Ethics and Sexists - The Porn Industry

July 17, 2020 | Written by Miranda Van Haarlem (She/Her)

Trigger Warning: This blog post contains content and experiences of sexual abuse and exploitation and may trigger an emotional response, whether you have experienced sexual abuse or not. 

For many individuals, consuming pornography has to do with sexual excitement and gratification. For some, it is a way to experience sexual fantasies, to experiment and to empower. Many women who participate in porn feel as if they are working to break down the shame surrounding women embracing and profiting from their sexuality. In this week’s blog post, we will be diving into an area outside of menstruation, but still focusing on women’s rights. While consuming and making pornography can be a positive experience for some viewers and artists, the porn industry itself is filled with misogyny, racism, sexism, sexual exploitation, sex-trafficking, and much more, all to generate profits

It is no secret that mainstream pornography sites include porn that is male pleasure-centred and oftentimes degrading towards women. Not only does this content reinforce the power imbalance of our patriarchal society but it is often viewers’ only form of sexual education, leaving individuals with unrealistic and unhealthy ideals of what sex is. The videos that are uploaded for millions of viewers often include sexism, racism, ableism and non-consensual acts for individuals to watch, share, and create a community around. If this isn’t appalling enough, it may be surprising that what goes on behind closed doors in the porn industry is worse. 

The website Pornhub in particular has been accused of enabling sexual abuse, sex trafficking and child abuse, and has blurred the line of consent through providing a platform with little to no moderation. In Florida, a 15-year-old girl was missing for over a year when she was spotted in more than 58 videos on Pornhub. The Internet Watch Foundation has confirmed 118 cases of child sexual abuse on Pornhub. Paypal has recently cut off its service to Pornhub due to the current press surrounding its relationship with sexual abuse. With this and more, Pornhub and other large mainstream pornography sites still have more than 100 million visitors each day

Another practice that mainstream porn utilizes is putting individuals into categories. While this is not always necessarily negative, more often than not, race and gender stereotypes play a large part in the categorization, which can lead to discrimination and prejudice. Through gender and racial stereotyping, individuals are taught unrealistic expectations of their partners and sometimes feel as if they are abnormal because of their sexual preferences. Women, in particular, are taught to prioritize their partner’s pleasure over their own as they are often portrayed with little to no sexual agency. 

 

So, what can we do to tackle mainstream porn? 

Feminist Pornography! Feminist porn offers a safe place for all individuals to view and engage with ethical porn. Feminist porn is centred around sex positivity, fair pay and consent. Individual boundaries are respected and the environment is a welcoming and safe place for all involved. While sites like PornHub do host sex-positive, fair-paying, and consensual videos, there is no guarantee that what you watch falls under those categories, and use of these platforms contributes to their industry dominance. We recommend that you consider supporting feminist porn sites and artists. Here are a few examples!

 

1. CrashPadSeries

Crash Pad Series offers queer porn and provides an equal rate regardless of gender, race, body type, age, and experience. 

IG: crashpadseries

 

2. PinkLabelTV

Pink Label TV believes that like all things in life - porn should be inclusive. It provides communities comprised of queer, trans, people of color, older individuals and people with disabilities. 

IG: pinklabeltv

 

3. Lightsouthern Cinema 

Lightsouthern Cinema produces beautiful fresh adult content free of bias and comfortable in its own skin.

IG: lightsouthern

 

4. Indie Porn Revolution

Art created by ladies, artists, and queers, Indie Porn Revolution explores sex beyond the gender binary.

 

5. Bright Desire

Bright Desire's aim is to move beyond the old cliches, boundaries and negativity of standard, old-style pornography and to offer something fresh, inclusive and intelligent.


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