NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Saturday, October 1, 2022

What is Ethical Pornography?

Many young adults and teens use heteronormative mainstream pornography not just for sexual arousal but also as their main source of sex education.  This is unfortunate since mainstream porn perpetuates many falsehoods about sex. 

What is Ethical Pornography?

Mainstream porn also creates unrealistic expectations about gender roles.  

In addition, the most watched videos are those that depict physical violence and discrimination on many levels (see my article: What is Sexual Consent?).

Researchers have also discovered a connection between mainstream pornography and the violent sexual acts of sex offenders.

Mainstream pornography has many other problems, including:
  • The overall degradation and dehumanization of women and young girls
  • The portrayal of sex between heterosexual men and women from a misogynistic point of view
  • Rape, incest and pedophilia, including the sexualization of child abuse with men having sex with their underage daughters, granddaughters, stepdaughters, uncles with young nieces, and so on
  • The false portrayal of underage children as enjoying adult predatory behavior and sexual assault
  • The use of young girls and women who are being sex trafficked and used against their will to make porn
  • Not just a dramatization of rapes--but actual rapes of young girls and women
  • The fetishization of bisexual and lesbian women through a misogynistic male lens
  • The degradation of heterosexual women, including, among other things, male partners who humiliate them by ejaculating semen on their face and other parts of women's bodies (called the "money shot")
  • The misinformation of what sexually arouses heterosexual women by portraying women as being spontaneously turned on only by penis in vagina (PIV) sex as opposed to the type of sex that most women are actually more turned on by--oral sex.
What is Ethical Pornography?
Ethical pornography is also called feminist pornography or fair trade pornography.  

It differs from mainstream porn because of:
  • The portrayal of consensual sex among adults
  • The respectful portrayal of women as opposed to the degradation and dehumanization of mainstream porn
  • The portrayal of more realistic sexual pleasure experienced by women as opposed to sex based solely on misogynistic male fantasies
  • The portrayal of women as subjects of their own pleasure rather than objects of male pleasure
  • The portrayal of sex from various perspectives rather than just from the male point of view
  • Diversity in terms of race, age, body type, sexuality, ability and so on
  • The ethical treatment of performers who are respected and paid fairly
  • The creation of a safe environment for performers that includes informed consent in terms of production and distribution of films
  • The collection of fees from viewers to compensate performers fairly
Where to Watch Ethical Pornography
The following are just a few organizations that, as of the date of this article, provide ethical pornography for those who choose to watch it:
  • Bellesa: A porn company run by women and catering to women
  • Make Love Not Porn: Created by Cindy Gallop to show what real life sex looks like
  • Highlights consensual BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, Masochism) and fetishes in order to destigmatize kink 
  • Dipsea: Audio porn of healthy sex

As compared to mainstream pornography, ethical porn provides a more realistic and sex positive portrayal of sexual activities.

If you want to watch pornography, find out if the platforms you patronize are ethical porn sites with sex positive messages.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I am a sex positive therapist who works with individual adults and couples (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?)

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.