From the day I entered the adult business to the present moment, one question arises in every interview regarding pornography. "Why did you get in the business?" While I was participating in the creation of films, my answers were generally something along the lines of, "Well, I love sex so this makes sense!" Or, "I've always been comfortable with my sexuality, and this seems like a fun way to explore!" And as someone who has interviewed plenty of Porn Stars for my own productions, I've heard just about every answer there seems to be.
"I needed the money."
"Porn is pretty mainstream, so I'm hoping to cross over one day."
After I left the business, my answers changed drastically, and thanks to intensive therapy, I'm now able to comprehend more fully why the adult industry became my industry. Superficial answer? Money. This is the answer most people seem to like because it's something we can all grasp. However, when you take this superficial answer out of the equation, as money is probably not a motivational factor behind Montana Fishburne's entry into the adult business, the question poses a great gaping hole in our society. Montana, her family and the people who interview her will run to throw answers in that hole, filling it to the brim to make sense of a seemingly senseless act.
But this isn't Montana's first go-round in the world of selling sex, the young Fishburne and her attention seeking behavior apparently got in some trouble in 2009 in Hollywood, and she was later charged with prostitution. And perhaps you are asking yourself the same question I've asked myself since leaving porn -- What is the difference between being a Porn Star and being a prostitute? Fundamentally, nothing. As a Porn Star, you sell sex for money the same you do as a prostitute. Emotionally? Socially? Theoretically? What are the bigger differences between pornography and prostitution, and what must a girl convince herself of, in order to be in either of these professions? I'm not quite sure about Montana, as I never interviewed her personally, but here are a few of the things I had to believe in order to be a successful Porn Star.
First Belief: Porn Stars are different than prostitutes because we pay taxes, it's on camera, in front of the world, and not in some dark scary alley. It's different because the person I am being paid to have sex with is being paid to have sex with me too. There are conventions that welcome me, such as the AVN Expo in Vegas, whereas there are no conventions (with fans) for prostitutes. Therefore, I am not a prostitute.
Second Belief: My participation in pornography doesn't hurt anybody, not even me.
Third Belief: My parents should be proud of me for being such a successful woman in this male-driven business.
Fourth Belief: Using my sexuality to obtain money, respect and success is empowering.
Fifth Belief: Doing this temporarily will take me somewhere better permanently.
When I quit, and started going to therapy, I had to deconstruct each of these beliefs, as they'd become so ingrained in my way of thinking they had taken over my way of living.
First Truth: There really is no difference between being a Porn Star and being a prostitute. One is a bit safer than the other and tested for STD's, but for the most part they are the same. In fact, the majority of Porn Stars sideline as prostitutes, or "Escorts," although they will deny it vehemently.
Second Truth: My participation in pornography, while accepted by my family (I was honest from the beginning), still broke the hearts of those who love me. My Mom and Dad had wanted more for me than selling sex. My little brother had to deal with kids at school who made fun of him because his sister was a whore. My little sister, who once looked up to me, thought I was taking the easy way out. And as mentioned, I've been in therapy for the past year and a half trying to rehabilitate myself from the damages both I, and my participation in pornography, caused. To say "selling sex for money won't harm you" is to say seismic activity today, won't cause tidal waves hundreds of miles away tomorrow.
Third Truth: My parents are proud of me no matter what I do. But they knew I could do more.
Fourth Truth: Using my sexuality to be financially stable, respected and successful is not empowering. It is manipulative and the same as sleeping with your boss to get a raise. I am a hustler and a master manipulator. Going back to school is empowering because I am creating a sustainable future with my mind, not my vagina.
Fifth Truth: Doing porn temporarily will dig you deeper down the pornographic hole. When and if women are lucky enough to climb out, they will need tons of therapy to understand why they choose to prostitute themselves for mere peanuts. And if they don't get that kind of help, it is my personal opinion they will be faced with challenges in their intimate and social lives, daily.
So there is a much bigger answer to a very small question, with many implications shrouded in gray. Perhaps Montana never figured out how to get positive attention from her Dad, and this is her go-to. Maybe she is just as manipulative as me, and her age and career choices prohibit her from recognizing her truths. Maybe she is trying to create her own path in the public eye, and is too afraid to follow in her Dad's mainstream footsteps -- as they are large shoes to fill. Whatever her current and probably superficial reasons behind getting into porn may be, one thing is guaranteed: There will be a day when this is not a viable career, and she will be left exposed, without the Chippy D persona, to find her own truths as Montana.