Uncategorized

Theodosia

Episode 44

Theodosia

Child Sexual Abuse Survivor & Former Porn Performer

Trigger Warning: This discussion includes frank, explicit discussions of abuse and pornographic content that may be triggering to some. Listener discretion is advised.

As a child, Theodosia suffered sexual abuse from an older, trusted woman in her life. To cope, she created the idea in her mind that if consent didn’t exist, she could not be violated. The trauma from the abuse later fed into violent and abusive romantic relationships, and eventually to a boyfriend introducing her to the world of pornography. Listen to Theodosia’s story about how her childhood sexual abuse shaped her understanding of sex, paved the way for her career in the underground world of BDSM pornography, and why she eventually left the porn industry on her own terms.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Fight the New Drug Ad: How can pornography impact you, your loved ones, and the world around you? Discover the answer for yourself in our free three-part documentary series, Brain Heart World. In three thirty minute episodes, this docuseries dives into how pornography impacts individuals, relationships, and society. With witty narration, and colorful animation, this age-appropriate series shines a hopeful light on this heavy topic. In each episode you’ll hear from experts who share research on porn’s harms, as well as true stories from people who have been impacted personally by pornography. Stream the full series for free, or purchase an affordable screening license at brainheartworld.org

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. During this conversation we talk about child sexual abuse, and how bdsm porn can eroticize sexual violence. BDSM is a variety of often erotic practices or roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, and sadomasochism. Listener discretion is advised.

Today’s conversation is with Theodosia, but she also goes by Theo or Theda. She’s a former bdsm performer. During this conversation we discuss how her childhood sexual abuse lead to her performing in pornography, and why she eventually left the violent and often underground world of BDSM porn.

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

Well, Theda, we appreciate you joining us today. And, um, you said you took work off today. Was that for the conversation or was that just a, you just needed a day off?

Theodosia: I think it’s a prudent decision. Whenever you’re going to sit down like this and perhaps even launch some private or intense things in the public sphere to have a day to sort of do that alone. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Do you find that these types of conversations can be really exhausting?

Theodosia: No. Well, I it’s, I think the exhaustion comes before the conversation.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: So is the conversation more neutral or is it energizing?

Theodosia: It’s energizing usually.

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. That’s cool. So you’re from green bay, if I’m not mistaken.

Theodosia: Well, I’m living here right now, but I am not born in milk fed Midwest, so yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Where are you from then?

Theodosia: So, okay, so I’m from kind of a place called like the Willamette Valley in Oregon on the west coast.

Garrett Jonsson: Cool.

Theodosia: Yeah, sort of a small town, like not near Portland, like a few hours from Portland, south of there. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Um, I was just watching a show recently and they were talking about Bend, Oregon. Is, is that anywhere near bend it?

Theodosia: Well, it is what it is. I mean, you could say it’s, it’s another sort of jaunt to the east and it’s beautiful out there. Cause it’s the high desert in Oregon and people don’t usually equate Oregon with desert, but it’s so beautiful. And my family does have a cattle ranch out there. So that is definitely sort of part of my, I don’t know, like world exposure as well. So yeah,

Garrett Jonsson: The documentary that I was watching regarding Bend Oregon, it wasn’t, uh, the last Blockbuster that exists Bend Oregon, the only one in the world.

Theodosia: Oh, that’s precious.

Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]

Theodosia: I thought you were going to say Wild Wild Country. And I was like, “Oh no. Oh, there’s plenty of that out there in Oregon too. Just like wild Colts.” So I’m like, “Yeah.”

Garrett Jonsson: Anyway, um, back to Green Bay, how do you like Green Bay?

Theodosia: You know, Wisconsin has been very kind to me, which surprises me maybe to say, cause I guess for anyone who knows, I’m no fan, forgive me for this, of football, I call it “sport ball.”

Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]

Theodosia: Um, you know, but you know, but I’m fascinated by like the science of testosterone rising when your, you know, your winning team is is on. But, but apart from that, apart from like the nerdiness of it, like, no, I mean, I do live cheese. I mean, that’s, that’s going for it.

Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]

Theodosia: But yeah, but there’s like, there’s a kind of a minimalist simplicity here that I actually think is quite fertile ground, if you will, even just for creativity and kind of like cleaning your mind. So, yeah I appreciate that.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s really cool. I’ve been to Green Bay and the reason why actually was because to go see the Green Bay Packers play. I’m also not a person who like, just in regards to watching football, I don’t watch much football, but it was a cool experience to go to Green Bay.

Theodosia: Yeah, it is true. Like if you are going to participate in the spectacle of football, this is a good place to do that. Like it’s, you’re getting almost, you almost like mainlining football here. If you do that here as well. That’s true.

Garrett Jonsson: The stadium was like in this, you know, like this neighborhood.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: It was really interesting. Well, we are so grateful to have you on the podcast today and you have some unique experience as a former performer. And um, so your willingness to share that with us is much appreciated. The name of our podcast is Considered Before Consuming and the goal is to put forth information that people can consider before consuming pornography so that people can make an educated decision. And as I look at the outline of your experience, um, something comes to mind. I think that I know I’ve heard it several times, so I think it’s a kind of a common theory. And the theory is that if, if there was a screening process to becoming a performer and that screening process included vetting people, if they’ve experienced like childhood neglect or child sexual abuse, if that vetting process meant that they couldn’t participate and perform and be a performer, um, some people claim that there would, like pornography would not exist because the, they, the claim is that the majority of performers have experienced traumas in their life that have led them down this road.

And so I wanted to get your opinion on that. Um, do you think that that is, uh, an overstatement when people say that the majority of performers have experienced some type of, um, trauma or childhood neglect or childhood abuse that led them to being that in that industry?

Theodosia: Well that’s the question makes me run through my Rolodex in my mind, both of maybe my own experiences and you know, the other girls I encountered in the industry. And, um, I think it is a safe thing to say that yes, the majority of people working in the industry, and I would say even from other, the girls that are in the industry to the guys and everything in between have some, some kind of wound, like these are not healed people, if you will, that are participating in this industry. So whether or not it’s like that wound of sex abuse or some sort of domestic violence or childhood neglect, or, you know, or just “daddy issues” in another way, maybe being bullied intensely. I mean, the list can go on. So that’s the thing. But, um, I would say that, yes, yes. It’s safe to say that. Yeah. The majority of girls I work with had some sort of, you know, darkness in their past by all means and yeah. And even for myself, but safe to say. But what that then relationship looks like between the two is a little more complicated. So,

Garrett Jonsson: And going into your experience, um, can you talk to how you, I know this is like a very, it’s just one question and there’s so much to it, but the question is like, how did you end up in the pornographic industry?

Theodosia: Sure.

Garrett Jonsson: It’s a very, it’s just one question and there’s so much to it, like I said, so I don’t know exactly where to start. Where would you like to start?

Theodosia: Sure. So, well, here’s the other thing I want, you know, the lunch into some huge monologue about the beginning. I think what’s a little more interesting is like, is to pick out, oh, what shall we say? The things that sharpen the arrow and that direction. Okay. So I mean, sure. Okay, fine. Yeah. Again, textbook foundation of not only, um, you know, being introduced to sexuality at 13, but then to be introduced to it through the context of sex abuse, like that is important only because it’s like, if you’re being introduced to something that is a pretty major component of human experience and like your drives and desires in life, right. I mean, your sexuality is a, it is a big makeup of who you are. It’s not the totality of who you are, but it definitely is a big part of you. So to then to be in, so to be introduced to it in that context where it had obviously twisted power dynamics.

Okay. Um, and the other thing that like I learned in this dynamic was that again, that, that sex was unreciprocated. Okay. Meaning that I was there to give of myself and essentially I was sort of like a human sex toy, but, you know, I did not receive in return. Um, and like, I wasn’t even really kind of part of the equation in that way. So that sort of cemented that because what do all these things do, they start to obviously like, you know, create pathways in your brain, right. That will obviously steer your life later. And so, okay. So here I am that like, you know, that like adults having sex with children is a sort of normalized, like that level of perversion, you get sort of conditioned to it. Um, yeah. That sexist and reciprocal, and there was even something shall we say about even who you can it’s it sounds really creepy, but you’re so idolized in this really creepy way when you’re this forbidden object.

Um, and that messes with your head. Like that’s a hard thing for like a child brain to fathom like that. Like, cause you know, cause every child in some regard might be neglected in one way or another, or maybe not quite get like the, maybe even like the, I don’t know, like the emotional satisfaction from their parents. So there’s some other dysfunction they’re facing. So when you kit like lavished with attention, that way you also get used to kind of that love bombing process pretty early. Yeah. And that also leaves an impression. So again, so those are sort of the sort of things that start to sharpen that point. And um, I think the other thing again is, um, well going back to conditioning because even at 13, it’s like I was photographed naked. So, um, you know, again, like it was normalized, so there’s so much like normalization happening here of extreme and very illegal taboos from a young age. So yeah. So that’s the start.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. So those are some of the, the universals what’d you refer to those as kind of the universals of things that can happen and things that did happen to you. Um, so some of those universals occurred to you.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Um, that kind of, like you said, sharpened the arrow and steered you to where you ended up.

Theodosia: Um, yeah. Well, here’s another thing I wanted. Cause again, we’re talking obviously about pornography images and obviously my whole, you know, obviously like body and sexuality being captured in that way. Right. Um, because I think another thing is that even like when law enforcement got involved in my life, you know, to sort of like raise a red flag and be like, hang on a minute, this is mad illegal. What’s going on?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Um, the thing that also, again like that created such like a state of cognitive dissonance and confusion and like questions left on answered, which, which was the whole, you know, the forensic medical exam part where again, my body is being photographed by adults I’m being touched against my will. And for some reason there was something even about that context, it was even more confusing because even though in the first situation, the photographs were taken by an adult, it was only one adult in the room. And like, they weren’t going to be seen by anyone necessarily, you know?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: But then in this context it’s like my body, like my naked, like 15 year old body was, or even 14 year old, excuse me, he was going to be like passed around to like all these lawyers and judges and nurses and jurors. And I’m like, “What is that about?”

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Like what, like that idea was horrifying to me.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. I recently had a conversation with a forensic, um, physician, uh, sexual assault physician. And she’s been in that field of work for 18. And she described that experience as being very challenging and rewarding at the same time. Um, your experience with that side of law enforcement was a very negative experience, it sounds like. And obviously I don’t think it’s ever going to be a pleasant experience.

Theodosia: You’d be surprised you’d be surprised. Well, because, well, I can only say that because later on like 10 years later I was working for the district attorney doing that exact thing of being there for the forensic medical exams. And I guess maybe it’s just because of, again, my, I guess very deeply empathic intuition, but because of my involvement, they’re all like, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, really?

Theodosia: And that was music to my ears. So it doesn’t always have to be total torture, but I think that the mistake was that I didn’t understand what was going on. Yeah. Like it wasn’t explained to me parents make that decision for you because you were a minor. No, I think that once, especially as you are a minor in the legal system, like not even your parents can necessarily, I think even intervene, um, you know, with, as like investigation and like, you know, did the discovery process like continues? I don’t, you know, that gets tricky, so.

Garrett Jonsson: Wow. So you had the, um, childhood sexual abuse, um, and then you had this traumatic experience with the law enforcement and this is just in a way it’s kind of molding your view of sexuality. And from what you said is that you kind of felt like an object to be acted on rather than to participate in.

Theodosia: Sure.

Garrett Jonsson: How did that misunderstanding of healthy sexuality? Well, I guess, did you ever think the sexuality was even healthy at that point? Was there a healthy sexuality or was it this toxic thing?

Theodosia: Well, I was very confounded by how it seemed to possess people.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: It seemed, I mean, people, I mean, again, as a, as a young child, I saw people pretty much ruined their lives over it. I was like, “How is it that powerful?” I, I, you know, because I think maybe one of the odd maybe benefits, if you will just sort of being able to sort of like be on the object end. Like I’m not the one being like burned up by perverted lust, if you will. You know, so it’s like, I don’t have that problem. I’m not going to end up in prison for my sexual desires, you know, like, no. Um, but then to see her that’s that’s possible. I was like, “What is up with that?” I saw, I didn’t even know if I’d made a judgment that it was toxic. I just knew that it was incredibly powerful and I wanted to know why. Um…

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. Well, I think it’s interesting that you are kind of expounding on that point because you know, the name of our podcast is Considered Before Consuming. And for, for some people who are in that state of consuming or wanting to stop their consumption, there is that, um, question in their mind of like, “How can I stop?” Like “I have tried to stop consuming pornography again and again and again, and have failed again and again and again.” And so I think that there is something to what you are talking about that obsession, or maybe even beyond obsession where it’s, uh, a compulsive behavior.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That the urge to engage or consume is greater than their ability to control themselves. I don’t know what was, what were your thoughts as you observed that a person and adult ruining their life to engage?

Theodosia: Well, the funny thing about this is I did know that this particular adult was also introduced to sexuality through the context of like sexual assault and rape, you know, nobody wants that anyway. So I think that sometimes even when people do have either negative experiences or traumas and they can’t figure him out, I think that maybe it’s cliche to say, but maybe some people really do kind of take like a forked path and like some almost kind of like stay perpetual victims and other sort of need to explore like what it’s like to, you know, be on the other end of things. And like, woo. So, no,

Garrett Jonsson: That’s interesting. I think it’s another point maybe we should talk about is when we, we’re talking about abuse, we’re talking about the difference between response like genital response and arousal.

Theodosia: Right.

Garrett Jonsson: Can you talk to that a little bit about as you experienced sexual abuse and the confusion that you’ve may have felt from, you know, the, the genital response versus your true arousal and desire?

Theodosia: Yeah, this is… okay. And this, I don’t think is talked about nearly enough. And I think that a lot of people carry very putrid shame about this around, because it seems so counterintuitive, right. That like, even in the context of sexual abuse, even when you can be consciously again, thinking thoughts of contempt towards your abuser, right. Even finding them just like appalling and disgusting, right. You, your body can still have like a response that seems akin to pleasure. Like you are still capable of having orgasms for example. Or maybe like, yeah, like getting an erection for a woman, like, you know, whatever it is girls do. Um, you know, so that’s, that’s the thing. So in that to even be able to like notice that your body has that response when again, whatever is going on in your mind is contradicting. That is, again, that is a, that is something that’s very hard again for like child mind or really anyone, any kind of mind to sort of wrestle with, because it’s like, which signal do you listen to? Like what, like, what is like what I’m getting mixed messages here, you know?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: And, and not only that, but to, but then to be like, “How could I be like turned on by what is essentially like a crime?”, like, Hmm. Like “What does that say about me as a person?” You know, you go into, like, you can go into a state of pretty dark self-judgment on that one. So.

Garrett Jonsson: Do you feel looking back that, that experience in particular that, that concept of “Why is my body physically responding in this way, but yet it shouldn’t be?” because like you said, it shouldn’t be because this is illegal and this is not right. And I’m being acted upon, I’m not, I’m not here. And in choosing this, did you feel like that set a standard of what, or I guess, did it help mold your sexuality later on in life?

Theodosia: Well it certainly did. Um,…

Garrett Jonsson: I don’t know if I’m articulating that question. Basically, did you desire that to, to replicate that trauma?

Theodosia: Oh, well, by, um, by all means you could almost say like I had a whole career in the replication of trauma. Um, but, but here’s the thing, but you also have asked me about like the difference between, so we say just your body responding, right. Just because it’s being, you know, manipulate a touch, like what have you.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Theodosia: Um, and then genuine desire. And I think that, you know, to, to go back to that question, like real true desire that comes from, I don’t want to say it comes from within, but it comes naturally, I should say. Or is that isn’t just a mere response to being, shall we say, manipulated by another, like that is rare. And that is not something that I experienced until I was much later, like when I was 19. So there’s also that too, it’s like, you’re very, very divorced if you will. Even from, shall we say, just almost like “the normal”, you know, evolutionary things, like just getting crushes and it being sweet. And I was like, no, no. So.

Garrett Jonsson: So how did that play out for you wanting to replicate that abuse? Or where would you prefer to talk to that experience when you first genuinely felt interested in, in another person you mentioned that was at age 19?

Theodosia: Well, and it’s ironic because it led to violence. So there you go. So, I mean, what also, what kind of lessons also did that teach that even, uh, even if, shall we say, like, I fell in love with someone or truly desire at them, for who they, and, and like genuinely wanted a union with their body. Okay? Because that, not really, you know, not for the majority of people that I’ve, you know, had any kind of sexual encounter with in my life. If it was totally up to me, I would almost want nothing to do with them. So, so to have this kind of like rare experience there, but then to be, cause the situation in the life at the time, I’m, I won’t get into it. Cause it’s, it’s quite, it’s quite the story. Um, and it’ll feel a little like maybe Oprah’s couch and we don’t need that, but, um, yeah. Um, but it did lead to, yeah. Shall we say being punished for that desire again, violence, again, law enforcement getting involved. It was kind of at that level. Um, and I quickly learned that like love falling in, love, it being real. And that way real desire was the Mo it was so dangerous. It was so dangerous. And I almost didn’t, I almost rejected it and I didn’t want it after that. I didn’t want anything to do with love. Like no, it was too dangerous.

Garrett Jonsson: Were you mistaking “love” for an unhealthy state of mind?

Theodosia: Well, let me, okay. Let me separate this. Shall we say the person in this industry? The one that I fell in love with did not harm me in any way. It was another man that was a jealous if you will, of my falling in love for real. So that, that needs to be made crystal clear.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay.

Theodosia: So yeah, no, no, no, no. So, so we use that, even that experience of like purity and genuine reciprocity, because again, remember how I learned that like sex was in reciprocal and then it was like a rare breakthrough even for that. So, and that’s, that’s mind shattering when that happens, because that it almost like flips the tables over and flips over everything you have been conditioned to for the negative. And you actually get to like experience it in a beautiful way for the first time. So yeah, that, that is pretty major. But then again, you know, to have, um, I don’t know, adversaries bursting on, into this beautiful party of love, if you will. And again, with violence and with really calculated, disgusting, sadistic violence too, like very psychological violence is in addition to physical violence. And it was confusing because it’s like also, it’s like how could such pure desires of mine that are very heartfelt be? So wouldn’t be such a threat to other people and to be punished in that way, like, like, oh, you know, so many quotes, I left so many questions. So…

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. As you experienced that, uh, that healthy relationship at night at 19, were you guys engaging sexually? And the reason why I ask that is because I just kind of wanted to get your take on the, uh, the difference that you saw and felt in the unhealthy sexuality that you had experienced and that the, the healthy sexuality?

Theodosia: What’s the essential difference if you will. It’s it’s yeah. Like again, reciprocity, like the experience of like the reciprocity of pleasure and we’re like one gentlemen, like genuinely needs the pleasure of another and the other like forsakes, like he doesn’t give a hoot. So yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay, yeah. Talking about consent, how did you finally learn that concept of true consent and, and figure that out for yourself?

Theodosia: Probably not till I was in my thirties. That’s pathetic. It’s true though.

Garrett Jonsson: I think that’s more common than we would like to admit though.

Theodosia: It’s true.

Garrett Jonsson: Because at 19 is when you have this, this relationship where you really genuinely enjoy this person, but you didn’t understand consent until 30.

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: And going back to the conversation that I had with the, on the, um, sexual assault physician, she said, that’s one thing that is lacking is this education about consent? You know, that we need to teach our young people, what is consent? What does it look like? And if you look at the pornographic industry and you know, the common phrase, is that no mean Jess, in some ways, a lot of people will say that about the pornographic industry that when someone says, no, it’s actually mean Jess. So the, the line of consent is blurry.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: It can be, especially for youth. Did you experience that?

Theodosia: Well, okay. Well, we’re going to have to go back to something because I think that I mentioned to you that, uh, because I, I, from a young age, I did not enjoy either being identified by others or experiencing the state of victimhood. Okay. And didn’t like it, I rejected it completely. Um, even if it was accurate, I didn’t like it. I wanted nothing to do with it. Um, and because I also didn’t like any kind of experiences of being powerless in any way. I hated that. I hated having absolutely, no. Say as a kid over anything I could do, especially again, in like situations of law enforcement. So I, again, so I created and like this mental stratagem, if you will frame a kid from like 14, 15, okay. If like “Consent doesn’t exist, therefore I cannot be violated.”

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, okay.

Theodosia: And so I don’t, so I cannot speak to what other performers were doing or other, you know, just people involved in the industry where they are with this question. And I think if anything, sometimes even the conversation around consent has gotten a little neurotic. Almost like maybe we’re talking it’s, it’s almost like word salad at this point. Like, what are we even talking about anymore? Um, but what I can say is that, like, I just completely erased the concept for a long time in my life. And, and I didn’t even revisit, shall we say even how to define it until far after. So…

Garrett Jonsson: And you said that you erased the concept of consent as well as violation. Because if, if consent doesn’t exist, the violation doesn’t exist.

Theodosia: Yeah. Exactly.

Garrett Jonsson: So in your mind for many years, neither of those existed?

Theodosia: Exactly.

Theodosia: And it was, and it did, I, it is not. And the other thing, this is a lie first and foremost, I hope people also understand that, like, it’s not, it doesn’t lead to a luminous place if you will, if you kind of follow that, but at the same time, well, and whether or not I should have endured, a lot of things is, you know, up for debate. But it did give me a framework if you will, to sort of be able to buffer the intensity of a lot of experiences. So, because I cause retrospectively absolutely the majority of my sexual experiences were extraordinarily nonconsensual.

Garrett Jonsson: Do you think that it was a coping mechanism?

Theodosia: Oh, of course. Sure. It’s a smart one. So it’s messed up, but it’s smart. It’s yeah, it does it, cause it puts it does, it puts a pillow between you and reality, so… yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Did, as you journeyed from, you know, experiencing the child sexual abuse and then journeying through life, did your parents or other caregivers observe that, um, that coping mechanism or that pillow between you and reality?

Theodosia: Um, I think that they were confused by my reaction. Like I remember even having a conversation about this with my mother recently where, you know, when things came to light, you know, and like, you know, all of a sudden detectives are in her house and obviously some very unsavory things have to be spoken about. She said that I, I responded, like I was emotionless. Like I was completely so poker face and she thought that was strange. Like it struck her as strange.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Um, but to me, I think at the time I was also so almost like dumbfounded by shock and shame that like, I, I didn’t emotion or emoting of any kind was not, no, I just, I just shut off because otherwise it would be too much. So.

Garrett Jonsson: Interesting. And do you think that you remained in that emotionless state from age… what age until what age?

Theodosia: Yeah.

I would. I think that I definitely kind of went in the numbness, if you will. Like that. I adopted like the ultimate poker face that I wore in my life. I would say for at least a decade.

Garrett Jonsson: What, what occurred in that decade? You, how did you finally enter the pornographic?

Theodosia: Okay. I would say like this numb period, if it’s like 15 to 25, I would say it was sort of like extreme suppression of emotion, especially in favor of logic, just like cold logic. Part of it was indeed to get away from the nonreciprocal boyfriend. Okay. Who was violent? I had to quit that. I had questions about that. Okay. Because another question that he left me with, he once told me like, as he was hitting me, like that violence was the only language I could understand. Well, and so again, so here, so I have all these questions. Right? And so if anything, even a lot of like, I wasn’t getting answers from therapists or doctors or friends or parents authority figures, like no, like no one had, like, I, I wanted to know more about like, again, like the nature of my experiences, what this whole, you know, I understand violence, but is about why it seems like the just extremely intense experiences were kind of haunting me in my life. If I just, again, I had all these questions, it’s so many questions. Um, and not only that, it just, I, um, and it just also like a certain recklessness, like a fierce, almost like frothing at the mouth recklessness.

Garrett Jonsson: Mhmm.

Theodosia: So…

Garrett Jonsson: So questions, when I’m hearing you say that you had a lot of questions. One thing that I think of is the word curiosity, and I also start to think of, you know, the first step in the scientific method is questioning something, right?

Theodosia: [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: It’s like, does this do this? Or does that do that? And then you go into this scientific method of performing an experiment or some type of research.

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: Do you, do you kind of consider your journey? Um, almost like this personal research that you did out of curiosity?

Theodosia: [laughter] It’s funny that you say that.

Garrett Jonsson: I know it’s kind of a weird question.

Theodosia: No, it’s not a weird question at all. And I think that, uh, that is a very apt, um, yeah, description of kind of forget the attitude I adopted because where I almost, it almost in a weird way, it’s almost like even the scientists that was like injecting themselves with their own vaccines, you know, it was like, I would give my all, you know, to plunder the mystery of these questions. It was just, it was burning at me. I wanted to know. I had to know. And, and again, the, the, shall we say, the more “orthodox” sources were not delivering the information I wanted.

Garrett Jonsson: Was your curiosity just around like, what is healthy sexuality? Because I haven’t experienced it or w what is consent or what is violation? What were some of your questions?

Theodosia: No, what just, what is it for, I wanted to know what sex was for, and I wanted to know why it was so powerful. And not only that, if there was a way to maybe even wield that power, like study it, I wanted to study the power. It was all about power. Like, and so I had almost like this obsession with power. Oh, cause you’re right. Yeah. Cause I was curious about that. It’s almost like topping from the bottom. All right. I was like, is, is there a way, if you will, again, to sort of, yeah. To get control of the situation through almost like kissing the boot, especially because I, and I think that this is a unique position of women. I will also say that I think that women, it just by nature of who they are and how beautiful women are and how gifted women are, if you almost sort of even study your own femininity, like a science, as well as science and an art. That’s another thing that I was like, ha ha. What about that? You know, because I did notice that men would take very good care of women that had a certain influence in that regard. And that also interested me.

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. Um, can you talk to a little bit more when you said specifically women, can you talk to that, um, perspective of what you meant by that? Cause I kinda, I didn’t catch that.

Theodosia: Okay. Well, uh, and again, people are allowed to, they can disagree with me over this if they want no shade, no shade. Um, but I really do believe in like the marrow of my bones and really even just like the foundation of just my worldview in general, that women do have a very unique influence by virtue of them being women.

Garrett Jonsson: Mhmm.

Theodosia: Um, and, and men can respond to this. So one of two ways I think they can either seek to kind of cultivate it and caretake it and almost like invite more beauty and goodness forth or men can seek to sort of contain it and destroy it and sort of try and snuff it out.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh, wow. That’s interesting.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: You know, I’ve found that I think pornography, I think that, uh, it perpetuates things like complacency, impulsivity, compulsivity, arrogance, resentment, and deceit.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: I think it all of these negative things. And um, so I can see, I like how you said that it can, I think pornography can box a woman, especially if you look at mainstream internet porn.

Theodosia: Yeah, literally.

Garrett Jonsson: It can box, um, a woman into an object and take away from their femininity.

Theodosia: Yeah, absolutely.

Garrett Jonsson: I guess that’s not actually taking it, but try to try to limit it, try to limit what, what the, what femininity is.

Theodosia: Well, and so that’s one of the questions, if you will, that led me into pornography was like, “What, what do men want to do with women, if they could do anything?” That’s a dangerous question to be asking, but I wanted to know. So, yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And as you asked that question, what were the next steps to inquire to, to look and what was the research that you did, per se.

Theodosia: Find the right man. Or yeah, find the right man for this kind of project, if you will. Uh, because it can’t just be any bloke like it can’t, you know, um, especially because, cause the theme that I would sort of notice, and this was also this, this is a very like way where we can talk about this later, but like a way that creativity, if you welcome go away wire we wire, is that a word wayward or haywire? Um, is, uh, because she always say even like darkness or really messed up stuff can have a certain glamor to it and a certain creativity to it that can be a learning. Um, and so I knew that I needed to find someone who was smart, creative, kind of weird, like, you know, a lot of like, shall we see even like the qualities that I wouldn’t answers to in myself.

Garrett Jonsson: Mhmm.

Theodosia: Because like, I definitely, I mean, I look, I have not been really part of the main tribes since the beginning. And so is, is kind of just like, yeah, natural little lake misfit, you know, I wanted, I wanted even to have questions about that answered.

Garrett Jonsson: So my question is regarding eroticizing violence, do you feel like you encouraged that with your, during this experiment per se?

Theodosia: Yeah. During the experiment by all means, I would say that, you know, before, in the times, like, yeah, I’ve experienced like outright domestic violence. Like that response surprised me to eroticize it. All right.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Um, and, and it wasn’t really my go-to, but I would say, yeah, the after that, by all means I needed answers as to what that relationship was like between neuroticism and violence and why it was so powerful. Again, there is a power word again, like why, like, why is this, why does this short circuit me? Like, why? What is it about this? Why is it so overtaking?

Yeah. I wanted to know.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. And can you share with us what you found out?

Theodosia: Hmm, okay.

Garrett Jonsson: Or is that a very complex question?

Theodosia: I know, right. It’s like get ready for the PhD dissertation after five o’clock with martinis little Friday? Um, no. Okay. But, um, uh, well, I’ll do my best to distill this down, um, because okay. Here, here’s another thing to keep in mind. I mean, uh, this is sometimes what I miss living about Europe. I have to say is they do have a bit, obviously less of a Puritan view of sexuality. Okay. That’s and I’m not saying this to, you know, to corrupt anyone, but it’s more like people always have to understand that sexuality was more so almost just like a tool in my toolbox. Again, I didn’t have much of a personal use for it. So even I could almost just like objectify this gift of myself as well, and be like, again, I’m not really doing this for my own personal or erotic. I’m in love with someone desire.

I’m doing it just because it’s, it’s just like, it’s just like a paint brush. And I just, I need, I need this, you know, to make the canvas. So when you then like, indeed like seek out the next, then you connect that if you will, within experiences of violence, if you were in, and this isn’t like dainty violence, this is, you know, outright kind of, you know, get-the-government’s-attention kind of violence. So what was it about that? Because, cause also remember I was numb. Right. And then all of a sudden you introduce extreme either violence through psychology or through physicality or even just through endurance, even just, just, and all of a sudden it’s like, then I was feeling, so it definitely it’s like then like the, uh, the birth of a masochist. Okay. Was born. All right. Yes. Some people cut themselves if you would. Me, I guess. Yeah. I ended up in porn to have some feelings brought back. So there is that. So, yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Can you ex talk to, um, the type of pornography you were in when you say “bondage pornography”, I don’t know if everyone is going to kind of understand what that is.

Theodosia: Sure. Um, I mean, if, I mean, what I mean, like yeah. Tying people up, like hitting them, putting in through kind of just bizarre psychological stress scenarios. Uh, I, you know, w I dunno. I mean, it’s really, it’s, you know, like, I don’t want to say 50 shades of gray, cause it’s not really like that. I don’t know. It was a little, it was darker than all that I don’t know. And the kind of stuff I did it look like, I dunno, it was sort of filmed in like a Russian Gulag prison. So it had an a, yeah. That’s the other thing, like, a lot of it was inspired by yeah. Like little crime scene photos. Okay. Just sort of like cult experiences. Like that’s the other thing it’s like were drawn from some very dark material here to almost even be like, recreate it as like a living version of like, I don’t know. Yeah. Like the scenes from like the BTK killer. You’re like, “Dude, what are we doing here?”

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: You know, it was pretty dark. Like there’s, it’s dark. So it’s also something that like, once you see you can’t ever unsee. And so I would definitely even caution curiosity here.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah, of course we don’t want to, you know, be a trigger for someone to go seek it out. Um, one of the questions I have is because I think in the, in the world of anti-pornography, I think it’s common for people to point to BDSM or bonded to pornography and say, look this, look and see, this is, this shouldn’t be happening, happening. This is violent and aggressive. And it appears to be nonconsensual in some cases. So I think a lot of people from the anti-pornography world will point to that. I think oftentimes the response of those people who are participating in or those people who enjoy consuming pornography that is, I think their response is, you know, “Don’t kink shamed me.”

Theodosia: Yeah. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Can you talk to that a little bit? I don’t know. Do you think that there is something to that when, when they respond saying when a person responds that’s enjoys it or engaged in it, they say “Don’t, don’t shame me for this desire.”

Theodosia: I think maybe both are right in a certain context. Okay. All right. Um, because it is, it is true that like, some people can use the viscera alright. Of what they see and pornography is kind of the poster child of why this should not exist. Um, on the other hand it would be, um, it, it would just be foolish to say that human sexuality is also not full of, um, um, some pretty varied interests and inquiries.

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Theodosia: All right. I, I would say that it’s not a good idea to wear those on your sleeve. Right. Um, and I think that, and I would also, but one thing I would say, I think the more interesting question to ask with all this is, well, what is this, how does, what does this do? What does this do to it tastes like, how does, how does this maybe affect culture at large? I mean, is this affecting children in any way and their sexual behavior, you know, like those questions are a little more, you know, it’s not just look at the torture of it and just have a, you know, a repulsive reaction. They’d be like, yeah, get rid of it. It’s like, well, why, why should this not exist? Like, let’s go deeper. They’re like, what’s wrong with it. Let’s really talk about that, you know?

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And we Fight the New Drug, if you look at our mission statement, you know, is to educate, uh, regarding the, the harmful effects of pornography. And so we agree with you in that sense that it is important to figure out the why, and to talk about why is this that way or why this healthy or unhealthy. And so I think we are on the same page there. So not having an agent and engaging in this, um, underground, uh, society of sorts.

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: Did you, where you put into some questionable situations where you did start to kind of fear for your health or for your life in some cases?

Theodosia: Um, uh, well you got to understand, like, I was almost like a toddler with a death wish at the time. I like it didn’t like that wasn’t even part of the equation that the, again, I cause remember like a burning recklessness.

Garrett Jonsson: Mhmm.

Theodosia: So, and it’s not that I was suicidal. It wasn’t, it almost like it was, it wasn’t like that, but it was that, that was, again, that wasn’t part of my consciousness at the time. Um, and the other thing was that I was, shall we say, like primed by others before entering like deeper and deeper environments into this world. And so that root cause remember I was, you know, normalizing something that’s abnormal is very effective, especially when it comes from someone you trust. Right. And so it would be like other models, other girls and sometimes other dudes. Um, well, cause it was like, it was another like local dominatrix, like in the, in the Portland area who had worked for the producer that I ended up working with the most about like, “You do not say no, no does not exist.”, “Don’t you dare ever backtalk him.” You know, like you’re given pretty stern instructions for going. So you kind of, you know, you already, you kind of already know that, like if somebody, in a way it’s almost like going on a date with Ted Bundy in a certain way. And then, and, and on another hand, you know, that you’re going into like a tyrant Slayer. Like that’s not going to come as a surprise. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And as you were introduced to this life, did you enjoy it? Did you enjoy aspects of it or were you completely numb where there was no enjoyment at all?

Theodosia: Um, well, what I was surprised by was how personable everybody is on set because, and here, cause here is kind of like the, the clicker, the kicker, if you will. Um, I mean, because here’s the other thing it’s like w when you’re in that kind of environment, um, people do drop their guard a lot, and there is something even about like the vulnerability you see, or even just like the honesty you see, it’s kind of like, “there’s honor among thieves” and it’s found here, you know? So there was something about had that, even though if people were totally messy and totally wounded, at least they were honest about it. And that, that intrigued me and that attracted me in the end, even like a lot of the other girls that I met or were, there was always a sweetness to them as well. Like they were just, you were messed up. But they were sweet.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: So there was even like a lot of, like, you found like tenderness and bizarre places. It’s almost like finding tenderness in the prison, you know?

Garrett Jonsson: Wow. Do you think that it was a type of emotional connection that you were missing?

Theodosia: Oh yeah. Oh, by all means. Yeah. Hmm. And it could be found in sort of like little spirits, like here and there, like with other, just like deep conversation. I mean, cause it’s a little weird if he will to like show up on a set and someone’s like, “So you want to talk about Schopenhauer?” and I’m like, “Wait, what? You want to talk philosophy?” It’s like my part of me, you know, so that’s the other thing it’s like, and you also didn’t anticipate so much intelligence. Yeah. And so that took me aback. There was a lot of strange intelligence, again, like people being, if you will, like open to be the mess that they were honesty and yes, strange tenderness, but you also have to understand, there’s always like, I don’t know a scorpion sting around the corner too. So, but the thing was, is like most of that obviously like came from, shall we say, like the main, you know, guy in charge, but amongst like myself or like a lot of like the camera people or just other people and said it was, I don’t know, it was, I, it was very sibling and that I definitely was missing out on in my real life by all means. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Well, I think it’s interesting that you gravitated towards kind of like this dangerous situation in some ways, um, out of a need for an emotional connection.

Theodosia: Oh yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s, that’s interesting. Cause you were already in a dangerous situation.

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: Because you did experience the abuse and the lack of, you know, you didn’t have that emotional connection. So you went from that danger to like, let’s engage with this underground society that also is dangerous, but did fulfill a need.

Theodosia: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and that, that is kind of what kept me hooked if you will. It was that it definitely did feel then at a that I didn’t know I had, um, because the other, I think the other thing I was desperate for was to not be judged. And in that, I mean, cause man, I, and again, we don’t need to go into this, but let’s just say up until this point, I had really been put through the ringer of, um, being judged publicly, even as a child, like even, even having to get a, shall we say, like the, the sins of adults, um, you know, ascribed to me as a child. I mean, that’s a lot to carry around and you really get a very warped self image. And so then all of a sudden, yet to, to be in an atmosphere of like total non-judgment and acceptance, like that was like crack to me. I was like “More pleased, more and more and more.” Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Well, as you, uh, continued to participate in bondage pornography, how did you finally decide to leave the industry? Was it something that you decided on or did that happen without any decision and more of a spontaneous thing? My question is how did you end up leaving the pornographic industry?

Theodosia: Um, I would say there’s a spontaneity to it. Um, well here’s the other thing. There was one girl who was a sex worker before I ever enter the industry. And she’s like “Only do it for a short time.” She’s like “Only do it for a year.” Well, I didn’t really listen to that advice. Um, if anything, I ended up doing it for five years. Okay. Which is a long time to be doing that. And I would, and part of it was that a lot of the questions that I came in with were being answered. All right. Maybe to my own satisfaction.

Garrett Jonsson: Oh yeah, going back to those questions.

Theodosia: Yeah, I got so, and, and then some, um, I also noticed that it’s quite, I mean, it is inevitably very dangerous to be playing around in the snake pit with the scorpions. Um, and I also knew that this, this sort of, I almost had like a compulsive attraction to danger if you will. Um, and you could almost say that I, I guess maybe finally maturity happened, finally I turned 25 and my prefrontal cortex finally solidified. I mean, who knows, you know, but, um…

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Cause I was like, “Girl, I know that we don’t really think about your long-term life, but uh, this path, hmm… about that.” you know?

Garrett Jonsson: That actually makes sense around that age because you just think about sensation seeking happens usually when you’re younger. And then when you’re, you know, mid twenties, late twenties, thirties is when you start to, like you said, you started to develop that, that prefrontal cortex of maybe there are some consequences. What do I really want? Yeah,

Theodosia: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Cause yeah, long-term consequences were not at all in my vision at all. [laughter] And so yeah. I, um, so there is, yeah, I hadn’t even, I had no concept that like the work would be around forever. I had no concept that trying to acclimate back into society, if you will, would be difficult. I had no, no concept of any of that also again, partially because I mean, maybe even like some of my friends, if you will like that, it was cool. You know? So it’s like, I wasn’t really getting, I wasn’t getting a lot of blowback actually for what I was up to. Nobody, nobody came to rescue me if people knew, like they didn’t say anything. So not that they have now that it was their responsibility to if you know, but I didn’t, I didn’t encounter a counter voice until I was like 25 and that got my attention and it got my attention in a big way. And it did make me sort of like leave it all overnight.

Garrett Jonsson: How did that, how did that, uh, person address you or come and talk to you about it? Because you mentioned not, you know, all of us don’t like to be judged.

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: And so how did he, or she approached you in a way that was healthy, that you didn’t feel judged, but you started to really question “Maybe this isn’t for me.” You know?

Theodosia: Well, sure. So, well, part of it was, there was not just, you know, there’s a lot of just weird phenomenon happening in my life at the time and talking to him and my best friend, she’s like, “Hey, you should, so go talk to this…” you know, this, this “elder.” We’re going to call her an “elder”, an “elder woman”, all right, I’m going to go consult your elders. You’re young and all right.

Garrett Jonsson: Spread some wisdom.

Theodosia: Exactly. And I was like, “Okay, fine. I mean, what have I really got to lose?” Um, I need, cause I needed now again, I needed answers to questions. Right. And I needed to go to the person who had them. And so essentially I just had it, maybe I’ll just say I had it like a soul to soul consultation with this person. And partially because I trusted indeed, in like the recommendation of my friend and also partially just because this woman was very no BS.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Like she was on the outside of the industry. She, you know, like she had a different kind of influence if you will. That really came in her favor to get my attention. You know, she was beautiful. She was older. She was successful, you know, like I was like, “Okay, all that works.” you know? Um, and she just, she just talked to me straight up and it was also just like, “Look girl, like your sexuality is a gift. You cannot be misusing it in this way.” And essentially like, again, “What you’re involved with is really dark.”

Um, and I’m like, “Yeah. Okay.” So… yeah. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: So was that towards the end of the five years?

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Okay.

Theodosia: Because if anything, I can’t say that. I, I did want someone to give me a counter voice along the way. I was almost kind of like dying for it, you know, but no one. Yeah. And so when I finally heard it to be like, “Girl, you know, you can do something else.” And not only that, like this is such a lowly use of your gifts and talents, like where do we even begin? Like, you know,

Like, yeah, no.

Garrett Jonsson: And so from that conversation, what sparked inside of you? Was it an immediate exit or?

Theodosia: Well, here’s the other thing, I mean, and this sounds ridiculous, but I had even spent like all those years, like working, you know, towards this goal to like work with this one guy who did just bizarre work. Okay. I, you know, cause that’s the other thing about the, of work I did and that kind of kept me hooked. Cause there was like a weird artistic component to it. I mean, it’s like if you had a dude who could like build a whole device for you like that, that was a form of pride. It’s almost like an artist muse relationship.

Garrett Jonsson: Mhmm.

Theodosia: Right. Again though, like in the lowliest satis world possible for that ever to happen. And okay. Um, and so that’s the other thing I had to like, let go of that. I just like, let go of like my goal of that. I just like saw straight through the BS that’s like that again, that wasn’t the primary arena for anything creative, especially because that creativity required destruction. Um, yeah. And I just, I, and, and I just also even started to get the feeling that like the next time I worked, I would be permanently injured. So… [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: Really?

Theodosia: Yeah. Like this intuition was coming up, like “No, don’t do it.” Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: I think that, I don’t know. It’s, it’s tough to determine what is the average consumer, right. Because kind of like what you said, what is “normal” when it comes to sexuality? So I don’t know, but what I was going to say is I think to the average consumer, they would listen to that and be like, “Whoa, like what…”, when you said that you were going to experience “permanent damage”, like, I don’t think the average consumer is aware that like how violent and aggressive it can get.

Theodosia: Oh yeah. I mean, and that was part of it. It’s like sure, there might’ve been safety reputations, but the thing was, look the thing, uh, I think, look, that’s a lot of mountain mouthpiece. Can I say that it’s a little milk toast mouthpiece. Okay. Because especially, and I don’t even know. I mean just, does anybody really care about this Garrett? I dunno.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: I wonder. You know, but, but it is undeniable that the sort of things that I was doing on set were like absolutely like sort of like next snap worthy, pass out, worthy, problematic. I mean, even things just, you know, like nerve damage that would last for a few months, common, you know, you just get used to it. It’s not really. Yeah. But again, it really should the body be taking that much abuse for pornography? Absolutely not.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

So you talked about your goal of working with this one individual and then after speaking to this, um, this woman you’re, you eliminated that goal. Right?

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: So when you eliminated that goal, what replaced it was a desire for a healthier version of yourself or …

Theodosia: Um, oh, that’s okay. How do I answer that? Well, I think that I wanted to, I think that while I still had questions about power, if you will, but I wanted to explore those in another way. And I think that the other thing was that I also wanted to complete a little timeout. All right. From anything sexual for awhile. Yeah. Like I, I, you know, not that I was sex-negative or anything or that, or where I completely just about it, not like that, but I was like, girl, this has dominated your life for a long time. Like take a little, take a little fast, have a little fasting season. And so well, so here’s the thing. Right. And so he went with that. I mean, so, yeah. So I would just find myself done in context, very healthy context, like, you know, away on a Norwegian island, you know, with like the country folk, you know, like very blue colic, wholesome community, like environments that sort of yeah. Brought me back to life. If you go on a lot of it. Cause again, I needed, I needed human connection and genuine bonds with people, but I needed also it to happen in a way where it doesn’t seem like we were just creating trauma bonds with each other or I had to sort of like pay or do something for love. So,

Garrett Jonsson: So you started to experience, um, that healthy connection. And did you find that healing?

Theodosia: Oh yeah. Yeah. And blew my mind. Yeah. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That makes me happy.

Theodosia: Yeah. Well, if anything, because I think that also I had carried around this very erroneous idea that I was bad. And if anything, it’s almost like nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I have like a certain sweetness to me that I could not only identify but give to others in a healthy way. So, yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: I, I think of the, uh, the humanistic perspective, which was, you know, brought about by Carl Rogers. And I really agree with it. I like it a lot.

Theodosia: Mhmm.

Garrett Jonsson: And one of the things he says is that people need genuineness, acceptance, and empathy to become the best version of themselves.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: So you had talked about, you know, the shame that you felt and feeling like a bad person because of your experiences, how did you, was that it was, how did you get rid of that shame? How did you start to express? Cause genuineness, if you break down what is genuineness it’s self-disclosure, you know, it’s openness and self-disclosure. So where did you start to be comfortable? Like find a space where you could experience genuineness and acceptance and empathy?

Theodosia: Um, it’s so funny. Well, by developing a distaste for artifice, that’s one way that you, you consciously develop it. Well, not only that you, you start just practicing honesty, you said it’s, you just almost adopted as a practice and you see where it leads and you see that it’s almost like one little shackle falls off every time and you’re like, keep going down that. And you just notice that yet even, uh, even if truth has consequences. Okay. I like the freedom of it becomes delicious to the point where you almost need it. And once you develop that need for it, then, then you’re definitely on the right path, by all means. So, yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s neat. That’s really cool.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: So were you experiencing this while you were in a far away land in Europe?

Theodosia: Well, I do think that, um, one thing that is healthy is to, you know, go somewhere that you don’t know, you know, because there is something about a foreign… I don’t care if it’s a foreign country or just like a town you don’t know a few miles away.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: I, you know, yeah. It doesn’t matter just out of maybe your ordinary environment, because there’s something about that that will almost like reintroduce you to the authenticity of yourself.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. And as you started to, you know, really see yourself for who you truly are, what did you start to see?

Theodosia: Mm, well, I mean, it’s okay. It’s a little bit almost like looking at a, like a, like a little prism up to the light, because there are many layers, but one thing I definitely was yes. To check my, a level of curiosity. Um, and to almost understand that like one, I did not need to know all things. Okay. Because if anything gets like that, that insatiable, you want to talk about lust. I had a lust for knowledge. Alright. More so ever than any person. All right. And so I had yeah, I had to check that because that could definitely steer me down into like coax me into rabbit holes. I did not need to be going down. Um, so there’s that, so it was even, almost like, it was like kind of a sweet kind of humility though. We’re almost even like, I view even like that person now, who did those things, I call it almost like “little sister” I write in my brain. It’s like, “She kind of didn’t know what she was doing.” Like, you know, and like, “Bless her heart.” Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah, for sure. So as you start to see yourself, you know, you’re eliminating that shame and you’re starting to see your true self and, uh, you know, becoming the best version of yourself. And you’re at the same time trying to acclimate, you know, you mentioned one of the challenges of being in the porn industry is to leave the porn industry. What were some of the difficulties that you faced as you were acclimating back?

Theodosia: Um, some of them I’m not even allowed to speak about. [laughter] Um, no, it’s true. Um, well, here’s the thing. I, I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s no picnic. Um, I mean, maybe, maybe there’s a few, like total miraculous rescues, but, but even then, there’s still gonna be some sort of maybe purgation process that’s gonna follow, like some sort of healing is going to be necessary and healing always kind of involves pain in some way. So there’s that?

Garrett Jonsson: Right.

Theodosia: Um, well, here’s the one thing I had on my site because it’s like, I never completely neglected, shall we say, like my other talents and I always, uh, you know, it’s like it was sex. Wasn’t everything that I did, for example. Yeah. I was a big adult and dominated my life, but it wasn’t everything I did. So evenly keeping those little fires alive, if you will allowed me to sort of, you know, like help those sorts of abilities, blossom and blossom quickly.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Um, yeah, so that, gosh, I’m losing my train of thought. [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] No, it’s easy to do in a long conversation like this.

Theodosia: [laughter]

Garrett Jonsson: Did you ever, um, did you ever, you know, cause you mentioned that you became almost a, what’s the word you almost developed a compulsive behavior around the violence.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: Did you ever find yourself because compulsive behaviors usually aren’t, you know, it’s not from one night the next day you’re going to not have those desires anymore. So I’m just kind of curious as you were acclimating, did you have that, did that compulsivity present itself again and again, and you’re like, “Actually I don’t want that. It’s not healthy.” And you had to draw yourself back to a healthy state?

Theodosia: Yeah. Many times. Um, and here’s here. Okay. Here’s a moment that I think that, yeah, you could definitely put in the shame cabinet. Okay. But it would be later on, like after I left the industry right. Where I would just be like watching a film. All right. Um, and like maybe there was like a scene of like sexual assault on the screen. And then all of a sudden, like my body would respond. I’d be like, “Oh, heck no.” I’m like, “Oh, heck no, we’re not doing this. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.” And so if anything, like, all I really knew I needed to do was to almost like set aside a bit more time to actually starve that connection a little bit more and, or try and reroute it in another way. But not only that, like if that kind of response did pop up, you know, like if I was exposed to something and I had sort of a “Whoa.”, you know, reaction to it, I would also sort of like, you know, talk to myself calmly at the time, be like, “It’s okay.

You don’t need to freak out. You’re not a pervert.” You know, it’s just some old, it’s just a residue from conditioning, you know? And so sometimes like, even like in that kind of self-talk like that I would do it w I mean, even that could just sort of take care of it, but it would involve, but it does require some sort of careful attention if you will, especially in any kind of intimate dynamic, um, or anyone that maybe I do feel genuine desire for it to keep an eye on that. Like I have to keep an eye on it. Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: You use the word or the phrase residue from conditioning. And I think that as some of our listeners are listening to our conversation, you know, a portion of them are going to be in the myths of their compulsivity. They’re going to be listening to these conversations and hope that they can, you know, use it as a way to consider before consuming. And I think that oftentimes the consumer, not only, you know, you as a, as a, you were a performer, but also the person on the other side of the screen, the consumer is caught up in this compulsivity and in the shame cycle.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And I think that there are they’re similar because whether you’re the person performing or the person consuming that shame cycle can be similar. So my question is, what advice do you have for a consumer who doesn’t want to engage, who doesn’t want to consume anymore and who is stuck in that shame cycle of like, “Is this truly what I desire? Because sometimes I may be, I think it is because my desire, it’s a, it’s a recurring thing.” you know? So how do they just, like you said that this, sometimes it can be triggered for you. How can that person get out of the shame cycle and continue to press forward?

Theodosia: Well, I might actually offer a question in response to that, which would be when you’re, when you find yourself in that situation, or even just as we’re pondering this in general, are you really addicted to pornography or are you addicted to shame?

Garrett Jonsson: Hmm.

Theodosia: Um, because I think if you actually sit with that question for a little while, that might eliminate a little bit more of the reality of what’s really going on, because I even think that any kind of compulsion is usually some sort of secondary reaction to something. And so it’s a response. I mean, compulsivity is a response to something. And so it’s like, what are we responding to here? And if shame is that emotion that you were really S you know, in to okay, you’re for, uh, no pun intended, but, um,

Well then why, like, why is shame a cycle that you need to repeat? Why does she, like, where did she, where did shame at first appear in your life, if you will, where has it come up in the primary moments of your life? What are some of the things you don’t want to think about that you’re trying to stuff in the closet and ignore that are and festering, you know, like it’s, if anything, it’s like, look at it as an invitation to engage both your experience and relationship with shame and your life in general. And that’s like part of how you unwind yourself from the compulsive behavior.

Garrett Jonsson: Yeah.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: I love that. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I feel like my questions are really like long-winded and like, I go on like a roundabout way. And so you bailed me out there and I, I think that I’m just grateful that you, uh, you know, understood my question and your, your advice of why. Man, that’s a good question. That’s a deep question. It does make one start to really question, you know, “Why do I want to do this?” Or “Why do I want to do that?”

Theodosia: Hmm.

Well, that’s a, it’s a, and I have to say, I had asked myself that question and when I really did, I mean, that’s, that’s what, that’s what really broke me free. So, yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: That’s awesome.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: And, um, since breaking free, um, what are you enjoying now that you’ve, you know, left the porn industry? Um, what are you enjoying about your life?

Theodosia: Oh, too many things. Um, it, well, and that’s a good thing. Um, uh, uh, oh, I feel like oftentimes I’m just tickled. I’m just tickled in everyday life, which is a good thing, because here’s the other thing that’s kind of, I’ve, I’ve never lost my playful spirit ever. Um, and so it’s like, so I’ve never even even, even in periods of extreme depression, if you will, or just despair, I’ve, I’ve never completely lost that. So, um, and, and the thing with that now is I think that I have become very, if you will, even just, just compassionate to other people’s struggles and their wounds. And so even to be able to be an excuse me, like any service to that in my work, and again, be able to provide others, like, again, that sanctuary of non judgment that I was always hunting for.

I mean, like, that’s, it, that’s a gift just to be able to give, so I so enjoy that. And, um, I mean, my gosh, and I just, there’s a letter now there’s a lot of like Shelby say, oh, like things that are baking in the oven right now, you know, as far as like possibilities and the trajectory, I want to go home, but you are, you definitely called me out for, you know, Garrett. I’m like, it’s true. I do want to write that is something that’s almost getting my primary attention right now. So I think even it would be like so much pleasure and joy to be able to have more time and opportunity to do that.

Garrett Jonsson: Are you considering writing out your experience into a book?

Theodosia: I mean, what does that look like? I don’t know anything about that. Okay. So I, oops. You know, that, I think that’s, uh, how, what that looks like we shall see, you know, I don’t know, cause again, I don’t want it to be tabloidy I don’t want it to be just, you know, another sob story. It’s like, I better have something meaningful to say, you know what I mean?

Garrett Jonsson: I think you, you said that I called you out for your writing and that’s the truth because you, um, you know, as we’ve emailed back and forth, I’ve just been impressed. You definitely have a way with, um, you know, some people call it like a wordsmith, right. But you have a way with words and, um, in regards to your concern, like you want to put forth information that is valuable. And I think that you do, you know, you’re really good at what you do and, um, in sharing your experiences. So whatever you do with writing, I’m sure it’s going to be fun for you because you enjoy it and also valuable to whoever reads it.

Theodosia: Yeah.

Garrett Jonsson: So well, is there anything that, um, you know, that stirring inside you that you want to share, uh, or anything that I haven’t asked that you think we should discuss?

Theodosia: Oh, good grief. Well, um, I think not, I, I see, you know, why I think that, because I’m already, I’m thinking of baguettes and brie right now. I’m like, “What, what is it, snack time?” I mean, really? What is this? Um, now, but if anything I’m really I’m shook up by just, yeah. Just like the pleasure of this conversation and how just touched I am that you would want, like this little lioness to speak about anything. So I’m just honored.

Garrett Jonsson: We feel the same way.

Fight the New Drug Ad: Talking about porn can be tricky. That’s why we created an interactive conversation guide called Let’s Talk About Porn. Simply select who you’d like to talk to, your partner, child, friends, parents, or even a stranger, and select the type of conversation you’d like to have. We’ll walk you through a healthy way to approach this taboo topic in a productive conversation. Let’s Talk About Porn is available for free, both in English, and Spanish so you can be prepared to talk when someone asks why you’re listening to a podcast about the harms of porn. Access the guide, and start talking at FTND.org/blueprint. That’s FTND.org/blueprint.

Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for joining 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.

If you’d like to learn more about today’s guest and the conversation we had, you can check out the links included with this episode.

Again, big thanks to you for listening to this conversation. As you go about your day, we invite you to increase your self-awareness, look both ways, check your blind spots, and consider before consuming.

MORE RESOURCES FROM FTND

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.