Pornhub attacks pollution with suggestive video

Category:  Opinions
Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 10:58 AM

Pornography. The very word has a negative connotation, the kind of distasteful aura that makes grandmothers wrinkle their noses and that can elicit shame from anyone who hears it, deserved or not. Mothers and fathers condemn it, religious ideologies shroud it in evil, and many actors who have left the industry have little praise for the profession.

Jessie Rogers, an ex-pornstar, told the administrators of the self-proclaimed non-partisan and non-religious AntiPornography.org about the horrors of the industry, saying, “some people think that they are doing nothing wrong by watching porn, but in reality they are supporting filmed prostitution that influences individuals to degrade, beat, rape, and sometimes even kill other individuals.”

Yet, the porn industry is thriving. Thousands of websites exist for viewing and exchanging images of all imaginable depravities, and despite their allegedly evil nature, they are immensely popular. According to Forbes.com, porn revenue is somewhere between 2.6 and 3.9 billion dollars annually.

A significant portion of that cash flow can be attributed to Pornhub.com, arguably the most popular porn site on the internet. With millions of visitors every day and an incomprehensible amount of content, Pornhub has become a household name — or at least a name you whisper to a friend behind your closed bedroom door.

Pornhub has something for everyone, but in recent years, the company has added something unexpected, while beginning to change the connotation surrounding the word “pornography.” They've begun to engage in sexual health initiatives and have begun raising money for charities combating issues like climate change and sexuality-based discrimination.

Pornhub’s Sexual Wellness Center, directed by Dr. Laurie Betito, a clinical psychologist specializing in sex and sexuality, is an online hub of information regarding STDs/STIs, reproductive health, sex technology and how to build and navigate healthy relationships. Initially, the website was going to be a year-long project, but the Sexual Wellness Center became so popular and helped so many visitors that Pornhub relaunched it for a second year.

Offering articles like, “Mainstream Porn and Female Pleasure,” “What is a Pap Test?” and “Why You Won’t Be Able to Tell if Someone Has an STD,” the site is littered with useful research and answers to the questions most people never think to ask. Also featuring weekly Q&As with Betito, the site is a powerful educational resource for everyone from teenagers to the elderly.

In a valiant effort to normalize conversations regarding sex, Pornhub has gone beyond the call of duty for a mainstream porn site with the Sexual Wellness Center. One could say that Pornhub cares.

In fact, Pornhub says that. On their website extension, pornhub.com/cares, the company outlines the many initiatives they promote now and their long list of expired campaigns.

In 2017, and a couple of years prior, the company offered a $25,000 college scholarship. The essay question for 2017’s scholarship was, “How is your work contributing to a better future for the world?”

In 2016, Pornhub fundraised for a charity dedicated to ending domestic violence, as well as a non-profit determined to conserve whales during their “Help Pornhub Cares Save the Whales” initiative. All visitors are welcome on the site; recent initiatives include optimizing the platform for the visually impaired as well as adding closed captioning to all videos.

This past spring, Pornhub raised money to save the honeybees with their “BeeSexual” initiative, which involved adding voiceovers to nature videos of bees that made them “funny, kinky nature porn,” according the site. For every view of the videos, Pornhub donated to bee-saving charities.

In a similar campaign a couple of years before, Pornhub called on its independent contributors and viewers to make porn dressed as pandas. For every video uploaded and every view on those videos, Pornhub donated to charities dedicated to panda conservation. Unorthodox, but effective.

The same can be said of the most recent initiative posted on Pornhub Cares: “The Dirtiest Porn Ever.” A video featuring a popular outdoor porn couple, "LeoLulu," "doing the nasty" on a beach covered in plastic waste is the basis of the campaign. For each full view of the uncensored video, Pornhub will donate to an ocean waste cleanup organization called Ocean Polymers.

“The mass consumption of single-use plastic has become so common,” the website reads, “that we often don’t realize how much of it winds up on our beaches and in our oceans.”

An argument made against watching porn is that effects on the brain are unknown; that porn makes the viewer unhealthy sexually, and that it negatively impacts the reward pathway in the brain and conditions us for instant gratification. In addition, some say the companies peddling such smut should be eliminated and the ground they stood on rinsed with holy water. Pornhub is challenging the stigmas surrounding porn, and all manners of sexuality, through their Sexual Wellness Center and in trying to help save the world through charity.

Jessie Rogers’ horrible experiences in the porn industry are nothing to scoff at. However, it is heartening to see that Pornhub is adapting the industry to the extent that watching porn can mean supporting the removal of plastic waste from our oceans and promoting an end to domestic violence, instead of supporting the degradation of women and “filmed prostitution.”

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