Lifers, Defectors and Dealmakers: Adult Film Stars Weigh the Challenges of Leaving Porn

Playboy magazine interviewed me about the challenges of leaving the porn industry. I copied and pasted the article below.

Source: Playboy.com

Article by: Adam Popescu

Some stories of retirement are positive, even if fraught with emotional and financial hurdles.

From 1999 to 2006, Crissy Moran appeared in more than 50 films. At her height, she made more than $15,000 a month from her website and shoots. Surviving a childhood poisoned with sexual abuse, Moran started performing as a way to fill a void—to find love and approval. “It gave a sense of meaning to my life,” she told me by phone. But it didn’t take her long to become engulfed by controlling men and dangerous decisions.

Years of an abusive boyfriend who doubled as her on-screen partner and manager made her quit a decade ago. She claimed a religious revelation, a common theme for ex-performers. While many may use the Lord as a cure-all, Moran took it a big step further. “I told my webmaster I wanted to leave the industry, and they asked me where do I want to send the checks. I said, ‘I don’t want the money. Just take the site down.’”

But it was a platform making hundreds of thousands annually Moran says, and they wouldn’t oblige. And due to her transient lifestyle, Moran no longer retained her contracts. Ten years later, the site is still up, and Moran still hasn’t taken a dime.

“I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills,” she recalls. Moran ended up losing her car and apartment, for years living hand-to-mouth. It would have been easy to collect those checks and return to the game, but if she did, “I would never be free. And what I wanted more than anything was to be gone from that.”

She survived thanks to her church, fan donations and a collection of odd jobs. The biggest support came from Treasures, a 501c3 organization founded by Harmony Dust, an exotic dancer turned UCLA MA who travels to 170 strip clubs a year to promote outreach and rehabilitation.

“Crissy gave up a very comfortable lifestyle,” Dust confirms. “She had a live-in makeup artist and assistant. That’s a lifestyle most people in the industry don’t have.”

Moran appeared on ABC’s Nightline to share her story, and in Glamour. She still can’t escape her past online, but she’s embraced it and is rebuilding—and for possibly the first time, she knows who she is when she looks in the mirror. And likes what she sees.

Today, Moran lives in Texas, splitting time between retail and volunteering at her ministry to help victims of sexual trafficking. And she’s working to build anew with her husband of three years—a second chance at 40.

“It’s a very simple life; it’s all I need,” she continues. “Women in the industry are people, too. Not just objects. We have hopes and dreams, and being a porn star is not our dream.”