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The Duke Freshman Outed As A Porn Performer Explains Herself In An Editorial

By 02.24.14

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Last week, a freshman at Duke was “outed” as having a porn performer alter ego. Rather than let the internet go wild with the information on their own, like it did with the outing of Miss Teen Delawarean LSU girl, and God only knows how many others (yr mom?), the college Republican and double sociology/women studies major has taken charge of her own SEO to a certain degree, explaining herself in interviews with the Duke Chronicle and an editorial for XOJane. Now, for me, the biggest surprise about this story is that she doesn’t go to Arizona State. My reactions to the news ranged from “Niiice,” and “A freshman? Niiice.” (Barely legal! For real!) But for some, stories like this always turn into a big debate, as if porn’s existence from roughly the dawn of man until now depends on your approval somehow.

But first, the girl, who says she got into the biz because she likes sex and thought it would be a good way to pay for school, in her own words:

The storm began when I came back to school from Christmas break, happy and confident in myself. I was only a week in when I found myself being bombarded by friend requests on Facebook from random male students. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. I was a bit flattered to be honest (maybe I actually am pretty and nice and not awkward, I thought), but then, the unthinkable happened: a student in my grade followed my alter ego on Twitter.

When I got the notification, my heart stopped.

I stood there shaking in disbelief and fear. I knew what was coming next: fear, humiliation, shame, threats, name calling.

What I did not expect was that I would be brutally bullied and harassed online. I did not expect that every private detail about my life would be dissected. I did not expect that my intelligence and work ethic would be questioned and criticized. And I certainly did not expect that extremely personal information concerning my identity and whereabouts would be so carelessly transmitted through college gossip boards. I was called a “slut who needs to learn the consequences of her actions,” a “huge fucking whore,” and, perhaps the most offensive, “a little girl who does not understand her actions.”

Let’s be clear about one thing: I know exactly what I’m doing. What about you? |XOJane|

If I meet an 18 or 19-year-old who knows exactly what he or she is doing, it will be a first. But that’s beside the point. I don’t consider myself a feminist crusader or anything, but I do tend to live by what I would consider a pretty simple rule: If you’re jacking off to someone, if someone’s doing something that gives you boners… BE NICE TO THEM. That seems only logical to me. Otherwise, do you hate your boner or something?

The next question most people ask about porn stars is why they do it, or delve into that. She gets into that a bit:

My entire life, I have, along with millions of other girls, been told that sex is a degrading and shameful act. When I was 5 years old and beginning to discover the wonders of my body, my mother, completely horrified, told me that if I masturbated, my vagina would fall off.

The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women “have,” but that they shouldn’t “give it away” too soon -– as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she “gives” it to.

Ahh, yes, I think I recognize this phenomenon. When you turn something into a huge taboo (like sex, or chocolate, or whatever), you tend to fetishize it. Have fun with that, strict parents!

One thing I did notice about this coverage, from DailyBeast to NY Daily News to BroBible to Jezebel, was that no one re-outed her, despite the obvious traffic incentive to do so. Progress?

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