Ethical Porn, Feminist Porn

I recently read an article that discussed just how feminist porn began shaping porn in the 80s and has continued to do so in this more modern era of smartphones and instant gratification, where porn is treated as a commodity to be seen and discarded, where mainstream pornography showcases things like violence, force, and a sheer lack of diversity in the total bodies of work that are being produced.

Now some feminists will tell you that all porn is bad or degrading, some will say its a good thing, and others have differing opinions altogether. As a woman who considers herself to be opened minded, if not quite meeting the definition of a feminist, I say that porn needs the diversity, many people want it and will go out of their way to search it out. The mainstream cut and dried tropes of so much pornography is no longer relevant to a large and growing number of people.

I’ve suggested before that making ethical porn is something that can be done and should be done. By working to legitimize the business itself and treat adult performers like anyone else with a day job, by making sure that people are safe on set, by showing things like consent, by continuing to improve and do better and not succumbing to the free sites with stolen content we can provide ethical porn to viewers who want to see it. I wish I could say that everyone wants to see well made, ethical porn, but I recognize that just isn’t the case.

But the problem is that ethical porn, feminist created or not, is not often found on the free tube sites which is where the majority of consumers turn to get their porn. Or if it is there it is just clips that have been stolen and reposted without credit to the actors or creators of the particular piece of art. Because, yes, good porn is an art form just like regular cinematography is. There is no difference between this amazing film by such and such Hollywood director and the amazing work of ethical, feminist leaning porn stars, directors, and producers throughout the industry. But people label it differently because pornography is still a taboo or forbidden subject. It has garnered more mainstream attention as the industry grows, but many people will still be ashamed to admit that they do indeed watch it. I’m not one of those people. I happily watch well made porn from time to time.

My point here is that ethical, feminist porn does exist, should exist, and will continue to exist and grow. Performers who choose their own scenes and feel comfortable doing them are going to have more fun in front of that camera and that will shine through. And the performers don’t all have to be cis, white, and skinny or fit. They don’t have to be conventionally attractive because there is beauty in everyone. Feminist porn has started to pave the way for more trans, queer, and gender non-conforming performers to have a place in the world of pornography and to advocate for a broader audience with more varied tastes. Ethical porn overlaps here in that it does the same thing in many cases.

My question to do you is what makes porn both ethical and/or feminist? When is mainstream porn going to become more about real sex with imperfections and giggles and stories to be told rather than just using women or men as objects of lust? When will people learn that they can learn from watching better porn than what the standard tube sites tend to offer? Sure, it costs more, but isn’t quality better than quantity in some cases? I think this is one of them and I think that more ethical and feminist porn needs to continue to be produced in order to create greater diversity within the market of pornography. We may never see a return to the adult theaters that existed prior to the rise of VHS, but we can see the rise of cinematography and plot and story in porn that is more than just a parody of something else. And I think that people need to see that. What are your thoughts on the ideas of ethical and feminist porn and how they affect the industry as a whole?


Transformative Sex in my Life

Sex, for me, has always been something of a transformative experience. When I was younger it transformed me into someone desirable and wanted by the fuck buddies that I had. It also made me feel powerful to be able to give and receive such pleasure. I was a Goddess. There was no ritual to the sex; we were just people coming together in the most intimate of ways. It opened my eyes to many of the joys and exciting or taboo things about sex and I loved exploring every minute of it. It gave me a type of freedom.

After I got married sex was still transforming me, but not in a good way. My ex-husband used coercion, sometimes mild force, and the age old threat of “I’m your husband, it’s my right” to get sex from me. He was a selfish lover and I often finished our encounters unsatisfied and unhappy at the very least. He would clean up and pass out to sleep and I would lie awake wondering what I had done to deserve the treatment I received from him and why he couldn’t just love me the way I had always dreamed of in the fairy tales. I learned quickly that marriage (mine, at least) was no fairy tale, but yet I stayed. I was determined to make it work. Ultimately, that didn’t happen and I’m in a better place emotionally, mentally, and physically than I was when things ended about five years ago. But I am still damaged from the transformation and impression placed upon me by our sex life.

I struggle to express my needs and wants. Sometimes I can’t handle being touched. I feel broken or ashamed of the things I want or need to be satisfied in bed. These things transform me too. I become someone who is timid and unsure, someone who can’t (or won’t) ask for what I want to be happy. That often leaves my partner guessing and in the dark and this is a bad habit I know, but nearly a decade of habit can be hard to break.

That said, my sex life now is more positive than it has ever been and again I am transformed by it. My partner touches me freely with my consent and checks in often during sex to make sure that I am OK or having fun or just to make sure that I know I am loved. The first time we had sex blew my mind, especially because no one’s clothing came off, but it was sex all the same and some of the best I’ve had in my life. It was almost a spiritual thing for me and I’ll never forget it. Since then our sex life and blossomed into something that makes me happy, that I derive a deep pleasure from that isn’t just sexual in nature.

Sometimes my orgasms are so mind blowing that I forget to breathe and, inevitably, will pass out for a few seconds. My partner has been trying to train me to remember to breathe through them and therefore prolong the orgasm for as long as possible. They only want what is best for me. And they tell me that I am a “good girl.” Again, I am transformed into a lover who wants to please and by extension of pleasing, be pleased because I am good.

Sex has changed and still changes me in different ways every time it happens. It can also challenge me to reach higher, seek out new heights of passion or approval. I find my freedom in sex and sexual release; it lets me be who I am and who I want to be without judgment or censure. Those feelings and transform me and I am, once again, a Goddess of my own design, one who sees and loves and gives and takes. Sex has slowly begun to turn me into the person I’ve always wished that I were to begin with. Powerful, confident, and sexy. None of these come easily or naturally to me, but gradually as I reclaim my sex after years of abuse, those old feelings return. And so do I.

Communicating Your Desires to Your Non-Kinky Partner

I’m a little kinky, my partner isn’t at all. And we knew this going into our relationship. At first I was afraid to talk to my partner because I’ve been shamed in the past for my sexual desires, kinky or not. So that was the first hurdle to overcome. To help me out, my partner offered frequent reassurance that it was OK to talk to them and would often ask me if I wanted to talk about it in a very non-pressuring kind of way. Eventually I began to open up.

And we started talking about things like fisting, being tied up, being spanked, being called names and the like. The more I talked about it the easier it got. That’s not to say that it is easy, because even four and a half years in, I still find it somewhat difficult (yay for my deep seated issues!) and sometimes I clam up at the simple mention of what they can do for me to make our sex life better. But we work through it and we both talk about our wants and needs and fears, not just about our sex life, but about everything in our lives.

That makes us stronger together than we are apart. My partner knows what I want, I know what I can reasonably expect to happen based on our conversations and we go from there. Sometimes things don’t go perfectly, other times everything is beyond perfection. It is all about timing and keeping the lines open. We even talk during sex about what is going on and working, what could be better, and what I do or don’t want at any given moment in time. And that can change and 5 minutes later I can want something I have just said no to. That’s OK.

My regular readers know what a high value I place on communication in a relationship and the same holds true here. It took me sometimes to work through past issues and trauma, but once I got there and got to a point where I figured if my partner could see me naked then I could probably talk to them about anything I wanted to do or try when it comes to our sex life. I would beat around the bush cause I was nervous (who doesn’t sometimes?) and finally just come out with whatever was  on my mind. I’ve never gotten a disgusted reaction, although I have gotten some let me think about replies and maybe I’ll get a  hard no one of these days. It’ll be OK. As individuals we are both entitled to say no just like we are  to say yes.

That yes/no dialogue often drives our discussions and will shape them into organic conversations that grown on their  own, naturally, and gives us time to stop and pause before responding. And if the words don’t come out right we can always rewind things and try again. I think that last bit is really the secret to sharing what I want with my partner. Words aren’t set in stone but in fluid motion,


BDSM Aftercare

I recently read this article from and was encouraged to see the idea of self aftercare being promoted as another aspect of one sexual health and wellness. Now, I’m a big fan of sexual self-care and self-care in a general sense as well because hey, taking time for yourself in a way that makes you feel cared for is good for you as a whole. I love the ideas that kinkly puts forth, but I wanted to write about this from a couples point of view.

Like the author of the article I’m pretty wiped out post playtime and don’t function well at all. My partner will wrap me in a blanket and hold me through the worst of this foggy, floaty feeling, leaving only briefly to get me a drink perhaps or to wash up a bit. Once I’m starting to come down enough that he feels he can leave me alone sometimes he needs space to process everything so he slips out of the bedroom to another part of the house.

Sometimes in the day or so after we play my moods can shift wildly from incredibly low to very high so I and my partner monitor my moods closely for signs of that so I can ask for help if I need it. Either way I go this someimes results in a good cry for me which tends to be pretty cathartic. Once my moods have settled and I’ve had more time to process things I see what I can most clearly recall about the scene (my memory often gets very fuzzy during a scene and in the following days) and make notes because my partner and I will discuss things so we can make each experience better Thanks to the writer for suggesting the kink journal; that may be a tool I try to utilize.

Longer term, over the next few days I give myself time to rest up and soothe any minor abrasions that might have occurred and generally try to let my recall of things pleasantly suffuse me with a warmth that I only get from playing with that certain someone. Maybe even as a single kinkster you get this feeling as well if you’ve been playing with a regular or long time play partner. I hope you do because it is an awesome feeling to enjoy while you’re still kind of coming down from the drop.

I feel like the biggest take away from the article is that you need to understand what you need and that you need to be kind to yourself. Do what you need to do to take care of you and get back to whatever your normal is after playing or having a scene. If you need help doing that or someone to talk to it is OK to reach out to a friend or write about it somewhere. Let your body and mind be your guide as to what you need so you can process everything and come back to yourself.