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What is Ethical Porn? And 15 Best Places To Watch (2023)

The following article contains information that may not be suitable for readers under the age of 18. Discretion is advised.

Three top ethical porn websites (with SFW photos)

Watching porn isn’t a shameful thing to do, and there are ways we can consume erotic content ethically. As a survivor of sexual abuse and navigating vaginismus, I’ve had to do a lot of relearning about what I find pleasurable. 

I spent a lot of time thinking sex was just something I “had” to do, and not something I deserved to enjoy, let alone feel enthusiastic about. 

However, I knew about the issues in the porn industry and how sex workers are unpaid and often exploited, so I always felt icky if it was something I wanted to explore. Once I found out there were ways to explore erotic content ethically, I was able to turn self-play into self-care.

Porn can be a good resource to help us get in touch with our sensual side, learn more about what’s possible in the world of desire, and unlock new fantasies to try with our partners.

I spoke with certified sexologist Rhiannon John at Bedbible, and she said, “While it should not be relied upon as the sole source of sex education, pornography can contribute to teaching people about pleasure.”

However, mainstream porn comes with an array of ethical problems — from the filmmaking process, to how we consume it to how it can perpetuate sex trafficking, and how it can be shared illegally. 

So, how do we bridge the gap between wanting to explore our sexual desire while not contributing to problematic practices? Support ethical porn.

By the way, some of the links in this article are affiliates, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Everything in this article was independently and honestly written by the author. Thank you for your support!

What is ethical porn?

Ethical porn is sexual content that’s created with safety, equity, and consent in mind. Many mainstream pornography sites aren’t regulated and can violate consent, just to name a few concerns. Ethical porn aims to combat these issues and destigmatize sex work, sex, and pleasure for everyone. 

Whether you call it feminist porn, responsible porn, or ethical porn, these all essentially mean the same thing. They often move away from only portrayals of male pleasure, prioritize safe sex, and follow safety and distribution regulations. 

Luckily, ethical porn has become more readily available, and there are amazing indie adult filmmakers who are creating content that viewers can feel good about watching. 

We’ve provided some more insights into ethical porn, including what exactly makes it ethical, where you can find it, and what nuances still remain when it comes to exploring this content. Let’s dive in!

Where to watch ethical porn:

Now that you know the ins and outs of ethical porn (pun intended), you’re ready to start exploring thoughtfully made erotic content!

These indie adult filmmakers, women-owed, and queer-owned porn websites are providing people with erotica many of us crave and desire. 

I have personally found each one of these websites to offer something different, which makes this list especially unique, because you will never run out of ways to learn more about your own body, your relationship desire, and what you may or may not bring you pleasure!

Below is a list of websites where you can watch ethical porn, see bodies that may look like your own, and be confident that the people on screen are experiencing authentic pleasure – just like you are about to.

These links will send you to a NSFW site. Proceed with intention and mindfulness of your surroundings.

Top Ethical Porn Platforms:

Platform Access Information
CHEEX Subscription-based
Bellesa Subscription-based (2-day trial)
Afterglow Subscription-based; 1-day access option
FrolicMe Subscription-based (5-day trial)
PinkLabel.TV Subscription-based; Rent/buy individual films option
Sssh Subscription-based (2-day trial)
Make Love Not Porn Limited subscription; $5 per video option
Dreams of Spanking Subscription-based; Non-recurring option
Aorta Films Subscription-based; Rent individual films option
Bright Desire Subscription-based; Non-recurring option
XConfessions Subscription-based

CHEEX

Cheex: Discover a World of Sexual Pleasure - A membership designed to sexually empower and inspire you with unlimited access to erotic films, audio stories, and education for everyone. - Highclass content. Consensual and fair produced. Unlimited streaming.

CHEEX is a sex-positive curated website where all content is produced fairly, only performers of legal age are shown, and licensing partners are selected according to strict ethical criteria. 

Not only does CHEEX have videos and audio that you can filter by categories such as ‘penis only,’ ‘vulva only,’ ‘soft,’ ‘rough,’ ‘intense,’ ‘number of participants,’ ‘genre,’ and more, they also have educational content for those who are looking for more sex education. 

CHEEX’s Pleasure Academy offers live workshops with expert sex educators, tutorials, and podcasts about topics such as queer sex, behind-the-scenes of sex work, and other sex-positive topics. 

CHEEX is a subscription-based platform that costs a little more than the average streaming service.

Bellesa

Bellesa: Porn by women. The premier destination for all things female sexuality.

On top of making incredible sex toys, Bellesa also has a women-run porn company that caters to women and femmes. While content isn’t specifically “for women,” content is filmed, produced, and directed by women. 

At the bottom of their website, Bellesa says, “We also believe that sex should be fun, empowering, and 100% shame-free. We are all deserving of pleasure.” Bellesa also notes that all performers’ needs (food, hydration, hygiene items) are provided for, and the company hosts regular STI testing and has a list of “dos and don’ts” for each performer. 

Bellesa has a small library of free content, but you can access all of its content through Bellesa Plus — which offers a 2-day free trial. 

Afterglow

Afterglow: Ethical porn. Pleasure exercises. Expert advice. Empowerment. - Afterglow is the sex resource I wish I'd had. I learned about sex through porn, but never how to bring authentic pleasure and hot sex into my life. — Lilly Sparks, founder & CEO

Afterglow is a beautiful site that not only has ethically made adult films but also has stunning guides to what ethical porn means to the brand, how to watch porn as a couple, and the history of creating a more ethical porn industry. 

The site has a tab called “Journeys,” which can help guide you on your journey of curiosity and desire. 

When you are finally ready to explore, you can pay a few dollars for one-day access — or sign up for a monthly or annual subscription. 

FrolicMe

FrolicMe: Made by a woman. Enjoyed by all. - A platform of beautiful erotica, offering ethically produced erotic films, videos, erotic stories, erotic audio, beautiful photographic galleries, and online magazine all focused on female pleasure, healthy sexuality and wellbeing. An independent erotic site produced by a woman for women, men and couples to safely and responsibly engage in sex-positive erotica, enhancing wellbeing and education. A platform of pleasure for those curious about the joys of sex.

FrolicMe has an array of erotic content, including films, audio, photo galleries, and stories. 

All content is independently produced and dedicated to healthy sexuality. FrolicMe highlights couples erotica to move away from demeaning and vulgar mainstream porn. 

With the story at the forefront, FrolicMe offers literotica and adult fiction plus articles about sex tips and health to make sure everyone can have the most pleasurable experience. 

There is limited free content, but to join as a member, you can access a 5-day trial before signing up for a monthly or annual membership. If you just want to sign up for a single month, they charge a bit more. 

PinkLabel.TV

PINKLABEL.tv Watch hundreds of indie adult films, all under one membership.

One thing that makes PinkLabel.TV feel safer right as you enter the site is an age verification process. You do this by showing your ID or having a photo of your face scanned through a webcam (the brand does not store data) for age estimation. 

While some may feel unsure about the security of this process (especially with growing criticisms of governments mandating this), PinkLabel does have a robust section on its website to explain its security and privacy practices

Once you enter the site, you are welcomed with a curated collection of indie films that features performers who are queer, trans, people of color, people with disabilities, and older folks. 

PinkLabel also offers guides to help you find specific genres of porn, and you even learn about the filmmakers and the sex industry as a whole. 

You can register with a basic account to rent or buy individual films to be added to your library, or you can subscribe at a monthly or yearly rate. 

Sssh

Sssh: Award Winning

For those wanting a cinematic experience when searching for ethical erotica, Sssh is the website for you. Not only does Sssh offer films from directors and filmmakers, but it also has original member-inspired and community-sourced erotic content. 

Sssh also has unique VR Dynamic 360 movies (that don’t require a headset), artistic photo galleries for those wanting still images, and written stories and audiobooks to get lost in. 

Sssh shares a full list of its on-set policies and practices including not asking a performer to do something that wasn’t discussed beforehand, finding a partner who they have real chemistry with, and all performers must be 21+. 

Sssh can be accessed through a free 2-day trial, a 1-month membership, a 3-month membership, and a yearly membership. 

Make Love Not Porn

Make Love Not Porn: MakeLoveNotPorn was born in 2009 out of founder Cindy Gallop's direct personal experience dating younger men. - This is not porn - it's real world sex Today MakeLoveNotPorn is the world's first user-generated, human-curated social sex platform - the Facebook of #RealWorldSex: sharing that one area of all our lives no other social platform will allow. Which means our social sex videos aren't just something you watch and enjoy - they're inspirational self help for your sex life (just read our members' comments on each video to see how).

Make Love Not Porn is “pro-sex, pro-porn, and pro-knowing the difference.” Make Love Not Porn is a curated sex video-sharing platform where people can submit videos, and users make an account to rent and access content. 

The platform prides itself on showing real-world sex and showing what is sexy, messy, awkward, beautiful, and glorious. 

Account holders can watch any video at $5 per video or subscribe for monthly rates that provide a specific number of videos per month. 

Dreams of Spanking

Pandora Blake Dreams of Spanking: Photo of someone dressed as a teacher, preparing to spank somebody

If you are into spanking fantasies or want to dip your toe into kink content, Dreams of Spanking may be a good place to start. 

With over 400 spanking scenes available, Dreams of Spanking is dedicated to paying performers fairly and produces enthusiastically consensual content. 

If there is a specific scenario that you want played out, you can submit a custom request of an audio, solo, standard, or highly customized production. 

When you create your account, you can choose to pay a non-recurring membership or save a bit of money by signing up for a recurring monthly or annual membership.

Aorta Films

Aorta: Welcome to Aorta Films - Internationally award-winning, indie queer porn: lusty, opulent, glorious, fuckery.

Aorta Films creates short films and feature projects emphasizing queer pleasure. With lessons from the BDSM community, Aorta is creating ethically made films you can search by seemingly endless filters, such as ‘all androgynous,’ ‘fishnets,’ and even something as niche as ‘ice cubes.’

Based on clear and upfront policies about consent and safety, you know the performers and crew are creating content they are really excited about. You can access queer porn, as well as content highlighting queer kink through Community Hardcore

To access films on Aorta Films, you can rent specific films or access their library by purchasing a 1-month, 3-month, or 12-month membership.

Bright Desire

Bright Desire: Award-winning erotic short films and festival favourites - Bright Desire's films have screened at over 100 film festivals and won over a dozen awards. Click on the links below to find out more.

“A feminist porn site for men and women,” Bright Desire features a variety of adult content. The brand notes that its content is largely focused on heterosexual sex, in hopes of helping people move away from the “tube” sites and towards a more ethical, consensual, and pleasurable experience for both the performers and the viewers. 

Alongside its films, you can watch interviews with the performers and bloopers from the set. 

To join Bright Desire, you sign up for an account and can choose a non-recurring charge or recurring subscription.

XConfessions

XConfessions: Screenshot of website with pixelated photos

Have you ever wanted to submit your sex confessions anonymously and have those stories inspire an erotic film? XConfessions is where you need to go. 

With the seven core values of equal pleasure, diversity, fair pay, transparency, safe sex environments, no surprise, and worker standards, you can be confident everything you are watching on XConfessions is ethically made. 

If you are sick of watching porn that plays into the “pizza delivery guy” cliche (the creator of XConfessions created an alternative take on that cliche!), this is the site for you. 

With over 36 categories to explore (including a limited free option), you can access XConfessions’ content by subscribing monthly or annually. 

Else Cinema

Else Cinema: Live TV streaming is here

If you like to watch something a little more soft and sensual, Else Cinema is for you. The site says, “We explore what sex feels like instead of showing you close-up, gynecological shots of what it looks like.” 

If you are looking for less explicit content, but still want more erotic content than a Hollywood movie may offer, Else Cinema offers a library of movies and audio. Else Cinema’s content is made by the same producers as XConfessions, so it’s also made with those seven core values in mind. 

Where to listen to ethical audio porn:

Watching videos is not the only way to consume erotic content. If you are more interested in audio stories with a narrative that leaves you to picture it all in your mind, audio porn may be the content for you. 

These websites and apps, while not explicit upon first click, do contain NSFW audio. Be mindful of your location and volume.

Dipsea

Dipsea: Unlock your sensuality with a subscription to an ever-growing collection of sexy audio stories, wellness sessions, and dreamy sleep scenes.

Dipsea offers short and sweet empowering stories of sensuality and sexuality. The Dispea team is full of fairly paid writers and an editorial team to create scripts that are then moved to carefully chosen voice actors, over 50% of whom are voice actors of color, who make the story come to life.  

After the recording, the audio is mastered into a truly sonic experience that is created with intention. 

You can download Dipsea through your phone’s app store (iOS and Android) and try it free for 7 days if you choose the annual subscription option.

Quinn

Quinn - The Misty Door: Meet Solstice, voiced by Jesse Williams. Enter the world of The Misty Door, where magic and faeries are real. Solstice Starr, a bookstore proprietor in Portland, Oregon, is here to tempt you. Episode Three is now live.

Have you ever wanted an actor to read you an erotic story? “Grey’s Anatomy” lovers, what if I told you Dr. Jackson Avery could read you a sexy story based in a bookstore? Or you could listen to a “best friends to lovers” story — or even listen to erotic stories from past time periods? These are just a few of the options you can find on Quinn

“Made by women, for the world,” Quinn offers spicy audio stories, guided masturbation sessions, and even dirty talk recordings. 

You can access all their categories and content by paying less than $5 per month. 

EmJoy

EmJoy App: Your audio journey to female pleasure Boost your libido and climax more consistently with new techniques, improve your relationships and accept your body through wellbeing sessions, and spark your imagination through hundreds of audio erotica stories with Emjoy - the science-backed audio app that puts you first. All of Emjoy's content is created with care by sex therapists and OB-GYNs. Enjoy 600+ sessions & stories

Not only does EmJoy have sexy stories, but it also hosts body acceptance and educational audio options for listeners. 

You can only access EmJoy through a mobile phone app, (available on Apple and Google Play), but once you download, you can choose your goals of body acceptance, increased libido, healthier relationships, consistent climax, new techniques, or improved self-esteem. 

You pay a monthly fee to access over 400 erotic stories, a personalized sexual wellbeing journey, and over 1,000 audio sessions to learn about new techniques and boost your libido. 

Components of ethical porn:

1. Performers get paid fairly.

Ethical porn is often behind a paywall because it’s important that the performers and crew are paid a fair, living wage. Like any kind of work, it’s important that everyone involved is fairly compensated. 

Ethical porn respects the workers and ensures all are getting the same pay and benefits like in any other industry. What some people don’t often understand is that sex work is often more accessible to marginalized communities. 

Molly Smith and Juno Mac write in “Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers' Rights

“Trans women in particular often find that formal employment is out of reach. Increased school drop-out rates, lack of family support, and lack of access to adequate health care (including the means to finance gender-affirming treatment) leave them exposed to poverty, illness, and homelessness.”

With ethical porn behind a paywall, creators are less likely to cut corners that may lead to unsafe and unfair working conditions, and marginalized communities can access more resources. 

Smith and Juno continue: “Outsiders often think that selling sex must be a horrible job, and many sex workers would agree. However, these sex workers may locate the problem not in sex but in work.” 

If us humans must survive under capitalism, we must also make intentional choices about how our own actions reverberate into other communities, such as the sex industry and ethical porn creators. 

 

2. Content shows real pleasure, desire, and aftercare. 

Authentic pleasure and sex positivity are portrayed in ethical porn, and the “male gaze” is deprioritized. People with vaginas are shown as people with agency, rather than passive revivers, and you will often see other authentic moments such as using lube, giggling, checking in, and aftercare. 

Aftercare is an aspect of intimacy where partners check in and spend time with one another after sex. This can include cuddling, massaging, bathing, and touching one another. Partners also often talk about what they did and didn’t enjoy after sex. 

Portraying this in ethical porn helps normalize aftercare as a part of sex and intimacy. “Watching porn with aftercare or enthusiastic consent teaches you about healthy sexual behaviors. It's like a visual guide to awesome encounters that you can apply to your own sex life,” says Dainis Graveris, founder of SexualAlpha

While not every ethical adult film will show aftercare, the ones that do can be especially healing for those with sexual trauma or abuse. 

Abhainn Connolly, a queer and trans poet who has survived sexual assault and domestic violence, says: “I feel [porn] was integral in my own exploration of my queerness and kink, as well as in healing my experiences with violence.”

“I've encountered many production companies that feature other trans bodies with scarring from trans-affirming surgery and/or with people in larger bodies, engaging in queer sex, and it helped me see the beauty in my own sexuality, body, and desire.”

3. Videos are inclusive and diverse.

Ethical porn shows different genders, bodies, ages, abilities, and experiences. These demographics aren’t fetishized in ethical porn, either. 

When erotic content is diverse and inclusive, more people may be able to see themselves in it, leading to more feelings of sexual pleasure, arousal, and positive self-image. 

4. Participants are of legal age.

The use of underage performers is a big issue in the mainstream porn industry, as well as sex trafficking and the selling of child pornography, which to be clear, is child sexual abuse. 

According to a study by The Ohio State University Pressbook, it was estimated that in 2016, 4.8 million women, men, and children were trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation around the world.

Ethical porn sites almost always have a disclaimer that participants are at least 18 years of age at the time of filming. Ethical adult filmmakers take steps to ensure children are protected and illegal content isn’t being produced or shared. 

5. Ethical porn is consensual and takes performers’ boundaries into account.

There’s nothing less attractive than non-consensual sex. When you’re watching porn, we should all want to know that the people in the film have said “yes” to everything involved. 

Ethical porn considers performers’ boundaries. This means everyone involved has consented, and filmmakers or producers haven’t made anyone do something they don’t want to do. 

When ethical porn is filmed, performers are encouraged to speak up, and nothing less than an enthusiastic yes is accepted. 

6. Responsible porn avoids harmful stereotypes.

Mainstream pornography often plays into harmful stereotypes, such as women being degraded, disrespected, or even harmed. A 2022 study found “men who consume pornography are more likely to practice or desire dominant and degrading practices, such as gagging and choking.” 

There are also harmful racial stereotypes that mainstream porn is known to play into, including the fetishization of minorities. Ethical porn intentionally creates a safe, pleasurable, and respectable environment for all participants. 

Criticisms & caveats on ethical porn:

Something important to remember is that, as a society, the porn industry is highly stigmatized. In order to create ethical porn, people have to want it. 

Many sex workers can’t access things such as bank accounts, health insurance, or other necessities. By supporting ethical porn companies, sex workers gain greater access to fair and equal pay and resources. 

Many turn to OnlyFans to support sex workers directly, but Sarah Ditum wrote in The Guardian about the more grim sides of OnlyFans, including the need for some performers to cross their own boundaries to maintain a lucrative business and moderators’ exposure to highly inappropriate and illegal content. 

Still, if you are mindful of what you are consuming on OnlyFans and want to support someone directly, it may be an option. 

Some may say that watching porn is bad for your health because it has links to gender-based violence, creates unrealistic expectations, or could lead to addiction. In fact, three out of five experts say so — and a study found that viewers prefer women’s pleasure over violence.That being said, these conclusions may be rooted in stigma and a lack of ethical porn watching. 

Of course, if people are consuming porn that is non-consensual, doesn’t represent their demographic, or plays into harmful or fetishizing stereotypes, it can certainly be harmful. 

But watching or listening to porn that reflects enthusiastic consent and authentic desire can often be healing and empowering for viewers. 

John — the certified sexologist we spoke to earlier — explains: “Viewers have the opportunity to learn new techniques that can enhance their own experiences or be shared with partners, ultimately increasing overall pleasure. In a personal context, pornography facilitates the discovery of their sexuality, enables self-care, and allows people to experience the numerous benefits of sexual pleasure and orgasms.”

The good news is that ethical porn isn’t only available — it’s in large supply! There is no reason to be consuming mainstream porn that doesn’t prioritize the health and well-being of performers or filmmakers. 

Ethical porn is one step toward empowering people to have agency over their own bodies and learn that pleasure is possible for them, no matter their body, age, race, gender, or other intersections.

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