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Sex & Love Get off, clean: how to use porn responsibly

Dec. 16, 2020
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While Pornhub changed the landscape of online porn with its simplicity and convenience, it’s now reminiscent of Amazon in that many sex workers and civilians want to support smaller venues instead. The site changed the landscape of online porn by making videos free and accessible, but at a cost—many have stopped using the site since the platform failed to adequately address its issues with rape, sexual assault, and child abuse earlier this year

In February, a Change.org petition with over 300,000 signatures attempted to shut down the site. But while there’s still plenty of pirated and illegal content on Pornhub, a lot of sex workers use the platform to share and promote their work, earn some income, and turn porn into a career. As someone who has experience in sex work, I know there are ways to consume porn responsibly so sex workers are compensated and you can get off with a clear conscience—so how can you use Pornhub better? Should you even use it to view porn?

The best way to make sure that you’re consuming your porn ethically is to buy from the performers directly. To avoid pirated and illegal content, watch content on verified accounts. Accounts from amateurs have a little white checkmark in a blue circle next to their names, and official channels from studios have a little blue icon shaped like a TV set next to their name. Pornhub is not only a streaming site but an on-demand marketplace, so a lot of amateurs will have paid videos available at a range of prices. When you buy one, they get to keep around 65% of that money. Also, sex workers can set up a fan club on their Pornhub pages. For a monthly charge, you can subscribe to a performer and get access to fan-only posts and send them direct messages. 

Pornhub is just one of many companies under the MindGeek monopoly, which owns Pornhub and YouPorn as well as many major studios like Brazzers and Digital Playground, which each operate dozens of sites themselves. Sex workers are in the paradoxical position of working for the very company that profits from the piracy of their work on many of the most popular porn sites. To put this into perspective, imagine if Amazon drove all the small businesses in an area out of business, but also stole all of their products to be resold. 

One way to support sex workers is to interact with them outside of porn. You can listen to interviews they do such as the Holly Randall Unfiltered podcast to hear them talk about the films they make and their lives. Doing so allows you to get a sense of their craft and personalities, and dispel misconceptions about sex work. Follow them on social media to know where to buy their work. Interacting with their social media helps them cultivate an audience on platforms that are hostile toward them, such as Instagram. With restrictive changes due to laws like FOSTA, sex workers have been not only shadowbanned but often taken off social media platforms completely—putting them into more high-risk in-person work, as found by this survey.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to support your favorite sex workers, here’s a list of great smutty creators and places to get off to. 

Content creators upload their content to OnlyFans and fans access their content by paying a fee decided by the creator. Some creators might post every day, engage with you personally, and offer custom content at an extra price. Fans should know that while OnlyFans creators keep 80% of the revenue they make, they later have to pay roughly 30% in taxes. Say you buy a $20 video on OnlyFans. The creator would get a $12 profit from that sale, but after taxes the creator gets $8.40 in profit. So please keep that in mind when asking for lower prices.

CamSoda is a free camming site on which you can live-chat with performers, see them cam, shower, and have sex. There are many virtual reality cams, a fuck bot, and a Sybian bot (a wireless remote-controlled vibrator and/or dildo) that you can control during live shows with tokens. There are also shows that specialize in toys, anal, and plenty of kinks. Cams are live 24/7 and there are many free shows, but remember—to interact, you do have to pay for tokens.

The brainchild of performer Vex Ashley, Four Chambers is a part of the growing departure from traditional porn practices and studios, raising money through ongoing community crowdfunding in the form of $9 recurring monthly payments. The project exists somewhere between art and pornography, exploring themes like technology, mythology, and alchemy, with a DIY conceptual porn style that would make Grimes horny.

Creative-directed by Mahx Capacity, Aorta Films produces monthly short films and long feature projects, as well as a range of innovative programming including festivals, guest artists, and commercial collaborations. Centering performers with a wide range of body types and identities, AORTA works exclusively with queer performers and crew members. Particular standouts include the ten-part W/HOLE series and the semi-annual Bedded series that features pornographers from around the world. For $9 a month you get access to the entire platform’s content collection.

Dipsea is an app and platform that creates sexy audio stories that spark your imagination and get you in the mood. Featuring multiple voice actors, Dipsea stories range from five to twenty minutes long and designed to immerse you in a sensual world. As the listener, you can either become the participant or the voyeur, as Dipsea lets you use your imagination to fill in the blanks. Stories range from flirtatious to highly explicit. Everything is labeled as clearly as possible (1 flame = chill, 2 flames = heating up, 3 flames = very hot). At $9 per month, you receive hundreds of stories with new, thematically diverse releases every day. The Dipsea app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

With 250+ channels, 52,000 episodes, and eight releases per day, Adult Time has an extensive catalog that features exciting new series from some of the porn world's most popular studios, earning numerous awards at the 2020 AVN Awards. The site received widespread acclaim for the porn biopic Teenage Lesbian written and directed by Bree Mills, loosely based on her life and coming out during the ‘90s.

Literotica is a free erotic fiction website that allows any user to register as an author and submit stories and poems in a variety of categories, from anal to voyeurism. Stories can range anywhere from 750 words to being long multi-chapter books with several authors and weekly updates.

Math Magazine is a New York-based biannual print magazine that prides itself on being sex-positive via radical inclusivity and community, featuring artwork and writing. One of my favorite issues reflected on sex and faith, with a column on queer Christianity. Math has also hosted events for its audience to connect and have fun, now taking the form of virtual sex parties thanks to COVID.

A platform for emerging and independent adult filmmakers founded by director Shine Louise Houston, PinkLabel.tv supports new producers by offering resources that help their films find a global audience and giving studios access to sexual health resources and ethical production practices. The library includes everything from vintage films to modern indie films, as well as a large selection of productions featuring BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folks. There are membership options, but you can also rent or buy the films individually.