Amarna Miller — Why Ethical Porn?

Article by · May 24, 2017 ·

By Amarna Miller. 

What’s ethical porn? To explain it I like to use a definition that’s not actually mine, but from a North American sexologist and educator called Tristan Taormino:

In ethical porn, performers are paid a fair wage and they are treated with care and respect. Their consent, safety, and well-being are critical, and what they bring to the production is valued.

As you have probably noticed, all this definitions talk about what happens behind the cameras, not what happens in front of them. This is very important because ethically produced pornography refers to what happens in our working conditions (behind the cameras).

I want to address that there is a difference between ethical and feminist porn, or at least what I understand this stands for. Feminist porn questions the hegemonic and questions the practices that we are used to seeing in pornography. So when we talk about feminist porn, we do talk about what happens in front of the cameras, the beauty standards we are representing, the kind of practices we perform, how the plot is conducted through the shoot and if the role-models we are representing are normative or are questioning the normative.

Back to the meaning of ethical porn… For you to understand the idea, I’d​ like to do an analogy between ethical porn and fair-trade. In the food industry, “fair-trade” is a concept that refers to food that has been produced in favorable conditions to the workers. So we take this same idea and adapt it into pornography. I would really like in the future to have some kind of “ethical porn seal of approval,” so when we as viewers/spectators see the label “ethical porn” we know that the people who have been participating in that video have been treated with respect.

Why do we need ethical porn? We need it because we want porn performers to work in proper work conditions, the same way we want it for any worker in any industry. We are in some kind of legal ​limbo in which t​here’s not a lot we can really do if something goes wrong, which is kind of scary and very unsafe for us. So that’s the reason we need ethical porn: to create a proper work environment in which everybody feels saf​e.

​When a company doesn’t respect our rights, we can find ourselves​ in certain situations that are not ideal. I’ve signed contracts that were pretty abusive, for example that the company could and will change my name and bio so they are in control of my “character.” They can say you’re 19 when you’re 27.​ They can also change ​your country of residence, where you​ come from… ​but that’s not all. Because we don’t have regulations, sometimes we can work unlimited hours without any extra payment. ​Also without having a bathroom available or any food or water, which are basic things you need at any workspace.

If you are asking yourself, what can I do about it as a consumer? The answer is very simple! Consume in a responsible way by informing yourself about what companies are treating well their performers and what companies have a “bad fame” in that matter. Give your money and support to the companies that doing a good job and deserve it. This sounds pretty obvious, right? But please actually do it so we can have a nice porn industry!

Amarna Miller is a porn actress, pro-sex activist, and writer from Spain. She has a YouTube channel where she talks about pornography, ecology and traveling, among things. Her first book was published two years ago and she is currently working on the second one. Faithful defender of feminism and polyamory, Amarna graduated in Fine Arts and loves antiques, cats and everything related to the 60s. She considers herself an adrenaline junkie, obsessed with being outside of her comfort zone. She lives in her van and saves time to conquer the world. Follow Amarna on Instagram at @AmarnaMiller.

Photo credit: Martina Hache

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