shelley lubben

A lot of people think that pornography fuels sex trafficking and it does. But it does that because it IS sex trafficking. It’s called [a] cutthroat business because it’s trafficking; all of us have been coerced into doing a scene we didn’t wanna do…It’s all based on lies.
—  Shelley Lubben, Ex-Porn Star, on the harmfulness of the Porn Industry

Shelley Lubben.

I did not know who she was when I met her in the bathroom at Cow Palace while asking to bum a tampon. (They don’t have vending machines there.)

She asked me to come by her booth, so I did. They gave me some literature and she talked about how all porn is sex trafficking and they want to help get women out of the industry. She said she had a masters degree in counseling. I asked her where she got her degree and she wouldn’t tell me. Lubben said, “I’d like to keep that a secret for now. I have a lot of enemies.”

One of the performers I spoke to heard I talked to Shelley Lubben and told me, “She thinks Jesus cured her herpes.”

anonymous asked:

So how would one overcome a porn addiction? Just stop watching porn?

Like most addictions, porn addiction changes how your brain works. Let me explain this in a simple way. Every time you go to your uncle’s house, he buys you ice cream and buys you something you like. This will cause your brain to feel the effects of dopamine, the feel-good happy chemical. Your brain releases dopamine when you experience something pleasant, as a way to reinforce that as good. Consequently, you have a positive view of your uncle. He’s a cool guy and you want to spend more time around him. Maybe your uncle has a beard and blue eyes and a red house, right? Well, since you have that dopamine release in conjunction with having fun with your bearded, blue-eyed uncle with a red house, your brain associates those things together. “People with beards and blue eyes and red houses are good things,” says your brain, hoping to find another trigger to release more dopamine.

This is called conditioning (hello, Pavlov!) and it’s not always addictive, but it can manifest that way. So Pavlov was this psychologist. He had a dog. When he fed doggo, doggo would drool. So Pavlov rung a bell each time he fed the dog, noticing it would drool each time. Then, finally, after weeks of this “conditioning,” he rung the bell but did not serve food. The dog drooled anyway, because his brain associated the pleasure of mealtime with the ringing bell. Therefore they had the same response in his brain. The dog associated them, and has been conditioned.

Remember now. The reason your brain releases dopamine is because it is rewarding you for a good or healthy experience. It’s what motivates you to accomplish goals. This is what everyone talks about when they say humans have a complex reward system in the brain. You connect with someone you love and gain emotional stability? “Awesome!” Says your brain. “Here’s some dopamine, which will make you feel pleasure, because that is a healthy behavior you need to do more often.” You do the opposite in other scenarios, such as stubbing your toe. “F*ck,” says your brain. “You’re experiencing pain because doing that damages you, so we want to reinforce that, so you will think better about not stubbing your toe next time.”

Drugs sort of hijack your dopamine receptors. They deceive you. You aren’t experiencing dopamine release in a natural organic way by having fun with your uncle, connecting with a human being, having a healthy rich meal, and therefore reinforcing those things as good. Drugs artificially blast your dopamine receptors, but you aren’t experiencing something that is actually good for you. It’s false happiness.

With pornography addiction, you are experiencing orgasm, but you are not experiencing it in conjunction with a loving partner, with someone you trust and vow to protect and thus reinforcing that good experience as positive and good. Rather, you are experiencing orgasm alone, without that sort of love, through a screen with technology, where people are abused and inaccurately represented. So what happens? You, like Pavlov’s dog, are conditioned to enjoy abuse and the unrealism on screen. You are conditioned to be unsatisfied with normal “vanilla” acts and the natural experience of love and the natural shape of a person’s body. Those things are “boring” to you now. Now, what turns you on is things like bondage and maybe even pretend rape or real rape. Maybe what turns you on are perfect plastic bodies but not a natural woman or man’s natural body. Maybe what turns you on are pulling hair and slapping and biting and just awful behavior.

Now over time, like drugs do, your dopamine receptors will be worn out. They will start to shut themselves down. This is known as growing a tolerance. Now, to get the same feeling, you need more cigarettes, more lines of coke, another cup of coffee, another sleeping pill, because your body grows a natural resistance. In porn, you seek more exciting and violent and taboo acts. At some point, if you try to go back to your more moderate habits, they won’t please you anymore. You’ve literally crippled yourself from feeling happiness. Sometimes people never heal from this.

So now that we have that to preface, how do you stop a porn addiction? The first step is to realize how it has affected your brain and evaluate where you are in your addiction. Ask questions like this:

  • How often do I consume pornography?
  • What about it arouses me, and is that healthy arousal? (For example, being aroused by incest, rape, or pedophilia is unhealthy and immoral.)
  • Do I lose track of time watching or engaging in pornography?
  • Does it cause me to isolate myself from family and friends?
  • Do I feel guilty or defensive of my porn usage?
  • Does porn seem to be the only thing that can make me happy? (For example, is it the highlight of your day?)
  • Do I use it despite it causing rifts in relationships or other problems?
  • Do I feel like I’m out of control, like I can’t stop? Have I tried to stop and failed, or do I feel compelled to watch?
  • Do I think about it when pornography is unavailable to use?
  • Do I have difficulties being intimate with my partner?
  • Do I have problems being aroused by anything that isn’t not in pornography?

Do you know why many people do drugs and artificially mess with their brain’s function of happiness? Because they are unhappy, stressed, anxious, or depressed. In fact, dopamine deficiency plays a significant role in depression. Do you know why depressed people feel like nothing motivates them? Because they lack the dopamine to make any action feel worthwhile or important. They don’t get the same dopamine release from things like everyone else does (which is why if you’re mentally ill and have a dopamine deficiency, it’s important to set little goals in your life and accomplish them, like doing dishes and brushing your teeth). So sometimes, your porn addiction is consequence of being depressed and needing some kind of dopamine release, some sort of pleasure. 

Learn that. Addressing that issue will be the beginning to stopping your porn addiction. Knowing the root cause, you will better be equipped to fight your addiction.

What it means then, is that you need to find ways to release dopamine in a way that doesn’t condition you to like abusive or unhealthy behavior. You need to reverse condition yourself. This can be terribly, terribly difficult, and it might mean completely abstaining from masturbation. As a Catholic, I am against masturbation, especially because it’s so often intertwined with porn consumption. People can masturbate and have healthy views on sex, but more or less that’s not always likely. So realize that kicking a porn habit might mean kicking masturbation.

You can do this artificially, using coffee or sugar. These aren’t healthy habits, but they are the “lesser of two evils” so to speak. Porn addiction shapes your mind in a worse, more nefarious way than coffee or sugar does. I don’t necessarily recommend this, but it can help. When you feel the urge to consume pornography or you find yourself wanting to masturbate, fill the urge for dopamine release a different way. 

Remember you need to decondition what you’ve taught yourself. So stop reading and watching porn, and start looking at things that deal with realistic and healthy examples of those things that porn perverts. Read a love story and watch a romance film. Read a book that deals with friendship and watch movies that show good healthy relationships. Engage in media, books and films alike, that deal with healthy relationships. Do not sexualize them, and if you find yourself doing so, take a break, take a smoke, take a cup of coffee, snap a rubber band on your wrist, take a cold shower. Cold showers can really put down someone’s arousal. Whatever you do, you need to train yourself to dwell on good things and healthy things, and do not dwell on unhealthy things. Heck, dude, read the Bible. Read about Jesus. If you sexualize that, consider the idea that you really need more help than you thought. Reading about Jesus will reinforce wisdom and healthy reasons of love.

It’s all about what you expose yourself to. See a naked lady? Turn away, count to ten, think of something else. Physically turn yourself away from things like that. Plato said in his famous allegory of the cave that true education does not merely give you information, but it “converts” or turns you to what is good. When you step out of the cave, you are converting or turning to Goodness. In your addiction, you must convert and turn yourself to what is good, whether you are physically turning from a lewd image or mentally turning from one.

Another note here: remember how damaging porn really is. Shelley Lubben is an ex-porn celebrity that has since taken a stand against the horrible treatment in the porn industry and has established the Pink Cross Foundation, which seeks to inform people about the injustices in pornography and eliminate them. Here are some compiled quotes from her website:

“This industry is full of people that hate – literally HATE women.” – Julie Meadows, former porn star

“I was the first to shoot Rocco. 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?” – John Stagliano, porn producer

“I find myself not that much unlike the slaves and slave traders of some 400 years ago. I participate in the most heinous of ALL trades- THE BUYING AND SELLING OF HUMAN FLESH. I trade my own flesh for monetary compensation and I sell the flesh of others for the same.” – Lexington Steele, porn performer/producer

“The girls get torn up like usual.” – Vince Vouyer, porn producer

“Even the mildest pornography is shocking to the average person. I’m surprised it’s legal.” – Paul Thomas, porn producer

“Degradation drives the business. … There are things going on right now that are way over the line.” – Khan Tusion, porn producer

“I’m not here to apologize. I’m just here to say, ‘We make entertainment and let’s see how far we can take it.‘” – Max Hardcore, former porn performer/producer

“Where else but in porn can you see a guy who just met a girl that day crack her around, choke her out.” – Brandon Iron, porn producer

“I sit there everyday and I sew up anal tears and anal prolapse and the physical conditions of what people are putting their bodies through is getting very, very far away from sexuality as we know it.”
– “Doctor” Sharon Mitchell, Adult Industry Medical (AIM)

Some more information from Fight the New Drug, which talks about the negative impacts of pornography:

In 2011, two Miami men were found guilty of spending five years luring women into a human trafficking trap. [6] They would advertise modeling roles, then when women came to try out, they would drug them, kidnap them, rape them, videotape the violence, and sell it to porn stores and businesses across the country.

That same year a couple in Missouri was charged with forcing a mentally handicapped girl to produce porn for them by beating, whipping, suffocating, electrocution, drowning, mutilating, and choking her until she agreed. One of the photos they forced her to make ended up on the front cover of a porn publication owned by Hustler Magazine Group. [7]

[…]  The point is, when you watch porn, there’s no way to know what kind of “consent” the actors have given. You can’t assume, just because someone appears in a porn video, that they knew beforehand exactly what would happen or that they had a real choice or the ability to stop what was being done.

It is in studying and knowing this information that you can begin to realize the real evil of porn, which can help dissuade your urges and compel you to stop consuming. When you see pornographic image, immediately think–how do I know this person isn’t being forced or compelled? Did they consent to everything? Am I enjoying rape and coercion?

And, I know it’s very embarrassing, but sometimes the only way to get rid of a porn addiction is to get help. You can try to occupy yourself, expend your energy in the day, find substitutes and all, but sometimes it takes somebody to keep you in check. Confide in a friend. Find a church and confide in the priest. Recognize that maybe you even need God’s help. Sometimes, we are helpless to the addiction that controls us, and we really can’t do anything alone.

I hope this helps with understanding porn addiction and that people can benefit from this advice. Please, if you want to kick an addiction, do your research! It’s the only way we can really start to battle the societal effects of pornography and address all the issues they cause.

As always, God bless.

clar8nce-deactivated20140720  asked:

do you mind if I reblog that ask with the anon asking about some 'links to major organizations'?

Against Porn non religious, non partisan, anti-porn organization, but one that is against censorship and the banning of porn.

Enough is Enough engaged in making the Internet Safer for Children and Families.

JohnStompers ending men’s demand for Pornstitution

NoPornPledge thousands of people living porn-free, voluntarily.

Object UK – Women Not Sex Objects  political lobbying and grassroots campaigning to challenge the sexual objectification of women. Campaigns include “Lose the Lads Mags”, “Demand Change!”, and “Everyday Media Sexism”.

One angry girl anti-porn resource center featuring the porn myths and a “cheat sheet” with answers to typical pro-porn questions.

PornHarms a faith-based, conservative anti-porn and morality group.

Your Brain on Porn a science based, secular site that educates about the negative effects of porn.

Against Male Violence – And: Males Against Violence

Dads and Daughters progressive fathers’ group.

Diana Russell dedicated to to stopping violence against women.

Equality Now working to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world.

Men Can Stop Rape mobilizing men to be strong without being violent.

The White Ribbon Campaign is active in numerous countries. This link takes you to the UK campaign, where men organize and campaign against male violence. They also collaborate with feminist organizations on many issues.

For Survivors

Breaking Free a survivor led group offering services and education and committed to empowering women and girls whose lives have been devastated by prostitution and sex trafficking.

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women working internationally towards ending human trafficking.

Our Voices Matter a collection of testimony by individuals who have been harmed by prostitution, pornography, and trafficking.

Shelley faith-based, and The Pink Cross Foundation also faith-based, are run by Shelley Lubben, a former porn star who is helping prostituted women exit the porn industry.

Women’s Support Project is a feminist organization that works to raise awareness of the harmful impact from commercial sexual exploitation and male violence against women.  It also provides services for those affected by violence.

For Porn Users Trying to Quit 

Compulsion Solutions former users helping sex and porn addicts and their families

Healthy Sex dedicated to promoting healthy sexuality

Through the Flame international online network working for those affected by pornography addiction.

Women’s Health and Healthy Self-Esteem

About-Face a San Francisco-based group that combats negative and distorted images of women.

Hardy Girls Healthy Women empowering girls and women by offering resources, skills training & education and a variety of services.

Mind on the Media promoting healthy body image

Spark Summit made up of engaged, passionate girls and young women who are building their own solutions


Andrea Dworkin materials radfem archive offering all of Andrea Dworkin’s books plus much more

Biting Beaver Archive preserving the work of influential blogger BB

Gender Ads promoting awareness of cultural intersections of gender and advertising.

Media Education Foundation a rich database of educational documentaries about gender, health, race, etc. (e.g. The Price of PleasureBeyond Beats and Rhymes, and Dreamworlds 3)

Media Watch want to know who to boycott? Check it out!

Parent Further: Technology and Media educational resources for parents, for informed and effective parenting in the ever-changing media environment. (online safety, high-risk behaviors, social media)

Powered by Girl  an online media activism campaign for girls by girls.

Spinifex Press Independent, feminist press in Australia

I don’t think Shelley Lubben is an anti-porn activist because she’s a christian; I think she’s a christian because that’s what helped her personally to deal with having been raped and abused in the porn industry. If you brush off a woman’s experiences of abuse and rape simply because she deals with these experiences in a way you don’t like, bye. I just don’t understand how anyone could be like “she’s just a prudish christian fundamentalist so who cares”. Do you only care about raped and abused women if they’re atheists? Her anti-porn activism is not the result of her religion, it’s the result of the fact that she was RAPED AND ABUSED IN THE PORN INDUSTRY. Fucking scumbags. 

How Fauxmanists Silence Sex Workers


  • Creating a narrative of privilege versus victimhood: to anti-sex worker fauxmanists, sex workers are either overly privileged and therefore not representative at best (and hurting other sex workers at worst) or oppressed victims unable to speak or be heard - which is why they need to speak for us. Depending on how well they’ve learned the lingo of sex worker activism, they will label those of us who support our right to work as ‘choice sex workers’, whether or not we identify that way and claim to be speaking for survival sex workers.The very fact that we have internet access puts us in the ‘overly privileged’ /choice categoryand maintains the necessity for them to speak over us. Which brings us to
  • Demanding that we be representative, period: Unable to see us as human beings with our own unique experiences and perspective, SWERFs demand that we speak for all sex workers. When we can’t (as no individual can speak on behalf of an entire community), they dismiss us as ‘an exception to the rule’ (the rules they’ve created based on their own falsified narratives) and ignore us
  • Deliberately bring up graphic stories of sexual violence towards sex workers; this is an abusive tactic similar to the way certain people in the kink community like to regale graphic stories of BDSM in their sex lives if you say you have any issue with kink. Of course, what SWERFs do is far worse because they’re using real life examples of sex workers being abused, raped and murdered - using the pain of real people - as a rhetorical to device to shut us down knowing full well that we live with the threat of violence every day. By their own logic and statistics, we have likely experienced abuse at work. This is a deliberate attempt to trigger us and scare us, so we leave the conversation.
  • Ignore us when we discuss abuse/sexual violence/trafficking as personal experiences; if you tell a SWERF that you have experienced the exact abuse they’re quoting to you, they will simply ignore you. I can think of a dozen people on tumblr off the top of my head who have refused to engage with me once I told them my story. Hilariously, they also
  • Act as if we are ignorant of the potential for violence in the sex industry; They do this to pretend they actually care about our safety. It’s possible some of them think we’re just too stupid to understand our own jobs, but I suspect that most know we do actually live this. However, presenting this argument as if they’re the ones concerned about sex workers safety does two things; it makes it look they actually care about us (they don’t) and makes us appear to fall into the privileged category of sex worker they’ve created for us as well
  • Try to take our language away from us; SWERFs hate the word whorephobia. They kick and scream about the use of the whore, mistakenly thinking they have some kind of entitlement to it when in fact, the entire reason whore is a slur is because it applies to sex workers. The problem isn’t really the word whore or the often questioned -phobia prefix; if their problem was with the phrasing they would appreciate this as an intra-community conversation they have no place in. In truth, it wouldn’t matter what word we used. They don’t want us to be able to be able to name our oppression as it gives us the ability to call out their oppressive behavior against us. This is also why they hilariously suggest we retire the word ‘whorephobia’ and use ‘misogyny’, despite the fact that whorephobia only applies to sex workers. They want to be able to claim every single axis of oppression there is. They want to be able to scoot past the non sex worker privilege they have in these conversations so they can shout us down.
  • Conflate trafficking with sex work; this ties in with the other points regarding their false narratives about sex work and disgusting stories of abuse they like to tell. This conflation serves a number of purposes. First, it takes the focus off sex workers (who are victimized by anti-trafficking legislation deliberately anyway) onto a perceived humanitarian emergency that’s more important than sex workers; the moral panic of sex slavery. Secondly, it implies that we can’t possibly have survived sex slavery ourselves and thirdly, that we just don’t care about victims of trafficking. 

  • Call independent sex workers ‘pimps’, including survival sex workers and street-based sex workers. They extend this tactic to dismiss all peer-based sex worker rights organizations as being run by pimps; a myth that I have yet to see pan out even once. I have heard this blatant lie aimed at organizations I’m a part of myself such as Scarlet Alliance in Australia. It is pure fiction and a way to discredit us.

  • Actively recruit vulnerable sex workers, particularly women, to support them and then toss them out like garbage. Andrea Dworkin did it to Linda Lovelace, Shelley Lubben does it to multitudes of porn performers, and I’ve personally spoken to a number of people who’ve seen Gail Dines engage in the same tactics. This is exactly what they accuse “johns” of doing; using us for what they want then abandoning us. It is manipulative, abusive, and gives them (coerced) testimony to support their agenda under false pretenses that they can use to continue their anti-sex worker propaganda and gain credibility from people who don’t know better. 

This is just a short list off the top of my head, there are many more tactics. If anyone wants to add that would be great. No doubt I’ll think of more as the influx of bullshit comes from this post.


Shelly Lubben discusses the conditions within the porn industry with another ex-porn actress, Jenni Case. Really important and informative watch!

Former Sex Workers Have No Place Debating Criminalization of the Sex Industry

one really big problem that took me a while to pick up on but @trashprincesss got it right away is how former sex workers are held up as being not only equal to but of greater importance than current sex workers in discussions about criminalization.

Sex workers are so stigmatized, so marginalized, muggles can’t relate to us. They think what we do is unthinkable and the vast majority of them have shit tonnes of negatives beliefs about us; we’re “damaged goods”, we’re crazy, we’re downtrodden helpless victims, we’re not smart enough to do anything else, the list goes on. So when we actually start speaking, no one listens.

Former sex workers, on the other hand, are reformed just by having left the industry and that increases exponentially if they’re “reformed”; calling themselves “exited prostitutes” and the like. These are the women who have come to their senses, who have got their shit together, who are intelligent and have insider information. So their words carry more weight than ours do. We often say in the industry that once you’re a whore, that stigma sticks with you forever and often that’s true, but the “reformed/exited” narrative gives some women a way out, and they take it. Considering the enormous stigma that sex worker status carries, why would anyone who moved on because they finished their degree, managed to save up for that big purchase or left the industry for any other banal reason want to speak up for those still in it and have to out themselves over and over, subjecting themselves to that stigma? For a lot of people, it’s far better to fade out and never mention it again. That’s why you only hear the voices of those who take their negative experience and use it to oppress current sex workers. Of course, there are predators like Shelley Lubben who use their reformed status to shed the stigma of sex industry work and continue making a living off it through a fraudulent charity and exploiting the women they claim to be helping, and that can be a good living. There’s no shortage of autobiographies about that dark time in a womans life where she started escorting or stripping either. The point is, they changed. They’re not likethose women anymore. They’re Good Women again. (I should note this is pretty much only available to white cis women). 

So these reformed sex workers are seen as having both sides; seeing what sex workers can’t and what non sex workers never will. They are incredibly convenient for the anti sex worker feminist movement in that way. Naturally, they have more credibility and radical fauxminists can use them as tokens to pretend their political action isn’t directly harming us, cos these Reformed Women agree with them. Being the talented manipulators they are, they even claim that current sex workers are erasing the experiences of “exited prostitutes!”, a tactic designed to change the conversation from the issues and force us to defend ourselves against irrelevant red-herrings.

In truth, former sex workers aren’t in the game anymore. Their experience does not matter. Their experience does not matter and it means nothing beyond offering the illusion of credibility to a movement that contributes to the criminalization, stigmatization, rape and murder of sex workers and silencing current sex workers in the process.

In reality, their opinions don’t mean shit because they’re not affected by the consequences of their actions. 

They can support criminalization because it’s not their livelihood on the line.

They can support the Nordic model because they’re not the ones who are going to be forced into licensing, mandatory STI testing, taking huge risks to see clients, dealing with brothel raids, police brutality and the constant risk of having their children removed simply because of their jobs, and that’s not even touching on what happens if they lose their jobs due to this backdoor criminalization.

Reformed sex workers are traitors, obviously. They are selling out other sex workers for their own agenda and never have to face the consequences of their actions. 

In the debate about criminalizing sex work, in reality, reformed sex workers voices mean just as much as those of non sex workers; absolutely nothing. Only the people who are affected by these laws should have any say on the issue.

Only current sex workers matter here. Former sex workers are dealing with ideology and their own feelings; we’re dealing with feeding ourselves, keeping our children, avoiding prison, rape and death.