Many porn stars viewed online are actually dead and buried…their ‘work’ killed them

By Jonathon Van Maren

Last year, 20-year-old porn actress Olivia North was found dead in Las Vegas, a girl who professed to be “lonely” and still grieving the loss of her boyfriend, who had died of a drug overdose.

In December, fellow porn actress Yuritzan Beltran also died from a drug overdose—and later that month, the 23-year-old August Ames hung herself after being viciously bullied online by social justice warriors who were livid that Ames had declined to shoot porn scenes with a male performer who also did gay porn in order to avoid the risk of STDs. Those reasons weren’t good enough for the progressives, who shrugged off her suicide as if she deserved it—and after all, what’s one more dead porn star?

There are many reasons not to look at pornography, and I’ve written many columns in this space detailing those reasons: The mainstreaming of rape culture, the creation of addictions, the destruction of marriages and families, and even the warp-speed spread of erectile dysfunction.

But there is another reason not to look at pornography: Simple compassion for the women and girls who get chewed up by the industry and then abandoned.

Even Miriam Weeks—also known Belle Knox, the “Duke University Porn Star”—who once described porn as “freeing and empowering and the way the world should be” in an interview with CNN, later admitted in interviews that the porn industry had ruined her life.

It’s not surprising that the intense violence of the porn industry is ruining the women and girls who end up selling themselves to it.

“Once [the performers] are in the industry, they have high rates of substance abuse, typically alcohol and cocaine, depression, borderline personality disorder,” noted researcher Dr. Mary Anne Layden, an expert on the porn industry.

“The experience I find most common among performers is that they have to be drunk, high, or disassociated to go to work. Their work environment is particularly toxic…The terrible work life of the pornography performer is often followed by an equally terrible home life. They have an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease (including HIV), domestic violence, and have about a 25% chance of making a marriage that lasts as long as three years.”

Such things are an open secret inside the porn industry. One male porn performer who starred in 600 films with over 3,000 women noted that everyone in the porn world has herpes, both males and females. Dr. Sharon Mitchell’s estimate was slightly lower—she put the number at 66%, not including another 12-28% with other STDs and 7% with HIV.

To cope with this lifestyle, porn performers turn to substance abuse. Erin Moore, a porn performer, was blunt: “The drugs we binged on were ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, and alcohol.”

I asked my friend Jessica Neely, a former porn performer who is recovering from her time in the industry, if suicide was common in the porn industry. “Well, 100% of [industry] survivors I know have attempted [suicide], so I don’t know,” she told me. “I know of three alive from my era now.” When I asked her about the rates of substance abuse, her response was equally gloomy: “100%.”

Jessica has lost a lot of friends.

“At the end, with the HIV cover-ups, I just saw we were going to die one way or another,” she said. “HIV cover-ups were to truly take away the option of choice. It was murder. We were murdering our own.”

Consider this for a moment: Many of the actresses that porn users are watching are dead.

They are arousing themselves to the sight of women and girls who have ended up in coffins because the industry that exploits them for the pleasure of porn users drove them to drugs, to drink, and to death. There is something truly evil and truly vile about millions of men spending millions of hours in a state of sexual excitement over doomed performers who will destroy their lives in the few years they spend in the porn industry. Carnality leading to carnage.

If you look at porn, know that you are contributing to the exploitation and victimization of the girls you are using to “get off.”

Know that when the director yells “cut” and you’re done watching the video, the miserable people going through the motions for your entertainment will probably be abusing drugs and alcohol to cope with their experience.

And know that at the end of the day, your habit is contributing to the suicides of young girls who cannot handle the strain of being a sex object for your pleasure each and every day.

Is this something that anyone wants to be a part of in any way? It’s time to end porn. This will only happen if demand dries up. It’s time to stop the demand. Break the habit.


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9 thoughts on “Many porn stars viewed online are actually dead and buried…their ‘work’ killed them

  1. Matt Osborne says:

    Just one little note: a person is “hanged” or “hangs” themselves; a person is never, ever “hung.”

    “The prisoner was hung at dawn” is the premise of a porn scene, not a proper report of an execution.

    • BH says:

      Matt Osborne – Is this really your takeaway from this article? So bothered by the misuse of the word hung you felt you needed to comment on it, but no mention of how you feel about the article itself?

      Sad article from my point of view, puts things in perspective a bit for sure.

  2. chad says:

    Demand iiiis never going to to dry up, sorry its an empty prescription. Its the oldest profession filmed, the market can’t fix this one, it requires state intervention. The best real solution I can come up wiyh is make 3rd party participation in prostitution illegal, ie pimps and capitalist. So that one can privately exchange money for sex, but any 3rd party involved gets a heavy punishment, any distribution of porn for money, any pimp, gets punished. any website that charges gets blocked, remove the profit from the industry, but allow them make their products for free so that it cannot be called censorship.

    • tonysam says:

      Baloney. Treat it like kiddie porn and jail and fine those who produce it and consume it and label them sex offenders for life. That would all but end it. It’s pretty easy to get rid of it. There is something about not being able to earn a living or finding a place to live that would stop this depravity. You are making excuses for its continued existence by making the silly statement that we can’t get rid of demand. That is a lie.

  3. Lynne says:

    Until Men are taught that women are to be respected not treated as a human toilet for their sperm this will not stop! Men are visual, yes, but disrespect of that vision, vis a vis women they will continue their abusive ways. They feel it’s all about the penis and NEVER about the female!! Education is the key, these poor women how have survived need to share their stories starting with teens in high school. Fathers need to educated their sons.

    • Jesse says:

      I’m not trying to take away from how tragic any of this is, because it is awful all around. But to only push blame to men is ridiculous! So go this route and try to get people to stop watching it with the stories and everything, but go after the women making the damn things too. I mean shoot you say men this and men that well women sign contracts to do it thinking they’re having sex for good amounts of money. Yes they are lied to, but to blame it all on men is ridiculous. Humanity male and female are to blame not just men ya sexist

    • tonysam says:

      It’s about the political will to get rid of it once and for all. Treat it the same as kiddie porn. It is not censorship or free speech. This is human rights abuse. Women and children are not things for you to buy and exploit. Stop using the bogus ACLU argument because they find nothing wrong with banning kiddie porn. They have long been on the take from pornographers. This is a crime against humanity.

  4. Tyrone says:

    Capitalism is the problem, not human sexuality. Lots of people abuse drugs to cope with the stress of working jobs they hate, IDK why people act like it’s somehow uniquely bad when it comes to sex work. Watching porn isn’t causing men to look at women any differently than we would without porn. I love and respect my girl, but I can also appreciate the way she makes me feel :/

  5. Dan says:

    I understand porn is a nasty thing and wrong to watch. However, it’s a choice to go into it or not. These women, girls, men, and boys who go into it and are exploited made the choice.

    I feel bad for people who where forced into it. But the majority of them made a choice to go into it. I’m sorry I have a hard time feeling bad for that.

    But understanding that the people who do it are absolutely miserable people might keep some from watching it because they hate it.

    You know when you watch porn you might feel inside good for the moment but it eats you from the inside. Doesn’t it?

    You also forget that boys and men are also exploited. But again it’s hard to feel bad for people who make a choice and refuse to change.

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