When Porn Still Mattered: The Luke Ford Story

I wrote about the porn industry from 1995 to 2007. ReactionaryMBA tweets: “Can you do a show on what you learned?”

I was interviewed for the 2011 documentary “After Porn Ends” about the lives of porn stars after they leave sex work.

Luke: “When you are involved in this industry, you lose your humanity. You are no longer treated as a human being by 80% of people out there. You are now scum. They may want to do certain things with you, but you’re still scum. They may be thrilled to have a roll in the sack with you, but when you leave, they will want to burn the sheets.”

“Happiness and success in life boil down to the quality of your bonds with other people. Having anything to do with the adult industry hacks away at those bonds, so you are isolated, alienated, pushed away to the margins, not treated as a human being, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

“Hookers are people looking for a quick buck with the least amount of effort so they turn tricks. Being a porn star is being part of the world’s oldest profession.” Porn stars are hookers without shame.

“People who are well adjusted and have good life skills and are doing something meaningful with their lives, they are not in the industry to begin with. People in the industry are broken, twisted souls without a lot of great job skills. They are turbulent souls. They are always going to be twisting and turning in the wind.”

“Is it possible to lead a normal life after you get out? This is forever. This is the scarlet letter. It never goes away. What tends to happen is that it isolates you and you so develop a fear of being rejected and so you put up walls between you and other people. When you are isolated, you are less likely to suffer rejection, but you are also isolated and living on the edge.”

“Here are some people you talked to who are leading normal lives? How the hell would you really know? Are they going to tell you about all the times they’ve been rejected and isolated and the horror and shame that their children confront and that their spouses confront and the shame that they’ve put their families through and the relationships permanently broken and all the burned bridges behind them because they’ve done sex work? Most families aren’t proud when their daughters become hookers.”

Here are a few of my other reflections.

* Most people equate what is legal with what is moral. If you legalize porn, people who make it and consume it will think it is not so bad.

* Porners will always push the limit. When they could get away with it, with child porn for example, they sold child porn until 1977.

* Society will always struggle to contain the contagion of a sex industry. There will always be STDs of the body and of the soul and they will invariably affect those who come into close contact with sex workers. The media likes to talk about cases of AIDS in porn, but there is AIDS of the soul. You can watch videos of where people catch AIDS and you can watch videos where people’s souls die.

* Pornography is the antithesis of civilization. It unleashes forces that tear down the restraints that make civilization possible.

* No matter how much you legalize sex work, like with drugs, you will always have to declare some of it illegal (such as with children).

* It verges on the impossible to have a normal life and work in the sex industry. Individuals who use it will inevitably feel a decrease in their ability to pray and to connect to God (and often other people). If you masturbate, you will quit praying. If you pray, you will quit masturbating. The two activities are not compatible. One will win out.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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