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“Bundle of Sunshine” - Xxlayna Marie conquers the darkness of alcohol addiction to become an influential figure in the adult industry

“Ever since I stopped drinking, my life has changed in so many amazing ways.”

By Austin King / Editor

Jun 5, 2024

She never stopped until the bottles were empty.

Lunazul tequila one night.

Bacardi rum—or maybe a 12-pack of Modelo—the next.

No matter the drink, the routine was always the same for Xxlayna Marie.

After guzzling every last drop of alcohol, the teenager, nauseous and depressed, would take refuge in her bathtub, alone in her thoughts as the warm water gushed from the faucet and rose over her body.

“God, please help me,” Marie would whisper in prayer. “Please, God, send me better days.”

The unsettling vision of the helpless, 95-pound girl—a full-blown alcoholic by age 14—would melt even the coldest of souls. But it would seem particularly jarring to Marie’s cohorts in the adult industry, where she’s widely regarded as one of the most joyful and upbeat models in all of porn.

Rare are the days when Marie doesn’t post an inspirational quote or video on her Instagram story. Directors rave about the energy she brings to set and, privately, fellow performers reveal that Marie has DM’d words of encouragement when they were struggling.

“A bundle of sunshine,” A-list talent Scarlett Alexis says of Marie.

Penthouse photo editor Sam Phillips agrees.

“Xxlayna,” she says, “is the most exceptional human being I’ve ever met.”

That image of the teenage girl lying in the bathtub, intoxicated and crippled with despair? That’s not the Marie they know.

Still, the story is one of the many Marie is willing to share. She has no problem discussing who she once was because, ultimately, it would shape who she’d become.

The beer pong games with family members that began at age 11 ... receiving money from her mother to buy booze ... the alcohol-related crash that forced paramedics to pull her unconscious body from the backseat of an upside-down car ... the trip to the detox center that changed her life.

“I’m so tired of living like this,” Marie told her rehab counselor in November of 2020. “I can’t do it anymore. I want something more, something better.”

The counselor looked into her eyes.

“Remember this feeling,” he said sternly. “Hold onto it. Don’t ever let it go.”

Marie hasn’t. If anything, she’s embraced it.

“I spent a very large portion of my life being unhappy,” Marie tells PornCrush. “I was in that ‘victim’ mindset, but now I know everything is in my hands.

“I’m sharing my story in hopes that others will see they can change their future, too. I would do anything if that one little seed is planted in someone’s life, even if we never cross paths again.”


She loved being a fry cook at Burgerville and enjoyed interacting with customers at Kentucky Fried Chicken. But Xxlayna Marie felt she’d truly achieved elite status when she was hired to operate a forklift at Lowe’s Distribution Center.

“I was only 19,” she laughs, “and I felt like I’d already hit the peak of greatness as far as what my hometown had to offer.”

Marie was raised in Lebanon, Oregon, a hiccup of a community about 45 miles north of the state capital in Eugene. Her mother worked at a dialysis center during Marie’s childhood; her father left his warehouse job to open a food truck.

Like many of the town’s 19,000-plus residents, Marie said her friends and relatives navigated through life with minimal ambition. They placed a low ceiling on their potential and saw no use in dreaming big. If you were born in Lebanon, you stayed in Lebanon. Anyone with the talent to escape rarely had the support—or the drive—to do so.

“In Lebanon, the definition of ‘making it’ was simply to have a secure job at Lowe's or the Target Distribution Center,” Marie says. “I never believed anything beyond that was possible. There was nothing to shoot for.

“I remember a girl on my street went to New York one weekend on a trip, and it was the talk of the town. I thought it was the biggest deal ever. That’s how small my mind was. Everyone just went through the same routine, day after day.”

For Marie, that routine involved drinking.

Marie in her party days at age 17

It all started when Marie was 11. Feeling unsupported by her parents after their divorce a year earlier, she left home and became a couch surfer. Sometimes, she stayed with her older sister and other nights she crashed at a friend’s place.

“For years,” Marie says, “I bounced from house to house.”

Still, family gatherings remained common, and liquor and beer were always present. Marie says her family has a history of alcoholism. Rather than being clouded with shame, the culture was celebrated.

“My whole family is made up of drinkers,” Marie says. “The only times I hung out with my parents was when we were partying. A normal night for us was playing drinking games, like beer pong. My mom bought me alcohol whenever I wanted it.”

Indeed, when Marie complained about the taste of plain vodka, she says her mother got her hooked on a brand that “tasted exactly like the sweet tea at McDonald’s.” Marie also drank Four Lokos and swigged Rolling Rocks before switching to whiskey around the ninth grade.

That’s also when she dropped out of school.

Even though she was a dependable employee, Marie didn’t cut back on her drinking once she became old enough to hold a job. She’d work at Burgerville, KFC, or Lowe’s during the day and go to house parties, bonfires, or camping trips at night.

“I always found myself at the bottom of a bottle,” Marie says. “It led to a lot of trouble.”

And it nearly resulted in death.

After passing out at a party in October 2017, Marie was awakened by two friends who offered to take her home. Marie was slouched in the backseat when the car crashed and flipped, coming to rest upside down in the middle of a train track.

The 19-year-old driver, who was unharmed, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The other passenger sustained minor injuries. Marie, meanwhile, was pulled from the backseat unconscious and rushed to a nearby hospital. Miraculously, she was only diagnosed with a major concussion.

“The ER doctor told my mom that if I would’ve been any less intoxicated, I would’ve died,” Marie says. “During a car accident, it’s better to be limp than stiff. I was in the backseat and just flopped around the car. It was the one-time alcohol actually saved me.”

As much as the wreck rattled her, it wasn’t enough to steer Marie away from alcohol.

When there was no social activity, Marie drank alone. By age 19 she was chugging at least 6-8 beers every single day: Modelos, Coronas, IPAs, even off-brand beer from a local pub. And that was on top of her other staples: Lunazul and Bacardi.

It was an exorbitant amount of alcohol for anyone—let alone a teenage girl who stood just 5 feet tall and weighed 95 pounds.

“I could outdrink anyone,” Marie says.

Occasionally, Marie would chronicle her experiences in poems or a journal.

“I still have pieces of paper from when I was 14 or 15 talking about sobriety,” she says. “At that age, I didn’t feel like an alcoholic. It was just something I leaned on. But looking back at it, I’m like, ‘Holy crap! I can’t believe I was asking for help at such a young age!’”

Marie pauses.

“There was never anyone there to help me. I wasn’t able to get away from it. I didn’t have anyone to look up to, someone to show me there are other possibilities out there. Everyone around me was an example of who not to be.”

Marie’s addiction reached a new level shortly after COVID-19 hit in March 2020. With her social interaction limited because of the pandemic, Marie drank alone more than ever. By the fall, her body was rejecting alcohol. But when she tried to go without it, she felt like she couldn’t function.

“I couldn’t handle being sober,” she says. “But I also couldn’t handle not being sober. I couldn’t go to sleep without it, but I also couldn’t go to sleep with it in my system because it was making me so sick.

“That’s when I started lying in that bathtub each night, praying that someone would come along and help me. I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Eventually, Marie accepted that no one was going to save her. So she decided to save herself.

On the backend of a daylong bender in November of 2020, Marie telephoned a detox center in the wee hours of the morning. Even though Marie was still intoxicated, she experienced a moment of clarity that prompted her to pick up the phone.

Enough of the non-stop partying, she told herself. Enough of the drunken arguments with friends. Enough of the nausea, the uneven sleep patterns, the hangovers—and the feeling of being stuck and living without a purpose.

“More than anything,” Marie says, “I was just so tired.”

Her voice trails off.

“I was so tired.”

Marie checked into the facility the next afternoon. Even though she was free to leave at any time, she stayed eight days and then enrolled in outpatient rehab.

Marie hasn’t had a drop of alcohol since.

She announced on Instagram Wednesday that she’s been sober for 1,300 days. Even at industry parties where booze is present, Marie says she’s never been tempted to take a single sip.

“I actually think I could have another drink—but I don’t want to,” Marie says. “I don’t have any desire to have alcohol in my life anymore. I’ve come so far. Why would I want to throw all of that away?

“Ever since I stopped drinking, my life has changed in so many amazing ways.”

And now Marie wants to change other lives, too.


She got nervous every time she walked into a Subway.

XXlayna Marie laughs about it now, but for years, she didn’t have the confidence to order her own food. Instead, Marie wrapped her arms around her boyfriend’s waist and whispered the toppings she wanted on her sandwich.

Marie lived across the street from the neighborhood grocery store, but she refused to go there alone because she was too timid to converse with the cashier. When Marie needed to go to the doctor, she made her sister call to make the appointment.

“I was incredibly shy,” Marie says. “Other than my friends, I was scared to talk to anyone.”

Things changed shortly after Marie’s 19th birthday when KFC promoted her from the kitchen crew—where she didn’t have to speak to anyone—to the drive-thru line.

“I thought my whole life would tip over,” Marie chuckles. “But it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. Looking through that window and seeing people’s faces, I realized I could flip their whole day around just by being nice.”

Marie recalled an afternoon when a woman seemed irritated and flustered by the carload full of screaming kids just out of soccer practice in her backseat.

“I was like, ‘Wow! I love your nails!’” Marie says. “She immediately perked up, and then the rest of the conversation took off. She drove away smiling. It was an amazing feeling to be able to change someone’s mood in a quick instant.”

Five years later—and with a much bigger pedestal—Marie hopes to have the same impact on her adult industry colleagues, not to mention thousands of fans worldwide.

“Whenever you feel like your life is a little stagnant, just know it's the universe's way of giving you a break before everything else takes off,” Marie recently posted on X, where she boasts 326,000 followers.

Another post: “Today I celebrate 1300 days sober from alcohol. If you are struggling, please let me be an example. I never in a million years thought I would make it to this point, but I did & you can, too.”

Phillips, the Penthouse photo editor, says Marie is a breath of fresh air in a cutthroat industry often burdened by cattiness. Marie lives in Las Vegas but stays at Phillips’ house whenever she’s in Los Angeles.

“XxLayna sees the bright side in everything,” Phillips says. “She’s bubbly and energetic from the minute she wakes up until the minute she goes to bed.

“When you walk away from an experience with Xxlayna, you feel better about yourself. She leaves a lasting impact on people.”

Marie is also making her mark as a performer.

The 2023 AVN Trophy Girl and Best New Starlet nominee is not only regarded as one of the most attractive models in porn but also one of the most talented.

When Marie launched an OnlyFans account in the summer of 2020, she simply wanted to earn extra money to buy alcohol. Initially, it was mostly people in her hometown viewing her solo pictures and videos. But in December, a month after she became sober, Marie began promoting the account on Twitter and was immediately noticed by Hussie Models agent Riley Reynolds.

After a little hesitancy, Marie inked with Hussie and shot her first scene for Net Video Girls in April 2021.

“After we were done, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I forgot the camera was there,’” Marie says. “They were like, ‘That’s great. That’s amazing. That’s how it should be.’

“I was only ever with one person throughout my teenage years. As we were off and on, sometimes I’d hook up with other people, but nothing crazy. I’m still a very private person. That’s why I love shooting porn. I can get all of that sexual tension out and portray it onto the camera for everyone to see and love. Knowing that so many people see that video is a powerful feeling.

“It’s a whole different type of high.”

Male talent Danny Steele has worked with Marie multiple times and maintains a close friendship with her away from set.

“She’s one of the best performers I’ve ever worked with,” Steele says. “The same energy she has in everyday life, she brings to set. You can tell she loves her job because she brings the passion. She wants to show everyone what she can do.”

Marie boasts more than 200 career scenes for A-list studios such as Jules Jordan, Brazzers, Team Skeet, and Vixen. Her seven AVN Awards nominations are a testament to her versatility. They include boy-girl scene with Dredd, a lesbian tryst with Molly Little for Slayed, and a scorching threesome with Steele and Reynolds for Hussie Pass.

Marie says directors are often surprised by the sexual energy she unleashes once the cameras are rolling.

“I’ll look around and jaws are on the floor,” she says. “People’s eyes are huge. They’re like, ‘That was an amazing scene. How the fuck did you do that?’”

The feedback—both from directors and fans—continues to boost the confidence of a girl who said she never felt sexy or pretty before she entered the industry.

“I got into porn, and all of a sudden, I had people admiring me,” Marie says. “I have pretty eyes and a nice smile, and my feet are cute? Really? It made me feel great. I started observing and loving pieces of myself that I’d been ignoring for years.”

Still, while she’s proud of her work, Marie’s biggest takeaway from the industry thus far has been the sense of belonging she’s found among other performers. While her past struggles may be extreme, Marie says almost every model experienced some “epiphany” that led them into porn.

The situation creates an unspoken bond unique to almost any other profession.

“There are so many people like me, who have ‘found themselves’ in porn, so to speak,” Marie says. “People in this industry are so much more connected and open and even vulnerable with themselves than people outside of it.

“I think that’s an underlying issue that people have with the porn industry. They’re not as open or comfortable with themselves or anybody else. They don’t accept us because they don’t accept themselves.”

As her career continues to blossom, Marie says she hasn’t created a bucket list of things she’d like to accomplish in porn. She often says, “Things happen when they’re meant to happen.”

Instead, Marie’s main goal is to continue to use her platform to uplift others and encourage people battling tough times. She’s considering launching a YouTube channel or podcast to discuss her journey, which continues to evolve. Long-term plans include a potential non-profit organization that assists those who have experienced domestic violence and alcohol and drug issues.

“I have a story to tell,” she says. “I want to be able to share myself with the world.”

A few weeks ago, Marie returned to Lebanon for the first time in more than a year. Nothing, she said, had changed. Her friends were still drinking and partying. Others remained stuck—and content—in dead-end jobs. The only person who had changed was, well ... Xxlayna.

“I didn’t feel like I belonged there anymore,” she says. “I didn’t feel like a normal person.”

Before she flew home to Las Vegas, Marie found an assignment her counselor asked her to complete while she was in rehab in 2020. On one side of the paper, she listed the things she no longer wanted in her life. Marie wrote that she didn’t want to be around alcohol anymore. She also yearned to conquer her shyness and erase her fear of being alone.

The other side of the paper contained things she hoped to see happen and changes she wanted to make. Marie said she wanted to travel the world and become famous on social media. She also wanted to own a home with a backyard for her beloved dog, Zaylee.

As she looked up from the paper, Marie couldn't help but smile.

“That list seemed so silly at the time,” she says. “I never thought it would all come true.”

Photos and video by Chris Alessandra; follow him on Instagram.

Austin King / Editor

Austin King spent nearly 20 years as a mainstream journalist before pivoting to coverage of the adult industry in 2020. He specializes in breaking news and in-depth features, with some of his best work to date coming for AVN Magazine in profiles of Gina Valentina, Casey Kisses, Anna-Claire Clouds, Kayden Kross, Chanel Camryn, Kenzie Anne, Lilly Bell and others. Austin resides in Texas but makes frequent trips to Porn Valley.