Pornhub Cares, the philanthropic branch of Pornhub, wants you to have period sex and stop littering – Screen Shot
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Pornhub Cares, the philanthropic branch of Pornhub, wants you to have period sex and stop littering

Pornhub Cares is the philanthropic division of the world’s largest porn website and it’s clear to see through its marketing strategy that the company is highly aware of issues that go beyond the sex industry. The ‘artistic enterprise’—as they call it themselves—merges together the charitable contribution of the porn tycoon with a witty creative strategy that sees unexpected collaborations rising. Since its launch in 2012, Pornhub Cares has offered school scholarships of $25,000 for women pursuing an education in STEM, supported breast cancer research with Save the Boobs videos, and had campaigns to save both wales and bees, such as in Beesexual, a collection of videos of bees foraging dubbed by Pornhub’s most iconic actors).

Of course, Pornhub Cares had to step up for the environment, thus the collaboration with Ocean Polymers (a non-profit that has developed a solution to collect and process plastic waste in the world’s oceans and seas), with whom they launched their latest campaign Dirtiest Porn Ever. For the occasion, the company produced a video featuring an amateur couple having sex on a beach covered in mountains of litter that obstructed the view of the couple’s naughty bits. “The initiative and support from Pornhub is inspired and appreciated. Whilst I’m sure for some it may not initially appear like the most obvious match for our project, we are thrilled that Pornhub has engaged with us and displayed a commitment to utilizing their voice and reach for positive action,” said Heather Wigglesworth, executive director and project and operations manager of Ocean Polymers.

Pornhub does seem to care. Beyond its Cares branch, Pornhub is keen to promote sex education and health through the Sexual Wellness Centre, a channel where users could learn about the mysteries of sex from experts who provide medical, biological, emotional and erotic knowledge on how to lead an exciting but aware sexual life. One of its recent sex-ed ‘lessons’ looks at perhaps the most taboo subjects of them all: period sex. The initiative, called F*ck Your Period, exposes—through an impressively scripted and animated video—the benefits of having period sex (from a female perspective), and offers free access to Pornhub Premium HD videos to female subscribers registered on the platform for the duration of their periods, whose dates are calculated by the programme itself. If this isn’t genius marketing then I don’t know what it is. 

But it’s not all empowerment and environmentalist campaigns for Pornhub. Last October, the company was largely criticised after it took it months to remove porn videos belonging to the independent label Girls Do Porn, which was sued by 22 women for bullying and coercing them into performing sex acts in front of the camera. Despite the fact that Girls Do Porn was eventually taken off the website’s official partner page, its videos uploaded by other accounts are still circulating on the platform.

Pornhub is far from being the perfect company in a flawless industry, but its attempt to make things right in a ‘dirty’ business and in an even ‘dirtier’ society has to be acknowledged. There are no doubts that the company has a huge responsibility in making sure its content does not promote exploitation and abuse, and that the road for a safe and healthy sex industry is still full of obstacles and controversy. But with a reach of 81 million visitors per day, Pornhub has enormous influential power and as Wigglesworth puts it, “It would be great to see more companies of this size and stature taking the same responsibility with the audience they engage.” So who’s next?

Up-and-coming adult actor shares how stressful the porn industry is. This is how OnlyFans helps

What is OnlyFans?

Over the past three years, a silent yet growing revolution has rattled the porn industry with the advent of OnlyFans—a website and app offering a monthly subscription service to self-made adult content in a way that mimics the culture and interface of social media. Praised for putting the power in the hands of content creators, as opposed to studios, and granting viewers a more intimate look into the lives of performers, OnlyFans seems to be on a trajectory to change the landscape of the porn industry forever.

The platform was launched in 2016 by British tech entrepreneur Timothy Stokely. After founding Customs4U, a fetish website where users could order customised adult content, Stokely went on to create OnlyFans. While the website is not a porn platform per se, as it was officially created in order to grant viewers a look into the behind-the-scenes of influencers’ lives, it has nonetheless been used primarily for sharing of and monetising on adult content.

The layout of OnlyFans resembles a typical social media feed, only the content uploaded on it typically reveals more than a bikini shot or six-pack abs. Performers upload content regularly (some on a daily or semi-daily basis) for a monthly subscription fee that normally ranges from $10 to $20. At the request of fans, some performers choose to create special content tailored specifically to the user’s request, which is sent directly to their inbox for an additional payment. Currently, the platform has over 12 million registered users and over 70,000 content creators who, combined, generate an average of over $150 million a year. Some of the most successful performers on the platform have reportedly raked in tens of thousands of dollars a month.

As many adult film actors (also called pornstars) are underpaid by studios and offered less-than-desirable working conditions, a considerable number of them have been migrating to OnlyFans, where they get to keep 80 per cent of their profits, have control over their schedule and content, and be their own boss.

It isn’t only established adult film actors who flock en masse to OnlyFans, however, but also influencers and bloggers who had never before entertained the notion of joining the porn industry. As a matter of fact, that was the primary goal of Stokely when he established the platform—enabling influencers to monetise directly on their content, without the intervention of a third partner or having to win the graces of a brand, all the while satiating the public’s thirst for a more ‘intimate’ gaze into the lives of social media personas.

Screen Shot spoke to Ty London XXX, a fairly recent recruit to OnlyFans who has been thriving on the platform. “With OnlyFans you are able to provide your own content, you can do it at your own pace, you can control it,” Ty said, “it also opened a door for me to collaborate with a production studio, which I’m excited to do.”

Ty referred to a certain freedom that OnlyFans encourages by giving a platform to people of all body types, gender expressions and backgrounds, thus shattering some of the conventions perpetuated by the porn industry. “Social media at the moment is becoming a lot more queer, and you see a lot of people [being] very comfortable with their bodies. And I thought, well, why not bring my queer self into it and be fun and keep pushing boundaries within porn.”

The rapid growth of OnlyFans has sent shivers down the spines of porn studios, who are declining in popularity and were already facing a massive loss in revenue since the emergence of websites like Xvideos that offer free streaming of porn. But even such streaming services appear to be threatened by OnlyFans’ unique appeal, and many of them have reached out to OnlyFans performers, asking them to make exclusive content for their websites.

But the platform still poses considerable challenges to performers. Just like on any other social media platforms, it’s hard to keep people engaged—especially when it comes to sexual interest and particularly when a fee is involved. “Just from doing it for the last few months, mental health is something that popped up for me because I’ve had a few dips where I’ve been like—there’s such a demand to post and you’ve got a lot of people to please, money to make, and you need to keep the same amount of fans on your page for the next month and the month after that. It becomes quite stressful at times. You’re like ‘I’ve run out of things to post and people will get bored and I’ll be losing fans’,” said Ty. “Also, there are lots of times when you’re not feeling sexual and force yourself to do it. It’s really difficult. It’s tricky,” he added.

Yet Ty believes there is a way to deal with the stress that comes with the job, partly due to features offered by the platform. “Take a day off, away from the phone. On OnlyFans you can write things, you can do polls. There’s a lot of changes that they’ve been introducing so there are ways of not having to post.”

It makes perfect sense that more and more people turn to OnlyFans as their source of sexual pleasure. Many view it as the next phase in the evolution of influencer culture. From a porn perspective, people aren’t interested in manicured actors performing trite and badly acted scenes. We long for closeness. Intimacy. We want to feel a connection with the objects of our fantasy and admiration. And with influencers morphing into friends and OnlyFans performers offering a peek into their bedrooms—this becomes more of a possibility. Through a screen, that is. And for a monthly fee.