Porn and academia aren’t always found in the same sentence, but Australian adult star Angela White is working towards changing that.
The 36-year old has identified as what The Daily Beast describes as a “freedom fighter,” solidifying her role as a woman in the porn industry. She neither associates herself as a fully empowered woman or a victim.
Since she was a teenager, Angela has been experimenting with her sexuality. She identifies as bisexual, both having male and female partners since the age of 14.
Angela’s playground experiences weren’t always positive, though. She was made fun of for ‘kissing girls,’ even having lemons thrown at her, an act against her queer relationships.
“Porn isn’t always educational but porn can affirm a positive role, especially for me growing up.”
The topic first came up when Angela approached the topic of pornography, reading and researching the subject.
What she found was that while there were many topics on women in the industry, very few explored first hand accounts of the stars themselves, not focusing on why they got into the field, but instead assuming their backstory comes from a negative light.
Angela graduated from the University of Melbourne, where she published her honors thesis, “The Porn Performer: The Radical Potential of Pleasure in Pornography,” found in The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality.
When asked why she entered the realm of academia in the first place, Angela shares that she wanted to talk about her positive encounters in the porn industry, and how she was able to comfortably navigate her way through it.
“These myths were so divergent from my own experiences. I wanted to research gender studies so I could spend my time further researching pornography and researching the anti-porn and anti-censorship views. This is something I am very passionate about.”
For her honors thesis, Angela decided to do “qualitative research for female experiences in the Australian pornography industry.” Her thesis conclusion is as follows:
“Pornography provides performers with a unique opportunity to experience pleasure disinvested from desire, and what one takes to be ones own sexual identity. The French refer to ‘Orgasm’ as “La petite mort” “The Little Death,” and the potential to be reborn, and to be reborn differently, again and again, makes pleasure a powerful rallying point for the counter attack against restrictive sexual identity categories.”
Angela’s research truly steps over the boundaries and stigma that is normally associated with the porn industry.
By providing first hand accounts on performers, she is able to shift the idea that porn is a place for broken, disempowered or unsure women, and showcase the positives that surround the industry.
Check out her full interview at The Daily Beast.