field split down the middle

Bad porn or “ethical” porn: is there a difference?

Is there such a thing as “good porn” and “bad porn?” And are you asking from a truly ethical standpoint, or just as an excuse to wack it with less guilt? So is “good porn” a thing? Here are some thoughts to consider.

“Good porn” is a tall order that may be hard to fill.

For the purpose of this discussion, let’s define “good” as “ethical.” For porn to be truly ethical, it needs to meet at least the following criteria:

  • Mutual, enthusiastic consent from all parties must be assured for every act performed
  • A living wage must be paid
  • Safety and good health for the actors must be the top priority
  • Actors must be actively protected from exploitation
  • Protective measures such as condoms will always be used
  • Depicts realistic, non-exploitative, non-violent, and non-misogynistic sex
  • The industry must cut all ties with human trafficking

To find porn that checks every one of these boxes would be a difficult task indeed. Anything less is frankly unethical.

“Bad porn” is pervasive.

Unfortunately, unethical porn is everywhere. “Teen” (as in, UNDERAGE) is in the top 4 porn searches in the United States. “Gangbang” is in the top 20. There is an increasing demand for violent porn that is degrading to women. Gail Dines, author of Pornland, shares: “We are now bringing up a generation of boys on cruel, violent porn,” she says. Dines has found that the earlier men start to use porn, the more trouble they have developing healthy intimate relationships in real life in adulthood. “Some of these men prefer porn to sex with an actual human being. They are bewildered, even angry, when real women don’t want or enjoy porn sex. I am not saying that a man reads porn and goes out to rape,” she says, “but what I do know is that porn gives permission to its consumers to treat women as they are treated in porn.” Porn, tragically, too often connects arousal with violence against women. Porn is normalizing non-consensual, abusive behavior in the bedroom. “Men learn about sex from porn, and in porn nothing is too painful or degrading for women.”

 

So what do you think? Do you still believe that there is such a thing as “good porn” and “bad porn?”

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