Hello sex freaks!
My column is experiencing a *slight* rebrand, so I’d like to introduce a follow-up to a previous work that featured an interview with my friend and porn actress, Mimi Oh — The basis of this new *hopefully* monthly feature will be trans women in adult entertainment and otherwise, presenting their views of their respective industries and personal experiences. I find that trans women are criminally underrepresented in media despite having existed in it for so long, and that through my column and published works, I should use this platform to discuss their work in a way not commonly presented. The shelf is shiny, and today I’ve dusted it off for adult actress and musician Nikole Korsakova, or as I know her, Chelsea.
The following interview contains subversive elements and opinions about sex work that may or may not be contrary or in agreeance with popularized view points, from the perspective of a sex worker. Of course, this will discuss and explore socio-sexual themes.
Chelsea (24), as I know her to be, is an adult film actress and sex worker who promotes under the stage name ‘Nikole Korsakova’. While I can’t explain the very trans coded fixation with using Russian names (a country that would very much seek to annihilate us, potentially with drones), I can sit and listen to her explain her experiences with the same amount of bias you would expect from someone attracted to anyone with dark hair and a sullen face.
Citing her experiences with transition as being an influence for her decision to pursue sex work as a career, Chelsea had her first encounter with dysphoria around age 13, making her first attempts to transition around 15. “When I was 15, I got very withdrawn, and had begged my parents to homeschool me, and I wanted to transition in secret. By the time I was in college I was hoping I’d pass and could integrate into society in secret.” She then started medically transitioning at 16, close to her 17th birthday. Within a year she went off to college to get out of North Carolina, when the infamous House Bill 2 was passed. “It scared the shit out of me and I wanted to get the fuck out of there. It seemed like a better option than staying and I wanted to play it safe.”
College was hard and humiliating, art school juxtaposed with figuring out her own identity and womanhood. “People thought I was a cross dresser. I was aware of who I am, but the outside wasn’t reflecting it. People have to see it to believe it”, and being faced with that and other salacious habits caused her to drop out half way through first year because of fiscal stress and depression — she had given up. “I shouldn’t put myself into debt so I can party at an expensive art school.” This lead to a few stints in retail, and finally, when that proved to not be enough to pay for a fiscally daunting transition, sex work appeared to save — and also ruin the day.
Q: “Starting basic. How did you first get into the adult industry?”
A: “I knew a lot of people who were close to sex workers or doing porn. I also had people who had been trying to recruit me since I was a teenager, so when I turned 20, I had started doing sex work.”
Q:”How was joining the adult industry? Do you remember the process or any difficulties? Was it natural or a lot of steps?”
A: “So, I’m 24 now. I started out at 20, doing Seeking Arrangement.. Finding sugar daddies in like, rural south carolina. I ended up flying out to Texas to check out the industry here, and I was surprised when I got here. It’s very accommodating. I thought Austin was a really good fit for me to lay my roots, and I got better at doing full service work. At the beginning of COVID, I started doing OnlyFans. I was still trying to build a brand as a sex worker. I began dating a girl who had a pretty good following online as an OnlyFans model, who was making like 20K a month doing it. I was trying to get to her level, working really hard and putting myself out there as much as possible.”
Q: “You were probably posting a lot of hole on twitter.”
“Yeah. That lead to me ending up shooting more studio porn, and I met with someone who was a producer. I thought more was going to come of it, like they’d see my potential… I didn’t realize at the time, they see all these girls coming and going and they already have their shit together. They don’t have the energy to fairy godmother every tranny who comes in.”
Q:” Was it difficult? What were some of the harder things you encountered?”
A: “The dudes who are in the scenes really don’t give a shit, and I didn’t realize how much I had to create boundaries and set my image. I was so out of my element that I really didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t realize I could look so clocky. I had been really secure in myself, but they made me look like I was very early transition still.”
Q: God, those HD cameras! As soon as you see yourself in high definition… Suicidal.
A: They also felt a little demeaning and gross… Obviously all porn does this, but they tried to make me look younger than I was. It all felt very infantilizing, and I didn’t learn until later that I could assert against it… They’ll take advantage of that if you’re quiet. If you have like, a clockier, crossy feature… They’re gonna make your jawline harsh. They’re gonna make your adam’s apple harsh. If you don’t look like an absolute doll, they’re gonna market you to the audience like that because there’s men who love that. They’re gonna push that perspective. They want the CD factor, unless you *really* look like the doll. A handful of my shoots made me feel really embarrassed, and like… degraded. I expected more of myself, but feel better now.
Q: A lot of porn uses that. They love the degradation and lowering of the transwoman, that’s the fetish…
A: Yeah, they want to have a lowly image of the woman they’re jerking off to. There’s a certain taboo to finding an untouchable faggot attractive. They want to feel ashamed of their attraction. It feels weird… And I have other friends who do porn, and they think a lot of transporn is degrading. I think all porn is like that, but I think there’s a special flavor with transporn where they want to outline the parts the audience is most of ashamed of their attraction to… They’re going to try to make the audience feel a little gay.
Q: “That has to be really alienating.”
A: “In my mind, I want to be shot like, as a woman… I want to feel like I have dignity, like I’m pretty… But there’s this corrupted version of that that is used for porn.”
Q: “ How do you feel about onlyfans culture? Everyone has onlyfans now, everyone’s on twitter. There’s a lot of sex positive culture I feel that people adapt to that has them over their heads. A lot of people turn 18 and they’re like… OnlyFans time.”
A: “A lot of guys will like, try to trick girls they have attraction to into doing their fantasies.”
Q: “Yeah, and those fantasies often fuck people up.”
A: “There’s such a saturation of porn that people can find whatever they want and if they can’t they make it… I know girls who have like changed their bodies and were coaxed into it. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but there’s this term called audience hijack… Like, with Nikocado Avocado, the audience has basically encouraged him to become this caricature of himself and destroy his body for views. And… I see that shit all the time in porn, it’s really terrifying to see girls make compromises for their audiences and become as unhealthy as possible. I can only see like 5-10 years down the line, and how it’ll affect them when they leave the industry.
A: “The scenario of empowerment is always to a man’s preference. They’re allowing you to degrade them or be empowered but it’s all their discretion, like in BDSM. People are becoming more sexualized and it doesn’t really benefit them unless a man says it does sometimes, so we see people presenting themselves in a super hypersexual way that doesn’t translate well to actual society.”
Q: “The male gaze is really how it’s made. I have to deal with all these people who try to say they’re sex positive in the kink scene, who just want me to have fun… But they want to fetishize me and pressure me into their fantasies.. I wish more women were aware of how insidious it’s become, how more men will use sex positivity to manipulate and project their male fantasy. I wish more women would see how it impacts them and how so much isn’t on their terms.
Q: “How do you find that being a sex worker has affected you in your sex life?”
A: For me, I’ve lost a lot of trust and faith in men in my life. It’s hard for me to make clear boundaries because people see me as being a sex worker or in porn to use me to be malleable.
Q: “They think you’lll do whatever they want, you’re already a sex object and they assume you’re willing to do whatever they want because you’re a sex object.”
A: “They think i’m easily persuaded. It’s crazy how they’ll treat you like a prude for saying now, but when you say yes they treat you like a deviant or sex freak. “
Q:I find a lot of men pursue trans women sexually because they think we’re more desperate or eager to please. Married women will often pursue trans women because we’re low risk.
A: They think we don’t have self respect and they’re able to treat us like secrets… I don’t draw that much self worth from male validation. It is so fleeting, and so not on my terms. Why would I give a shit if a guy gets a boner from me? I can always find a guy attracted to me, but it’s rare to find someone who respects me or encourages my goals.
Q: “In relation to sex work and objectification, how does that play out in dating or trying to develop relationships? Is it more difficult having that conversation, or does it always lead to objectification?”
A: ”It depends on the type of people I pursue. It limits my dating pool to other sex workers, other women who have done the mental work to accept sex work and something that doesn’t infringe on boundaries of relationship, or it’s guys who have dated sex workers already — strippers, cam girls, anything… Or guys who have sex work adjacent jobs like DJs, Drug Dealers, Bartenders… It’s really people who have transient, under the table jobs like me. I’m very like, outside of normal circle… I don’t really hang out with people who haven’t done that. It makes it kind of hard to, I guess, introduce myself or explain myself to those people unless they’re familiarized.”
Q: “Like how you think and what you experience… In my experience as someone who’s done fetish work as well, I find it really taxing to be around people who don’t understand or judge or even pity me because of my experiences.”
A: “It’s hard to find common ground. They think sex workers aren’t putting any work in just because we make money with less hours.”
Q: Yeah, it’s like, incredibly emotionally taxing to participate.
A: I’m not trying to hide the fact that sex work is unsafe and toxic and detrimental to people’s mental health, but I think that there’s a stigma around the people who get into it and people will treat you like you’re unclean… That’s what I’m trying to get away from.
Q: “How do you feel about the online glamorization of sex work or pro-sex culture?”
A: “I do look down on other people who have other options. There are girls who get into it for the culture or the clout who had a nice job or career, but see it as like, being glamorous or a side hustle. The most modern feminist way to think about it is that it’s less stigmatizing and less dangerous for, and i’m going to say this in the least patronizing way possible, but it makes it safe for the real sex workers. I don’t think it’s an industry that should be taken lightly as if it’s not damaging to your mental health or reputation. It’s hard to change the cultural pervasiveness of misogyny and the negative mindset towards female sexuality. Exposing yourself is hard to bounce back from.”
Q: “It also seems very predatory towards young girls who get into it thinking it’s something it’s not, even with stuff like sugaring.”
“It’s just that men have preyed on new girls to boost their audience. Help me help you, etc… It’s people just running through new naive girls new in sex work who don’t know their boundaries, getting preyed on by people who have already resigned themselves to this and don’t care they’re going to have this impact on young women. It’s scary and i’ve seen it happen to people. It’s hard for me to say in good conscience that it’s just a few people, but there’s so much exploitation in the sex work community that we have to bargain with ourselves how much we’re willing to put up with to get the most… I think ultimately, it’s bad for us, but I think what we can get out of it is enormous vs what we put in it. I really resent the fact it’s getting lost how damaging it can be.”
Q: “Everyone has content and everyone has to produce it. It’s taxing to have no time off from sexualization and fetishization. I find it can be dehumanizing and damaging to people’s mindsets toward sex. I would justify hypersexuality as being apart of being sex positivity, like, “haha it’s fun to be a whore!”, but i didn’t realize the extreme damage i was doing to how I would have sex, how I would have relationships, and how I would view myself and it happens to a lot of people.”
A: “It damages your ability to have relationships with people later in life, but you can come back from it.”
Q: ”How do you see yourself post sex work? You’re very young, so what do you think is after?”
A:”I really enjoy modeling. I have various things I would enjoy using my platform for to boost my image. Ultimately, I really want to downsize… I deleted my twitter that had 77.7 thousand followers, because I was getting over inundated with sexual content and it was making me disgusted with sex in general. I deleted that, and recently facebook… Anytime I screamed into the void I realized I needed to spend more time in my own life and not find inward validation. I realize I need to live my own life through my own eyes a little more… It means being more realistic. I’m looking at more other options for careers, like healthcare, so I can fall back on that, but I don’t think ill ever leave the public eye. I love attention. I’m going into music and in the process of getting that going and funding that myself. It’s all kind of coming together slowly.”
Chelsea can be followed on social medias here! https://www.instagram.com/chehexgrrl/