Sex

A Beginner’s Guide To Watching Feminist Porn

Everything you need to know to access foreplay fodder that is female-led, queer-inclusive, and beyond simply glorifying the male orgasm. 
SJ
Mumbai, IN
September 17, 2021, 12:38pm
A Beginner’s Guide To Watching Feminist Porn
Photo via Unsplash

As an industry, porn – or at least the male-gaze kind most of us are familiar with – is pretty fucked up. 

Whether it’s X-rated platforms suggesting sexually violent videos to first-time users or allowing unverified uploads of non-consensual deepfakes, the mainstream porn industry we’ve come to know clearly doesn’t pass the vibe check. 

This space, dominated by cisgender heteronormative men, has led to a chain of sexual abuse and harassment for countless adult entertainers. It’s also one that’s actively consumed by more men than women. This results in deeper real-life consequences, especially given that porn often serves as a substitute for sex education for teenagers. 

“This is worrying because mainstream porn doesn't make for good sex ed,” Ms Naughty, an award-winning feminist porn filmmaker who preferred we use her screen name since she keeps her personal life separate from her job, told VICE. “In [mainstream] porn, sex is done primarily for an audience, the positions benefit the camera, there is a focus on penetration, and it typically doesn’t show the best way for women to orgasm.” 

Porn could then potentially damage men’s perception of women’s sexual desires, impact how women react to their own bodies and desires, or even lead to sexual dysfunction. A 2017 study in The Journal of Sex Research found that in the 50 most viewed videos on Pornhub, only 18.3 percent of women are explicitly shown climaxing on-screen, as compared to 78 percent of men – reinforcing the patriarchal stereotype that the male orgasm is the ultimate aim of heterosexual sex. 

Fortunately, even the porn industry has experienced a feminist upheaval over the last decade, thanks to feminist filmmakers like Ms Naughty, who are leading the charge for porn that aligns with feminist ideals, captures diversity, and ensures its creators are paid fair wages.

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Feminist porn, like feminist everything, comes with its share of stereotypical misconceptions. Many like to believe it is merely a male-bashing space, while others feel it is filled with vanilla sex that is simply soft and sensual. 

“Feminist porn tries to decentralise the male orgasm by moving beyond penetration and the cum ‘money’ shot and create a diverse representation of bodies, sexualities and relationship models,” Paulita Pappel, a feminist porn producer and intimacy coordinator, told VICE. 

According to Pappel, a filmmaker who grew up watching sex-negative mainstream media and presumed all sex work was exploitative, feminist porn is an all-encompassing space that has something for every kink and fantasy. 

“[Things like] gang bangs are not inherently sexist, but the way it is shown [in mainstream porn] can be,” she said. “In feminist porn, for example, we shoot gang bangs as men serving the women [instead of the other way around], and always ask performers what they’re comfortable with before shooting.” The intimacy coordinator also pointed out that feminist porn gives its creators a space to explore their own pleasure, and capture it authentically for the audience’s pleasure.

“If you think about the language common to mainstream porn, it's really very negative: ‘sluts deserve to get fucked,’ ‘anal destruction,’ ‘stupid Latinas taught a lesson’ – that kind of thing,” said Ms Naughty. “Feminist porn wants to respect and honour the performers because they're putting a very personal part of themselves out there. And we want to show that sex can be fun and meaningful and vital to our identities as well as dirty and hot.” 

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The filmmakers added that in this space, it’s important to pay for your porn to enhance the chances of a producer paying fair wages to adult entertainers, taking informed consent from them, and not exploiting them. Most websites and services that offer feminist porn have subscription options that could range anywhere between $4 to $20 for a month to $50 for a whole year. 

Now that we’ve explained the why, let’s get into the how.

So you want to get into… ethical pornos that focus on female fantasies?

Male gaze porn is notorious for turning women into mere objects of orgasmic pleasure instead of exploring the myriad of emotions they experience along the way. “Feminist porn is less focused on traditionally male fantasies, or will create it with a sense of irony,” said Ms Naughty. 

According to the filmmaker, feminist porn expresses female pleasure by visibly promoting safe sex –explicitly mentioning consent, showing the performers as real people rather than sex objects, and making sure the camera moves beyond just focusing on the woman while excluding the man’s head from the frame. 

“Feminist porn is eager to show that sex doesn't have to be formulaic; it's not white-picket-fence heteronormative,” she said. “You can have guys getting pegged, fisting, women on top, lots of cunnilingus, and, of course, heaps of vibrator use since that's what is guaranteed to get a woman off.”

Websites to visit: 

BrightDesire.com: A website founded by Ms Naughty with the aim of creating erotic content that showcased intimacy and joy. The focus of this website is connection and chemistry, regardless of the kind of sex people are having. These videos tend to show real-life couples who are familiar with each other sharing pleasure, and incorporate the laughter and tender moments that mainstream porn leaves out. 

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Frolic Me: Not all feminist porn is the soft, slow and romantic kinds, but if that’s the content you’re looking for, then this is the place for you to indulge in your demisexual desires. Ms Naughty recommends it for women or couples looking to find tasteful porn. 

Sssh.com: A site that started as a dedicated spot for straight women, Sssh.com crowdsources female fantasies, then executes them through in-house performers, videos, and even editorial-style magazine content. 

ElseCinema: This pay-per-view platform can help you find feminist and ethical porn filmmakers from around the world. 

So you want to get into... inclusive queer porn? 

Unlike its male-dominated counterpart, feminist porn is an incredibly inclusive space that embraces people of all identities, genders, sexual preferences, race and colour. 

“Feminist queer porn represents a wide spectrum of sexuality, from gay to genderqueer,” said Pappel. “It has been a space for [LGBTQ+ communities] to find that representation of their identity at a time when mainstream media wasn’t covering it.” 

Websites to visit: 

PinkLabel.tv: A platform founded by Shine Louise Houston, an American filmmaker who has been making queer porn since the mid 2000s, Pink Label is a video-on-demand platform that is Pappel’s go-to for queer feminist porn – especially to find people of colour. It’s also a platform that offers filmmakers and performers who don’t have their own sites a shared income to pay them equally and fairly. 

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Crash Pad Series: Based on a film called The Crash Pad, which centres around a secret apartment only open for the queer community, this series is recommended by Ms Naughty for a no-holds-barred and honest sex experience that celebrates all bodies, genders and ethnicities. 

Aorta Films: A site recommended by Pappel for its seamless ability to subvert gender identity and explore queer porn with kinks and BDSM, this site is a classic example of how feminist porn does not have to be “pastel or soft,” but can also be hardcore. Films on this platform also explicitly show consensual negotiations and safe words through before-and-after scenes, to make for safe experiences that won’t trigger the viewer.

Indie Porn Revolution: The oldest running queer porn site stands for “subversive smut made by ladies, artists, and queers,” and aims to offer a wide array of content that explores distinctive perspectives, all of which are far from the male gaze. 

So you want to… get into arthouse porn

Feminist porn filmmakers pride themselves in their ability to create content that is as aesthetic as it is erotic. While this porn can be quite similar to sex scenes in mainstream movies, filmmakers say they like to curate a vibe that makes the entire porn-viewing experience more about the way the film is shot rather than just leading up to the cum shot. 

“Feminist porn isn't just about arousal,” said Ms Naughty. “It can be about emotion, about protest, about art.”

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Websites to visit:

BlueArtichokeFilms.com: A platform founded by Jennifer Lyon Bell, an American filmmaker based in the Netherlands, Ms Naughty describes this site as “cinematic, intelligent and extremely well-made.” According to her, these explicit films are arousing, but equally interested in the reasons why people have sex and the dynamic behind that, making it as much about the ideas as about hot sex. 

Four Chambers: Run by British artist and performer Vex Ashley, this site is recommended by Ms Naughty for films that are distinctively moody, sensual, intense, and kinky. The scenes all follow a theme and are shot mostly with natural light, featuring diverse performers as well as sex styles. 

So you want to… get into documentary porn?

As most feminist porn filmmakers will point out, ethical consumption of porn means moving beyond the professionals. Feminist porn is as much about exploring amateur online spaces, including social media, as it is about providing female-friendly smut.

“I prefer to use the term documentary porn over amateur porn, which sounds more like the performer is doing it as a hobby,” said Pappel. She explained that documentary porn is made by building the script around what the couple or performers derive their pleasure from. “From kissing to kink, they tell us what they want and we create the scenario around that.”

Websites to visit: 

OnlyFans: An internet content subscription service where creators can charge people to subscribe to their content, OnlyFans allows sex workers and up-and-coming pornstars to cut out the middleman and deal with their customers directly. This not only minimises the chances of exploitation but also offers you the chance to get exactly what you want from an adult entertainer who is then compensated fairly. 

Lustery: Founded by Paulita Pappel, this platform has real-life couples, who are also exhibitionists, filming themselves having sex. “They have a pre-existing relationship with each other, which gives it a different level of intimacy,” Pappel said. “You’re always performing when you’re having sex with a partner, and this website uses real couples and cameos from all over the world to show those personal, private moments with consent.”

r/chickflixxx: Reddit isn’t always the safest space for women but this subreddit aims to be one. Here, you can find women posting their favourite female-friendly X-rated videos, and even interact with sexperts – including sex therapists and other adult entertainers. 

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