Duke University Freshman Outed as Porn Star, Speaks Out

Feb 19, 2014 12:00 PM PST

DURHAM, N.C. — A female Duke University student, “Lauren,” recently outed as a porn star, has stepped forward to defend her work in the adult industry.     

When Duke Freshman Thomas Bagley noticed a pornographic actress strongly resembled a certain classmate, he decided to confront her and resolve his haranguing feeling that they might be the selfsame person.

Lauren (a name taken to preserve her anonymity) confided to Bagley that he had indeed come across her alter ego, “Aurora.” Bagley agreed to a vow of secrecy, but soon divulged the juicy info during a fraternity rush event.

The campus, ablaze with the salacious gossip, often — and perhaps unsurprisingly — responded to the news with brash backlash and sexism. Assaulted with sexually charged and offensive texts, tweets and other social media varia, Lauren sat down with the Duke Chronicle to insert her narrative into the heated discussion.

According to Lauren, she not only dabbled in porn to help foot the looming $60,000-a-year tuition bill at Duke, but to express her oft-stifled sexuality and indulge in an alter ego that didn’t quite jive with the strict gender dynamics at her uni.

She explained, "I feel like girls at Duke have to hide their sexuality. We're caught in this virgin-whore dichotomy. Gender norms are very intense here and I feel like that's particularly carried out by frats. I think that being a woman at Duke is extremely difficult. I think that being a sexual woman at Duke is extremely difficult."

"I have always been a very sexual person, and I'm also bisexual, but I haven't ever felt really welcome," Lauren continued. "But when I'm in Pornland, I feel at home. This is where I'm meant to be, with these people who love sex and are comfortable about it."

Amidst offensive student tweets about goals to hook up with Lauren, or to shame/humiliate her for her decision, the Duke Chronicle responded to her statements with a more even keeled-conclusion.

They wrote, “Lauren's story has brought important questions — about sex work, feminism and the perils of the Internet — to light. But mostly, this story smacks of an all-too-familiar sexism at Duke. Porn actress or not, Lauren should never have experienced vicious name-calling, strangers' sexual claims to her body or the threat of sexual violence. No woman deserves such treatment, and yet too many Duke women experience it every day.”

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