California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Sex Industry Can Empower Women

    Some women overcome sexism and objectification by diving straight into the industries that supposedly exaggerates it all. By participating in exotic dancing and acting in adult films, women face the aforementioned issues in society by owning them.

    These careers allow women to embody and express their sexuality for themselves. To say that women dancing or acting is dehumanizing is to equate women with passive individuals who are acted upon and do not have autonomy or urges themselves.

    Aly Eden is an exotic dancer who has been dancing for about two years now. She said, โ€œIโ€™ve never felt degraded at work. Ever. Walking in there and knowing you have all of the power makes a big difference. No one can say or do anything to you that you donโ€™t like.โ€

    Like exotic dancing, acting can also be empowering when women consent, value themselves and enjoy the work they do.

    Jacky St. James, an award-winning writer and director in the adult film industry, said in an email interview, โ€œA close friend of mine, Remy LaCroix, decided to shoot a gang bang for her first scene in the adult industry. A gang bang was always something she had wanted to try in her personal life but felt that it was significantly safer performing in a controlled environment – like on an adult set. She shot the gang bang and felt empowered that she was able to explore a fantasy safely by the choices that she personally made.โ€

    Because sexual inclinations are so diverse, what one person might find degrading, another might find thrilling. Many types of films, from romantic portrayals of monogamous sex to rough gang bangs, can give power to a woman.

    Now, adult careers are not perfect. There are issues existing in these industries. One issue is how dancers and actors create expectations for body type and performance. However, the reality of it is that diversity is esteemed, not shamed.

    Eden said, โ€œI was so worried because I have small boobs, but you see every shape of girl in the clubโ€”big boobs, small boobs, big bellies, fit girls and petite girls. All of these body types were being appreciated in different ways by different people.โ€

    Another issue discussed regarding adult films is that it makes people less intimate or connected with their partner, but there are individuals who create adult films that show that very connection.

    St. James is just one of many directors creating an image of bonding between actors, and her directing style exemplifies how adult films are not as unfeeling or brutal as they are made out to be.

    โ€œI put as much emphasis on male performers as female. I instruct my camera operators to be inclusive of the maleโ€ St. James said. โ€œI put an emphasis on foreplay and connection and buildup before the sex begins. I create characters that viewers can be invested in and rooting for.โ€

    We should also take a look at the actual women performing in the shoots.

    Notable actors like Riley Reid and Abella Danger have been under St. Jamesโ€™s direction, and she said that they have had positive experiences. Many other women involved in adult films have personally spoken up about how it makes them feel in a positive way,.Asa Akira is one of them.

    In a Playboy article, Akira said, โ€œAs performers, we women exercise our rights to the highest degree. We express ourselves freely, publicly, for the whole world to see, just as men have been doing for a very long time. Within the industry, our voices are heard just as loudly as the menโ€™s. Iโ€™ve never once felt that a maleโ€™s opinion meant more than my own.โ€

    Women are capable of determining what they are comfortable with, and not every woman is mere prey falling to a predator or needs saving. Just because a particular industry has flaws does not immediately mean that those involved in it should be victimized.

    Women can actively enjoy their roles in adult careers, and people should respect that instead of disregard their choices to decide what is liberating and what is not. I believe that women should be recognized as individuals who choose how to enjoy their personal sexuality, whether that is abstinence and conservativism or openness and overt expression.

    Lara Santos
    Features Editor