by Curtis L. Isom – Founder/Editor-In-Chief
If you’re one of those people who don’t care about what happens around you, don’t want to make a difference, and just don’t give a damn, then this article isn’t for you. But if you’re someone who cares about what is going on around you, wants to make a difference any way possible, and gives a damn, then maybe this article is for you.
But beware I will probably piss people off by what I’m going to discuss, but that’s what being unbias means. I call it as I see it and let the chips fall where they may……
There are a few reasons I’m writing this article. Some personal. others based on observations of the actions of others. I’m not writing this from some moral high ground either, I just care about this industry and want everyone to be at the top of their craft. And I don’t claim to have the “magical answer” to everything, just sharing my experiences to hopefully educate and maybe make a difference in someone life.
A difference that could possibly save them from killing themselves accidentally or on purpose. You never know.
I’ve had numerous conversations about issues facing the Adult Entertainment Industry (AEI). In having these discussions, I’ve noticed most people don’t offer solutions or don’t really seems to care to see the problems get resolved. I’m not saying there aren’t people in the industry who do care, it’s just how far are they willing to go to stand up to what is happening in our industry? I see people post their blogs, tweet their thoughts, do their interviews, but when push comes to shove, most seem to back off from their stance. Why? Doesn’t their word, or this industry, mean something to them? In reality when push comes to shove people don’t like rocking the boat – especially when it can effect their pocketbook. But from those conversations I’ve had, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the biggest problem facing the AEI is simply – APATHY.
According to Webster’s dictionary, it’s defined as follows: APATHY: (noun) : the feeling of not having much emotion or interest : an apathetic state
Think of APATHY as, “If it doesn’t affect or include me, I don’t care” viewpoint. Or better yet, just not giving a fuck. Not giving a fuck can work once in a while, but applying it to everything you do can leave you getting fucked over when you least expect it. Think about that.
Again, I know that someone reading this will get pissed off. So be it. But if you’ve been reading my posts, you should know I don’t back down when challenged. I use to allow comments to my posts, but got so much spam that I had to stop allowing comments. Now with the new Erotic World Media YouTube channel, let the comments begin again. Just be ready if you think you can bully me because it’s a whole new ballgame and I’m ready.
But back to people being apathetic……
Sexual misconduct isn’t acceptable anywhere. I think should be more so in the AEI. Whether it’s a deejay sexually harassing a dancer or a male performer disrespecting a woman’s boundaries during a scene, you cross that line, you should be held accountable. The problem has been sexual misconduct has been going on for decades and victims were afraid of repercussions. That fear still intimidates some victims to this day.
But along comes the internet, social media, and things like the recent #METOO movement, some victims are willing to tell their stories. Here’s some articles from Naughty News Network by Kelli Roberts. I warn you there is some graphic material.
I can’t describe what reading these articles did to me. Made me ashamed to be male, but also lit a fire me to write this. Now because of the pandemic, these cases will hopefully get their day in court and not get pushed to the sidelines. And whatever comes of the charges filed, this has started a firestorm in the AEI and I’m in it for the long haul to provide any support possible.
Now if you’re wondering if there are organizations within the industry trying to address this issue, there is The Adult Performers Guild which is the union for the AEI. On June 12, 2020 this response was posted on their Twitter account @APAGunion: “Too many times models are upset after a scene, but when we ask them did you communicate that with the director and the answer many times is no. Ladies and gentlemen if you don’t communicate it’s hard for the director to know you are uncomfortable! Please communicate! ~ KP“
But evidently, this “KP”, who seems to be siding with the abuser, crossed a line within the APAG and this tweet went out later on the same day: “What happened on our union Twitter today is completely unacceptable. The rest of the APAG board would like to apologize. We have suspended KP from Twitter moderation. AE”
Ok, but if you’re the union for the industry, what are you putting forth as an united front in an effort to stop the abuse? Or are you participating in “circling the wagons” to protect abusers and the companies they work for?
If up to this point you think nothing can be done, then read this: https://www.xbiz.com/news/252721/evil-angels-cam-girls-controversy-reignites-ginger-banks-files-police-report
And then there is Ron Jeremy who has been basically blackballed, suspended, whatever you want to call it, from any major adult industry event. Why? Because he supposedly grabbed the breasts of a MyFreeCams model at an event and she complained. There are other stories. In June 2020, the Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Mr. Jeremy with rape and sexual assault. His bail was set at 6.6 million dollars. I DO NOT condone what Mr. Jeremy has supposedly done, but I believe in the justice system and he is innocent until proven guilty.
But if the allegations are found to be false, then Mr. Jeremy is OWED a huge apology and his “ban” should be lifted. If the allegations are found to be true, then I think this sets a standard for the AEI to follow. If any abuse accusations are found true, the abusers should be banned from the Adult Entertainment Industry and face any criminal charges as well.
One standard for ALL offenders, not just pick and choose.
So with that said, here’s my take on filing charges:
- If you’re sexually abuse, and DO NOT file charges, but then openly talk about what happen to you, this may seem like a good idea. But in the long run you can look like a liar because you’re not doing anything about what happened to you besides talking. You just look like you’ve “jumped on the bandwagon” with other women to complain about some male. Remember Bill Cosby? A vast number of women who accused him of sexual assault never went to court to testify. Yeah, he was convicted, but I feel those who never testified may have never been assaulted in the first place.
- So, if you’re sexually assaulted, FILE CHARGES! But you better have the facts and evidence to back yourself up. And don’t stop after filing charges, STAY ON TOP OF THINGS!!!!! Call the police to see how your case is progressing. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And if you know of other women who’ve been assaulted by the same male, talk to them about filing charges too. The more women who come forward with proof of sexual abuse from the same guy, the better the chance of putting him in jail.
- I do want to say if you do files charges, this is no joke.
Before I leave this topic, I have to say that there may be people who falsely accuse someone else of abuse. Just like one who does the abuse, if you falsely accuse someone of abuse, an you’re found out, then you should be held accountable as well. Including criminal charges.
But now on to another topic…..
Let me start with this: https://www.thedailybeast.com/why-are-so-many-female-porn-stars-turning-up-dead
Every year at the AVN Awards Show there is an “In Memoriam” for those the industry has lost. Some to natural deaths, some to other means. Now I don’t think this tribute covers everyone because there are lesser known talent that may not make the list. I know before the 2018 Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) the industry lost August Ames due to suicide. And at the 2018 AEE, there were t-shirts given out with Ms. Ames on them. The issue I had was those getting t-shirts were told to post on social media showing the shits being worn. Ok, a nice way to honor Ms. Ames, but there were those of us who had a problem with “promotion” because not only was Ms. Ames’ image done in a Mexican death mask, but what about the others who died as well? Where was their tribute? Looks like you’re saying some people matter while others don’t. Let’s be consistent people.
Drug and Alcohol Use – To say there aren’t people in the Adult Entertainment Industry who drink or use drugs would be an outright lie. Personally, I’ve smoked marijuana, fully support its legalization, and have had a drink every now and then. If you want to drink or use drugs, that’s your choice. But using either or both as an excuse to get on stage or before a camera is bullshit. If you came into this industry under your own freewill and personal choice, then you should have the common sense to do your job without being hindered by using alcohol or drugs. There’s no reason to go on and on about why people indulge, because everyone has their own theory. But the majority would say those people want to escape from reality. What they are escaping from only they know, but to continuing to use to the point someone dies says there is something missing from their life that could of stop them from paying the ultimate price.
And if you supply someone with alcohol or drugs in order to get them to perform in front of a camera, then you are an abuser and should be held accountable. Trying to lower someone’s inhibitions on purpose in order to get them to do something they might otherwise NOT do just goes to show how much disrespect you have for someone’s boundaries or safety.
Mental Health – Everyone has a bad day from time to time and it’s common sense that drugs and alcohol also affect one’s mental capabilities. But the Adult Entertainment Industry isn’t for everyone. And if you don’t have your head screwed on tight and do you homework, then your only lessening your chances of being successful. If you’re having mental health issues, please get help. I don’t believe in a better life through pharmaceuticals, although I’ve met some people who need them. But talking to someone, anyone, about what’s bothering you is better than keeping it to yourself and then trying to drug and drink your issues away.
Cyberbullying – When did we lose the respect of another person’s opinion, even if we disagree with it? With social media it seems like those without a backbone get brave and bully people by saying things they wouldn’t say to that person in public. Cyberbullying is a problem and is considered one of the major contributing factors in the aforementioned August Ames’ suicide. Ms. Ames expressed a concern over doing a scene with a male who had just done some gay porn. Totally understandable, except to those who though she was being homophobic. What The Fuck?? Someone expresses a concern about the safety of her personal health and gets attacked? Looks like people forget that the industry “preaches” getting tested to insure and protect the health of performers. Maybe some people don’t get tested and don’t give a fuck about anyone else but themselves.
Anyway, one of the people accused of cyberbullying Ms. Ames was Jessica Drake. Ms. Drake claims she did nothing wrong, but had a security detail with her at the 2018 AVN Awards. So if you think you did nothing wrong, what’s with the security detail? What were you afraid of Ms. Drake?
So chose your words wisely on line. I’ve had people try to cyberbully me and failed. For those who know me, I am a man of my word and will tell you the same thing in person that I say on-line. If you can’t back up what you say, then you’d be better off in the long run keeping your mouth shut. Some people have long memories.
Let’s start with some phone numbers:
- National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline https://www.rainn.org 800-656-HOPE (4673)
- Alcoholics Anonymous https://aa.org/. The website will help you find a phone number for an AA chapter near you.
- Narcotics Anonymous https://na.org/ Telephone +1-818-773-9999
If you need help or going through some rough times, talk to someone! I know it’s tough to admit you might need help, but talking to someone is so much better than trying to tough it out and possibly lose your life. There are people out there trained to help you, so use them.
Be a “sponsor or advocate” – I’ve met people in the industry who have issues with things like drugs and alcohol, got help, and now want to help others. If you are one of these people, remember what it was like when you thought nobody cared. You got help and now I ask you “pay it forward” by helping someone else who needs help. Check with your local NA or AA affiliate and see what you can do to help.
Find a “sponsor or advocate” –
Again, I don’t have the “magic answer”. I’m someone who loves this industry and believes it can do better. If people want it to do better.
This is not easy, but I’m going to share a personal reason I wrote this article. I was sexually assaulted when I sixteen years old. I told nobody because I was ashamed. The individual who assaulted me was eventually captured but that was after they abused more young people. Ever since then, I’ve done what I can to help people when possible. I share this because I know what it’s like to be victim. And a survivor. I’m not asking for sympathy, just understand I speak from a viewpoint and experience that I wish on nobody.
There are people in the world outside the AEI that think the industry is full of degenerate that abuse the women and nobody gives a shit. I know this is wrong. What I have shared here is exceptions to the norm, but they are growing. I believe in this industry, damn proud to be a part of it, and care about the people in it.
Now what I’ve said so far you’ve probably heard elsewhere, but let me ask you this, “Has it made you change the way you think or act in certain situations?” Be honest with yourself, because as the saying goes, “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Not asking people to be saints, just take care of themselves and others when having a good time.
But the trend I’m seeing in the Adult Entertainment Industry is scary. Again, this industry isn’t for everyone and the “revolving door” of new talent, especially female, that I see is a part of what worries me. Some do decide this isn’t for them and quit, but there are others that leave the industry on sadder terms. Terms that might of been prevented.
So, I ask you again, how apathetic are you?