Sherri Shaulis — Why Ethical Porn?

Article by · May 25, 2017 ·

By Sherri L. Shaulis, AVN Media Network Senior Editor. 

Just as the word “porn” holds strong connotations for almost every single person on the planet, the phrase “ethical porn” can elicit some strong reactions and opinions. Just as one person’s art can be another person’s pornography, one person’s ethical porn can be another person’s nightmare. As a writer who covers the adult industry for a living, I’ve pored through numerous articles, blog posts, and more about what is ethical porn, how to make ethical porn, how to know if you’re watching ethical porn, etc.

For me, there is no clear definition of “ethical porn.” And I am good with that. I think when it comes to ethical porn, and porn in general, there needs to be the ability to adapt and change. It needs to be fluid, and we need to regularly examine how it’s made and how it’s consumed.

Ethical porn can be pretty and soft, or it can be raw and edgy. It can give me a safe place to explore dark fantasies or portray what I might label “vanilla.” But regardless of what my definition, anyone’s definition for that matter, of ethical porn is, I do believe there needs to be some basic rules. Ethical porn needs to feature performers and crew members who are comfortable and who have consented. It needs to be created with a respect for the boundaries of everyone involved. And it needs to be consumed in a respectful manner, which includes paying for the time and effort of those creating it.

I consider myself a student of the “if it feels good, do it” school of thought, and I like to apply that to my porn as well. If, at the end of the day, you have no shame of reservations about the porn you create or consume, then I think you’ll be OK.


About Sherri L. Shaulis

Sherri L. Shaulis is a senior editor at AVN Media Network, where she has been writing about porn and sex toys for 10 years. She holds a degree in professional writing and editing from Youngstown State University. Prior to her move into adult, Shaulis served as a reporter and editor for a number of newspapers and magazines throughout the country. During her time in the industry, she has been featured in a number of TV shows, podcasts, and magazine and newspaper articles about the adult industry, as well as a panelist for a number of trade shows and conferences. Find her on Twitter @AVNSher or at AVN.com.


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