Ditch Pornhub and support adult content creators instead (updated)

This article features explicit sexual content.

There are plenty of reasons to avoid Pornhub, but here’s one more: MindGeek’s tube site hosts videos that enable doxing and harassment. So it’s finally time to ditch Pornhub for good—and explore alternatives.

This week, Motherboard’s Samantha Cole and Emanuel Mailberg broke a story on Girls Do Porn, an adult video production company that serves as one of Pornhub’s many content partners. Two weeks ago, 22 women filed a lawsuit against Girls Do Porn, claiming the company misled them into thinking their adult performances would be sent to “private collectors” across the world in Australia and New Zealand. In reality, their onscreen sex scenes were shared online, including preview clips on Pornhub and full videos available as part of subscription-based Pornhub Premium service.

After Girls Do Porn posted the videos, several stars were outed, doxed, and harassed. One woman who spoke to Motherboard said she has been shunned by family members, while another reportedly contemplated suicide, committed self-harm, and had to drop out of college to avoid harassment. It remains unclear whether these clips were shot with the performers’ consent. Some models claim they were forced to continue performing through painful sex scenes or else “they wouldn’t be paid,” according to NBC 7.

Pornhub didn’t create these videos, but the incident is a microcosm of a much bigger problem. The site’s hands-off approach to moderating its content means Pornhub is protecting videos made and shared through non-consensual circumstances. Combined with MindGeek’s monopolistic hold on the porn industry and its enormous catalog of pirated content harming sex workers, it’s time to ditch Pornhub and its sister sites for good.

Just to keep track, MindGeek’s additional properties include:

  • RedTube
  • YouPorn
  • Xtube
  • PornMD
  • MyDirtyHobby
  • Brazzers
  • Digital Playground
  • Men.com
  • Mofos
  • Reality Kings
  • Nutaku

So how can you enjoy porn without enabling Pornhub’s problems? It comes down to interacting with models, performers, and adult content creators directly, be it financially or through social media.

How to ditch Pornhub and support adult performers

1) Pay for your porn from the source

The best way to support adult performers and sex workers is to compensate them for their hard work. Whether that’s purchasing a subscription to a studio with your favorite models or buying performers’ clips from their ManyVids and Clips4Sale video stores, paying for content from the sex workers you love is the best way to ethically enjoy porn.

In the adult content industry, studios contract performers for scenes. Rates vary depending on the shoot’s demands, the performer’s popularity, their skill on set, and the studio’s budget, among other factors. While it’s extremely rare for performers to receive royalties after a shoot, purchasing a star’s clips from a studio or subscribing to a producer for access to their work can help foster a longterm professional relationship between your favorite models and the studios that contract them.

Meanwhile, purchasing adult content from performers’ clip stores means they will directly receive money for their work. It can help boost a performer’s exposure, too. ManyVids, for example, keeps a running tally of its top earners and rewards bonus payments to the most popular stars. For those who can’t afford ongoing clip purchases, many performers offer subscription services with a monthly fee for content. Case in point, adult performer River Gray hosts a subscription service via OnlyFans where followers can pay $10 per month in exchange for dozens of her videos, hundreds of her photos, and a huge discount on her ManyVids uploads.

But is it better to buy from a performer’s clip store or subscribe to a studio? It depends on the adult star you want to support. One model I spoke to, JoJo, told the Daily Dot that she generally makes her income from camming on Chaturbate and starring in studio shoots. That means directly supporting the production companies that contract her results in more work in the long-term. But other models may have different preferences.

“It depends on the individual,” she told the Daily Dot. “I would do well with fans and customers getting content directly from the studio’s site. But others may prefer people buying directly from their own clip sites.”

2) Order custom photos and clips

Many adult models—especially independent and queer creators—record custom work for their viewers. In exchange for a script, idea, or series of requests, you can directly reach out to a model and make a fantasy come to life. It’s an amazing way to scratch an itch for the right scene or fetish without trudging for hours through pirated content.

Adult performer Lady Nera, for example, offers solo female domination (or femdom) videos with various packages, such as 10-minute requests for $14 per minute or 5-minute shoots for $16. Viewers can also pay for extras, such as Lady Nera saying the requester’s name. Besides supporting content creators, custom videos lay the foundation for future custom orders and give performers ideas for more content. Models can also make additional income from your request if you allow them to sell custom work in their clip stores.

Adult star Claire Tenebrarum has moved away from custom video requests, but she agreed many models “make good cash off of them.” She said the key is balancing a fair request with an appropriate rate.

“They’re a great steady source of revenue, especially if you combine it with some cam work,” Tenebrarum explained. “The thing I have the most difficulty with is gauging how much people are willing to pay for customs, or even videos in general. People will say my offers are too high, and then offer something so minuscule that it’s not worth the effort.”

3) Watch a cam show—and tip

Watching Pornhub J.K2507/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Before there was Twitch, there were camgirls. And to date, watching cammers perform is one of the best ways to enjoy free, live adult material that’s ethically created.

Besides bumping up the performer’s view count, which can lead to more exposure on cam sites, participating directly in chats can help make the performances more enjoyable for stars. All it takes is a few people interacting with the cam model to set the mood for the night—and to get the audience tipping performers for special goals like stripping, spanking, or using a sex toy.

Of course, tips are also appreciated outside of cam shows. Like any other artist, adult performers have to pay the bills, maintain their equipment, buy groceries, or invest money into marketing their brand. One of the best ways to show your appreciation for the sex workers you love is to shoot them a donation over Venmo, Cash App, or whichever payment service they prefer.

“I have a wonderful person [who] regularly sends me tips and it’s always a great surprise,” JoJo told the Daily Dot. “Other small things are just maybe sending a compliment or something. What I do is my job and end of the day I need money to pay my rent but seeing encouraging compliments and interactions from fans is always appreciated.”

4) View ethical tube videos, previews, and sites

MV Tube Payout ManyVids

Maybe you’re tight on cash and can’t afford porn. Or maybe you’re already paying for adult content, but you miss having a new library of videos to check out every time you log on. Free porn is still a thing off Pornhub, and it’s not inherently bad. As long as it’s ethically hosted with its creators’ and stars’ consent, then by all means, dig in.

ManyVids runs MV Tube, a section that lets performers upload free clips for visitors to check out. For performers, it’s a win-win solution. The tube section increases performers’ exposure to new customers without costing them revenue from pirates stealing paid content, and they can earn $0.67 per every 1,000 views each month. There’s also feminist porn site Bellesa, which originally accepted pirated content but switched to an ethical model after facing criticism. The site now features free porn clips via partnership programs, as well as erotica submissions from users.

Last but not least, clip previews are always worth checking out. MakeLoveNotPorn’s videos feature free teasers you can watch without having to pay for a video rental or monthly subscription. Many adult models post clips and photos on their Twitter accounts to promote their paid work, so follow the stars you enjoy and keep an eye out for their tweets. Social media also plays a huge role in how models negotiate their rates for studio work, so increasing your favorite performer’s following can help advance their career.

“I really appreciate when people retweet my promos and links to where they can buy my porn,” adult performer ThornyViolet told the Daily Dot. “One thing that always hurts a bit is whenever I mention buying my content, I get barely any interaction.”

So retweet adult content you enjoy, tell your favorite performers that you love their art, and tip them when you have the opportunity. The support goes a long way in the fight against Pornhub and MindGeek’s stranglehold on the adult content industry.

Update 10:48am CT, July 20: After publication, Pornhub Vice President Corey Price contacted the Daily Dot and gave comment. In a rebuttal, he stressed that Pornhub is also used by adult content creators to monetize their work through the site’s model payment program, Modelhub promotional site, custom videos and viewer tips, as well as subscriptions through the site’s fan club program.

“Furthermore, it’s important to note that in addition to the videos that proliferate our platform that are part of the Model Program, Pornhub also has a significant amount of content from content partner channels,” Price told the Daily Dot. “We have thousands of channels in our Content Partner Program (CPP), which allows content owners to monetize their content by making a channel, uploading content and placing ads for their websites around the content. They can also be paid per view in Pornhub Premium, our HD, on-demand streaming platform.”

Price also argued that dissuading users from visiting Pornhub would hurt creators using the platform.

“Sex workers enrolled in our programs do financially benefit from you (and others) watching their videos. So urging people not to watch videos on Pornhub actually has an adverse effect on sex workers and content creators and prohibits them from earning money,” he said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Pornhub Vice President Corey Price. 

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Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.