this is often why I end up watching mostly lesbian porn. Hetero porn can be really uncomfortable and misogynistic and just ugh
So I’m not the only one, that’s reassuring.
Lesbian porn is often even worse, though…
Lesbian porn which is essentially made for men can be worse, definitely. And that is most mainstream lesbian porn. But every now and then you find a company that makes lesbian films for a lesbian gaze, and those are usually great.
BUT even in lesbian porn made for men, as long as there’s not actually a man involved in the film (which happens, as I found out to my frustration when working in a sex shop), at least you don’t get the “woman is only sex toy for man to do with as he pleases”. Which is really refreshing, even if it is all “we’re just showing off to make man horny there’s no actual lust or feeling between us”.
- It only happens overseas.
- It only happens to women.
- It only happens to children.
- It always involves kidnapping.
- It can be easily solved by “just” calling the police or CPS.
- There are plenty of resources for human trafficking victims.
- It doesn’t happen to the kinds of people you hang out with.
- It doesn’t happen within families, especially happy-looking ones.
- It’s rare.
I’ve done many different kinds of sex work. I’ve been a cam girl, a porn performer, a professional sub, and a performer at a peep show (similar to a stripper). I’ve also been working in retail and food service simultaneously.
I get so frustrated at how I’m treated at work. It really gets to me. I find myself involuntarily crying once I get into my car to drive home. I hate how dehumanizing it is. People don’t acknowledge me as a person. They think I’m less than them because of my job. Maybe they don’t actively think that, but that’s how they treat me. Oh, by the way, I’m talking about the food service job.
When I’m doing sex work I can refuse a customer. I can be rude to them if they are being rude to me. I don’t have to apologize for their mistakes. I don’t have to be sweet when they are being inappropriate. I negotiate my limits, and I only do what I feel comfortable doing. They don’t get to order off the menu, I’m not going to bend over backwards for them.
I find it oppressive to work for minimum wage. I find it oppressive to act like the customer is always right. I find it dehumanizing to apologize for things that aren’t my fault, like how much something costs or if you order something wrong and you want it remade the correct way. I find it dehumanizing to say “Hi! How are you?” and in response get “Yeah I just need a blah blah blah” and then have a customer go back to their cell phone conversation. I hate being reduced to a cash register.
LITTLEMEW, REDDIT POST.
Yes, this. Excellent. During my many presentations on sex work and sex workers, people would try to make the point or ask the question “well why don’t these people just get a real/decent/non-sex work job? there are jobs! you can go to McDonald’s and get a job.”
But food service, I would argue, is more dehumanizing in some ways than sex work. There is no job autonomy in food service. You work for minimum wage, less than 8 bucks and hour. And you have to work all the time (if your place of employment will even give you the hours you need) to make rent payments. Sex work, in all the varieties it comes in, can provide more opportunities and is often times more lucrative than working a minimum wage job. Sex work is labor.
People, during my presentations, try to argue that sex work is inherently exploitative, and that is what is wrong with it. But I argue that all work is exploitative.
The last time someone was arguing about sex work with me, I said I didn’t want to take away someone’s choice to do sex work and they said, “It’s not a choice if you do it to put food on the table.” Show of hands: how many of us go to work in order to put food on the table? Right.
Not gonna lie, I won’t judge sex work or sex workers. If there was demand for types like me to do sex work, I might well consider it. What’s so bad about it? You are giving pleasure and get paid for it!
Now, sadly, there IS a lot of exploitation and abuse going on in sex work, but that’s a completely different issue. There’s also a lot of exploitation and abuse going on in the clothing industry (sweatshops, anyone?), yet I do not see people sneer at tailors…
The key words in all the replies are “can” and “choice” when it comes to sex work. Sex work canbe empowering to women and women can make choices with sex work. However, not all women involved in sex work can make choices about what they do. Not all sex workers experiences are like littlemew’s experiences with sex work. Sex work is labor. Like all jobs, especially minimum wage jobs, there is exploitation. I am not saying every sex worker is exploited because that is certainly not true. However, for every sex worker who has positive experiences with sex work, there is a sex worker who has negative experiences with sex work. It is true for other professions as well. Sex work is not black and white. We need to stop talking about it like it is.
But food service, I would argue, is more dehumanizing in some ways than sex work. There is no job autonomy in food service. You work for minimum wage, less than 8 bucks and hour. And you have to work all the time (if your place of employment will even give you the hours you need) to make rent payments.
Working as a waitress radicalized/politicized me in ways that a class or a book never could have.
Omg all of this. I’ve been so abused on the cash register and I have a college degree. I hate my life.
Add race and gender into the mix and things get worse for those of us in the food industry. Also, being a foreigner didn’t make things easy for me.
The original post plus all of the replies. Yes, there is a lot of exploitation and abuse happening in the sex industry, but this is also true of a lot (perhaps most?) other industries.. people just don’t view it that way because they think sex work is somehow immoral or “wrong”. I know plenty of people who have been hired to do minimum wage work at supermarkets and such who have then suddenly started not getting any hours (this has actually happened to me), meaning they cannot afford rent, but they are still on the rota and suddenly become a “just in case” person - the one they call if they really can’t get anyone else, to come in at a moment’s notice. And often they will be too intimidated or anxious to talk to their boss about it, or their boss shrugs it off, or promises to give them more hours and then doesn’t… I could go on.
In sex work it is quite easy to work independently or semi-independently (for example, through a website where you can choose your own hours and rates), you get paid, you are appreciated by your customers (how many people working “normal” jobs can truly say that?) and, as the OP points out, you can behave however you want to. You can say no. You can tell people to fuck off if they’re being rude.
Of course there is the other side of the sex industry, which is trafficking and non-consensual work, and that is what we do need to focus on, bring to attention and try to eradicate. But we also can’t forget how empowering the sex industry can be, and that trying to eradicate the whole industry by force is never going to work - and really isn’t needed, either, because there are good sides to it as well.
misconceptions about strippers.
pussy preach more sense than the fuckin government.
Are we really surprised at this fact in a society that placates white pussy as the ultimate prize and puts anybody else into niches and fetish categories?
ARE WE REALLY?
Oh hey, the source of another of my many feelings about pornography: the fact that the industry is cheerfully, unabashedly racist, and it’s hard to discuss that with people who are determined to present porn as an integral part of women’s sexual liberation
I mean, if Mandingo cuckolding or wild jungle women or submissive geishas are your kink then who am I to say that might be problematic because all kinks are ok and you’re not really racist for getting off on them, it’s just the transgressive taboo of… of being a racist without consequences, I guess
I have no idea how any women of color involved in racist porn feel about it, so I can’t say anything about that, but why don’t I have any idea? Because I’ve never run into them talking about it anywhere and I feel like maybe I should have. Like maybe this should be a very large part of the discussion and you shouldn’t be able to spend any time in porn-positive circles without this being addressed.
I bet I know how they feel about not getting paid as much, though, because that is universally bullshit.
i am not here for that 8 percent of women who choose sex work, i am not here to let them dominate a conversation that is tied up too intimately with geographies of colonization and brown poverty and black fetishization.
you can miss me with that. i support the legalization of sex work and i do not judge anyone who participates in it. but insofar as you, mostly privileged white women, want to run the game without recognizing the coercion that most sex workers face, you can step off.
that fucking campaign of ‘i’m a sex worker and i have a real job’ is run by a bunch of pimps. millions of girls are trafficked into sex work every year. lets talk about THEIR liberation, i really dont care at this point if sex work makes you feel connected to your femininity! i’m so tired of you all running the show!
Usually I’m on the other side of this argument, mostly because so many people I know personally truly do believe that all sex workers are coerced into it, which is not the case, and I really want to get that message across to them. But I do realise that a majority of sex workers are still coerced into it, and that definitely needs to be addressed.
I think the other side of it (the willing sex workers) is important in some ways because it helps get rid of the taboo of sex work and, hopefully, attracts more people to go into sex work willingly. But obviously it can also erase the experiences of coerced sex workers, which really cannot afford to go ignored.
The sex industry as a whole really needs a massive overhaul, both an attack on human trafficking and coercion, but also to get rid of the taboo on it and more open discussion. Of course, that is a massive undertaking that is going to take years, seeing how the rotten side of the sex industry is so incredibly powerful. But I think that sharing and acknowledging both the good and the bad side of it is important. Also acknowledging the dynamics of race and class relations, which are really powerful in this, but it’s not really my place to talk about those.
This all comes from a place of white privilege, but I do try my best to be anti-racist, so I’m sorry in advance if I fuck up. :x
They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth. They try (and probably succeed at times) to take pictures down my shirt. They ask if they can get my number, they ask where I live, why I’m not smiling, why my boyfriend lets me walk around by myself. Then they ask why I’m such a bitch, if my pussy is made of ice. They say that they never do this, as though I’ve somehow driven them to inappropriate behavior and deserve it. They say they’re just having fun, trying to pay me a compliment. Pretty frequently they get mean, slipping into a loud tourettes-like chant of bitch-whore-cunt-slut.
Before you try to tell me that it’s because I take my clothes off for a living, let me tell you that this started way before I was 18. Let me tell you that every single woman I know has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying. Let me remind you that in a room of pornography fans, who have actually seen me with a dick in my mouth and who can buy a replica of my vagina in a can or box, I am treated with far more respect than I am walking down the street.
Porn is a touchy topic, especially among feminists. Whether or not porn is okay to consume has long been a major source of debate. Fortunately, with the new genre of feminist/ethical porn making a big difference in the world of adult entertainment, many of the reasons the industry had a bad reputation are being tackled.
What is sometimes problematic about porn? Well, unfortunately a lot of things. The porn industry frequently utilizes stereotypes, uses coercion, creates unrealistic expectations, doesn’t practice safer sex on screen, is misogynistic, and a host of other issues. That doesn’t mean that watching porn is bad, it just means that it is yet another thing that can be very problematic. Like any other thing we consume, it is important to be critical of the mechanisms it employs and the impact it can have on our lives and our culture, but that doesn’t mean watching it or enjoying it makes you a bad person.
The availability of feminist/ethically produced porn is then another way to enjoy porn, this time without a lot of these issues that typically accompanies it. When something is accepted as feminist porn, most of the time we accept it as not only feminist but also ethically made. This may mean we see more diversity in directors, actors choosing what acts and actors they would like to make scenes with and with their pleasure in mind, more realistic depictions of sex (acts, bodies, etc), safer sex, and most importantly negotiation and consent, consent, consent.
By providing access to these new kinds of porn, we are also starting to see that a lot of good can result from these texts. You heard me right: Porn can do good. It can be used to safely explore fantasies, empower, help dismiss shame associated with certain acts, and even facilitate communication with sexual partners about wants and desires. By exploring these things through an ethically made/feminist version of porn, this good is amplified as the problematic aspects of previous texts fall away.
So what is a porn-loving or even a porn-interested person to do? Sorting through the masses of content out there can be very intimidating and finding something ethically made can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. If you can’t find something feminist/ethically made and you watch whatever porn is available to you, that doesn’t make you a bad person either. As previously stated, it is important to be critical of the mechanisms porn employs and the impact it can have on our lives and our culture when watching it. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. As a general practice, employing this criticism of all media you consume is a good idea and porn is no different.
If you are devoted to finding some quality ethical porn, there are a couple of places you can look. First, try the resources listed below for further reading. The Feminist Porn Awards (winners and nominations) in particular provide a fantastic way to check out titles that you can be sure were produced with these standards in mind. Many of these resources also call upon well-known pornographers who make these feminist films as sources. Doing a little research before watching is all that it takes, and it can make a big difference. Lets hope that with more people demanding these standards within the industry we continue to see a turn to them.
For further reading, try the following:
“Like any other thing we consume, it is important to be critical of the mechanisms it employs and the impact it can have on our lives and our culture, but that doesn’t mean watching it or enjoying it makes you a bad person.”