Does Ethical Porn Really Exist?

There’s no shortage of “ethically made” products on the market nowadays–whether it’s coffee or clothing, branding a product as “ethical” is a conscious choice by companies made with smart consumers who care about by whom and how what they purchase is made. When it comes to porn, however, finding adult films that are made fairly with respect to both the people who appear in it and the people who are watching it seems to be a lot more difficult. Even amongst the thousands of websites online that are dedicated to providing the world with a steady supply of steamy scenes, you’ll be hardpressed to find an “ethically made” category amongst the many categories listed in the side bar or search queries of a website like, Pornhub, for instance.

But, what exactly is ethical porn anyway and why is it important? According to The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, ethical porn, “is not necessarily porn made by women or even marketed to women – it simply takes women into account as viewers and presents sex as something pleasurable for everyone involved. Pornographers aim to treat the stars of the films well rather than exploiting them.” This means that performers are able to have a greater (sometimes total) degree of control over the scenes they shoot and participate in. Ethical porn also involves a commitment to diversity by depicting a wide variety of sexualities, races, and body types.

Ethical porn certainly fills huge void in the industry in terms of the way it treat performers. In an industry where racial stereotypes often runs rampant under the guise of “fetish films,” it is comforting to know that a push for greater autonomy on the part of performers is occurring. The shadiness of mainstream porn production has for many, remained a foregone conclusion, even with the rise of women coming forward who frame their involvement in the industry as feminist self expression.

In fact, black and brown bodies are consistently fetishized and priced lower within the adult film industry. In 2013, Misty Stone a black porn star revealed in a Jezebel article that, “‘black women in porn are consistently paid substantially less than white women, no matter the project.’ And while a white performer can get away with refusing to work with black men, Stone says that as a black woman, ‘it would not go over well” if she refused to work with a white man.'” It’s unsettling testimony, but it’s not unsurprising.

So, if you can’t find it on the free porn purveyors of the net where can you find ethical porn? A lot of ethical porn is, sadly, less available instantaneously on the net. Part of the reason you won’t find ethical porn on a free porn website like Pornhub is because, well, ethical porn involves paying performers fair wages for their work. If you’re looking for ethical porn, a great place to start is by checking out Good For Her’s feminist porn awards website. Well known ethical porn series that are subscription/membership based include the Crashpad series and Bleu Productions.

And if you can’t afford to pay up for your porn? It’s still possible to support ethical porn production even if it’s beyond your means to pay for it and consume it on a regular basis. Porn performer and activist, Chelsea Poe, gives a rundown of five ways to support ethical porn in this Autostraddle article, including the very simple request that we follow and support performers on social media, “The truth is that our number of followers on Twitter can really reflect how large our fan base is and how likely directors will be to book us.”

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