VICE Interview (Part 2)

Article by · August 2, 2017 ·

Our site curators recently did a group interview about ethical porn, what’s the point, and the point of this site overall with Mark Hay, writing for VICE.

Portions of the interview appeared in the piece “Makers of So-Called Ethical Porn Hope to Clean Up the Industry” (20 July 2017).

There was A LOT to our interview though, so we are republishing our interview with Mark in full. The following is Part 2 of 2 — Mark’s follow up questions to our original responses.

You can read Mark’s initial questions and our responses in Part 1 here.

Part 2 (22 June 2017)

Note from the Ethical Porn Curators: We have rephrased some of these questions in order to reflect that this is an interview/statement with a group of people, not one single person.

Mark Hay/VICE: Your answers note that there can be misunderstandings in the mainstream media and the public about ethical porn as a concept. But is there a similar level of misunderstanding between different layers or sectors of the adult industry?

Ethical.porn: There is certainly misunderstanding regarding what constitutes ethical behavior within the adult industry. There are a handful of classic “bad apple” examples, but this is also the case within any industry. It does not, however, seem to be a similar misunderstanding relative to the misunderstandings we see outside the industry from the mainstream. The presence of a percentage of “bad apples” is something that occurs in every area and aspect of human society. But the mainstream conceptualization of porn regarding ethics — namely, that only a specific type of porn is ethical or that porn is somehow inherently unethical overall — is a very distinct from debates about ethics within the industry itself.

Also you note that ethical porn rests on consent, good business practices, and transparency. But if the courts teach us nothing else, it’s that these are sadly malleable terms. So how much debate exists within the adult industry about how to define these terms such as to be ethical?

Well, what our response says is (emphasis added): “Based on the statements from members of the industry, ethical content relies on consent, good business practices, and transparency…” These are the ideas that have emerged as most frequent and consistent in terms of what the people who have made statements on Ethical.porn say/feel/experience. They are not a definition, simply a current mode. Also, per our mission, the goal is not to define these terms, which as you note are super malleable.

Regardless, there is certainly a lot of debate within the industry about what, for instance, constitutes ethical business practices. The industry has established some internal benchmarks, but there are still debates around where those markers stands, as well as possible inclusion of other aspects.

Relatedly, your site notes that the concept of ethical porn is multifaceted and fluid, and also that there are variable interpretations of fair, just, and equitable — so it seems to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, that the space is one for people not just to share their definitions and thoughts from within the industry but to discuss some of this malleability. But I would like to get a better, concrete sense of how that fluidity and differing interpretation can manifest. What are some discreet sources of difference in nuanced interpretation of the term that can benefit from conversations like this?

Ethical.porn is absolutely a place for people to discuss conceptual malleability. As one would expect, some issues resonate with some people more than others, as well as in different ways. Two examples of frequently debated and discussed aspects within the industry itself relate to royalties and post-production product marketing.

Read Part 1 of our interview with VICE here.

What do you think about ethical porn? Email us at ethicalporn@yahoo.com

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