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Porn Stars Created the #PayForYourPorn Campaign to Convince People to Stop Using Tube Sites

Jessica Drake and other porn stars have teamed up with piracy experts.

Jessica Drake (Photo courtesy of Wicked)

Pay for your porn – that’s what some adult industry members are asking consumers to do in a new online campaign. After Samuel L Jackson called Redtube the biggest pop culture achievement of the past 50 years, porn stars and piracy experts teamed up to create the #payforyourporn campaign to fight back against the tube companies they believe are lowering porn films' profits and quality.

“[Tube sites are] taking money away from all different areas,” said Jessica Drake, the Wicked Pictures contract star who helped start the movement. “A lot of people don't realise there is a lot involved in making a movie beyond the two people they see having sex on camera. Behind those two people, you see a director, then cameramen, then lighting guys, and production managers, and production assistants, make-up artists, wardrobe people. You see the location, and the equipment rental, and the lubricators that are being put out.”

Drake believes that tube sites have damaged companies’ finances, forcing them to lower their films’ quality. A one-month subscription to Wicked Pictures costs $29.99 (£17.90), and the company needs this money to produce their lavish pornos. “There are companies like Wicked that are known for our bigger budget, high-quality adult entertainment, so we want to be able to keep on doing that,” she said. “I think it's important that we educate people, and I think it will make a difference in the long run.”

Mike Kulich, founder of Skweezme.com, an alternative to tube sites, agrees. “They just want to pull something up, whack off and be done in five minutes,” he said. Launched this January at the AVN Awards, Skweezme.com hopes to become the Netflix of porn and a solution to Drake and other stars' problems with tube sites. “Streaming in HD, we have Twilight and all the pig parodies, and then we also have your regular gonzo stuff and your classic Debbie Does Dallas,” Kulich said.

If you love BDSM and anal, Skweezme.com is the place for you. The site offers viewers a diverse selection of titles and genres, unlike subscription sites that charge users expensive fees to watch a small selection of videos, and their payment plan revolves around a token system instead of subscriptions. According to Kulich, users must purchase a minimum of three tokens. (The company is introducing a new 99-cent feature, allowing users to buy three tokens for $2.97 (£1.77).) Once activated, a token gives users access to all videos for 24 hours.

“They can use it on their TV, iPhone, computer – we have a Roku channel. It's enabled on tablets, so we'll make it available on any device and make it at a price point where people won't mind paying it,” Kulich said. 

Joslyn James (Photo by Damien Cain)

Skweezme.com has yet to become popular, so for now porn stars are relying on campaigns like #PayForYourPorn to convince people to pay to masturbate. One such actress, the infamous Joslyn James, has felt the negative side effects of free content for years. James claims that tube sites have increased the public's awareness of porn stars, creating an influx of young, inexperienced newbies – like Belle Knox – who want to work in the porn industry.

Having these girls behind and in front of the camera has led to some awkward moments. “If you're doing an anal scene, you should know you don't eat a breakfast burrito in the morning! Use enemas, Imodium and gummy bears,” James said, when discussing young performers’ lack of experience. “I am sympathetic and want to educate people if it's their first time doing things. I just don't want to be the one licking your butt if you don't know how to have anal.”

James acknowledged that porn distributors have business relationships with tube sites and receive traffic from tube sites. (The major tube sites declined to comment.) “It does make sense why [porn companies] are doing it because it's making us, the porn stars, more popular,” James said. “I don't know about more money, but it is giving us more notoriety and popularity.”

Thanks to social media, porn stars like James and Drake would probably have been able to boost their fame without the help of tube sites, considering both stars regularly interact with fans on Twitter and their personal websites. Unfortunately, no porn star can fully control where their fans see their work, and they can only urge viewers to pay to jerk off.

“People are going to do what they want to do,” said James. “I can only control myself.”

@TheBowieCat