Ethical, feminist porn - paradox or the future?

Hella Péter discusses the rise of ethical, feminist porn and why it's better for all of us. 


Hearing the word ‘pornography’, ‘feminist’ is not the first adjective that jumps into mind. Mainstream porn movies are aimed at a straight, cisgender male audience: women are objectified; movies often fetishize race, sexuality, and trans people. The depicted sex is also unrealistic, with the pleasure of the male performer being in focus, a small scale of body types featured, minimal foreplay, and often violent scenes. Concern for the performers’ wellbeing also arises, with more and more mainstream performers or ex-performers telling stories about not consenting to certain scenes, or being mistreated in other ways while making porn in the past.

Because of these features, there is a strong anti-porn branch of feminism, opposing the entire industry since it harms and objectifies women. But is being against pornography, and banning it as a whole, the only solution to these problems? I suggest, that with the rise of the internet and social media, there is another solution – producing and supporting porn without the criticized features.

With widespread access to the internet (which was not in existence when anti-porn views were born back in the 80s), independent creators and labels now have the platform and opportunity to produce content that was missing from porn: movies, videos, photosets featuring a wide range of people, without fetishizing any part of their identity, without the sexist tropes and cinematography dominating mainstream porn, and sometimes including serious artistic effort. With independent performers, one can also be sure that they suffered no harm in the making of porn, since they were in charge of every step: writing the scene, enacting it, filming it, editing and then marketing it. The problem of objectification is also minimized this way. With social media, one can get a glimpse behind the scenes, or sometimes directly message them, and start seeing the people featured as real, human beings, who exist outside the screen.

So what can you do, in front of your monitor, to ensure porn keeps turning the right way? Most importantly, pay for your porn. It is small labels, or individuals producing the content you consume, and they rely on every single viewer. They cater to a smaller subgroup of audience, so they have less income, but in turn you will get amazing stuff for your money, and it will go to dismantle misogynistic porn. Also, listen to the people involved in making pornography. What legislations would harm them, what sites rip them off, what photographer harassed them. Give their voices priority over anyone else’s in the topic, and consider each personal experience you come across. In conclusion, do your research, support good content, and enjoy your newly found ethical, wholesome porn.