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Why Pay For Porn?

Why Pay For Porn?

by Dylan Wolfe

I watch a lot of porn. I don’t buy a lot of porn, but I wouldn’t even want to guess how many hours worth I’ve enjoyed over the years. Why pay for porn when I know how to find it for free?

For the most part my tastes tend to veer towards BDSM porn, specifically FemDom videos. I think I had this idea in my head about the types of people who made these videos; that they’re all ‘Lifestyle Dommes’ who own their own dungeons, and chances are if there wasn’t a camera there they’d be doing all that stuff anyway. Hell, these people were probably all nymphomaniac sex addicts, surely the act itself is reward enough for them?

Anti-Piracy is a dirty term to a lot of internet users, it conjures pictures of Lars Ulrich shaking his fists from his ivory mansion because there’s a stack missing from his money pile, or The IT Crowd’s “You wouldn’t steal a baby” parody of the well known hyperbolic copywriter PSA. But it’s no longer just the concern of millionaire film and music executives, the internet gives a platform to creatives of all disciplines.

As a video content creator myself, albeit in a different industry, I was fighting a lot of cognitive dissonance over not paying for most of my stroke material. On social media I’d regularly share my outrage and defend designers and musicians who were expected to work for free, or were ripped off in any way. After all, that was their art, their craft, their way of providing a living. They were independent artists giving parts of themselves to the world just to survive, if I enjoyed their work I felt like they deserved my support. 

Then why didn’t I feel the same way about porn? Why did I not want to pay for porn? If I was really honest I’d enjoy good porn just as much, if not more, than a lot of other media that I’d be happy to pay for? Why is it ok for porn to be the last bastion of entitlement?

It’s been well documented how the adult entertainment industry has been devastated by the rise of streaming sites and the death of the DVD market. 

To combat this a lot of performers now work independently, producing their own clips and distributing online. To stay competitive in this crowded market, performers have started to cater to a variety of niche fetishes that perhaps wouldn’t be served as well by more mainstream studios. Everything from armpit worship to ‘Giantess’ fantasies, and the ever popular ‘Jerk Off Instructions’, and if you can’t find the exact video you want you can even contact your favourite performers directly to order a personalised custom scene. 

For some reason we don’t like to think about how much work goes into producing these videos, it’s just ‘porn’, that dirty little secret that we all have but rarely admit to. Sure, someone probably worked really hard on it, putting in honest-to-god creativity and graft, two values we respect in any other field, but … yeah, even for the sake of this article I can’t think of any real defences.

But, it’s one thing to feel all smug and noble at having this realisation, it’s another to actually do something about it, so I knew what I had to do. I sat at my computer and opened that familiar folder. I didn’t think of it as a hoard of stolen work, to me it was a collection of scavenged gems, a portrait of my individual sexual identity. My private sex space. But as long as it was there I knew I’d just keep adding to it, and after all, it’s hard to value something that comes easy.

So I deleted my porn collection.

Gone. Truth be told about 2 terabytes worth (once you go HD you can’t go back!). And it felt… honest. I was glad I did it. In the past I’d had hard drives break and I’d actually feel a sense of loss for the videos I’d never see again. But, if I felt that strongly about them, I can’t really defend not paying for them any more.

If you use pornography, then support it. It’s filling an emotional need, it’s giving us something we want, so maybe it’s time to start giving it and the people who produce it a little respect back.

Why pay for porn? Because a real person made it.

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