LOS ANGELES—Adult performer and UCLA student Tasha Reign addressed a Psychology 101 class at UCLA on Monday, participating in a panel that also included veteran performer Nina Hartley.
The class was attended by an estimated 30 undergraduate and graduate students and UCLA Speech and Communications Studies chair Dr. Neil Malamuth, a researcher in Sexually Explicit Media. Students stayed 30 minutes after class formally ended, asking questions and taking photos.
"This was my first paid speaking gig, and I'm glad I could do it in an academic setting, especially here at my own school," Reign said. "If you ask me, the hardest thing about working in the adult industry isn't the industry itself, it's the stigma you have to deal with when you are outside of the industry. I don't know if we changed any minds, but at least I told them my own experiences, instead of those friend-of-a-friend, secondhand rumors that can turn up whenever people get together."
According to David Frederick, Ph.D., who is teaching the class as a visiting assistant professor in Psychology at the university, the course curriculum has included viewing The Price of Pleasure, a 2008 documentary about the adult industry and its effect on viewers; reviews of studies of exposure to pornography to men and the effect on their attitudes on a variety of subjects; and readings by sex-positive feminists including Wendy McElroy and anti-porn activist Robert Jensen.
"Nearly everyone thought Playboy should be legal," Dr. Frederick said, reflecting an informal survey of the class. "Most thought hardcore porn should be legal, most thought 'gang bang' scenes should be illegal—though I think maybe a bunch of them thought 'gang bang' meant 'simulated rape.'"
Reign has been attending UCLA while working as a dancer in gentlemen's clubs and nude modeling. She started performing on-camera in 2010.