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Thinking & Knowing Are Two Different Things

In my blog, Pulling the Curtain Back, I ask my clients to also blog about relevant topics. This month it's the lovely ALT voluptuous adult star Lylith LaVey. She's talking about how her life changed from one scene and people's perceptions as to what happened. She's setting the record straight now.

Thinking & Knowing Are Two Different Things

There’s been a lot of chatter about me resulting in assumptions that I caught syphilis that ill-fated day on set, while working for a certain adult studio. Being silent on the issue was the best choice for me at the time. I would really like to clarify that I never had any STD, even though I have been exposed and dealt with the backlash from that. It appears to have attached a stigma to my name, which is disheartening. I care about the industry, as well as my own health and career. However, it appears that I can’t seem to get people to stop thinking of me as that ill-informed girl who caught syphilis, rather than being known for my performances or presence in the business.

About a month ago, I was dancing as a house girl at a strip club in Los Angeles. A repeat customer (who has requested lap dances from me in the past) came in with a group of his friends. He knew that I was in the industry. I’m assuming he mentioned this to his friends, because the belligerent one in the group was eagerly trying to Google my name on his phone. Ten minutes later, I was on stage dancing. While upside down on the pole, I heard someone yell out about me being a "pornstar", along with my real name. And to top it off, the last part of this guy’s “announcement” was that I had syphilis. He then proceeded to read aloud more personal details about me from his phone. There was not much I could do, but to motion for him to be quiet by putting my finger to my lips. Come to think of it, I was still hanging upside down on the pole, so at this point I probably looked like the stripper version of Dracula, stunned and embarrassed. Not to mention, apparently I had syphilis? That was news to me. Sadly, I couldn’t fix this particular situation, so I did my best to ignore it and my escalating anxiety.

Last month, while doing a live boy/girl cam show for a major webcam company, I noticed questions from fans about me having syphilis appearing on the monitor. Like always, I try to ignore these types of questions. On occasion, I will answer them if they seem to be relevant and not idiotic. Of course, this wasn’t my first time at the degradation platform. I won’t drag on with a list of my dreaded experiences, but let’s just say there have been quite a few.

So, let this end the speculation. I’ll tell you exactly what took place on set that day. In June of 2012, I arrived on set and did my job, as usual. I didn’t notice anything on the male performer that would have been a cause for concern. Now, I will admit when I saw the pictures go viral (once the scene was posted), I was mortified. It was, and still is frustrating for me, so naturally I can understand how some “assumptions” were made. After trying to see things from another perspective, I completely understand how people could assume I was just plain thoughtless for doing the scene, even though that wasn’t the case.

There have been times in the past and even recently, when I have refused to shoot with another male or female performer, after seeing obvious, visual evidence indicating that the other performer was not in a healthy condition.

Yes, there have been many ignorant comments made regarding the situation, and it’s been hard to not say anything or justify my side of the story. I’ve been silent, because I felt there was a need for me to “justify” any of my choices or how I handled everything.  Here’s the deal…yes, I came in contact with a performer that was positive for an STD. Yes, I was exposed to syphilis while onset working with that performer. Luckily, I DID NOT contract syphilis from the shoot that day, nor have I EVER had syphilis. Hopefully, that is cleared up for everyone now.

There’s a HUGE difference between “exposure” and actually contracting the STD. Just because someone was exposed, does not automatically mean they’re infected. We all know this—it’s not the first time it’s happened, and the sad truth is that it won’t be the last.

As an industry, we should take the “innocent until proven guilty” approach. People already assumed I had it without seeing tests to prove otherwise. We shouldn’t push each other into a corner with a dunce hat labeled “STD Positive”, until we know all the facts.

It’s been a tough couple of years in this industry for everyone, between moratoriums, condom legislature and people pirating porn from the Internet. Personally, I’m still dealing with backlash from this syphilis scenario. I cannot cure ignorance, and I can’t undo my own mistakes, or the mistakes of others.

I’m grateful that in my entire career in the adult industry I have NEVER tested positive for an STD. In fact, I have even publicly posted my test results, so the whole world can see that I was clean. What has happened with this whole incident has made me much more aware of how fast a small ripple can turn into a total shit storm (for lack of a better term).

I do care about my industry and I want people to be safe. With that in mind, I did a lot of research to obtain the correct information on STDs and how they are spread. I had to discover what worked for me from numerous sources in order to feel adequately educated. I encourage everyone to figure out what works for them in order to be as prepared as possible, so that we can protect ourselves and our industry to the best of our abilities. I would not wish any aspect of such an experience on anyone; therefore I am happy to share my side of this story. Perhaps, it will not only bring clarification to my experiences, but also an awareness of how we choose to treat the occupations we all value.

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