The recent allegations of sexual misconduct exposed in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement have largely focused on glamorous Hollywood actors, actresses and models. But a recent accusation by gay porn star Tegan Zayne shows that sexual misconduct, harassment and even rape occur in all other fields, including the sex work and gay porn industries. In fact, the Tegan Zayne rape accusations have raised several important points about sexual consent and sex work in age of confronting sexual assault.
The Tegan Zayne rape accusations, in Zayne’s own words
DiMaggio and Zayne both appeared in a CockBoys scene (link NSFW) entitled, “Topher Dimaggio Fucks Tegan Zayne” on Nov. 22, 2016. Before and since, both stars have appeared as performers for various porn studios, with DiMaggio serving as a top and Zayne as a versatile bottom.
In a series of Tweets released on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, Zayne wrote (link NSFW):
So this happened about two summers ago. I was working for CockyBoys at the time and was getting ready to film the next day. My scene partner and I shared living quarters just for the few nights we would be together for filming. This happened the first night. I tried waiting up to greet him and say hi before jumping right into filming, but he wasn’t showing up. So by 1 or 2 a.m. I decided to fall asleep. I was held asleep with the TV on in the background and he comes in. I stir myself awake to say hi to him, and he instantly went for it. Now, in porn there is a huge rule and it’s “Don’t cum the night before your scene,” for obvious reasons. Being a professional whore, I follow this guideline to give the best performance for the audience. But he insisted.
“No,” I said, “I didn’t clean, I don’t want to.”
“It’s okay, I don’t care about that.”
This was a repeated dialogue.
“Just don’t cum in me.”
*cums in me anyway*
I had to do my best job and put on a friendly face after that, but the entire time we spent together I was belittled and degraded. Told how I’m such a girl. Told how I’m crazy and insecure. Insulting was almost second nature. He even complained about how I suck duck, and I got reprimanded and was told evener to deep throat on camera again because no one wanted to see it.
Anyway, I forgave and tried to forget. I told the people closest to me at the time, the people closest to me at the time. The producer apologized, even though they continue to work with him, so how sorry were they really? And my friend at the time told me, “You probably liked it anyways,” and “It’s OK, he’s negative.”
I haven’t told anyone else this because I’ve struggled with the idea that maybe he didn’t rape me, and maybe I did enjoy it. Maybe having someone cum in your when you repeatedly tell them “no” is not a big deal when you’re a sex worker, Maybe I’m wrong for pointing this out. Does it matter? Does anyone care? Nothing is going to happen. He will still be getting awards and jobs, so why am I telling this story?
Because it can happen to anyone. You will be manipulated to think you are the one in the wrong. It happens to men, sex workers, LGBTQ. If you feel you’ve been wronged, don’t let anyone tell you how to feel. Speak your truth to those willing to listen. Don’t be afraid to hold someone accountable for their actions. And don’t be afraid to say no and get violent if you have to.
I’ve seen a lot of stories come out about the #MetToo thing, but it feels like no one cares about the male victims or the sex workers. As someone else said, “Rape doesn’t exist in this line of work,” and it couldn’t be more true.
Anyway, the person that did this was Topher DiMagio. And by no means I’m trying to start a witch hunt — just think y’all should know that this happens in all industries, especially in an all-male one that revolves around sex.
Here are the Tegan Zayne rape accusations that Zayne tweeted this weekend:
— てEGΔΠ (@TeganZayne) January 21, 2018
There’s a lot to unpack here, but let’s highlight the three big takeaways from the Tegan Zayne rape accusations:
1. Topher DiMaggio has yet to respond
Neither DiMaggio nor CockyBoys have publicly responded to the Tegan Zayne rape accusations (though we’ve reached out to both for comment and will update this story if they respond).
Zayne temporarily made his Twitter account private after making these claims. He has since made his account public again and has written the following messages:
I opened a gate that I’ve been terrified of opening and honestly i feel more anxiety than relief.
I just like staying positive and not focusing on the past. I don’t want anyone making this about an “accusation” and turning it into something it’s not when it was just me sharing my story.
I do not authorize any gay porn blogs to use this as a story on their web pages.
Also I don’t want this to turn into a whole callout/cancel thing. I only put the name because I knew people would ask. The focus is that it happens to everyone
There was no accusations it was just me telling my story. Believe it or not, but I’m not looking for a hate mob or witch hunt. Sometimes people can learn a lesson just from hearing what someone has to say. There doesn’t have to be animosity, because this ultimately isn’t about me
I should’ve nEver mentioned any names but what’s done is done
Tbh these porn blogs making posts about this after I specifically said not to, has me really stressed out. I didn’t want this to be such a thing. I was just getting something off my chest to help me heal, and to add to the conversation in a gray area
Maybe I snapped
We have also reached out to Zayne for comment.
2. Gaslighting can happen from one’s self, one’s assailant and even one’s own friends
The Tegan Zayne rape story shows why some rape survivors take so long to tell their stories, partly because they begin to doubt whether their experiences ever really happened.
Gaslighting, the term for when people try to manipulate others into questioning their own sanity, can occur following a sexual assault. Often, as a coping mechanism, a survivor of sexual assault may question whether what happened was assault or whether they invited it somehow. Their assailant may make the survivor feel like it was consensual, invited, their own fault or that any perception of sexual assault is really just post-coital resentment, shame or mental instability. Even well-intentioned friends may try to minimize a survivor’s feelings or recollections in an attempt to squash any bad feelings or regret.
But it’s important that we believe people who make claims of sexual assault, partly because: 1) Sexual assaults occurring privately between two people are very hard to prove, 2) only 2% to 10% of rape accusations turn out to be false and 3) the employment and judicial systems actively discourage survivors from accusing their attackers under threat of firing, media exposure and long, costly court battles.
3. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, even porn stars and sex workers
As we said, thus far the majority of sexual assault allegations in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement thus far have been made by actors, actresses and models against big name directors and media figures, but sexual misconduct undoubtedly occurs in all fields: in manufacturing jobs, fast-food chains, all manner of retail and service jobs, creative fields and even in more overtly sexual fields like gay bars, LGBTQ organizations and the porn industry.
No matter what becomes of the Tegan Zayne rape accusations, it’s important for us to understand that everyone is entitled to enthusiastically accept or decline consensual sex without pressure or coercion, no matter a person’s job or public standing.
Porn stars, sex workers, sexy models and wage workers are all people, all deserving of a choice in who they fuck and a voice in this ongoing public conversation about what sexual harassment and assault look like.