Saturday, November 18

Adult film star speaks to psychology class about sex, pornography


In a presentation to a class in Kinsey Pavilion 1200B, adult film actress Jessica Drake explained the deceptiveness of movie magic in the adult film industry. (Robert Luna Jr./Daily Bruin senior staff)

In a presentation to a class in Kinsey Pavilion 1200B, adult film actress Jessica Drake explained the deceptiveness of movie magic in the adult film industry. (Robert Luna Jr./Daily Bruin senior staff)


The Kinsey Pavilion 1200B chalkboard read “SEX” in big letters.

Standing in front of the lecture hall full of students was adult film actress Jessica Drake, who said growing up in a conservative and religious family environment made her view sex negatively.

“I had a lot of fear-based sex education,” Drake said. “All it did was scare me.”

For five years, Drake has been speaking to college students about sex. Drake spoke to a Psychology 129E: “Human Sexuality” class on Aug. 11, discussing ways young people learn about sex, consent and the role pornography plays in sexual education.

Psychology professor David Frederick said the goal of his class is to teach students the social and biological aspects of sexuality, whether it be consent or the role pleasure plays in sex.

Frederick said he got the idea to invite adult film stars as guest speakers while he was a teaching assistant to communication studies professor Neil Malamuth, who studied pornography and the effects it has on young people. Malamuth invited adult film actors to his class before, such as Nina Hartley.

Inviting adult film actors to class allows students to understand how the actors chose their career path, Frederick said.

“People tend to have bad stereotypes of porn actors, and often ask, ‘Why are they in the industry?’” Frederick said.

Drake began public speaking about sex education after people at autograph signings began asking her for sex advice, she said.

During her presentation, Drake said people tend to grow up thinking that extramarital sex is dirty or unacceptable. She said she thinks this negative stigma prevents young people from getting proper sex education, which she thinks should focus on pleasure.

“Most of us are taught that sex needs to happen between a mother and father,” Drake said.

Halfway through her presentation, Drake asked the class what they wish they had known before they had sex. One student responded she wished she hadn’t been taught sex was unacceptable growing up, but rather something people do for pleasure.

“No one mentions why there’s a reason everyone wants to have sex: because it feels good,” Drake said. “That often gets ignored in sex education.”

Drake also discussed the porn industry. She said young people tend to learn most of what they know about sex through pornography, but that they don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.

Actors usually discuss how they want to pursue a scene, which then goes through many rounds of editing and “movie magic” before the final product is distributed, she said.

Some students in the class said they found Drake’s presentation useful because she created a comfortable environment and she discussed topics usually not talked about in other classes.

Erin Choi, a rising third-year psychology student, said she thought Drake created a friendly environment with the class and thought she was a good resource because she knew what she was talking about.

“She’s experienced, so I can rely on what she’s saying,” Choi said.

Ash Hoque, a rising fourth-year biology student, said he’d like to see more classes about sexuality that students can take during their first years of college.

Frederick said Drake understands students and provides a meaningful conversation.

“She’s particularly good with connecting with students and answering questions in a critical and nonjudgmental way,” Frederick said.

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News senior staff

Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.


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