French porn industry in turmoil following shocking revelations of abuse • FRANCE 24 English
The French porn industry is facing its moment of reckoning. A two-year police investigation has blown the lid on widespread abuse of vulnerable women. A Senate report is now aiming to improve conditions by bringing about stricter controls. In this show, we meet three women who are trying to change the way the X-rated industry in France operates.
Read article here‘Hell behind the scenes’: French Senate blasts porn industry after abuse scandal
A rape investigation targeting a prominent French pornography website is prompting actresses to disclose their own experiences of abuse, a moment of reckoning for an industry where speaking out has long been taboo.
Prosecutors said last month that Jacquie and Michel, which bills itself as a hub for “amateur” porn videos, and other sites had been under investigation since July after feminist groups collected testimonies from several women.
Actresses warned that users should be aware that the concept of “amateur” porn is a misnomer and belies the experiences that performers may have had to endure.
“Those who might be tempted need to know that they abuse women,” Estelle, who asked that her real name not be published, told AFP.
She is one of a few dozen women, according to lawyers and women’s associations, who have contacted lawyers since the inquiry was opened.
Estelle said that she was 22 when she set her sights on becoming a “star” for France’s leading porn production company, Dorcel.
Unable to get a break, however, she started making videos with smaller producers, many of which were shown on Jacquie and Michel.
The experience turned into a nightmare.
One director forced her to accept certain scenes ― despite her objections ― that left her in intense pain for several days.
“He said, ‘She’s crying because she’s not used to it. Stop crying, we can’t sell that ― Smile!'” Estelle recalled, saying she was paid 250 euros ($290).
She said that she was forced to perform without a condom with a man who had lied about having tested negative for a sexually-transmitted disease but in fact had a herpes infection.
“They pay you hardly anything for doing scenes that you’ve never said ‘yes’ to.”
– Amateur acts? –
Other women told AFP about directors who suddenly demanded additional sex acts they had not been warned about in advance.
But Marion Lew, 32, who documents her adult film career on Twitter, said: “The legal system has a very difficult time recognising sexual assault.”
Additionally many women hope to force Jacquie and Michel and other sites to remove their videos, arguing they were unaware that they would be available permanently.
“Many women complain first about the images, which have the most immediate impact on their lives, and initially play down the serious violence they have suffered,” said Lorraine Questiaux, a lawyer for the Mouvement du Nid, an anti-prostitution group.
Jacquie and Michel has denied any wrongdoing, saying it only distributes films and is not responsible for how they are made.
But it has promised to stop working with anyone convicted of rape or other crimes.
Many actors and actresses scoff at the claim, saying the site effectively requires directors to meet certain aesthetic standards.
“We really need to stop with this idea of ‘amateur porn’,” said Tony Caliano, who has acted in X-rated films for the past 10 years.
“The women are always paid, and the idea is to make you think the girl next door is ready to fool around,” he said.
He indicated however that the women were not likely to have long-term “professional” careers either.
“Jacquie and Michel’s business model is based on always having a new actress,” he added.
“The average girl who gets into the industry will do just 15 or 20 scenes, over three or four months.”
As part of an investigation on the “French Bukkake” platform, an actor is accused of human trafficking in an organized gang and gang rape.
The investigation into the “French Bukkake” pornographic video platform is progressing. An actor was indicted for trafficking in human beings in an organized gang and gang rape to the detriment of two victims. According to a judicial source, which confirmed information from BFMTV, this 39-year-old man was placed under judicial supervision. This actor was arrested on Monday January 23, said a source familiar with the matter.
This is Tony Caliano, said several sources familiar with the matter. On the IAFD reference site, he appears as an actor in the credits of at least 600 pornographic productions between 2011 and 2021, including many productions of “Jacquie et Michel” and a certain number of Marc Dorcel. After the first crackdown in this investigation, in October 2020, he told the weekly Marianne that the actors were “equally responsible for the abuses of the producers”. “By saying nothing, by not speaking with the actress of the scene, they condone what is happening,” he added.
At least 17 people – actors, directors, producers – have already been indicted in this judicial investigation opened in October 2020 for aggravated human trafficking, gang rape or even aggravated pimping. More than forty victims have joined as civil parties, as well as associations.
Suspicions of pimping
According to elements of the investigation consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the platform of “Pascal OP” identified under the name of “French Bukkake”, named after a sexual practice, first attracted attention of investigators: a subscription allowed customers to participate in priority to these collective ejaculations [bukkake], with places reserved for sessions without condoms. This system, aimed at making individuals pay in exchange for organized sexual relations, has fueled suspicions of pimping in the eyes of the courts.
According to the source familiar with the matter, the investigation is coming to an end and should be closed “by the end of the first quarter”.
The French porn industry has been in the spotlight for two years: another survey carried out in Paris since July 2020 targets “Jacquie et Michel”, the embodiment in France of amateur porn and tricolor pillar of this industry. Michel Piron, the site’s founder, was indicted in June for complicity in rape and human trafficking in an organized gang. Three other men are also prosecuted in this judicial investigation also opened for aggravated pimping or rape with torture and act of barbarism.
The main gist of this article is that women just intrinsically want to fantasize about rape, and create porn that depicts rape, and they are ashamed of this because of the shaming coming from repressed, anti-sex prudes.
This shit is not new. Sex-pozzie “feminism” has been around for decades as a backlash against radical feminism. The sex-pozzies don’t like when feminists talk about serious topics like rape, incest, pornography, prostitution, and sexual slavery, and they prefer to turn the conversation back to their fun sexytimes. Because they are really fun people who just want to have a good time and they’re not like those ugly, man-hating feminists.
The article begins thusly:
“Can a feminist have rape fantasies?
According to feminist pornography producer Pandora Blake, who runs the fetish porn site Dreams of Spanking and frequently portrays fantasies of “non-consent”, the answer is a no-brainer. “Absolutely.”
The general consensus in the feminist porn movement is that no fantasy, no matter how anti-feminist the subject matter appears to be, is off limits. To tell a woman what she is and is not allowed to be turned on by is just about as anti-feminist as it gets.
“Removing shame from hardcore BDSM desire and rape play and age play and all of the kinky taboos that women just have not been allowed to like ever, that’s the kind of stuff that really draws me into the feminist porn movement,” says Courtney Trouble, the producer behind Trouble Productions and a past Feminist Porn Conference keynote speaker.”
Where to even get started with this “feminist porn” business? The people quoted in this article are suggesting that “feminist porn” can have just as much abusive content as regular porn—they say that nothing is off-limits, including hardcore BDSM and rape. So what is the difference then, between what they’re creating and the rest of the misogynist porn industry?
The “feminist pornographers” explain that in their porn, performers are allowed to cut the scene if they are uncomfortable with something, they talk about consent first, fat people are allowed, and only people who are kinky in real life do kink scenes, so that no vanilla prudes will be made uncomfortable. So basically the only difference between “feminist porn” and regular porn is that no one is outright being raped, and there is more variety in body type. Everything else is the same though—the eroticization of dominance and submission and the portrayal of oppression as sexy is left intact. The same message is being sent to the viewer: the sexual abuse of women is sexy.
When it comes down to it, the main difference between “feminist porn” and regular porn is that in “feminist porn” it’s women volunteering for their own degradation, instead of men enforcing it on them. How revolutionary! But this is what third wave sex-pozzie “feminism” is. It’s when women take over doing the hard work of oppressing women so that men can relax and just enjoy the show. Women volunteer to be oppressed instead of being helpless victims of oppression. Because if we volunteer for our oppression, it isn’t oppressing us anymore. You can fight a revolution without changing the material conditions of women’s lives—you simply rebrand what’s happening to you as something else and voilà—oppression gone!
Back in 2008, Twisty Faster wrote about a “feminist” burlesque show that was a lot like this, in the sense that it was about how it’s a “feminist” act for women to volunteer to be objectified. She wrote one of the best blog titles I’ve ever seen:
Fucking genius.This is a great piece of hers, however short, and it contains these gems, which are applicable to the current “feminist porn” article.
“How is fun-feminism different from regular feminism? Not at all, except that it’s antifeminist. It’s when you capitulate to, participate in, embrace, and openly promote rape culture in exchange for approval, claiming that it empowerfulizes you.”
“The idea that women’s public sexuality can so precisely mirror traditional male fantasy while simultaneously existing in a kind of pro-woman, I-do-it-for-myself alternate universe is the cornerstone of funfeminist “thought.” The flaw in this reasoning is that all women must participate in patriarchy regardless of what they say motivates their participation; patriarchy is the dominant culture, and there is no opting out. Which means there is no opting in, either. Do it for me, do it for you, whatever; the primary beneficiaries of women’s participation — willing or unwilling, ironic or sincere — in patriarchy, are men.”
Even funfeminists should be able to realize, if they bothered to think about it, that when you promote the idea that rape is sexy, the people who benefit from that are rapists.
One of the interviewees, Blake, presents her desire for kink as a naturally-occurring trait that she discovered while growing up, and that she had to work through her shame around it in order to become her kinky self. I call bullshit on that. The idea that a woman’s inborn sexual desires perfectly resemble the oppression that men subject us to is actually a misogynist idea that men have been using against us for centuries. Men have always claimed that women naturally want to submit to men, and that we want to be controlled, used, and abused, because this justifies women’s oppression. MRAs are still saying this today. (Notice that sex-pozzies and MRAs agree on a lot of things?) Of course, if you bring this up to a kinkster, you’ll be dismissed, name-called, and booted out. That’s because they don’t want to think about the social context of their desires or the political implications of what they’re doing. That would totally kill their buzz, and their buzz is way more important to them than liberating the female sex class from oppression.
“What’s hot about spanking is the fear of it, the anxiety and anticipation of what’s coming,” Blake says.
Well I must be a vanilla shitlord, because I don’t believe that anxiety and fear are a part of a healthy sex life. I think that what people should feel during sex are love, joy, arousal, fun, excitement, climax, and release, not fear or pain.
“Feminists routinely fight for sexual agency – a woman’s right to make decisions about her own sexuality, including when and with whom to have sex, and when, if ever, to get pregnant. Feminists traditionally rebel against the forces that would hem in these rights: the puritanical voices that say that a woman who enjoys sex is a slut, that would restrict access to contraceptives, that claim that dressing provocatively is inviting rape.”
Real feminists, not the fun kind, realize that fighting for women’s sexual agency means making material changes in the world that allow women to say no, because when you don’t have the option of saying ‘no,’ your ‘yes’ is meaningless. For example, when feminists fought for the right to divorce, the right to work for our own wages, and the right to access birth control and abortion, those changes all made it easier for women to control when and how and with whom we have sex or get pregnant. By controlling our own lives and not being dependent on a husband we are free to make our own sexual and reproductive decisions. But when funfeminists talk about “fighting for women’s sexual agency” they actually mean celebrating middle-class women’s choices to participate in the exact patriarchal institutions that deny agency to countless women who are less fortunate than they are. Creating your own pornography is only fun for middle-class women. Women who have no real choices and are desperate for money and find that their only option is the sex industry find it a lot less fun.
Funfeminists vaguely understand that there is something wrong with mainstream porn, but because their understanding is very limited, they don’t have any useful solutions.
“Certainly there are things in mainstream porn that I think are stereotypical, or repetitive, boring, or even offensive,” Taormino told me, “but the answer is not to shut down porn. The answer is to make more porn.”
I’m going to use an analogy here that comes from Gail Dines. People call her “anti-sex” because she opposes the porn industry. As she explains, that would be like calling someone “anti-food” because they criticized the fast food industry. The problem with the porn industry is not that a few movies are bad, it’s that the industry as a whole harms women as a group. It’s an industry that profits from male power and sexualizes women’s submission, it teaches that rape is sexy, it grooms entire generations into accepting abusive behavior, it reduces women to a collection of holes to fuck instead of whole human beings. The answer to this industry is not to set up one porn studio that makes so-called “ethical porn.” That would be like trying to counteract the negative effects of capitalism by opening one ethically-run business. That one ethically-run business does absolutely nothing to negate the fact that unethical business practices are institutionalized worldwide and harming most of the world’s people. And by the way, when your porn studio produces rape scenes, “age play,” and hardcore BDSM, then it’s already unethical, even if your actors talk about consent before they shoot the scene.
Let’s talk about what “age play” is. This is a euphemism for acting out the sexual abuse of an underage person. We are even given an example of it in the article:
“like a schoolgirl who knows she’s going to get a caning after school and can’t think about anything else and she’s asking her friends how bad it’s going to be, if it’s going to hurt.”
It should be obvious to anyone that this is the sexualization of child abuse.
“Removing shame from hardcore BDSM desire and rape play and age play and all of the kinky taboos that women just have not been allowed to like ever, that’s the kind of stuff that really draws me into the feminist porn movement,” says Courtney Trouble.
So this “feminist” thinks that removing shame from the eroticization of things like rape and child sexual abuse is a part of the “feminist porn movement.” I disagree. If you are fantasizing about hurting a woman or a child you SHOULD be ashamed. And as for women who fantasize about being on the receiving end of abuse, they have a responsibility to realize that this is not some sort of innate “kink” to celebrate having, it’s a response to being treated in an abusive way and being taught to sexualize that abuse. It’s not necessary to be ashamed if you have internalized harmful messages from your culture, but it’s necessary to realize they are harmful and to avoid defending and promoting them.
“In a world where porn is the de facto sex education for any teenager with an internet connection, socially responsible producers have to think not only about what will get people off, but what people will learn.”
This sentence coming from someone who thinks that “rape play,” “age play” and “hardcore BDSM” are okay? Are these the things that they want teenagers to learn? That’s absolutely frightening.
I will never call these people sex-positive, because they are actually positive toward abuse, not sex. They are as far from being feminists as the average MRA, and they are not fighting a social justice movement. Women already have the right to be abused. What we need is the right to be free from abuse. Only the radical feminists are fighting for that.
P.S.—The mainstream media loves publishing these sorts of articles. That’s because part of the backlash against feminism is a sort of fake version of feminism that gets promoted by people who have an interest in the continuation of capitalism and patriarchy. They promote a neo-liberal version of feminism that is all about women being “empowered” by making consumer choices, and women participating in patriarchy while rebranding it as their “agency” in a deliberate strategy to kill the feminist movement. There is no better explanation of this phenomenon than Gail Dines’ lecture Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism. Neo-liberalism has also killed the Left, because it has turned us away from class analysis and toward pointless wanking over “identities.” Anyone wanting to learn about feminism should avoid the mainstream media altogether and just read either Feminist Current, print books by feminists, or anonymous blogs by feminists. Not the fun kind.
This article is shared from: https://purplesagefem.wordpress.com/
DEMOLITION PORNOGRAPHY, ARE YOU WATCHING? SHE EXCITES YOU? YOU REVOLT?
The damning testimonies of mistreated actresses on French porn sets are multiplying following the investigation of Le Monde last September revealing the degrading practices of the “French bukkake” site and the indictment of Michel Piron, the director of Jacquie et Michel , one of the biggest French broadcasters of X, as part of an investigation by the first judicial police district of Paris for “rape and aggravated rape”, “pimping”, “trafficking in human beings” and “forcible confinement” .
These violent practices do not date from today. They began in the early 2000s when porn sites without means and without any rules multiplied on the Internet, practicing an escalation in sexual violence in order to stand out from classic X productions and attract an increasingly public. jaded, in search of new thrills. This is how “ ultra-hard” sub-genres appeared such as “gonzo ”, “ demolition ”, “ throat gagger ” , “ bukkake ” (“splatter” of sperm together, from Japan ), etc. In 2007, in Gang Bang, an investigation into demolition pornography(Threshold, coll Non Conforme), I had given the floor to several actresses revolted by what they had endured and investigated this ultra hard cinema.
At the time, I was shocked by the arrival of these films of extreme violence, wondering how spectators could endure such scenes of degradation of “actresses” without protesting or being indignant – and paying for their subscribe to it. I then understood that this porn was entering a new phase: it appealed to the sadism of the spectators, to their excitement in front of the sufferings inflicted live, in a gonzo style , on young women. He was selling them a cruel and humiliating “gonzo” reality show to get them hard – the justification being that it was “cinema” not debasement or filmed violence. To find myself the ” next door witness”, the “bystander” of these scenes appealed to me. At the time, a declared intermittent amateur of X, I wrote this book not to be an accomplice. Here are some excerpts – they testify to how long it has been since porn has gone off the rails…
January 2006. Random click on the first “Demolition Porn” site. On the first pages, a few advertising pitches flash: ” THROAT GAGGER ” (Gagged throat), “C’ IS DEMOLITION”. Films are sold there individually or by monthly subscription. Click on a photo. On the screen comes “Natacha”, a frail blonde peroxide in cheap underwear. High heels, thong, silicone mouth. A pretty, pale, slender girl, 20 years old at the drop of a hat. With a small smile, she falls to her knees on the tiled floor in front of a pot-bellied man in socks, whose face we will never see. Immediately the guy grabs her by the hair, opens her mouth with five fingers, spits in her, yelling “Bitch! (Bitch!). The young woman jumps. It’s obviously a bad surprise for her. She may be playing, but nothing is less certain. The man starts again, fiddles with his lips, spits on them, “Bitch! », Grabs her hair, and shoves his whole cock in her throat. Direct. Already, he slaps deep in her face.
Natacha, “18 years old” according to a cartridge that appeared on the screen, emits a kind of liquid squeak, while her nose crashes into the guy’s stomach. Right away, I wonder why I’m watching this. I hate this guy, what he does. My “masculine gaze”, although accustomed to twenty years of erotic magazines and porn films, my “male gaze” (my eye desiring- objectifying the body of a woman spotted by the psychoanalyst Laura Mulvey) does not support the stage. It’s very violent. The big guy blocks Natacha’s face, preventing her from freeing herself. She tries to push him away with her hands. He pushes them away violently, yelling “Without hands, bitch! (No hands, bitch!), and goes back to dabbing it deep in her throat. It makes the funny noise, kind of siphon disgorging. Natacha chokes, rolling wide eyes. She has a spasm of rejection, saliva overflows from her mouth, she vomits.
I stop the movie. I can’t stand what I see. The brutality of the man, the twisted face of the young woman triggered in me an intense emotion of disgust and anger. There is absorption in seeing, incorporation. I don’t want that image in me. Get used to it. Already, I know that it will be difficult to forget. I tell myself that the scene, the filmmaker trapped me. They’ve managed to trigger such a strong, traumatic feeling in me that basically they’re questioning me about what I’m looking for in porn. Isn’t that a strong visual sensation? Isn’t this shock, this disgust, this rejection a form of excitement? Perhaps the film traps me, what I believe to be real is only cinema intended to mobilize my sadism – if it exists?
I click again. It starts again. The fat man hits hard down Natacha’s throat. She drools continuously. She is visibly choking. Suddenly, she pulls away, her head falls back. This time, I’m sure, I see in the hollow of her eyes, in her frantic gestures to wipe himself, revulsion, fear, suffering. She does not play, she endures, she suffers. She hadn’t expected such brutality. She looks groggy. She looks at the guy, visibly distressed, wondering what’s next. Here we go again. Throat gagger. Natacha is suffocating, her eyes go white, she pulls away, shaking. The man drags her like a sack towards a sofa, throws her there, goes back to beating her full face. So he pinches her nose to block the air flow. She rolls her injected eyes. The man makes it last. Natacha hiccups, her gaze fails…
A rustle on the screen, the image jumped visibly. Here is Natacha again planted full throat by the big anonymous. It’s obvious. Her convulsion, her contortions were cut in the editing. The spectator barely had time to notice the vomiting. But we had time to understand. She’s not pretending, Natacha. She does not play violence, she takes it. She did not pretend to return, she pukes for real. The worst happens behind the scenes, between two clashes of images.
I have the feeling of finding myself in a situation of non-assistance to anyone in danger. I am outraged that it is possible to inflict such violence on a woman to shoot an X movie. A scene of violence inflicted and suffered remains violence inflicted and suffered, even under the acronym X. Everyone has already tried to to be surrendered with just a finger on the glottis, everyone knows how Natacha feels. I now understand the meaning of the title block: ” THIS IS DEMOLITION !” and flashing calls announcing to the audience, ” All of our bitches are getting fucked in the throat. ” GUARANTEED ! _ “. On the internet, we’ve gone beyond the “hard” (the hard fuck), we’ve entered some sites in the demolition live. In the imposed suffering – this, without any of the customary manners and precautions of sadomasochistic cinema, with its experts in bondage and whipping, its rituals, its specialized and seasoned actresses (SM, BDSM also increasingly extreme, less and less ritualized, more and more close to the aggression of unfortunates).
Natacha is an anonymous non-rank of this unbridled porn, I will see her again on another video, withered, extinguished. She does not produce a signed “performance” or a provocative film, she does not degrade herself in complete freedom to experience “the extreme sensation of the moment” like an “actionist” artist or the performer Chris Burden; nor is she a hardcore professional, one of those overstrained actresses supporting onslaughts of body-built athletes who rest between two sessions, stopping the game when they get exhausted. She is not a respected star on a set like the French actress Ovidie who refused all sodomy and demanded the wearing of a condom. She doesn’t have the fame of an “X star” who does it several times with each hard scene, before being photographed in lingerie for the specialized press and exhibited at the “Hot d’or”. It is not crossed by the “paradox of the actor” according to Diderot, who knows very well that he is not the character he is playing. She is not an actress according to the Actor’s Studio, somehow possessed by her character, who would vomit from identifying too well with him. She does not embody a “demanding role”.
Natacha suffers the situation. She was seized with several reflex spasms. She vomits during a choking. She couldn’t bear – accepted – the scene. We can only ask the question. What happened during the cut? What about the balance of power between her and the production, her consent and her acceptance, off-screen? Natacha, 18, is unknown to a website among hundreds of other videos presented under the theme “throat gagger”, with dozens of other young women, Vera, Candy, Kinky, only first names, never people, all 18 or 20, come to be abused, humiliated and forced down their throats until they vomit, by faceless guys – a real internet mania today, the “throat gagger”, very trendy.
What happened between the two scenes, during the frame jump? We see nothing behind the scenes of gonzo and the cinema of demolition and “choking throats”. We don’t know anything about ultra-hard off-screen. How is the pornography of pornography? Just looking at Natacha for a single minute portends fierce exploitation.
What does “Carla” (her name has been changed), one of the stars of the X media scene for 5 years, guest on television, making the cover of hard magazines say about it? She is 24 years old, but her black, impassive eyes reveal a strong personality. Her fan club still exists, although today Carla prefers erotic photography and striptease shows. She talks calmly, lucidly, about her past as a hardcore actress. She is proud of what she has done – ” I assume ” – as an underground rock star who has explored where no one goes, she knows what she gives when she releases “Naomi”, her invented character on the sets, “Naomi” which ignites the film. What does Carla think of the “throat gagger”?
“It’s a very ’trash’ practice. It can cause choking and vomiting. As far as I’m concerned, I caught a big bruise on my lips. Gonzo comes from the United States, it’s very violent “hardcore”. In Europe, directors are now doing it in succession, with girls from the East. They follow fashion. You should know that many porn directors have shitty tastes! They are often embittered and failed filmmakers. They love silicone blondes, their approach to sex is minimalist. For them, the guys must be a hit like nags and the girls scream. It’s a shame ! In gonzo, the scenes are shot very quickly, without camera movement, like reporting, always very violent. No games, no dialogue, no fantasy. Anything that would support the excitement,would enrich the sexual atmosphere, is evacuated. When I started, at 20, if I had seen the gonzo films, I would never have done porn. »
Now let’s listen to Raffaëlla Anderson. She played one of the first two roles in the thriller by novelist Virginie Despentes, Baise-moi ( 2000) where two young women kill men with the rage of despair, humiliate them – as revenge after their rape. Before, she shot hardcore X movies. She was the first actress to lift the omerta on certain degrading practices of pornography in her book Hard (Grasset, 2001)). She tells the backstage of several violent filming, describes distressing sessions with “double fist” – two fists in sex scenes that evoke torture. Interviewed in January 2002 in the magazine Blast #4 , she declared: “When I think back to those scenes, it’s simple, I could never watch them in movies, I know how much the girl must suffer! I’ve seen a lot of them bleed, cry. Girls who are 18, super pretty, models. A real mess. They get slaughtered. “She further specified:” At the end of the scene, we told them: “We are going to put a little Biafine on you and tomorrow it will come back on its own!” [Biafine is used for the treatment of second degree burns]. Or: “Okay, you can go wash up… and tonight you sleep with so-and-so!” What do I think of it ? How bad. A woman is no longer even a woman. It’s not even a hole anymore. It doesn’t even have that value. »
The throat gagger. A doctor to whom I showed these films, who treats porn actresses, will explain to me that in addition to the pain, an untrained person can choke during a “deep throat” by pushing saliva back into their bronchi. It can be deadly. Nerves responsible for creating a rejection spasm indeed line the back of the throat, near the trachea, to avoid any dangerous intromission. If your nose is blocked, the repression reflex can take place inside. According to this doctor, this has already happened in hard cinema.
Certainly, one could say that a woman who accepts being abused until she vomits, suffocates, faints, who endures such aggression out of necessity, bad luck, poverty, does so of her own free will. She freely disposes of her body, in a situation of distress, in order to survive. She gives her consent. But isn’t it under pressure behind the scenes, isn’t it forced to go further, beyond itself? Isn’t she subjected to acts of influence, threats, blackmail? And then, this violence would it be consented to – and so badly lived –, should it be tolerated, legal on the set? Should it be given as a show to embellish cinema sites? Should sexually violating, exhausting, damaging a person, making them suffer become the driving principle of a kind of reality show?
In classic X movies, actors mime sex, strike a pose, moan outraged, shout basic obscenities. It’s overplayed, we pretend while doing it, we go back to the same scene several times, we stop if it goes wrong, some expert actresses swallow boners like in the circus of sabers. But they are trained. They are getting ready. They rest between two exhibitions. It is performance, almost martial art or combat sport.The editing, the cutting, certain movie tricks, fake sperm, salacious dialogues help create the impression of a gripping scene. We are sometimes in the sexual Grand Guignol, the Barnum, even contortionist numbers. It’s professional cinema, coded, standardized, heterosexual and terribly macho, often difficult for actresses – trying. But in the internet videos of “Gang bang”, “Demolition”, “Punishment”, “Tournante”, the “Bukkake ”, the women no longer play. The guys let go, the girls endure. Hard banging, throat choking, double or triple penetration, dildos punched, fisted or fisted in the vagina. It’s very hard.
“Gonzo” ads among a hundred others: DOUBLE DROP IN A LANDFILL. These 6 brutes savagely smash a little blonde in a filthy dump! The blonde gets all her orifices bombarded by the 6 cocks! Then fuck the face, smash the pussy, fist and rip the anus wildly by 6 guys at the same time!
NO PLACE FOR THE DEJA – VU ! This blonde only likes anal DESTRUCTION and I can tell you that she is going to take a real punishment. The time has come to introduce him to MONSIEUR GODE. Ten centimeters in diameter to blow her ass off. She looks a little perplexed… The guys literally impale her on it without her having time to understand and force her to get in as hard as she can. She has her ass well demolished. A veritable deluge of anal pounding ensues.
FIRST CAST. Jenny, a 23-year-old Swedish bombshell, is starting to dildo herself just to show that she can fit 40 CM OF DILDO! Once ready, a porn star gives him a deep throat for 5 GOOD MINUTES! If you want to save Jenny, type 1. Otherwise just download this excellent video.
In these films, beyond the standard sexual language of the ad – “I fucked her”, “I blew her”, all this male phantasmagoria, these popular tocsin words of sex – everything happens as indicated. It’s brutal. of the ship. Low budget. No time to take precautions. A camcorder. A few static shots. A young woman harassed by the video. Some sequences recall this dark scene from the film The important thing is to love by Andrei Zulawski, where a tyrannical old mafia, wearing a disturbing strap-on, attacks a drug-addicted teenager. He is going to spin a clandestine reel with her. The girl staggers, we understand that he is going to hurt her, torture her. Zulawski shows us the possible cruelty of porn cinema. He is not mistaken.
It seems to me that if I witnessed a scene of “demolition” in real life, I would intervene. I wouldn’t let these men. I would not behave like a “voyeur”. Besides, a lot of my enraged reaction comes from there: from my inability to stop what the young woman is enduring. To have no other solution than to stop watching, not to stop the ongoing rampage. I feel like an accomplice. To be a “bystander.” A “next door witness”. This Anglo-Saxon term designates a person in spite of himself in the presence of unacceptable violence, sexual assault, abuse of power, and who is indignant. Reacts. The bystander is a neighbour, a passing spectator, a civilian, a colleague, or even a doctor, a nurse, a civil servant who witnesses a war crime, a street attack, a rape, a sexual harassment, an abuse of power. It happens in front of him, at the bottom of his house. He is concussed. So the bystander refuses to be silent, decides to act, to intervene in one way or another. To testify. He wants to “do something”. Let the filth be known. So he comes out of his reserve. He protests. He is ringing the alarm bell. He sounds the alarm. He speaks. He cannot be silent.
I show these films to a writer friend who like me likes cool porn. I need to hear a woman’s point of view on what ultra-hard “actresses” can feel. She immediately points out to me that the girls spit and drool a lot in the “throat smash” movies. In these scenes, always, at the start, they spit on the penis, smear it with saliva. They seem to be drooling with envy, for good, to suck it, while no doubt they moisten it to make the intromission more bearable. The hardest thing to bear, deciphers my friend, is when the blows in the throat force them to make spit clots. It’s as if they ” wet ” through their mouths, “enjoy being choked“, while it is a reflex drool, reactions of rejection. This is what frightens: they vomit, we are made to believe that they enjoy. It is a terrible lie. A cinematic falsehood.
We move forward in “freeze frames”. At first a certain Amber endures the suffocation, blows in the trachea, between two bizarre cries she distributes little automatic smiles. She is paid for that, to look good, to spit, to sink, to collect. Very quickly, the situation deteriorates. The guys force themselves, go deeper, stay longer, take turns, while the others hit her face with their penises, slap her, plug her nose. They have fun making breaking her, suffocating her longer, triggering spasms of disgust. They warm up between them, we hear them. They take advantage of the fact that she has to stay there, to finish the film, to break her resistance. Then we both understand. This is the purpose of the show. Humiliate her. Hurt her. Let it show on the screen. That the viewer has a hard-on out of sadism. Let him see it’s for real. It’s a reality show of suffering, live submission.
In mainstream porn reality show, proven by ‘cum facials’finals (the actor has enjoyed for real), the spectators fantasize that they undertake the actresses who give it to each other on the screen, but that remains a fantasy. Of mental masturbation, accompanying the physical. In the long run, this fantasy is exhausted, the enjoyment remaining visual, scopic: onanism. So the ultra-hard thinks he has found a way to maintain the fantasy excitement of solitaire. He films the degradation of the actress. Her jolts, her reflex reactions to violence, to suffocation, to blows, to dildos. Her humiliation proves that the “hardeur”, with whom the spectator identifies himself, enjoys her for good, takes advantage of her. Its defeat must burst the screen, pierce the virtual. It’s a barbaric reality show. Sadism without a masochist.
What is most disturbing in this logic of the hardcore reality show where the victim offers herself to the pornstar is her virtuality – the dilution of violence in the hollow of Internet screens, throughout videos where pixelated women – the same scene of “choked throat” shown in the theater, with the people in flesh and cries, would be unbearable, the spectators would intervene. Their jolts and sufferings have become electromagnetic chimeras. Derealized images. We have reached the total absorption of the traumatic real by the virtual, by the total screen – what the philosopher Jean Baudrillard calls “the perfect crime “. The pornstar-suffocator and his victim have become “actors” in a degrading reality show where violence itself is simultaneously proven, shown, tracked, sought… and banished, virtualized – and therefore accepted. that’s what it takes to get the sadistic onanist to subscribe to VOD services.
If you are interested in this article, please pass it on.
According to information from BFMTV, revealed this Friday, January 27, a new pornographic actor was indicted as part of the investigation in Paris on the “French Bukkake” video platform for “rape in meetings” and “human trafficking”. human beings in an organized gang”.
New twist in the investigation targeting the “French Bukkake” video platform. A new pornographic actor was indicted this week for “rape in meetings” and “trafficking in human beings in an organized gang” , tells us this Friday, January 27, Vincent Vantighem, journalist at BFMTV. “A week ago, he published his videos on his social networks. But last Monday, he was arrested and finally indicted and released under judicial supervision, “ he said on Twitter.
Vincent Vantighem: [Info @BFMTV] #FrenchBukkake : Ouverte il y a plus de deux ans, l’instruction du dossier “French Bukkake” continue d’avancer. Cette semaine, un nouvel acteur porno français a été mis en examen pour “viols en réunion” et “traite des êtres humains en bande organisée”.
Last November, Guillaume F., – known in the community under the pseudonym “Rick Angel” and former technical adviser to Michèle Alliot-Marie at the Ministry of the Interior in 2008 – was also indicted for “trafficking in human beings human beings in an organized gang” . On the other hand, he was placed under the intermediate status of assisted witness for rape, which means that the investigating judge considered that he had not gathered at this stage the serious or concordant evidence necessary to initiate proceedings for this qualification. They are now 18 individuals – actors, producers, directors – implicated in this case. More than forty victims have joined as civil parties, as well as associations.
SECTOR OVERTAKEN BY BUSINESS
According to elements of the survey consulted, the platform of “Pascal OP” identified under the name of “French Bukkake”, named after a sexual practice, first attracted the attention of investigators: a subscription allowed customers to participate in priority to these collective ejaculations, with places reserved for sessions without condoms. This system, aimed at making individuals pay in exchange for organized sexual relations, has fueled suspicions of pimping in the eyes of the courts.
The French porn industry has been in the spotlight for two years: another survey carried out in Paris since July 2020 targets “Jacquie et Michel”, the embodiment in France of amateur porn and tricolor pillar of this industry. In June, four men, including the founder of the site, Michel Piron, were indicted in an open judicial investigation, in particular for aggravated pimping, trafficking in human beings in an organized gang, rape with torture and acts of barbarism.
On December 29, controversial online influencer Andrew Tate was detained by Romanian police as part of a human trafficking investigation that began in early 2021. According to Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), Tate’s brother and two Romanian nationals are also under investigation for creating “an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing, and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost.”
Before the arrest, the Bucharest Organized Crime Brigade initiated five home search warrants for properties belonging to the Tate brothers. Since then, Romanian police have seized 11 luxury cars and several buildings owned by the detainees, with investigators claiming they will be held as collateral for any payments required to be made to the alleged victims.
DIICOT has confirmed that Tate will be detained for up to 30 days while the police continue investigating.
Human Trafficking and Rape Allegations
According to the DIICCOT press release, Tate and the three other suspects are being investigated for forming an organized crime group operating in Romania, the UK, and the USA.
The allegations include Tate using British nationals to recruit victims by misrepresenting their intention to enter a marriage or cohabitation relationship. Commonly known as ‘the loverboy method,’ the victims were then transported and housed in buildings in Romania where they were sexually exploited by group members and forced to perform pornographic acts for social media distribution. Thus far, the police have identified six victims who experienced physical violence and mental coercion from the group.
Red Flags Indicators
According to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), human trafficking is estimated to be one of the most profitable proceeds generating crimes in the world, with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimating that the business of forced labor globally generates $150.2 billion per year.
Because the financial flows from human trafficking are so diverse, detecting attempts to launder the proceeds can be challenging. Compliance teams should be aware of the following red-flag indicators that could point to human trafficking activity:
Large deposits that are immediately withdrawn in towns close to international borders
Patterns of card transactions in even amounts of money between 10pm and 6am
Sudden deviations from expected customer account activity
Use of anonymous financial instruments to pay bills
Structured deposits across multiple physical banking locations
Multiple victims sharing bank account information, including a phone number or address
To prevent and mitigate the risk of human traffickers laundering money, compliance teams should consider the following best practices for customer screening and transaction monitoring:
Contextual information: Many indicators of money laundering and human trafficking intersect with legitimate financial activities, making the crime challenging to identify. With this in mind, firms should consider indicators combined with as much contextual information as possible to create a more accurate determination.
Information sharing: When evaluating potential trafficking activity, compliance teams should seek to share information to establish a more accurate picture of suspected trafficking operations. Many legislative frameworks include information-sharing mechanisms allowing institutions to share information amongst themselves and regulators.
Suspicious Activity Reports: When reporting human trafficking activity in a suspicious activity report (SAR), firms should understand how to help the authorities investigate traffickers by including key terms and information.
In Frankrijk is een grootschalig en breed gedragen offensief gestart tegen misstanden in de porno-industrie. Het gaat onder meer om geweld, verkrachting en seks met minderjarigen.
De Franse Senaat sprak zes maanden lang met pornoproducenten, actrices en experts. Het resultaat was een snoeihard rapport van 200 pagina’s. De Franse politie speurde online naar daders en slachtoffers en pakte mensen op. Justitie deed onderzoek en kwam met officiële aanklachten.
Meer dan twintig mannen – pornoproducenten en -acteurs – zijn inmiddels in staat van beschuldiging gesteld. Een deel van hen werd in preventieve hechtenis genomen, in afwachting van een proces. Meer dan zestig ex-pornoactrices hebben aanklachten tegen de mannen ingediend.
“De verdachten worden beschuldigd van verkrachting, aanzetten tot prostitutie, mensenhandel en in één geval: marteling”, vertelt Céline Piques van de feministische organisatie Osez le Féminisme. “Het is echt uniek wat er gebeurt, voor Frankrijk en Europa, maar misschien wel in de hele wereld.”
‘Camille’ werd als porno-actrice slachtoffer van verkrachting. Ze vertelt anoniem hoe ze in de pornowereld belandde, en hoe ze daar werd misbruikt:
De aanleiding voor veel van de initiatieven ligt bij een boek van journalist Robin d’Angelo. Hij werkte ruim een jaar undercover op de filmsets van pornobedrijven. En hij was naar eigen zeggen geschokt door de hoeveelheid geweld die hij zag. Zijn boek verscheen in 2018, toen de MeToo-beweging volop gaande was. Seksueel geweld kwam daardoor hoog op de agenda te staan, ook in Frankrijk.
Feministische organisaties stapten met het boek naar Justitie. Alles stond zwart-op-wit, d’Angelo had met eigen ogen misdrijven gezien en daarom was vervolging nodig, zei onder meer Osez le Féminisme.
“Er is volop bewijs van misdrijven. Want veel van die strafbare feiten in de porno zijn gewoon te zien: de video’s circuleren nog steeds op internet”, zegt Céline Piques.
“In zo’n 90 procent van de pornofilms die wij hebben bestudeerd, wordt geweld gebruikt.” – Senator Laurence Rossignol
De Franse politie, en met name de cybercrime-afdeling, ging aan het werk. Twee Franse pornoproducenten kwamen in het vizier. Producent Pascal Ollitrault werd eind 2020 in voorlopige hechtenis genomen. Hij wordt verdacht van verkrachting en prostitutie.
In juni van dit jaar werd oprichter Michel Piron van de pornosite Jacquie et Michel in staat van beschuldiging gesteld. Hij zou vrouwen voorafgaand en tijdens opnames gedwongen hebben tot seksuele handelingen waarmee ze niet instemden. In totaal zitten ruim twintig mannen in de beklaagdenbank. Een proces wordt op zijn vroegst volgend jaar verwacht.
“Bijna eenderde van al het internetverkeer is porno. En in zo’n 90 procent van de pornofilms die wij hebben bestudeerd, wordt geweld gebruikt”, vertelt senator Laurence Rossignol. Zij deed mee aan het onderzoek van de Franse Eerste Kamer naar de misstanden.
Vaak worden vrouwen onder valse voorwendselen binnengehaald als actrice. Er wordt bijvoorbeeld beloofd dat de film alleen voor een beperkt publiek is, terwijl de beelden daarna wereldwijd via pornosites te zien zijn. Eenmaal op de filmset moeten de vrouwen vaak doen wat hen wordt opgedragen. Verzet of protest heeft geen zin: de vrouwen worden dan met fysiek geweld gedwongen, blijkt uit het senaatsrapport. Actrices die achteraf klagen worden bedreigd en geïntimideerd.
“Pornofilms zijn ook steeds gewelddadiger geworden”, zegt Rossignol. “Pornoproducenten willen hun publiek tevreden houden. Maar de pornoconsumenten hebben steeds nieuwe kicks nodig om opgewonden te raken. Daarom worden filmscènes gewelddadiger gemaakt.”
In Frankrijk kijken per maand zo’n 19 miljoen mensen online naar porno: dat is bijna een derde van de bevolking. Daaronder vallen ook 1,2 miljoen kinderen jonger dan 15. “Kinderen kunnen getraumatiseerd raken, ze kunnen gewelddadig of risicogedrag gaan vertonen, en ze kunnen een misvormd beeld van seksualiteit krijgen”, aldus het senaatsrapport.
Door critici wordt nogal eens gepleit voor een algeheel verbod op pornografie. Maar Osez le Féminisme en senator Rossignol pleiten daar niet voor. “De wet moet gewoon worden toegepast”, zegt Céline Piques. “Als bij filmopnames strafbare feiten worden begaan, denk aan verkrachting of seks met minderjarigen, dan kan dat gewoon met de huidige strafrechtelijke middelen worden aangepakt.”
Door de verschillende onderzoeken is de Franse porno-industrie in het defensief gedrongen. De grote pornoproducent Dorcel kwam met een ‘gedragscode’ voor iedereen op de filmset. Daarin staat bijvoorbeeld dat bij gefilmde seksuele handelingen altijd sprake moet zijn van wederzijdse instemming van de deelnemende partijen.
Een collectief van onder andere pornoproducenten en -actrices kwam vorige maand met een open brief in de krant Le Monde. “Pornografie is niet per definitie altijd crimineel”, schreven zij. “Als sekswerkers zijn wij ervan overtuigd dat het mogelijk is om op een verantwoorde wijze kwaliteitsporno te maken. Een verbod op porno is geen oplossing.”
This is an edited transcript of the second part of Suzzan Blac’s talk at the ‘An evening with Suzzan Blac’ webinar we held in July 2021 and the subsequent discussion with Ygerne Price-Davies. The transcript of the first part of the talk, which was about her extraordinary paintings, is in a separate article. You can watch the recording of the whole talk on YouTube.
Of all the harms done to girls and women, pornography is the most damaging and far-reaching, affecting not just the victims within the porn industry, but also women and girls outside of it.
I first saw pornography when I was six years old. It was shown to me by one of my mother’s boyfriends as he sexually abused me. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, every older boy and man who sexually abused and raped me had pornography. And that’s not forgetting the sex traffickers who forced me into pornography. [Editor: Suzzan talks about this in the first part of her talk.]
So, I knew that there was a connection between sex offending and pornography. Over the years, and in my obsession with perpetrators and why and how they could so easily abuse and hurt girls and women, I researched sex offending, rapes, kidnapping, torture and sexually motivated murders and noticed that high pornography use was a significant and prime factor in their offending. I began writing about this in my blog, The Violence of Pornography, in 2016, documenting such cases.
I also read about research on the aggression in pornography. Whenever I posted about this on social media, however, I would be attacked by men. Some would laugh and say ‘You’ve never seen any pornography’. Well, yes that was true, I hadn’t seen any pornography – at least not since I was trafficked into it in 1977. I knew I would be traumatised if I accidently came across any.
So, in 2017 I decided that I had to watch it. How could I speak out against porn if I had never seen any recently? I chose Pornhub, because it was the most popular mainstream porn-site, having 115 million hits a day. I watched and took screen-shots of hundreds of videos on it.
Like many women who don’t watch porn, I had no idea about it’s true content. You just assume that much of it is ‘adults having consensual sex’ with maybe a bit of hair pulling and slapping going on. How wrong I was!
Crime scene videos
I could not believe what I was seeing, I thought that these things could only be seen on the dark web. I watched women being sexually and violently abused, humiliated, degraded, raped and tortured.
These were not sex videos. They were crime-scene videos.
There were women being raped when they used their safe words in ‘kink’ videos and when they were sleeping or passed out from alcohol or high on drugs. There were drug addicted prostitutes unaware that they were being filmed. Women being suffocated with plastic bags, water-boarded, strangled manually or with ligatures. Women being really hanged with ropes.
Many are ‘professional videos’, but a significant amount of user-generated content is uploaded onto Pornhub, often with no consent from the women appearing in it.
I watched one man film a woman standing on a chair with her neck in a noose. He would kick the chair, let her hang for a few seconds, then pick her up, place her back on the chair and do it again. And again. And again.
I watched a tied-up naked female being shot continuously for fifteen minutes by a man with an automatic BB rifle. I watched women’s breasts being tortured with needles, cigarettes being stubbed out on their nipples, and breasts already heavily bruised being punched or stood on by men in heavy boots. I watched women having their genitalia whipped with nettles or being sharp whipped, causing deep lacerations, some were ‘live streamed’ with requests from paying males.
Many of these videos have millions of views and endless derogatory comments along the lines of, ‘Loving the torture and seeing women suffer’.
There were tons of ‘domestic violence’ videos, mostly home-made by men who abuse their wives and girlfriends, filmed on their mobiles.
I frequently came across child sexual abuse imagery, some of real children and also CGI child abuse. I only saw these as thumbnails. I never clicked on the videos. Obviously, I couldn’t research this. I reported it to the Internet Watch Foundation, but never heard back.
There is also a lot of extremely disturbing and realistic CGI bestiality videos.
There were a significant number of men sexually offending outside the home, filming their offences with mobile phones and uploading them onto Pornhub. Offences ranged from up-skirting, secret toilet filming, indecent exposure, to masturbating and ejaculating onto unsuspecting females.
There is an incredible amount of criminal activity on Pornhub and I have evidenced much of it in my blog in the form of screen-shots for all to see.
Pornhub is completely unregulated and violates its own uploading terms. I am happy to say at least they are now being held accountable and have many lawsuits against them.
And, there are so many views. You can’t actually ascertain how many views a video has, because one video might have two million views and is then uploaded with a different title that has 600,000 views, and then another, and so on.
Strangulation (aka ‘breath play’)
I’d also like to talk about how common strangulation is on Pornhub. The kink community have changed the language, so it’s no longer called strangulation. They now call it ‘breath play’, which can mean suffocation or strangulation or hanging or choking. Quite often they call it choking when it’s not actually choking.
Choking is the act of having something stuck in the oesophagus. Strangulation is completely different. It can be done manually or with ligatures or with their arms or legs. It’s extremely dangerous because even for a few seconds it can cause a lot of health issues including brain damage – and that is if it’s non-fatal. It really is extremely dangerous. There are thousands of videos of men strangling women until they lose consciousness, either suffocating them, putting things in their mouth, suffocating them with plastic bags and strangling them or hanging, and I mean really hanging, them.
Rape, donkey punch, incest…
There are other disturbing videos like of rape but they don’t call it rape anymore. You can’t type in the word rape. Pornhub removed that term, but other words that mean the same thing are there – for example, unwilling sex or surprise anal.
There’s hate fuck, and donkey punch where men kick and hurt women and then punch them in the back of the head as hard as they can. I’ve seen women’s vaginas being stapled shut. Electric torture, punch fisting. Women being pissed on, either in their mouths or in their vaginas or anuses and they have women licking toilet bowls. Or, their heads being flushed down the toilet while they’re being pummelled from behind.
The most humiliating and degrading stuff.
There are also tons of incest videos with titles such as ‘No Daddy Stop’ or ‘I’m Not Mommy’. They dress 18-year-old girls to make them look like little girls and put them in child-themed rooms with much older men or sometimes elderly men, like it’s a granddad abusing his granddaughter. There’s a lot of incest, an awful lot of incest, brothers and sisters and so forth.
There are also horrible channels called sexually broken where they destroy women in every way possible.
Normalising and eroticising sexual violence against women and girls
I have documented all these types of videos on my website, The Violence Pornography. I have blurred the genitalia and it is very distressing to see, but I put it out there because I think people, especially women, need to see what it’s like without having to watch it themselves.
My research makes it absolutely clear that pornography normalises and eroticises sexual violence against women and reinforces rape myths. It is common for the girls and women who are being abused in these ways to be portrayed as if they are loving it. As if they’re not really saying no. It is made to look as if they say yes because they’re worthless whores and they love it.
This is extremely dangerous – especially knowing that young boys are watching this kind of content.
I believe that pornography should be deemed hate speech and that it is a violation of Article 3 of the Human Rights Act: the right not to be tortured in an inhumane or degrading way.
I could talk a lot more about pornography but most of it, as I said, is on my website.
Gay men’s porn
Ygerne: I just wanted to say thank you so much, Suzzan, for such a powerful and moving talk. And now if it’s OK with you, I’d like to ask about gay men’s porn. Did you research that and what did you find?
Suzzan: Every time you speak out on social media there are people who love to derail you and that’s one of the many things that was said to me. Gay porn! And I realised that I hadn’t actually watched any gay porn. So it was clear I was going to have to. Believe me, I didn’t want to do it, I really didn’t want to, but it was the only way to get answers.
So, one night I sat down with a big glass of wine and I went to Pornhub’s gay porn channels and typed in the same search words that I had for the women – such as rough sex, unwilling sex, torture, strangulation, everything. And I prepared myself…
At first I was confused because when I started watching the videos, they were lovely, absolutely lovely. The men were kissing. I had never seen any kissing on the straight porn channels.
They were also hugging and caressing each other. They were talking to each other; they were wearing condoms; they were respectful.
I thought I’d probably get to the other stuff later. So, I kept watching. I kept typing in the same search terms. There was one that came up under “rough sex”, and it was this huge hairy guy in leather. He was with another guy, a young guy, who was strapped to a cross and I thought, here we go. So, he gets a whip – but it’s a cat-o’-nine tails that has thick, wide pieces of soft leather – and he flogs him very gently so he doesn’t hardly even turn pink. And then he kisses him.
And I’m like, what? So, I type in torture and most of what I see is being tortured with feathers and tickling. Tickling torture! And it was like that in so many videos.
And I realised that this is the polar opposite of how the women are treated in pornography. There was no hate. There was no degradation; no humiliation; no cruelty; no sadism; no pain; nothing.
So then I did the same thing with trans porn. And again, I watched hundreds of videos and took screenshots and it was like the gay porn: caressing, kissing, and respect.
I looked at casting couch porn. You’ve probably heard of that. In the straight porn, it’s nasty: right from the beginning they start calling her names, humiliating and degrading her, and then some guy comes in and literally throws her about the room and pummels her. In the gay men’s porn, he’s asked some questions and then they start kissing and have normal sex.
The difference was astounding, really astounding and I thought that just proves the misogyny on that platform. It is virulent, it is horrific, and I’m glad I’ve documented it because now a lot of it has been taken down, as you know.
Pornhub has a lot of lawsuits against it as we speak and it took down millions of videos. Eighty percent of its unverified videos were taken down. So, that is some good news. We’ll see what happens next.
Ygerne: I saw that the house of Pornhub’s owner was attacked by an arsonist and burned down.
Suzzan: Yes, I saw that too. In the research I did years ago, I found him. I found that MindGeek owns Pornhub and so many other sites. I found a photo of him and put it on Twitter. Of course, nobody took much notice at the time. It wasn’t until, and I’m glad to say this, a male reporter at The New York Times took this story up, that anything actually happened and then Visa and Mastercard and other companies stopped dealing with Pornhub. So, I’m glad of it.
Ygerne: That’s why the work you are doing documenting it is so important.
Suzzan: I think it is important. Without seeing the images, it’s hard to believe. Images are really important to me – as you can see in my paintings. It’s not that people don’t believe exactly, it’s just that if you’re reading text, you’re detached from the reality. But, when you see images… It’s like, no one believed that the holocaust could happen – no one – until they saw the images and videos of what was going on over there.
It’s the same with everything. That’s the reason I took screenshots because I didn’t believe it. I’d read about it, but I didn’t understand the extent of it and how it’s worse than awful. The misogyny is truly horrifying.
As I said, it’s not about adults having consensual sex – as many people claim. They say that it’s consensual and if a woman likes a bit of rough, it’s her choice. But that’s not what it’s actually like.
And of course, a lot of the videos out there are not professionally made. There are millions of mobile phone videos – taken by men – boyfriends, husbands. I documented that too. It is domestic abuse – but it’s not only that because you’ve got men who are abusers, who are not just filming their wives and girlfriends and putting it on Pornhub, they’re also doing live cams and making money from it.
They’re actually making money out of their wives and girlfriends who are not consenting. And that says a lot about consent in pornography. No one can really tell if the person in pornography is consenting or not. Because you can’t tell if they’re a trafficking victim; you can’t tell if they’re a domestic abuse victim; whether it’s secret filming; whether it’s a minor. Simply no one can tell.
Facebook and YouTube have something like 20,000 to 30,000 moderators working on their sites to get rid of illegal content. Do you know how many Pornhub have? And we’re talking millions and millions of videos, I can’t remember the exact number, but millions. They had 20 or 30 moderators!
That’s a joke, isn’t it? I think they said a moderator can look through about 150 videos an hour. They literally fast forward through them. But they aren’t all in English. There’re a lot of foreign videos there, from all over the world. So, often they wouldn’t even know what the title said or what anybody said.
But, 150 videos an hour, how can anyone moderate that? It’s impossible. But, you know, it’s coming to a head now and people are finally understanding what Pornhub’s about and it’s about time.
Ygerne: The comparison you made with YouTube… It’s like when it comes to porn, the attitude is it’s just a bit of fun, and any criticism of it is deemed to be prudish.
Suzzan: Well, it’s free speech, isn’t it? [Laughs.] It’s free speech, but not for the women who are performing in these videos, or not performing, or don’t even know they’re in the videos.
And as I said, there is so much violence on there. It’s not sex! I’ve been called all sorts of names as you can imagine.
You know, we all like sex. But most pornography is not about sex anymore. It’s now about the humiliation, degradation and suffering of women. They love to punish women and there are millions of these videos, with millions of views, and men who are enjoying them.
What is that doing? What is that doing to young boys? What is that doing to their minds when they see that and they’re looking at it everywhere, including in school?
It’s awful and I think they should ban mobile phones in schools because even my own daughter, years ago when she was a teenager, was traumatised. She didn’t tell me at the time, but she was traumatised by boys showing her violent pornography. And it’s still going on and they’re getting younger and younger; we’re talking 10, 11, 12.
We must put the onus on the perpetrators
Ygerne: I remember getting shown porn when I was in primary school.
So now a question from the audience. What would you advise us to use in terms of language in the sense of putting the onus on the perpetrators? Would you use the word prostitutor to define this person?
Suzzan: Yeah, the problem has always been seen in terms of the victim and the perpetrators are hardly mentioned and that needs to change. The onus really needs to be on the perpetrators. We need to ask why they are doing this and make them accountable. Definitely more needs to be done about that.
Even with victims of murder, women who were murdered, the emphasis is always on her: she was drunk, what she was doing? Why was she out on her own? Why was she wearing headphones, why this, why that? But, not the perpetrator. And why is that?
It has to do with misogyny and, and victim blaming. Because it is women too who are doing this. Women can also be misogynistic. I’ve known that first-hand. Yes, it needs to be changed and we all need to collectively keep fighting for these things.
Ygerne: Misogyny is so engrained in all of us, isn’t it.
Suzzan: Yes. And with domestic abusers, it’s always been why doesn’t she do this, why doesn’t she do that. I’ve experienced it. My sister and my mother have experienced it.
Even though you’re married to that person or live with them, they can still terrorise you and no one understands that, unless they’ve been in that situation. Just because you live with that man, it doesn’t mean it will calm down and be okay.
I have been in that situation and my sister has too. The worst time is when you leave them. That’s when he would threaten. He’s broken her bones. He’s kicked her when she was pregnant.
When I was young and this was going on, she was only 17, 18, I was so used to violence it didn’t affect me, it was normal. In the end, when she would threaten to leave, he would say he was going to kill her and the children. When finally she did leave, he followed her and beat her up in a spa shop, and kicked the hell out of her. Nobody, not one person, said anything. Nobody did anything. They just watched or walked out.
When she fled to a women’s refuge, he came and found her and was swearing and throwing stones at the windows. Then they put her in a caravan with her four children. The terror that she went through hasn’t left her. She’s still not right from it now.
This is what people don’t understand. This is why we must concentrate and focus on these perpetrators.
Impact of watching porn
Ygerne: Thank you so much. We’ve got loads of positive comments coming in from the audience. Gratitude to you for your honesty and resilience.
Suzzan: Thank you. You’re so kind. I appreciate that. It’s worth the hard work.
It has been traumatising work, especially the pornography. For a year I’ve had to take a break because just watching it traumatised me and I was having other effects. For example, I would go to the shops or the post office and I would see different women, I would look at different women, young women, elderly women, all kinds of women and think about what genre they would be in. Every time.
If it’s done that to me, and, believe me I’m not masturbating to this material, I’m analysing crime scenes, because that’s what they are, what is it doing to young men in particular, who are masturbating to this kind of material? And then they’re out in the real world looking at women in the real world, what is it doing to them?
Ygerne: It’s terrifying.
Suzzan: It is and there’s so much to talk about.
I’ve researched serial killers and sexually motivated murders because most serial killers kill women. You can see the rise in serial killers, especially in America, since the early 70s, 80s, and 90s which coincided with the increase in violent pornography. You can see, it’s almost like an exact match.
And their prime motivation is fantasy. Sex offenders say that it’s all about the fantasy. Whatever they do, whether they look through a woman’s bedroom window or expose themselves or want to kidnap and rape and murder a woman, it’s all about the fantasy and this escalation.
What happens is, they start watching what they like to call vanilla porn, although there’s not much of that around anymore, I can tell you, except in gay porn. If you don’t want to see violence then watch gay porn.
They start with the vanilla and go on to harder and harder stuff, and then bestiality. And once they’ve covered everything, they can no longer become aroused and that is when they cross the line into real offending. And might actually film it and import it onto Pornhub.
I can’t tell you how dangerous it is and how many rapes there are a year and sexual assaults – but I bet you money they are rising and have been rising since pornography became so available on the internet.
Ygerne: We’ve run out of time now – so I just want to say, if anyone wants to find out more about Suzzan’s research, you can find it on her website, The Violence Pornography. If there are any parents that have been affected by topics we’ve talked about, we provide some links to some good resources below. Thank you for participating and all your questions.
And thank you, Suzzan, for passing on your wisdom. Good night, everyone, and thank you.
This is an edited transcript of the first part of Suzzan Blac’s talk at the ‘An evening with Suzzan Blac’ webinar we held in July 2021 and the related discussion with Ygerne Price-Davies. The transcript of the second part of the talk, which was about her research into pornography, is in a separate article. You can watch the recording of the whole talk on YouTube.
I am a survivor of child sexual abuse, sexual assaults, numerous rapes and sex trafficking.
This had been my life. My normal. So normal, that I didn’t even realise that I had been abused and been a victim for the majority of my childhood. I only began to acknowledge and understand this in my mid-twenties. I finally sought counselling when I was thirty-three years old.
Recovery was extremely traumatic and it took me more than twenty years to overcome the worst of it. One of the reasons it took so long to recover, was the victim blaming that many people inflicted upon me. In my experience, victim blaming is as painful and distressing as the abuse itself.
Between 2000 and 2004, in order to try and help myself, I decided to paint my story of abuse to help me process my pain, anger and trauma. I began by drawing subconscious doodles whilst watching TV, as I knew that these drawings had to come from deep inside of me and not my thoughts. I then turned the drawings into realistic paintings that depicted ‘me the victim’ and ‘the perpetrators’.
I was sometimes shocked by what I had painted, but I knew that they were my true feelings. I painted forty images over four years and I hid them away for over a decade, because they were for me alone, and not meant for anyone to see, especially knowing that I would be condemned if I showed them.
In 2011, I decided to put them online. I had other works out there, but I knew that ‘silence impairs the victims and empowers the perpetrators’. So I had to speak out by using my art, and although I had many people make hurtful comments, I had hundreds of survivors thanking me for giving them a voice.
I have also been training police and social workers in child sexual abuse (CSA), child sexual exploitation (CSE) and victim blaming since 2014.
I also paint about sexual objectification, sexual conditioning, pornography, prostitution and misogyny.
I am motivated by my pain, anger, injustice and indignation surrounding violence against women and girls (VAWG) and victim blaming.
I’m now going to show you twenty-four of my works with a very brief description of each one.
1. The trusted uncle
This painting depicts my mother’s brother, who sexually abused me as a baby. I painted it like a ‘Happy family portrait’ to convey the lies and cover-ups of family members who knew that it was happening. It also conveys the horrific fact that babies are sexually abused and raped, especially since the invention of the internet and mobile phone cameras. I was actually told that ‘I was sick’ for painting this image.
2. One of mother’s boyfriends
This painting depicts one of my mother’s boyfriends who sexually abused me from when I six to when I was eight years old. He was also extremely violent, and in this image I watched in horror as he beat my mother to a pulp. No child should ever have to witness such violence.
3. You’re such a good girl
This was the first time that anyone had ever called me a ‘good girl’. He also told me that it was all my fault, because I was so ‘pretty’. Here, I am trying to express what sexual abuse was doing to me internally, whilst I remained frozen and detached throughout the abuse.
4. She likes it
This image depicts the first-time my mother’s boyfriend sexually abused me in front of my mother, whilst she was at her dressing table. She turned around and asked why he was doing that, to which he replied, ‘Because she likes it’.
He laughed and said, ‘What’s the matter love, you jealous? There’s plenty to go around’.
I searched her face for a reaction, but all she did was ‘tut’ and resumed putting on her make-up. I knew then that it was not going to stop, that it was okay and was to become my ‘normal’.
This image depicts my childhood – although at the time, I didn’t feel like a child. I felt like an ‘Entity’ that existed, merely to survive every day, every hour, every minute. He destroyed my childhood and he destroyed my innocence. Still to this day, I get very emotional when I watch small children innocently play, because he took that from me and put me in the darkest of places.
After many years of sexual abuse from others, including those I had trusted, even a teacher, I became a teenager on a path of self-destruction. These next paintings depict the devastating consequences of my years of abuse.
6. Embracing death
By the age of fourteen, I was regularly drinking, taking drugs, partying, being highly promiscuous and self-harming. I was called a slag, slut and a whore, and yes, I was.
One night, as I lay on the piss-flooded floor of a night club toilet, I felt like I was home. I was disgusting, vile and filthy and this is where I belonged. I was so intoxicated, that I thought I was going to die, and I embraced the thought, because I hated my life, I hated humans, and I hated myself.
7. Demonic whispers
This painting depicts the time that I was sex trafficked when I was sixteen years old. This is a portrait of the man who threatened, hurt and (alongside others) repeatedly raped me. I had been taken to London under the pretence of ‘modelling’.
Locked inside a once former Victorian hotel with many other girls and women, we were forced into pornography and prostitution. This was a whole new level of abuse, terror and trauma, one that will always stay with me.
8. Tell me you love it
On the first night that this man abducted me, he led me to a room, told me to take off my clothes and viciously raped me. Whilst raping me, he forced me to repeatedly tell him that ‘I loved it’.
9. I’ve killed bitches before
After raping me, he told me to get dressed, and as I did so – he grabbed me by my throat, shoved me against a wall and as he stuck a large knife underneath my rib-cage, he seethed into my ear, ‘I’ve killed bitches that misbehave before, so you need to think about that.’
My only thoughts were, ‘I’m only 16 and this is how I die’.
While I was still shaking in absolute terror, he withdrew the knife and laughed at me, saying, ‘You should see your face.’
This was pure sadism. I could never speak about how this affected me.
There are no words, and that’s why I had to express myself through my paintings.
10. Pornographic meat
On the second day, along with other girls, I was forced into making pornography in a large room full of men. I had to completely detach; I became a ‘dead actress’, a ‘fleshed robot’ that obeyed their every command in absolute fear.
The other girls and I did not speak or even make eye contact. We were first made to watch films of the worst kind of pornography, including bestiality, sadism and child abuse. One man joked that he was going to get the popcorn.
When they began filming me, one of the men asked for ‘Butcher shots’ and I immediately turned inside out. I cried for me and I cried for the other girls, because we were no longer human beings, we were pieces of meat inside an abattoir.
11. Shut up and take it
This image depicts one of the traffickers taking me back home. In a train toilet, he violently raped me – three times between London and Birmingham. As I whimpered, he shushed me, covered my mouth and told me, ‘This was part of the deal, so shut up and take it’.
He drove me back to my flat, asking many questions about my boyfriend and family. He then told me that I would be seeing him again soon.
12. The end of everything
After I got home, I never told a soul about what had happened to me. I was still traumatised and knew that it was all my fault. I also was being terrorised by one of the traffickers. So I had to internalise all of that pain and fear.
After a while I deteriorated both mentally and physically. I cut all of my hair off, because I didn’t want to be pretty anymore. My weight dropped to six stone, I developed intestinal worms, severe cystitis, boils, chancres and weeping eczema that turned septic.
One night, I sat naked in the shower tray, and poured a bottle of red food colouring all over me. Rocking and crying that ‘I needed to die’.
13. The epitome of sorrow is to die alone
This painting depicts one of my suicide attempts. I had taken all of my clothes off and laid down on my 9th floor balcony, one winters evening, after failing to jump off. I was hoping to die of hypothermia. As my face stuck to the icy concrete floor, hot tears ran down my freezing face as I thought how awfully sad it was to have to die alone.
I woke up at dawn. I slowly walked into my lounge which was like walking into a furnace and saw my reflection in a mirror. It was surreal, I looked like a wax model covered in blue and green veins. I just curled up into my bed, so sad that I wasn’t dead.
14. No one asked me why
This image depicts the time I had my stomach pumped in a hospital after taking an overdose. After hostile staff discharged me, and as I walked away from the hospital, I began to cry – because not one person in there had asked me why I had done this to myself.
It was then I knew that even doctors and nurses never gave a shit about me, they didn’t care if I died, they just did their job.
15. I am a piece of shit
This painting depicts how others made me feel, whenever I disclosed what had happened to me. I was condemned, isolated, abandoned and judged. Not believed, made to feel guilty, ashamed and that much of it was my own fault.
This is how many people make victims and survivors of sexual abuse feel. If someone says that they were robbed, mugged or beat-up, there is sympathy and empathy, but not if you are a victim of sexual abuse, you are literally treated like a piece of shit.
16. I’m fine thank you
I painted this self-portrait to show how it felt, to constantly hide myself by wearing a mask for self-protection and social acceptance. People made me feel like an ‘outcast’. If I spoke out about the crimes committed against me as a child, I would be met with a wall of silence, made to feel uncomfortable, defective and dysfunctional.
No survivor of sexual abuse should have to hide their pain, anxiety and distress, in the fear of being re-victimised. No human being should ever have to feel what I have painted here.
Now I want to show you some of my other works, ones that I painted years after my story of abuse.
17. Your suffering is real
I painted this image of myself to express and convey how severe, continuous sexual traumas impact your mental health, your body and your very soul.
Sexual violence is unlike any other kind of violence. It’s blackness creeps inside your every vein and permeates every organ until you emotionally shut down and are no longer the human being that you once were. Unable to speak of the horrors, you outwardly smile – whilst hiding the truth that you are internally destroyed.
18. The prostitutor
This image represents the men who prey on vulnerable girls and women. They are the pimps and pornographers who target ‘bent but not broken girls’ in order to profit from their bodies. They are men on the streets, men online, sex traffickers, husbands, boyfriends and fathers.
The majority of these girls and women are victims of previous sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence, who have mental health issues and are often alcohol and drug dependant.
19. Let me entertain you
This image depicts the sexual and physical violence now commonplace in mainstream pornography. Women are being humiliated, degraded, hog-tied, raped, punched, kicked, suffocated with plastic bags, strangled, tortured and even hanged.
This isn’t about sex; these are crimes committed against women. These videos are the stuff of serial killer fantasies. In fact, the only thing that they don’t do to women in mainstream pornography is kill them.
20. What women want
Which brings me to this painting, which depicts a young boy watching this kind of sexual violence on his mobile phone.
For the first time in history, boys are viewing this horrific and hateful misogyny and violence against women, which has become so normalised that boys are completely desensitised. Many use pornography on their phones to sexually harass, intimidate and exert power over girls. Pornography alters and influences sexual behaviours and reinforces misogyny in young, malleable minds. This is why the government needs to implement age-verification now.
21. Blue Hair
This painting is one of a set of six images, named Abasement of dolls that depict issues that affect women and girls, such as sexual conditioning, sexual objectification and sexual exploitation.
Right from birth, baby girls are objectified and conditioned with bows, ribbons, lace and frilly nappy pants. Toddlers wear sassy clothes, jewellery, heels and painted nails. Many little girls are only given ‘girly toys’: housework sets, make-up and hairstyle sets, etc. Girls are taught that only being attractive and pretty are valued, and this often stays with them.
Many teenage girls and women resort to extreme diets, Botox and cosmetic surgeries, because they don’t match up to the high standards of beauty.
22. Blonde girls
Again, this is about the sexual objectification of little girls, in the media, film, dance studios and even by their own parents – for example, entering them into horrific ‘beauty pageants’ such as ‘toddlers and tiaras’ or buying Playboy merchandise for them. Incidentally, Playboy merchandise was sold to girls as young as eight in the high street.
23. Black Hair
This painting depicts the young women who enter the porn industry, many because of mental health issues, oppressed religious backgrounds, suitcase pimps and coercive boyfriends. These are eighteen-year-olds – they are still kids! – who enter a world of grown adult men who love ‘fresh meat’.
Many pornographers make them appear even younger and then have them ‘punished’ and ‘destroyed’.
Many of these young women leave after a short period of time after being so traumatised, a trauma that continues, because their videos remain online indefinitely for all to see.
24. The life giver
This painting represents sexism and misogyny. I portray a history of derogatory and sexist terms used to silence, erase, hurt, subordinate, humiliate, degrade, hate and punish women.
My point is that no one is morally or legally allowed to make racist, homophobic or transphobic slurs as they are deemed ‘hate crimes’ but you can call women anything you want, because misogyny is not deemed a hate crime.
Ygerne: I just wanted to say thank you so much to Suzzan for such a powerful and moving talk. I personally find your work really significant. It’s very hard hitting and often can be quite disturbing, but I think that the depiction of such extreme experience and psychological trauma is pivotal because speaking with a lot of women who have experienced sexualized violence and sexism more widely that sharing stories especially in creative ways enables us to overcome misogyny together. So thank you for sharing your story with us.
Suzzan: You’re welcome.
Ygerne: In the past I’ve heard you say that understanding complex PTSD helped your recovery. Would you like to talk a bit more about that and how it’s helped you?
Suzzan: Absolutely. Recovery can take so long and it wasn’t until literally about five years ago that someone explained to me the concept of complex PTSD. I’m now 61 and I wish that someone had told me earlier in my life. That’s why it’s so important to talk about this.
Going through my teenage years and adult life, no matter how many times counsellors and therapists would say to me, it wasn’t your fault… I don’t mean just as a child, I mean as a teenager and a young woman because a couple of years after I was sex trafficked, I actually went back into pornography and prostitution. No matter how many times they said it wasn’t my fault, I still knew it was my fault. So I still had the shame, self-blame, the guilt, everything was still there, it remained.
And you can’t ever recover whilst you have those intense feelings inside of you. Then a few years ago I learned about complex PTSD which is different from ordinary PTSD. Ordinary PTSD occurs after a one-time event, say being held up at gunpoint. That actually happened to a friend of mine in Birmingham. Or like a serious car crash or something like that and afterwards you develop PTSD.
But, with complex PTSD you are traumatised over a long period of time, especially from childhood and the teenage years as in my case, as in many other women’s cases. You are constantly, repeatedly traumatised over years. For me it was every day or every other day for all those years.
Each time that you are traumatised you internalise that trauma and become detached – especially in sexual violence. Each time someone abuses you, you become detached and as in my case, completely detached, all through those years.
And so, you never really feel what’s happening to you, you never really feel that pain. All through my teenage and early adult years I was self-abusing because what you don’t ever want to do is feel that pain. So, you keep abusing yourself, in whatever way, drink, drugs, putting yourself in certain situations, like I did.
I would put myself into dangerous situations because I wanted to keep being abused or abusing myself so I would never have to feel it because it was too enormous. The enormity of it was too much – unlike someone who is suffering from PTSD from a one-time event – they can talk about it. If you were mugged or robbed or attacked physically, you can tell people. But, with sexual violence, you can’t. So that compounds it and you have all these extra symptoms because you cannot talk about it.
Once I understood that, I could understand that it was not my fault. In the end I understood completely why I carried on abusing myself. I wanted to relay that to other people because it took so long for me to understand it.
Ygerne: You mentioned victim blaming and how that made it so much harder for you.
Suzzan: Exactly! You don’t get victim blamed if you are mugged. They don’t say, you shouldn’t have worn that jewellery or you shouldn’t have carried money with you. Nobody says that.
But, if you are raped, especially young girls, around 14 and upwards, it’s what was she wearing? How much was she drinking? And they don’t ask such questions to elderly ladies who are raped.
There’s so much victim blaming of young women and it compounds the recovery. That’s another reason you don’t want to talk about it because people are really cruel. In my book I talk about the many times that I suffered victim blaming. This is something we need to address; we need to address this because it is only young girls and women who are targeted, nobody else.
Ygerne: It’s re-traumatising all over again and it comes from this hatred for women, doesn’t it?
Suzzan: Absolutely. Misogyny plays a large part in all of this.
Ygerne: OK, so we’ve had a question that came through from the audience. She says: are you married to a man and if so, how were you able to trust him or anyone? How were you able to move past the hatred of people?
Suzzan: I never wanted to have a relationship when I was a young woman. I never trusted anybody. How could I? So, I would just go out with someone and you know, whatever. I never wanted to get close to anybody or have anyone close to me.
And I never wanted children, either. I’ve been asked quite a few times by people whether it was because I was worried I would abuse them. And I would say no it wasn’t that. It was because I didn’t want to bring them into this evil world.
But I met my children’s father and I found myself getting close to him and I didn’t want to. I don’t think I’ve ever really trusted him and I had good reason not to. We ended up going through hell.
I even went to the women’s hospital because, like I said before, I thought I was mentally ill. At that time I didn’t know that I had been abused. People find that hard to believe, but I thought I was just a looney. That’s what I thought. That I was a looney who took drugs, drank, and had a good time and hated the world. I thought I was mental. We went through quite a difficult period.
I was on the pill from when I was 13 years old, and I went to the doctor because I had severe migraines. He told me to come off the pill and as soon as I did, I got pregnant, which was a big shock. And that’s a whole other story – of how an abused person feels when they have a child.
We did divorce years later. And I’ve only had one relationship since then. I haven’t had one now since 2017. I’d rather just not.
It not just relationships that I find hard, it’s friendships, it’s work colleagues. Because, being abused affects every aspect of your life. Say something comes up in a work situation – for example, Mother’s Day and you’re asked about your mother. I would often say that she’s dead. She’s not, but I would say she was. I couldn’t talk about her because I stopped seeing her when I was in my early 30’s and I’ve never seen her since and I don’t want to see her.
So, it’s things like that, things that come up all the time. It’s very difficult. So, I would rather be alone, I’d rather just write and go for walks and just be by myself these days, with my cat, I love my cat. And, of course, I’ve got my two beautiful grownup children and a granddaughter. And I’m happy with that, but it’s been very difficult to trust. It’s hard to trust people.
Ygerne: That’s understandable.
Suzzan: It is, because I’ve even been abused by doctors – when I was in my early 20s. I went to a place for help to get into work. One of the lecturers started abusing me there and I went to the on-site doctor and he closed the blinds and started abusing me too. So, all my life, up to a certain point – after having children and counselling, everything changed. But, before I had children, I was constantly, constantly abused.
And as I said, you just detach.
I didn’t know I had an inkling about being abused when I was in my mid to late 20s. Having my daughter was the catalyst to my recovery because I understood at that moment when she was born what it should be… How the protection and love that you have for a child, for a baby, for your baby, was so intense and everything kind of changed from that moment.
Ygerne: That’s a moment of hope.
Suzzan: Oh, absolutely. But it was so hard because even when I had children I had so many difficult times and even when I was in therapy. When I was 33, I’d had my second child, my son and suddenly social workers got involved because they knew I was in therapy for my own abuse and I had a lot of abuse from them. It just went on and on. It was absolutely awful, never ending.
Ygerne: It was the blaming again, wasn’t it?
Suzzan: Instant victim blaming, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I know things have improved, but they’re not good enough, especially when it comes to young women.
Ygerne: There’s definitely a long way to go. We have to keep fighting.
Suzzan: We do, absolutely. And all of us can impart the knowledge and understanding to younger women that I didn’t get, and that’s why I do what I do.
Ygerne: Thank you Suzzan. Thank you so much, it’s been amazing to have you.
Suzzan: You’re welcome. And thank you to everybody who watched. I wouldn’t say it’s been fun, but this stuff needs to be out there and women, especially younger women, need to understand more from us older ones.
If you want to see more of Suzzan’s paintings, you can go onto her art website.
She has also written a book about her life called ‘The Rebirth of Suzzan Blac’ which is available on Amazon.
The second part of Suzzan’s talk, which is about her research into pornography, is available here.