Porn Star Student Supported by Parents

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A Duke University student has admitted that she has turned to a career in pornography in order to continue paying for college.  Freshman Belle Knox says she has been ignoring the haters who say they do not support her decision to film sex scenes to pay for tuition at the prestigious North Carolina school, and adds that her parents continue to love and support her regardless of her decision.

Knox, which is not her real name, had actually been outed by a classmate, and the outing led to Knox receiving a wide range of nasty comments, including death threats.  However, she believes that much of the traffic online is people looking for pornographic material and says she enjoys sex, so the decision to turn to the porn industry to pay her tuition was not that difficult.

According to Knox, her tuition runs around $47,000 yearly.  She considered the porn industry as a way of paying her tuition when her parents stopped paying for school.  She says that her decision to work in the porn industry has given her the opportunity to enjoy sexual autonomy and the experience has been incredibly “freeing” for her.

However, the price tag for her tuition is apparently discounted, Duke University says.  It told National Public Radio that it invests $90,000 in the education of each of their students, but students are continuing to struggle under crippling debt.  Although Belle Knox no longer had her tuition paid for by her parents, she says that her decision to become a porn star has not diminished her parents’ support.  Beyond that, however, she refuses to comment about her family.

She says she turned to the industry because others just did not pay the bills.  The average waitress makes around $8.92 an hour without tips; Knox says she was treated badly by her boss and was frequently exhausted trying to balance waiting tables with her high school education.  By contrast, a scene in a pornographic film between two women can net $800 while a scene between a man and a woman can net $1,000.  Some 40 million Americans currently owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, and Knox says there is no one to blame for her decision to turn to the porn industry but Duke University itself.  She says that if the university had given her the financial resources she required to be successful, she would not have had to consider turning to the porn film industry.

Knox notes that the concern has not really been about the student debt that she and other American families are frequently crippled by; the debate surrounding her choice has been about her decision to turn to pornography and about sexuality in general.  She says the industry needs more feminist advocates, which she considers herself to be, and told the cameraman on her first shoot that she wanted to be a lawyer.  She says that the fact that she ended up choosing a career in pornography as a way to pay for her education says a lot about the true effectiveness of student loans, something she says is “crippling our economy.”

Knox says those who have chosen to bully her by threatening her are simply trying to control her – a fate that all sex workers and many women are dealing with on a daily basis.  She says that she choose to use an assumed name when performing because her life in the porn industry and her life as a student are two separate entities that she alone controls, and in spite of the negativity she has faced since her outing, she says that she hopes that she has been able to help society challenge the way female sexuality has been viewed.

While this porn star student admits she is supported by her parents in her decision to become a star in the industry, she is reluctant to discuss her family.  She mentions in an essay on xoJane that there have been several of those closest in her life that have shut her off and wished evil things upon her due to her decision to join the porn industry, and she says that she believes this view seems contradictory, given the industry is a legal one that notches $13.3 billion in the US and there are many who regularly consume pornography in all its forms.  She says, however, that she has been “blown away” by the love and kindness she has received from many others.

By Christina St-Jean

Sources:

CBS News

xoJane

New York Daily News

Playboy SFW

KGUN 9

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