Making Ethical Porn

So I read this article last night and it questions the idea of making ethical porn and how to do so. I agree that there are good points and ideas on how to make ethical porn presented in the article, well-paid, consenting performers in legally made videos featuring a sexually diverse cast.

However, this same piece also indicates that there is a large amount of quantity over quality kind of porn on the Internet and it is all free to view. Sometimes it is amateur porn, other times it has been ripped from another film or show and just uploaded to the “tube” site of choice. In today’s world a few keywords and a click of a mouse will find you any and all of those things. So if porn can be found so freely on the ‘Net, how can you make something that people are willing to pay for when they already view it as a disposable commodity?

I think that the simplest answer is that you can’t. Now I know that there are exceptions out there like Crashpad, but they are also made for a niche market that targets people other than the teenage boy or 40 something looking to just get their rocks off. Those people are just gonna find something free and easy, watch it, and go about their day. All of this free porn available has caused an economic downturn in which it becomes more difficult to make quality scenes where performers are paid well and treated well. These lowered production values can and do lead to exploitation of porn actors, both male and female, and that exploitation further degrades the idea of making ethical porn. It’s like trying to open a vegan, raw food restaurant in BBQ country with an ordinance banning meat for 5 miles around the restaurant. It’s just not happening.

That’s not to say it can’t happen, but in order for ethics to become more prevalent in porn then people have to start being more invested in their porn. They have to want good porn, watch good porn, and be willing to pay for that porn. And there are people out there who will happily do so if they have the money or inclination to do so. They aren’t the majority of people though and that keeps contributing to the lower and lower budgets of porn shoots which in turn perpetuates the cycle of exploitation, poor pay, mistreatment, etc. It also perpetuates the idea of quantity over quality because those low budget scenes are what makes it onto the Internet. I feel like the only way to consistently make ethical porn is to change the entire environment surrounding it.

Find a way to get people to care about their porn as more than just a way to get off, whether alone or in a couple; treat it like any other movie that is made and have standards and even a sort of watchdog group that ensures performers are being treated well and paid and whatnot. The problem there, however, is that there is so much stigma around porn and sex work that no one even watches to touch a job like that.

So what can we do at that point? I know that there is ethical porn out there being made right now, but we need more of that and to get more of that people need to get over the idea of shame that is instilled in them for watching porn and ask for what they want; they need to make themselves heard. You need to make your voice heard if you want more porn companies to be more ethical. Take a stand for it and despite my predictions that the economy of porn prevents it from being made ethically, maybe you can prove me wrong. Please do!

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