Reclaiming porn: sex is about female pleasure too

 
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As we know, pornography has always been a male-dominated industry. Films usually play into male fantasies and exploit preconceptions of traditional gender roles and feminine ideals, but in the last years we have seen a change in this trend. Whether as a means to increase revenue in the era of the #metoo movement, or coming from a genuine belief in including those whose desires and sexualities have been left out, porn is becoming increasingly more diverse.

The label ‘Porn for Women’ became the top trending search in 2017 in Pornhub, the leading pornographic site, with an increase of 1,400% over the previous year. However, ‘female-friendly’ is often ill-defined. Most pornography labelled as such still follows traditional male-female dynamics, albeit with sentimental twist and fewer facials (men ejaculating on women’s faces). Women might be more involved in this productions and more attention might be paid to detail in the filming, but it is still essentially an industry dominated by big studios and mainstream performers.

Ethical porn tries to overcome some of this limitations, by not only paying attention to what appears on the screen but also to the working conditions and labour practices of the performers. Due to the subversive nature of the porn industry, it often lacks the regulation and code of fair practices which all other industries are subject to. This means more control over what scenes to film and with whom, more transparency regarding wages, working conditions and safer sex supplies – all to ensure the sex represented is fully safe and consensual.

However, ethical porn has another dimension which attempts to incorporate feminist values to the fair labour practices. Feminist porn takes one step forward to expand the boundaries of sexual representation on film and challenge stereotypes that are often found in mainstream porn by including all sorts of bodies, gender expressions and sexual fantasies. Showcasing the sexual experiences of more diverse groups of people and genuine female pleasure is not only enjoyable for women, but for all people.

For this, feminist porn does not strive to appeal only to female viewers seeking for wider representation of sexual experiences in media. Men and women have grown tired from the same stereotypes and scenes covered in mainstream porn, and the market is starting to notice by filling this gap with quality producers who take an all-encompassing ethical approach to porn.

From Vex Ashley’s Four Chambers in UK to Erika Lust’s XCONFESSIONS in Spain, good-quality porn has never been more ethical. While not all ‘female-friendly’ labelled porn need be ethical, there is no shortage of excellent alternatives to enjoy quality self-pleasure (and completely free of guilt).