HomeNewsSin City: What “Muslim Porn Star” says about the biz

Sin City: What “Muslim Porn Star” says about the biz

Adult movie star Nadia Ali, aka Muslim Porn Star, incited international controversy over the religious statements made during her rise to XXX prominence.

Sin City: What “Muslim Porn Star” says about the biz

Adult movie star Nadia Ali made quite the name for herself within the porn industry. Known among her avid fans as “Muslim Porn Star”, she would often wear her hijab to shoot porn scenes, (predictably) inciting international controversy over the political and religious statements made during her rise to XXX prominence.

The 26-year-old Pakistani-American, who is a practicing Muslim, exotic dancer, and former escort and porn star, opened up in an interview about her decision to jump ship by leaving the industry and launching a beauty salon in Los Angeles.

Prior to this, Nadia caused a stir with her decision to openly promote her religious beliefs while shooting porn scenes to be promoted on the front pages of the major adult movie sites.

Speaking to Refinery29, Nadia explained how she is now “banned” from Pakistan, where many of her relatives live. Pakistan did not ban me because I did porn,” Ali declared. “They banned me because I wore the scarf and their traditional dress in the adult scenes and performed in Islamic wear.”

During her introduction to the sex work industry, Nadia revealed how she was asked to strip dance one night by a friend. “I made like $500 and I was so proud of myself, like, ‘Oh my god, I’m never going to go back! I’m never going back to my old life.’” From here, she went on to work as an escort, having sex with paying clients, before moving into the porn industry. If you’re thinking of getting into the adult industry call on Adult SEO Co, for help.

It’s from this moment in Nadia’s story that we learn a lot about the adult movie industry and how the audiences’ tastes are shifting. “A lot of porn companies and adult companies would not shoot me and I would not get a lot of work if I did not wear the traditional Islamic, Middle Eastern wear,” she explained.

So while Nadia bore the brunt of the vitriol to the point of receiving death threats on social media, she was simply catering to the demands of the market. As Refinery29 pointed out, “Wearing a hijab is one of the few taboos still left in porn, and in porn, taboo sells.”

Just like porn itself, quite clearly there is a market for adult movies that push the boundaries of what is acceptable in society. Lebanese-American porn performer Mia Khalifa caused a similar stir throughout her career as a porn star – like Nadia, she has retired from the biz following a whirlwind rise to fame.

Wearing a hijab while performing sex acts, filming scenes with her Lebanese tattoos on show, including the opening line from the Lebanese national anthem and another of the Lebanese Forces Cross, and posting pictures of her face edited onto the Virgin Mary’s image are just a few of her moves that have come under question (to put it lightly).

“Every day, I get some type of tweet or some type of comment on my ‘gram: ‘I want to kill you,’ ‘I want to behead you and give it to your mother,’ ‘I want to behead your mother,’ ‘I want to rape your mother,’ a lot of things,” Mia divulged. “I deal with it with kindness and I delete their message and I block them. That’s the most I can do.”

Despite heavy criticism from Lebanese and Middle Eastern authorities, Mia’s popularity with the fans tells a totally different story – she remains one of the most searched for porn stars online and made it to the #1 star spot on Pornhub.

Mia stands by her career, while Nadia describes it as a “stepping stone” to get to where she is now – but that’s not to say they don’t question the motives of the producers who directed them. After all, they’ve both retired from the industry. When speaking to Refinery29, Nadia explained that she quit because in some of the scenes, the producers were attempting to make the Middle Eastern community look bad.

“They offered me to do a scene where an all-American white guy dressed like Donald Trump is fucking a Muslim girl . . . I felt disrespected. That wasn’t going to be my 21st scene.”

This is the point at which Nadia drew the line. But when (if at all) will the industry do the same? It’s not just religion being used as a trope to sell T&A. You only need to look at the major sites’ statistics to see that taboo topics are the future of porn, teetering on the edge of what is acceptable and what is downright illegal.

Three of the top ten searches on Pornhub for men in 2017 were “stepmom”, “stepsister”, and “mom” – there has been a sharp spike in family role play porn over the past several years (178 percent between October 2014 and January 2015), suggesting a craving for movies depicting incestual relations.

Another in the top ten search is “teen”, a category that is awash with actresses dressed up in knee high socks, wearing pigtails. You only need to use your imagination to understand what connotations these movies have with regards to adult movie preferences.

We live in an age when porn is accessible, it’s free, and it’s abundant, and with the rise of the internet, the sites have no choice but to find an edge and get viewers clicking. Threesomes, anal, gangbangs – what were once the height of taboo are now run-of-the-mill. The industry needs something more.

That’s why producers are turning to new extremes in order to reach the shock factor and why stars such as Nadia and Mia, whose religious connotations were the selling point of their films, are like gold dust to producers. Of course, the fundamental of Nadia’s work was not sinister in itself. “It’s okay to be conservative and still have a sexual side, and I wanted to show that on camera,” she explained.

But pitching a story involving a Muslim woman being degraded by a Trump impersonator and you’re headed into exploitation territory, where disrespectful videos are promoted as clickbait porn.

“It was disrespectful, trying to use me as a clown for religious political messages. It was more than just a movie; it was bigger than that,” added Nadia, “Young girls getting into the porn industry aren’t thinking about these roles they are offered, they’re just doing it for the check.”

And so long as there are controversial topics left to explore in an adult movie context, the porn industry will continue to exploit them to get clicks. Because as the golden rule has always stated, porn is a business and taboos are what sell.

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Daisy Webb is an outspoken, opinionated writer with a passion for all things horror and cult comedy. When she's not watching films, she likes listening to music, cooking too much food, and writing short stories with unhappy endings.

daisyp@filmdaily.co