Ever since Duke University freshman Belle Knox was outed as the “Duke porn star,” she’s been flooded with death and rape threats on social media from her fellow students, according to the Huffington Post.
But despite all this moral indignation, the residents of Durham, NC where Duke is located don’t appear to have many qualms about watching her perform the same sexual acts on camera that outrage them so much.
According to Pornhub (NSFW obviously), the percentage of porn searches coming out of Durham for Belle Knox tripled between February 21, when Knox published her story on xojane, and mid-March.
This is hardly surprising. But it’s worth noting how it plays into America’s hypocritical attitude toward porn stars. As Callie Beusman writes at Jezebel, our culture loves college porn videos, but shames the people who perform in them:
The fantasy here is of “college girls explor[ing] their sexuality and hav[ing] a great time doing it” — and porn consumers, clearly, love it. But when we, as a public, are greeted with the actual thing — a porn star who is also enrolled in college, who is an eager and bright young co-ed — we react with a mixture of disbelief, scorn and malice. The irony is not lost on Belle that (in her words), “the same people who are shaming me are the same people who are jacking off to me.” This irony should not be lost on anyone.
Public antipathy toward porn stars (at least off-camera) isn’t limited to college women either. In January, a Florida high schooler claimed his school district suspended him after it discovered he’d worked in gay pornography.
Pornhub says that at the peak of Knox-mania, 1.3 million people were searching for Knox videos every day. As a reward for driving all that traffic (and I would guess to boost publicity) Pornhub hired Knox as a paid intern on its social media and marketing team.
[Feature image via Belle Knox on Facebook]