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Ex-Porn Star Confesses Hardships of Life After Leaving the Industry (VIDEO)

“I send a very strong message to young girls: Don’t do porn… You’re just going to have a life of crap in front of you in dealing with people, companies.”

In a recent viral video produced by a YouTube channel Real Women Real Stories, former porn star Rachel Marie Oberlin (also known as Bree Olson) breaks down what her life is like now that she has left the porn industry. Her main message for young girls?

Performing in porn isn’t worth it.

Oberlin, who estimates she was making up to $60,000 a month doing porn before leaving the industry, says transitioning back into society hasn’t been easy. Friends and job opportunities have disappeared, as her former life and career choice have prevented her from being accepted by society. She says people who recognize her in public call her names and say demeaning things to her.

“When I go out, I feel as if I’m wearing ‘slut’ across my forehead,” she said in the interview, which now has over two million views. The video gained traction by going viral on social media and has been the subject of much criticism.

Related: How Shaming And Victim-Blaming Porn Performers Adds To Their Mistreatment

“It’s almost as if career choices have consequences,” one top YouTube commenter posted in response to Oberlin’s claim that she is being treated unfairly.

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Not being able to face the world after porn

“I have really gotten to the point where there are days to weeks at time where I don’t leave the house because I don’t feel like facing the world,” she said.

In an email interview with CNN, Oberlin said she left the porn industry in 2011, after which she tried to launch several business that failed. She then moved from Los Angeles to Indiana, where she now works reluctantly as a webcam model, performing sex acts on live video streams for online viewers who pay to tune in.

Oberlin told CNN she agreed to do the video interview—recorded last year at her home in Los Angeles—to offer a real perspective on the porn industry and its effects on female porn performers. When Oberlin is asked in the video how she would like to be seen and treated by society, she breaks down.

Related: The Exploitation Of Mia Khalifa Is Proof Of The Porn Industry’s Predatory Business Practices

“I wish people would treat me like they would treat a married registered nurse with 2.5 kids in Indiana. That’s how I wish people would treat me,” she said, wiping away tears. “I would be so happy,” she continues. “I never even thought of that before. But it will never happen. That’s probably why I don’t think about it.”

Oberlin said the results of her work in porn has killed her dreams of having children.

“I’ll never put a child through this,” she said. “Even with the best private education and great parenting, the parents will talk and the children will hear and my child would be ostracized.”

The changes in her future plans because of porn

She also spoke of her goals for having a legitimate career have been derailed due to her past career choice.

“I’d love to go back to college and work for some amazing company, be it health care, children, some other type of firm, and I’d work my way right to the top — but I am hit with harsh realities constantly,” she told CNN.

“People say, change your hair color, move to another state. Ha! People know me by voice alone. I can’t run. I can’t hide. I have to face this. Anonymity is something I’ll never know. Even with all the surgeries, relocating, years of school, all it takes is one person to blow everything,” she said. “The only way to have power at this point is to own it. Yeah, I did porn, and thanks to this society that’s all I can say I’ve done.”

Related: Porn Performers Do Not Deserve The Abuse Many Of Them Experience, Here’s Why

She finishes the video by warning young girls not to get involved in the porn industry.

“I send a very strong message to young girls: Don’t do porn,” she said. “You’re just going to have a life of crap in front of you in dealing with people, companies,” she said.

She describes how companies can not hire you based on past experience or morality clauses. “These are things that teenage girls don’t think [about],” she said.

She ends by saying:

“There’s nothing wrong with porn, but how people treat you for the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.”

Related: If A Porn Performer Is Abused During Filming, Where Do They Report It?

Why this matters

Contrary to what Rachel Marie Oberlin says, there is a lot in the porn industry that’s not safe, healthy, or acceptable.

Too many performers don’t know or truly understand the extent of what they’re signing up for.

And even if they read on paper that they’ll be having sex on camera, they still might not have the full details of what that entails. There is a difference between consent, and fully-informed consent—and either of those can be revoked at any time for any reason. If these things aren’t truly able to be revoked, it’s not consent.

When performers sign on to work in the industry, many of them don’t fully know or understand what it will lead to—sexual abuse, physical abuse, coercion, injuries, disease, difficulty finding a different job after they leave the industry, among many other challenges.

Related: Joshua’s Story: Why I Left The Porn Industry After Winning Awards And Performing In Over 1,000 Films

No matter how they ended up on the other side of the camera, or if they’ve ever given consent, do these people not have the right to change their minds? Does anyone truly deserve to be sexually exploited? Should we not have compassion for those who find themselves in a situation in which they no longer want to be—despite their initial reason for involvement in an industry that doesn’t care whether or not they still want to be a part of it?

So many people who further dehumanize people in porn, even those who are well-meaning in the fight against exploitation, add to the pain that the toxic porn industry fuels in society by blaming porn performers for the abuse that they are put through, all because they “signed up for it.”

Let us not be a people who further perpetuate the toxicity porn produces in society. Let us be a people who fight for love and healthy relationships for everyone, whether they’ve been directly exploited at the hands of the porn industry or not.

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