Category Archives: Effects of Pornography

Amateur Porn: The New Currency for Hot (Young) Girls

Hot Girls Wanted is a compelling look at how young women are recruited to perform amateur porn. Lured by a simple Craig’s list ad, the documentary follows the experiences and struggles of several young women who embark on an unknown and misguided journey to break into the adult entertainment industry.

As the girls converge in Miami, we follow them throughout a typical day shooting porn scenes and living together in a sorority house for sex workers. Hussie Models founder Riley Reynolds doubles as booking agent/dorm mom and gleefully proclaims that there is an unlimited supply of talent because every day, some girl somewhere turns 18 and can legally shoot porn. While his statements are reminiscent of what a pimp might say, in the film he comes off as, well, nice. In fact, all of the young women in Hot Girls Wanted seem very nice, far from the stereotypical, drugged out runaway who will do anything on camera for money. They appear to enjoy the fellowship of living together in the house more than doing porn.

However, I found myself looking for some deeper motive to explain why these girls would leave their families, friends, and possible college futures and run to the arms of porn. Perhaps a hint of some sexual or physical abuse? Overly domineering parents? An abusive boyfriend? There was nothing. It’s all about the Benjamins.

The do-it-for-the-money theme is a continuous thread in Hot Girls Wanted. These fresh-faced high school grads give their bodies away for the chance to make $800 per scene, 3-5 times per week, yet they fail to count the true financial cost of their decisions until it’s too late (after all, they’re still teenagers). Expenses for travel, personal grooming, cosmetic surgeries and the like, all eat into their profits. Tressa, one of the film’s leads, ultimately leaves the business to return to her family and boyfriend sharing that she made $25,000 during the four months she filmed porn but ended up with $2,000 in her account when she left the industry.

Despite the appearance of lucrative financial gains, the turnover rate in amateur porn is high. One of the most compelling statements in the film comes when a male sex worker describes the trajectory of a typical 18 year old entering the adult entertainment industry. The shelf life for a new girl, worst case scenario is 1-3 months, an “all right” scenario is 3-6 months, and “the best case scenario, if she doesn’t catch on to the game, a year tops.”

Here’s where the film gets dark. As the girls acquiesce to perform more risqué sex scenes, doubts begin to surface. Gigs that seemed fairly straight forward have now become uncomfortable and degrading. Some girls are shooting extreme scenes. At one point I actually turned away from my computer screen as one young woman is chocked, spat on, and abused for entertainment while tears welled in her eyes.

The directors and producers of Hot Girls Wanted have successfully presented a gritty, non-judgmental documentary that still has heart. I grew to care about the girls of Hussie Models and found myself rooting for them to quit the business and move on with their lives in a more fulfilling way. Some did, some did not. Over all, Hot Girls Wanted serves as a sobering warning to young women who mistakenly equate sex work as sexual independence and who underestimate the painful toll that pornography production takes on a woman’s body, mind, and soul.

Dana Brown Smith is the author of Girls Watch Too! Female Fascination with Porn: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do About It.

Hot Girls Wanted can be viewed on Netflix.

The Dark Web: Home to Revenge Porn Websites

Revenge porn occurs when a cyberbully steals compromising images of a woman, without her consent, and posts them, along with personal identifying information, on the black market (aka Dark Web).

How does one end up on a revenge porn website? Usually an accomplished hacker is commissioned by a cyber-thug to break into a computer system and abscond with a woman’s intimate photos. In extreme cases, the hacker infects a woman’s computer with a Trojan program that secretly activates her webcam allowing said hacker to capture naked images. Some revenge porn criminals are graphic design experts with the ability to Photoshop a woman’s head on to another woman’s body.

Computer espionage is not the only way to debut on a revenge porn website. Women who take risqué selfies to share with a new love interest, their significant other, and in some cases, their spouse, risk digital exposure if the images fall into the wrong hands. Just as the name implies, if the relationship goes south, suddenly, these photos can quickly become a woman’s worst nightmare.

Revenge porn sites are generally found on the Dark Web. This shadowy underworld isn’t accessible through traditional browsers or indexed by Google. Instead, many sites are accessed via Tor and include some pretty nefarious activities such as selling weapons and child pornography. Tor provides anonymity — it’s the Internet’s electronic black market.

For a woman who finds herself exploited on a revenge porn website, regaining her identity and demanding the removal of the pictures is no easy task. Because the major premise of the Dark Web is anonymity, it’s difficult to determine the owner of a revenge porn website. Even if that information is attainable, a woman may fall victim to extortion as she is commanded to pay a fee if she wants the pictures taken down. In many cases copyright infringement is the only way to legally cease the display of nude images.

How can a woman protect herself from acts of revenge porn?

#1 – Don’t take nude photos of yourself. Period.

#2 – Don’t text naked pictures of yourself. It’s a mistake to assume the recipient won’t ever share your image with someone else, even if you tell them not to.

#3 — If you currently maintain compromising selfies and are unwilling to delete them, understand you bare some risk of exposure. Even if those photos are not shared with anyone else, revenge porn hackers have the ability to pluck photos right off of your cell phone or online picture depository. If the IRS and Sony can get hacked, so can you.

 It’s not just adult women who are at risk when it comes to revenge porn, our teenage girls are vulnerable as well. To protect the young women in your life, talk to them about sexting and even the risk of revenge porn. Admonish them not to send sexually charged text messages or nude images of themselves to anyone – not their besties or their boyfriend. Unfortunately (or fortunately), relationships change and someone who you thought was trust worthy when you first met them could turn out to betray you with pictures you took during the “good times.”

The Student, the Professor, and the Helicopter

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) has gotten much press recently when it was revealed by an irate mother that her daughter, a student at the college, would be required to take her final exam in her birthday suit.

Well, let me clarify. According to a CNN interview, the course in question calls for students to act out “gestures” in class. One particular assignment called the “Erotic Self,” requires nude participation in a dim, candle lit classroom (let that sink in for a minute). Twenty somethings + college life + naked bodies = well you can do the math on that. Once upon a time, I was a college kid and would be willing to bet my class ring and coveted student parking pass that someone in that class will be aroused by what is seen. The University has since gone on the record saying there is no requirement to perform nude to pass the course.

How has all this come to light? It turns out it wasn’t a student who complained, but rather her “helicopter mom” has lead this charge of indecency.

Copter mom critics have emphasized that her daughter was made aware of the nude testing requirement at the start of class and most likely would have also heard hushed whispers of this performance art standard from college campus lore. But, even if she knew, or should have known, that doesn’t negate her right to change her mind and exercise her personal choice to say “no.”

When your fresh off age 18 and even into your early 20’s you’ve often been conditioned to go with the status quo and move right along with the group, even if the group is marching off the proverbial cliff. We need more young people who are willing to speak up for injustice, disparity, and unfair treatment. As parents (and people who’ve experienced adulthood for more than two seconds) we have an obligation to encourage our kids to stand up for what they believe in, even if its unpopular, so that they don’t develop a dangerous pattern of acquiescing to situations and events that continuously compromise their values and beliefs.

So, to the young woman who finds herself in this moral dilemma of shall I or shall I not, I say unto you, “just don’t.” If your grade is impacted – all will be well. You’ll find that in life you will experience many more situations that will require you to abstain, even at the risk of some negative consequence.

To the professor who has taught this course for a decade, please find another way for your students to demonstrate their academic effort with their clothes on. I’m just sayin’.

And finally, to helicopter mom, kudos to you for advocating for your daughter because even when they get to college, they still need our help; however, just try to increase your altitude a bit more and hover at an acceptable height that still allows your daughter to grow, develop, and experience life on her own.

7 Common Themes Pornography Teaches

Last week I had the great pleasure of speaking to a psych class at California Baptist University. We spent quite some time talking about pornography and its many themes including porn’s unrealistic portrayal of the average man or woman’s body. When a person views sexually explicit materials, they’re often consuming images of actors and actresses who have surgically enhanced their bodies.

One student in class shared a story of a married man who became so connected to pornography that he asked his wife to surgically augment her breasts. Although she protested vigorously at first, the wife eventually acquiesced, had the procedure, and has regretted her decision ever since – worse yet, the marriage didn’t last and she’s left with large breasts that she never wanted. Pornography teaches us that all men and women have amazing bodies and overly developed (ahem) “features” when in reality, that isn’t the case.

Seven common themes that people ingest when consuming pornography includes:nueter meme

1. Unrealistic sex: generally, no one gets STDs or gets pregnant in porn
2. Relationships: de-emphasis on commitment – marriage considered sexually restrictive
3. Promiscuity: indiscriminate sexual activity is the norm – anything goes!
4. Deviant sexual behavior: misconception that kinky sex is gratifying to everyone
5. Abstinence: sexual inactivity is considered abnormal
6. Violence: glorification of BDSM
7. Unusual couplings: promotion of sexual encounters with non-traditional partners

For more information about common themes found in pornography, checkout Girls Watch Too! Female Fascination with Porn: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do About It. At, Barnes&Noble, or available upon request from your local bookstore.