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They're naive and inexperienced. That's why porn producers want them.

When it comes to entertainment, it's not so surprising to learn that there's often a dark side to the glitz and glamor. But a new documentary from Netflix and Rashida Jones sheds light on the booming amateur porn industry and the young girls who have no clue what they're in for.

Whoa, let's have a pre-porn talk: The trailer below doesn't contain explicit content, but it still might be not safe for work. And while I'm going to talk about the porn industry, this is a no-shame zone. Consenting adults have every right to engage in and enjoy sex activities, including porn — when all involved are definitely both consenting and adult.

"Hot Girls Wanted" is a new documentary, but sadly these industry stories aren't new.

While "Hot Girls Wanted" sheds light on exploitation and coercion in the amateur porn industry, the practice of luring unsuspecting women into adult film isn't a new story.


Linda "Lovelace" Boreman became porn-star royalty after starring in the 1972 hardcore "Deep Throat." But what audiences didn't know is that she had been coerced into the film by her abusive husband.

Image via " The Real Linda Lovelace."

In fact, many of the scenes in "Deep Throat" that audiences were enjoying weren't pretend; they were acts of extreme sexual violence. Sadly, Boreman isn't the only one who's experienced these horrors on camera. The Pink Cross Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports those who want to transition out of the sex industry, features too many stories from former adult actresses who experienced manipulation and sexual abuse on camera.

"I wasn't a woman in any of these directors eyes, I was nothing to them. The male talent at times were nice, but sometimes, they were horrible. I've had men choke me, slap me, thrust me so hard until I couldn't walk and this would happen even after I would tell them to stop. They have no respect for women." — Erin Moore via Pink Cross Foundation's Porn Star Confessions


Image via Kino 2.

But these film-star horror stories aren't even the worst of it. When you hear from the men working behind the lens, it becomes all too clear how the porn industry views its talent.

"Together we evolved toward rougher stuff. He started to spit on girls. A strong male-dominant thing, with women being pushed to their limit. It looks like violence but it's not. I mean, pleasure and pain are the same thing, right?" — Pornographer John Stagliano via Martin Amis, The Guardian

Porn needs to change. Not just for the performers, but for the audience too.

These stomach-churning accounts from adult-film actors and producers signal that a change is necessary, but there are harmful consequences for audiences too. A 2014 Canadian study reported that 40% of boys between 4th and 11th grades admitted to watching porn. For many young people, pornography is their first introduction to sex. The normalization of sexual violence combined with unrealistic body images in these films can lead to some pretty unhealthy ideas about consent and body image.

So what's the solution? How do we make pornography better for actors and the people who consume it?

Independent erotic filmmaker Erika Lust suggested in a 2014 TEDx Talk that we don't need to get rid of porn all together but that what the porn industry needs is more women.

Image via TEDxVienna/TEDx Talks.

In 2004, Lust produced her first film, "The Good Girl," after finding herself frustrated and often repulsed by the images she was seeing repeated throughout pornography. So instead, she decided to take a more feminist approach to erotica, featuring men and women.

When she made the film free to download online, something incredible happened. "The Good Girl" went viral, with millions of downloads in a few short days. Turns out, Lust wasn't the only one looking for adult entertainment that managed to titillate and respect its performers at the same time.

Today, Erika Lust Films has produced numerous films and books that reframe what porn is and can be under a feminist lens.

Regardless what you think about pornography, it's clear that too many women have been and are being exploited by the adult entertainment industry. That doesn't mean all porn is awful or that every adult actress is being abused or manipulated. But from where I stand, even one girl is too many. But through education and filmmakers like Erika Lust, perhaps it's possible to make the adult industry a safer space for those who want to consume it and participate in it.

If you're one of the millions of people who enjoy adult content and want to be part of the solution, check out "5 ways to support ethical porn" to make sure you're supporting the best of the best.

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It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

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As you sit down to eat your breakfast in the morning or grab an afternoon snack, take a minute to consider your food, how it was made, and how it got to your plate.

The fruit on your plate were grown and picked on farms, then processed, packaged and sent to the grocery store where you bought them.

Sounds simple, right?

The truth is, that process is anything but simple and at every step in the journey to your plate, harm can be caused to the people who grow it, the communities that need it, and the planet we all call home.

For example, thousands of kids live in food deserts and areas where access to affordable and nutritious food is limited. Around the world, one in three children suffer from some form of malnutrition, and yet, up to 40% of food in the United States is never eaten.

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I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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Most women, at one point or another, have felt some wariness or fear over a strange man in public. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes it's subtle, but when your instincts tell you something isn't right and you're potentially in danger, you listen.

It's an unfortunate reality, but reality nonetheless.

A Twitter thread starting with some advice on helping women out is highlighting how real this is for many of us. User @mxrixm_nk wrote: "If a girl suddenly acts as if she knows you in public and acts like you're friends, go along w[ith] it. She could be in danger."

Other women chimed in with their own personal stories of either being the girl approaching a stranger or being the stranger approached by a girl to fend off a situation with a creepy dude.

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