Former member of US Air Force claims adult film industry is 'only career which empowers women'
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Featured Image Credit: @alexisfawxlive/Instagram
An adult film star has revealed why she views the porn industry as the 'only' empowering career for women.
Before speaking with five adult film stars about the industry, I have to admit, I was prejudiced against it myself. My questions revolved around whether they’d been sexually assaulted, abused, manipulated or exploited.
However, each of those questions were met with completely opposite responses to what my old-fashioned, societally brainwashed mind had expected.
Are women really as mistreated as many views on the adult film industry resolve?
Alexis Fawx, a houseplant enthusiast, coffee connoisseur and former member of the US Air Force, spoke to UNILAD about why she views the adult film industry as the most - if not, only - empowering profession for women.
The final of five adult film stars to chat to UNILAD, Alexis questions whether some people have such an issue with the industry because it's the women, not men, within it who have the most power.
Confident, sassy, bursting with energy, Alexis came across as the most 'porn starry' adult film performer I'd interviewed so far - which I'm sure she'd love me saying.
But then again, looking through the small lens of Zoom, I was once more slightly disappointed to not see a huge dildo, bunny outfit or strap-on lurking in the background.
Thankfully, Alexis satisfied the British nosy parker in me and gave me a house tour - she casually mentions she has not one, but 'four gardens in her backyard'.
One way which Alexis' career empowers her is by giving her time to focus on herself.
She points out her 'meditation' plant room - she's 'very big on nature', which helps her make her home a 'nesting'.
In order to achieve a 'work life balance,' she also sometimes works from her pool or jacuzzi.
Alexis explains: "I’ve set up a life I don’t need a vacation from. It’s so important. My favourite thing about the industry is I have control over my own time."
The online nature of the adult film industry has also empowered Alexis in her relationship with social media, as she's able to plan how she advertises her products month-by-month and use Instagram as a 'business tool'.
"Social media has helped me set up these businesses so I'm continuously successful," she says.
The flexible work schedule and control over her life, as well as the ability to make time for what really makes her happy, is only possible with the money she makes from her career.
Before joining the industry over 12 years ago, Alexis lived in Miami working 40-hour weeks before quitting in pursuit of fulfilling her 'creative' side. She soon stumbled across an advertisement on Craigslist and signed up to be an extra in a porn shoot.
"I’m a free spirit, I’ve watched plenty of porn in my life, so it's not a big deal."
On the day, Alexis had her hair and make-up done, went through consent forms, confirmed she'd also be up for performing a blowjob and then bam - "The penis came in front of me."
Alexis became one of the main girls who 'blows the guy wearing a teddy bear head,' did 'great' and was booked onto her first boy-girl shoot the next day.
She jokes: "I mean f**k. I’ve given so many blowjobs for free and haven’t gotten paid s**t - so I might as well do something!
"I really take everything in strides and say yes to opportunities. I guess it's part of the risk of growing, evolving and really developing your character."
However, similarly to Scarlett, while an empowering career, Alexis stresses the decision to enter the world of adult film shouldn't be made lightly.
"Maybe because I’d been in the air force, I already had a thicker skin, but it’s an adult business and I think it’s important to evaluate where you are in your life, especially if you’re very young.
"What you do on the internet, stays on the internet. Even if it gets taken down. Unless you’re 100 percent a yes, consider it a no, because that one percent may trigger you one day and you may have a mental breakdown, so why even play with it?"
If you do commit, Alexis views the industry as the 'only career out there which empowers women'. She's also quick to argue the so-called abuse of women happens in 'every industry'.
A quick search into Google comes up with hundreds of different articles on 'How to Deal with Sexism in the Workplace', as well as a Human Rights Watch page on 'Gender-based violence at Work'. Believe it or not, none of them mention the adult film industry.
The #MeToo movement - as Sinn argued - also happened many years before in porn.
"There's definitely been an increase in making sure everyone’s boundaries are respected," Alexis agrees.
Even if contracted with the same crew, Alexis still has to go through all consent and boundary forms, as well as being checked she doesn't have alcohol or drugs in her system.
Alexis describes a typical day on set: "A talent administrator witnesses everything. They check our pronouns and go over: Have you read the script? Have you worked with the director or the talent before? Is there anything you're not comfortable with?
"We usually pick ‘Cut’ to stop the production - everybody from the director to the set liaison and even the cameraman knows the deal."
What viewers see on porn sites is subsequently 'what the woman chose and wanted,' Alexis argues - any 'smut' is by non-professional organisations on the 'dark web'.
The only time in her career she didn't feel empowered? Alexis explains she's fine with choking with a 'hand not object,' but one time on set they 'didn't go over that' before.
Her scene partner 'wrapped his belt around [her] neck' and she immediately said she wasn't comfortable, putting her hands up to take it off. The belt was removed and the 'scene went on'.
Alexis later made her agent aware and said she didn't want to work with the company again. "Simple as that," she resolves.
Adult film is also often blamed for dis-empowering women by encouraging male viewers to engage in risky and violent sexual acts.
If adult films are blamed for influencing people’s actions in real life and encouraging violence, why are TV series and films not more often accused of the same? 13 Reasons Why was statistically proven to be linked to a spike in teenage suicides and yet the rest of the mainstream film industry hasn't been 'tarnished with the same brush'.
Alexis argues: "It’s called adult entertainment. When you go to a movie theatre do you have an actor and actress saying, ‘Well, we had our boxers on, we weren’t really making love’ or, 'Hey, we didn’t really bomb Mars'."
Similarly to Tanya, she disagrees with 'ethical porn': "I don’t want my real name out there and it's in consent forms. I don’t go to your doctor and ask for your medical records. I still deserve privacy."
Moreover, are there actually any statistics which directly link the watching of pornography to sexual violence? The question is still up for debate. While some studies argue otherwise, new research findings suggest there is no connection between pornography consumption and sexual violence.
Alexis has criticised those who blame porn for their own misconceptions, arguing: "Why don’t you blame your parents for not f**king talking to you? Or blocking sites?"
While Alexis believes a career in the adult film industry is the 'only' way to properly 'empower women,' that's not to say it's perfect.
"It would be great if more films gear it towards what [women] like to watch and what turns women on - I think you’re going to see that more with an increase in women directors," she notes.
However, ultimately, it's outsiders' views of the industry which Alexis - like Sinn - thinks need the most improvement.
"I hope we continue to evolve and have a bigger presence. I hope people will have a better outlook on the industry.
"Everyone already has sex, a lot of people around the world watch porn, I don’t know why we have to pretend we don’t."
It's not only the adult film stars who feel empowered - I come away from my discussions feeling uplifted too.
Adult film stars may not be educators, but they are open, honest and 'good communicators' - qualities many aspects of society desperately need more of.
Alexis reflects: "Some women cringe at just talking about menstruation or orgasms with one another. They should be able to say, ‘I’ve found what works for me,’ or ‘I’m not coming with my husband anymore, I don’t know what to do ladies?'"
"Why aren’t we just comfortable to talk about the different things going on with our bodies? Because those things do play into our mental health," Alexis says. "The more we get comfortable talking to each other about these intimate details, the more it can open a lot of other things."
From the answers I received from Alexis and the other four headstrong, professional, ambitious businesswomen I interviewed, it would seem the sort of degradation, stereotyped and even abusive views and behaviour towards women which so many accuse the porn industry of, are actually more prevalent in the rest of society.
The discomfort many of us have with the topic of sex and porn really acts as a mirror reflecting back onto our own biases, prejudices, snobbery and insecurities - whether it's the people who consume porn and their stereotyped desires around body image spoken about by Sinn, or the deflecting of the responsibility of educating young people onto performers addressed by Dee.
While insisting they shouldn't all be 'tarnished with the same brush,' when I asked Dee, Scarlett, Sinn, Tanya and Alexis what it currently feels like to be a performer in the adult film industry, they all stood united and resolved: "Empowering."