Life Before, During, and After Porn: Interview with Bree Olson – DrZhana

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Life Before, During, and After Porn: Interview with Bree Olson

Bree Olson & Me

Bree Olson & Dr. Zhana

Most people know Bree Olson as an ex-porn star. Lately, she’s become one of the most loved, most watched, and most followed people on Periscope, the live streaming platform quickly overtaking the world of social media. I got a chance to sit down with Bree during the Periscope Summit in NYC last month, as she was kind enough to chat with me on my Periscope channel. We had a Q&A on what life was like before porn, during porn, and after porn. It’s not as black or white as it may seem.

Me: Bree, can you first tell us how you got into porn?

Bree: I was just a horny teenager. I had a girlfriend the whole four years of high school and she did not let me watch heterosexual porn because she worried I wanted a guy. I reassured her that, “Just because you watch bukkake, doesn’t mean you want that either.” When I broke up with her I was obsessed with watching heterosexual porn. It was like, “Finally, after four years, this is so awesome!” I was so curious because the girls looked like they were having so much fun. At this time I was 18 years old, pre-med at Purdue, and working at a cubicle with no idea of what I was doing. So I googled porn applications. A porn website popped up and, sure enough, I uploaded my picture and phone number because that’s how dumb and stupid I was.

Me: Wow, and they got back to you?

Bree: Oh yeah they got back to me! I went out and got paid like crap at first because I just didn’t know better. Then I grew into something huge, which I also didn’t expect. I tried to stay in school at first, but eventually put it off. I tried many things and before I knew it, I became the full-on porn star Bree Olson. After about a year, the novelty wore off and like most jobs it became clockwork. The thing about me is I don’t have a sob story. I wasn’t treated badly in the industry. I do have quarrels about them not unionizing and taking advantage of women financially, but as far as I was treated on set, it was fine.

Me: Did you enjoy that kind of work?

Bree: Yeah! I’m a very sensual and sexual person. When I first quit porn I tried to hide that. That maybe I shouldn’t be that way and had to stop, but now I’ve found the happy me. I can still be sensual, sexy, and demand respect. I’ve tried to show women that are still in the sex industry there’s a difference between the fan — someone who respects you and buys your product — versus a person who’s like, “Show me your tits you worthless whore,” because that’s just disgusting and bad.

Me: An abuser of whatever you have to offer.

Bree: We porn girls had to put up with that because we thought, “Oh they are still going to buy our product.” But in actuality they don’t. Even if they did, you don’t need ones like that.

Me: There are many people out there that are going to respect you and buy your product.

Bree: Yes, exactly.

Me: How long were you in porn?

Bree: 4 or 5 years.

Me: What was the thing you enjoyed the most and least?

Bree: The thing I enjoyed most was the actual sex. Believe me, there’s not much of it when you’re a porn star! I was contracted but only doing 10 scenes a year. I traveled 200 days a year for a lot of store signing, conventions, and interviews. People say to me now, “Oh you speak so well!” And surprisingly I learned it all from the porn industry. The worst part was living out of a suitcase, being in hotels all the time, and flying all over the place. But now looking back, the worst is having no royalties. In the porn industry people say, “The women deserve it because they’re stupid, young, or on drugs, when they get in.” But think about rappers in the music industry, for example, they don’t know what they’re signing in contracts when they’re first starting out but they often have someone looking out for them. With the right contract, they’re going to get royalties for the rest of their life when their songs get played on the radio, Spotify or whatever people use these days. We don’t have that in the porn industry. We have nothing once we leave. I feel like that’s the worst for everyone because we pay a huge price to remain on the Internet.

Me: More than anyone else in visual media.

Bree: We’re going to have those images for the rest of our life on the Internet and to not have any financial recovery from that is insane. Especially if you understand how difficult it is to get jobs after porn. I can never work with children, in the health field, and so many other positions. Not being taken care of financially after porn is crazy.

Me: That is crazy. Did you make a good living doing porn?Bree_Olson_1

Bree: I made between 30 and 60 thousand dollars a month. People don’t realize the amount of money I walked away from. It’s not as if my career died down and then I left. I left it behind.

Me: Did you save any money?

Bree: Of course not! I came from trash. I was absolutely nothing growing up, as most porn girls are. It’s not like you have a great support system. If I had someone like a loving, doting mother and father that begged me, “Please don’t do porn!” it’s not as if I would still be like, “Fuck you mom and dad, I’m still going to do porn!” Young girls get into these kinds of situations in the first place when they don’t have anyone. I make fun of myself and say, “I blow it faster than rappers at the strip clubs” because when I was making all of this money, I would spend it all helping my friends and family. They were constantly asking me for things, “Will you buy me a car? Will you help me with this? Will you help me with that?” Coming from poverty, I was surrounded by everyone needing help and so I helped everyone. I learned over the years to stop being the winner of the lottery and handing out all of my money. To be fair, I bought my fair share of Lou Vuitton’s and stuff. You get smarter the older you get. I did build a house in Indiana, a million dollar custom home.

Me: Ok, so you kind of saved in that way.

Bree: At least I have that. It’s a gorgeous place that I want to hold onto, even though I never get to see it!

Me: Why Indiana?

Bree: It’s where I’m from. Even when I was in porn, I never lived in LA. I would fly in for the shoots.

Me: Is there anything about being in porn that you miss?

Bree: Gee! I miss the money! I would say I miss the sex, but I have plenty of great sex now off camera. So I’ll take the money anytime.

Me: What made you get out of it?

Bree: Porn is not like any other job where as you get older and can still do. Porn is sex. It can feel very violating to have a person on top of and/or inside of me if it’s something I don’t want to be happening. Porn is a job. Even if you’re not in the mood, you still have to do it. It was getting to the point where I was either going to have to start drinking or taking drugs to be able to do this, or just stop. So I just stopped. They weren’t mean about it. It just didn’t feel right for me anymore. I grew up. I started when I was a baby, being 18 years old is so young. My 18 year old self loved it, but my 24 year old self was like, “I would like to do this off camera now because this doesn’t feel comfortable on camera anymore.” If you want to do porn, do porn. But be careful of the repercussions because you’re going to fuck up the rest of your life. I didn’t think of that, I was very dumb.

Me: All jobs have their pros and cons, no job is perfect. It’s an informed decision to get out of it when you are not feeling it anymore, like any other job.

Bree: I’d really like to see more 25-year-olds getting into porn. I feel guilty that even though I can admit an 18 year old girl is hot, I know in my head that she knows nothing because I’ve been there. I’ve asked these girls, “How do you feel about unions and not getting royalties?” And they respond with, “What’s a union?” And I’m like, “Oh my god! Please don’t let her do this. She doesn’t realize she’s going to ruin her fucking life!” If you are a strong women like me, you can recover and triumph. A lot of girls go into hiding after porn. You’re either a porn star or you disappear into nothing.

Me: Do you think porn at 18 years old should be illegal? Do you think age of consent for that should be raised?

Bree: I don´t know, it’s such a bad call for me. I feel that sex is very natural for all humans and I don’t want to put restrictions on it. I just don’t think that supporting 18-year-old porn should be regarded highly. I mean, 18- to 19-year-olds are still teenagers. People aren’t even allowed to drink here in the U.S. until they’re 21, but you’re allowed to have sex with 100 men at a time on camera? That’s absolutely bizarre to me.

Me: Is it as safe as they claim it to be in reference to STD testing, condoms, etc.?

Bree: We get tested once a month. The problem with that is porn stars are having sex outside the industry too, so what if you catch something in between those 30 days? We started to get real picky. We can require our scene partner to be tested within 3 days of the shoot. I know Sasha Gray did that which I really appreciate. There are companies that make you wear condoms and now the whole State of California has made it condom mandatory. But now the porn industry is just moving to Vegas, which I think is really unfair and unfortunate. Another thing that people bring up is the fear about HIV or AIDS. What people don’t realize is that issue focuses on the gay porn community. Gay porn and straight porn have nothing to do with each other. It’s amazing how separate the industries are, two very different worlds. I happen to be really lucky. There is a health risk and chance you’re taking when doing porn. But if you think about random girls hooking up, getting too drunk, and not using protection or the condom breaks, whereas people in the porn industry are being tested every month, the numbers say it’s safe. I have scars on my arm from the needle because I constantly had to get tested (at least once, sometimes 2 to 3 times a month).

Me: Did you ever feel sexually assaulted or violated? Did you feel pressured on set to do things you did not want to do?

Bree: I am naturally a very submissive person. For example, if you asked me right now, “Could we do this interview on the floor?” I would just naturally get on the floor with you and not question it. If that’s what I will do with you, you can imagine my personality on a porno set. If a guy asked me to do something, I would just wide eye and say “OK.” So, I do feel I was taken advantage of and think that a lot of girls do.

Me: What are you doing now? You’ve been doing philanthropy?

Bree O Homeless Project

Homeless Project Images from Bree Olson on FaceBook

Bree: Someone suggested on my Periscope to use my Amazon wish list for the homeless. I did porn, so that obviously makes me open-minded and it was a great idea so I went with it 1000% percent. What’s great about my homeless project is that the homeless can send me a wish list through Amazon and I do a money program to support it where people can send in cash. On my Periscope channel, people can watch me open each Amazon box, I pull out the orders, I’ll say exactly who it’s donated from, and my viewers will see it go into the back pack and onto the streets. Getting to see every single thing is the coolest part. I’m always posting about it on my Periscope, Twitter and Instagram @BreeOlson. I’m having a blast doing it and it feels so good!

Me: What do you do now for a living?

breeolsonplayboyBree: I run a merchandise website breeolson.biz. As I said, once you leave the adult industry you don’t make money from it. I’ve been on the cover of Playboy and take advantage of that by selling personalized signed merchandise. I get so many requests each day to sign a picture, sign a magazine, sign this and sign that, so I started charging for it all. All my DVDs are almost gone (Thank god, who buys DVDs anyways?). My customers can decide what they want, an R-rated or PG-rated message. I get requests as specific as, “Hi Johnny, I love you, I want to come visit you in Massachusetts sometime, Love Bree Olson”. It’s been great for me. I’m actually going home for all of November and December to write my book. You can’t ask me anything about it! Periscope has been a great platform to build my confidence. I’ve wanted to write for four years, and I’m finally doing it.

Me: What you do with online stalking, bullying and harassment?

Bree: I just try to block them and continue. I’m only human. Sometimes I’m just like,”Holy Macaroni!” and have my moments getting emotional.

Me: Ok, last question and we’ll let you go. Do you have stalkers offline that you have to deal with?

Bree: I had this one stalker when I was 19 years old who moved across the country just to live a few streets down from me. I hired a lawyer and filed a restraining order. He fought the restraining order without a lawyer. In court, I had everything from video accounts, texts, and emails but this white male judge, about 60 years old says, “Young lady, you should’ve thought about your career, you brought this upon yourself.” That’s what he said to me. And that day I went and bought my first gun because the law wouldn’t protect me.

Me: Because you’re a porn star. Wow. Thank you for sharing all of this, Bree.

Hope you enjoyed the Q&A from an insider of the sex work industry. You can check out the live interview on my Periscope (send us hearts ♥) and YouTube.

Yours,

Dr. Zhana

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