Porn Can Be Ethical. But It Can Not Exploit And It Must Do No Harm
Ethical porn is gaining on popularity. How does it differ from mainstream porn?
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The internet has irreversibly changed the way the film industry is produced, distributed and consumed – including the porn industry. With easier access to the Internet, the production of porn is also increasing. As Federico Zecca points out in his publication, Internet pornography is now the industry's main source of income.
The current pornography scene consists mainly of "porn tubes", whose model is based on the YouTube platform. Such sites are considered to hold the monopoly of the online porn scene and are worth billions of dollars. And this despite (or rather because of) the fact that they usually provide pornographic content for free, without the need for any registration.
There are a number of problems associated with "mainstream" porn - that is, porn that is generally available to anyone over the age of 18 for free. It is not always created in a way that is fair to porn actors and actresses. Many consumers still turn a blind eye to the exploitation of performers, or are completely unaware of it. After all, the viewer has the right to orgasm, not the obligation to concern himself with the safety of the actors he watches have sex.
Should we pay for porn?
Pornography is work that deserves to be paid fairly. However, paying to watch porn is still considered a very radical step, as various (the biggest) portals provide it completely free of charge. Consumers who pay for porn content are also paying for production with more professional and ethical rules that ensure that everyone involved is of legal age and consents to filming or photography. It is therefore crucial to support those companies and creators who are committed to ethical practices.
At the same time, these creators can provide more creative and "authentic" content than even the top-rated mainstream porn site.
The American-Lebanese former porn actress Mia Khalifa also commented on the exploitation of porn actors and actresses. Although she spent only three months in the porn industry, she is still one of the most sought-after stars.
According to the BBC server, Khalifa said that she earned about 12,000 dollars in the porn industry (converted to 273 thousand crowns) and "then she never saw a cent again." And this despite the fact that a website with intimate content operated under her name long after the end of her career. However, according to her words, she did not own it and did not make any profit from it.
"Pornographic companies prey on young vulnerable women and legally trap them in the form of disadvantageous contracts," added Khalifa.
“Please delete it. I was 14 and it was rape.“
One of the most well-known and largest pornography platforms, PornHub, has also faced public outrage in the past, for example, after the website allegedly repeatedly published content exploiting minors. The campaign also drew attention to the often published "revenge porn", where intimate images and footage are shared without the consent of the person depicted in them.
This is not a new "phenomenon". The BBC has published the confession of Rosa Kalemba, who was raped more than ten years ago - when she was 14 years old - and the video of the attack was placed on PornHub.
"The videos had titles like: 'teenager cries and gets spanked' or 'teenager gets loaded". One of them had over 400,000 views. The worst videos were the ones where I was unconscious. I saw him attack me when I wasn't even conscious," Rose said.
She sent pleading emails to PornHub. "Please, I'm a minor. It was rape. Please take it down,” Rose commented. However, she received no response and the videos remained online. The deletion came only after she set up a new email address posing as a lawyer and sent PornHub a threat of legal action.
Rose's story is unfortunately not unique, and the situation is still not ideal even now, a decade later. Porn tubes still dominate the porn industry, so the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. As the Cherwell server points out, on pornographic sites that do not require review before publication, misuse of content is essentially inevitable.
Therefore, a good place to start is to watch porn directly on the individual producers' sites, not through "tube sites". This should ensure that the content has been produced within a legal framework. Companies are required to comply with legislative regulations and keep records of the age and informed consent of their performers. Another option is to use platforms such as OnlyFans, where creators can get money directly from users - "fans" who subscribe to their content.
Inclusive, ethical and consensual. That's ethical porn
Pornographic content is also often illegally downloaded - stolen. In the majority of such pirated content, the names of actors or actresses are completely missing, unless it is clearly a significant star. Apart from the names, the main problem is the lack of legal protection, which is supposed to protect the rights and safety of artists, for better or for worse.
Ethical porn (sometimes also called "feminist" or "fair trade" porn) is created on the basis of mutual agreement, informed consent and respect. There are many stories where actors and actresses were forced into practices and activities that they did not know about beforehand. Performers and creators of ethical porn are paid fairly for their work, mbg explains. On set, everyone knows what's going on.
When watching ethical porn, we also often encounter a more realistic portrayal of sex, and space is given to actors with different bodies and sexualities. Mainstream porn often prioritizes male pleasure over female pleasure and reinforces the idea of cisheteronormativity - that is, that "heterosexuality is the only right orientation and trans people don't exist."
Basics of Ethical Porn:
- It is created consensually in a safe environment where artists are treated with respect.
- Performers and creators get paid fairly.
- It celebrates the diversity of bodies, races, sexualities and ages.
- It's usually not free.
Whatever porn we watch, we should be concerned about the company we are directly or indirectly supporting. We should choose ones that are inclusive and respect their porn actresses and porn actors.
As the non-profit organization The Sexual Violence Prevention Association points out, "ethical" can therefore generally be described as porn for which the answers to the following questions are publicly available:
- Who created, produced or funded the content?
- Did the performers agree to all the practices?
- Did the performers agree to be recorded?
- Did the performers agree to the recording being distributed?
- Is the sex portrayed realistically?
- Was the film made with respect to the rights and working conditions of all involved?
"Viewers interested in ethical porn have incredible potential to influence the industry by 'voting with their wallets.' They can contribute to increasing the quality of production, expanding diversity, building sustainable companies," said Jiz Lee, queer porn star.
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