Home CommentaryStudent Life Shedding light on female porn stars

Shedding light on female porn stars

by Sabrina Giancioppi January 22, 2013
Shedding light on female porn stars

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan

Montreal is known as the third largest porn-producing city in the world alongside reigning contenders Los Angeles, Prague and Amsterdam. As the ‘femme fatale’ of Canadian cities, it comes as no surprise that Montreal thrives on pornography given the number of strip clubs, sex shops and escort services it offers. Beating out top technology companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and ebay, the porn industry proves to be a cash cow.

It has been said that happy employees are good for business and a recent study in the Journal of Sex Research would agree. Psychologists compared a group of 177 adult entertainment actresses with a sample of women matching in various factors including age and marital status. The porn stars proved to be healthier and happier and trended in high self-esteem, showing greater levels of satisfaction, spirituality and positive feelings compared to their non-porn working counterparts.

Prostitution tends to dominate sex-related work studies and Concordia sociology undergraduate student, Kayla D’Aloia, said she feels that “while it may be more common to study prostitutes as opposed to porn stars, both are stereotyped in the same way for trying to establish sex-related work as a professional status.”

“The most common stereotype is that women in sex-related work fields are victims when instead the study demonstrates that sex workers can make conscious decisions and be happy with the lives they lead,” said D’Aloia.

The study demystifies certain prejudices around the profession of pornography and dismisses the “damaged goods theory” by revealing a group of women who are happy with the work they do and why they do it. It may seem hard to picture a porn star leading a normal life. However, it has become quite common to hear of a school secretary who moonlights as a porn star. While this may stir controversy at the next parent-teacher association meeting, the point of the matter is that those drawn to the profession are not always desperate, addicted to drugs, homeless or victims of sexual abuse.

When having sex is part of your job, risks are important to consider. Famous Montreal porn star Vandal Vyxen told the McGill Daily’s Erin Hudson: “Porn stars must be tested for [sexually transmitted diseases] and bring documented medical proof to shoots, otherwise the DVD cannot be distributed. With so many regular visits to medical clinics, a porn star is likely more aware of their sexual health than the average person.”

Porn is criticized for debasing women but there are parts of the industry that do the exact opposite. Without implying the causation that porn makes these women happy, the study sheds a light on women who appear to be empowered both sexually and emotionally.

The debate about whether porn is good or bad, positive or negative, is still ongoing. In the meantime, researchers will continue to try and understand what makes for a happy life and how people can achieve satisfaction in the most diverse ways imaginable.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment