Posted by Julia Daniels | For Families, For Men, For Women, Pornography Facts
Reading Time: 13 minutes

Is legal sex work actually safe and empowering for both porn actors and viewers? So we’re told.  But there are porn industry secrets you should know. Underneath the glamor, there’s a dark, upside-down, dangerous world. 

One major concern? A large 2016 Barna study reported that 68% of young adults aged 24 and younger don’t believe porn hurts themselves or society. Both our research and our customers note – this is a lie! Porn and the porn industry actually ruins lives, creating a public health harm.

Porn Industry Secrets – Always Marketing Profit Over People

Exploitation of children and online safety measures seem to matter very little to big businesses. 

Did you know Google has only recently pulled the search term “child pornography” off of their front page search engine results? 

It’s a minimal victory for lobbyists, though. Search terms for violent porn or other forms of “teenage” porn still generate on the coveted first page of Google results, driving profits for the mega porn industry. 

This ongoing allowance of search terms related to child sexual abuse material (CSAM) means Google helps fuel the demand. 

Sadly, many other large, powerful corporations are equally guilty.

The “dirty dozen” of corporate America and beyond

Hypersexualization of women and children – including softcore porn  – also drives profits for Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, and Visa, to name just a few. 

Every year the National Center For Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) puts out their Dirty Dozen list of the top 12 corporate offenders. 

For example, though Netflix made some positive changes, they still regularly promote movies displaying hypersexualization of women and children. After all, “sex sells”! Year after year Netflix remains on the Dirty Dozen list. 

What about the “dark side” of Twitter? 

“Pedophiles and other predators go to Twitter to trade in criminal content such as child sexual abuse and nonconsensual pornography. The platform is rampant with accounts and posts functioning as advertisements for commercial sex—including prostitution.

Twitter fails to adequately respond to its victims, claiming it cannot be held accountable for disseminating illegal material. Twitter has even flatly refused to remove verified child sex abuse material from its site when asked by victims. Twitter must prioritize implementing robust and proactive efforts to remove sexual exploitation and abuse from its platform.” National Center On Sexual Exploitation

Corporate America’s dismal response to porn as a public health harm 

Being a responsible digital citizen should be a core value of every corporation. Common sense changes should be made swiftly to protect children!  

What is needed? Parental safety controls, prompt removal of online CSAM, and robust age verification systems for porn sites, for starters.  But since large corporations are well-funded, motivation to change is slow.

Instead we have lax parental controls in online spaces like Discord, a very popular spot for teens and children.

Unbelievably, we see big companies fighting to keep non-consensual porn materials or even CSAM. 

Currently NCOSE is taking Twitter to court to sue for failing to deal with child sexual abuse materials after being asked to remove them.

 “Twitter not only kept the post up with over 160,000 views: they profited from it. The more engagement there is with a tweet, the more money Twitter makes on it. It was not until an individual with the Department of Homeland Security stepped in on Doe’s behalf that the content was finally removed.” – National Center On Sexual Exploitation

You have to wonder, too. Why is it so hard to require robust age verification restrictions for porn sites like the UK passed in 2019? Why doesn’t our federal government act swiftly to protect children from accidentally accessing porn online? 

That leads to the next question. 

What about individuals earning their living from the porn industry? 

Are they enjoying a truly liberated, sex-positive life? Or is that a myth?

Real People, Real Pain – Porn Actors Spill Porn Industry Secrets

Unless you talk to actual people who’ve worked as actors in the porn industry, it’s difficult to know the truth. What is it like to walk in their shoes? We credit Fight The New Drug for their ongoing interviews with former porn actors. 

Porn appears to be glamorous, sexy, and empowering to women. Underneath the glitz, terrible realities hide.

Unfortunately, most enter the field out of a need for quick “easy” money, only to discover porn trade secrets they were completely unaware of. Unlike high-profile, well-paid porn actors, most are barely scraping by. 

Or even worse, young women sign up for a one-off “modeling” opportunity, only to find they’re accidentally involved in a porn film. Finally, many experience hidden side effects of this lifestyle – the dark secrets of the pornography industry. 

Mental health challenges and porn actors – which comes first? 

Do people choose to act in porn because they’re already struggling with depression? Or, does becoming a porn performer cause depression? Psychologists and medical research disagree. However, news reports are telling.

For example, in 2018 an Australian newspaper reported on five deaths of young porn stars that occurred during a twelve week period. Pills were discovered by one porn star’s body. Another young wife and porn actress committed suicide after being harrassed online, her husband stated. 

Unfortunately, these instances aren’t anomalies. Even psychiatric studies note that sex workers face higher-than-normal mental health challenges. 

Unlike prostitutes, porn actors have great legal protections, correct?

Most porn videos have an indefinite shelf life – sold over and over again – but the actors don’t receive any residual income.  Additionally, the lifestyle mentally and physically burns out porn actors quickly. 

Transitioning back into mainstream society is an uphill battle, too. A porn actor’s online reputation follows them for years.

Their pictures linger on the internet, making them very vulnerable to employer discrimination.

Protected or not? Testing, STDs, and porn actors 

Though routine, regular testing is legally required, it’s not fool-proof.
Porn stars spill the truth about their lifestyle and STDs: “After you’ve been in this business for a while, you have herpes. Everyone has herpes.” –
East Coast Daily

Psychiatry Online.org reports that, “Adult film performers regularly engage in sexual acts without barrier protection against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Some performers are routinely tested for HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia; however, screening does not prevent transmission of disease, because exposure can occur between tests, and HIV in particular has a window period during which results can be negative. Transmission of HIV and a high incidence of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and genital warts have been reported among male and female performers.”

sad woman porn industry secrets

Who to believe? Abuse secrets of pornography

Mistreatment in the porn industry is common but sometimes difficult to prove. 

For example, do porn actors actually get coerced for scenes that they didn’t want to do?

Yes.  Being blacklisted and out of work is a legitimate threat,  if an actor refuses to do a scene that’s harder than initially agreed to, according to the U.K’s Daily Mail. 

Other women have also come forward to speak about directors who suddenly demanded additional sex acts they had not been warned about in advance. Marion Lew, 32, who documents her adult film career on Twitter, said: ‘The legal system has a very difficult time recognizing sexual assault’.”

Again, these are not isolated instances. Other porn actors have spoken out, too, about sexual assaults experienced while filming porn. 

Speaking up and speaking out about abuse against a powerful person or organization requires a mega-dose of courage.

Understandably, then, victims of sexual or other kinds of abuse may hide for years before being willing to tell their story. But why? Consider these reasons for delayed reporting.

  • First, any type of abuse is demoralizing. A person with a damaged sense of self-worth is often stripped of courage to fight back
  • Next, the human body literally wants to protect itself from further harm, so its “fight, flight, or freeze” mechanism kicks in when faced with something that triggers memories of abuse. 
  • Finally, many fear retaliation because their abusers are still alive, holding positions of power, wealth – or both. 

So we owe it to victims of abuse who share secrets of the porn industry to believe their stories, even if their stories surface years later. 

Very few have much to gain by telling their story. 

In fact, victims often speak up in order to help someone else. And even more telling, a victim may speak up while expecting to experience backlash and stigma for speaking out. 

Porn actors often suffer in silence and fail to report injuries. 

“I lived through the force, fraud, and coercion of the porn industry when I was trafficked into it at 14. That feeling of being alone against a set of men who want to see you raped is a level of force you cannot imagine. Some men who watch porn want to believe that all porn is consensual, but that is just a fantasy. In my experience, free will on a porn set is usually an illusion created so we will be blamed or so we will blame ourselves.” – Jewell Baraka

Another victim – an anonymous porn actor – spoke out against the dark secrets of the porn industry in a Reddit forum. 

What she reveals about porn trade secrets is backed up by the various stories of other former porn actors.

Distilled down, here are a few things she wants you to know. 

  • Rape scenes in porn are often real. She personally experienced non-consensual sexual violence on set and needed intense therapy to recover. Other porn actors also experience signing up for a scene that turned far more violent than they agreed to.
  • Social media posts by porn actors are an act. Porn actors appear happy, ask for support, and lie on social media to “get the sale”. 
  • Many porn actors barely make any money. Stigma and poverty keeps them stuck in a  job they often no longer want.
  • Young, impoverished Asian males are targeted and exploited for gay porn scenes.
  • Speaking out as a former porn actor is costly. She gets hate and death threats.
Exploitation Porn Industry Secrets

Sex Trafficking – A Dark Porn Industry Secret Connection

A “model” opportunity for quick, easy money

Enticed by flattery and the glamor, young women sometimes sign up for a one-off “modeling” opportunity, only to discover they’re in a porn film without understanding what they’ve given consent to.  

Most major US porn sites are owned by a huge private corporation called MindGeek. However, MindGeek was recently sued by a group of young women. At least 50 women were fraudulently filmed for porn – without their consent – by an amateur porn site connected with Pornhub. Some were only 17 at the time of filming.

Children caught in the cross hairs of porn and sex trafficking

Sadly, it took a 2020 New York Times article by Nicholas Kristoff to force Pornhub to remove thousands of child rape videos and “clean up their act” a bit. Unfortunately this type of porn is ongoing in other porn venues. 

Survivors are haunted for years, because their videos can resurface anywhere online.

“That’s a recurring theme among survivors: An assault eventually ends, but Pornhub renders the suffering interminable.” – Nicholas Kristoff, The New York Times

Trafficking is all around us. Often, pimps work with a local porn filming company targeting vulnerable young women. Some girls lie about their age, because they’ve run away from abuse at home. Others are part of the foster care system, increasing their vulnerability. 

The promise of a job in China

Another New York Times article tells the horrific story of forced cybersex and human trafficking overseas:

“Each year, human smugglers take thousands of women seeking to flee North Korea, promising them jobs in China, according to human rights groups and trafficking survivors. But once in China, many of the women are sold to unmarried men in rural towns or to pimps for exploitation in brothels and cybersex dens.”

The Times interviewed modern-day hero, Pastor Chun of South Korea. He works to rescue women trafficked and held hostage in China as sex slaves.

”Given China’s increasing crackdown on undocumented foreigners, locking North Korean women in apartments for cybersex has become a favorite way for human traffickers to exploit them,” said Mr. Chun. “They drug the women to dull their shame and make them work long hours.” The New York Times

Miraculous: a modern day escape from sex trafficking

Lena’s Cebula’s story is similar. Her family in the Ukraine struggled with poverty. Suffering from hunger regularly, Lena was also drugged and repeatedly raped in the basement of her family’s apartment as a young teen. Her self-worth hit rock bottom. Then she was offered a job in the sex industry.

“Sometimes we have this misconception that someone was forcing us [into sex work] with violence…with my story I want to share that I went willingly, because I had no other choice…” – Lena Cebula, Miraculous

Porn Industry Secrets – Effects on Men

What happens to the men involved in making porn? 

You become someone you don’t want to be, male porn actors report.

For example, Fight the New Drug regularly interviews those formerly involved in the industry. As a former male porn actor, Wayne shares dark secrets of the porn industry. He explains how it affects all involved: 

“Being in the adult industry in any capacity is probably one of the worst things a person can do.
It starts out fun for pretty much everyone… But it was swallowing me up and
turning me into a monster.
And it wasn’t just me. I was in the game long enough to watch it happen to dozens of people, from talent to crew to journalists…
  – Fight The New Drug

While it may “start out fun” for the men involved, it doesn’t stay that way.

One common side issue affects male performers. Necessary prescriptions for Viagra are common on porn sets due to early onset erectile dysfunction.

Is the pay really worth it?

Another porn actor says he turned to selling drugs to supplement his measly income from porn. Most porn actors never make much money. In the long run, they also risk STDs and mental health challenges. 

Even worse,  personal potential and growth is severely impacted. Suicide or suicidal thoughts are not uncommon. For example, Joshua Broome made a million dollars in his five years as a porn actor. At the peak of his career, he suffered from suicidal depression.

“Yeah, I kept working, but I was on autopilot,” says Joshua. “What I was doing wasn’t real sex, and it was definitely not real intimacy… I wanted to die. I didn’t know if there was a God, but I prayed to him asking him to take my life.” 

(Thankfully Joshua’s story did NOT end there. You can read about it here.)

porn and mental health 4 harms

Are You Being Duped – Secretly Harmed By Porn

Finally, the most subtle, harmful secrets of the porn industry affect those who regularly consume pornography.

Have you been seduced by porn? If so, we’re seeking to empower you! Connect the dots to see how the porn industry is secretly hurting you. 

5 Porn industry secrets they don’t want you to believe (because porn lies to you).

(Check out our article “5 Ways Porn Ruins Lives”, where we pursue this in greater detail. Or visit pornlies.com

Here are a few major ways porn consumers are being hurt by the porn industry. Are you experiencing any of these challenges? 

 1. I feel worthless or “less than”. 

Are you comparing yourself to porn actors? Or – maybe you feel like you’ll never be enough for your spouse. Porn eats away at mental and emotional health over time. 

2. My relationships are shallow and lack intimacy.

Porn use breeds distrust, unrealistic expectations (even violent) in the bedroom, and ultimately, a lack of true intimacy. It’s a sneaky substitute for the hard work of building a caring relationship. 

3. I struggle with sexual dysfunction at an early age: lack of interest in real sex or even early onset erectile dysfunction.

This topic is fiercely debated by therapists, psychologists, and urologists on both sides of the issue. However, inside massive online NoFap communities, many link quitting porn with major improvement in their sex lives.

We’d challenge you to quit porn and see for yourself! What do you have to lose?

4. I’m unproductive and just numbing myself.

Porn saps your dreams and goals! It’s always luring you to “just one more click”.

One truly wonderful thing we hear? Versions of this statement: “I got my life back when I quit porn!”

5. My child has been viewing porn, and I didn’t even know!

Globally, parents speak of this frustration!  Children are being intentionally exposed to porn.

Sadly porn harms a child’s development in major ways including: a distorted view of healthy sex, relationships, and their own self-image.

We can’t fully measure the fallout yet for future generations! 

BUT please don’t lose hope! Many are fighting back and winning.

If you or a loved one are hurting due to the dark secrets of the porn industry, check out a few action steps you can take today!

Success Secrets To Help You Quit Pornography

graphic quote about accountability fighting porn industry secrets

Accountability means you reach out to a real person to ask for help. When you ask someone to help you reach your goals, you choose to break out of your comfort zone.

Instead of hiding away on a phone screen or behind closed doors, you choose connection. Your choice is KEY! As a side benefit, a partnership can lead to deeper friendships.

People thrive best in community with each other. On the other hand, porn feeds on isolation, shame, and secrecy. Accountability helps break that cycle of silence and shame. 

Join a sexual addiction group

Many sexual addiction (SA) groups (like Celebrate Recovery) help people connect and get help. You’ll get support in a safe group setting. Breaking the silence is one key success tip!

Choose personal accountability

Having a personal mentor or accountability partner is the “secret sauce” of accountability. To tap into amazing potential, we often use mentors and coaches to help us reach our goals.

When you know someone is on your side, it’s life-giving! 

Although your mentor faces their own personal battles and flaws, they should wholeheartedly support your goal to quit porn. To get started, simply think of a friend, spiritual mentor, or trusted family member, and reach out. 

If you need more help with accountability, that’s our mission, too. We’re here to support and cheer you on in your journey to freedom from porn. 

 *”Ever Accountable’s blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or therapy, though we often link to medically reviewed studies.”

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Wilson, Gary. Your Brain On Porn, https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/

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