What I Want to Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars

What Is It About Us that You Don't Like?

Comments

1
Beautifully written Connor. Thank you
2
Thanks for that!
3
Ooh, this will be a fun comment thread. Thanks for writing this, Conner.
4
I love porn. I hate slut/porn/kink-shaming. But what always befuddles me is when porn stars complain about the stigma of porn. The stigma is the reason you can make a living in porn.

If porn was perfectly acceptable, like selfies and posting on Facebook...something your grand parents joked about doing when they first started dating...well there really wouldn't be much of a market for paid-porn (and we're already experiencing this to a certain extent with tube sites/amateur/revenge porn, where porn stars are making significantly less than they did 10 years ago, but still get stigmatized enough to fuck up professional and personal relationships...but that's another post).

That said, if this author really wants a professional career as a sex worker, he should be thankful for the stigma. He should be thankful that that people turn their noses up at porn stars. That spite is the reason he gets paid.
5
Sorry, I stopped reading after you said you went to a "bourgeois tea and food place."
6
Lyrical, beautiful writing. Thank you for leading me to think and see from a different perspective.
7
Amazing. I think porn stars function as a kind of sacrificial scapegoat for shame in our culture. Even while enjoying the performance, people transfer their conflicted emotions regarding sexuality onto the stars, and can then later reject them in order to distance themselves from shame and guilt. This to me is a powerful form of objectification, or at least a bizarre compartmentalization. When people cry out about how porn objectifies, I can't help but wondering if they believe that because they're projecting. I may enjoy looking at someone I find attractive, but that does not mean I then somehow nullify their personhood; I know that's a thinking, feeling human being with a past and future.

I wish we weren't so bonkers about sexuality, but intelligent thoughtful people like you will help get us there. I was excited to read this article when I saw your name - I loved hearing you on Chris Ryan's "Tangentially Speaking" podcast. If we met I'd like to give you a hug!
8
Holy shit this is amazing. Props to you for your brutal honesty about a painful breakup. That couldn't have been easy to write. Thanks for this
9
Apparently in addition to porn, the author enjoys masturbating all over the page. Get the fuck over yourself.
10
@4 - I disagree about the stigmatization of porn being the only thing making it profitable. Conner Habib is a professional, making porn that most of us couldn't make. Note the part where he's at the gym all the time. It's part of his job. I, for one, could not do his job, even if it were more socially accepted.

Cooking food is socially acceptable, and yet there are restaurants, making food that most of us can't make or are disinclined to make, for whatever reason.

Or, more relevantly, acting in (non-pornographic) movies is totally acceptable, but actors don't get into fights with their loved ones who just can't handle the idea that they're out there having unprotected feelings and dialogue for a camera, for just anyone to watch.
11
I like porn stars... but I don't like heavy drug users and all to often it is difficult to find one without the other.
12
Because most people find sex terrifying (because rape culture, becasue sex-negativity, becasue physical intimacy makes one vulnerable, becasue our culture normalizes sexual monogamy and possessiveness in sexual relationships, etc.) and feel extremely threatened by those who don't and/or are projecting their own anxieties. As far as I can tell, it always comes back to some form of the above.

Great article!
13
Impressively written, regardless of the subject, but even more so on porn - keep 'em interested, anticipate responses, provide thoughtful insight, include a continuing highly personal thread. Wow.
14
I was once on the other side of this story. I had just moved into town and met a charming man who asked me out. We talked for hours and agreed on a second date. It was refreshing to meet someone that did not want to have sex on the first date like most guys did.
He did not bring his job (or mine) into the conversation, he just said he did freelance stuff and that he had been a model. I thought nothing of it.
One day I went to an adult video store with a friend of mine and saw the guy I was dating on the cover of a porn video (this was back in the VHS era). I went through many emotions: Shocked that this guy I was dating was in porn ("why didn't he tell me?"), excited that this guy I was dating was in porn ("Am I really that good looking to date a porn star?"), scared that this guy I was dating was in porn ("Is he HIV positive?"). More than anything, I was a little disappointed that he didn't bring it up and be honest about it.
After thinking about it, I figured he must have been disappointed many times by potential boyfriends that ran away the moment he mentioned porn.
I tried not to be a hypocrite about it, after all, I watch porn, and it wasn't like he was being abused or anything, he made a conscious choice about it, so I let it go at first. But I made the mistake of not mentioning it to him.
Over the next few weeks things turned sour, I started feeling very jealous and insecure, I have always been very insecure about my looks and started thinking that he could have his pick of men and just leave, after all, the guys he had sex with in the videos were much better looking than me.
I also started feeling this big unease of me catching something from him. Yet I still did not bring it up and neither did he.
Another thing that really bit me was that I started feeling ashamed, how could I ever introduce him to my boss? What if we were at a work party and there was a gay coworker there that recognized him? How would I be able to deal with that?
I could not take it anymore and broke it up. I made something up about being in love with someone else, he took it very hard. A few days before he had talked about how much he wanted to "settle down and have a nice, quiet life".
Maybe if we had actually had an open and honest conversation about it, things would have been different. If I had been more mature and removed the stigma and the jealousness and insecurities, it could have worked out.
We still have a good way to go as a society to be able to see this as a profession that no one should be ashamed of.
15
Wonderful.
16
@10 I didn't mean to state, or imply, that porn takes no talent....just that porn stars are paid disproportionately high relative to the talent required to make porn because of the stigma.

This really isn't so much opinion as it is economic fact, and you need to do is look at what's happened since the late 90's/early 00's. Back then, there were a few 100 girls, and the top tier could easily make 1500 to 2000 per scene, they could make a ton feature dancing, and on a related note, escorting porn stars was a huge taboo and relative non-ocurrence (FYI, I know the author makes gay porn and I'm talking hetero, but I'm ultimately just looking at the economics and stigma, which are comparable between the two).

Fast forward ten years after Jenna Jameson made millions and reduced the stigma in porn (but obviously far from eliminated it), and look what's happened: there now 1,000's of girls in the valley competing for work, those late 90's paydays are gone (and you're gonna have to do stuff like double anal to get there); and escorting porn stars is becoming the norm because that's where the dough is at.

So extrapolate this further if you were to completely eliminate the porn stigma: in the last ten years we've gone from 100's of girls to 1000's competing for work, eliminate that Stigma,and 1000's goes to 10's or 100's of thousands (maybe even millions). And then ask yourself this, do we really need more porn? Between all the free tube sites now, I can't imagine possibly craving anymore supply...but that's hat we'd have: a glut of supply and nobody demanding it.

Anyway, I admire what porn stars do and it can be taxing physically and emotionally....but if you remove the stigma hurdle (and thus the emotional component), they're just good looking people getting paid to do something we all like to do...and there will be plenty more where that comes from.
17
Okay, this may be out of bounds, too personal, and I apologize beforehand if I offend. But do you suppose Alex had fear of intimacy, and because he could always throw up PORN as a defense, you may have been one of the only people capable of getting him that close to love? If that's the case, your unorthodox professional was the one thing that made him feel safe enough to get that close to love.

Sorry, storytellers always analyze the why of relationships. I enjoy following you and your writing! Wish for you the best of everything.
18
Okay, this may be out of bounds, too personal, and I apologize beforehand if I offend. But do you suppose Alex had fear of intimacy, and because he could always throw up PORN as a defense, you may have been one of the only people capable of getting him that close to love? If that's the case, your unorthodox professional was the one thing that made him feel safe enough to get that close to love.

Sorry, storytellers always analyze the why of relationships. I enjoy following you and your writing! Wish for you the best of everything.
19
The only issue I have with porn has nothing to do with the performers. It's how easy it is for kids to come across it accidentally. Example pulled from real life:

6 year old watching old My Little Pony cartoons on YouTube. Clip ends, related videos pop up. Including very graphic 'my little pony' porn.

That is a terrible way to be 'discover' sex, and there is no good way to explain to that kid what those people were doing that they can understand without opening a discussion a 6 year old is not ready for.

Porn (in principle) is fine, as are the people who choose to work in the industry. But in practice, it needs to be a little less omnipresent. Not everything is about sex all the time.
20
And cue hateful comments attacking the author rather than focusing on the message of the article.
21
I like porn, and I'd like to think that if I ever fell in love with someone who was in porn that it would be just a matter of negotiating the boundaries of an open relationship, but it's hard to say until it happens.
22
Longest Savage Love letter ever.
23
@19: Sounds like you have a problem with the internet, not porn.

Actually, you have a problem with human minds. Porn does not just make itself and put itself all over the internet. As long as we are humans, sex will wallpaper all forms of media.
24
Oh lord, is the brain ever a beautiful sex organ.

Big. Shiny. Throbbing.
25
How about we just admit that it isn't porn or people who make porn or the acts of porn but rather the shame most of America (I speak America only because I have never been to other continents) has with sex in general. Gay sex, straight sex, bi-sex, lesbian sex. Sex. We are taught to be ashamed of it from birth yet we spend the majority of our lives trying to have it and feeling rejected when we don't attain it. I , myself, don't understand it. I can understand the jealousy portion of it, it's called insecurity but shaming someone because they make or participate in porn is nothing short of stupidity in it's purest form.
26
I don't think I know anyone who hates porn stars. I know plenty of people who hate attention whores, though.
27
You did not mention once how it would be for a female in the porn industry; this is YOUR subjective point of view. I apologize but there have been many women in porn who have said they become ill each month from getting pink eye, STD's and such. As Freud would say, you are merely trying to rationalize what you are doing; you are trying to make it OK because you like getting paid to f**k. Who wouldn't like that? Money for sexual pleasure. But think of what it is doing to young minds, who waste their time watching other people have sex, when they could actually go have sex with their partners, when they could be digesting knowledge and helping to make a difference in our community. You have sex. Humans have sex. We get it. Fact of life. But if you had a daughter or son, and they were forced into child porn, your perspective would drastically change. So before you offer your subjective opinions to the world, you should be ready to face the challenges that come along with this. How are you making a difference in society? You are making easy money from using your c*ck. Doctors study for 10 years in school to SAVE lives. You seem to have a good heart; however, you are not being objective and seeing both sides, and this, my dear, is where we must agree to disagree. You must realize that porn is relatively new to society and people and there is no right way of handling it. Especially for young teenaged boys and girls- their prefrontal cortex (in charge of controlling their impulses) are not developed until the age of 25- so yes, I do think porn can cause them to make poor choices. A man with violent sexual fantasies could watch violent porn and think it is that much more OK to go rape someone because others are doing it- this norm is not a good one. You are attractive and I am sure your sexual energy and efforts are great, but in a society where children and teenagers, rapists and murderers can access violent porn- this only leads to chaos. And women are being objectified- why is it that they get paid more for sex and not for applying their minds in a professional academic or business setting? THAT my friend, shows patriarchy. In social work (a woman-dominated profession) men make higher coin then females. How is that okay? You focus only on one perspective; narrow-mindedness cannot help anyone. Your ego may be filled, but please consider the damage you ARE doing to society. Gay porn is one of the lesser evils, and again, I am sure you are a fabulous actor, but you are still in the SAME industry where children are being forced to have sex on camera, and I do not see how that is OKAY in your eyes.
Best regards.
28
Beautiful article, thank you for writing this.

-someone else who makes porn
30
And you asked the question of why we hate you- it isn't hating you as a human being- it's hating the industry and the fact that people are forced into it. Much like religion- people in Islamic cultures participate in horrific acts such as "honor killings"- when the daughter gets raped, the father and brother both kill her because they are ashamed- this they think is normal. You have the same perspective of porn- it is normal, it is okay- rationalizing it. But you refuse to see any of the negativities- there is good and bad in everything, my friend. And there are people supporting you here- if you wrote the article to get a "good job! Beautifully written, Conner" then it goes to show how big your ego is. This is a huge issue. It isn't the actors we hate (well, I do hate the men that take advantage of little girls) but it is what you are supporting. If you support Islam, you support these honor killings. If you support porn, you support child porn too. It is NOT black and white, things are grey. Enjoy your egotistical life and trying to sway young minds to love porn- I will go on and try to fight people like you as much as I can. Try to research more about the brain and how exposure to pornographic violence and images can affect individuals prior to making claims- also, strengthen your points. They mean nothing. They may mean something to the young boys who love to bust a nut (or any gender who loves to get their orgasm on-which we all do!), but intellects will fight against this industry for as long as it exists. So I do not see HOW or WHY you are surprised that people discriminate against you or why you cannot hold down a relationship. You focus on banging others, it takes away from focusing on making love to your partner. Alex made the right decision for his life and it was in his best interest. Best of luck.
31
@27 - You said:
"But think of what [porn] is doing to young minds, who waste their time watching other people have sex, when they could actually go have sex with their partners, when they could be digesting knowledge and helping to make a difference in our community."

Fuck you trying to be the arbiter of what "young minds" should or should not be doing with their time and also for implying that porn is the only thing stopping these "young minds" from perfection.

Bullshit. Life isn't all hugs and puppies, but I'm pretty sure that making porn go away because it makes you feel icky isn't going to help improve the human condition one bit.
32
@30 - In this comment, Skeptic101 explains to us that porn is just like islamic honor killings and that she/he/it hates the sin, but not the sinner.

I don't think I need to say more.
33
@26 - I'm sorry your friends don't like you.
34
To answer the original question, people 'hate' porn stars because they represent an idealized perfection of sex and sexuality. Matching up to the ideal makes us feel graceless, less attractive, and less sexy. How can I compete with the perfect bodied, super horny sex god of the screen?

Some of it is intimidation and some of it is puritanical views on the 'sanctity' of sex and intimacy. We have romanticized sex and porn negates that. Having wild monkey sex with a gallon of lube with your lover is ok while sex with a virtual stranger isn't. Most of us look for connection, however brief, when we hook up and porn doesn't seem to offer that. It's tough to put someone we feel close to in such an impersonal setting.

Finally, while porn sex looks hot, it looks fake. No one sweats or farts or gets a cramp from fucking. You don't crash elbows or get the giggles or fail to orgasm because you're tired or stressed. So we feel resentful that there are people who can seemingly have perfect sex in HD.
35
@31- I am not saying that young minds should do X or Y but I am saying the disciplined minds are the ones that do not give into their impulses so easily and choose to focus on things they believe to be necessary. That is all I am saying. If it is necessary for them to watch porn and become addicted, well, than they must ask themselves why it is a necessity. Whether there are deep-rooted issues or porn serves to be a distraction, that is for them to decipher.

Also, I never used to word "Perfection"... I never referred to a utopic world... as I think we are far off from that; some things have gotten better, some perhaps not so much...

I do not mean to demonize anyone who enjoys sex because it is a need- we all enjoy it on different levels- some individuals have higher drives than others. It does come down to the person, what their priorities are, but the internet in general has proven, in SOME cases, to be a huge distraction. I apologize if I offended you, that was not the intention. :)
37
What a very interesting read. Well said Conner.
I am happy to admit that I like watching porn, some days I might watch a lot and then not watch it for a few days. But then some days I find myself watching every episode of Supernatural back to back just because I can. Or sitting up all night reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the umpteenth time. Are books or Sam and Dean better or worse than porn? In fact porn raises my heart rate so technically its healthier. Obviously the answer is that too much of anything is not good for you.
As to the performers, well personally I think they are amazing. They have to keep themselves, fit, healthy, and do a hard and physically demanding job. They lay their soul bare in the most incredibly personal way. I would actually like to meet some of them. Just to say thank you. Thank you for making my life just a little bit better. For making me smile. I'll buy you a cup of tea anytime xx
38
For at least the last 30 years, gay porn has simply been advertisement for where the real money is, escorting. Pretty hard to find a gay porn star who doesn't escort. So the real question is why don't I want to date escorts. Setting aside the monogamy thing, kind of hard to date someone who is working when you have off and sleeping when you're at work. And yes, gay sex workers seem to often be also crystal meth addicts.
39
@35 I think it is clear who it is that has 'deep rooted issues' here.

Is someone who is marginally more articulate going to weigh in with the sex-phobic position here? This comment thread is unexpectedly dull thus far.
40
@38 - You created a new profile just to post that? Really?
41
Conner, this was a great read. Sorry for being lame and not actually saying that yet.
42
I don't know Dan. When people call your show saying, "no one will date me because I'm fat," you tell them to lose weight. By that logic, shouldn't this dude just find a new job?
43
Hi Conner,

I would like to say that I don't hate porn stars. I do not dislike them. As far as I know I may not have even meet one. I do however hate pornography. I am 42 years old. I have been a sex addict since 28 that's 14 years. You might say my issue is one of addiction, of not being able to control myself. Yep that's the nature of addiction. And the outlet? Pornography. It's a pretty dense emotion. Masturbating to pornographic images. Nothing that I am proud of. Nothing spiritual or good came from it. Actually watching pornography & masturbating to it has had very negative effects on my life. It created problems that I live with. Your contention that it does not lead to sexual violence in my case is not true. I have duplicated things I have seen. Again nothing I am proud of. You say that pornographic actors are not victims of childhood sexual abuse. Jenna Jameson was. Tracey Lords was. Making out with someone can be a really enjoyable beautiful thing. That's good for the spirit & makes you happy. Watching pornography takes you away from people. It harms.
44
When you add a little romance in a bag of stale potatoes,it becomes a live tearful novel.Make sure you add tears and romantic pieces one at the time,with gaps,that are filled with banal potatoes.Nice story,Habib.Even though I can't get rid of a feeling that you are still spinning around yourself.
First of all,I do not believe that porn actors are victims of hatred.Some of porn actors are adored,some are blamed;but there's no hate at all.You are bringing attention to things that are insignificant and not true,if I had your popularity or amount of twitter friends...You have power of being heard, but you are wasting it on things that are important for yourself, not for community.
Frankly,this story sounds like a personal letter for "Alex",a letter that is full of justifications and blame towards a partner that let you go.
There are many opinions,mine might sound harsh, but I am just one of a few dozen that came along your post.I have bad chapters in my life,as well as those who are here with me.I was never hated or turned away from or disrespected for what I did in the past.I was always honest and open about myself and I never blamed my work or my bad fame for being lonesome at night in my bed,because it would have been a sweet lie.
45
@42 I'll take the troll bait....

Dan has actually never said that. Dan Savage's response would be to try online dating sites, especially ones for men who are attracted to overweight women and date the people who are into you.

Next.
46
What makes it difficult for a porn star to have a relationship is that the porn star displays his or her genitals all over the internet and films of him or her having sexual intercourse with a variety of relative strangers are shown all over the internet. And that's before you get to some of the more degrading activities that are involved in many types of porn. For most people sex is a private matter, and for most people love implies monogamy. Porn stars may not do any harm to anyone and they may get all sorts of benefits and satisfaction from what they do. But it really is rather disingenuous of the author to maintain that he really can't see why his lover had a problem with him having sex with many other partners and displaying pictures of it, including detailed close-ups of the most intimate acts involving the most private parts of his body, all over the imternet for anyone to see.
47
@46
What made you think that this article is about PERSONAL, as well as relationship problems of a porn actor and not for example, about SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF SEX WORKERS?Smiley face here.
Also, your comment is very immature in it's content due to poor knowledge of the issue.


48
Conner, well said indeed! As a former sex worker myself I could never get over the fact that people would judge me for getting paid for what they were doing for free :/ Ah the joys of being human!
49
Really interesting and nicely written article! While many people enjoy porn, most have a tendency to be judgmental hypocrites about the actors from the films they so much enjoy.

I've never done porn, but as an attractive woman who developed early- I've been objectified by men most of my life. I could have been a high-end call-girl, but chose not to go that route b/c I was too scared of all the what-if's.

My foray into sex-work stopped at showing my breasts to a man for $500., because the whole time I gave him a private peep show, I was terrified, thinking I could be raped or killed. However, the thought that I could have made 1500+ for an hour of sex left an impression on me as I was a nanny barely getting by.

My take on it is that my sexuality is only a problem for society if I am the one in control of it. If I were to have become a high-end call girl or stripper, then I would be a bad girl. As long as I am cowering in fear of my sexuality, everyone else can say I am a "good girl".

However, for the many times that I was sexually harassed at work, grabbed in bars, touched inappropriately, etc- all those guys who did that to me get a free pass and no one slut shames them for liking my tits.
50
@39- Sex phobic! Did you not read what I said? I suppose not. Sex is just as important as eating is. I love it, the world loves it, we get it. I am merely speaking upon the damage porn does to society; google anti-pornography- women on this website open up about their awful experiences. If you are going to be open-minded, read the other perspective as well. Not just that of one who has had an OK experience.
51
We hate you because you're all the definition of MORAL FAILURE.
52
@11 I hope you aren't a fan of restaurants then - kitchen staff can almost always be counted on to be holding. It's an industry joke at this point.

Don't even get started on if you like music....
53
This article isn't about anything. No real insights. WAY too long. I was hoping to learn something but got a trite pity party instead.
54
To go along with food porn, science porn, etc, should we start referring to plain ol' porn as "sex porn"?
55
Could the author be more full of himself?

Here is a clue Connor: nobody gives a fuck about your or your irrelevant job.
58
"I am merely speaking upon the damage porn does to society; google anti-pornography- women on this website open up about their awful experiences."

Wow, I can do that too with things like: nudist camp, McDonald's worker, business, retail, going to the park, working at the park, using a public restroom, internet, video games, cell phones, email, apples, bananas, farming, traveling, being a musician, talking to musicians, being alive, being dead, being in a coma, being one handed, being two handed, being straight, gay, or bi, being an art aficionado, being a wine aficionado, being a tulip aficionado, being a baby, having lungs, having eyes, moving from the couch to the toilet, getting up to get the channel turner, etc etc etc

Please go fuck yourself. You are not sex positive.
59
Great article! Most of the major cultures on this planet are sex-negative. Are performers in porn more exploited than coal miners, trash collectors, wait staff, anyone on minimum wage, etc.?
60
Hi Conner. Interesting article. I can give another answer for why at least SOME people would hate porn stars: envy. The appearance is that you are a hot guy and you know it. You're having sex with other hot guys and getting paid for it. And you probably have lots of fan mail. And you love doing it. You're living the good life. Meanwhile, many of the rest of us are not quite attractive enough to qualify for porn and/or feel too inhibited to do porn. We get ordinary jobs (because, let's face it, SOMEONE has to clean the streets, deliver the mail, collect the garbage and stock the grocery store shelves. The jobs are not particularly fun or glamorous but the people who work them are needed too). All industries have problems so even if we set aside the various problems of the porn industry, there is still probably a culture of porn that the rest of us cannot relate to.
61
@47
Why did I treat the article as if it were about personal matters?

Because it was. It was all about telling Alex he was in porn and then the strains that that placed on his personsl relationship with his lover Alex, and how eventually Alex couldn't take it any more and how awful that made him feel.

Fairly personal stuff, isn't it?
62
You know what shits me about porn stars? The way they call themselves stars. Actors don't go around telling people they're movie stars. Cooks don't go around saying they're restaurant stars... hmmm that one perhaps doesn't work but you get my point.

Anyway I like the article but I think he sensationalises it a bit. I think people are less comfortable around people who work in pornography but that doesn't mean they have a hatred of them. In a world where we're brought up to belive that sex is a private affair between two consenting adults it's fair to see why people might feel uncomfy around those who choose to sell that for their career.
63
Nothing quite like starting with a loaded, leading, MIS-leading question.

Except maybe following it up with a few dozen paragraphs of breathtaking narcissism.
64
@46 "For most people sex is a private matter, and for most people love implies monogamy." More like "most people have been unnaturally programmed against their instincts with the destructive notions that For most people sex should solely be a private matter, and that love implies monogamy." I see so many loving, wonderful couples torn apart by the noxious effects of that programming.
65
@30 I've had literally dozens of friends who have done porn. Not one of them was forced or coerced into it.
66
Persona: Intellectual Porn-actor
Tone: Mocking, whiney
Syntax: A lot of interrogations
Diction: Concrete and connotations
Audience:Those who oppose porn actors

Mostly one giant anecdotal evidence. Work on voice control.

67
@19: That is a terrible way to be 'discover' sex

Discover sex? Dude - by age 6, you should have given your kids the basic "how baby are made" talk. Or better yet, give them a children's book about it. There's no reason to hide the basic facts from them.

Also, big deal. Years ago my kids were Googling for something or another as I was watching from across the room, and they somehow came across a close-up picture of a cock in an asshole. My daughter, maybe 8 at the time, gasped, made a remark about it being "inappropriate", and clicked it away. I don't think my 5 year old son registered what it was. 4 years later, I doubt they'd even remember, and if they did, they'd laugh.
68
@61
Exactly, this is a story about Alex and Porn Actor,who is trying to tell the reader about hardships and life of a porn actor and stigma associated with it-when it comes to relationship issues.So, you are quite correct there, it is a personal story about a failed relationship and author's attempt to understand why it has failed.
I tried to add a sarcastic note in my previous comment:I said "personal story".Unfortunately essay has a misleading title and it failed to touch the topic of true social issues of a sex worker (or porn actor).
I believe,this story was not intended to change the world,Connor Habib is a writer,he writes and touches our hearts and it ends there.I don't understand why so many people in this comment section are leaving rude comments, after realizing that there's no answer to the title of the essay in essay itself-'What I Want to Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars'.
Yes dear, it is a PERSONAL story,well written and paragraphed,it is not an answer to social issue that's well described in essay.
69
@46: For most people sex is a private matter

Right, unless they are condemning it, in which case they are free to shout it from the rooftops, or the pulpit.

You are promoting shame. You needn't.
70
I am a little confused about the issue whether it is related to porn ( bad, good, biolence, objectification of men/women etc....) or the porn actor/performer/etc....
I do not hate porn, I find it the best outlet for the relief of tensions, inner and in most of time forbidden thoughts etc...
While I do not hate (because hate is such a powerful word and seems unfit hate), I would not have you as a lover ..Connor ya habibi and ya albi it has to do with TRUST....and I can not trust you ya helou....we can be BFF and trust you with my life and I really mean it but being intimate with you...very hard for me ....for multiple issues the most important being trust issues....but i am ready to change my mind if you can convince me and I love changing my mind....
71
@14, Great comment, thanks for posting.
72
I think apart from all the obvious things one would mention, the biggest problem for me would be this:

A porn star has chosen to be in the spotlight for other people to watch him, admire him, get off on him. He is not only totally fine about being associated exclusively with sex by the public, but he actually sought to be viewed that way.

By linking myself with a porn star I would have the feeling that I would be reduced to being viewed by people in this light as well. Maybe not with close friends, but everybody who sees me with my porn star boyfriend would only see me in this light.

I am a person who has no problems to talk openly about sex, but I would not want to be associated with it all the time.

I think this is a problem that any partner of of a celebrity has to face in one way or the other, that he or she has to stand in the other persons shadow. To be honest, I don't think I would be able to do that anyway. But then add the fact that the other person upstages you for sex AND you also get associated solely with sex all the time even though you never wanted to define yourself this way... I am pretty sure that I would not be able to handle this.

I realize that this might sound hypocritical to some, but this is just the way I think. As the partner of a porn star you would have to be willing to take the same pride in his sex work as he does and also carry the stigma of doing porn together with him, without having the porn background, the knowledge about the business etc. and without having made the choice that he has, that this is the life he wants to lead. I think it is understandable for any person to not wish to carry this burdon and I have the utmost respect for people who decide they are fine with it. I don't think, I would be, though
73
I think apart from all the obvious things one would mention, the biggest problem for me would be this:

A porn star has chosen to be in the spotlight for other people to watch him, admire him, get off on him. He is not only totally fine about being associated exclusively with sex by the public, but he actually sought to be viewed that way.

By linking myself with a porn star I would have the feeling that I would be reduced to being viewed by people in this light as well. Maybe not with close friends, but everybody who sees me with my porn star boyfriend would only see me in this light.

I am a person who has no problems to talk openly about sex, but I would not want to be associated with it all the time.

I think this is a problem that any partner of of a celebrity has to face in one way or the other, that he or she has to stand in the other persons shadow. To be honest, I don't think I would be able to do that anyway. But then add the fact that the other person upstages you for sex AND you also get associated solely with sex all the time even though you never wanted to define yourself this way... I am pretty sure that I would not be able to handle this.

I realize that this might sound hypocritical to some, but this is just the way I think. As the partner of a porn star you would have to be willing to take the same pride in his sex work as he does and also carry the stigma of doing porn together with him, without having the porn background, the knowledge about the business etc. and without having made the choice that he has, that this is the life he wants to lead. I think it is understandable for any person to not wish to carry this burdon and I have the utmost respect for people who decide they are fine with it. I don't think, I would be, though
74
There's a big disconnect in his brain, somehow. Maybe an STD infiltrated it.

Just because you plow, or get plowed by, strangers on film and get paid for it, just because you do it so often it's like blowing your nose, that doesn't make it a great thing. Sorry. It may be beautiful and natural and liberating and all that to you. So is moving your bowels. Your grandparents wouldn't want to see you do either on the dining room table at Thanksgiving, would they? So the problem is with you.
75
Jealous bitches who are hating on porn stars cause they can't seem to get any sex period, much less as much as a porn star.

They don't clue into the fact that no one wants to sleep with them because they are such hateful bitchy queens.
76
Wow, theres 15 minutes of my life Ill never get back by reading the article. I think ill go watch the news and see whats going on in the real world....or better yet, maybe i'll just watch some porn?
77
what the fuck was that? terrible writing, editing, structure and follow through on its central idea. I have no idea what the 'writer' is getting at in any of this, let alone what Alex has to do with his point.

Back to the drawing board on this one.

Jesus, I weep for what has happened to 'writing' in the past two decades..
78
You write very well. Your piece was refreshing to read.

Maybe it's jealousy.

You love your job. We love your job.

You are, the bulk of you, and you in particular, gorgeous, with awe

inspiring bodies, and body parts (calves, thighs, chests, feet, legs,

hands, arms, necks, noses, mouths, and the hearts of the matter, in all their transmutations).

Why should he have everything: a gorgeous body, an easy life, a

fun-filled, well-paid job?

Who does he think he is? I hate him. He's a menace to society.

He's corrupting our children.

Why couldn't that have been me?

As for me, I'm looking for you online, and I'm in video-buying mode.
79
I'm with #9
80
So I'm probably always going to have a problem with the porn industry as it is. The misogyny in the marketing, the focus on fetishizing of race, the fact that if I want to find good porn videos that appeal to me I have to go through a TON of videos with "whore" and "slut" and "gets what's coming to her" in so many of the titles. I'm always going to be frustrated by that and I really don't want to support the industry because of it.

But I love erotica. I love erotica where women can explore their sexuality freely with the kinks they like. And I refuse to judge porn stars for getting paid for doing something that they enjoy. If they say they're doing it freely, then I believe them and all power to them. ... I just hate the system.
81
wow, this brought tears to my eyes. BEAUTIFULLY written and so incredibly honest and moving.
82
I get the point he's trying to make but he comes across as so arrogant and self centered in his writing that the point ends up being lost in all the flowery,"look how deep I am"language.
83
I hope things work out between you and Alex. The personal side of this story was profound, and I feel for you.

I don't think people hate porn actors (most of the people I know don't - porn's just too mainstream these days for the same stigma to attach to it), but I do think people are uneasy around porn actors, and I think it's first and foremost because people are uncomfortable with their own sexuality.

There may be other reasons, though, that aren't entirely unfair. Having sex for money involves a tricky separation between your physical state and your emotional state. You have to treat yourself (and other people) like an instrument in a sense, and that's somewhat sociopathic. Like all acting, it involves an inherent form of inauthenticity. That notion - that people can feel one way and act another - is scary, no matter where or how it manifests. Porn is a very visible manifestation and one that relates to an act that is deeply personal for many and fraught with conflicted emotions.

Over time, I've found myself less and less interested in commercial porn because of that inauthenticity. Gay porn may be a very different world, but in straight porn, there's nothing sexy about two people mechanically going through the motions. Amateur porn, on the other hand, where the people are in the moment and connecting with each other - that's sexy and beautiful (and exceedingly rare).

I guess what I'm saying is your profession will always create a doubt for anyone you're around socially - a chasm they have to cross. You may have crossed it, and it may seem perfectly natural to you; it may take time for others to understand and accept it, even if they have perfectly liberal attitudes towards porn.
84
I hope things work out between you and Alex. The personal side of this story was profound, and I feel for you.

I don't think people hate porn actors (most of the people I know don't - porn's just too mainstream these days for the same stigma to attach to it), but I do think people are uneasy around porn actors, and I think it's first and foremost because people are uncomfortable with their own sexuality.

There may be other reasons, though, that aren't entirely unfair. Having sex for money or on film involves a separation between your physical state and your emotional state. You have to treat yourself (and other people) like an instrument in a sense, and that's somewhat sociopathic. Like all acting, it involves an inherent form of inauthenticity. That notion - that people can feel one way and act another - is scary, no matter where or how it manifests (it's even scarier in business, where it's arguably most prevalent). Porn is a very visible manifestation and one that relates to an act that is deeply personal for many and fraught with conflicted emotions for others.

Over time, I've found myself less and less interested in commercial porn because of that inauthenticity. Gay porn may be a very different world, but in straight porn, there's nothing sexy about two people mechanically going through the motions. Amateur porn, on the other hand, where the people are in the moment and connecting with each other - that's sexy and beautiful (and exceedingly fragile - easily destroyed by the presence of a camera).

I guess what I'm saying is your profession will always create a doubt for anyone you're around socially - a chasm they have to cross. You may have crossed it, and it may seem perfectly natural to you and your desire to bring pleasure to people watching a totally authentic motivation that closes the gap between the physical and emotional sides of what you do; it may take time for others to understand and accept it, even if they have perfectly liberal attitudes towards porn.

As for the true haters - the religious nuts, the outraged feminists who want to see oppression wherever they think it exists, the frightened and well intentioned youngsters who want to save the world or protect themselves from the reality of sex by equating porn and crime - you'll never do anything about them. Too bad they're the most vocal.
85
Answer: I don't hate porn stars. But your pseudo-intellectual drivel makes me not like you very much. But I guess we're all guilty of making choices in life and then bitching about it.
86
"What is it about porn stars that bothers you so much?" -- It's got to be the star part. Everybody can't be a star nor should anyone ever refer to themselves as a star. Other than that I'm good :)
87
Very moving, great read.. Thank you Connor. I am sorry things didn't work out between you and Alex.

I think why we don't like porn stars, is that it's a threat to our whole 2.4 kids nuclear family concept. Some of us just aren't ready for that threat to be acknowledged, and our love challenged by the threat of 'other' in our lives with those we love.
Stupid as that sounds. There's something useful about denial sometimes, when you're trying to make a marriage work out.

I went through a divorce, and he had another woman. I felt so much rage towards them both, and several of our (now ex) friends who said I was being the asshole, for feeling how I did about it.
I think the spectre of that looms in porn, too, and triggers those same feelings.

And, the threat of disease is a big one for me!
I haven't always been careful and that scares me. What if..
Bring multiple possibilities of that into the equation, and you're faced with a very real threat and fear of death and illness. It's too scary for some, too scary for me. I am avoiding sex at this point in my life until I can get over myself.

I am a reasonable adult, open minded, and these things still haunt me. They haunt others more, that aren't so reasonable and grown up about it, or as well educated about it. I have gone and sought an education in the last few years.

Throw religion into the mix and well.. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you about that!

Anyway, thank you for writing that, a very courageous and wonderful piece. I wish you happiness and that you find an Alex that is ready to be loved, and accepts you for who you are.
88
@84 great comment.. :)
89
@63 - Best comment here. You said exactly what needs to be said, so I'll post it again:

"Nothing quite like starting with a loaded, leading, MIS-leading question.

Except maybe following it up with a few dozen paragraphs of breathtaking narcissism."
90
I don't "hate" them, but...eh, I still maintain that porn is extremely unrealistic and kinda fake, and people who watch a lot of it get screwed-up expectations of what real sex is. The actual activity is highly edited and staged. (And often assisted with viagra or injections or something.) The actors are people without normal jobs, so they spend probably 25 or so hours/week at a gym with trainers, (on top of already winning the DNA lottery), and have extremely perfect physiques that are also unreal because none of us normal guys could ever compare with. And guys who watch a ton of it, start to expect real sex to be the same way. (At least with amateur porn, I feel more like a more natural voyeur/exhibition fetish thing going on.) But professional porn is just---not normal sex. I don't hate the stars in them---but I refuse to do what many gay men do and put them up on a pedestal as "all that". They're not "all that". They just got real lucky by being hot and now are paid big bucks to get naked in front of a camera. Meh. Good for them but don't put them on a pedestal.
I’d add also that I understand Alex’s position. His issue may not be the sexual acts themselves. Personally I certainly wouldn’t date a porn star! To be “hot enough” for a porn star? That’s wayyy too much pressure! You’ve got to put yourself in his shoes on this one. Nobody wants to be the “normal guy” who feels like he’s gotta keep up to a high standard in order to keep his porn actor partner happy. YIKES.
That all said, the slut-shaming part of it all, the sexually-liberated part of me opposes strongly. Let people do what they want with their bodies, with whoever they want.
91
the most beautiful thing i have ever read in the stranger.
92
@84

So why do you hate that "inauthenticity" (your words, not mine) in porn stars but not actors on stage or film?
94

I enjoyed the article a lot - lovely piece of writing and I for one am sorry to hear about the breakup of their relationship.

I do think though that the premise of the article is a bit self important and OTT. I don't think people bother to "hate" porn stars. Yes, I'm sure there is discrimination once you reveal to potential partners and/or relatives and/or potential future non-porn employers, etc., what you did for a living, but that ain't "hate".

I'm sure what there is, is a lot of envy of the beauty of these people and their sexual prowess and the money they make, and for what? For fucking other beautiful people? Ya, plenty of envy, but I just don't see hate.


95

One thing not touched on by the author nor in any of these comments is the very obvious and massively increased risk of disease when you fuck strangers - different strangers all the time - full time, year in and year out. Obviously you put your partner at risk, hugely more than someone who doesn't bang and blow for a living, right?

Not to mention the guy you're in love with's junk being on display for the entire world to see 24/7, every square centimeter of his flesh, his O face, him actually coming, the noises he makes when doing so, etc. ... Stuff on THAT level of privacy and intimacy - ya.

Conner, I think it's fairly understandable that MOST people who fall in love with you will not want your most intensely private moments like that to be on public display, to anybody with a computer and a credit card. Surely this isn't much of a stretch.

I don't wish you ill. I hope you find another Alex. Just putting myself in his shoes, though, ya, there might be novelty in the beginning, and bragging rights, but after a while if we became serious I think - and I think most people other than maybe other porn stars - would, again want and maybe deserve the private, intimate stuff to be just that ... private, and intimate.

So then don't date a porn star if you feel that way, somebody will say, to which I'd reply, well by the same token, if you are a porn star, don't be upset and surprised if your lovers - people you dream about still being in love with when they're old - have a hard time with how you make a living. Maybe we could handle it in the beginning to a degree, but the increased risk of passing bad shit onto me after you've banged the 100th guy that year, is gonna get super old.


96
@95, I brought up the disease thing in comment 87. Indeed. It is a problem for me, too, there's no avoiding that aspect of it.
97
Greetings Connor! Premising that I never comment to journal articles, I could not resist to yours! It was very interesting to read what you wrote, but at the same time all you stated was somehow difficult to understand, and also deviating from the real issue, in a certain sense.

I - I think you are mixing two different issues: your private relationship with Alex and the collective perception of pornography (porn actors/actresses). To me these two are not related at all, simply because they belong to two separate realms. By mixing the two issues confuses things. In your piece you simply categorized Alex as part of the mob of those who hate porn actors, whereas yourself as the hated part. And this absolutely unclear, why should be that way. I mean Alex had a direct conflict of interests toward your job, whereas the general public, being detached to it, cover a different position that for any reason cannot be compared to that of Alex!

II - You mention that you both loved each other. But then you say that each of you were free to meet whoever you wanted. It would be interesting to understand what kind of love is this. I personally call it simply "infatuation/affair", because love should be more than that. Or maybe yours was an immature love. To support the love you guys felt toward each other you say that "we said 'I love you'". A wise man, centuries ago, said "if saying food defeated hunger, if saying water quenched thirst, this world would have resolved its two major problems." So saying "I love you" to someone does not automatically mean that one feels true love. One must act on it. Maybe in your case this action had to do with your job (obviously!!!!).

III - You weren't enough brave to threw away all you had for him. By not being able to give up your job freely without expecting Alex to do it you demonstrated that you weren't ready for a more serious relationship (relationship acquires a strong binding between two things). On the other hand Alex was unable, or not fully interested, to push you toward a definitive choice between your job or the relation. Maybe he did not feel in love after all!!!

IV - When one is in love, I mean a true love, one is able to control their own passions otherwise the word "man" loses its true meaning. Love is exclusive of all. You seem to make it sound differently by saying "I have a pure heart," yet I will keep doing what I like to do. Basically you state your own selfishness with such claim. If a heart were really pure, it would mirror only the face of the beloved one, not many faces and other personal passions. But seems that you were not ready to give up your passions freely. Alex wanted space, but you also needed space by claiming that somehow you needed to do what you really liked, porn acting. Basically, from the article, seems that you and Alex were trying to build a house starting from the roof instead of building the foundations first! The article states it clearly: your love story drowned in the "Ocean of Mercy", that first day.

I hope I did not sound a moralist, or offended in any way. If somehow any of my sayings seemed harsh and unjust I beg pardon in advance.
-ULI

98
Because their incessant need for validation is fucking annoying!
99
Haven't read any of the other comments so I don't know what way they're skewing, but I just wanted to say that I for one do not hate porn stars. I have huge respect for what they do. I wish I could do it. I wish somebody wanted me to. Porn itself, I could wish for more quality in the finished product, more diversity, more of the good stuff because it is possible to do really good porn but most of the makers don't seem to want to bother. I wish porn was not so easy to sell that it's not necessary to put any effort into making a distinguished finished product in order to make money at it. But porn stars? If I had to answer for other people as to why they hate them, I'd guess a lot of them are envious. Not of the having sex part, because no doubt having sex on film is more work than pleasure. But the not being ashamed of it part. The total rejection of the sexual guilt that authority figures try to instill in us from birth in order to control us. What's the best way to control somebody? Make them feel guilty about the things they want the most. To everyone who says a big "Fuck you" to that whole concept: I salute you.
100
I personally find nothing shameful about being a porn star.

That being said, I can completely understand where Alex is coming from. I would not want my husband doing porn, and I have no desire to have sex with anyone but him. To me, it is special when we have sex and I want that to be something only he and I share. He feels the same.

Maybe you should date someone who feels the same way you do. Not everyone can be in that type of relationship. I would never be able to date a porn star but I don't judge nor hate them for their choice of profession. But it's a little ignorant to not see where Alex would be coming from. And he probably didn't mention porn to you as a reason for breaking up because he didn't want to hurt you more.
101
who hates porn stars?
102
This is quite a well-written article but it is deceptive and disingenuous.

Its title asks why people hate porn stars, but it has nothing to do with that. It's deceptive. It's in fact a lament by a porn star that his lover could not ultimately accept his occupation.

And it's disingenuous because the author fails to mention that his occupation requires him to display his genitals all over the internet, to have sexual intercourse regularly with multiple partners and be filmed while doing it, and all for the purpose of inducing members of the public to masturbate while looking at pictures of him.

What is surprising is that the author should expect his lover to accept those things.

I don't hate porn stars. I like looking at them. But for a lover I look for someone that keeps their sex life private, between them and me, and reserves access to their body for me. Like most people.
103
Connor, you are a particular kind of performance artist -- a professional provocateur -- not the first and not the last. Think "Karen Finley" -- currently an NYU faculty member, formerly a National Endowment for the Arts pariah and a performer known for inserting yams into her vagina as part of her live appearances. As I see it, your "art," Connor, is not porn, but the radical and intentional juxtaposition of pornmaking alongside a serious academic life alongside serious thinking and writing -- all presented to your audience(s) as an integrated, guile-less persona. Of COURSE you would bait the public with a long, well-written piece about the injustice of stereotyping pornstars! What ELSE would Connor Habib do? Or Karen Finley do, in her day? Or Robert Mapplethorpe do, in his day?

But, in the meantime, you're too smart not to know about the fates of Arpad Miklos (a chemist by training!), Erik Rhodes, Linda Lovelace and all the other pornstar suicides. It's predictably clever of you to pretend they are the statistical exception. And artfully disingenuous of you to suggest it is only OUR hang-up for drawing any conclusions whatsoever from their sad stories.

--
104
A wonderful and smart piece. Thank you for writing it. I can say that the people that I know that are involved in porn are also some of the smartest and funniest and generous people I know. I can't tell you why some people hate porn. I don't know the answer. I don't know why your job is a big deal when it comes to dating or loving or even being married. I don't know. All I can say is that I don't have a problem with porn or people in porn. They are often the very best of people. Because, in the end, they are just people, doing the job they have chosen to do. More power to them.
105
Beautifully done. Brilliantly thoughtful. Love!