AU
Back to
New Horizons
Back

If you watch porn, you’re not the only one.

According to an article published in The Journal of Sex Research, 84% of Australian men and 54% of Australian women surveyed had looked at porn at least once in their lives; and about three-quarters of those men and one-third of the women had watched porn within the past year. Even our own Big Sex Survey revealed that one in five Gen Z men cite pornography as a resource that has taught them about sex.

Lifehacker further reported that Monday is the most popular day to watch porn in Australia, while Friday is the least popular. We spend a little under ten minutes watching porn at a time; and the most popular time to watch it is between 10pm and 11pm.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for us Aussies, there’s a notable dip in the amount of us accessing porn during big sporting events: during the 2014 AFL Grand Final and the 2015 NRL Grand Final, viewership dipped and then picked back up again a few hours later.

So it’s clear that we like our porn. But have you ever stopped to think about how your porn is made? What conditions do your favourite porn performers work under; and how much they actually get paid for the scenes they create?

In this article, we’re going to investigate ethical porn: what it is, how to find it, and what exactly we mean when we talk about porn that’s ‘ethical’.


Although porn is popular, it’s not for everyone. There are plenty of reasons why someone wouldn’t watch porn: perhaps it’s addictive for them; perhaps they enjoy other forms of erotica, like written material or audiobooks; or maybe they just don’t like it. If you’re someone who doesn’t consume porn, we’re definitely not about to tell you that you should—like anything else related to our sexual selves, porn is a personal choice.

But if you do consume porn, we reckon that it’s worth investigating how to do it as responsibly and ethically as possible. In the same way that it’s become super common to question the conditions under which other products we consume are made, we think it’s important to question how our porn is made as well. 

Porn exists—and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So let’s work out how to find the good stuff.


What is ‘ethical’ porn, anyway?

The term ‘ethical’ is pretty broad, and not just in relation to porn. When we hear about food, clothing, or other forms of entertainment being made ethically, it’s not always clear what exactly ‘ethical’ means. Does it mean that workers are being paid fair wages? Does it mean that it’s being distributed in an environmentally-conscious way? Does it mean both of these things, or something else entirely?

We’re going to encourage you to come up with your own definition of ‘ethical’, but we reckon it’s worth considering the following things when you next settle in to watch some adult entertainment:


It’s worth remembering that porn that’s ethical in these ways doesn’t have to be ‘boring’—ethical porn isn’t all about soft lighting and romantic lovemaking (although it certainly can be!). A spicy role-play scene can be totally consensual; and a full-on BDSM video can be created in a safe and comfortable space. Almost any kind of themes can be explored within the parameters of an environment that treats porn performers like the working professionals that they are. 


Why should I watch ethical porn?

If you care about respect, consent, communication, and fairness in your IRL sex life, you should care about making sure it’s present in porn as well. Porn performers deserve to work in environments that prioritise their rights and needs—and when we choose to only watch porn that is created in these environments, we make a powerful statement about the standards we have for the media we consume.

Seeking out porn that fits within our own definition of ‘ethical’ also means we have the chance to pay porn performers, the production teams who work with them, and the studios who employ them. Porn performers deserve to be compensated for their time and effort at work, just like anyone else; and as consumers we have a responsibility to do that, whether it’s paying a performer directly or paying the studio they like to work with.

How do I find it?
So, you’re ready to switch up your viewing habits and start getting into some ethically-made porn? Great. One of the most exciting things about seeking out porn that’s made ethically is the knowledge that you’re directly supporting performers to keep creating their work. If there’s a particular performer or studio you like, paying them fairly for their work means they can afford to make more of it for you to enjoy—it’s a win-win situation.

Here are some ways you can find ethical porn:

Some further reading…

Keen to learn more about ethical porn? Here are some good places to start...


To learn more about the foundations of great sex from acclaimed sex coach Georgia Grace, check out NORMAL's online video masterclass The Modern Guide to Sex.