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Porn Star Conner Habib Wants To Know: Why Do You Hate Porn Stars So Much?

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Furry gay porn star Conner Habib — who is also an author, lecturer, and sex workers’ rights advocate, thank you very much — recently wrote a personal column entitled, “What I Want To Know Is Why You Hate Porn Stars.”

He correctly points out that porn gets blamed as the cause for sex trafficking, sexual abuse, domestic violence, misogyny, ruining children’s innocence, destroying relationships, spreading AIDS, and other societal ills.

He attributes our culture’s sanctimonious anti-porn attitudes to debunked studies linking porn to aggression and addiction, and a general atmosphere of sex-phobic slut-shaming that makes childhood sex education and honest discussions about sex, sexism, and sexual violence near impossible.

porn-star-connor-habib-wants-to-know-why-you-hate-porn-stars-so-much-1After doing a Google news search for “porn,” he shares the overwhelmingly negative results:

Former Wheaton College Professor Gets 3.5 Years for Child Porn

Oscar Pistorius Surfed Porn Websites Before Fatally Shooting Model Girlfriend Dead: Report

An Incredible, Disgusting Scroll of Real-Time Porn Searches (NSFW)

East Pennsboro Area Middle School Teacher Charged in Child Porn Probe Is on Unpaid Leave, School Administrator Says

Intruder Caught Watching Porn

The Cardinals Are Very Embarrassed by Carlos Martinez’s Wall of Porn

Businessmen Who Earned £130k Hiring PORN STARS for Sex Parties Faces NINE Months in Jail

A Revenge Porn Bill May Be Coming to New York State

MBE Pianist: I Didn’t Molest Pupils, Just Watched Gay Porn

He also talks about how “food porn,” “wedding porn,” and “science porn” (that is, images and videos showing amazing cuisine, wedding preparations, and scientific discoveries) are all “considered [a] celebration of style and culture,” whereas porn on its own gets reviled as gross, dirty, and immoral.

Lastly, he points out that thousands of people have been discriminated against for being in porn:

I asked friends in porn, What about you? Things seem fine in your life. Then they’d tell me a story about a job they lost or a family member who stopped speaking to them. They told me about charities that wouldn’t accept their money. One of them told me about a bank that wouldn’t hold her earnings. There were people who had been threatened, had public appearances canceled, had been insulted and shamed.

I started to make a list, but realized… it would have not dozens but tens of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of names… of people who have been discriminated against because they decided to have sex so that others could watch and enjoy it.

The irony of all this is that a majority of people regularly watch porn. You might even recall the 2009 study that had to cancel itself after researchers couldn’t find a single guy who had never watched porn before. So if everyone’s watching it, why does everyone act like they’re morally superior to those who produce it?

Having regularly written about porn stars, the most popular stories are always about the industry’s salacious details: the rare HIV-outbreaks, porn star criminals, drug overdoses, suicides, addictions, and dramatic public feuds — sensational, yes, but they all double as insiduous forms of slut-shaming.

Meanwhile, you rarely hear about gay porn personalities like Habib, Chip Tanner, and Colby Keller who are actively contributing to art and conversations on gender equity and economic oppression. A common response when you do see articles about socially and artistically engaged porn stars is “Haha, OMG. What an idiot. You should shut up and stick to sucking dicks.”

Our culture has inured us to seeing porn stars as anything other than dumb sluts, nevermind that the earliest gay pornographers were the first to challenge anti-gay censorship laws and provide positive images of gay people.

As gay people have gained greater societal integration into the “legitimate” conservative institutions of marriage and the military, our attitudes have gotten increasingly conservative too, scorning those who dare embody our very real and universal desires for orgasms and human connection, and cutting ourselves off from our own sex drives and transgressive personal fantasies.

(Previously published on March 31, 2015)