While it remains to be seen how much money moviegoers will spend on the recently released Lovelace, porn stars are definitely still paying the price for Linda Lovelace’s tale of redemption. I know, because I’m one, and Lovelace has complicated my life in obvious and concrete ways.
Let me explain: In addition to being a porn star and a writer, I regularly give talks on sexuality, pornography, and culture. In late 2012, a university near Boston expressed interest in hiring me for a lecture. During negotiations, however, my contact—the director of the campus LGBT organization—suddenly turned from enthusiastic to hesitant. He’d spoken to a colleague who oversaw health education for the school, and she’d offered the following admonition: “Tell [Conner] to read Linda Lovelace’s book Ordeal ... about the sexual enslavement and ‘pimping’ of women in the porn industry. Until that is understood and addressed by this multi-billion dollar industry, it is difficult to give it any voice.”