I want to start off by saying that I’m sorry on behalf of students at this institution. I’m sorry for the undeserved shaming, and for the way that the Chronicle has indecently depicted your story. I have been inspired by your open expressions of identity, and I sincerely hope that our society can learn to respect your individual lifestyle choices. 

But please understand why I will not support your contributions to the pornography industry.

You will never see someone like me in your porn studios. My ebony skin, curly hair, and thunder thighs are a stark antithesis to the typical porn star body. Media sends the message that highest-levels of beauty and sexual prowess are reserved for people who fit the mold of societal standards. As long as the current industry persists, people like me will only appear in porn videos to represent a 20% minority of others… aka the ones who satiate ebony and “fat girl” fetishes.

You represent the 80% of white, thin, straight-haired girls who dominate porn production. You also say that your father is a medical doctor. You have financial resources that a majority of people in this world can only dream of. You have racial privilege because you exhibit and propagate the archetypical traits that society deems as “sexy”. 

I am in no way disregarding the pain that you have experienced, which is very much an unfortunate circumstance of our culture. But the consequences of your porn career extend far beyond the shaming and disrespect that you have experienced at Duke. It extends to the experience of every single human being who is subject to the unrealistic standard of beauty and sexual prowess set by pornography actors and actresses. And when you choose to express your sexuality by supporting this industry, you promote a culture that hurts many more people than yourself. You are not to blame: it is the fault of the porn industry which you promote.

Pornography is setting an unattainable standard for sex. This fantasy world does not depict explicit consent, and women don’t say no. They are obedient objects for male domination. They are subservient to the desires of the male porn star, the male porn director, and the predominantly male viewers. Fictitious pornography scenes create expectations of what people want from sex in the real world, which is an expectation that most individuals could never live up to.


His dick is too small.

Her thighs are too fat.


Porn destroys body image. Porn ruins lives as people are sucked into addictions that are difficult to break. It ruins relationships and breaks emotional connections in support of instant gratification. The porn industry propagates rape culture. It normalizes violent sexual domination, while fetishizing rape and victimhood as erotic.

What’s more, the average age for first exposure to pornography is eleven. Fictitious pornography scenes are distorting the realities of sex for pre-pubescent children, and sending a message to an entire generation about what ideal sex is supposed to be.

 The consequences of your acting career extend way beyond yourself. Your decision to support the current porn industry will affect countless individuals in this country. Porn is destroying body image and promoting rampant female objectification. Many viewers (male, female, or otherwise) compare themselves, and now must live up to the unrealistic sexual expectations that porn stars are spreading throughout our society. 

Porn stars create societal expectations about ideal race and body image. 

Porn stars create societal expectations about what is sexy. 

Porn stars create societal expectations of the qualities and actions that men and women must have to be sexually desirable. 

Porn stars propagate ideas of male dominance and female subservience.

As you yourself state: “I want to pay my tuition and get through college in peace.” As long as the current porn industry continues, peace and acceptance and self-appreciation cannot fully exist for anybody. Why else would people at this school deem success on their ability to “fuck a porn star”? 

You have the right to choose what to do with your body, and you deserve more respect for your lifestyle than what you have been receiving from Duke students. 

At the same time, you are able to utilize the porn industry for your own financial gain because you live up to the standard of beauty that mass pornography has propagated in our society. As a result, others will suffer because of the culture that your industry promotes.

I am not condemning your decision to advance sexual liberty and pursue an open lifestyle. In fact, I adamantly support your vision of change in Duke’s culture, and I hope that you can find outlets on-campus to express your unique identity. Just know that I cannot support you as a porn star, because your job advances cultural norms that negatively affect other members of our society. As long as you contribute to porn, this oppressive industry will grow. People will continue to be victimized by the superficial, ethnocentric cultural standards that your industry imposes. Issues of body image, propagated by mass media, will continue to plague individuals across all ethnic and sexual identities. I cannot support that.

Please know that I still accept you as you are, and I sincerely believe that you will find people in this world who show you the respect and decency that you deserve as a human being. All I ask in return is that you act in a way that promotes the same culture of respect and acceptance that you desire for yourself.

Much love.


32 Responses to Dear Lauren/Aurora,

  1. Lauren says:

    Dear Anonymous

    I see your response, and to be blunt : I see you.

    You should know that demonising the porn industry for culture-wide racism seems a rather ridiculous place to start : would you like to dial it back a few hundred notches and consider that demand in the porn industry merely reflects societal trends for white-preferncing presentation laid out from Nickelodeon and Disney to the Whitewashed covers of every beauty magazine?

    Likewise, making it a scapegoat for rape-apologists is not support, tolerance or understanding. citing Porn as contributing cause of rape is no more a valid argument than the desperate bleating that Call Of Duty causes school shootings : Its hyperbole advanced as debate. Strangely you or I or any one of our readers are perfectly capable of understanding that fantasy is fantasy and that porn serves fantasy. It does nothing but serve patriarchal, rape-apologist trends to state that men are goaded into rape as if they were unthinking, uncontrollable idiots. It is the patriarchy that says boys will be boys and your refusal to treat them like the thinking, feeling, human beings that they are is frankly disgusting; It makes you part of the problem.

    You seem to think its relevant to call privilege on me, so allow me to reciprocate; it is a position of privilege to demonise an industry with no first hand knowledge of it. It is a position of privilege to intellectualise your disgust for what I do. It is a position of privilege to take aim at sex workers and the industry that they serve, knowing that nobody comes to our defense. So please, kindly step away from me: Do not shit all over what I do and then claim to be my sister : intersectionality does not exist for you to malign me for your own agenda.

    You want to explore issues of racial disparity in the porn industry? You’d have been better served by coming to me with your concerns, but I get it : It’s easier to play a Who Is The Biggest Victim™ game than engage in meaningful dialogue about our struggles to unpack gender and race issues around sex and the sex industry.

    We could talk about the disparity in pay and demand between racial groups in prostitution, the suitcase pimps who masquerade as agents in the gutters of the porn industry, the rampant exploitation of performers, the horrific violence committed against prostitutes, the appalling disparity between male and female performers in scenes, the dangers of working a trade that everyone consumes the product of yet nobody seems willing to defend, regulate or make safe.

    You’re more than welcome to couch your predjudice in non-comittal language, in the belief that women don’t consume pornography, to contriubute to the erasure and stigmatisation of fringe sexualities that you do not personally support.

    You say “Much love”, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of it in what you’ve written.

    • whoa says:

      Holy shit she crushed it. Well done Lauren

      • Lauren says:

        Anyone can post under the name Lauren. I doubt this is actually her. It could just as easily be some random guy that found a hole in OP’s argument.

        • Scorched Earth says:

          You can drive a truck through the “argument” here. The OP is fronting a thinly-veiled and poorly supported piece of anti-porn rhetoric under the auspice of fighting institutionalized racism, saying “I love you honey” out of the side of your mouth as she does it.

        • -- says:

          I don’t think it’s Lauren either. Notice the British spelling that lacks in her original response.

    • Yalie says:

      Yale student here. Hear, hear. Keep on rocking, Lauren.

    • How do you know that the Facial Abuse site that you worked for doesn’t intentionally inflict emotional distress on women?

      How do you know that in amateur, or rather so called pro-am porn, that the actresses have consented to all of the things that are done to them? They may be going with the flow or acting under pressure and duress since they have traveled some ways to do work.

      The lack of certainty over consent is often part of the porn narrative and that is problematic.

      There are also a suspicious number of pro-am porn stars who claim to have a boyfriend and its implied that they are cheating on them. I don’t see how it is merely sexual freedom to defame your character like that.

      Just because you have done some porn work doesn’t mean you know everything about the industry. I don’t see anything ipso facto wrong with porn but that doesn’t mean the porn industry isn’t questionable at times or even often.

  2. Lauren says:

    To clarify:
    Absolutely the porn industry is problematic : and if you’re not prepared to speak out in defense of its good and in censure of the bad, then you have no business writing about it at all. And the only way you can do that is to make contact with performers, agents, producers and consumers of porn and attempt to understand them : they are human beings. Treating them as anything other than that is to do them a gross disservice.

    • TruthHurts says:

      This is the issue some of us are having with your story. We accept you as a person, and are sympathetic with your situation. It’s when you are so critical to those who try and support you (not necessarily your job, but you as a feminist woman expressing your individuality) that we begin to have questions regarding your intentions. Do you want to continue in the porn industry (because that sure seems like that is your priority and stance coming from all the media attention)? Insulting someone about their reservations regarding the unfair racial boundaries and unhealthy body image projections in porn is blatantly disrespectful. You might have your own opinions, but I hope you understand that they are quite difficult for any college student to grasp in their entirety. The brave soul who posted this letter comes out in general support of you, and brings up a very relevant point not yet addressed by media, that outlines a very rational explanation to some of the negative feedback you have been receiving. She places her criticism with the porn industry, not with you (“You are not to blame: it is the fault of the porn industry which you promote.”). For you to dismiss her opinions as “ridiculous” is awful, and I hope you understand that you are just making your situation worse, and placing yourself in a few unintended (or at least I would hope so) spotlights. I have been your supporter since I heard about you mid-January, but I am running out of points on which to support you. Your financial situation at home seems to indicate that you have the adequate resources to pay for your education. If you want to become financially independent, that’s a different story, but indicates that you are doing porn not out of necessity, but for personal happiness. Not at all something to insult, just a shift in your intentions that makes your situation a little “grey”-er. Adding to that, your involvement in rape porn, scenes that insinuate child porn (riding bikes, calling yourself a “dirty little girl”), and affiliating with websites such a fabialabuse.com also complicates your position. Yes, porn is a fantasy, but violent porn establishes that violent behavior towards women is acceptable (why would she be cumming if she didn’t enjoy it?) in some forms, making it more dangerous than violent video games where characters just die without receiving any sexual satisfaction. Lastly, your choice not to tell your parents, probably the two people on Earth that could never stop loving you (yes, it might be hard to accept for a little while, but your parents will come to understand), places you further in “taboo” territory. These are just a few of my reservations. Again, I support you as an individual and as an adult woman, and am just outlining some of the common concerns I have found when talking about your situation with other friends. Lastly, if I can give you some advice: Be tolerant of the range of opinions you receive. Although some will not be as accepting as others, with a little time to re;ax and breathe and get over themselves, your opponents will back down (to some extent). If you keep on being so defensive (I have yet to see your public support regarding any opinion piece about you), you are not giving anyone the chance to understand you, you are just prompting more criticism. So apologies for the long response, but this is my way of expressing my opinion on the matter, and I hope that at least part of you understands my perspective. Thank you.

      • Lauren says:

        If you would like to discuss this more in depth, Im sure you know how to reach me- or ask DD. I think you have a few misconceptions about me that I would like to clear up in a more private, civil space.

        • Interested says:

          If your goal is to foster an understanding among the Duke community regarding sex workers, why is it that you prefer to continue this conversation in a private space. Additionally, I am surprised that you accuse TruthHurts of not approaching the subject in a civil manner when it is abundantly clear to any reader that it is you who seem to reacting to his or her in a very caustic manner guaranteed to put a bad taste in anyone’s mouth, thus preventing an open dialogue.

        • will says:

          Hey Lauren,

          I don’t know you at all but, I applaud you for being true to yourself and doing what you enjoy and find release in. As a male who has been in similar situations of not fitting into groups and feeling unable to be myself, I think it’s awesome you have found a way to do that and a great benefit of paying for Duke! I would love to talk with you on a non-threatening friend basis.
          Again, whether I ever talk with you or not, keep being true to yourself and don’t worry about the opinions or thoughts of others. Opinions are like butt holes, we alm have them! Some just stink worse than others!

    • Danica Liu says:

      There is an enormous and critical difference between critiquing the porn INDUSTRY and criticizing porn WORKERS. Similarly, I have always believed that criticizing religious institutions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam is completely valid, but denying individuals’ right to worship? Not okay. One is a systemic giant and an upholder of the status quo, and the other are individuals who are part of a social milieu. Make sure you notice this difference.

    • Z says:

      I agree with a few of the overarching claims about race and gender that this article raises concerning the porn industry as a whole, but it launches a naive and needlessly aggressive attack on the individual sex workers without any understanding of their perspective. Lauren, I want to thank you for opening Duke up to these discussions, and for remaining strong in light of the way students are treating you. And thank you for opening my own eyes to a plethora of issues that are ingrained in our campus culture. By being so open about yourself, you are truly catalyzing a tangible change. I would love the chance to talk to you in person if our paths ever cross. Just know that despite every hateful word, there is an army of support for you.

  3. bd13 says:

    this is ridiculous. If your self acceptance and appreciation depend so heavily upon what people get off to on porn websites, you’re likely wasting too much energy focusing on comparing yourself to porn stars instead of focusing on your own strengths.

  4. lauren says:

    You know NOTHING about my financial resources at home and the hardships that coming to Duke has brought for me and my family. So kindly, shut up.
    I never did rape porn. I thoroughly enjoy rough sex and will not stop myself from engaging in it because you find it offensive. (Freedom of speech,yo)
    Also, are you seriously alleging that bike riding is an activity reserved for children?
    I stand by the fact that what Im doing is legal and I refuse to apologize for it.

    • TruthHurts says:

      ^ And they let this into Duke.

      • Scorched Earth says:

        “this” is a person. dehumanizing someone as an insult is pathetic. refer to maslows hierarchy of debate if you are incapable of behaving like an adult and need a crib sheet to help you.

        The ‘brave soul’ that posted the original article is not a supporter. just because you say “bless your heart” doesnt mean you’re not also saying “fuck you” : are you really that disingenuous? seeing as you want to equate fantasy with reality I can only conclude the answer is yes. Your inability to discern between fantasy and reality should remain your problem, and one that should have been solved before you reached college age.

    • jimmy says:

      Anyone who thinks doctors still get paid a ton needs to check their sources. Due to the new law a lot have to take drastic pay cuts in order to keep practicing the way they want. My father is a physician and i have siblings as well and now that there would be no way financially for me to go to duke without having to take out a loan.

    • Kelly says:


      Your story about how your family is financially strapped just doesn’t ring true. I went to Duke. While 95% of Duke students receive some sort of financial aid, you state the you do not qualify. Therefore your parents’ income must be on par with the highest level of Duke parents. Additionally, the loss of income experienced by your mother losing or quitting her job does not even bring your family income down to the level where you are qualified for financial aid, so your father’s income alone must be in the highest bracket.

      Your parents may have chosen to not save for your education or they may have chosen not to pay for it, but your inability to qualify for financial aid (and Duke has fabulous programs for those of moderate means) shows that your family’s income is at a level most of us could only dream of. Don’t pretend otherwise.

      You say you like rough sex. Good for you. You also seem to like being placed in a demeaning position and being on display during sex. Go ahead. But tell it like it is. Why do you have to hide behind the lie of financial need?

      This elaborate scenario you hide behind makes me wonder if you are struggling with something deeper. Talk to someone at CAPS. They can help you. If nothing else, they can help you deal with this firestorm you’ve unleashed.

      • Not The Pulitzer Committee says:

        Kelly said: “This elaborate scenario you hide behind makes me wonder if you are struggling with something deeper.”

        Brilliant diagnosis, Doctor, particularly considering that she seems to be dealing with it just fine. Even further, you seem to be “struggling” with it a lot more than she appears to be.

        “Talk to someone at CAPS. They can help you. If nothing else, they can help you deal with this firestorm you’ve unleashed.”

        Really? Lauren needs to talk to CAPS because of the discomfort of *others?* Is that what you’re saying here?

  5. GetALife says:

    Hey guys.
    Just popping in here to tell you how ridiculous you are being. OF COURSE SHE IS GOING TO GET A LITTLE AGGRESSIVE, her PEERS are inconsiderate, small minded fools who refuse to do something productive with their lives and keep harassing her publicly. She never claimed to be Gandhi so excuse her for being human. As for all the “porn in anti-feminist” blah blah blah, do I think that porn represents women favorably? No, of course not. Yet neither does Hooters and I don’t see anyone going on a freakin mission against Hooters waitresses. Porn does NOT cause the problems that we have in society. It does not cause sexism or negative attitudes towards women. PEOPLE DO. Society is clearly still stuck in a place where sexism and specified gender roles run rampant. Porn is a business that produces videos as the need requires. So, SUPPLY AND DEMAND. Porn makes videos about things that people WANT to see. If people’s needs and desires changed, so would the porn industry. ALSO, how is it Lauren’s fault that society sucks and porn follows suit? It’s her JOB. I’m assuming most of the people that have commented on this matter have never had one, because when you DO get a job you don’t always agree with everything you do or every rule your company implements, yet you work there anyway because you need money. Speaking of which, who the HELL do all of you think you are speaking to her financial situation? You have NO IDEA what her situation might actually be like, you just don’t so why don’t you stop embarrassing yourselves by trying to act like you have any clue. Lastly, you must all feel so high and mighty thinking that your opinions actually matter. They don’t. She did not ask you for life advice. What she does has nothing to do with you and your lives would be just the same if she worked at BK or in porn. So why don’t you do everyone a favor and shut up.

  6. Mark says:

    I 100% agree with this anonymous writer, and wouldn’t be one bit surprised if she is a strong, Christian woman. Porn does degrade women, you say it empowers you but porn IS a male industry aimed at male gratification at the expense of female objectification.

    Men who see you on a screen do see you as the cum dumpster people are calling you. They do see you as the slut they say you are. They have no stake in the game. The ones who are most vocal about it are trying to protect the stigma around the school they also chose to associate with. A school whose name is synonymous with Coach K, strong academics, and a fake rape case.

    Now, in a very small percentage of the world you, Lauren, are and will forever be the porn star who went to Duke. Not the smart, doctors kid who went to Duke and made money on the side. You chose one profession where the industry thrives on females with money issues, daddy issues, abuse histories and sex trafficking in many cases.

    I can’t understand the pressure of needing to pay that much for tuition; my family were gracious enough and had the means to cover a private university education for my me and my sister. So I won’t begrudge you for your choice, you have the liberty to do so as you said. But they also have the liberty of their opinion. And you know where that opinion is formed? In the degrading, dehumanizing, disgusting industry you now propagate, as well as the mass media writ large. I’m not saying I’m immune to it, because I ogle at women that are flashed before me but the work you do encourages the sentiment you’re trying to destroy.

    • Hannah says:


      I am involved in porn. I do not feel degraded as a woman one bit. I feel like it has empowered me and given me a way to explore myself and my sexuality.

      You obviously don’t realize there are more than one type of porn. Some people get off to men sexually degrading women, but there are also production companies who specialize in femme domme. There are also parodies, romance-specific films, etc. A wide variety and you’re just sticking to the stigma associated with the porn industry.

      Do your research about this. I would suggest this article by a recognized porn star first: http://bellaregretta.tumblr.com/post/76579411358/10-things-you-thought-you-knew-about-porn-prepare-to

  7. Tory says:

    I will start off by saying that I have been in the adult industry for over 15 years now ( performing and directing ). I have to laugh everytime that we get one of these new girls with “knowledge” of the business. Sweetie, you’ve been in porn for 3 months now? You know absolutely nothing about the industry. Let me clarify a few things for you. 1. There are more than 2 female directors in porn. In fact, there are about 2 females for every 1 male director in this business. 2. You will have very little, and I mean very little, chance of making enough money to cover your tuition. Only about 5% of female performers make $50,000 or more a year. And that’s because they work 5 days a week all year. Being a full-time student, that’s going to be a little hard. Don’t forget you have to pay taxes, pay your representation, pay for tests, etc. 3. You did porn; everyone IS going to find out. No getting around it. Something that you should have prepared better for. Be prepared to lose friends a family because of it. 4. Throw this feminist crap right out the window. It won’t help you in this industry. I’m what many consider to be a strong-willed woman, and let me tell you that it’s hard to feel empowered with a cock shoved down your throat! There’s no room for martyrs in this business, especially when they have barely dipped their toes into it.4. You’re going to get an STD being in this line of work, probably more than one. Get use to it. You will also sustain injuries, most likely. This is the worst part of the business. 5. I worked with facialabuse.com when I was younger, dumbest move I ever made. Their not very popular among industry insiders. They set fully set my career back aways. 6. Be prepared to not be able to find a job when you’re through with porn. No one meaningful will hire you: no Fortune 500 company, no reputable law firm, any position that deals with children, etc. So if you did your “research” and knew this already, why you chose to go to a reputable school like Duke. What I mean is, isn’t the point of going a school such as Duke to get the best job that you can when you graduate? Well, you already threw that out the window.

    I’m not saying these to discourage you. But, I don’t think you know as much as you think. This isn’t a glamorous line of work by any means. Hell, it’s barely work at all. There’s very little skill needed. It’s an means-to-an-ends kind of industry. Get what you need/want, get out and don’t look back. But if you keep up with the attitude that currently have, the industry and life in general are going to knock you on your ass. This will lead to you being one of the 99% if performers who don’t even last a year. I hope these words can be of use to you and good luck.

  8. […] anonymous writer on the Duke blog Develle Dish complained how young, thin white women “dominate porn […]

  9. Libby says:

    Tory is right. Get ready.

  10. Otter says:

    Point of parliamentary procedure!

    Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did. 😉

    But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Anonymous – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
    [Leads the Deltas out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner]

    TR 😉

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