I like to be in front of the camera. Rachel, who played the clarinet in her high school band and considered joining the Air Force after graduation, was excited at the idea of modeling, making good money and a chance to get on a plane for the first time ever.
I still didn't think anyone would find out, didn't think my parents would find out. But when she landed in Miami, Rachel said she realized she had stepped into a world she never imagined -- one that she said would haunt her forever.
Rachel said a year-old agent met her at the airport and took her to a no-frills house with about a dozen other young girls -- most of them were also from small towns, just like her. A lot of agents just see money signs. If they have family emergencies, I lend them money so they can go home.
I just got another house [for the girls]. Filmmakers Ronna Gradus and Jill Bauer spent months following several teens in the amateur porn business. These girls have just graduated from high school.
They're from small towns. They have huge hopes for a bigger, better life The filmmakers say young, innocent faces are what porn consumers crave, with sites advertising, "'Watch real girls,' like, 'real year-olds get naked for the first time,'" Gradus said.
I'm getting 1, new followers a week. To understand what they were dealing with and how big the amateur porn industry really is, the filmmakers turned to the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, a non-profit research institute at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Bryant Paul, an associate professor at the university and a researcher who works with the institute, has studied Internet porn and amateur porn usage and found a number of startling statistics. Through his research, Paul said social media, especially Twitter, has become a tool for increasing a rising porn star's fame.
According to the Kinsey Institute, in , abuse porn websites averaged more than 60 million combined hits per month. Recent research shows that nearly 40 percent of online pornography depicts violence against women. What happens is they end up on the set, and then, if they don't finish the scene, they don't get paid. At first, Rachel, like many of the young women who answered the ad, seemed to revel in her new-found freedom.
Rachel and the other girls had to pay for rent, hotel rooms, lingerie, hair extensions, manicures and make-up. I had intelligent conversations. I read, I write, I do a lot of stuff. Rachel said she considered going home, but by then her parents had found out what she was doing.
And then it did. She dreamed of being a photographer or a director, but could never afford her own camera. But after working in amateur porn, she finally could, and bought one.
Rachel said buying her new camera was a turning point because it empowered her to do something she was proud of. I had nothing to live for. She is back at home with her parents and her dream is to become a movie director. She now works doing photography for local musicians. She said she knows she belongs behind the camera, not in front of one. Asked how she would choose now between going to Miami or staying in Oswego, she was quick to respond. When I went in, I felt like I was 12 years old.
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