Sex Workers and Education


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are aware of this incredibly sensationalized and fairly recent phenomenon: Teachers with porn star pasts! 

I’ve had conversations about this with a few people and it usually goes, ‘That’s not an intelligent choice. What did they think would happen when people found out?’ At first, it seems an illogical choice to teach children knowing that a porn past–whether one scene or many–can become highly publicized; much to the detriment of one’s current career. But I’m not so sure it’s really that illogical.

Sex workers are natural teachers. A good, attentive sex worker is highly communicative, expressive and caring. There are always a few unremarkable people in every line of work, but I’ve known my fair share of sex workers and they are typically the embodiment of childlike kindness, sympathy, intuition, and are usually easy with a quick tip for any number of sex-related concerns/issues/problems, etc.

So many angry, sad porn obsessors spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to sell us on ‘poor sex workers’ as victims with no future after one scene in the adult industry. I think the common sense solution is to create jobs for our sex workers as educators. There is not enough sex education in our country and plenty of ill-informed people. Porn’s final product is not supposed to be education, but there’s no reason we can’t employ actual sex workers to aid in the realities of sex and expand the conversation to include important pre- and post-sex forms of communication. Actual penetration can, at times, be the least complicated part of the overall process.

A sex scene should begin before the camera rolls with an exchange about what each person likes and doesn’t like. Verbal communication is important. The more complicated the sex, the more verbal communication is required. This is common sense, but so many young people don’t get details like this in the form of straightforward, practical information. There is no reason sex has to be such a bizarrely secretive thing. It’s more dangerous for young people to not know basic information about sex than to know. When you are informed, you make informed decisions.

Like it or not, sex workers are a well of information, and not just about what’s healthy, but also what’s  not healthy. Real, cautionary tales are valuable. A memoir and biography is just not long enough to cover the complexities of sex work. The information is limitless in its emotional, physical, mental and social layers. I can have a completely different and extensive conversation with anyone at any point in time based on my almost twenty years experience in and around the sex industry. Sex workers can peel back the illusive layers of sexuality and help us feel more natural and human about what should be a beautiful communication process. There should be no shame in knowing our biological selves and finding a mature way of expressing and celebrating it with other consenting adults. Talking to young people at the moment they start asking questions doesn’t mean encouraging them to have sex before they’re an adult, and I’m not talking about classes that offer actual sex performance. If pornography is really such a problem because it’s being used as instruction, why not use that as a cue to create more actual education? There are plenty of thoughtful sex workers who would be more than happy to talk at length about their experiences without talking down to their audience or apologizing for all they know.

That is my progressive thought for the day. An actual progressive thought. ;)

Happy Friday!!

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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.


  1. Ron Jeremy was a teacher.

    Of all the horrible things done to students by teachers… people fear what they don’t understand. Ironic, don’t you think?

  2. If it came out that my son’s teacher had been an adult film actor/actress in their past, it wouldn’t shock me, nor would I think of pulling my child out of the class. Consenting adults participating in gangbangs, okay; adults touching kids improperly, bad. Weird argument, I know, but the difference is clear.

    To hit on your other subject, when you never speak of sex, or hide it, you are only negating the inevitable. No, I don’t want my son to be sexually active at 13, 14; but then again, I don’t want it hidden from him the knowledge that people do things in private, and even public.

    That being said; care to babysit for a 3 year old? ;)

  3. Definitely ironic.

    VS–Haha! I am actually a pretty good babysitter, if not a little aloof.

    I think people fear irrational, illogical things and get it backwards. My feeling is that if you give young people all of the information, there’s no mystery and they don’t feel the curious impulse to find out no matter the consequences. Like prostitution. If it were legal I think less people would be prone toward doing something so out in the open. Not that I think it should be legalized as a deterrent from seeking sexual intimacy for an hour or two, but as it stands criminals are attracted to it because it exists in darkness. Shed some light on it and it becomes immediately safer for everyone involved.

  4. I must admit that it has taken years for me to agree that prostitution should be legalized, but I do agree now.

    offer the truth to kids and it will make them stronger and smarter… they’ll stand their ground on important issues and fight for what they believe. These are the tools that kids need to combat forced sex, suicide, social pressure…

    Vs- it’s not a weird argument, but there are still plenty of ways to screw up kid. give yourself up to the idea that you know nothing… at least that’s what they told me in anger management. :)

  5. My wife’s cousin is 21 (as of today), goes to college, and is completely innocent. The family background is very strict Indiana Baptist upbringing. The college she is going to is strict Christian. She’s never been on a date; she doesn’t even know what to do. At the moment, she is being “catfished” by a ‘guy’ is met on the internet; and has so for 5 years. Because she has never had a normal relationship with a member of the opposite gender (much less sex), she thinks she’s in a relationship with someone she’s never even met. I have tried to tried to tell her she’s being scammed, but she won’t hear of it. Frankly, I wish she’d just use protection, go get laid and get it out of her system; however, how do you even tell someone about protection who doesn’t know about it?

    The reason for my story is this: Not knowing that sex is a natural act, not ever talking about it, puts you at a disadvantage. It makes you screwed up. I have tried and tried to get her to see the light, but to no avail. In the Christian world, sex is evil, while violence is tolerated. Never understood it. I don’t know why pornography considered such as evil, yet a God who told the Hebrews to commit acts of violence (death, chaos) is considered valued and proper.

  6. So, who would I rather see my kid around: Lydia or Shelley Lubben? If you even have to think about the answer then something is wrong with you.

  7. I agree, who in their right mind would leave a small child with Shelley and her ex-drug dealing husband. Good point.

  8. @Alex: I agree; but never underestimate the idiotically of the typical fundamentalist Christian. Experience in this one, sadly.

  9. yes, some people just can’t be trusted. very true.

  10. have you met Shelley?

  11. No, never meet her in person. Poured over her videos, emails, articles though.

  12. Kim Carnes parody:

    “All of porn knows that she lies, she’s got.. Shelley Lubben eeeeeeyessssss.”

  13. you are too funny.

    “All the boys think she’s a guy… “

  14. I concur that sex workers would likely have a lot to offer as educators on the topic. I also agree that there is more overall damage done when young people (or society in general, perhaps?) is sheltered from the subject of sex rather than educated about it. At the end of the day, what does shielding everyone really accomplish?

    Personally, I’ve never understood how a person once engaging in sexual acts on camera somehow equates to “That person is now automatically no longer fit to be around children and has become unsuitable/unqualified for many other occupations as well.”

  15. This is precisely why I think Cindy Gallop’s “make love not porn” tv is so interesting. She’s not anti porn and the premiss is not that porn is bad, the idea is to entertain as well as educate people about sex (in all it’s shapes and forms) and debunk the notion that real sex has to look like a porn scene. A number of the contributors are actually porn stars having sex in a way they might in private (of course there will always be a certain performance level if people are filmed having sex, but my sense is this format will allow for a lot more creativity, range, subtlety and intimacy).

  16. Count mentioned here and sang its praises. Sounds interesting.

  17. I am always surprised people can’t cope with people moving from one profession to another. I moved from priest to lawyer. Why should a porn worker make a good teacher. People could go beyond previous life choices and adjust. This is no different

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