There’s going to be a whole army of women out there who have had the experience of having their heads flushed down toilets as entertainment, being strangled as entertainment, being double penetrated and throat fucked ‘til they throw up as entertainment. These are women who found themselves caught up in something beyond their control, the sex industry, where the person who’s meant to be on their side, their ‘agent’ (best case scenario – or pimp), pushes and pushes and pushes them to ever more painful and degrading acts in the pursuit of money. Hard to see a human being when you have dollar signs in your eyes. These are vulnerable women, often women with histories of sexual abuse, physical abuse, substance abuse, psychological abuse, with mental health problems, financial problems. These are the women who just can’t say no, but not in the sexy way the industry would have you think. More of a Hobson’s choice situation.
Welcome to hell on earth. Lost already, you become increasingly split: detached from yourself, from what is happening to your body, from the verbal abuse directed at and over you, in which you’re made to take part - call yourself names, beg to be hurt. Alone, with no one to turn to for help, reliant on the very people who abuse you, who make money off your abuse. You become a shell: there but not there, enduring, just enduring, unable to comprehend, to compute, the horror of what is being done to you for the profit and pleasure of others. Out of your depth.
When you are hurt, people laugh or hurt you more. You stop showing that it hurts. Naked already, with cameras focused on your most intimate areas, on capturing their abuse, you become numb: this is what you do, what you are here for. They will do what they will do and it’s best not to think about it. You have to change the goalposts to survive. What was once humiliating and unthinkable is now an everyday occurrence. Unavoidable. It becomes: as long as I don’t show that I’m hurting, that they’re getting to me, give them that satisfaction. Your boundaries are broken one by one: they fuck you in the arse, subject you to double penetrations, to fisting, to speculums, to urinating and spitting and slapping and choking… Endless abuse, endless pain, endless degradation.
The only thing left is your denial and your determination that they will not see how much they hurt you. Feigning supreme indifference, even enjoyment, you pretend you have some measure of control because to recognize your powerlessness is to open the gates to insanity and in all likelihood suicide.
As ever more aggressive, ever more debasing porn becomes more mainstream, the number of women who have had these experiences, who have been sold, abused and profited from, who have been tortured, grows. Everyday it grows. If they are lucky enough to get out, to get clean and sober (yeah, most women in porn have substance abuse issues – wouldn’t you drink or use to get through?), where have they to turn?
Most people nowadays if they are told that a woman has been in porn, would say ‘cool’. Cool!!! Knowing as she does the reality – wiping down after 8 sweating pigs have cum in her face, limping to the shower after being anally and vaginally penetrated for hours at a time with cocks and objects, bruised and bleeding, what was said to her and what she was made to say, the coercion, the ever present threat of violence, the powerlessness – this metrosexual, abstract notion of cool is from another planet. She has never been less understood. Hell, even the pornographers, even the cameramen, even her pimp or agent acknowledge that this stuff isn’t good on the body, is a test of endurance rather than a pleasure trip.
Hers is a great loneliness, separated as she is from the majority who believe that pornography is harmless fun, that women in it are empowered, choose it from a variety of meaningful options, enjoy it. 'Paid to get laid? Awesome!'. Her friends may hold this view, her neighbours may hold this view, her therapist may hold this view. Protective of their ‘right’ to wank over other women in similar circumstances, unwilling to hear the truth, theirs is a language far removed from the sordid realities, an abstract language of free speech and liberation. To many of the people who surround her, porn is just a concept, one with a very pleasing result, easily cleaned up with a tissue. These people, people who defend porn, project their dark desires onto her, conveniently forgetting that the reason for her being there is their demand for such images rather than her desire to engage in such acts. She wanted it! After all, she said so didn’t she, and she smiled?
A growing number of women who have been subjected to extreme physical, sexual, psychological torture. They are traumatised, they are used in ever more extreme ways for the amusement of the purchaser, unless they are lucky enough to exit, until they are too broken to be of further use. Anyone who objects to the use of the word 'torture' here might do well to look it up, and to compare some of increasingly common porn practices such as gagging, spitting, verbal abuse, slapping, and 'swirlies' to name but a few.
The pornographer doesn’t care about her.
The men fucking her don’t care about her.
The pimps and agents don’t care about her.
The guy at home with his cock in his hand doesn’t care about her. Her life is unimaginable to him, her humanity invisible to him, her hopes and dreams destroyed for him, all for a cheap and easy laugh and an orgasm.
She has quite simply no place left to go, her body battered from fucking after fucking without condom or care, her head mashed with thousands of fragmented images, sounds, scents, words, reminders of horror and pain and degradation beyond words. She has nightmares, flashbacks, PTSD. She continues to get sick, as she did when she was in it. Suicide becomes an option* Her humanity has been disregarded by every person in her life who sold her, who fucked her, who pressured her, who paid the men who did this to her and then calmly laid the blame at her feet.
We need to understand what it means to be a woman on a website called ‘Elastic Assholes’, to have people joke that ‘she might just be wearing a diaper by the time we’re finished’. To feel or to try to empathise what is is actually like to be choked so you can’t breathe, to be facefucked so viciously you throw up, to have water in your eyes and nose and mouth when you’ve been fucked every which way possible and they’re flushing your head down the toilet, the final insult. What it is like to be violently abused and traumatised, and to know that images of that abuse are being sold and generating money for the men who hurt you.
I am a survivor of prostitution – of pornography – of torture. Just. It’s been touch and go and recovery isn’t a piece of cake either. Being abused for entertainment is inhumane.
To remain desensitized is to be inhuman. If we’re not part of the solution, taking a stand against pornography, taking action, we’re part of the problem. Together we can be stronger and make a difference. We need to look past the picture the pornographer has painted for us of the women he uses. She is not other, in some way different. There is not a subspecies of woman who wish to be abused in such a way. If it would hurt you to have two cocks in your arse, it will hurt her. Let go of the bullshit line of dismissal ‘whatever floats your boat’ and imagine yourself in her shoes for one moment. Would you like it? Would you be happy having that done to you? Would you be happy if she were your daughter or your sister or your mother? She says she likes it in the movies, maybe even asks them to hurt her because she has to, but if you look into her eyes, if you dare, you’ll see the very real fear and pain, you’ll see the truth.
Stop funding a system that destroys women. Stop porn.
* The suicide rate and death from drug and alcohol abuse in the industry is significantly above average, see www.antipornography.org