How To Be More Ethical When Choosing Porn

Let’s admit that many of us watch or have watched porn at some point in our lives. Some people also use it as a part of their sex routine, whether alone or with a partner. 

I’m not gonna lie. I don’t mind watching erotica to spice things up. What I watch is important to me though, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably questioned the ethics of mainstream pornography.

In fact, mainstream pornography is problematic to its core, which makes it repulsive to many viewers. But just because most of the porn available online is sexist and racist, doesn’t mean there are no other options. Let’s discover some of the more ethical ways to bring erotica into your partnered or solo sex life – but first, allow me to guide you through the world of porn that many of us don’t know.

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Why Is Mainstream Porn Problematic?

Mainstream pornography is mainly created by large pornography production brands. Its goal is to satisfy the majority of viewers by promoting in-demand content, usually catering to men’s needs and focusing on their sexual desires.

If you’ve ever watched pornography, you’ve likely come across some well-known names such as PornHub, Xvideos, or YouPorn. These platforms host lots of unfiltered content – videos that promote violence against women, toxic sexualization of both men and women, racial fetishism, and unhealthy body and sex expectations.

The reasons why mainstream pornography is problematic are endless.

Pornography Shows Unrealistic Body And Sex Expectations

You shouldn’t take porn sex too seriously; otherwise, you might start to think that all vulvas have to be smooth, bleached, and tight, and penises straight, above 9-inches long, and erect throughout the act. But it’s rarely true. We are different, so are our bodies and sexualities. And let me assure you: no one can reach a climax in two seconds or keep an erection for two hours straight. If taken too seriously, pornography can affect your intimate relationships and self-esteem.

Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, an AASECT-certified sex therapist, in her recent interview, explained that watching porn can be linked to higher divorce rates and a lack of satisfaction in a relationship. Adult movies might also lead to a loss of interest in sex and intimacy and a lack of commitment. 

Brito agrees that pornography isn’t inherently bad or good for your intimate relationships. But, it can become an issue when one of the partners hides his or her porn habits or when they have pre-existing relationship problems.

It’s better to see porn as it is – a performance to arouse viewers. Loud moans, exaggerated body language, and unnaturally contorted sex positions are meant to stimulate viewers’ desires and sexual arousal. 

Misogyny And Violence Against Women

It’s rare to see a male actor focusing on his female partner’s pleasure and needs in mainstream porn. The woman is usually working with all her body parts to make him cum. It gets worse. Not only does porn tend to exclude women’s pleasure, but it also promotes misogyny and gender-based violence.

A landmark study on gender-based violence in porn movies analyzed 304 porn videos. Key findings showed that 88.2% contained physical violence, such as gagging, slapping, or spanking, and 48.7% of videos included verbal abuse and name-calling. Mainstream adult videos tend to portray women as submissive, that women enjoy being abused, and that physical pain is equal to pleasure. 

While consensual rough sex is a normal part of many people’s intimate lives, often, the violence seen in porn movies isn’t agreed upon. You should be able to say no, whether you’re getting paid for sex or having it for your own pleasure.

Racism And Lack Of Diversity

Porn might seem quite diverse, up until that diversity is being fetishized. Mainstream pornography promotes racial fetishes, with some of the categories being beyond disgusting.  “Hood thugs” and “ghetto sluts,” or “tight Asian teens” are among some of the many options that promote racial stereotypes and create power structures where people are minimized to heighten someone else’s fantasies and fetishes.

One of the biggest mainstream pornography production brands, Pornhub, faced a backlash after they made a statement to support the Black Lives Matter movement while making money off racist and violent videos. Not only is the platform full of content fetishizing the #BLM movement, but they were also accused of hosting videos showing sex trafficking victims – with most being brutally abused.

That brings us to the next issue in the mainstream porn industry – the exploitation of sex workers. 

Outside The Scenes

Yes, mainstream pornography is problematic, but its impact often goes beyond the screen. Lack of legal regulations leaves sex workers, especially women, unprotected and susceptible to harmful porn practices. Many male and female actors are victims of human trafficking, sexual abuse, and rape. They have to perform regardless of their consent, just to get paid. They experience verbal and physical abuse and harassment. Some performers have to work even though they are sick or didn’t agree to certain scenes.

No one should undergo such conditions to make a living. Sex work is what it is – work – but due to a lack of sex workers’ protection, it falls on consumers’ shoulders to choose responsible adult film sources.

So, what can you do if you want to bring erotica in your life, but don’t want to support problematic practices? Don’t worry! Ethical pornography can be your guilt-free way to enjoy adult content. 

Ethical Pornography

Ethical – or responsible porn was created to transform the misogynist and racist adult movie industry. It is porn made legally, without violating employee rights, or promoting gender-based violence and racial fetishism. It promotes consensual and transparent porn production based on equality, diversity, and respect. All actors and actresses are paid equally, treated with respect, and only perform acts they agree upon. 

Ethical pornography promotes diversity and real sex. It offers videos where pleasure is shared and equally divided between both performers, and no one is left behind. Ethical porn producers also encourage different body types, races, and gender identities. 

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If you’re curious to switch from mainstream to independent pornography, I’ve prepared you a list of reliable ethical adult movie channels that don’t exclude women’s pleasure and different bodies. 

Where To Find Ethical Pornography?

I don’t want to play favorites, but I can strongly recommend Bellesa. It’s a women-led platform created for women. They offer a variety of movies and categories to pick from. You can choose your tempo from slow and sensual to passionate and even rough. Bellesa also sells sex toys and publishes erotic stories written by their own customers.

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Joybear is another adult film production company that offers fair trade porn. Although you need to buy a subscription to watch it, it has plenty of excellent quality videos. Their movies vary from a few minute videos to full-length films.

PinkLabel.TV works on a similar principle to Joybear. They are an indie pornography production company, focusing on different sexual preferences, gender identities, and diverse pleasure. 

Recently, I came across an interesting app called Dipsea after they targeted me on Facebook. I haven’t tried it yet, but they offer erotic audio stories. I’m definitely going to check it out, but I can already see that the app should be great for people who are stimulated by the sound and their own imagination.

Last, but not least, on our list is Make Love Not Porn. Make Love Not Porn present themselves as the world’s first user-generated, human-curated social sex platform which seeks to transform the adult movie industry. They offer a variety of videos, including young and old performers, different genders, and, most importantly, real sex and real people.


If you enjoy watching pornography, you can support fair trade and consensual adult movie production. By switching to ethical pornography, not only can you make a great impact, but you can also make sure that the porn you pay for gives you pleasure and supports sex workers who do a great job delivering safe and fair porn to your screen.


About The Author

Egle (Instagram @egleraa) is a freelance writer and blogger focused on women’s health, femtech and entrepreneurship. As someone with a keen eye for detail and a dedication to creating compelling content, she thrives on turning words into stories. Egle’s work has been featured in The Startup, Interesting Engineering, and Fearless She Wrote.

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