Shelley Lubben and the Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn
Shelley Lubben (also known as "Roxy" by the porn industry and its fans) grew up in southern California and was kicked out of her house by her parents for teenage rebellion which led her to the streets where she became a prostitute for six years. She had also been an exotic dancer at some point in her "career" in the sex industry. She then entered the pornography industry in 1993 and later exited it. She has, in recent years, spoken against porn for both secular and Christian venues.
Coming from a religious background, Shelley did not have a happy childhood before she entered prostitution:
In her Internet videos ("The Shelley Lubben Story"; "Ex-Porn star tells the truth about Porn"), Shelley Lubben admitted that she had been sexually molested when she was nine years old, by a teenage boy and his sister.
"[At such a young age] Sex became confusing to Shelley [Lubben]. Sex meant “love” to her, as it felt good to be wanted by someone and receive attention. At the same time, she felt dirty... “I wanted my parents’ affection more than anything but it didn’t seem like I received what I needed,” Shelley says. “I started to feel resentment toward them, and anger entered my heart.”... Shelley became more involved in the party scene, and by age 16, she was sexually active, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana... “We fought constantly in our home,” she says. “There was nothing but yelling and nagging during my teenage years.”... Shelley felt her mother was mad at her most of the time, and her father was too busy to have a relationship with his eldest child other than to yell at her. So Shelley acted out to get their attention but her parents preferred to maintain peace. So they allowed Shelley to dress up as a Playboy bunny at 15, date boys they didn’t know, etc... Her parents went through much anguish because of Shelley, and finally at their wits’ end, they kicked her out during her senior year of high school. With nowhere to go, she ended up staying with a guy she barely knew. “I had no money, and there was almost no food in the place I was staying. For the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to be really hungry,” Shelley recalls. “I became desperate for any help someone could give me.”... After a month Shelley met a man who said he could “help” her. He told Shelley he knew a man who would pay her to have sex with him. She was still so in shock and in such rage at her parents that she accepted his offer. At 18 she sold herself for $35, and she began a life of prostitution. [...] [I]t soon became a life of slavery. She found herself having bizarre sex with strangers. Clients stalked her. One tried to kill her and hit her with his truck. She constantly had to lie to get out of very frightening situations."
-- Source: cbn.com/700club/Guests/Bios/Shelley_Lubben050506.aspx
Shelley Lubben's entry and suffering into the pornography industry are described in this way:
"At 24, Shelley was introduced to the adult film industry by a friend promising “easy money.” “I figured it was more legal than prostitution, so why not,” she says... She went to the studio, did one amateur porn movie and was immediately promoted to professional films with some of the most famous porn stars. [...] [W]hen she caught herpes,... she wanted to end her life. “I tried overdosing on pills, slicing my wrists and drinking myself to death but it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t die. I was mad at God, mad at myself and hated my parents,” Shelley recalls. “There never seemed to be any break from the pain or any help to come along. [...]" Shelley felt hopeless and was caught in the industry’s vicious and unforgiving claws. After she became infected with herpes, she quietly left the porn industry but went back to prostitution to survive. [...] Shelley says that as a prostitute she could have gotten killed, gone to jail or even prison [...]. She [still] says the porn industry is much worse [than prostitution]. [...] Shelley indicates that the scenes on the set of a hardcore porn film often involve one woman and six men, all of whom are doing degrading acts to the woman. And then the director will call “freeze,” and they have to hold those poses for five minutes while the lights are adjusted... Shelley says there is no intimacy, and it is all mechanical and beastly. Often the women are vomiting off the set, and most of the actors are doing drugs and alcohol."
-- Source: cbn.com/700club/Guests/Bios/Shelley_Lubben050506.aspx
Shelley Lubben exited the sex trade years ago. She has now a family. On her website, she wrote an essay which she entitled "The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn". In it, she explained the reality of the pornography industry:
"Many believe the widespread fairytale that women enjoy making porn movies but in reality there are no happy endings for the women of porn. Women do NOT enjoy making porn movies and a closer behind-the-scenes look will show you several reasons why.
"In the world of hardcore sex, an average day on the set for a porn actress is a long and tedious process. Women are told to come in around 8 am for makeup but it's only to make sure porn actresses arrive on time to work. Porn stars have a habit of arriving late because they're often hung over from drugs or alcohol from the night before.
"After make up, porn actresses usually wait around long hours until it's their turn to do their scene. Some scenes take an hour and some take several hours to film. It really depends if the male actor in the first scene could "perform" or not. It also depends if female actresses have to stop the clock because they can't handle the pain of a hardcore sex scene.
"While waiting around, jaded porn performers usually end up in the rest rooms with bottles of alcohol and lines of speed or outside in their cars for a heroin fix or gathered in the back yard with other actors to smoke marijuana.
"To add to the mind-numbing process, women are never able to experience sexual pleasure because of the continuous cutting during sex scenes. In the background the director constantly yells, "cut" and the flow of action is interrupted in order to get a better shot, adjust lighting or to wipe up bodily fluids. Repeatedly pornographers stop the scenes and ask actors to "freeze" in position during very hardcore sex acts, which causes great physical and emotional pain for porn actresses.
"I speak from personal experience when I say to be in the middle of a hardcore sex act with several actors at the same time and told to "freeze" in position for several minutes while lighting or cameras are adjusted is extremely painful and degrading. It's also very humiliating when scenes are stopped in order to wipe up bodily fluids such as semen, feces and blood.
"Despite the fact that women do not enjoy making porn movies, they continue to lie to their fans and proudly insist they enjoy making porn movies. Of course they do. They get paid hundreds and thousands of dollars to lie because this is their occupation. Porn stars are paid professional liars who know how to "act" and they do it well. In fact, because porn stars spend a great deal time in front of the camera and never step out of character, they usually have greater acting abilities than mainstream Hollywood actors.
"I used to brag endlessly to fans and pornographers about my extreme "Italian" sex drive and how I loved making porn movies. I would go on and on about how I needed more and more to fulfill my insatiable appetite. I lied 100% of the time to 100% of the people. Lying is the native language of porn stars because they can't afford to tell you the truth. Not only would it ruin the fantasy for their fans but more importantly, it would ruin the amount of their paychecks. Don't believe porn actresses when they proudly proclaim they enjoy making porn movies. They're ACTING."
Interviewed by porn chronicler Luke Ford about her experience in porn, Shelley Lubben said: "Once you do it, you become so jaded. It means nothing any longer. It took me about six years to get any kind of sexual feeling back in my body. I couldn't even feel penetration. [...] I never had [an orgasm on a porn set]..."
In another excerpt of "The Truth behind the Fantasy of Porn", Shelley also wrote:
"Sex-packed porn films featuring freshly-dyed blondes whose evocative eyes say “I want you” are quite possibly one of the greatest deceptions of all time. Trust me, I know. I did it all the time and I did it for the lust of power and the love of money. I never liked sex. I never wanted sex and in fact I was more apt to spend time with Jack Daniels than some of the studs I was paid to “fake it” with. That’s right none of us freshly-dyed blondes like doing porn. In fact, we hate it. We hate being touched by strangers who care nothing about us. We hate being degraded with their foul smells and sweaty bodies. Some women hate it so much you can hear them vomiting in the bathroom between scenes. Others can be found outside smoking an endless chain of Marlboro lights…
"But the porn industry wants YOU to think we porn actresses love sex. They want you to think we enjoy being degraded by all kinds of repulsive acts. The truth, porn actresses have showed up on the set not knowing about certain requirements and were told by porn producers to do it or leave without being paid. Work or never work again. Yes, we made the choice. Some of us needed the money. But we were manipulated and coerced and even threatened. Some of us caught HIV from that coercion. I personally caught Herpes, a non-curable sexually transmitted disease. Another porn actress went home after a long night of numbing her pain and put a pistol to her head and pulled the trigger. Now she’s dead.
"It’s safe to say most women who turn to porn acting as a money-making enterprise, probably didn’t grow up in healthy childhoods either. Indeed, many actresses admit they’ve experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse and neglect by parents. Some were raped by relatives and molested by neighbors. When we were little girls we wanted to play with dollies and be mommies, not have big scary men get on top of us. So we were taught at a young age that sex made us valuable. The same horrible violations we experienced then, we relive through as we perform our tricks for you in front of the camera. And we hate every minute of it. We’re traumatized little girls living on anti-depressants, drugs and alcohol acting out our pain in front of YOU [the porn users] who continue to abuse us.
"As we continue to traumatize ourselves by making more adult films, we use more and more drugs and alcohol. We live in constant fear of catching AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Every time there’s an HIV scare we race to the nearest clinic for an emergency checkup. Pornographers insist giving viewers the fantasy sex they demand all the while sacrificing the very ones who make it happen. In other words, no condoms allowed. Herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and other diseases are the normal anxieties we walk around with daily. We get tested monthly but we know testing isn’t prevention. Besides worrying about catching diseases from porn sex, there are other harmful activities we engage in that are also very dangerous. Some of us have had physical tearing and damage to internal body parts.
"When porn actresses call it a day and head home we attempt to have normal healthy relationships but some of our boyfriends get jealous and physically abuse us. So instead we marry our porn directors while others of us prefer lesbian relationships. [...]
"The truth is there IS NO fantasy in porn. It’s all a lie. A closer look into the scenes of a porn star’s life will show you a movie porn doesn’t want you to see. The real truth is we porn actresses want to end the shame and trauma of our lives but we can’t do it alone. We need you men to fight for our freedom and give us back our honor. We need you to hold us in your strong arms while we sob tears over our deep wounds and begin to heal. We want you throw out our movies and help piece together the shattered fragments of our lives. [...]
"So don’t believe the lie anymore. Porn is nothing more than fake sex and lies on videotape. Trust me, I know."
-- Shelley Lubben, former porn performer.
Shelley Lubben dedicated her testimony to "all the porn actresses who caught HIV, died from drug overdose and committed suicide".
Despite the fact that Shelley Lubben is religious (and this is a secular website here), her testimony on the pornography industry is (however) interesting, compelling and eye-opening. Although I do not agree with any of the religious views she may have expressed on some other websites (I pretty much do not care about religions), I still acknowledge that she is very courageous to have spoken about the realities of the porn industry.
Copyright 2008. Maggie Hays. All Rights Reserved.
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