If you follow your favorite pornstars on Twitter, I’m sure you probably noticed a high-volume of them tweeting the hashtag #PayForYourPorn.
Though the hashtag is pretty self-explanatory, allow me to explain it anyway. It’s a campaign within the adult industry urging porn consumers to start paying for their porn rather than pirating porn for free.
Let’s take a look at some of the participation in this porn industry hashtag activism:
#PayForYourPorn became a movement shortly after actor and bad motherfucker Samuel L. Jackson made a joke about Redtube, a free internet porn site, at an Avengers press conference. Some pornstars saw his joke as a winking endorsement of pirated porn, which needless to say didn’t go over well.
Coincidentally, when Jackson made his Redtube joke, the anti-piracy campaign was initiated by the company Adult DVD Empire, which, as a porn DVD retailer, has obviously been hard-hit by the widespread availability of free online porn, which spawned a website and PSAs from two of our favorite pornstars, Chanel Preston and Tasha Reign.
Watch those PSAs below:
“The fans don’t understand: we get paid once for shooting the scenes and that’s it,” says Tanya Tate. “The fans are like, ‘don’t you make money from the sales? Don’t you make royalties?’ And you’re like, ‘No.’ But you still want them to pay for your product, because you want the companies to keep going and keep hiring you to shoot for them.”
The aim of #PayForYourPorn is simple. Get fans to stop thinking of porn as something they’re entitled to. That sense of entitlement is hurting those behind the content. Performers, producers, distributors, and crew members all suffer from porn piracy.
Getting people to start paying for porn is not a modest task: Given how ubiquitous tube sites are, it’ll require nothing less than a total paradigm shift, let alone a modestly popular hashtag. “The majority of the porn-consuming public thinks of porn as something that has a baseline value of ZERO,” says the adult performer Siri, a vocal anti-piracy advocate who has embraced the #PayForYourPorn hashtag. “[…] We have to change people’s minds about porn, and convince them that adult films ARE valuable and it’s worth it to support those performers whose work they enjoy.”
Of course, things get more complicated when you consider the fact that MindGeek owns most of the major studios as well as all the prominent tube sites.
“In the mainstream movie industry, a company like Warner Brothers, if they saw one of their films on a tube-like site, they would immediately get their lawyers and get the scenes taken down,” Tanya Tate told the Daily Dot. “But in our industry, the big players are also the ones behind the tube sites. They’re the ones that direct where all the traffic goes.”
So with that in the way, it’s hard to see how the smaller guys and the performers can make a change, since we only have to look at the Twisty’s Treat of the Year controversy to see how MindGeek feels about its talent (that they’re expendable).
It’s easy to criticize hashtag activism, since it’s trying to implement real change on something that’s fleeting by nature. But then again, at least people are exposed to the issue.
Honestly, I feel like the concept that porn should be free is so entrenched in the minds of people all around the world that its too late to change the minds of the vast majority. Of course, die-hards and the technologically inept will continue to pay for porn, but what about everyone else?
Will you start paying for porn now that you know your favorite pornstars want you to?
Do you feel any guilt knowing that when you torrent porn, you’re taking food out of the mouths of hard working pornographers?
Just think about and discuss in the comments.