Thompson: This Valentine’s Day, support sex workers and pay for your porn

Madison Thompson

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Pornography is pervasive in our society. There are countless websites with free content, but this Valentine’s Day, consider the benefits of paying for porn.

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When you pay for porn, you normalize sex workers and sex work. A lot of times, sex workers are people who don’t have many other options on the job market. OnlyFans has become a popular site for independent creators — supporting their content creation helps put money in their bank. According to Fight The New Drug, free porn puts people out of a job. There’s already a lot of content out there, but the industry will eventually dry up, or resort to desperate measures to keep it alive. 

When you watch free porn, you don’t know if the acts they are engaging in are actually consensual. The actors might have been forced into doing something they’re uncomfortable with by their studio.

If you decide to pay for a subscription through a big website, you’re still helping the cause!

Sex trafficking is also a very real component of the porn industry. A mother recently spotted her missing 15 year old daughter in a PornHub video. Knowing this, who’s to say there aren’t more out there?

The “Teen” category is as popular as they come, but who’s to say all those women are actually 18? When you support independent creators, you’re supporting their right to choose what they want to sell — whether that’s full or partial nudity, videos, live cam, working with partners, etc.

Let’s be real, a lot of free porn is cheesy, low-quality and unrealistic. Porn stars are actors, and a lot of times, their orgasms are a performance. When you work directly with a sex worker, you can tailor the content to what you want, like real orgasms. You are paying for authenticity, which can translate into your own views on sex and your sex life.

If you decide to pay for a subscription through a big website, you’re still helping the cause!

Sites that receive compensation are legally obligated to file a form under U.S. Code 2257, providing an age and legal name, which offers some accountability for the industry. Supporting the work of producers who “prioritize the physical, emotional, and financial health of the performers they work with, you make it more viable for other producers to do the same.”

You pay for other subscriptions, like Netflix and Hulu, so why not porn? Not only are you supporting the creators, but you’re supporting healthier relationships with sex for yourself and for sex workers. Otherwise, you might unknowingly be supporting worker exploitation.

If you think you can’t get off without it, get a toy. Use your imagination — I bet you’ll surprise yourself.

Sex work is not a problem in and of itself, and it’s not going away any time soon. It’s the lack of care that goes into its production. Supporting sex workers and paying for your porn is one of the best ways to contribute to ethical porn production and reduce the stigma associated with sex work.

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Madison Thompson can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @heyymadison.