"A common assumption is that “fair-trade” porn is going to be very soft and wholemeal and respectful; some of it is, but most of it isn’t. It does address female sexuality in a way that mainstream porn doesn’t (how you go from “female gaze” to “wholemeal” is, of course, via the misapprehension that female sexuality is really sweet). “This image of ethical porn is pretty and fluffy and storyline-driven, a hardcore version of daytime soap operas or Harlequin romance novels,” says Sinnamon Love, previously a performer, now a “sex educator”. “But a lot of women, especially of this younger generation, are looking for more hardcore porn that’s to their taste.”
Feminism is not a prerequisite when it comes to making ethical porn, Blake says. “Feminist porn is explicitly focused on women’s desires and sexuality. So, for example, the belt-whipping scene where I got the life thrashed out of me, that I would say is feminist, because it’s about my journey and my sexuality. Whereas I think it’s possible to produce male-gaze porn in an ethical and fair trade way. That means complete respect for performers, for their boundaries and consent. If someone says no, you don’t ask again, you don’t ask last minute in the middle of a scene. You don’t trick them into doing stuff. You pay them. It’s not only all of those principles, but also communicating that to your audience.”
The site Dreams of Spanking is given as an example of ethically produced porn. Of course it has a limited audience as it really only caters for those inclined to spanking fetishes. This is how they describe their content:
"We understand that you want to see authentic scenes which tap into the heart of your spanking kink - but that you also want to feel confident that any material you watch was ethically and consensually produced. That's why Dreams of Spanking guarantees ethical, fairtrade production, founded on principles of enthusiastic consent behind the scenes, and fair pay for both male and female performers. We promise to provide scenes of genuine corporal punishment, hard spanking and intense discipline with a sex positive, performer-driven and gender egalitarian ethos."
Two other ethical porn Australian owned and produced sites that probably would appeal to a wider audience are Abby Winters which specialises in natural-look uncontrived fair-trade porn and ishotmyself which specialises in feminist porn designed to "subvert the paradigm":
What inspires women to submit their naked photos online? The short answer is - Control. The ability to show yourself on your terms, how you'd like to be seen, free from the distortion of someone else's viewpoint and the sanitizing of Photoshop. For some contributors this is an exposition of pure art. For others it's a rebellious gesture, erotic expression, a desire to be desired, or a cathartic process....
- in fact some of the most beautiful and arresting images on ISM are incredibly raw and confronting. Until now porn has hijacked the female body, but explicit imagery need not be crude and artless. The difference lies in the context and intent, and to encourage unfettered creativity.
And here are the Ladies' High Tea and Pornography Society with some more things to say about the difference between ethical porn and mainstream porn and why it should matter to you in this article:
Fair Trade Fucking: Kitty Stryker on Ethical Porn:
When I’ve been called upon to describe what the phrase “ethical porn” means to me, I’m talking about pornography produced with the pleasure of the participants in mind- porn that did not depend on male-gaze shooting techniques- porn that shows body/gender/sexual orientation diversity- porn that allows the performers to have a say in how the action progresses and what happens. That’s just some of the things I think about when I look at a pornographic film and decide if it falls into my ethical porn category, though I also tend to want to know how the company works behind the scenes for a more accurate judgment.
And if you need the difference between mainstream porn and ethical porn spelt out to you even more, checkout Make Love not Porn.com.