2. Forced Sexual Performance

Part: 
Four
Chapter: 
1

During the course of the hearings the Commission received reports from individuals who described situations in which they were forced to engage in certain sexual acts. These acts are distinct from and in addition. to those acts described as rape above. As with the acts of rape which were described to the Commission, acts of forced sexual performance included those done in the course of making pornographic material and those relating to the use of existing pornography. Examples of the first of these are abundant:

A mother and father in South Oklahoma City forced their four daughters, ages ten to seventeen, to engage in family sex while pornographic pictures were being filmed. This mother also drove the girls to dates with men where she would watch while the girls had sex, then she would collect fees of thirty to fifty dollars.[780]

A woman who had been forced into prostitution and participating in the filming of pornography testified:

He had video equipment in his home long before it was mass-produced. Every time my pimp sent me to him he would take pornographic pictures of me and a second woman. He also made video tapes of the sex that took place under his direction. This continued on the average of once a week for about a year. There was an apartment that I was sent to often. There were usually two to three men there. After I had sex with them, they would take pictures of me in various pornographic poses. When I was a young girl I didn't have the vocabulary to call them pornographers. I used to refer to them as "the photographers."

On another occasion another young girl and myself were taken to an apartment in to meet some men. We were told that they were gangsters and that we should be nice to them. When we arrived we were taken into a room that had a large bed at its center surrounded by lighting and film equipment. We were told to act out a "lesbian scene." After about fifteen minutes we were told to get dressed, that they couldn't use us. We were returned to [our city] unpaId. Again, it was only in retrospect as an adult that I realized I had been used in a commercial pornographic film loop.[781]

Another woman wrote:

My father was my pimp in pornography. There were three occasions, from ages nine to sixteen, when he forced me to be a pornography model. This was in the 1950s and 1960s.... I don't know if the pictures and films are still being distributed.[782]

A sixteen-year-old girl who had been molested by two family friends from age seven to age twelve testified:

Viewing the pictures in the magazine seemed to click something for him, for he then wanted his own personal record of all that he had taught me.

He whipped out his Polaroid camera, which was in his briefcase, and then he proceeded to take pictures of me in these various positions, which included using the vibrator.[783]

Another woman described her discomfort in trying to pose as demanded of her:

So I told him that I would try. The first few attempts I failed, he was very disappointed. I failed under the weight and under the heat of the plaster. He wanted me to be in poses where I had to hold my hands up over my head and they would be numb and they would fall. He eventually tied my hands over my head. Finally he succeeded, he ended up getting a plaster cast of my body.

... He told me to take off my clothes and to pose in various positions, either draped over the corroded, rusty seats or in positions where I acted as if I was running towards the door. And then he asked me to put my body in contorted different positions, draped down the stairs of the bus, and they were quite jagged, and at that moment I realized that we were depicting a murder. I became very terrified and scared and I was really cold. I told him I didn't want to do this and that I wanted to go home and that I was really scared.

While we were doing this, I would like to backtrack for a minute, I wasn't achieving the right facial expressions for the pictures so he started telling me stories that depicted pursuits during rape so that I would have the right expressions on my face like the women in the magazines. I remember being very distant from him and just wanting to get home. I remember being very scared .[784]

In these instances in which forced sexual performances were said to be modeled after pornography, the individuals stated that they were shown various pornographic materials and forced to recreate the activities depicted. In some cases the imitation required of victims was highly specific, as in the following example:

My father had an easel that he put by the bed. He'd pin a picture on the easel and like a teacher he would tell me this is what you're going to learn today. He would then act out the picture on me.[785]

Another woman wrote:

I was sexually abused by my foster father from the time I was seven until I was thirteen. He had stacks and stacks of Playboys. He would take me to his bedroom or his workshop, show me the pictures, and say, "This is what big girls do. If you want to be a big girl, you have to do this, but you can never tell anybody." Then I would have to pose like the women in the pictures. I also remember being shown a Playboy cartoon of a man having sex with a child.[786]

A mother described her discovery of her daughter's abuse:

My daughter explained that the adults would come into the room and announce that [it] was time for a "movie" or a "bath" and then begin to usher the children ... into the den or the bathroom. When my daughter refused to undress one of the mothers removed my daughter's clothing with hand movement over her entire body. My daughter was seldom allowed to go home until she had at least one bath with one or more children. Upon hearing this I called the mother and gave her emphatic instructions that my daughter was not to take "baths" at her house. One such occasion after that my daughter came home with obvious dried tears on her face. I feared something dreadful had happened.[787]

They confirmed my fear and discovered even more horror. She had been not only sexually abused but over one thousand pornographic photographs were seized in a search of their apartment spanning a period of over two years. My daughter was only twelve years old at the time of the phone call. She had broken up over the events of the previous week.[768]

One woman who was asked if she had ever been upset by anyone trying to get her to do what they'd seen in pornographic pictures, movies or books said:

This guy had seen a movie where a woman was being made love to by dogs. He suggested that some of his friends had a dog and we should have a party and set the dog loose on the women. He wanted me to put a muzzle on the dog and put some sort of stuff on my vagina so that the dog would lick there.[789]

A woman who had been forced into prostitution and participation in the production of pornography testified:

They knew a child's face when they looked into it. It was clear that I was not acting of my own free will. I was always covered with welts and bruises. They found this very distasteful and admonished me about it. It was even clearer that I was sexually inexperienced. I literally didn't know what to do. So they showed me pornography to teach me about sex and then they would ignore my tears as they positioned my body like the women in the pictures and used me.

My pimp also made me work "stag" parties. These parties were attended by an average of ten to twenty men. These parties took place in catering halls, bars and union halls. I was also forced to work conventions. These were weekend affairs held at major hotels in New York attended by hundreds of professional men. The series of events was the same. Pornographic films followed by myself and other women having sex with the men. The films that were shown most often set the tone for the kinds of acts we were expected to perform.

My last pimp was a pornographer and the most brutal of all. He owned, on the average, three women and girls at any given time. There was always pornography in our apartment. Every night he would set up the projector and run a series of stag films. When he was sufficiently aroused he would choose one of us for sex. The sex that happened always duplicated the pornography. He used it to teach us how to service him. In retrospect the only sex I knew until I was well into my twenties was coercive sex taught to me through pictures of women coerced into pornographic performances.[790]

A sixteen-year-old girl testified:

At about age eleven and a half he started using the magazine again. In these magazines there were pictures of one woman masturbating another woman, two men and a woman having sex, oral, anal, and vaginal sex. It was with these magazines that he started having me act out positions with him.[791]

The mother of two girls testified:

[My daughters] also had an experience with an eleven-year-old neighbor boy. . . . Porno pictures that [he] had were shown to the girls and to the other children on the block. Later that day, [he] invited [my daughters] into his house to play video games, but then tried to imitate the sex acts in the photos with [my] eleven year old [daughter] as his partner; [my other daughter] witnessed the incident.[792]

A woman testified that her husband demanded that she enact behaviors he had found appealing in pornography:

... I was coerced into acting out certain sexual fantasies which he had, many times from reading pornographic literature or viewing certain pornographic movies.[793]

Another woman described her father's use of pornography to encourage and legitimize incest:

He encouraged me by showing me pornographic magazines which they kept in the bathroom and told me it was not wrong because they were doing it in the magazines and that made it o.k. He told me all fathers do it to their daughters and said even pastors do it to their daughters. The magazines were to help me learn more about sex.[794]

Another woman described the same phenomenon:

The incest started at the age of eight. I did not understand any of it and did not feel that it was right. My dad would try to convince me that it was o.k. He would find magazines with articles and/or pictures that would show fathers and daughters and/or mothers, brothers and sisters having sexual intercourse. (Mostly fathers and daughters.) He would say that if it was published in magazines that it had to be all right because magazines could not publish lies.

He would show me these magazines and tell me to look at them or read them and I would turn my head and say no. He would leave them with me and tell me to look later. I was afraid not to look or read them because I did not know what he would do. He would ask me later if I had read them and what they said or if I looked real close at the pictures. He would say, "See it's okay to do because it's published in magazines."[795]

Notes

  1. Letter from Oklahomans Against Pornography to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  2. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. I, p. 180.
  3. Brief of Women Against Pornography submitted to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  4. Miami Hearing, Vol. II, pp. 20-21.
  5. Minneapolis, Session, II, (Dec. 1983), pp. 59-60.
  6. Chicago Hearing, Vol. II, p. 95.
  7. Anonymous letter to Women Against Pornography, submitted to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (Aug. 1984).
  8. Houston Hearing, Vol. II, p. 1730.3.
  9. Houston Hearing, Vol. II, Anonymous, p. 178Q2.
  10. Minneapolis City Council, Session I, (Dec. 1983), p. 67 (Testimony based on Diana Russell's research).
  11. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. I, pp. 179-82.
  12. Miami Hearing, Vol. II, p. 21.
  13. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. I, p. 128.
  14. Chicago Hearing, Vol. I, pp. 23-26.
  15. Anonymous letter to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  16. Letter to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.