Dear MKE SEX,

Occasionally, I indulge myself and watch a little porn. I’m a visual person, and I’d probably watch more if I could find some that appealed to my sense of decency as much as my genitals. But it’s really hard! Every once in a while I find a good clip on PornHub or RedTube, but they’re few and far between. Plus, it seems like the ones I really like don’t last on those sites very long before they just disappear? Where can I find porn that respects women? You know, where it seems like the women are really having fun and aren’t taken advantage of?

Thanks!
Wide Eyed in West Allis

Hey there Wide Eyed,

This is a question that plagues a lot of people living in the modern free-porn-on-the-internet world. Never has it been easier to access smut. Whatever turns you on or gets you off—you can find it on the web. But when you’re looking for ethically produced porn, it can feel like you’re in a wasteland. But don’t fret! What you want exists—you just have to know where to look.

The last decade has seen a steep rise in the production of feminist porn. To many people, this phrase seems oxymoronic. It’s true that second wave feminism didn’t have much room for the gratuitous images and female exploitation that have long dominated the world of pornography. But humans are sexual animals, and lots of us like to see sexually stimulating images. In the mid-1980s, a few female pornographers like Candida Royalle, Annie Sprinkle, and Nina Hartley wanted to create erotic films that would appeal to women, and they wanted better treatment for female talent in those films.

Today, feminist porn is a growing market, with its own awards show held annually in Toronto. The term itself means all of the talent is treated with respect and dignity, setting their own limits on sex acts and co-stars. They are involved in the planning of the scenes, and treated as team members by the production team. Feminist porn is also dedicated to representation in smut, so you’re more likely to see people of color, queer folks, trans people, people with disabilities, and folks of all shapes and sizes.

To get started on your hunt for good filth, check out feministpornawards.com. You can also look at individual studios. Some really great, diverse porn is coming from Shine Louise Houston (Pink and White Productions), Abby Winters studio, Lilly Cade (Filly Films), and Erika Lust, to name just a few. Lots of feminist porn is available on pay sites where you can either pay a monthly subscription fee or buy films individually. Yes, money’s tight and some clips from these studios are available on the big free porn sites. It’s fair to say that pretty much everyone indulges in freebies sometimes. It can be a great way to get an idea of what you like, or find a new favorite performer. But those clips are often illegally copied and uploaded to those big sites, which means that the pornographers aren’t getting paid for those views. To keep feminist porn alive and well, it’s important all of us pay for our prurience, at least part of the time.

There are some great books about porn in general and the feminist porn movement in particular. The seminal book, The Feminist Porn Book, is a rather academic anthology which updates the porn war debates of the ’80s which divided the women’s movement. Making Peace With Porn by Allison Vivas looks at why women often feel intimidated by porn, and what to do about it. Coming Out Like A Porn Star is another anthology, this time of personal essays about the impact porn has on the lives of the pornographers who produce it.

Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at mkesex@gmail.com and she’ll get back to you with an answer.