Andre Shakti — Why Ethical Porn?

Article by · May 4, 2017 ·
By Andre Shakti at IAmPoly.net

A unique view: Ethical porn from a labor perspective

There is no singular definition of “ethical porn,” although most of us in the industry have strong feelings about it. I tend to perceive it first from a labor perspective rather than trying to judge whether certain content passes the ethical “bar.” As a director and/or producer, how are you treating your performers and production assistants? Prior to shooting, are you communicating in a timely and professional manner? Are you offering your workers industry-appropriate (or higher!) rates? Once on set, are you organized, well-rested, and in good spirits? Is there appropriate food and drink provided for the model(s)? Are the model(s)’ boundaries and preferences enthusiastically respected, or are they being coerced or shamed? Does your shoot start and end on time, or are you known for creating unbearably long marathon shoots?

All of these concerns are ethical ones. If a company isn’t treating its workers well, it doesn’t matter how authentic or radical or queer or feminist the content is. If a company wants to go above and beyond, they’ll also prioritize hiring workers of size, workers of color, alternative workers, and transgender workers, and they’ll be genuinely invested in the models’ pleasure throughout the shoot, perhaps even offering the model(s) an opportunity to collaborate on the scene.

Andre Shakti is a journalist, educator, performer, activist, and professional slut living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is devoted to normalizing alternative desires, de-stigmatizing sex workers and their clients, and not taking herself too seriously. Andre wrestles mediocre white men into submission and writes about sex work, queerness, and non-monogamy for Cosmopolitan, Rewire, Thrillist, MEL, Vice, Autostraddle, and more. She can frequently be found marathoning Law & Order: SVU under a chaotic pile of partners and pitbulls, and yes, she knows how problematic that show is. Andre is the reigning “polyamory pundit” at her non-monogamy advice column, “I Am Poly & So Can You!,” which you can visit — and submit questions to! — via IAmPoly.net. Visit her on Twitter @andreshakti, on FB as “Andre Shakti,” and as a pleasure professional on the new inclusive educational platform O.School.


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