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What is ethical porn and where can you find it? 

IMAGE VIA @GOODBYES/INSTAGRAM
Words by Evangeline Polymeneas

Mindful masturbation material.

My introduction to porn, like most in my generation, was traumatic. I was innocently scrolling Tumblr and a graphic black and white GIF appeared on my screen of two people doing… something. I immediately logged off and spent the next 10 minutes trying not to throw up.

That GIF remains stored in my mind, a tragic memory in my coming-of-age story. When I asked around it seemed as though I wasn’t alone in this experience (think group viewings of ‘2 Girls 1 Cup’). 


For more advice on spicing up your sex life, head to our Life section.


Although Tumblr has since banned sexually explicit content, porn has permeated discourse around sex and pleasure in the 21st century. And while many can probably relate to my traumatic first experience, people have continued to test the pornographic waters, with approximately 84 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women in Australia consuming porn regularly. 

Watching porn can cause extreme arousal and help get the job done for most people in a relatively short amount of time. Case in point: the average time viewers spend on Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular porn sites, is only 10 minutes and 13 seconds.

But like the disturbing Tumblr GIF, the majority of pornographic material easily found online is centred around what’s hot for cis, heterosexual men, which oftentimes depicts women in a degrading or dehumanising way

Unfortunately, the dehumanising aspect doesn’t tend to stop at what’s depicted in the scenes. Most mainstream porn doesn’t guarantee ethical working practices either, like a fair wage or safe working conditions, which leaves creators, producers and performers at a real disadvantage.  

So what’s the alternative?

So where does this leave us, especially if we still want to consume porn? Enter the magical and sexy world of ethical porn. To help me understand this new realm I enlisted the aid of sex coach, Georgia Grace 

“[Ethical porn] is about ensuring that everyone is paid a fair wage for their time and expertise. It’s ensuring that there are safe working environments, there is consent, safe sex practices, there are a range of bodies, human experiences and sexualities, and people are actually paying for the service and not accessing it for free,” Georgia explains.

“You rarely need to pay for mainstream porn. It’s free, which makes you question: ‘Why is it free? What is happening down the line that is making me able to watch this?’”.

Essentially, ethical porn ensures the ethical production, creation and consumption of porn. Georgia says that while not all mainstream porn is bad or dangerous, the difference with ethical porn is that it has made it its mission to be ethical.

“Ethical porn businesses very clearly state their commitment to safety, to paying everyone and making it a really safe and fulfilling working experience for everyone involved. They’re really transparent with their commitment to shaping and changing the way we understand [porn].”

Plus, “in ethical porn, there is consent and communication which we rarely see in mainstream porn”. Ethical porn can also sometimes be referred to as feminist porn, which refers to the fact that this sort of porn tends to look beyond the male gaze. 

“Because of that, we are able to see different sexual experiences that are really appealing, arousing or sexy to people beyond just the ‘money shot’ or penetrative sex. It won’t always be a cis, heterosexual man as the key person or player in the scene,” Georgia tells me.

She stresses that “porn, as a whole, can have an impact on your sexual expectations – on how your body should be performing and what it should look like”. Ethical porn seeks to destroy the expectations shaped by mainstream porn of what sex ‘should’ be like, and seeks to highlight the diversity that exists within it. 

“We don’t often see real genitals or labia, whether that be through airbrushing or certain surgeries. The duration is often really long and that can be really tricky for a lot of bodies to sustain that time of arousal. Sometimes we watch porn to build arousal or to have a bit of fun.

“Not everything we watch needs to be educational and transformative, however, when we’re constantly seeing these videos or images that sex should look, sound or be a certain way, we do learn that that is what sex is and if you’re a young person that hasn’t been exposed to proper sex education, this will shape your understanding about what you think sex is.” 

Ethical porn has committed to creating sex content for anyone and everyone. But how exactly do you find it? Well, my horny friends, it’s a lot easier than you might think. 

“The really fun thing to do is to do your research. Companies can overcommit and underdeliver, so really make sure you do your research and look into the work they’re doing,” says Georgia.

She suggests looking at how you can go directly to the producers, creators or actors so that they’re getting paid for it. “You can go and find certain people on OnlyFans, where you can pay people directly for the content they’re creating.”

When you’ve found something that might fit the bill, “look for verbal and non-verbal consent, ask yourself, is there diversity in bodies? Is there real sex going on? Real pleasure? Are there safe working environments? If they’re advertising as an ethical porn website, they should have a mission statement about what they’re actually doing”.

Georgia also reminds me that there are other ways to enjoy porn that aren’t videos or disturbing GIFs on the internet. “It could be reading things online, or it could be visual images or stories or novels. There are other ways to access ethical porn that may not be visual.

“If porn is consumed by people over the age of 18, who can clearly determine that it’s not real sex – it’s a performance that is there to arouse you and that it’s consumed in an ethical, mindful, consensual and aware way – then it can be a very wonderful, fun, sexy and exciting exploration of sex. But we certainly need more education and consent,” Georgia says.

To cut your research time down a bit, I’ve taken it upon myself to collate some suggestions. Now, go have some ethical fun. 

Ethical visual porn

Make Love Not Porn

Afterglow

Bellesa

Four Chambers

JoyBear

Ethical audio porn

Dipsea

Quinn

Sounds of Pleasure 

For more on ethical porn, try this.

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