Better Sex 

What is Ethical Porn?

Tickle.Life Editorial Team  |  Jul 13

What is Ethical Porn?

Watching porn can be a great way to get in the mood. Whether it's to spice things up with a partner or to enhance a self-love session, porn is an awesome tool for boosting erotic enjoyment.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying porn for personal pleasure but there are some issues with how a lot of contemporary porn is produced and presented. As consumers, it’s important to be mindful of how and where we source our adult content.

Luckily, there is a solution: ethical porn.

What is ethical porn?

Ethical porn, also known as feminist or "fair trade" porn, is adult content made with professional respect and consent at every part of the process.

Like any good workplace, ethical porn companies set and uphold conscious business standards. This creates a safe, positive working environment for everyone on the team.

Performers are treated with respect before, during, and after their scene, and paid fairly for their work. There is rigorous enforcement of STI testing to ensure performers’ health and safety. Everyone on set is of legal age to be working and engaging in sex and reminded that they don’t have to do anything they’re not comfortable with. The performers give consent enthusiastically throughout production to honor everyone’s boundaries.

The ethical porn revolution

Indie feminist porn studios have been around for decades, but the ethical porn revolution really took off in more recent years. Bellesa, a porn company and online sex toy store run by women, is a true revolutionary on the fair trade porn scene. Since 2017, they have been making waves, proving that porn can be mainstream and ethical at the same time. At Bellesa, they want the talent to be excited to come to work and feel empowered in their chosen profession. This is what led to the launch of Bellesa House, a reality porn project where performers pick who they work with.

By allowing performers to choose who they work with and by meeting all their needs (snacks, refreshments, LOTS of lube), they gain value not only as workers but as human beings. Ethical porn respects performers and empowers them as professionals in their working environment. It centers performer comfort and encourages creativity because it’s inspiring for performers and audiences alike. Every Bellesa House scene displays genuine on-screen chemistry, unscripted sex, and a real pleasure. The talent has a great time and the viewers get off on seeing how much fun was had.

Why is ethical porn important?

Up until very recently, most mainstream porn has been made by and for heterosexual cis men. It's usually found on free tube sites that do little to nothing to regulate the content they host and can be produced under questionable conditions. Because this large-scale production is driven by generating a profit, it's too often at the cost of the performer’s wellbeing.

While there are some regulations in place, the industry is notorious for violations behind the scenes. These standards also don’t protect anyone from the degrading or dehumanizing ways certain people can be depicted on screen. On top of all that, it’s not always clear that the performer’s consent was enthusiastic if given at all.

Porn is fantasy fuel. It is not for sex education purposes. That said, a lot of people don't get comprehensive sex education and turn to porn to learn about sex. If the only options are problematic ones, that has a significant effect on the consumer.

With women on both sides of the camera, Bellesa creates healthy depictions of sex that emphasize pleasure and consent. This gives viewers a safer, sex-positive option to explore.

What does ethical porn look like?

Image fromBellesa

Mainstream porn tends toward the heteronormative male gaze, excluding most other perspectives. Ethical porn broadens that limited scope to celebrate the spectrum of human sexuality.

We can accomplish an expansion in perspective by broadening the scope of who's running the show. These feminist studios tend to operate by women and queer folks who focus on diversity in their scripts and casting.

Their scenes show more realistic, relatable, and positive depictions of sex and pleasure. By casting performers with a range of body types, skin colors, genders, and sexual orientations, and by eliminating harmful stereotypes that fetishize marginalized people, ethical porn shows all viewers that they are valid in their sexual experience and preferences. All this together creates a more inclusive pornographic landscape for everyone.

Ethical porn does not exempt intense, aggressive depictions of sex or taboo fantasies. Those are also valid components of healthy sexual exploration when done responsibly. They treat these scenes like any other. Performers are informed of what the scene entails and consent to the performance. This way, the performers can safely explore their curiosities as the viewers do on the other end.

The aim of ethical porn is to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to everyone involved, from the people who make it to the audience who enjoys it.

Ethical porn consumption

The ethical part of porn doesn’t end at production. These standards apply to the consumer as well. Responsible porn consumption is what supports the ethical porn movement. Paying for your porn is the best way to show that support.

When you subscribe to an ethical porn platform like Bellesa Plus where you choose the price you want to pay or tip your favorite adult performer through their personal channels, you put the money back into the pockets of people working to produce sex-positive content with you in mind. This is how more diverse and ethical porn will become ever more accessible over time.

Watching porn can be healthy and empowering. When you support your favorite ethical porn provider, you can enjoy your porn guilt-free, knowing that you’ve contributed to the ethical porn revolution and the future of your own pleasure.

Cover image from Bellesa


Liked this article? Share


You might also like

Based on what others are reading


Explore