Sex & Relationships

Sex Experts Explain Everything You Need To Know About Feminist Porn

It zeros in on female pleasure and female-driven storylines.

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The porn industry has struggled with lack of consent, unfair pay, degrading themes, and more, but feminist porn aims to bypass the negative side of the industry and instead use the medium for something much more empowering. It's why one of the first and most noticeable differences between feminist porn and mainstream porn is the inclusion of different body types.

When scrolling through a feminist porn site, you'll see a diverse range of performers of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and orientations. "You can probably find someone [...] that looks like you for relatability," Marla Renee Stewart, MA, a sexologist at Velvet Lips Sex Education, tells Bustle. "And because there's a variety of types of people, you are more likely to find someone that you are attracted to help get you off!"

There's also a lot that goes on behind the scenes when making this type of porn. "Feminist porn involves the main issues of production [...] content, and consumption," Dr. Margarida Rafael, a licensed psychologist and resident relationship expert at AdorePassion.ca, tells Bustle. "In terms of production, feminist porn focuses on making it 'safe, professional, political, empowering, and fun.'"

Feminist Porn Pays Actors Fair Wages

According to Kelly Noel Zeva, a holistic sex coach and the CEO of Erotic Empowerment, LLC, "It's not uncommon for an actor to be paid only $100 for a full day of intense work. But feminist porn, on the other hand, makes sure actors earn a fair wage."

It's why feminist porn isn't always free to view, the way mainstream porn is. And while that may seem like a barrier at first — or a reason to give up on supporting it — experts recommend paying for the porn you watch whenever possible, regardless of the type.

You might notice it costs around $11 to enter many sites. With feminist porn, "this fee ensures that actors are paid fairly for their work," Zeva says. She recommends sites such as Pink & White Productions; Make Love, Not Porn; Xconfessions; and Lust Cinema.

It's All About Female Pleasure

Typically, porn is made with the male orgasm in mind, Amanda Atkins, LMFT, PMH-C, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle, which explains a lot of the common themes you'll see, as well as the close-ups of penetration, etc.

Atkins argues this isn't always the type of content many women want to see. And it's why feminist porn tends to zero in on female pleasure and female-driven storylines, instead. While that doesn't necessarily mean everything will be the opposite of mainstream porn, there may be an emphasis on the connection between the actors, as well as different camera angles. There could be a slow zoom on a gentle caress, she says, or intertwined hands

Mainstream porn can be controversial, Atkins says, but because feminist porn is shot this way, it can be a safer way for someone to explore their sexuality, either alone or with a partner. And an overall more pleasant experience.

Feminist Porn Focuses On Consent

With this type of porn, consent is everything. According to Rafael, performers take time before filming to discuss what they are and aren't willing to do and also get to choose the setting, as well as the other actor(s) they work with. "Overall, they are given power over their choices," she says. "Boundaries are spoken amongst everyone, health concerns are brought to the table," and there's constant feedback.

Even in the film itself, consent remains a theme. You aren't going to see any non-consensual sex acts being reenacted for the camera or vastly different power dynamics. And that, of course, is a huge departure from what you tend to see everywhere else. "In feminist porn, the story will empower all the people involved and show equality among all the characters, regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation, or their ability," Zeva says.

It even extends to kink and BDSM films where, Zeva says, it's still possible for a power dynamic to exist, but the scene will have been negotiated in advance. "These feminist films often focus on portraying people having fun while having sex," she says, "and will highlight and emphasize the connection and chemistry between the actors in ways that mainstream porn usually does not."

Experts:

Marla Renee Stewart, MA, sexologist at Velvet Lips Sex Education

Dr. Margarida Rafael, licensed psychologist and resident relationship expert at AdorePassion.ca,

Kelly Noel Zeva, holistic sex coach and the CEO of Erotic Empowerment, LLC

Amanda Atkins, LMFT, PMH-C, licensed marriage and family therapist