THZ Exclusive: Belle Knox, The Duke University Student Turned Porn Star, Talks About What Advice She Has For Women, Misconceptions About Porn Stars, And MORE

Photo Credit: teenfidelity.com

Photo Credit: teenfidelity.com

I had an opportunity to conduct a phone interview with Belle Knox, and I found her to be a very sweet and kind person. Not only that, but I loved the answers that she gave in response to my questions. If someone is happy, I don’t think anyone has any right to judge that person.

Knox talked about what is the nicest thing one of her supporters told her, what she likes the most about her profession, and a lot more with me.

MC: What message or advice do you have for women in general? 

BK: I would say my advice to young women or just women in general is [to] follow your dreams and also be assertive. Also, to stand up for what you believe in and to not let men or society or some norm that we have about how women need to act or behave dictate how you live your life.

MC: Did you ever think of an alternative career path to make money before you decided upon entering the porn industry?

BK: I considered doing stripping but I didn’t have a car so there wasn’t really a way for me to get to the strip club, and also, I didn’t think I’d be able to make that much money doing stripping.

MC: What is one of the nicest things that one of your supporters has told you?

BK: The nicest thing I think anyone has said to me so far was that they think I’m a wonderful person and they hope that their daughter grew up to be as ambitious and as intelligent as me. They said they really admire how I’m working my way through college and they hope that their daughter can someday be like me.

MC: That is very sweet.

BK: I get a lot of comments from people saying “I can’t even imagine my daughter doing this,” so it was really nice to hear someone think of it in a different way.

Photo Credit: teenfidelity.com

Photo Credit: teenfidelity.com

MC: It makes you feel good to hear that. As opposed to someone saying “Oh my God! Of all the things you could’ve done, why porn?” What do you like the most about your profession? Is it the money, the freedom to sexually express yourself, or something else?

BK: I really just enjoy going in and creating the best scenes that I can and adding my own personal touch and doing things that I know will create a great scene and will be sexy. And will [also] be appealing to people. So for me it’s really like the art…like the creative outlet for this.

MC: How are you mentally and emotionally stronger after your experience?

BK: I think that before the experience I was very concerned with what others thought of me and now I’ve just learned to let things go. Otherwise I would just go crazy if I cared about every single comment that everyone made.

MC: Do you think women are judged more harshly or scrutinized more than men in society?

BK: I definitely think so. It’s the old double standard where if a guy has sex he’s the stud. If a girl has sex she’s the slut. I think that really just comes from what I talked about earlier in the xoJane article. It really just comes from the patriarchy and the sexist idea. The patriarchy basically dictates to women that they can’t have freedom over their sexual autonomy because it threatens the serial order. So I think women are always told that having sex is bad and they must always be pure. I’m not really sure if men get told the same thing.

MC: Do you think other universities might consider the fact that the financial aid they give isn’t a sufficient amount after your story?

BK: I definitely hope so. I think what I really made people aware of is the plight of the middle and upper middle class students in America. It’s a catch 22 where on paper families make too much money to qualify for aid but in reality we can’t afford the $60,000 price tags that are attached to our universities. The other thing is we look at loans as amazing solutions to the rising costs of education and it’s simply not. I think that colleges really need to evaluate the costs of their schools and how they can consolidate that to make it cheaper for students.

MC: What is a misconception that people have about porn stars or the porn industry?

BK: They have this misconception that all of us are these dumb bimbos and I’ve met so many people in porn who are educated and who look at porn as a profession for them.

Photo Credit: teenfidelity.com

Photo Credit: teenfidelity.com

MC: So you think people automatically assume that because people are in porn they can’t be that smart?

BK: [They think] porn was a desperate exchange for you and you did it because you were gonna lose your house or you had no other choice. But people don’t want to admit that women have sexual autonomy.

MC: How did your close friends react when they found out what happened?

BK: I had a few friends who blamed me and said it was my fault for doing porn and that I deserved all of the criticism I was getting. “That’s what happens when you decide to do porn.” But I’ve also had a lot of friends who have been super supportive and amazing. During times like this you find out who your true friends are.

MC: I think if you’re a true friend you should be behind someone’s back the whole time. What do you hope people take away from your story?

BK: I hope people take away that being intelligent and being a sex worker aren’t mutually exclusive. I want people to deconstruct why it is that we have been so hateful to sex workers and really take a step back and look at why we judge sex workers and where is that hatred and judgment coming from. I think that people will really be surprised by the answers.

MC: Do you think people will ever completely accept porn stars or the porn industry?

BK: I have talked to porn stars who were very famous in the ’80s and they told me that when they did porn no one talked about it and it was the most taboo thing. I think we have made a lot of progress but I think as long as we have religion and as long as we have politics there will always be hatred from some group towards sex workers. It’s the oldest profession and it’s always been looked down upon.

I ended the interview by thanking her for her time, and I also asked her if there was anything else she wanted to say. She did in fact have some things to say.

BK: People tend to assume [that] I’m advocating for government intervention and I just want to clarify that I don’t want the government near my vagina. I don’t want the government getting any more involved in the pornography industry than it already has. I think that the decisions that happen in the industry, for them to to be effective and for them to have that weight, they need to happen from a cooperation with performers and private companies and some agreement that we work out among ourselves in the industry. Also, I’m absolutely not advocating for government intervention in education. I think that when the government intervenes in education we end up way worse. What I’m really advocating for is more efficiency and more innovation in the higher education system as well as a reevaluation of how middle class and upper middle class students are treated in the financial aid process.

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