Pornography
8 min

What’s the line between porn actor and porn consumer?

BY ROB SALERNO – A couple of high-profile stories about teachers who were outed as gay pornstars grabbed our attention earlier this year. First there was Florida math teacher Shawn Loftis, who was outed as (former?) porn kingpin Collin O’Neal in March. Then there was the case of Massachusetts elementary teacher Kevin Hogan, who Fox News decided to out as a former pornstar last month.

There was also the case of the Quebec high school secretary who lost her job after a student outed her as a former porn actress.

Over at the Advocate, pornstar Conner Habib has a fascinating opinion piece about the blame and shame we attach to pornstars and the line of responsibility between performer and consumer of porn.

Habib claims he’s also an award-winning author and teacher (college-level literature and writing), so he’s got an interesting perspective as someone who went from teaching to porn.

Ultimately, though, Habib argues that the trouble with the moral panic around pornstars is that people aren’t quite sure what it is that frightens them so much about porn, while at the same time, people can’t seem to admit their own relationships with porn. 

The people who investigated Loftis and Hogan must have come across their porn work somehow, after all. But at the same time, they both lied about their work. Habib wants everyone to talk openly and honestly about porn.

But is that practical? Can we expect someone interviewing for a teaching job to own up to his or her porn videography? Should we also expect job applicants to bring along little black books and present complete sexual histories?

Habib says, “We don’t know why pornstars should not teach children, why it’s okay to watch
porn but not be in it, why we should have to hide our involvement in
pornography, or why we should be ashamed of it. These arguments apply, in
differing degrees, to sex itself.”

What do you think? How do you talk about porn and with whom? Is it okay to get off on someone in porn while also looking down on them? (Let’s hope that last question is easier to answer than the first two.) Please post in the comments below. 

Here’s more of Conner Habib talking about why he makes porn on Lavender Lounge:

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