Childhood sexual abuse led her there. Jesus helped her escape, she said.
WASHINGTON — In the summer of 1980, a four-year-old girl and her brother walked over to play at their friends’ swimming pool. The girl was not super close with her playmates; she saw them more as good acquaintances. But the two children were given permission to leave the house and play. In the broiling heat of Jacksonville, Florida, splashing around in a pool is a godsend.
This was no holy day, though. The next thing the girl knew, her friends’ daddy took her into a bathroom. Inside, she said, the man assaulted her sexually. “He touched me and stuff like that,” she said, declining to elaborate.
Today, the girl now goes by the name of Christina Outlaw, which she took after she got married nearly three years ago; she refers to herself as Crissy. Still, Crissy gets cautious when she talks about her childhood; she chooses her words with care, pauses for two or three seconds, and fumbles for the proper expression.
Explaining her early years is difficult not just because of the pain she went through. Crissy felt like she had no control — zero, none at all. Her working-class parents fought a lot. Her dad drank. When Crissy was 12 or 13, her parents divorced. Her mom got remarried. Older boys touched her and older men leered at her, she said. “I just remember feeling like people looked at me in a sexual way, older men especially,” she said.
Crissy grew up Baptist in the heart of the Bible Belt; the Florida Baptist Convention has its headquarters in Jacksonville. At the age of 11, Crissy accepted Jesus Christ as her savior. But in her teenage years, she wandered and perhaps was led astray. “I felt like God didn’t love me at all. When I was 17, I had an abortion,” she said. “If He loved me, He would not have let happen what happened.”
Like many Americans who undergo misfortune, Crissy wanted to flip the script. Gaining control of her life became her ambition. For some, work, alcohol, or gambling is the path to autonomy and self-empowerment. For Christina, starring in pornographic films was. Her career begot the stage name she is known by today, Crissy Moran.
From 1999 to 2006, Moran appeared in more than 50 adult movies. Her pulchritude and appeal were undeniable.
Today, Christina Outlaw is lives with her husband in Houston. (Citing privacy reasons, she declined to give her original surname). She left the porn industry nearly a decade ago and said she has not received any profits from the business since she left. She works in a female clothing-and-accessories store as a stylist. And most important to her, Crissy is a Christian.
Crissy’s transformation from abused child to porn starlet to Christian has been told before in the mainstream and Christian press. And other porn starlets, notably Linda Lovelace, the star of Deep Throat, have become Christian after leaving the industry. But in a 60-minute interview with Aleteia, Outlaw emphasized that leaving behind the male-dominated pornography business for Christianity was her path to peace.
Crissy’s changed outlook on life is apparent in her attitude to her new line of work in retail. She sees women differently. “I love making women and girls look pretty. Women are so beautiful and everyone is different. It’s such an amazing job. Women are not in competition with me anymore. It’s a weird thing. I see the beauty in everybody. The first thing I used to see was the flaws. Now I see the beauty,” she said.
Despite the emotional scars from her childhood, Crissy became a functioning adult. She graduated from high school in Florida, took classes at a local college, and worked various jobs, including as a waitress at Hooter’s. Yet she wanted more for her life. After taking pictures of herself and sending them around, she received offers from adult magazines, including Hustler. By the age of 25, she appeared in her first sex video. (Also, she told a family member about the sexual assault from her childhood, but she did not press charges).
Crissy lived in Jacksonville, but she moved to Encinitas, California, later. Living away from her hometown was one thing. Becoming a featured actress on a movie set was another. Crissy saw the pornography business as the path to autonomy. “I thought it was very empowering at the time. You know, I had all these people who depended on me. I knew what to expect. I knew what shoots to do and who were the big players,” she said. “I felt I was above everybody else. People needed me.”
Even Crissy’s choice of a male sexual partner confirmed her view that she was in charge. While her female competitors were paired up with any old male performer, for three-and-a-half years she was paired up with her live-in boyfriend.
She lived with other boyfriends too. In fact, she was a serial dater. She needed men around. They made her feel wanted and not alone. Men dominated her professional life too. As feminist critics have noted, American pornography caters to male desires for intense visual stimulation rather than a couple’s relationship. Moran’s films reflect this; of the titles suitable for listing to a general audience, she starred in “Jack’s Playground 15,” “Country Girls,” and “Men’s Only Gorgeous All Girls.”
Men helped make Christina not only famous but also wealthy.
Her X-rated website pulled in $20,000 a month easy, and she was so flush with cash she could take months off from a shoot. But Crissy’s bid for autonomy through the ego and flesh did not earn her the respect of men.
For example, she realized that many men viewed her as a sex object and little more. Her dreams and hopes didn’t matter; theirs did. One day, she traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to join her boyfriend at his work, which was not in the porn business. A male coworker passed around copies of his wife posing topless. The men laughed. Crissy was not amused. “I would hope that if this were my husband, he would not be passing around pictures of me,” she recalls telling the men. She felt embarrassed and angry.
That was the last straw. After the incident, Crissy delivered some news to her manager. “I said I was taking a break. I didn’t know what to say. Then I told him I was done,” she recalls saying. Christina talked with God about her predicament. “He said to trust Him and He would guide me. I felt convicted to give it up … These people [in the industry] weren’t really my friends.”
Although Crissy remained in Los Angeles, her lifestyle changed. She lost touch with friends and co-workers. The man who ran her X-rated website refused to take the site down. She was no longer receiving big monthly checks. Most of all, she had to learn to live alone, especially without a boyfriend.
Crissy’s withdrawal from the porn business took a heavy emotional and spiritual toll. “I had post-traumatic big time. I didn’t know how I could go out and pay my bills. I was used to paying for my nails, hair extensions. To give that up was traumatic, extremely traumatic as I say.”
Crissy’s transition from porn starlet to Christian woman has not been a straight line. There have been bumps along the way. She was not always abstinent with her boyfriends, she said. She had night terrors. But she joined a Christian church in Los Angeles. She took various office jobs, including a job as a legal secretary. She worked for Treasures, a faith-based non-profit that pastors to men and women in the sex industry. And she gave up dating for ten months.
During this sabbatical, Crissy met a man through a mutual friend. He lived in Texas. But the two talked on the phone and became friends. By May 2012, they became husband and wife.
When she was a girl, Crissy dreamt of having a family. “I had always a goal in life not of being a doctor or a lawyer but to be a wife and mom.” The first part has come true; the second has not. For years while she was in the industry, Crissy had little desire to become a mother.
Now the desire has returned. But Crissy is not wedded to an outcome. At 39, she realizes there are risks and practical difficulties to giving birth. Whether she and her husband conceive a child or adopt, she will be at peace. “Having a child is something I’m praying for, but if it doesn’t happen…,” she said, her voice trailing off. “My desire has been to be close to Him.”