Pornographic exemplars such as Deen are rare in their success, but not in their decency. Nor are they particularly unusual. I can remember asking fellow porn producers why the mainstream media was making such a fuss about Jenna Jameson, out of all the interesting and bright actresses working in the industry. We all shrugged.
In a recent interview with the Good Men Project, Deen mentions leaving one porn production because he "didn't like the premise" of the film:
"Girls acted like they did something 'bad', like step on my shoe, and then I'd have rough sex to punish them. It made me feel icky."He goes on to say:
"At [BDSM conglomerate] Kink, this girl and I are having awesome sex and she likes to get slapped in the face. The sex isn't punishment. It's BDSM lifestyle, and they make it super clear it's the girl's fantasy."Porn stars choose the porn industry as a dream job, often over other equally well-paid job opportunities. Many years ago, I had problems convincing people that I had chosen to shoot porn films after graduating with a film degree from St Martin's. Shooting pornography was never a second choice for me – which is just as well, because it's not great on the CV.
The quotes from Deen will leave such anti-porn protesters cold. After all, how can a male porn star profess sensitivities to their female counterparts then go on to supposedly justify violence in the next paragraph? The answer lies in the fact that power plays a part in many people's sexual fantasies, including enlightened women. Which is where good-looking young men such as James Dean or James Deen feature.
I am working on a website that aims to tell the public what it is like to consent to working in the various erotic industries and enjoy it. It's called We Consent, because we do. Our side of the story needs telling. Although Deen and others are doing well, those that choose to sell sex for a living face discrimination and are the focus of a self-interested "rescue industry", who seek to impose "salvation" on participants.