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This Porn Star Thinks Doing Porn Is Far Less Miserable Than Student Debt

 This Porn Star Thinks Doing Porn Is Far Less Miserable Than Student Debt:

CH is male porn star Conner Habib. Habib’s interests range from anthropology to ass, the mystic Dion Fortune to fucking, and public sex to quantitative science, according to his blog. Last week, Habib authored the syllabus for a class my own Jesuit University did not require me to take—Porning Your Way Through College 101. It’s a guide to navigating the difficulties of a porn career while earning a degree. Porn actors Belle Knox and Bravo Delta, a gay college student, are public faces of porn in the classroom, at an economic moment where the middle class is given few options for emerging from college without contributing to the nation’s staggering $1.2 trilling in student debt. (Fittingly, Habib wrote the post with them in mind.)

“I realized: Porn is way less compulsory, coercive, sexually dangerous, and financially exploitative than going to college is,” says Habib, who earned an MFA at UMASS, where he also taught writing for three years. “So why not frame college as the problem and porn as the answer?”

Porning Your Way Through College 101 reads as well-informed satire, a criticism of our country’s mandated obsession with college versus our collective terror when it comes to sex, intimacy, and freedom. Despite his academic background (or perhaps, because of it) Habib believes that “porn can give valuable skills to people that college can’t and probably won’t.” He lists these skills as course goals. They include – “understanding your sexual boundaries,” “understanding Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs),” “understanding how to chose what you want,” and “understanding how to create intimacy.”

And in Habib’s class, students’ grades encompass way more than just being five-star fucks. As stated in the syllabus, grading factors include: “integration of porn into your present and future life,” “managing the rest of your affairs,” and the “responsibility to promote sex-positivity and other sex workers.” Basically, Habib wants students of porn to treat their job choice with the same respect as any career.

Habib’s syllabus is a celebration of personal freedom. While plenty of students still anticipate college to be a freethinking bed of liberalism, these kids often experience a rude awakening. By and large, college is about plugging students into a grid created by the school. College can be inspiring, but for far too many students, higher education functions as a series of standardized paths to normalcy.

“Pornography represents a flipside and balancing-out of the cultural expectations of college students,” Habib says. “When men are in porn, they defy the expectation to get a ‘real’ job that they’re unhappy in. They get to pursue something that gives them pleasure and brings pleasure to others.”

But what about women? Are Belle Knox and Bravo Delta granted equal agency in the industry, despite their gender differences? “Porn is one of the only industries where women are consistently paid more than men,” Habib says, echoing a point frequently made by thoughtful pornstars like Asa Akira. “And of course, women in porn refute the notion that they can never be happily sexual. The ‘coy’ woman falls away and is replaced by a sexually assertive human being.”

On the flip side, Habib says that women who exit porn can end up “with even less job security when they’re out, less pay, and less respect” than their male coworkers. A porn career isn’t society’s most sanctioned life path, but like Habib includes in the syllabus – neither is being an art history major. It’s unclear what kinds of jobs “graduates” from Habib’s course would secure within a year—but the rates cannot be as dismal as institutions people actually pay tons of money to go to (like law school).

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