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Aaron Crowley

By April 27, 2022May 17th, 2022No Comments

Episode 68

Aaron Crowley

Ex-Porn Performer, Author, & Anti-porn Advocate

Aaron Crowley was accidentally exposed to porn at the young age of nine when he walked in on his older brother and his friends looking at it together. From there, Aaron’s porn consumption escalated while it perpetuated false expectations about sex and normalized sexual objectification. While in college, Aaron experienced drug-facilitated sexual assault, and he was exploited and re-victimized when the perpetrator shared nonconsensual photos of the assault online. His abuse triggered trauma-induced hypersexuality and he says it paved the way for his eventual career as a porn performer. In this episode, host Garrett Jonsson and Aaron discuss how he entered and exited the porn industry, how it negatively impacted him, and what his life looks like today.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Fight the New Drug Ad: Regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political persuasions, or any other diversifying factor, porn can impact anyone. If you’ve recognized the harmful effects of pornography in your life, or recognized the harms pornography can cause in society, we welcome you to become a Fighter. As Fighters we strive to be bold, understanding, open-minded, and accepting. If you’re ready to become an official Fighter, we invite you to join the movement at ftnd.org/fighter. That’s ftnd.org/fighter. Join us in our fight for love by becoming a Fighter today.

Garrett Jonsson: My name is Garrett Jonsson, and you’re listening to Consider Before Consuming, a podcast by Fight the New Drug.

And in case you’re new here, Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.

We want these conversations to be educational, uplifting, and hopeful. As we sit down with experts, influencers, activists, and people with personal accounts, we cover a wide variety of topics that may be triggering to some, you can refer to the episode notes for a specific trigger warning- listener discretion is advised.

Today’s episode is with Aaron Crowley. He was exposed to pornography at the age of nine, and continued to turn to porn throughout his adolescence.His porn consumption normalized sexual objectification, and distorted his veiw of healthy sex. Later in life, Aaron experienced drug-facilitated sexual assault, and image-based sexual abuse. He experienced trauma-induced hypersexuality because of his abuse. While in college he entered the porn industry to make ends meet. During this conversation we talk about his experience in the porn industry, how it negatively impacted him, and what he’s up to today.

With that being said, let’s jump into the conversation, we hope you enjoy this episode of Consider Before Consuming.

Garrett Jonsson: I already said, thank you. I wanna say thank you again, because honestly my heart feels open and, uh, I feel gratitude to have this conversation with you today. Um, so thanks for, thanks for joining us.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah, the fillings mutual. I’m very excited to be with Fight the New Drug. I love your guy, your guys’ organization, and then your vision and just everything so much. I’m totally a fan boy over here. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: Nice. [laughter]

Well, we are humbled by the support, so thanks. And for us to I accomplish our mission statement, our mission statement is to educate on the harmful effects of pornography using science facts and personal accounts. The personal account aspect is kind of where you come in in regards to the, the first question to better understand your personal account. It might be good for us to better understand like who you, who you were and so that we can better understand your experiences as we learned more about that. Can you talk to what your life was like growing up, Aaron?

Aaron Crowley: Yeah, so I was raised by a single mother. Um, my father left whenever I was younger and, um, because my mom was, you know, trying to take care of us on our own. Uh, she, you know, worked a lot. And so there was a lot of times that I was home alone with my brother or even just myself, you know, my, my family likes to talk about how I basically raised myself.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay.

Aaron Crowley: Um, in a lot of senses, um, because you know, she, she had to become provider and nurturer and like, you know, all the, she had to fill in all the roles, you know?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

It’s almost like she had to step up and that required you to step up.

Aaron Crowley: Right. And, um, be, cuz I was home alone a lot with my brother. That’s actually how I first encountered porn. I walked in on him and his friends, uh, watching porn and you know, I was like nine and they were like 14, 15. So his friend kind of jump like jumped up and like was gonna try the TV, you know? Yeah. Um, but my brother was like, “No, no, no, he needs to see this.” And so he had me sit down with them and watch what was happening and you know, this was my first encounter, seeing anything sexual, really knowing anything sexual.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: It was my first encounter with anything about sex.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Um, and so it, um, I had no idea what I was watching, but I, I realize now looking back like why my brother was very adamant of “No, no, no. He should watch this.” I heard him whisper to my friend, “See, I told you he isn’t gay.”, and you know, the friend replied something like, uh, “I don’t know, he could be looking at the guys or something.” Um, but I guess what had been going on is my brother’s friends would tease him that I was gay and he, you know, did what he could to, I guess, make me not be gay. And he thought porn was that, you know, because in his brain and in a lot of young men’s, young boys’ brains. It, the I idea is that, you know, ‘porn is a man’s thing’. It’s a thing that makes you more masculine. It makes you more of a man.

Um, and so, and to, and, and in his eyes being gay makes you less of a man. And you know, having me at nine years old, watch porn with him, uh, I think was his way of, you know, proving to himself and his friends that I’m not gay and to, I guess, encourage me away from being gay.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

This is kind of a personal question. So if you don’t want to answer, that’s fine. But do you hold any resentment towards your brother for holding that perspective at one point and kind putting you through that, um, that scenario?

Aaron Crowley: As I got older, like in my teenage years. Yeah. A little bit, but, um, as I got older from my teenage years, um, uh, no, like I totally got, I, you know, I understand what he grew up in and what he, you know, thought things were. Right. Um, so I, I have more compassion and empathy for him now.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Um, but there was a period in my teenage years as I was, you know, coming out to myself and figuring things out and realizing things. Um, there was a bit of resentment and he, and I had a lot of falling outs and a lot of issues. Um,…

Garrett Jonsson: That’s tough.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. But today, you know, I, I, I, you know, release forgiveness and have empathy for him and compassion and, um, that’s cool. I love my brother.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s cool. That’s really cool. Yeah. This is also a personal question and you don’t have to speak to it if you don’t want to, but I think it’s a pretty big deal. Like at what point did you understand that you are gay?

Aaron Crowley: So that’s another journey…

Garrett Jonsson: Is that a podcast for itself?

Aaron Crowley: Right? Yeah. Um, let me try to give you the spark notes version. So I first heard the word gay from my cousins who were using it and talking about it in a very homophobic way. I was probably about eight. Um, and so whenever it was defined to me what gay meant I realized, “Oh, I might be that.”, like, that’s what first went in my head. And then I realized the tone of how it was being used. And I was like, oh, and it’s a bad thing.

Garrett Jonsson: The stigma behind it was apparent.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. And so I, um, immediately right off the bat, whenever I realized what that meant and I realized what it was, I realized that it was something I did not want to be.

Garrett Jonsson: That that would be tough a as a heterosexual male, I’ve never experienced that, but I can imagine that that would be exhausting.

Aaron Crowley: Um, uh, exhausting. I like that. I like that word for it. Growing up in that environment and hearing it used in a homophobic way and like realizing that’s a part of yourself it’s very mentally consuming because it’s like this war immediately starts within you where you’re like, you know, “I had the crush on this guy, so that means I might be this, but this is bad. So it’s something I need to absolutely not talk about. It’s something I need to absolutely, you know, uh, suppress within myself.” And, um, you know, what, I, I think exhausting is a good way to describe that because it’s mentally exhausting. It’s mentally, um, you know, trying to not be yourself, trying to be something you’re not, it’s very exhausting.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. I think probably mentally and emotionally and socially, and, uh, which in, in turn is gonna effect physically.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s tough. Did, um, did your first exposure to pornography lead to you seeking out porn later in life?

Aaron Crowley: Oh, yeah. So, um, after that first encounter with pornography with my brother and because of how positively it was presented, you know, like I said, my brother and his friends made it seem like, you know, if you watch porn that makes you more of a man. Um, you know, I definitely, whenever they were together watching porn again, I would watch it with them. And then whenever my brother wasn’t home, I knew where he hid the video tapes and knew where, um, he, uh, hid magazines. There was a period of time where my uncle was staying with us. I knew where he hid his stuff.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And so, you know, I would grab that stuff and I would, you know, watch it, look at it. Um, and then whenever I got older and we got internet, we, we were a little bit poorer, on the poor end, so we didn’t get internet till later compared to like my peers. But as soon as we got it, I, whenever I had a moment went online and searched for porn and, you know, was looking up porn and doing all that online as well. So yeah, definitely porn played a big role in my childhood.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Did you consume porn just to kind of like, I don’t know how to say it, except for just like man up or were, was there an ulterior or motivation of like some type of sex education or curiosity about sexuality or was it do just trying to like be a man, and then follow after your brother and his friends?

Aaron Crowley: Um, a little bit of all of that. So it was definitely, you know, trying to relate to my brother and his friends, you know, cuz they were older. So I looked up to them. Right?

Garrett Jonsson: Of course.

Aaron Crowley: Um, there’s a little bit of that. Like I said, it was my first encounter with sex. So it, it became my sex education. I didn’t necessarily go searching for it and looking for it to learn about sex like that wasn’t really in my mind, but it was how I had learned about sex.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

This is kind of like in a abrupt transition, but it kind of has to be because you’re a person who has experienced drug-facilitated sexual assault or rape. And that’s a big part of your experience. I’m just wondering if your porn consumption early on normalized that sexual objectification of how you saw sex and how you saw yourself.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah, absolutely. It did. So, you know, like I said, whenever I got a little older, we got the internet and so I started looking up things online well now because I had the internet and I could be more anonymous and I could search my own stuff. That’s whenever I found gay pornography. Um, and what I saw in gay pornography seemed to validate the things that had been told to me about gay people, how gay people were displayed to me, um, which was, you know, hypersexual oversexualized, um, you know, gay men are men, so they always want sex. And it was also very violent. You know, it was not just violent, but homophobically violent. I heard homophobic and transphobic words used. Uh, there was a lot of violence, you know, smacking around, even rape. A lot of, a lot of the gay porn I encountered was gay rape porn.

Um, you know, like I guess I probably shouldn’t tell you specifics, but, um, it was very violent and, um, aggressive. So that be began to solidify in me what it meant to be gay. Like I learned you asked, you know, did I learn sex education through porn? I learned what it means to be gay and what gay sex is, what gay intimacy is through porn. And so whenever I was in college, whenever I went to college, um, you know, I was freshly new. I just came out and um, because I’m new to college, it was like my first week in college, I got on the internet to look for other gay men who were freshmen at my school to like, see, you know, Hey, is, are there any meetups or is what are people doing? I need to make friends. Right?

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Um, and so I met this guy online who said that he was going to another guy’s house and they were gonna have a small little get together party.

Um, well at that little party I got, um, drunk to the point that I don’t remember really much of anything. And then I woke up the next day. I was basically naked of the guy who invited me. He was on the floor, passed out with a camera and you know, I was too hungover for it to really understand what was going on. But I knew in my gut, like I did not feel very good. Right later that day the guy had took the pictures, let me know. He said “The pictures came out really hot from last night.” And then it just like dawned on me. And like everything that happened, like clicked that night, I had been raped and pictures were taken and he was sharing them all the over the internet. And you know, when that happened, the immediate thoughts that went to my mind were things that I had seen in pornography.

Um, and so my mind went to, “This is normal.” We are often portrayed, LGBTQ+ people are often portrayed as oversexualized and hypersexual. And that we’re just about hooking up. Right? We’re just about sex. And that’s not, I’m not saying that I’m saying that’s how we’re portrayed. And I, and I know many of us often own that portrayal as part of our identity. That’s how it was painted to me. That’s what was going through my mind when all this was happening and it became normal to the point that I didn’t even really actually understand at that time that it was rape. Uh, like that word didn’t cross my mind, but I knew in my gut, I was very uncomfortable. I was not okay with what happened. You know, I asked the guy to like take the pictures down. I was like, don’t share that. Like, you know, please delete all those pictures.

And his response to me was “Why, you know, guys think these, this is hot. Like everyone thinks this is hot. You’re hot. Like this is really cool.” And so it, it like normal to me, you know, okay, this is what it means to be gay. This is, this is how I get validation from other gay men. This is what it means to be a part of the LGBT community and everything. And, you know, I eventually talked the guy into deleting those pictures or at least that’s what I thought he showed me. He was deleting ’em. But then later someone told me he still had them. He still said that he deleted ’em. So I don’t really know what happened yeah. With all of that. But, um, and I, I didn’t know what to do. I, you know, because it was so normalized to me.

I, you know, I didn’t go to the place. And then if I did go to the police, what would they do?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: You know, what’s on the internet. What, what, like, you know? Yeah. Um, and then also, because I’m a guy, again, I didn’t think men could be raped. And I, I, I was, uh, afraid of being ridiculed because of that, you know? Uh, and, and all these victim blame mentality started entering my mind up, you know, “Well, I was drunk, so it’s, you know, my fault.”, and, you know, “I’m gay. So, you know, it’s something I, I probably would’ve chosen or I probably would’ve wanted to do.”, so I didn’t, I, I didn’t really speak to anyone about it until years later as I was writing my book. Um,…

Garrett Jonsson: Wow.

Aaron Crowley: And, and that’s kind of, you know, in going in and processing the years later and processing all that trauma, that’s, you know, how I’ve realized, you know, what, I’m gonna speak out on this, um, because I need this mentality to be destroyed. You know, I actually even just recently, like the, that mentality that caused me to normalize my rape so prevalent even still today, and a part of me is like, probably because of pornography, pornography has normalized this idea of, you know, people can be obligated to have to have sex with someone.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Um, and that kind of goes off into a whole bunch of other points that we’re probably gonna get to.

Garrett Jonsson: Porn does normalized exploitation and, like that’s just straight facts. Um, as you were talking, I couldn’t help, but think about Terry Crews’ experience. I’m sure you’re familiar with it, but maybe you’re not with him being sexually assaulted? And it’s pretty interesting because, you know, he’s, I think he’s like, like 6’ 3” you know, 230 pounds of, you know, he’s probably like 8% body fat and played the NFL and all these things. And like, so I think there is that perception like that he can’t be sexually assaulted.

Aaron Crowley: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: And he was sexually assaulted and it negatively impacted him. And yeah, it just speaks to that, that if you’re a man, you can’t be sexually assaulted, you can’t be, you can’t experience rape, but that’s just, you know, it’s not true.

Aaron Crowley: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: Well, as I think about your experience with not only drug facilitated sexual assault or rape, but also with the image-based abuse that you experienced with him, sharing your photos without your consent. It’s interesting cuz we don’t know this is just speculation, but some of the people who saw those images, it’s very likely that they, they thought you were consenting.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And so I just kinda wanna point that out because that’s like one of the main issues with user generated content on mainstream internet porn sites is like, you don’t know all of the context and you can’t be sure that it’s consensual.

Aaron Crowley: Absolutely. That’s right.

Garrett Jonsson: So rewinding back to 2008, 2009, when you had this very, very challenging and negative experience with the drug facilitated sexual assault and then also the image based abuse, like did, do you have anyone to talk to, was there a trusted someone that you could talk to about these things that you were facing?

Aaron Crowley: Yeah, no, like I said, I, I didn’t, um, speak to anyone about it. I, I didn’t even have the words for myself.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, okay.

Aaron Crowley: Like all of it was being processed in my mind, you know, being warped with, you know, what I knew from porn and um, what I had seen or how I had seen, um, gay men portrayed, you know, in the media and from, you know, family members and you know, just general homophobia.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Um, like all of that kind of melded together and that’s how I was processing rape.

Garrett Jonsson: Sorry to interrupt you.

Aaron Crowley: You’re fine.

Garrett Jonsson: It feels like the shame and the stigmas were like paralyzing you.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. Because you know, I, I didn’t know where to find a safe, safe space to talk about it and to process it. Um, cuz I, even my own self, I, I, wasn’t a safe space to, you know, process and talk about it because of the shame and stigma that’s already been put on me.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: You know, I was not a safe, safe place to process what was happening. Or what had happened.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. That’s, that’s really interesting. Like you were not a safe space. That’s really interesting. I it’s almost like you were, and I’m not blaming you when I say this, but I’m just making an observation. It’s almost like you were participating in victim blaming because you just didn’t understand. It’s not that you were truly like blaming yourself. It’s just that you didn’t understand the context of all these things.

Aaron Crowley: Exactly. Yeah. Because that, those mindsets and that mentality was so normal to me.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: I, I did I victim blamed myself. I was processing it in the sense of, well, you know, this is all my fault. I chose to go over there with people that I barely knew. You know, I, you know, it, it was all in my mind, my fault as I was processing it.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

It’s like, drugs and, and alcohol and being with people you’re not familiar with, like these do increase the risk a little bit, but that doesn’t make exploitation okay. Right?

Aaron Crowley: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, man’s a lot. Well, I don’t know. I help but think about how traumatic that must have been. And when I think about trauma, one of the negative consequences is like nightmares and the way, the reason why this comes to mind is because we experienced a pretty significant earthquake a couple years ago. And after that earthquake, I had some nightmares about earthquakes and then also when a truck would drive past and like it kind of rumbles the building, like I thought there was gonna be another earthquake. And I think that’s, what’s interesting about trauma is that it can make you scared of maybe things that you, you know, really shouldn’t be scared of. Like, I don’t know. I’m just wondering how you started to trust men again eventually, or like I’m wondering if you had nightmares because of all of the traumatic experience that you had.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. I, um, I, I did, I had, I’ve had like, you know, trauma nightmares, and actually they, they had like, I, I hadn’t had them in a long time. And then actually just a couple weeks ago I had one dang for the first time in a while. And it wasn’t really about my rape. It was actually about my time in the porn industry. Um, it, it, uh, I woke up in the middle, middle of the night from a nightmare, uh, from back then it was like, you know, I was in my nightmare. I was in that moment. I was living again in that, in the, that time. Um, and then, you know, thank God I woke up and you know, my husband was asleep next to me and I just looked over. I was like, “Okay, I’m home in my bed.”, but no nightmares and, and things like that weren’t the main way that I learned to cope with, um, what had happened.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Actually the main and biggest way that I coped with that sexual assault was, um, hyper sexuality. Um, you know, cuz like I said, I was in a safe space. I was processing it in my mind with all this shame and victim blaming and you know, I dove deep into, you know, gay hookup culture and you know, I, I became very hypersexual and you know, I’ve since learned that that’s actually a very common trauma response to sexual assault and rape is hypersexuality because it’s, we’re subconsciously trying to regain control.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: And we’re putting ourselves in similar situations where we’re kind of hoping for a different outcome and we’re trying to control the outcome. Um, but what happened to me is I ended up, uh, finding myself some more situations where I was sexually assaulted, where I was raped again. And, and you know, that it just made rape in sexual assault. It made my sexual objectification more normalized, um, to the point that, you know, it became like a normal part of my life that I was almost expecting it, and yeah, that’s what eventually, you know, whenever porn was presented to me, that’s what made it so easy to, you know, know, jump into the porn industry.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

How many years? I guess I shouldn’t say years cuz I’m not sure if it was even a year, but how much time did you spend in the porn industry?

Aaron Crowley: Uh, it was, it was about a year actually.

Garrett Jonsson: How did you enter the porn industry? Can you talk to that a little bit?

Aaron Crowley: Um, you know, like I said, I was diving into gay hookup culture and I got into a gay hookup app, an app, you know, that’s specifically geared towards, you know, gay men hooking up.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: So yeah, I was on that app and one day a guy reached out to me and said, “Hey, I think you’d be really good in this. And um, I’d like to invite you to, um,…” I don’t know if you used the word “audition”, but uh, he invited me to a studio to, um, take pictures, to submit two studios cuz he was kind of like a “talent scout”, “agent”, “manager”, type for the porn industry. And so, um, you know, like I said, all of it was so normal to me ever. The idea of being in porn was normal to me because you know, those pictures had been taken. I had grown up with porn.

I in, you know, I was already hypersexual because of everything I was regain control and this seemed like a really great option to help pay, you know, the rest of my way through school and you know, get myself a little bit more financially stable. Because at that time I was very much not financially stable. I was struggling just to get money for food.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Um, and rent and all of that. Um, so it seemed like a nice, it seemed like a good option. Yeah. It seemed like. Yeah. So I took him up on that offer. And um, yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: You’ve already talked to this guy’s tactic a little bit, but it, it might be helpful to also go into the experience like that first time being in porn and what that was like for you and maybe some of the unhealthy behavior or exploitation that this, you know, “talent manager” used. We call him a “talent manager”, I don’t know, just exploiter.

Aaron Crowley: I call him my pimp today.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Yeah. Like it might be helpful when we’re talking about the harmful effects of pornography. It, it might be helpful to understand tactics used by your pimp.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. So whenever, whenever I went to his studio to take the pictures, it was kind of what I expected, you know, pose in front of a bear wall, excuse me, pose in front of a bear wall, you know, while he took pictures. Well, there came a point where he unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis and sat in a chair and he looked at, he didn’t really like, look at me. He like kind of looked past me. I actually talked about that this in my book where he didn’t really make eye contact me whenever he said this. Um, but he said, “If you want to be a part of this industry, this is a part of it.”

And what he was doing there was basically seeing if I would be comfortable with exactly what was gonna happen to me in porn, you know, where I no longer was, is in control of my body.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Was I going to submit and do what I was told? You know, was I going to acquiesce to the demands of the producers and you know, everyone else on set.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And, and what’s really interesting to me is what he did in any other industry would be considered sexual assault because he’s an employer, he’s an employer with power, with a power dynamic over me as an employee.

Garrett Jonsson: Yep.

Aaron Crowley: Asking for a sexual favor. That sexual assault, but because it’s porn and because sex is the nature of, you know, the industry because sexual assault is the nature of the industry. Um, you know, it’s normal. This is exactly what goes on.

And you know, even he said it, this is “If you wanna be a part of this industry, this is a part of it.” He right there was saying, without saying, you know, he right there was saying sexual assault is a part of this industry.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And I, I like to bring that up to people who are like in defense of the porn industry. I like to point out and say, okay, so you know that power dynamic of employer, an employee, if an employer asks an employee for a sexual favor, that sexual assault, because there’s a major power dynamic involved, where does that line get drawn? Where does it get drawn that we can step over into the porn industry and say, oh, asking for sexual favors, actually asking for sexual acts and exchange for money, you know, it’s acceptable. When, where does that line drawn?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Like when’s it acceptable for the employer to request, you know, sexual favors from an employee yeah for money.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Where’s that line? It’s acceptable because there’s a camera, but it’s not acceptable if it in any other place.

Garrett Jonsson: Right. And just to kind of elaborate on what you’re saying, it’s like imagine going on LinkedIn and this person’s like “Yeah, to work here…” and then pulls out their genitals and says, “This is part of it.” It boggles my mind that that is one of the job requirements in the porn industry to be tolerant of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.

Aaron Crowley: I mean, that’s the nature of it. I mean, we wouldn’t, I mean, we’re not gonna say those words, right? Like that’s not good for the PR, but that’s essentially what it is. I mean, again, it’s an employer asking for sexual favor. And sexual acts from employees. Yeah. That in any other situation is sexual assault.

Garrett Jonsson: And this question’s kind of off the cuff. And if you don’t want to answer it, then just say, so my question is regarding coercion, because if you look at the definition of coercion it’s to persuade using threat and this “talent agent”, or also known as your pimp or this exploiter for him to say, you know, this of it, if you don’t participate, basically it seemed like he was insinuating that if you didn’t participate, if you weren’t okay with this, then you couldn’t be in the industry. And to me, that’s a form of coercion. So I’m just wondering, like, do you identify as like a victim of sex trafficking? Cuz it seems like potentially by definition, by legal definition that could fall within that, that definition. I don’t know.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. So I, um, I’ve grappled with that a lot. Um, and so I don’t know about calling it sex trafficking necessarily. Um, but even if I wasn’t trafficked, I definitely was exploited.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Okay. Well I think that a common belief amongst general society is that people who enter the porn industry enter because they have just a higher sex drive. So I’m just wondering, like what would you say to that person? Like based on your experience, that definitely was not the case.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. I, based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think anyone, myself included anyone that I knew in the industry don’t think any of us really necessarily had a higher sex drive than our peers.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: You know, of the same age.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Um, like I think we generally probably were about average, right? Yeah. Um, but what I do think sticks out is I do, do you think there was, you know, a bit of, for at least my case, I can definitely say there was hypersexuality as a response of trauma.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: And so there needs to be a distinguishing there, is it a higher sex drive or is it hypersexuality in response to trauma? Because hyper sexuality and response to trauma may look like from the outside a higher sex drive to someone.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: But if you get to know the person and you dig into their psyche, you’d see that they’re hypersexual because of trauma. And um, yeah. I’ve seen that often in the porn industry. I can speak for myself. That that’s my situation.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Um, I can’t obviously speak for everyone, but I have seen it for other people as well.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. That’s interesting. So from your first time in the porn industry, what was it that drove you to perform more consistently in porn over that next, you know, seven months, almost a year?

Aaron Crowley: I was in the industry and I stayed in the industry because I needed the money. Um, like I said, I was, was in school whenever I started and I needed it to finish school. I needed the money to help, um, you know, pay my rent and feed myself, but also to pay tuition and you know, other school fees. And then whenever I finally graduated, the economy was, is not doing very well. And it was very hard to find entry level jobs. And so I was not getting work anywhere. And so, you know, porn kept me afloat after graduation as well. And you know, I’ve heard people ask, “Well, why didn’t you just, you know, like other millennials at the time, why didn’t you just move home back home with your mom?” And um, so I didn’t feel at the time that my family was a safe space, because of just situations going on at home. Um, and especially because I was gay and still grappling with that and figuring that out, um, home with my family did not seem like a very safe option. And so I’m just out here trying to make it on my own, um, until hopefully, you know, I find, um, a little, little bit more stable work.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: But you know, like I said, the economy was not doing very good. And so that became very difficult. And so porn seemed to be becoming, you know, more of my career.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Quote unquote career.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

I think one thing to learn from your personal account is that stigmas are unhealthy. Like if you look at a psychologist, one of the requirements for being a psychologist is to hold unconditional positive regard for the people you work with. And it seems like that same standard should be held by caregivers. You know, including parents, we should have unconditional positive regard for the kids we care for, because I just wonder, like what would’ve been different, if you did have a place to go and to open up and engage in genuineness, and acceptance and receive some empathy.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: It’s tough to think about, but…

Aaron Crowley: Something I encountered a lot while I was in the industry is a, a lot of the other gay young gay men that I was in the industry with. A lot of them were, um, in it trying to survive because they had no other resources.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: I encountered often, um, many who were kicked out of their home because they were gay and they were, you know, now surviving with their boyfriend, by living in hotels or sleeping on friends’ couches and doing pornography and having survival sex basically.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Um, and it’s very, very common in the LGBT+ community for, um, us to resort to survival sex when we’re in those situations. Um, because again, we’re, we’re a over sexualized community. So, you know, we’re stigmatized with it to the point that it becomes normal to us. And then whenever we’re in situations where, where young have no job skills, um, can’t find work and need a means to survive. And these opportunities are presented to us. We resort to survival sex.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Well we appreciate you shedding some, you know, more under more an understanding on what happens. It seems like the porn industry tries to like virtue signal and like pose as an ally.

Aaron Crowley: For LGBT people?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

But then the thing that’s frustrating to me is like at the same time they perpetuate some of the misrepresentations and profit from, from the misrepresentations of the LGBTQ+ community.

Aaron Crowley: Right. Yeah. You, um, you just hit the nail on the head. Like I said, I, we, we, as LGBT+ people, we aren’t often taught about our sexual orientations, our gender identities, but we still have to learn, you know, healthy sexuality. And unfortunately so many in my community, um, do go to pornography to learn about our sexuality and our gender identities. And you know, that’s why the porn industry often poses as an ally for us. Yeah. But whenever you dig into it and you’re watching it, especially being on this side of it, I can see now just how homophobic all the material, all the content that the porn industry produced was like, it’s so violent and, and degrading and you know, you know, I, to hear from, you know, our, the crowds that you and I are probably familiar with, uh, about, you know, straight porn?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Uh, for lack a better word. I don’t know what else to call it straight porn.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Um, that, um, you know, that it’s violent and it’s aggressive, especially towards women.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Well, it’s the same thing in the gay porn industry. And the, and, and trans porn as well. Um, is that it’s violent and it’s portraying our gen our gender and our sexuality. It’s portraying it as this violent, you know, coercive, rape. Like…

Garrett Jonsson: It’s just not healthy. Like, yeah. I don’t know, like healthy sex is such an awesome thing, but the porn industry generally speaking, it just distorts it.

Aaron Crowley: Right. It, um, you know, I often I commented on a, uh, post that Gail Dines made a couple months ago and she was really intrigued by this. Um, cuz she pointed out like, you know, a lot of people will point out that in straight porn, the woman is being, being, um, aggressed against like there’s violence towards her.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: In gay porn violence is often portrayed still toward the receiving individual.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And often what it is, what I experienced often in the porn industry is the receiving individual was a gay individual and the one who was portraying the violence was a straight person, a straight man.

Garrett Jonsson: That had been hired?

Aaron Crowley: Right. That who was gay for pay for that scene. Um, and that right there, I’m just, you know, looking back at the, those type of scenes that I was in, I’m like that is straight up homophobia. They’re having a straight person, a straight man.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Uh, sexually violating a gay man. It’s still the same thing that, you know, porn is saying to women in straight porn where it’s saying, you know, men are aggressors against you and this is normal.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: To gay people were being told by porn, still men are aggressors against us and this is normal and this is what we should submit to, this is our sexuality.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: This is what it is, you know, the homophobic terms. Like I I’ve seen, you know, the F word word used and by the F word, I mean…

Garrett Jonsson: Not F**k.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. Not. Yeah. Um, yeah. You know, I, I’ve seen all that used in the porn industry and it normalizes it and they somehow get a pass for all of that. Um, and they’re still called, you know, allies of our community. And often at, at gay pride events, you’ll see booths and whole sections where it’s like, this is the adult entertainment section and this is the porn section and it’s so celebrated. And, and I think the celebration again comes from because we don’t have many outlets to learn about our sexuality healthily.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: So many of us resort to porn.

Garrett Jonsson: I can relate to that as like a heterosexual male, you probably have experienced than to an even greater level, like the lack of resources to learn about healthy sex. But even me, like as a heterosexual male, like I didn’t have many resources and my parents are great parents, but they didn’t talk to me about healthy sex growing up.

Aaron Crowley: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: And so, I mean, even no matter really what your sexuality is, I think we’re kind of in a similar their boat in that way where we’re turning to porn, oftentimes because it’s like, where else do we turn to learn about sex? If no one wants to talk to us about it.

Aaron Crowley: Right. And often, no matter if you’re straight and you’re learning, if you’re gay, you’re learning about it. We’re being taught. Those who grew up learning about sex from porn, we’re being taught that sex is violent and aggressive.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And that we’re not making love, we’re making hate.

Garrett Jonsson: And you act on someone…

Aaron Crowley: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Instead of like, mutual participation.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. And it’s, and I often, you know, see people thinking that it’s about, you know, “I need to be pleased.” I need, you know, “They need to please me.” right. When really sexuality hell sexuality is, I wanna please my partner. And whenever you both come together and you’re like, I wanna please this person. And they’re like, “I wanna please this…”, you know, they wanna please you.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Like that gets steamy. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: A, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s very beautiful, healthy sexuality is healthy.

Aaron Crowley: Yes. It’s healthy. And it’s, and it’s sexy. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: It’s pro-sex.

Aaron Crowley: It’s true pro sex. Yes.

Garrett Jonsson: You know, we want to be loyal to the absent. And I acknowledge that because the next question is kind of talking about, I guess you’ve already kind of answered this actually regarding like other men in the industry. It sounds like their experiences were similar to yours. Did you have anyone as like an outlier that you met in the porn industry that was like, had a really healthy sexuality and was like there for the right reasons and was, it was completely consensual. Did, did you have any outliers like that?

Aaron Crowley: I honestly, I’m glad you’re asking this question because honestly, I can’t think of a single individual. There’s two individuals that come to my mind as, um, good examples. One’s an example of why they’re there. The other one’s about how we cope with being there. Um, one individual on my first scene, he, he wasn’t new to the industry, but I was, and there was another person there who was also new to the industry. So he, this, this person who wasn’t new.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Kind of, you know, introduced us a little bit and kind of helped us know what to expect.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: In the process. He told a little bit of his story. He actually had performed years prior in the industry, but then he started dating a boyfriend who took care of him. And you know, he housed him, fed him, you know, all that. So he stopped doing porn because he no longer needed to.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: He was being provided for, he had someone to support him.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Whenever he and that boyfriend broke up and he no longer had a home, he no longer had regular meals. He no longer had, you know, the support and, and, um, want to provide for him. Then he went back to porn and that’s when I met him. Hmm. Is he was back because he didn’t have any other means.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: So, you know, back then this didn’t Dawn on me, but it was later looking back that I’m like, “Oh my gosh, he didn’t want to be there. If he really wanted to be there whenever he had the boyfriend, it was being provided for, he would’ve continued doing it.”

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm.

Aaron Crowley: You know?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Um, but now that he was no longer dating his boyfriend and he didn’t have the, the provision he was doing it. Because he didn’t have support. And that has always clicked to me as that’s also why I was there. That’s why so many of us were there is if we had other options, we would go to those, but we didn’t have other options.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: Another individual who comes to my mind, it was one of my last scenes. It wasn’t my last, but it was one of my last scenes while I was grappling with, if I’m gonna stop. It was after I had done a shoot, my scene was over or wrapping. And I’m about to, I see this individual coming down the hallway, stumbling, drunk, like having to lean up against the wall to hold himself up. And I’m just like, “Hey man, are you okay?” And he’s, you know, drunk. And he is like, “I’m fine.” Right? Like he, he was barely coherent. Couldn’t understand him, my co performer.

And I take him, we, we, you know, prop him up on our shoulders and we take him to the set and we, you know, help lead him to the set. And we lay him on the bed and we leave him there. And as I’m again, leaving my co performer is like talking mean, he is like, you know, I can’t, I don’t wanna perform with him. Because he’s a mess. Like he’s always drunk or he’s always on drugs. Or he is something because, you know, he was crying the other day saying he doesn’t really wanna be in porn and all of this. And right then I stopped. And I, I like had an epiphany moment and I looked at my, my friend and I said, “Do any of us really want to be in this?”

And he took a moment and he confessed, you know, if I had other options, I guess I would take them because he, he was an example of, you know, someone who was kicked out of their home and they were doing this as survival sex, you know, to take care of themselves. And, and it dawned on me that I had just left this other performer who was drunk, and stumbling, and in coherent, I had just left him on a bed to perform a scene for the porn industry in front of the cameras. I had just left him on a bed in the same state that I was the night that I had been raped.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow.

Aaron Crowley: And pictures were taken of me. And in that moment, it’s like, all these things started like bursting in me of, “Oh my gosh.” You know, like the, it, it just kind of book ended this whole season of my life where I’m like, all of this is not right. And it’s all tying together as this one, spirit, this one mentality, this one like mindset. That’s so normalized in our world. And it all stems from porn.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow.

Aaron Crowley: And it’s sexual assault. That’s just paid and on camera. Um, yeah. Does that answer your question? Did I even answer your question?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. You don’t need to question if you answered it because you definitely did.

Aaron Crowley: Okay.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: I can’t even remember what your question was, but I was like, you know what, I’m gonna talk about these two.

Garrett Jonsson: It was about situations. It was about just like, if there were any outliers who had just like a, who did have other options who weren’t doing it for survival sex, who weren’t, who didn’t have an unhealthy, you know, like hyper sexuality uh, triggered by trauma.

Aaron Crowley: Right. Yeah. No out liars. Yeah. I can’t think of a single outlier, but those two situations are like ingrained in my memory. Wow. As things that just solidified to me why we’re there and what it’s like being there.

Garrett Jonsson: Being conscious of that, like the fact that you kind of helped that person get on set and then realizing what had just happened. That must have been a heavy realization. I’m just wondering if that was like, do you consider that one of your low of lows?

Aaron Crowley: Um, it was the beginning of my low of lows.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, wow.

Aaron Crowley: Um, it was a situation that definitely started triggering to me that, you know, I really probably needed to get out of this, but I stayed in porn for a little bit longer. And what ended up being my low of lows is there was this cycle, even during that scene, but it kind of snowballed further. There was this cycle going on, where I would catch an STI. And, you know, the point in the street doesn’t have health insurance, or at least it didn’t provide health insurance at that point. But I would catch an STI. I’d have to get treatment, but while I was in treatment, I couldn’t be in porn to make the money. So then I’d be in treatment. Then I’d have to immediately go back to porn to get the money, to pay off my medical bills and then to continue to survive.

Garrett Jonsson: Damn. And then again, I’d catch another STI and then again, I’d have to get treatment and there just became this cycle of that going on until one time I had an HIV scare and that ha that, that realization that I left him to be sexually assaulted on set that whole, whole cycle going on, then finally an HIV scare. I had an immense panic attack. And, you know, and, and I don’t know if you’ve ever had a panic attack, but in a panic attack, you start to think you’re dying.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And you know, like you’re having a heart attack and you’re about to just kill over. Um, but in the midst of that panic attack, everything just kind of stopped and that just shifted everything. And actually it was from that moment on, it became more and more uncomfortable being in porn. Um, and it’s from there that, um, my life just completely trained, transformed.

Garrett Jonsson: Well, thank you for sharing all of those things. Um, going back, one thing you said that was kind of interesting to me when you’re talking about STIs and some of the, you know, negative consequences of being in the porn industry, it, I couldn’t help, but think about income versus expenditures.

Aaron Crowley: Mhm.

Garrett Jonsson: I’m just wondering, like, did you actually end up making money? Like, did you make any decent money in porn or did the, like, if you were weighing out the income versus expenditures, did it end up being, not that beneficial, monetarily speaking.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah.

I was actually thinking about this actually just the other day. Um, cuz I feel like the medical bills that I had for it that like just the damage is done to my body and you know, what the STI and everything. Um, there were medical bills that I continued paying, you know, even after I left, I, I just feel okay. You know, with all of those, if we accumulate all those together, I feel like, you know, it cost more. Hmm. You know, to be in like, I feel like that’s. It definitely cost a bit more for me. Um, I mean, I, I can’t speak to everyone’s situation, but…

Garrett Jonsson: I don’t know if this is true or not, but I don’t know if you’ve watched that interview with Mia Khalifa on the BBC, she talked about her experience in porn. And if I’m remembering correctly, she says that she made about $12,000 from porn. And like she’s one of the most watched individuals ever in porn. And she claims she only made $12,000… anyway.

Aaron Crowley: Like minus all the expenses and stuff.

Garrett Jonsson: I don’t know. She didn’t get into that context. She just, I think from what I remember in the interview, she just, she made 12,000. And like, can you imagine if like one of the most viewed people in entertainment, like a healthier entertainment, like let’s say an actor or a singer, like one of the most viewed or if they had only made $12,000, like that would be a sign that there’s exploitation happening somewhere.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I warn people. It’s not as lucrative as we wanna paint it out to me, you know, porn, I don’t think people realize, you know, you know, porn is a multi-billion dollar industry and what, because they have so much money, they have great PR. So they, they can, they have, you know, great ways of making themselves look better.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: You know, than what they really are.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: You know, making it seem like it’s blitz and glamor and it’s like any other part of the entertainment industry. Like, you know, I said earlier, um, the guy who I called my pimp, he was a talent agent or a manager. Talent scout, whatever those were the words we use, but he was my pimp, you know, we hear words like porn star and you know, all that to lets and glamor it up, but really we’re prostitute people.

And I don’t think they will realize that if we use the real words for what’s really going on, like I think it’ll be a little less glamorous. It’ll present the reality. But instead, because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry with great PR you know, we want to use all these images and all these paint, this idea that it’s glitz and glamor.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: And it’s not glamorous at all. And so, I mean, I, I don’t know exactly everything that Mia Khalifa has been through and everything, but I’m not too surprised…

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: … that she only made $12,000.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. Well, as you transitioned away from pornography, like how did you begin healing from the traumas that you had had.

Aaron Crowley: Um, you know, going in the prayer and meditation, it was that alone time in my prayer and meditation time. That really was very healing and therapeutic for me. And then also as I dug in and researched and learned more like whenever I, uh, first got into this type of research on the porn industry and sexual trauma and all that, that was, it really shed a light on me and kind of opened my eyes to understand things from a psychological point of view. Whenever I went to the national center, sexual exploitations, um, summit, like I think it was their first summit that I went to all the information that I got from you guys from other individuals that was very healing to me to kind of learn all those facts and stuff. Cuz I was able to understand it through the, through the lens of my experience and kind of be like, oh, this is like that experience. And this is like that experience and it kind of brought it all together. Um yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Well looking at yourself today and your relationship with your husband and comparing that to your sexuality early on, like part of the mainstream narrative that porn tries to push is that porn can improve your sexuality. And I think this is maybe a stupid question cause I might know the answer to it, but I’m gonna ask it anyway. Like, do you feel like your sexuality today is healthier without porn in your life?

Aaron Crowley: Absolutely. It’s not a stupid question. Um, it, uh, yeah, absolutely. My sexuality is so much healthier. I’m just overall healthier without porn, um, today, because like I said, porn, distorted sexuality for me. And now that I’ve had years is away from it. I’ve relearned. What sexuality really is. And it’s, it’s so much more intimate. It’s so much more connecting. It’s so much more powerful than what porn portrays.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: What porn could possibly ever portray. Cuz whenever someone’s given money for sex, that’s not intimacy like that’s coercion, you know, if they need money to do it, they don’t really wanna have sex.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: But they’re being coed cuz they need to, they, they need the money. Um, and so now they’re obligated to an exchange for the money and there’s no true intimacy in that you can’t buy intimacy, but with true healthy sexuality of, you know, two people coming together and enjoying each other’s, um, trying to please each other, as opposed to, you know, trying to get, trying to get pleasure from the other, trying to please each other, um, trying to be pleasing. There’s just an intimacy and just the power behind that. The that’s not possible whenever money is exchanged for the sex.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Whenever it’s or whenever it’s behind a screen, you know, and you’re alone in your room, like it’s just not possible there. There’s so such, there’s such a power whenever it’s real and authentic and intimate.

Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for speaking to those things. It makes a lot of sense. We’ve talked about some heavy things and we’ve talked about your low of lows and all of the, some of the traumas that you’ve experienced. I shouldn’t say all of the traumas, but some of the traumas you’ve experienced and man, it can be a heavy thing to talk about this, this stuff. I think it’s also important to talk about, you know, the hopeful side, I’m just kind of wondering what does your life look like now?

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. So my life is drastically different. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Aaron Crowley: Uh, I now have a, you know, a job outside of the porn industry that pays well enough and I’m able to take care of myself and my husband and, and feed ourselves, pay rent. Um, I’m, like I said, I’m, I’m married now. Um, uh, we’re about to celebrate our seventh anniversary in March.

Garrett Jonsson: Nice.

Aaron Crowley: I’m not allowing myself to be bought and used, um, for sex anymore. Sex is something I see as a special part of my relationship with my husband.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s cool.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And what advice do you have for someone right now? If we have any listeners that are currently in the porn industry, but you know, they, they want to transition out, but they’re unsure if they’ll be able to, do you have any words of advice for those people.

Aaron Crowley: Yeah. My main thing, whenever I encounter someone who’s still in the industry is I wanna remind them that they are so much more and many of them know that many of them know that they are worth so much more you’re worth so much more and you are worthy of real true love.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. I believe that as well. Well, Aaron, as the conversation kind of comes to an end here, we wanna leave you with the opportunity to have the last word. If there’s anything that you haven’t mentioned or something on your heart or mind that you wanted to talk to, that we haven’t talked to yet, we’d love to hear those thoughts as well.

Aaron Crowley: Um, so I think if I have any final words, my final words would just be to those who are still on the fence and trying to decide where they stand. Whenever it comes to pornography is when you click on your screen and you decide you’re gonna watch that video. You’re seeing images that have been edited that have been put together in such a way that are just there to entice you and arouse you and to stimulate you sexually. They’re not telling you what’s going on behind the camera. They’re not telling you why those people are in front of the camera to begin with. They’re not telling you, you know, what’s going on in their minds. They’re not telling you what’s going on in their heart. They’re not telling you their life story. They’re not telling you any of their situation. And you have no idea what kind of trauma they may actually be going through. You don’t know really what you, you don’t have have the intimacy that you’re actually really wanting. You’re not getting that in that situation.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Aaron Crowley: In that situation. And so it’s, it’s just this fake supplement to fulfill this deep human need that you have for intimacy, but it’s not really fulfilling it. It’s, it’s like your body’s really thirsty and you need water, but you’re trying to Quin your thirst with Coke and Dr. Pepper, right. And alcohol and all the other and salt water. Yeah. I like that example with salt water. It’s not real intimacy. It’s not, you’re not really getting to know them, even if they’re they’re, you know, celebrity porn stars, right? And they’re out on these interviews and they are sharing a little bit of their personal life or anything they’re is showing you the bits and pieces that will get you to come back and watch them because the industry needs to make money. That is their overall goal is to make money and profit and the more clicks and the more views helps that. And so they’re not gonna tell you the truth of why that person is there to begin with, because if they told you the reality of that person’s situation, you would not want to watch it.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Well, Aaron, these conversations mean so much to me and I’ve had a very enjoyable time talking with you.

Aaron Crowley: Likewise. Very much likewise.

Garrett Jonsson: We appreciate the fact that you’re willing to be genuine and engage in some, you know, self-disclosure and openness, because it helps us to consider before consuming.

Aaron Crowley: Absolutely.

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Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before Consuming.

Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug.

Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.

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A three-part documentary about porn’s impacts on consumers, relationships, and society.

Fifteen research-based articles detailing porns negatively impacts.

Tees to support the movement and change the conversation wherever you go.

Successfully navigate conversations about porn with your partner, child, or friend.

A database of the ever-growing body of research on the harmful effects of porn.

An interactive site with short videos highlighting porn’s proven negative effects.