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Why One of the World’s Most Popular Porn Sites Reportedly Permits Rape Videos

If performer consent is the only means by which they measure the harmfulness of their content, it’s an incredibly low bar to set. Here’s why.

By June 14, 2021September 14th, 2021No Comments
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TRIGGER WARNING
This post contains descriptions of porn videos depicting abusive behaviors and nonconsensual sex acts from a popular porn site.

 

The porn industry is often thought of in contradictive ways, in that people say porn is great for sex education but they also claim that no one would be “stupid enough” to imitate what it shows because it’s fantasy. (Which is it? An education or fantasy entertainment?)

Either way, research has shown us that consumption is not without negative effects—it can negatively change attitudes on how consumers perceive men and women, their relationships with friends and loved ones, and even their own self-esteem. In short?

Porn’s fantasy can alter a consumer’s reality.

Related: How The Porn Industry Profits From Privacy Violation And Voyeurism

Consider that in 2019, one of Pornhub’s top-viewed “video of the week” selections on the site with over seven million views was reportedly called “My Stepbrother Brazenly Took Advantage of My Helplessness.” In it, a performer portrayed played the part of a young woman who gets stuck in a washing machine, and instead of helping her get out, her “stepbrother” rapes her. She repeatedly asks him to stop and says she’s in pain during the scene.

Pornhub’s official Twitter support team reportedly responded to outcry about the video by saying, “This was made by a consenting and very creative sex worker.”

By that response, recognizing the harms of normalizing incest and rape does not seem to be a priority of Pornhub.

But if a performer’s consent is the only means by which they measure the harmfulness of their content, it’s an incredibly low bar to set. Here’s why.

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The problem with consent being the measure of acceptance in porn

Consent is an interesting, complicated term in the porn world.

The use of “consent” as the ultimate justification for any treatment of porn performers or the creation of any type of content is quite common and can prevent accountability when things go wrong on set, or a video turns out more violent than expected.

Only taking consent into account means overlooking when content is forcibly made of performers after they’ve consented to certain sex acts before the shoot starts but are forced to do others they might not be okay with. We’re not saying that’s what happened in the popular video above, only that it does often happen in porn production.

Related: Hey Bella Thorne, The Porn Industry Isn’t As Sex-Positive As You Think It Is

Not only that, consider how only factoring in the consent of performers becomes especially problematic because it allows the fetishization of sexual violence and fantasized nonconsensual sex acts to be viewed as acceptable content for millions of people around the world—like in the case of this video above—even though the film was made with consent.

If consent is so important to the porn industry, why is it that are so many videos that specifically highlight these fantasized situations where acts are nonconsensual? Consider how these videos train consumers to be aroused by violent or nonconsensual behavior.

Also consider the popular fantasized rape video above, as well as other videos on Pornhub that depict underage-looking performers being taken advantage of. And Pornhub reportedly has no plans to take any of this content down.

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Nonconsensual porn on Pornhub right now

In 2019, a porn company called “GirlsDoPorn” was charged with sex trafficking almost two dozen women in a giant scheme out of San Diego. A few months later, earlier in 2020, 22 Jane Does won a lawsuit against the company for forcing, tricking, and coercing them into shooting porn.

What’s the relationship with Pornhub?

GirlsDoPorn was a premium viewshare partner for them, one of the most popular channels on the site, meaning the videos, some of which were found to show 11 of the 22 girls who came forward, were viewed millions of times on the site. The channel was only taken down after the 2019 sex trafficking charges were made of the production company owners, even though the trafficked Jane Does had been begging Pornhub to take down the videos on GirlsDoPorn’s channel for years prior.

Related: I Didn’t Know If They’d Kill Me”: What Happened When This Jane Doe Was Trafficked By GirlsDoPorn

Pornhub has since removed the videos on their official channel, and marketing indicators related to them, but again, only after the site owners were charged. Videos of the trafficked girls are reportedly continuously uploaded, reported, and then removed every couple of weeks, even though it is illegal for anyone to upload those videos to Pornhub now, and as of now, only verified site users can upload content on Pornhub.

What’s the point in bringing up the GirlsDoPorn case? It’s to emphasize that not only has Pornhub reportedly not taken action against “fantasized” and scripted videos that show nonconsensual sexual activity with performers, they also reportedly did not take action to prevent the upload of real rape videos like that of GirlsDoPorn’s—that is, until December 2020.

How is this at all acceptable that they can potentially profit from both real rape and “fake” rape?

The true message porn sells

Porn is capable of normalizing violence against women in a particularly insidious way. It sells any possible fantasy, but at a cost: normalization and perpetuation of nonconsensual sex acts in a society that is already increasingly approving of sexual violence.

Related: Their Private Photos Were Shared Non-Consensually To Pornhub, And Now These Women Are Fighting Back

Especially in an age where #MeToo has highlighted that sexual assaults are not rare, why is our culture still allowing the porn industry to fuel unsafe ideas about sex and consent?

In a society that tries to ensure the ethical means by which they get their coffee, chocolate, clothes, and cosmetics, why is there unconditional support for an industry that continually profits off the sexual exploitation of real people, consent given or not?

As a consumer, you have a say. Show that you’re fighting for real love, not whatever the porn industry may have you think it is. The first step starts with you—refuse to click.

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