Yes, Porn Stars Can Be Raped Too

By Kelsey D’Auben

In late November, porn-actress Stoya accused her ex-boyfriend and fellow porn-actor James Deen, of rape via her twitter account.

She tweeted “That thing where you log in to the internet for a second and see people idolizing the guy who raped you as a feminist. That thing sucks” followed a few minutes later by a second tweet saying “James Deen held me down a fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safe word. I just can’t nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.”

Since then, nine other women have come forward saying Deen had sexually assaulted them; one of whom is Farrah Abraham, former Teen Mom who co-starred with Deen in a pornographic video in 2013.

“Stoya knew that if she were to name one man who did, in fact, violate consent, then the entire industry would be assumed to be complicit.”

Once deemed “porn’s feminist sweetheart” Deen is now being called the “Bill Cosby of porn” and has recently been dropped by several major porn distributors.

Deen strongly denies the allegations and said in an interview with the Daily Beast that he was “completely baffled” by what the women were accusing him of.

In the time since her tweets were published, many women have rallied together in support of Stoya using the hashtag #soldarityforstoya.

Fellow porn-actress and co-founder of the pornsite TRENCHCOATx, Kayden Kross, had a personal essay published with Nylon Magazine titled “I am Stoya’s partner, and I stand with her.” In the essay she expressed her ultimate support of Stoya as a fellow porn-actress and woman.

She also shed light on the issues facing sex workers who are victims of sexual assault and abuse.

“Already our industry battles the constant din of claims that the women, simply by showing up to work, are victims,” Kross wrote in the Nylon Magazine piece. “Already we battle the claims that porn is rape, that consent is questionable, that no woman given a fair choice would engage in it. Stoya knew that if she were to name one man who did, in fact, violate consent, then the entire industry would be assumed to be complicit.”

These incidents have sparked a lot of conversation on the Internet asking many forms of the same question- “can a sex worker be raped?” The answer is quite obvious- yes.

Any person can be raped. Non-consensual sex of any kind is rape. We as a society have a hard enough of a time grasping this seemingly concept on it’s own. But when sexual workers fall victim to sexual violence, especially when their work is involved.

Take for instance a case in Philadelphia in 2007, which was also referenced in Kross’ essay.

A 20-year-old woman agreed to have sex with a man she met through Craigslist for $150.

When she went to meet the man, she was gang-raped at gunpoint by him and three other men. A judge later charged the men with “theft of services” because, according to the judge, “she consented (to only the first man) but didn’t get paid.”

Women working in sex need protection from instances such as these. Sex workers face many dangers on a day-to-day basis. Not only because of the dangerously unregulated line of work, but also because of the negative public perceptions of prostitution and pornography.

Cover Photo Credit: daniel sandoval/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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