The Best Feminist Porn Directors To Check Out If You Like Your Smut Served With A Side Of Ethics & Empowerment

For those who prefer their smut served with a side of ethics and empowerment, feminist porn is a dream come true. If you're wondering what exactly makes a particular video feminist, a production is deemed worthy of the moniker if it gives agency to actors of disparate races, ages, abilities, and gender expressions; depicts fantasies and plot lines that don't often get screen time; and promotes titillation not exploitation.

As a lover of all kinds of porn, feminist porn fills a much needed, um, hole, in my collection as it's the only kind of porn I can consume and feel like I'm somehow contributing to society. Two years ago, I had the thrill of attending the Feminist Porn Conference in Toronto, where I took in dozens of the best feminist porn titles on the market (in a roomful of people — which was surprisingly hot) and got to hear from the feminist pornographers themselves. These folks are creating some of the most groundbreaking adult films out there, from queer and trans* porn to straight up hetero porn (with a twist), and the diversity in process provided a perfect counterpoint to the unity in ethos. Here are five feminist pornographers you should definitely check out, because what's better than getting off while smashing the patriarchy?

1. Tristan Taormino

Tristan Taormino is a pioneering sex positive feminist writer, speaker, activist and pornographer who has directed and produced over 25 films ranging from BDSM romps to pegging how-to's. She is the mind behind the Feminist Porn Conference, and an outspoken advocate for the movement. Her handy history of feminist porn is a perfect primer for those new to the genre.

2. Courtney Trouble

Courtney Trouble is an award-winning queer porn icon who started Indie Porn Revolution (billed as "subversive smut made by ladies, artists and queers"), Trouble Films, and QueerPorn.TV. Her lesbian, queer and trans*-focused films offer up a stunningly diverse array of performers, settings, and body mods. For those of you who remember Suicide Girls, it's kinda like that, but queer, unpretentious, and XXX rated.

3. Shine Louise Houston

Self-described "voyeur with a production company," Shine Louise Houston is the founding producer and director of Pink & White Productions. Her films range from comedies (is there anything funnier than sex, really?) to short vignettes from her notoriously gender bending Crash Pad Series. Houston's work is as arousing as it is empowering, she says: “There is power in creating images, and for a woman of color and a queer to take that power…I don’t find it exploitative; I think it’s necessary."

4. Ms. Naughty

Ms. Naughty is a feminist pornographer on a mission to put female desire on a pedestal. She is the proprietress of Bright Desire, which features real women of all ages, shapes, and sizes with the goal of moving "beyond the old cliches, boundaries and negativity of standard, old-style pornography to offer something fresh, inclusive, and intelligent." To make her point about female sexual empowerment extra clear, Ms. Naughty even went as far as cutting out the male orgasms in her first feature, according to Mic, because, honestly haven't we seen enough of those?

5. Madison Young

Artist, author, sexpert, erotic filmmaker (and Bustle contributor!) Madison Young provided one of the highlights of the Feminist Porn Conference for me with her sharp analysis of how you can be both a feminist and a submissive. Young's queer, kink-oriented porn reveals the true beauty of BDSM — her vibrant, positive energy shines through in even her most intense work, which makes it doubly enjoyable.

Images: Wikipedia; @CourtneyTrouble/Twitter; Pink&White Productions/Facebook; Bright Desire/Facebook; @MadisonYoung/Twitter