It was harrowing. Connie had explained that Kristie was a retired adult movie star, who speaks out against the porn industry. “It’s good for you to hear the truth,” said Connie, “after Annalika and her happy-hooker bullshit.”
Kristie couldn’t have been more different. Everything Annalika had said about sex-work being a form of female empowerment was blown out of the water.
I stood in rapt silence as Kristie described the grime, chauvinism and pain she had experienced on the porn set. The very thought of that many bodily fluids made me want to gag. She was glowing, healthy and charismatic. She said she had found God and I believed her.
We spilled out into the night transformed by the experience. “That was incredible,” I said to Gina. “I had no idea it was like that,” she replied.
As a sheltered English middle-class girl, I knew that pornography existed. And I suppose I knew it had to be made somewhere. I found it darkly amusing that most of the commercial American porn was made at a place called Chatsworth. But Chatsworth California was very different from Chatsworth in Derbyshire.
Kathleen was silent. Taking in the experience. Poor people make her uncomfortable, and I think Kristie’s stories of homelessness had thrown her. Yasmin was moved by the experience. Yasmin is sweet because she knows she is spoilt, and desperately wants to help the unfortunates of the world. “It’s terrible,” she said. She shook her head as she walked along, as if she were trying to get the ideas out of her head. “I’d always been very neutral about porn,” said Gina. “I mean, I know it’s everywhere now, and most guys are into it, even if they won’t admit it.”
“Yes,” I said, “I suppose I’d not really even thought about it until Annalika turned up, I mean I see nudes all the time in the art collections, but that’s hardly the same thing.”
Even Connie, who was a bit more worldly that the rest of us, was shocked. “It’s gross,” she said. “I can’t believe the government allows it,”
“Tax,” I said, “you can be the biggest evil bastard on the planet, but as long as you file your tax return properly, the law won’t touch you.”
We went to the bar where Connie works and the owner brought us free Martinis. Connie told him all about Kristie’s talk and gave him a badge that said say no to porn. I love Connie when she’s drunk, she gesticulates wildly as she talks. The owner stood there gobsmacked as she lectured him: “I’d always thought that if you were a porn star, you just had sex with someone in front of a camera, got paid, and went home. There may be some small semi-pro companies who do that. And there may be consenting adults on the swingers scene who enjoy making videos for one another.
But when it comes to commercial porn, you are basically watching a group of men rape a heavily sedated homeless woman. And that’s an industry. Long live Capitalism.”
I don’t know if he was converted or not, but he wore the badge and brought us another round.
Image: Savoir, by Connie