Christy Mack: The GF Interview
Christy Mack is primarily known for her work in the adult entertainment industry as well as having survived a very high-profile domestic violence case. We were fortunate enough to chat with her about what she’s up to now, how society victim blames abuse survivors, and what has aided in her healing.
Guerrilla Feminism: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do? What are you known for?
Christy Mack: First of all, I would like to say thank you so much for sending me these questions. I have been a long time follower of GF on Instagram, and more recently Twitter. As for me, My name is Christine, but I more frequently go by Christy. I’m known for my former work in the adult industry, from which I gained a large fan base and social network following. After retiring from my 16-or-so month long porn career over three years ago, I started several websites and partnerships, gained product endorsement deals, and began feature dancing and touring hosting night clubs. Now I mostly spend my time traveling and posting on social media; that is when I’m not smothering animals with attention.
GF: For people who don’t know, you were brutally beaten and sexually assaulted by your ex boyfriend in 2014, and it made national news. You then released photos of yourself showing the damage this man had caused. What made you decide to do this? Do you feel that showing people the visual effects of the abuse aided in your healing?
CM: The decision to post my statement and photos was a much more difficult one than most think. I spent days laying in the hospital, unable to move, unable to keep my eye open, and listening to my mother cry. On my first trip back online to see if people knew about this, I was met with what seemed like nothing but hate. I could not understand why everyone was saying things like “You got what you deserved”, “If you wouldn’t have been such a whore this wouldn’t have happened”, “He should have finished the job”, “It’s not that bad, she’s just doing this for attention”, and “Technically, they were both doing their jobs.” When reading this, and much, much more, I felt the need to sort of set the story straight by releasing my truth.
After I had released my statement and photos, I received some positive messages and even more negativity, which I had anticipated. What I had not expected was people from all walks of life sending me letters, emails, messages, etc, telling me their stories and sharing the most intimate parts of their lives with me. After I left the hospital, I spent hours every day reading these messages and taking on all of the emotion they had put into these words to me. I carried a deep heaviness with me for a while, remembering all of the terrible things all of these people have experienced and all of the cruelty and hatred that is in this world. One day, I received a letter that made me feel different. It hit me, while I was sitting there on the floor reading the letter, that I really could have died. I could have laid there and just died. I don’t know why I ran and chose to fight, I just did. But this letter made me realize that there was a reason I lived; and from there, I started to heal. Other than meeting and interacting with others that had similar experiences I don’t believe that posting the photos made a direct significant change in my own healing, but I realized that my own situation could help so many others in their healing.
Days, weeks, months, and now years later, people tell me how much seeing my story unfold and seeing me stand up to my abuser and move on has helped them. This is something that motivates me every day and makes me continue to share my life, even when it becomes nearly unbearable. It’s hard to tell people how much it hurts to read the cruel things that people say to me every day, how hard it is dealing with triggers, or even being alone in my own home. I don’t get to share my true thoughts or feelings a lot, or talk about all of the times I’ve thought about killing myself. I feel that I have to stay strong for everyone that watches me and draws inspiration to leave their abusive situation, and find the will to move on and keep living. I like to think that we are all healing together.
GF: Just recently, the well-known body guard, Big Black, said some horrible victim blaming things about you regarding the 2014 incident, which you had posted about on your Twitter. Do you receive many of these types of messages? How do you deal with them?
CM: It is sad to say that I do receive many of these. In the beginning, I would get hundreds a day, now I only get dozens. I have never been a stranger to people sending me ruthless messages, or people seeing me as a lesser person because of the adult industry. If I did not have my porn past, I don’t know that I would have been able to deal with the hateful words I read. This question always makes me think about my friend Joi, who I met through Twitter. She is a relatively normal woman, loving mother, beautiful tattoos, amazing personality, great activist, and a survivor. She was attacked by her boyfriend while she was sleeping, while her daughter was in the next room. He broke multiple golf clubs over her face. She now has a glass eye, and has undergone more surgeries than I can count. After everything that she went through, she still faced victim blaming from her community. She lost her job, she lost her friends, and had to deal with her entire world being flipped upside down all at the same time. She faced ridicule from his friends, and complete strangers, and she did nothing wrong. So many are quick to discredit victims; me because of the adult history, her for working at a tattoo shop and being an “alternative” woman; rape victims for being drunk, going to a party, wearing a skirt, etc. I realized it doesn’t matter how severe your situation is, or who you are, no one is immune to victim blaming and shaming.
GF: What do you feel is people’s biggest misconception about you?
CM: I feel that there are many misconceptions about me. Most of the misconceptions I find stem from porn. That I must have daddy issues, or have been touched as a child. That I am unhappy with myself and desperately seek acceptance by showing my body and being used as a fuck doll. I must be a complete idiot because I can’t do anything but spread my butthole for all to see. My family must hate me for straying from the social norm. No one will ever love me because people have seen me have sex before.
Most think that I am a hyper-sexual being that lives to have sex with anything and everything that I could possibly put inside of me. This comes from a very flawed thinking of “Oh man, I saw her have sex with someone once, she must just fuck alllllllll of the time.” In reality, my sexual experience doesn’t go far beyond what is seen on the internet. Even my current boyfriend expected my “number” to be far above the 27 that I sit at, counting both personal and professional. I go through periods where I absolutely can’t get enough of my man, but I also go through times where I can’t stand to be touched sexually. There was definitely a short time where I was fine with having sex on camera, and I still love showing off my body, but posting a picture of my dog and having at least 20 messages along the lines of “Did you fuck it” feels a bit of a far stretch.
I absolutely love seeing women fully embrace their sexuality and having casual (safe) sex with whomever, and however many they please and nothing makes me happier than seeing women that are completely comfortable with their bodies showing it off online. I feel that they face similar misconceptions to myself. I don’t feel that sexual history or preference should define a person or determine their worth to society.
GF: What activist efforts are you involved in? What causes do you support and why?
I am highly involved in the DV community, and have been since before my big hospital trip. I have found that many people see domestic violence as a situation that can be taken lightly. People find a way to separate themselves from certain situations. Since no one I know has died from being beaten or shot by their significant other, it can’t be that big of a problem, right? 1/3 of women and 1/4 of men have experienced some sort of violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Ok, let’s say that’s true, why don’t they just leave? Between the mental abuse of thinking you’re not good enough for anyone else, the financial control, the kids, the feeling of lack of resources, the fear of being caught and punished, the shame, and the statistic of 2/3 of female homicides being committed by a partner or family member; the chances of living successfully without your abuser seem bleak. But why not go to the law? I consistently see little to no punishment for abusers and rapists. You can file a protective order, but what good does a piece of paper really do? Well, if he or she wasn’t convicted, they must not have done it. You’re a liar. And the cycle goes on.
I believe that children should be taught about healthy relationships in school. Children that witness violence in the home are likely to continue on the cycle of abuse that they saw. I also believe it is important to make sure abusive people know that they have resources available to them to help with anger problems and conflict resolution. Domestic violence is a problem for everyone, not just those that are experiencing it at that time. If one of my neighbors would have called the police one of the multiple nights I was screaming for my life, I might not have nearly lost everything. If one of his friends that he had talked to about hitting me would have talked to him about seeking help, things could have ended differently.
Recently, I have found many feminism pages and websites online that closely align with my beliefs. I love seeing other strong people that care about the world in the same ways that I do. I appreciate everyone trying to bring about a systemic change for women’s rights across the world. I can’t wait to be more involved in the future with educating the masses and activism.
GF: Obviously every woman’s healing will look different, but do you have any advice on how to heal from the violence you experienced? What has helped you the most?
CM: All I can really say is that if you find something that feels ok, do that. If going to therapy makes you feel better, do it. If confiding in complete strangers on the internet seems like a good idea, do it. You don’t have to talk about it at all until you’re ready. If you want to lock yourself away for a little bit, that’s ok too. No one can tell you how to feel, or tell you when to be ‘you’ again. Just take it one day at a time, there’s no rush in healing. The most important part is seeking help to get out of a dangerous, and potentially deadly situation before it is too late. There are resources to help you at any stage you may be at, and there are people that understand. I didn’t know how many people truly knew what I had experienced until I searched for them.
Everyone heals in different ways and at different times. I can feel like I’m over something and months later it will hit me like it was yesterday. There were times where I still felt like I was in love with my abuser. At times I feel useless and incompetent. I still cry when I hear certain things, and I cower when people come near me or raise their hands. I often have feelings of inadequacy in my romantic relationship, and friendships. Any time I read about any sort of abusive situation or assault, I cry like there is no tomorrow. I try my best to hide my feelings in fear of upsetting those around me. Needless to say, I have a lot more healing to do, but I try find things that get my mind off of whatever I am feeling. I enjoy painting and adult coloring books. I step away from the social networks, as they can be very triggering, and take some time to appreciate the beauty of art. I also reach out to the many friends and sisters I have found through the DV organizations I have been involved with. I have found that many of them know exactly how I am feeling and have been there before. Sometimes rather than being alone and coloring, I find it nice to just share with someone that knows the feeling.
If you or someone you know needs help with a domestic violence situation, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
- 1-800-787-3224 (TTY for Deaf/hard of hearing)
- Live Chat from 7 AM to 2 AM CST