I love porn.
People are often surprised when I say that. As an outspoken and unapologetic feminist, surely pornography would be against everything I stand for? Well, not exactly.
It’s true that the mainstream porn industry has a lot to answer for. Too often, the large “tube” sites profit from stolen content or non consensual content, including revenge porn and child abuse material.
But there’s an alternative. If you’ve never explored ethical porn, you’re missing out on something that can be a wonderful addition to your sex life.
Today I’m spotlighting Bellesa Plus, a porn streaming platform that calls itself “The Netflix of Porn” and offers a “pay what you can” model costing from as little as $1 per month. The higher prices offer special perks, such as free sex toys and gift cards to the Bellesa Boutique (BBoutique), but the low entry point means you can enjoy more ethical adult content even if you’re on a budget.
But What is Ethical Porn?
As with many of the things we consume, from food to media, people are becoming more and more concerned about the ethics behind their porn. Untangling exactly what constitutes ethical porn can be a minefield, especially given that the porn industry is still often defending its right to exist at all.
Here are four things that I believe go into making porn ethical.
This might seem like a bare minimum standard, but it’s missing from a shocking amount of mainstream porn. 100% of Bellesa’s content features consenting adults having consensual sex that has been consensually filmed.
Performers have the opportunity to negotiate with their partner before filming starts, exploring their likes and dislikes. If a scene involves roleplay, performers will be briefed on their role in plenty of time to ensure they’re comfortable with it.
And if, like me, you’re squicked by all the pseudo-incest (think: “step sister”) content that pops up on mainstream sites, you’ll be pleased to know Bellesa doesn’t do any of that.
Chemistry and Connection
When I watch porn, I often gravitate towards amateur content because it feels so much more authentic. Whatever the specific acts that they’re engaging in, ultimately I want to watch people who truly like (or even love) each other, having hot sex that they’re genuinely enjoying.
Many mainstream porn studios don’t give performers much choice who they work with. Bellesa pairs performers who truly have chemistry and actually want to have sex with each other. Because real connection and attraction makes for much hotter content and a much better working environment for the performers.
Women as Subjects, Not Objects
One of the things that will turn me off the fastest in any porn scene is seeing women being objectified. This is apparent in everything from the naming of scenes to the ways in which female pleasure is explored (or, often, ignored.)
Ethical porn puts the pleasure of all participants front and center. In ethical porn, the women being depicted are full human beings with their own desires and erotic agency. In other words, subjects of pleasure, not objects to be acted upon. Bellesa porn is directed and produced by women, headed up by the inimitable Jacky St. James.
A Safe and Respectful Working Environment
Making pornography is work, and performers deserve a safe working environment just as much as employees in any other industry.
This can be as simple as prioritizing their comfort on set, such as making sure they’re well fed and hydrated. Sexual safety is important too, whether that’s ensuring plenty of lube is used or carrying out rigorous STI (and now also Covid-19) testing. And, of course, performers must retain the right to say no or to call “cut” on a scene for any reason. This goes back to consent.
Performers should also be fairly compensated for the work they do. Making porn can be huge fun but it can also be physically and emotionally taxing at times. Performers are workers and deserve to be paid a fair rate.
How Ethical Porn Can Enhance Your Sex Life
Despite what naysayers might say about it, I believe that porn can be an extremely healthy and positive addition to your sex life, whether you’re single or partnered. When you make a point of consuming ethical porn, you can feel good about your viewing habits.
Here are three ways ethical porn can enhance your sex life.
Get New Ideas
I recently experimented with a new kink activity with my partner. Why? Because I saw this specific act in a porn clip, thought it looked hot, and asked him if he’d be willing to try it with me.
Good porn has the potential to introduce you to new kinks, activities, and ways of having sex that you might never have thought of before. While you might not want to try everything you see, some things are sure to resonate.
One of the things I love most about human sexuality is its infinite variety. Every single day, people are having sex in endlessly creative ways, many of which I’m sure I’ve never even thought of – and you probably haven’t, either! Ethical porn gives you a consensual window into other people’s bedrooms and allows you to draw inspiration from what you see.
Enjoy Things You Can’t Do in Real Life
Perhaps there are things you fantasize about but can’t (or don’t want to) do in real life. For example, you might be a bisexual person in a monogamous relationship with a different-gender partner. Watching porn can allow you to express your attraction to same-gendered people without changing the relationship you have with your partner.
Or maybe you have a particular fetish that your partner doesn’t share. If your relationship agreements don’t allow for getting that itch scratched with others, porn featuring your kink is another ethical and safe sexual outlet.
It’s also valid to enjoy things in fantasy that you don’t want to do in real life. Let’s say you fantasize about gangbangs but consider the idea too risky to carry out in reality. Ethical porn is a wonderful way to enjoy your fantasies in a safe way that doesn’t carry any of the real-world risk that might come with realising them.
Boost Your Desire
For many people, including me, arousal begets arousal. In other words, the more you masturbate, have sex, or consume erotic media, the more you’ll want to. The anti-porn crowd would say this is a bad thing, but I believe it can be just the opposite! After all, sexual pleasure is healthy and orgasms are good for us. Why not seek a little more of both in your life?
So if you’re looking to get in the mood more often or more easily, pulling up your favourite steamy scene can help make that happen. Whether you watch alone or with a partner, the right porn can help to fire up your libido when it needs a little extra help.
Want to Explore Ethical Porn?
If so, grab yourself a Bellesa Plus subscription. You’ll get access to top content from 50+ premium porn channels, unlimited 4K streaming, access to interactive sex education content, and unlimited access to over 600 erotic stories. You’ll also enjoy 24/7 support, discreet and secure billing, and an ad-free viewing experience.
Best of all, you can get off to some of the hottest content you’ll find anywhere, and know that you’re supporting a company doing good in this industry.
FYI: this post was sponsored by the good folks at Bellesa. All views, as ever, are my own.