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More than 80 Men were Sexually Exploited and Secretly Filmed for This Guy’s Porn Site

By November 27, 2019 No Comments
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Cover image credit to Metro.UK. 4-minute read.

This #NoPornovember is all about recognizing the individuals who inspire themselves, their relationships, their communities, and our world to be porn-free. Click here to check out what this month is all about, and remember that Change Begins With One.

Did you know the porn industry has tight links to sex trafficking, systemic abuse, and human exploitation?

When it comes to spreading awareness on porn’s exploitative nature and the countless victims harmed in its making, there is often a widespread assumption that to be exploited by the porn industry, the victim needs to be female.

While it’s true that porn constantly victimizes and exploits women and girls, it isn’t true that they are exclusively the only ones. Men and boys are also exploited, objectified, and used for the sake of online sexual fantasies—just like women.

One unsettling news story highlights this reality.

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Porn site thrived on unsuspecting men’s videos

Bryan Deneumostier, 34, who has been sentenced to three years in prison, helped run a Spain-based online porn site known as “StraightBoyz” for at least four years, investigators believe. The site, featuring over 600 videos, hosted footage of straight men tricked into engaging in sex acts on film.

Related: Did You Know Men And Boys Can Be Victims Of Sex Trafficking, Too?

Deneumostier advertised himself on Craigslist under the screen name “susanleon33326” as a bored housewife married to an Army service member. Inviting men to his house near Homestead Reserve Air Base outside Miami, Deneumostier welcomed consenting partners dressed as a housewife, put blindfolds or blacked-out goggles on them, and engaged in sexual acts with them.

If the men asked if their encounter was being filmed, he “assured them that ‘she’s’ married to someone in the army and she would never photograph or video them”—though, every time, the cameras and recorders were rolling. Deneumostier posted these videos on his StraightBoyz site, advertising them to a gay male market as real footage of straight men being duped into sex with a man.

Related5 Male Ex-Performers Share Their Real Experiences Doing Porn

According to a Homeland Security investigation, at least 80 of the men captured on film were Deneumostier’s victims, having no knowledge of their sexual activity being filmed and posted online.

One victim, giving his testimony during Deneumostier’s federal court case, expressed how deeply his life had been affected by these videos:

“My parents started looking at me a lot differently—they actually saw the videos…I was a laughingstock…When I saw those tapes, I even attempted to take my own life.”

Prosecutors said some of his victims were drugged or unconscious, and some were tied down during the sexual encounters.

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Male exploitation is a real problem

This story is one example of how men, too, can be harmed by porn’s exploitative nature.

But the examples go on and on.

Male porn performers often suffer under horrible conditions on set, exposed to disease, violence, and coercion. When they try to speak up or address their circumstances, their voices are often dismissed because of the stigma that men should be “strong enough” to deal with things and therefore cannot be victims, and to be a male porn star is to “live the dream.”

RelatedInside The Industry: Performers Speak Out On Trafficking And Exploitation In Porn

What about revenge porn? We tend to think of angry ex-boyfriends posting revenge porn videos of their old girlfriends. But according to research from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, men are just as likely to be victimized by revenge porn. Out of 4,200 surveyed participants, 22% of the women and 23% of the men had experienced image-based abuse.

It’s also worth noting sex trafficking stats. The widespread assumption is that if a child is trafficked for sex, it’s probably a little girl. But what is the truth?

A 2008 study from the John Jay School of Criminal Justice found that 45% of child trafficking victims in New York City were boys.

A 2013 ECPAT-USA report asserted that the “scope of [the commercial exploitation of boys] is vastly underreported.”

And in 2016, the US Department of Justice commissioned a study that concluded that about 36% of children trafficked in the United States are boys.

Related: Revenge Porn Victims Have This Big Challenge To Overcome: Search Engine Results

Unfortunately, there seems to be less social support for men and boys who are trafficked or otherwise exploited by the porn industry. The historical script has been that women are vulnerable and men are aggressors—thus, when boys are abused, raped, or trafficked, they are often reluctant to come forward and seek help out of fear of their trauma being taken lightly. Or worse—they might have to face the social suggestion that if they were part of the sex industry, they must have wanted to be there.

But as the story of Deneumostier and his victim who attempted suicide proves, men caught in dehumanizing exploitation can suffer trauma, shame, embarrassment, and severe mental and psychological damage.

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Our culture’s numb response to abuse

And it all comes back to porn. Porn fuels the demand for sexual exploitation, creating a market need for online content that can bring personal pleasure. It does not care about the humanity of the men and women portrayed, and it is often difficult to tell whether someone on screen is acting voluntarily or under compulsion.

Related: Their Private Photos Were Shared Non-Consensually To Pornhub, And Now These Women Are Fighting Back

Porn also normalizes and legitimizes situations of abuse and exploitation, socially “taking the edge off” of these harsh realities, encouraging our society to gloss over real cases of victimization rather than take them seriously.

Porn is so normalized in our society, so desensitized to explicit videos of others being used as a tool for personal use, that real exploitation can be met with humor instead of empathy. Deneumostier’s victim, the one who testified in court, said when the news broke about his non-consensual sex tapes, he was “a laughingstock.” He was seen as an adult man—in other words, someone above being exploited—who got duped, not a victim who was wronged.

Related: Pornhub Reportedly Profits From Nonconsensual Videos And Real Rape Tapes—Here Are The Latest Examples

We can do our part to support and defend male and female victims by spreading awareness about porn’s tight links to sexual exploitation. Working to decrease the demand for dehumanizing material is a step toward justice and dignity for those men who have been, are, or will be systematically exploited and dismissed.

Consider sexual exploitation to be an epidemic? Consider sharing this article and starting your own conversations.

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