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Fight for Love with Feminist Porn

October 26, 2015

Fight for Love with Feminist Porn

Over the past month, the Bay Area has been plastered with 100 billboards declaring, “Porn Kills Love. Fight for Love.” The campaign, created by a Utah-based anti-pornography movement called “Fight the New Drug,” has over 1 million likes on Facebook. Awareness has grown with celebrities like Terry Crews seen sporting t-shirts emblazoned with their slogan. Their goal is to inspire young people to stop watching pornography through education and awareness about its harmful effects. While it is tempting to believe that the ubiquity of pornography is changing the way we approach real-life relationships, not all porn kills love. The fight for love will not entail convincing people to stop consuming porn; rather it will require the creation of something new. The rise of ethical porn should be encouraged, as it does not warp our perceptions of sex.   

With the incredibly easy access to online pornography, users are viewing adult content at younger and younger ages. One study found that the average age of first exposure to Internet porn is 14 years old. Coupled with a lack of proper sexual education offered in schools, this means that young people are doing much of their learning by watching what is available to them on the Internet, the majority of which is a terrible representation of sex. Women are objectified, their pleasure is habitually ignored or faked, consent is largely absent and the actors themselves are too often mistreated once the camera stops rolling. When viewers conflate the current standards of porn with the actual act, the bedroom can become an unpleasant place. The behavior propagated by mainstream pornography denies women pleasure and agency at best, and at its worst, perpetuates
rape culture.

This is not to say that there should be an immediate ban on all pornographic content. In fact, we need more of it. Ethical, feminist porn exists, and if popularized, could lessen the burden put on sexual partners struggling to reconcile learned performative sex with the real deal. With ethical porn, not only are the performers treated humanely and paid fairly, but the viewer can escape the objectifying male gaze currently dominating pornography. At its best, it is intersectional without fetishizing race or disability and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Porn shapes sexual culture as a whole whether or not we as individuals choose to view it. It frequently serves as a learning tool and the benchmark for what happens between partners in the bedroom, making it more important than ever to strive to create and consume content that depicts healthy, consensual relationships. Good porn can teach viewers that mutual, genuine pleasure is what’s really hot.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

A version of this article appeared in the October 26 print edition. Email Elizabeth Moore at [email protected]

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