THE BLOG
01/24/2013 11:14 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Is There Such a Thing as Spiritual Porn?

WARNING: This post contains sexually explicit language. Please read on at your own discretion.

Lately I haven't been feeling too happy about my job as a porn producer.

Sex is a deeply complicated issue, an act that can be blissful and satisfying or painful and confusing. Furthermore, in our culture, sex and gender are intertwined in a way that's not really healthy. I previously talked about the insidious effects of sexism. The idea that we are compelled to act a certain way based on the sex organs that we have leads to expectations and stereotypes that are harmful. Sexism produces nonsensical ideas like, "Real men don't cry," and, "Women should look pretty for their husbands." We try to live based on a conflicting list of shoulds and shouldn'ts. Women get the short end of the stick when it comes to sexism, because the rules to which we are supposed to adhere are extremely confining and impossible. We should be sexy, because that's desirable, but not too sexy, because that's dangerous. If we're too mousy, we're not seen as attractive. If we're too vampy, then we're considered rape bait.

My career in the sex industry lands me smack in the middle of the ages-old controversy. I've written blog posts about whether women hate porn and the idea that women who like sex are wicked, and I've debunked the theory that getting raped can make you become a lesbian. As a sex-positive feminist, I feel that my life's work will be in disentangling the myths about sex and trying to spread the good word.

I'm not perfect. I don't always get things right. I've been accused of being sexist and misogynistic on several occasions, and I feel really bad when that happens. The truth is that I get it hard from both sides. Many conservatives think porn degrades women, and on the other end of the spectrum, many liberal, old-school feminists feel the same way, for different reasons.

And they aren't necessarily wrong! Porn is very often degrading to women, to gay men, to transsexuals and to women of color. The other day I was perusing a competitor's website, one of those sites with lots and lots of categories, and some of the descriptive titles really disturbed me: A Father's Lust 2; It's Okay, She's My Mother; 18 and Abused. I'm afraid even to click on those videos, because I don't want that kind of Internet trail on my computer.

The standard way in which the industry describes sex must change. In straight porn women are regularly called "horny sluts," "whores" and "stupid bitches." People of color are siloed according to race. Sex between white and black people is still called "interracial," whereas sex between white and Latino people, for instance, is not. Black women are mostly referred to as "hoes with big asses." Female-to-male transsexuals are labeled "shemales" and are portrayed as tricking straight men into trysts. Male-to-female transsexuals are almost nonexistent (except in queer porn, which generally features them in a positive light). In many cases human beings are left completely out of the picture and only genitalia make the description and the footage (for instance, "Watch this big hairy cunt take a huge cock.") What's up with all the depersonalization and disrespectful language?

A big trend in porn seems to be showcasing incest. Recently The Huffington Post ran a story about the Sexxxtons, a mother/daughter duo who regularly appear side-by-side in porn scenes. Although the pair claim that they aren't breaking the law, because they don't touch each other onscreen, they do admit to having had a threesome offscreen. There's a plethora of porn showing fictional father/daughter sex scenes, too. As an incest survivor, let me assure you that there's nothing sexy about sexual abuse.

Free speech proponents and and others defend depictions of sexual abuse and say, "Come on. It's just a fantasy." Producers say, "It ain't my fault! I'm just selling a product that people want to buy." I'm not suggesting that watching porn will turn you into a child molester, but what does it say about us as a society that so much of that kind of porn is on the market? Why are we glorifying rape and incest?

I also understand that some people might feel that lesbian sex is objectionable and therefore find fault with my company's product. That's fine. However, I don't shoot in a manner that makes my porn stars look underage. I choose not to show radical imbalances in power and authority that appear when a much older person seduces someone far less experienced. I empower my stars by allowing them to negotiate the boundaries of their scenes. And lastly, I try to market my movies in a way that is respectful to the women who have courageously bared their bodies.

I bothers me deeply when people assume that I have no morals because I make porn. I'm not religious, but I am guided by a strong sense of ethics and by principles that grow stronger with all my experiences and mistakes. I constantly evaluate and rethink the way in which I present my business and the way in which I talk about sex. Spirituality is a big part of my life and my inner landscape. Love, respect and empathy are my core values. I don't think we have to choose between being a good person and being sexual. I think we are happiest and most harmonious as people when we find a balance between body, mind and spirit.

So why is porn so off-kilter?

I'd love to hear your feedback in the comment section below. As always, if you have questions to ask or stories to share, you can tweet me @juicyjincey or reach out to me at Facebook.com/JinceyLumpkin.

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