for most people — to make a lot of money. I see very little upward mobility.”

RelatedPopular Male Porn Performer Talks About The Difficulty Of Being Part Of The Industry

And it only seems to be getting worse. Just a few years ago, a team of researchers looked at 50 of the most popular porn films — the ones purchased and rented most often. [1] Of the 304 scenes the movies contained, 88% contained physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. On average, only one scene in 10 didn’t contain any aggression, and the typical scene averaged 12 physical or verbal attacks. One particularly disturbing scene managed to fit in 128.

The amount of violence shown in porn is astonishing but equally disturbing is the reaction of the victims. In the study, 95% of the victims (almost all of them women) either were neutral to the abuse or appeared to respond with pleasure. [2]

In other words, in porn, people are getting beaten up and they’re smiling about it. How is this healthy?

Why This Matters

The reality is, as public demand has moved away from pay-to-view sites, decreased profit margins also mean the studios can’t afford to take care of their performers as well. That results in poor medical care, more forced or coercive practices, and more questionable business practices in general. Major pay cuts impact the performers the most heavily, often causing them to resort to more extreme, violent sex scenes that pay more, like what Lisa Ann, Chris Zeischegg, and Rashida Jones are talking about.

These scenes have higher cash value but more serious impacts on the physical and mental health of performers. And as these industry pros have said, to get through the pain of these shoots, many men and women in porn resort to drinking, pain-killers, and hard drugs.

We fight to raise awareness on the damage of porn because clicking on porn is clicking on the exploitation of individuals and normalizing this harmful behavior and content. Increased views and web traffic equals an increased demand for sexual abuse and exploitation, and that’s not okay.

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Citations

[1] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C. & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression And Sexual Behavior In Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women, 16(10), 1065–1085. Doi:10.1177/1077801210382866
[2] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Sun, C. & Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression And Sexual Behavior In Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women, 16(10), 1065–1085. Doi:10.1177/1077801210382866. See Also Whisnant, R. (2016). Pornography, Humiliation, And Consent. Sexualization, Media, & Society, 2(3), 1-7. Doi:10.1177/2374623816662876 (Arguing That “Pornography’s

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