For those of you who don’t want the down-and-dirty details of my sex life, you should probably skip this one.

Last night I was lonely and in search of a good wank, so I went to my trusty friend the internet and found a free bondage-themed porn clip to use as an aid.  The clip was provided by Tied Virgins, a site that proclaims “We take amazing beautiful girls and introduce them to Bondage! All so that we can fulfil all your kinky bondage desires.  Every New Tied Virgin is given a full bondage lesson. From simple ballgagging to full suspension bondage we leave no stone unturned for you. Bound, gagged and made to feel like true slaves, these girls are never the same again after a trip to Tied Virgins…”

I had some serious misgivings about this video from Tied Virgins, and as a consequence, my use of free porn in general.  In the video I found, a girl was tied, both hands above her head, one leg to a bedpost, and had a ballgag in her mouth.

Throughout the video, there were shots of her struggling to get out of her bonds and move away from the person who was using a vibrator on her.  This disturbed me, not so much for the content itself (I’m all for introducing more attractive women to rope bondage!) but for the lack of context provided to me about its production.  With both hands immobilized and her mouth gagged, it would be difficult for the actress to call off the scene if it truly became too intense for her.  While her struggling was probably choreographed to add to the aesthetics of the video (or perhaps were simply a natural element of the scene), there’s no way for me to know that for sure.  I don’t know anything about the company that made this film, except what I can glean from their personal website.  I don’t know how they treat their actresses, what kind of dynamics occur behind-scenes during the filming of these videos, or if any of the cast members are coerced or hurt by the company’s practices.

Of course, this can be the case with non-BDSM porn videos as well, but it is not as immediately evident that there is potential for abuse in filming them.  Now this is not a disavowal of porn as inherently abusive—in fact, far from it.  It is, however, an endorsement for a more critical approach to porn viewing.  I’m sure to most people, it seems indulgent to pay for the porn for you watch when so much of it is available free, but there are certain things that I can say with certainty about pay-for porn sites like Crash Pad Series, Burning Angel (Joanna Angel’s site), and Kink.com:

  1. They are fair and trustworthy porn producers
  2. They treat their actors and actresses with respect, and all scenes are consensual

I can’t promise that the free clips on Redtube and Pornhub are going to fulfill those requirements.  And while they may be free, and they may suite your tastes just fine, isn’t it worth seeking out non-exploitative work to perpetuate the things you enjoy?  I don’t buy products from Proctor and Gamble because they test on animals, so I’m not going to patronize porn sites that hurt their actors.  Maybe that doesn’t mean buying a subscription to a porn site, but it does mean looking around and doing some research.  There are plenty of bloggers who have the scoop on free sites that are equally ethical (I personally know that Kink.com puts up compilation videos on some of the major porn sites to drive traffic to their site and encourage subscriptions- I’m sure others do too).  So don’t sit around wondering if that actress was ok after you’ve satisfied yourself with an orgasm or two.  Find new sources for your pleasure that you KNOW treat their performers well.

And if you’re too lazy to do that?  Erotic literature is a sure-fire way to avoid exploitation all together.  There’s no shortage of that on the web, it’s free, and far more varied than most of the porn videos you’ll find anyway.

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