Choice

09.24.13

I’m a Porn Star, and I Believe in God

Nowhere in the Ten Commandments does it say ‘Thou shalt not do porn.’ Aurora Snow asks Ron Jeremy and other adult film stars: Is it possible to be religious and do hardcore sex scenes?

I believe in God while also believing in a form of evolution. I’ve enjoyed going to Passover most years with my grandmother. I've even gone to Sunday church with my younger brother on occasion, and each time felt like the fire-and-brimstone preacher was eyeballing me to see when I'd burst into flames. I half expected it myself. After a decade of porn I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter.

While there are a number of atheists in the field of pornography, there are also a surprising cluster of porn stars who keep their faith in a higher power despite how their religious beliefs may conflict with their chosen career path.

Ron Jeremy, who was raised Jewish, doesn't necessarily believe in following the Bible to a tee. "If you follow the letter of the law, the Bible, which nobody does, it's ridiculous,” he says. “You can't even masturbate without breaking rules." Jeremy goes to the synagogue and frequently speaks on the subject of religion and porn, having participated in numerous debates with pastor Craig Gross from XXXchurch.com.  

When it's consenting adults participating in consensual sex for consensual consumers, Jeremy says "I don't think the Lord has a problem with it. You don't have to be married to have sex as long as its consenting adults." While Jeremy may not feel his time as porn star qualifies him as a sinner, others might. Whether being a porn star conflicts with religious beliefs might depend on how tightly one adheres to the written word of their denomination.

Being both a married woman and a recently unretired porn star, Gauge believes she is in fact sinning, as her religious beliefs somewhat conflict with her choices. Her belief in the Bible and regular church attendance on Sundays don't stop her from actively violating what some might consider the sanctity of marriage. No different from those who have open marriages are active swingers or cheaters. Gauge isn't alone in the act of sinning, as she reasons aloud to me: "So are the people who cuss and drink and the people who continue to judge. What makes one less of a sin than the other?" True, as individuals we all have our own moral code, whether it's one we've self-imposed or one we've adopted from a religious background. Gauge says, "Whatever I struggle with whatever demons I may have, no matter what it is, if it's being a provider of porn, or doing this or that, that’s something I have to deal with but I won't deny what I believe in. Have I done everything right in my life? NO. But nobody has."

Perhaps this goes to show people feel a sense of safety in numbers. It's far more difficult to be blamed as an individual if everyone else is doing it too. Among those who do believe in a higher power, there seems to be a general belief that forgiveness of sins will be granted once it’s asked for.

Not all porn stars who believe in a higher power attend church. Some just believe in God without the weight of organized religion or biblical codes. Yet others still don't know what to believe. I got in touch with several adult stars to hear their views on this touchy subject, and here's what they had to say: 

Chanel Preston:

"Because I haven't defined God for myself, it's difficult for me to answer questions about the subject. I was raised as a Christian, but I do not believe in organized religion. I feel for some it is really restrictive to our abilities as humans to explore and understand ideas." 

“I don’t believe that what I do is wrong. Helping someone achieve an orgasm is a good thing. Godly, even.”

Tom Byron:

"I was religious for a minute in high school. I was in an evangelical singing group that had really hot girls in it. They may have been the divine inspiration I was seeking. I don’t currently believe in any religion's interpretation of God. I don't consider myself an atheist, because until you are dead, you have no way of knowing for sure whether God exists or not. I don't believe that what I do is wrong. Helping someone achieve an orgasm is a good thing. Godly, even."

Lily LaBeau:

"I believe in spirits good and bad, and I believe in angels. I believe God is a name for the universal consciousness that we all have access to. I just don't do the system of church. As for how this ties into using my body for money, honestly, we're all whores. And we know it. We are whores to a system until we choose not to be." 

Mr. Marcus:

"I don't go to church every Sunday, but I pray every day. It's also a form of meditating, acknowledging your life, acknowledging that you can only control so much. When I'm depressed or stressed out, my mom tells me to just pray on it. Of course my profession conflicts with my beliefs. There's the feeling that you should just be with one person, but here we are with multiple people and getting paid for it. No matter what you do for a living, it's how you treat people that matters." 

Joanna Angel:

"I really don't feel like I am violating religious beliefs all that much. There is no commandment that says ‘Thou shall not do porn.’ I don't steal, cheat, lie. And all the other big important ones, I follow those. You can still be a good moral person with good values and do porn for a living. I'm sure most wouldn't agree with me but, hey, this is between me and God, and we have a very good understanding with each other."  

Faith is a decision each individual has to make for themselves, and while spirituality and the adult industry are anything but consistent, there are many believers having sex on camera. It may have surprised a few synagogue attendees to look over and see the familiar faces of Ron Jeremy and James Deen at the same Yom Kippur services a few weeks ago in Hollywood. But then again, how is it they came to be familiar with their faces in the first place? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."