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A Primer on Porn You Can Watch Without Feeling Like a Terrible Person Afterward

Image: Fang Ling Lee, “Morbid Decay”

Hello, LUNA LUNA lovers! My name is Lynsey G and I am your resident sexpert. Starting today, I’ll be writing a monthly column on my area of expertise: porn, sex, and all the stuff that goes along with both.

I’ve been writing about pornography through the lens of feminism and my own weird obsession with the social impacts of both since 2007. I’ve dedicated years of work at WHACK! Magazine, a series of short films (one of which won a Feminist Porn Award this year) and an art show, a column at McSweeney’s, an entire website, and thousands of written words in lots of places to pondering issues like the health and safety problems of condoms in porn, the ethics of fantasy when played out in reality, and how porn can and does affect romantic relationships. And now I want to answer all your questions about these topics as best I can. Send ‘em at me, bro (or sis, or cis, or genderqueer sibling, or whatevs)! I promise I’m nonjudgmental, and I have just as weird and warped an imagination as any of you (trust me), so don’t be afraid of sharing your private sex/relationship/kinky shit with me. Or, hey, if you have a random question about porn, toss that shit my way. Chances are I can offer an educated guess answer, or contact some of my super-knowledgeable buddies in the industry. I’m all ears! Or… fingers? Since I’m typing… Hm. Whatever. You get the idea.

In the meantime, since nobody asked but I know you’re all wondering about my little Feminist Porn Award comment up there, here’s a Primer on Porn You Can Watch Without Feeling Like a Terrible Person Afterward. I realize that in the internet age, porn can seem like an endless repetition of the same-old body parts assembled in the same old variety of often-gross and even-more-often-morally-questionable activities, and it all leaves a sort of, “Ew, is it ok that I just kinda enjoyed that?” feeling in your mouth (and junk) when you’re done, because it all happens in a vacuum where you can’t be certain if the people involved really wanted to be there, or do that, or what was going on. But lucky for us, there is a vast world of pornography and other sexual entertainment out there that exists parallel to the big-box-store-porn produced by Brazzers and New Sensations and Vivid. In this otherworld of sexytime entertainment, not everything is borderline-violent, over-endowed, repetitive, body-shaming, misogynist swill (and there’s a lot of nuance to every stereotype you see in standard porn, too… but that’s best left to another column). Over here, porn is made transparently, fairly, and joyfully. And I love it. So I’m going to help you navigate it! (Please note: there’s plenty of porn out there that I don’t know about, and so many preferences and fantasies in the world that I couldn’t possibly hope to cover them all here. So I’m not hoping to. This just your primer. Feel free to do outside research and report back.)

There are lots of labels you can apply to most of the people and companies I’ll list below; many of the filmmakers rally around the banner of “feminist” porn, but it’s hard to pin down exactly what that term means, so not everyone embraces it. Others go by “indie” or “queer” porn, and some don’t even use the word “porn” to describe themselves. But the main thing that holds them together is this: they all strive to make pornography that represents real, authentic sexual pleasure and that treats everyone involved with dignity and respect. As far as I know, all the companies on the list below do their utmost to compensate their performers fairly and represent them as they would like to be represented, and to make entertainment that will tingle your jubblies while putting your fears about whether or not this is all OK to rest. So hey, grab your vibrator or your partner or whatever else you like, and a credit card, and start clicking!

A Primer on Porn You Can Watch Without Feeling Like a Terrible Person Afterward

If you prefer:

Pretty porn that you could probably watch with a partner: Juicy Pink Box (all-female), Sweet Sinner (hetero) or Sweet Heart Video (lesbian), or Joy Bear Pictures (bonus! British accents!)

Intellectually stimulating, cinematic, and sexy, too: Erika Lust (bonus! European accents!), Blue Artichoke Films (more European accents!)

Humanistic, socially responsible, possibly political… and sizzling: Pretty much anything Tristan Taormino has ever directed (her work runs the gamut); Buck Angel‘s ouevre (heavy on the butch FTMs, docu-porn style); Tobi Hill-Meyer’s Handbasket Productions (also docu-porn, heavier on the trans dyke experience); and Cindy Gallop’s social media of sex, MakeLoveNotPorn.tv (PLEASE go to MakeLoveNotPorn.tv!)

Totally hardcore but you can feel ok about it: Tristan Taormino’s Rough Sex series, anything from Pink & White Productions

A variety of body types, ability levels, and gender expressions: Anything by Courtney Trouble, the Crash Pad series

Fun for art film fans: most of Carlos Batts‘s work, the cams on Darling House, Violet + Rye

Trans hotness: James Darling’s FTMfucker (UNICORN GANGBANG. That’s all I’m saying.), Buck Angel‘s work, Handbasket Productions

BDSM that’s cool: Most of Kink.com’s offerings are totally ethical and awesome, and Madison Young has a lot of bondage stuff all over the place, including at Kink Academy

I know there are like a billion people and movies and sites I’m leaving off this list, but that’s not the point. The point is: do some research on what you like and find a few companies you love, and buy their stuff, and branch out from there. The most important thing about finding and watching porn that you can feel good about (insofar as your very-likely societally-programmed shame response will allow you to feel good about it) is paying for it.  Most film-makers and performers in the world of indie, ethical pornography are not making nearly as much money as you think they are. Jiz Lee may be hugely popular in the queer porn circuit, but Jenna Jameson or Jesse Jane they are not. They are one sexy genderqueer with the charisma and brains of a superpower, but they are not a millionaire. The more people who purchase their work, the more the companies that hire them will be able to hire them again, and the more work they can make. And so it goes.

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3 thoughts on “A Primer on Porn You Can Watch Without Feeling Like a Terrible Person Afterward

  1. Pingback: Luna Luna Love and Lust: Reigniting Randiness, and a How-to on Handies (kinda) |

  2. Pingback: Have Sex? Need Advice? Ask Luna Luna | luna luna

  3. Pingback: A Porno Primer for the Normal Person | LynseyG

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