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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.

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

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.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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