Is There Such A Thing as "Ethical Porn"?

Is There Such A Thing as "Ethical Porn"?

I think there’s a difficult chicken and egg situation with pornography. In order for porn to be recognized as work like any other, it would help for it to be a workplace like any other- with some health and safety rules in place and clear contracts. But in order for the mainstream porn industry to make that kind of step, social stigma of porn performers would need to be a thing of the past. Currently if porn performers try to bring legal action against their treatment at porn companies, or organize the workers, they can get fired and might be blacklisted as “troublemakers” at other companies. Culturally we need to support porn performers who are mistreated in their workplaces get justice rather than shame them for their employment.

Under capitalistic patriarchy, there are multiple strategies to fight back. I believe ethical pornography is capable of being a strategy that can be financially sustainable within patriarchy while also against it by challenging institutionalized oppression within the work itself. Porn has been a source of extra money that I can work into my schedule while doing other activism, working at other jobs, and taking time for the things I care about. As I have the financial privilege to do so, I choose to work with companies that care about showcasing all different types of diversity- sexual expressions, gender identities, ethnicities, body types. The places you see me naked tend to be places that don’t employ oppressive language in their marketing, that pay performers based on things other than gender, where I can use the safer sex techniques that feel comfortable for me.

As a fat queer woman, I don’t see a lot of pornography that represents me, so I perform in it myself. If people get any part of their sex education from porn, I want them to know that sex looks different for everyone, that non-penetrative sex is fun and ok, that pleasure doesn’t center around the penis. I think creating a space where all bodies and sexual expressions are valued , where consent is seen as part of the process, is vital to combat the effects of capitalistic patriarchy on self esteem and on our desires. I’ve been told that seeing my body and my enjoyment of sex has helped other fat women feel comfortable in their bodies, and that’s fucking revolutionary.

I don’t think that this is just about sex, mind you. I think we need more positive examples, not only of diverse sexytimes, but also of people deciding they don’t want to have sex and not being shamed for that, either. Ethical pornography to me means that I, as a performer, can feel safe talking about the ebbs and flow of my libido. I don’t feel I have to pretend that I’m turned on all the time, or that I have no politics or opinions. Ethical porn can make space for the myriad, real experiences of people fucking, and that’s awesome. Showing people they aren’t alone (and that they’re ok!) is important, not just when they’re kinky, but when they’re celibate. Thanks to where I live, and the people I know, I can create beautiful erotic videos with people I enjoy playing with and then go back to knitting and writing about capitalistic patriarchy. That’s fucking awesome, and that’s how porn performers should feel- empowered, healthy, multifaceted, and safe. And yes, I think we *can* begin that work right here, right now.

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