I teach you how to use your past to nourish your future
About Rachel Brownstein
After finishing yet another gruelling shift in a hotel restaurant, I was again faced with the prospect of getting no more than four hours sleep before having to get up at 5am to do it all again. And again. And again. That was the point that I realised I needed more from life, and decided to take a dive into the sex industry. I spent years travelling across cities, countries, and continents, working for the largest pornographic film companies. Setting my own work schedule brought me the freedom I had been craving for years, and I enjoyed the lifestyle. For a while.
The time came in 2009 when I realised that the industry was no longer fulfilling me, and I knew I had to make a break. Walking away threw up challenges that I had never even considered. How does society treat former sex workers? Spoiler alert: Not very well at all.
It would have been easier to go back to porn, but I refused to, despite getting fired from jobs after someone recognised me, despite the stalking, despite the doxing; I needed to use more than just my body in whatever career I chose.
People are always curious about my story when I met them, and I’ve come to realise that I have a very unique experience of the world, and an engaging way of sharing it. Although very few share this same experience, almost everyone can resonate with the need to do something differently.
I now share the skills I’ve gathered over the years so that I can help people become so much more than their labels.
University of Leeds | The University of Sheffield| Sexpression: UK | Funzing
Most Requested Topics
Wear Your Past as Your ARMOUR
Gain a new perspective on past events, and start making them work for you, instead of against you. I show you how I used my ARMOUR to reshape the life that society told me I had to live, because of a choice that I made nearly two decades ago. You don’t have to stay inside that box that society put you in, let me show you how to break down the walls, and make the entire world your box.Start the Conversation
The Story of Me
Dive inside this account of one of the most popular forms of entertainment on the planet, pornography. In this talk, I discuss how I got started in the adult film industry, what my experiences were like, and what life is like for someone who has tried to walk away from a previous career when the world is heavily weighted against them. The Story of Me is an opportunity to hear an honest and uncensored account of one performer’s direct experience, giving rare, behind-the-curtains insight into the sex industryStart the Conversation
Passionate, insightful, angry, and absolutely essential. Rachel’s work on the sex industry is not only authoritative and witty, but she opens up a dialogue around pornography that is sorely needed today. If I had my way, I would put her on the GCSE syllabus immediately.
—Dr Kate Lister | Lecturer, historian, author of A Curious History of Sex
Rachel is a spectacularly gifted and charismatic public speaker. Through her own self-insight and emotional intelligence, she invites her audiences to look deeper into their pasts, confronting them with their prejudices and mistakes – only rather than doing so armed with a patronising tone and raised index finger, Rachel does so with humour and honesty. I cannot recommend her enough!
—Sophia Tamaro | Film Director
Really interesting talk and insight into an eye opening industry that is clearly well used by many of the population!
—Victoria | Funzing Attendee
A courageous talk about the impact of working in the adult sex industry. Unapologetic and insightful, Rachel reveals the personal impact of her experiences and some of the struggles she has faced subsequently.
—Andrew | Funzing Attendee
Rachel’s talk was the highlight of our semester’s social calendar! She created a fun, curious, relaxed environment which triggered multifaceted and fascinating discussions, both during the talk and for a long time afterwards. She was incredibly easy to work with and flexible, and the whole process was really enjoyable. Additionally, we had the best year in memory for volunteer recruitment, no doubt due in part to the buzz created by such a universally interesting event.
—Olga White | Sexpression Sheffield
So different, opportunity to get rid of some misconceptions, really interesting to learn about something completely different to any other talk!
—Michelle| Funzing Attendee
Brilliant evening giving a candid insight into the porn industry…. could have listened to the talk twice as long! Would definitely go again 🙂
—Clare| Funzing Attendee
The talk was really enlightening and empowering. It educated me and my friend about the real life of a sex worker and challenged the negative image created by the press. There is never just one shade of grey and not everyone who chooses to do porn / prostitution is a victim of an exploitation. Moving forwards, this encourage me myself to be more brave in my personal life from now on. If I am ever in a position where I would find out that my colleague has done porn and for whatever reason the word would get around – I swear to show both personal and public support for him / her in order to help change a limited perception that society seems to have created based on limited horror stories of sex workers. Thank you Rachel and keep doing what you are doing!
—Leo | Funzing Attendee