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Report: Is death porn’s biggest challenge?

Sadness Comes In Many Forms

In the 21st century, porn is a common yet taboo career option for many young women.

Some hop in bed with companies such as Brazzers. Others use the internet’s marketplace to film and distribute their sexual acts.

There are thousands upon thousands of sites to choose from, and literally thousands of people in the business.

In the age of social media, one can become a sensation overnight, and scarily enough, this can be amazing for those who want to expand their fortune and fame, but detrimental all the same.

Over the last month, several young women within the porn industry have died under mysterious circumstances.

August Ames committed suicide at 23 years old. The Canadian (real name Mercedes Grabowski) started in erotic films in 2013, and she starred in over 270  productions for studios such as BlackedElegant Angel and Sweetheart Video.

During her time in the business, she spoke of her childhood sexual abuse and chronic depression.

Days before her passing on December 3rd, Ames tweeted about dropping out of a movie as a matter of choice because her expected male co-star had previously done gay porn.

After this tweet, Ames was hit with a barrage of online traffic on her social media of people accusing her of being homophobic.

A social media feeding frenzy ensued which resulted in Ames’ final tweet. Her middle finger was aimed directly at those who crucified her publicly for her decision.

On December 5th  August Ames was found dead. The cause of death was cited as suicide by hanging. It is sad that Ames voicing her personal opinion garnered such hate and backlash from the public that it took a very dire and tragic turn.  After Ames’ death, the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, known as APAC issued a statement.

“APAC acknowledges that the adult film performer community is not without disagreement, division, and differences. Every performer has a unique approach to their boundaries, limitations, and risk management. APAC will always stand on the side of bodily autonomy and safety, but also on the side of communication, education, and community. Due to the public nature of working in this industry, adult film performers are often bombarded with online and in real life hostility from those in and outside of the industry. Being an adult film performer is unfortunately accompanied by a stigma that often exacerbates independent struggles, feelings of otherness, and marginalization.

APAC is calling upon its community members to practice empathy, compassion, and the willingness to participate in nonviolent communication to mediate conflict and work toward better interpersonal understanding. Yes, performers will continue to have personal, professional, and ideological disagreements and differences. APAC is beseeching community members to come together in discourse and not give into volatility. Opting for the act of calling in — a conversation framed within empathy, patience, and nonviolence in an instance of disagreement and difference contrasts starkly with the knee-jerk reactivity often found in online spaces.

There is too much nuance in our individual lives and experiences as adult film performers for us to be reduced to two-sided positionalities. The performer community is diverse in the different spaces we take up dependent on our modality, sex and gender identities, and politics. There are inherited traumas, stigma, and problems this industry needs to work through that divides the community.”

A little over a week after the death of August Ames, 31-year-old adult actress Yuri Luv died suddenly of what authorities are saying was an accidental overdose on December 13th.

According to a close friend, photographer Nicky Miello, Luv was not an addict but dabbled in drugs occasionally. She had recently been arguing with a boyfriend about her job which is understandably hard for some to come to terms.  Luv reportedly wanted to get out of the business to invest in an animal rescue venture with a close friend.

Yuri had been in the adult business since 2005 and had made many friends in the industry over the years. Several of her adult co-stars voiced their heartbreak at her loss via Twitter.

In the early days of the new year, yet another porn star had her life cut short. Olivia Nova was a 20-year-old newcomer to the scene who debuted in March of 2017.

The life quickly took a toll on her. On January 7th, 2018 Nova was pronounced dead in Las Vegas, the circumstances of her death are still unknown.

In a recent interview, a close friend Jimmie Romero revealed that Nova knew her “days were limited” and that she was trying to turn her life around and get sober. Nova has had a somewhat storied history with substance abuse over the last few years.

In 2014, Nova was in a snowmobile accident that resulted in her having serious injuries to her neck and face. She crashed the vehicle while driving drunk.

In April 2017, Nova’s boyfriend Nolan overdosed on heroin.

Nova’s friends had been asking her to get clean, and in her final days, she chose to help another friend get clean with her instead of going into an official program.

Although young, and gone far too soon, Olivia Nova had a good heart and wanted the best for someone else as she struggled with her own demons.

A veteran of the industry also lost her life in recent months, again without warning. Vancouver native adult film star Shyla Stylez died of unknown causes in her mother’s home.

The 35-year-old started out doing webcam videos before diving into the deep end of silicon valley in 2006. Stylez recently retired in 2016, and her death was a sudden shock to her friends in the community.

What is causing these young women to either take their lives or live so recklessly?

The thought of working in porn seems like a career for the endlessly confident. But these souls lost too soon highlights the misery that lurks behind locked doors.

It is blatantly clear that although all of these women were not drug users or abusers, many of them did partake in one way or another.

In this lifestyle of fast money, and lavish living, will the people of the industry stand up to help heal the wounds of their own?

Those involved often describe the industry as at times having a family-like atmosphere. If that is indeed the case, look for various outreach programs to be established that focus on death prevention.

In an industry where women are the superstars, it is scary to witness four starlets crash down to Earth.

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