The Art of the Sex Tape – And Why I Didn’t Need One

“I saw your sex tape,” one fan said to me as I was licking a Dole Whip at Disneyland. The two warring worlds I had lived in for so long were now literally and metaphorically colliding at this point. I even put on my Mickey ears.

“I’ve never made a sex tape,” I said as I licked the spoon. It wasn’t meant to be flirty, but I think it can be perceived that way when you see a girl on your favorite children’s show have sex on camera and then watch her lick a spoon.

“Don’t deny it! I saw you…have sex,” he whispered, as if he and I were supposed to share this humiliating moment about a movie he saw that I consented to and got paid for. “You used to be boy meets the world and now i saw your vagina.

He stood there for a moment with a goofy mouth waiting for me to say something. My vagina wasn’t the thing that shocked him, although if you grew up on that ABC show, I’ll admit it might be a little shocking. But it was more than that. He couldn’t imagine that a woman with a legitimate career wasn’t scarred by shame for the indiscreet things she’d done—like everyone else in Hollywood who had sex on film and gained fame for it.

Hollywood has a complicated relationship with sex, and even more so when it comes to the women it offers the public on platters. When I was growing up in the industry as part of the Disney machine in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, girls were paraded around as these sexual creatures all the time, maintaining their roles as virginal fools. The studio masters managed every step, every movement so that it was enough, but not too much to satisfy the male gaze. We were in a colorful bubble, in movies, on stage and broadcast in living rooms one day a week and then eternally in reruns. And I could feel the energy of young actresses around me wanting to explode.

Jessica Biel and Elizabeth Berkley were the first to challenge their family images. Jessica almost naked on the cover of a men’s magazine and Elizabeth trying to shock her showgirls. Sex, especially on American family-oriented shows, was a controlled tool used by studios to make money, so why wasn’t there a way for girls to use their own sexuality to gain fame? This growing sentiment and the meteoric rise of the internet is why it doesn’t surprise me that this was the era when the sex tape was really born.

The only problem was that you had to be humiliated for it.

The formula is as follows: a sex tape is made, “stolen” and subsequently leaked and sold for a large payment. The performer, almost always a woman, must always deny her involvement. To succeed, there needs to be distance between you and your filth, as if sexuality for the good woman is an out-of-body experience. And she cannot succeed in selling sex unless there is shame, regret and apology. That’s what audiences, trained diligently by the studio heads who feed them this narrative, want. Watching something broadcast against a woman’s will is voyeuristic. It’s seductively intrusive. And separates your body from your being. Does the public buy the denials? Probably not. But they like the fantasy of rape while the essence of the virginal fool remains intact.

And all this is really a fantasy. If you’re an actor in the adult film industry, you know that in order to have your sexual performance plastered on DVD covers and sold in sex shops for cash, you need to sign lengthy paperwork and prove your age and personality with two forms of ID, while also verbally consenting to have sex on camera while you are being filmed. It’s not hard to imagine that a movie like One Night in Paris it wasn’t behind that beaded curtain at the local video store without the star’s consent. Farrah Abraham, who rose to prominence after she got pregnant at sixteen and MTV filmed it, allegedly filmed her professionally with a porn star but still claimed it was a leak.

Hollywood stars aren’t the only ones trying to exploit this system. Adult artists who have made millions building their names and brands on the shoulders of the industry also adhere to this formula, especially when they start seeking approval from the gods of the mainstream. Lana Rhodes and Mia Khalifa are two examples of women who consented to have sex on film and built huge brands because of it, earning millions along the way, only to drastically distance themselves from their sex work afterwards, as you guessed it… regret and shame . However, to this day they still use their pornographic names to profit and the audience that found them in the adult space to propel them into other waters.

But the question is, why does sex have to be such a scandal? Why don’t we get over this archaic notion that a good girl is not a sexual being? In a world full of progress and possibilities, why do we still categorize women on a scale from virgin to prostitute? While our country and its factions are at odds with each other on every conceivable issue, the only thing the most fundamentalist conservatives and ultra-left feminists have in their hands is that women who use their sexuality are bad.

I’m always asked why I decided to leave acting for adult entertainment and I always tell them the truth – I didn’t. I’m an actress. I’ve always been like that, no matter what medium I work in. And I’m worried about the collective mind that believes that once you’re thrown into Hades, there’s no going back. Not if you’re happy. There is only one lifeboat offered by the traditional gods if you cry those necessary tears of shame and regret.

I’m not ashamed, and never have been. I entered sex work and the adult film world with enthusiasm and positivity. When I signed with Vixen Media Group, a leader in luxury adult content, to be the face of Deeper brand and collaborating with famed director and performer Kayden Kross, I saw a bright future with award-winning projects. Finally, there could be movies of the highest quality that also have the hottest sex and can bridge the adult and mainstream worlds. Why didn’t the mainstream allow this before? Why are they in charge of ensuring that pornography is seen as an inferior medium? And that no one has any talent other than fucking, which is a talent in itself.

While I’ve been warned about this scary place, I’ve found the adult industry as a whole to be a place where I can fully express myself, be creative, and use my body as my art. How is this different from a dancer or athlete who uses their body as a vehicle to achieve, create and express their talents? And why is sex, and even more so women who enjoy sex, still so shocking to us?

I really feel like my refusal to give in to the narrative that was so well established is why I received so much positivity. Someone once told me that if you’re happy and someone keeps trying to yell that you’re not, they’re the ones who look crazy. And it’s true. When I started this journey, I didn’t have a master plan. It was simply me, finding myself over countless months, years and decades. It didn’t start out as a career choice or some calculated move, although if you weren’t paying attention along the way and just saw the headline “Rachel from Boy Meets World Does Porn” you might assume that was the case. I find it sad that this assumption is built into our cultural narrative, but it also drives me to speak up.

So when I finished my spoonful of Dole Whip at Disneyland that day and looked up at a sky full of lightning triumphantly, I told my new friend who had just let me know that not only was I in his favorite sitcom, but he had also seen mine. vagina something simple.

“I know,” I said. “Is not it beautiful?” So I straightened my Mickey ears and walked away.

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