Why it’s important to talk about ethics — Q&A with Le Tag Parfait

Article by · May 20, 2017 ·

We recently corresponded with Le Tag Parfait — they asked us some great questions about our ideas leading up Ethical.porn and why it’s important to talk about ethics, both in terms of adult entertainment and in society at large.

You can read “Trois Questions a Angie Rowntree, Co-Fondatrice d’Ethical.porn” on Le Tag Parfait here (16 May 2017), or you can read the full interview below.

Who are you, and what is your role in Ethical.porn?

My name is Angie Rowntree. I am the owner of Sssh.com and have been a director and producer in online porn since the 1990s. Myself along with a group of other women in the adult industry came up with the idea for Ethical.porn — a place to start conversations and, ideally, to keep them going.

What is Ethical.porn and how came the idea of this platform?

At its most essential, ethical porn is adult content that is consensual and transparent, is created in an environment that emphasizes safety and respect, and does not contribute to wider social inequalities via troublesome post-production marketing. Beyond that conceptual baseline, however, are a wealth of perspectives and standpoints, all of which impact ethical porn is some unique way. As such, “What is ethical porn?” is too broad a conversation for any one interpretation — so we created Ethical.porn to bring together viewpoints from all over the industry. Our hope is to have an ongoing dialogue about this complex and ever-evolving topic.

À son plus essentiel, le portail éthique est un contenu adulte consensuel et transparent, créé dans un environnement qui met l’accent sur la sécurité et le respect, et ne contribue pas à des inégalités sociales plus larges grâce à un marketing problématique après la production.

In developing the idea for this platform, our driving principle was simple: We really wanted to give the industry a place to discuss the issues and start conversations. We are in no way a accreditation website, but rather a venue for people in the adult entertainment industry to present their views. Ethical.porn is a way to open up an active dialogue on the topic.

How do you define “ethical porn”? According to you, which directors/studios respect this ethical dimension today?

My personal view of ethical porn, as defined by the statement I contributed to the site, centers on trust, honest communication — consent, collaboration, etc — safety, and fair dealing among all parties involved. You can read my full statement here.

As for which directors and studios respect ethical dimensions today, I encourage readers to go to Ethical.porn and spend some time exploring all the responses that have been submitted. Ask questions, and reach out to the authors. That’s what this is for — to start a conversation and encourage critical thinking about the topics, both for members of the industry as well as viewers of adult material. Also please realize that many people and studios that are very ethical have not yet contributed their thoughts, as this is a new project — this doesn’t mean they are somehow unethical though.

Why is it important to talk about ethics? Has mainstream porn – and the society in general – forgot about it?

In every industry, there are subgroups and smaller factions — mainstream Hollywood films and independent productions, for instance. One thing that often comes with being “mainstream” is the perception that one’s standpoint or products are standardized or have lost some human dimension. I don’t believe this is necessarily true in Hollywood films, nor in porn.

Le portail “mainstream” est souvent critiqué comme étant déconnecté ou “irréel” d’une manière ou d’une autre. Cette irrégularité alléguée est souvent assimilée à la non-éthique.

Many of the people who are a part of this project are from “mainstream” porn — content that is frequently critiqued for its depictions as being disconnected or “unreal” in some way. This alleged unrealness is often equated with being unethical. But if you read through many of the statements from industry insiders on Ethical.porn, both from “mainstream” porn as well as from smaller producers, etc, there is a through line that emphasizes the production process as the key dimension in determining ethical content. Content, if created ethically, is ethical — the tenor of the sexual fantasy is not what dictates an ethical production.

It’s important — especially in porn but definitely not only in porn — to talk about the how and the why of content. This, rather than policing the sexual fantasies depicted on screen. Sexual desires are not uniform. There’s no “correct” form of sexual expression, and that’s wonderful! But just because a sexual fantasy presented in a piece of adult content may not correspond with a viewer’s own desires, that doesn’t make said content unethical. This is a key piece I feel we must keep discussing.

Industry friends, would you like to share your insights regarding ethical porn? Email us! We need all perspectives in the mix contributing to this complex discussion — ethicalporn (at) yahoo (dot) com.


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