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Coming Out Like a Porn Star: Essays on Pornography, Protection, and Privacy Paperback – October 20, 2015
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We all have secrets, alter egos, and live double lives. Coming Out Like a Porn Star is an incredibly rich and moving narrative of an experience we can all relate to. We can learn something from all of the authors.”
Belle Knox, The Duke Porn Star”
This revealing, moving, and often surprising collection lets you go deep inside the lives of generations of porn stars and explicit performers. It’s an absolute must-read for anyone interested in sex industry politics, sex-positive culture, and porn studiesand for anyone whose friend, lover, or family member has taken their pants off in front of a camera. One after the other, these memoirs add up to a powerful, if ironic, conclusion: Porn stigma is the biggest problem many adult performers face, and it is at least as likely to come from our feminist moms as from prudish conservatives. Once you’ve heard the clear, articulate voices of these porn stars, you’ll never look at a sex movie, or the people who make it happen, the same way again.”
Carol Queen, PhD Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture
A one-of-a-kind collection with perspectives from a terrific mix of adult entertainment professionals, COMING OUT LIKE A PORN STAR is a timely, insightful read that will change perceptions about an industry so often misunderstood.”
Dan Miller, XBIZ™
What are the performers like?” What do their parents say?” After over a decade researching all aspects of adult entertainment, these sorts of questions remain among those most frequently raised by folks living and working outside the industry. Coming Out Like a Porn Star provides a platform for a diverse array of adult performers to tell their own stories. Jiz Lee has spearheaded a compelling and heartfelt collection one that engages wider society’s fascination with porn performers in order to humanize, edify, and enlighten.
Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, Author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment
Intimates the fascinating story of adult performers who’ve come out’.”
Jayme Waxman, Playgirl Magazine June 2015
"Coming Out Like a Porn Star is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of sex workers telling their stories in their own words. What becomes apparent almost immediately is that this book is about much more than coming out: it is about the right to privacy and sexual autonomy; the power of sexual expression and social stigma; and what it means to look at the world through 'porn-o-vision.'"Routledge
Frank and decidedly humorous, this collection takes the stereotypical narrative of what it means to be a porn star and puts it out of its misery. Without a doubt, this is the most honest, diverse and innately human take on the art form we call porn I’ve ever read. Stories like these have the power to change minds, shatter conventions and completely reframe the entire genre of porn.”
Jerome Stuart Nichols, sex & wellness coach, creator of LTASEX.com
Coming out is never a straightforward process. Lee’s collection of essays offers a nuanced, heartfelt, and incredibly honest look at what it means to come to terms with a highly public, incredibly sexual identity within the bounds of one’s private life.”
Lux Alptraum, former editor/publisher, Fleshbot.com
Finally a collection of essays bold enough to embrace and express the complexities and contradictions of performing sex. With uncompromising thought and lucid prose, Lee and fellow contributors rewrite the public record.”
Nichi Hodgson, author of Bound To You
A manifesto, a reclamation by Lee of the role of porn as a positive artistic form.”
Rachel Kramer Bussel, Salon.com
Coming Out Like a Porn Star fundamentally changes the cultural conversation about porn performers. Never before have adult performers been given the space to talk about coming to terms with what they’re doing with their bodies, their careers, and their lives. It is in this space that we find out they’re neither victim nor villain; instead we encounter people whose inner strength and thoughtful, well-articulated sense of self can teach us a thing or two about how we can better relate to our loved ones, ourselves, and society at large.”
Violet Blue, journalist and author of The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy
"Perhaps the most significant contribution of Coming Out Like a Porn Star to the world of adult writing is that it suddenly confronts its reader with 50+ people who simply choose to live their lives (and share their stories) in the porn industry. These people are intelligent, accomplished, complex, and full of emotionsjust like anyone elseand this simple fact does more to shatter people’s preconceived notions than anything else."Emmeline Peaches Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
Not that it's mostly a book about problems! Some essays are, and some focus much more on the positive effects sex work has had for many of the participants. Since the mainstream story about sex work tends to be condescending- the workers must be trafficked, or drug addicts, or broken abuse survivors- it's especially important to hear the voices of sex workers happy and comfortable in their work.
(I will mention, though, that if this is the ONLY book one reads about the modern porn industry, one will likely have an overly rosy view thereof. While I don't think anyone was lying, I do know- from knowing workers myself- that this sunny view is not all there is, particularly as one gets into more "mainstream" porn rather than the queer and alternative porn that many of the essayists make.)
I read this because I have a personal friendship with one of the essayists, and have admired the work of several others in attempting to bring to our culture a saner view of sex and sexuality.
Never before have workers in the erotic entertainment business sounded more vulnerable, more assertive, more human than in this collection of writings by mostly female porn actors and directors. (There are even some major players here, like Annie Sprinkle, Candida Royalle and Nina Hartley). Their stories may shock you, but that's because of how their lives and careers are, not because they're relying on shock to hold your attention.
While I haven't finished the book yet (why hurry?), it's refreshing to hear these people describe their lives, on and mostly off-camera, and to know that no, these people are not airheads at all (some in fact hold advanced degrees).
Overall, I recommend this to everyone.