Nothing about the youth of US porn star Layla Sin would clue you in to her eventual choice of profession.
She was born to a religious family in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. In high school she studied biology.
She did national service as an assistant at Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital.
But, she told Channel 10 News on Friday, she always felt she wanted another life.
“From a young age I noticed that I was very sexual,” she said. “At first because of where I lived I was afraid of it…I thought, okay, maybe something’s wrong with me.”
When Sin who would not reveal her real name in order to protect her family’s privacy flew to Los Angeles at 19 to visit her brother, she decided to stay.
At first she pursued modeling in order to fund her plan to study nursing. But this soon gave way to a much more intimate form of camera performance.
“I did a little bit of modeling, I did commercials. After I began modeling for larger companies I was asked ‘Okay, what can you do for us that’s more sexy,’” she recalled. “Slowly I began feeling comfortable to take my clothes off.”
Sin made her first foray into the adult film industry in a private film with her boyfriend, which the pair made for a production company. She said she was initially concerned about her family’s reaction, but decided to proceed anyway.
“I wasn’t afraid, I’ve always done what I want, but I always respect my family,” she said. “I told my mother, listen, I want you to sit down and know that your daughter hasn’t changed.
Your daughter is still your daughter and I’m a good person, really. And I want to tell you something I’ve done.
“She was in shock obviously. She tried to tell me ‘Maybe think about it again,’” Sin said.
But the young woman was undeterred. She began doing independent pornographic films and was eventually noticed by Penthouse, who offered her an exclusive contract.
She has since made many films under the Penthouse brand and has featured as a cover girl on its magazine.
Sin insists that her profession empowers her, and is entirely an expression of her freedoms and desires.
“What do people do to lose control a bit, to excite themselves. What do you do to feel alive?” she asks. “I’m doing what’s good for me, what’s fun for me…I like having sex, what can I do?”
Still, even she has her red lines, and describes herself as relatively “vanilla.” Shen says she works almost exclusively with women, and only with one specific male model.
There are also certain acts she will not perform.
The global porn industry has faced numerous accusations that it is abusive of its performers, and that it has led many down a path of drugs, alcoholism and even suicide.
Sin rejects such claims, saying she has had “no problems” and is “in serious control of my life.”
Walking down the street in Ramat Gan with a Channel 10 crew, Sin is approached by several male admirers who ask to have their picture taken with her, a request she happily obliges to.
One young man tells her he is a great fan of her work.
“Do you know why?” she tells him. “Because I really love what I do, I’m feeling good and it shows.”