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The Washington Independent
On the Road to Porn: Jessie Rogers and Those After Her

On the Road to Porn: Jessie Rogers and Those After Her

December 21, 2020

Eight years ago, Brazilian-born and San-Francisco-bred Jessie Rogers retired from the adult industry. But her porn journey was one that we have witnessed a lot of times.

Emerging from a quite dysfunctional family background– her parents divorced when she was 10, making her father return to Brazil, one could already tell that Jessie Rogers was going to have a difficult time finding her place in the world. But she did.

It all began with one sexual encounter here and there. The initial initiation was needless, something that no woman should ever go through. At 12, Jessie was sexually molested by her church pastor. At 15, an older man raped her. And at 16, she had her first consensual sex with her boyfriend for a year.

While this trajectory does not necessarily present Jessie Rogers as being promiscuous from the start, it justifies a narrative that girls, whose life seems to be “damaged” early in life are usually the biggest targets of agents of the adult film industry. There is always the belief that girls with vulnerable backgrounds or childhood might hold onto anything that offers even the slightest prospect of escape.

For Jessie, it was modeling. If you think this is one of the easiest means to recruit women into the adult industry, you could be right. Put a juicy modeling offer out there on any site and see a lot of young girls desperate for cash dialing up your number. Nothing beats that strategy! However, for many of these girls embracing pornography, the romance, to them, is something temporary and not the final destination.

Also, not all girls go into porn through modeling. For some, it was the desire to carve a career in mainstream acting, while others simply go into it willingly. For those who fall within the first two categories, the aim is the same: Make money, and move on to something bigger. Even if you don’t like what you’re doing, as long as you’re making the money, that’s fine.

Sounds simple, right? But, in some cases, that’s not a plan that comes easy. For some who would never be fortunate enough to leave the industry, they are soon aiming high on painkillers, ecstasy, or cocaine, and have their bodies under contracts that “own” them.

Imagine having no choice but to remain the subject of fantasy for people who do not care about you but your body.

The porn industry has its beauty and horrors. But its horrors interest me a lot. Away from dishing out rich fantasy existence and sexual delights on screen, the person behind such performances, smiling, moaning, might be living the direct opposite of the character displayed on our screen, affected by years of playing by the script and agenda of another person who determines how much dollars a performer earns for each activity.

For girls, retired performers like Jessie Rogers, the ride out of the porn industry might be successful. But many teenage girls will someday tumble into the same industry for the same reasons that brought in Jessie Rogers in the first place. And they would never be able to go out for a long time to come.

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