It’s been nearly a year since former porn star (and Charlie Sheen “Goddess”) Bree Olson sent her tweet warning girls and young women not to dream of going into porn:
Olson’s tweet was both viral and controversial at the time; but since then, people mostly forgot about it.
She hadn’t been making news, just reacting to it. Like having to proclaim her HIV-free status (over and over again) in light of Sheen’s HIV announcement, and speaking out against sadist James Deen.
Those situations might be enough for anyone to advise against becoming a porn star. But those weren’t the specifics of Olson’s complaints. Remember, the reason why Olson doesn’t recommend women work in the adult industry has to do with the responses of others to her former sex work, to the stigma and whorephobia ~ and resulting discrimination. Such discrimination has crippled her mainstream employment options. The shamming and bullying have taken their toll as well, resulting in depression and anxiety that prevents her from leaving her house. Yet she continues to be an activist voice.
In March, Olson participated in the Real Women Real Stories film project and shared more details about the painful way she lives now due to how people treat her.
There’s nothing wrong with porn, but how people treat you for the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.
… I wish people would treat me like they would treat a married registered nurse with 2.5 kids in Indiana. That’s how I wish people would treat me.
In an article for the Daily Dot, Olson went into greater detail about the pragmatic realities of the sex work stigma.
Things don’t just work themselves out when you get into the industry or leave it. You become a segregated part of society that has no civil rights group behind it. Life is already hard enough, don’t do this to yourself. The money isn’t worth the pain of what society will put you through forever.
Porn didn’t hurt me. The way society treats me for having done it does.
As for her financial situation, how someone so “hot” so recently could be at such financial risk, Olson explains:
There are no royalties in porn. I see ads to this day, and my movies are everywhere on the Internet. These faceless people behind the industry still make millions and face no repercussions, and I am left to try and come up with ideas of how to have my own business because there’s not much else I can do. We are the only entertainment industry that doesn’t offer talent royalties after they are gone. So now I am shunned by society and broke.
…Porn is the one industry where the more successful a woman is, the more she will suffer for the rest of her life.
My biggest regret was leaving the industry. Leaving all of that money and trying to get the world to like me. They still don’t, and they never will. I should have just put in another five years at least so that in more my smart financial years as I was older, I could have saved enough to live comfortably for the rest of my life.
Olson’s continued trying to make a living as best she can. For now, that means making the most of her name & celebrity, if not profitting from her films, via some interesting merch at her official site: OfficialBreeOlson.com.
And, apparently, she’s been doing some work camming. But don’t expect to see too much of her on cam these days. At least not if she gets her wish granted. Bree Olson has a GoFundMe to help her get into treatment.
My name is Bree Olson, and my friends and family know me as Rachel Oberlin.
…Throughout my entire life, I have battled severe depression and anxiety which I have been able to hide through a variety of ways…until now. When I entered into the adult industry at age 18 as an escape from my childhood and to find myself, I never imagined how much worse things could become. I have spent the last decade masking my pain and losing myself even more so as doctors prescribed me mountains of benzodiazapines to make me feel better. I don’t feel better. I’ve never felt worse.
I have been in outpatient therpay since the age of 18 as I’ve tried to fight this dibilatating depression and anxiety. The benzodiazapines are highly addictive and even though I take them as prescribed, my mind and body are physically dependent on them.
As many of you know, drug dependecy is far more than getting off the drug itself. It is about getting out from under the weight of that drug and all the damage it does and finding out who you really are. It is about acquiring the tools to figure out how to cope and really just learning how to live again.
…I want my life back. I want to find out who Rachel Oberlin really is. Bree Olson has consumed my life and I’ve let her because I thought success is money but it’s not.
But money is necessary. Especially if you need rehab and such intensive mental health services.
Perhaps you’ve been a fan of Olson’s works. Today, instead of buying or streaming one of her films, send those dollars to Olson’s GoFundMe as a thank you for all the good wank times.
Perhaps you are or have been a sex worker, or the friend of one, and you can understand how devastating the stigma can be for many. Just as sex work isn’t for everyone, leaving brings it’s own set of problems that are too much for some. Even if that’s not been your experience, just a one dollar donation has to be worth the karma, right?