Sharon Mitchell

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Sharon Mitchell
Mitchell in 2006
Born1957 or 1958 (age 65–66)[1]
Occupation(s)Sexologist, pornographic film actress, director

Sharon Mitchell is an American sexologist and former pornographic film actress and director. In 1998, she founded the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM), which tested over 1,000 adult film performers per month before a 2011 data breach led to a lawsuit and the clinic's closure.

Early life and career[edit]

An only child, Mitchell was adopted and raised Roman Catholic in Monmouth County, New Jersey. She married briefly at age 17 before becoming an off-Broadway actress and dancer, performing with the Martha Graham Dance Company.[1] In the mid-1970s, she began appearing in pornographic films such as Captain Lust and the Pirate Women (1977),[1] Sexcapades (1983),[1] Water Power (1976), and The Devil in Miss Jones 2 (1982).[citation needed] She also had small roles in mainstream films, such as Tootsie (1982) and The Deer Hunter (1978).[1]

Mitchell made approximately 1,000 pornographic films over a 20-year career, including 38 as a director.[1] She is the subject of the 1986 verité film Kamikaze Hearts, directed by Juliet Bashore, which follows her behind the scenes of a porn adaptation of Georges Bizet's Carmen and explores her tumultuous relationship with then-girlfriend Tigr Mennett.[2] During her years in the adult industry, Mitchell developed a heroin addiction.[1][3] In 1996, after a male stalker who was obsessed with her porn films assaulted, raped, and nearly killed her, she quit drugs, became a certified addiction counselor, and later obtained a MA and a PhD from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality[4] while working a variety of jobs including video engineer's assistant, caterer, florist, dog walker, and maid.[4]

In 1998, Mitchell founded the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM), an organization which provided information and STD testing to workers in adult entertainment. As of 2004, they were testing 1,200 pornography performers a month.[1] According to the Associated Press, many in the adult industry credit her with raising the visibility of the risks of HIV/AIDS in the pornography industry.[3] In 2011, a security breach led to over 12,000 adult performers' personal information being released publicly.[5] A privacy breach lawsuit was filed against the institute, and they closed their doors in May 2011.[6] Oversight of the protocol was assumed by the Free Speech Coalition.[7]


Mitchell is a member of the AVN Hall of Fame[8] and XRCO Hall of Fame (since 1988).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Madigan, Nick (May 10, 2004). "Voice of Health in a Pornographic World". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  2. ^ [user-generated source]
  3. ^ a b Jablon, Robert (April 24, 2004). "'Mother Teresa of porn' leads fight against AIDS". The Everett Herald. Everett, Wash. Associated Press. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Tannen, Terrell (2004). "Sharon Mitchell, head of the Adult Industry Medical Clinic". The Lancet. 364 (9436): 751. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(04)16921-3. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 15338566. S2CID 36995044.
  5. ^ Katz, Lyla (February 4, 2011). "AIM Healthcare Reopens Under New Name, Status". Archived from the original on September 25, 2012.
  6. ^ Pardon, Rhett. (May 3, 2011). "AIM Clinic Closes; FSC Responds". Archived from the original on September 25, 2012.
  7. ^ Abram, Susan (March 3, 2012). "Porn ordinance in effect today". Los Angeles Daily News.
  8. ^ "Hall of Fame". AVN Awards. Archived from the original on July 15, 2007.
  9. ^ "XRCO Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]