Jeremy Pope
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A Porn Star Explains Why Paying for Porn Is Ethical

Ashley Armitage

Paying for porn is ethical consumption.

The fact that people believe not only believe that sex should always be free, but that sexual labor isn’t labor, that nudes don’t have value or can’t be monetized or capitalized on, is whorephobia at its finest. A lot of this assumption comes from the entitlement men have around accessing people sexually.

Sex workers are a marginalized group of people under siege by federal policies like FOSTA/SESTA, a law that further criminalizes sex work arranged online. The effects of the law have curbed online sex work and endangered the ability to engage in safe, consensual transactions—and could lead to the further eroding of internet safe harbor protections.

Simultaneously, our community is being attacked by the tech industry, like Tumblr’s porn ban, or Facebook’s heightened censorship regulations. As far as tech goes, we must remember that Facebook and Instagram are not public forums:hey are privately owned and profit-driven. These places are not subject to the Bill of Rights, but state-sanctioned censorship laws like FOSTA/SESTA have already started to trickle down to affect private industries, making porn more underground and, therefore, more dangerous to produce.

If porn content weren’t forced underground, it could coexist with other forms of media and show the different ways nude and erotic content can fit into the fabric of everyday life. The only way sex workers are ever going to thrive fairly and safely is if we keep sex work from going further underground—which means you need to pay for porn. The kind of censorship you see from the tech industry and the state inhibit the ability of porn to grow into the light. This only makes it harder to advocate for better treatment, safety, and pay for models, or more innovative technologies for people who produce porn.

If this continues, one day we’ll be left wondering where all the good porn went. And since people across the globe consume 4.5 billion hours of PornHub each year, we can safely say this is a bipartisan issue. — as told to Fran Tirado

To read more, grab your own copy of Out's February issue featuring Hari Nef and and Tommy Dorfman as the cover on Kindle, Nook and Zinio today, and on newsstands January 22. Preview more of the issue here. Get a year's subscription for $19.95.

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