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How to watch porn ethically

Mainstream porn is often criticised for being focused on the heteronormative male gaze and its depiction of unrealistic and often violent sex, one type of feminine body, fake orgasms and the fetishisation of certain sexualities, bodies and races.

For many, especially women and LGBTQ persons, porn can often feel less like a masturbation aid and something fun to watch and more like a video of unethical practices. Not exactly the sexiest thing to get you in the mood!

However, over the past few years we’ve started to witness a shift in the industry with many independent pornography productions deciding to intentionally create ethical porn. However the question still remains, how can you tell what porn is ethical and where can you find it?

WHAT IS ETHICAL PORN? 

Although there is no set definition of ethical porn, there are definitely some things to look out for that can help to determine if a porn company is adhering to ethical practices or not. These include things like paying their actors fairly, respecting boundaries and making sure that everyone involved is getting adequate breaks while they’re filming. 

Other things to look out for include:

- Explicit performer consent policies that are displayed and easily found on the website

- A strict onboarding process that vets all actors and among other things, ensures everyone is aged 18+

- Regular STD testing and the use of condoms on set

- All medical care is strictly adhered to, especially for hardcore sex scenes or BDSM productions

Another good indicator of a porn company's ethics can be seen by the actual productions they create. Are they using a diverse cast? Is the sex realistic?Are there plot-lines? 

A good ethical porn site that creates content more focused on the female gaze and depicting realistic sex is Bellesa.

HOW CAN I TELL IF THE PORN I’M WATCHING IS ETHICAL? 

To make sure that you are watching ethical porn you need to be willing to do the research. One of the best ways to avoid unethical porn is to avoid the mainstream sites like Pornhub and RedTube, both of which are usually offering bootlegged versions of certain productions. Instead go directly to the sites themselves and, of course, to pay for the porn you consume.

Here are some of the other things you can do to ensure you’re supporting ethical porn:

- Listen to the actors and creators, follow them on their social media handles and see what they are saying about the companies they are or have worked with in the past.

- Research the porn company you’re watching in the news but also research what independent porn companies there are out there. Many of the new ones coming out have a  feminist ethos, are inclusive and are ethical, it's just a matter of going that little bit further and searching for them.

- If you’re in any doubt, stick to American-made porn. The reason for this is because under American laws, pornography producers must adhere to a strict onboarding process to ensure all actors are of legal age.

- Pay for your porn, this means that user-generated content is protected and it also ensures that the porn companies themselves can pay their staff and actors, both for their time and their royalties.

And finally, listen to yourself and trust your gut – if you’re watching porn and it just doesn’t feel quite right. It doesn’t seem ethical or it makes you feel uncomfortable, turn it off!

WHERE CAN I FIND ETHICAL PORN? 

There are many great sites out there who produce and house purely ethical porn. These include:

-       Kink.com: which has been praised as one of the most ethical porn sites on the internet

-       MakeLoveNotWar: Created by Cindy Gallop and includes videos that show realistic sex between actual couples. Actual couples can send their videos to the platform and get paid, and they have the right to get the video removed anytime.

-       Bright Desire: highlights the intimacy and fun inherent in sexual practices. The videos often depict real-life couples enjoying sexual activities, making the pleasure feel real.

-       Frolicme:  A platform that highlights the importance of dynamic consent between adults at all stages of sex, with a special focus on female pleasure and passion.

-       Sssh: A crowdsourced ethical porn platform that dives into all forms of fantasies and sexual desires, making porn that feels artistic.

-       PinkLabel.TV Created by Shine Louise Houston and explores sexual fluidity, featuring queer individuals, trans individuals, people of colour, people with disabilities, and older individuals.

-       Onlyfans and other such platforms like Patreon allow you can directly support your favourite creator. All you have to do is sign up and pay to receive their content. 

So the next time you and your favourite eco-vibrator are looking for a literal extra stimulation, why not log on to one of these sites above?

Another great way to find ethical Porn is to look outside the visual aspect – at Love Not War we have previously mentioned the growing trend of audio porn, a great option for those who rather be stimulated by listening to their porn rather than watching it. 

There really can be many benefits to watching porn, including using it as a way to discover what you like and show it to your partner, safely allowing you to enjoy your fantasies. It’s also good if you’re looking for inspiration for ways to spice things up the bedroom, from BDSM to temperature play.

Although porn can frequently get a bad rap, by intentionally looking into more ethical sources, you can easily enjoy it, guilt free.

Written by Katrina Fairhurst 

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