Empowering young Australians to be a clear Christian voice
Stella’s story, published in Big Porn Inc (Melinda Tankard Reist & Abigail Bray, 2011)
I really don’t know how I found myself, at 23, dressed up as a schoolgirl, smacking my naked buttocks with a wooden ruler and chewing gum. it wasn’t where I imagined I’d be. I also hadn’t imagined taking the school dress off in a very small room, the chairs around the walls filled with charged-up, drunken men, pumped up with the insane belief that buying a dance from a stripper means that you own her, you can do what you like with her, and that she should shut the fuck up and take it. I hadn’t seen in my future a time when I would be passed around that room, dry fucked and felt up, hit with the ruler, frightened and fragile like a rabbit in a petting zoo. It wasn’t supposed to be like that, my future. I was smarter than that, but there I was, becoming further enmeshed in this foreign world, a long way from the offices and restaurants I’d previously worked in, and further still from the tertiary qualifications I knew I could achieve.
I guess it started a couple of years before when, after leaving a violent relationship with nothing, I’d answered an ad in the paper for ‘glamour’ modelling, or soft porn pornography, and been published in a couple of those tacky porn mags for some easy cash. Stripping didn’t seem so far from that – it was just the image of your body that was consumed, not the body itself, yes?
[Considering stripping] I thought about it for a month or so and when my personal circumstances began to pinch harder, I rang and organised to go in. I mean, if I didn’t like it, I could just stop and go back to waitressing, right?
Stella moved from soft porn, to strip dancing and eventually to prostitution.
It was a hair-raising ride to the bottom. I often wonder where life would have taken me if I hadn’t been pressed by circumstance to become a stripper, if I had lived in a world without strip clubs, brothels, and other institutions built on the trade of flesh and so heavily reliant on people in compromised positions to feed them. I passionately hope that my daughters might inhabit such a world.
Porn is not OK. Prostitution is not OK. We are suffering because we’ve turned a blind eye.