Is Your Porn Ethical?

Sarah Grace Goolden
Opinions Editor

With the rapid change in technology within the past decade, our consumption of media has increased and being much more convenient. No longer does one have to wait a week for the next episode of their favorite show to come out. Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu allow hours of binge-watching at your fingertips. Free online games mean gamers can battle and adventure with their friends and strangers at any point in the day. With this shift in obsessive media consumption, pornography has also become readily available to anyone at any time. However, there is a bigger danger in that than with movies and video games. Although pornography has always had a dark past, there are a slew of new problems thanks to the high demand and lax laws. 

Long gone are the days of only being able to view naked men and women in explicit magazines or shady VHS tapes. Now one search for porn can produce hundreds of thousands of results. The possibilities are limitless. However, there is a price to pay for this instant pornography that many do not think about when consuming it. Are these men and women in these scenes being treated and compensated fairly? An even scarier question to ask is are these featured actors adults that consented to the act happening and the recording of it? If you’re unsure of the answer to those two questions, your porn might not be ethical.

Ethical, or “fair trade,” porn is similar to ethical fashion. It guarantees everyone is of age and not being coerced to do anything they do not want to do. This brings up another facet: Some believe the only ethical porn is independant, without the interference of skeevy directors and greedy companies. 

What is the big deal about mainstream porn? Well, there are many reasons why the videos features on big sites like Pornhub aren’t as ethical as independent cam shows. Firstly, Pornhub is surprisingly unregulated for its role as a porn giant. Hosting sites may encourage users to flag inappropriate or suspicious content but often there is no requirement to provide proof of the actors ages and documentation of consent. Pornhub does have some safety measures in place to try to weed out child porn but is still not 100 percent successful. Now imagine the even seedier sites that allow any video to be uploaded with no context. This means that illegal videos can flood the internet. This includes videos and pictures featuring underage girls and boys, those who did not know they were being recorded or those who did not wish for this content to be uploaded to the internet.

Revenge porn can be traced back to “Hustler” magazine in the 1980’s but really became well-known after the 2010 launch of Hunter Moore’s user-submitted pornography site IsAnyoneUp? Though the site has since been shut down, the act remains prevalent through websites like Reddit and Pornhub. 

Most of the disgusting videos we wish never existed lurk in the dark web, however, there are still some unfortunate incidences. In November of 2019, a San Diego-based website “Girls Do Porn” was accused of featuring and trafficking girls as young as 17-years-old. There is a whole underground world of sexual abuse and trafikking that lurks right under our very noses. Sometimes it creeps into the content many don’t give a second thought about.

How can you consume porn ethically? There are plenty of sites which feature content produced on the actors own terms. Whether that be on their own personal websites or ethical porn sites, most are not free. That is one of the biggest deterrents for those who currently pay nothing for instant porn. However, it’s important to understand that paying for ethical content ensures these men and women are adequately paid and treated. Making sure children and adults are not being abused is priceless.



Categories: Opinions

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