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Although I am most definitely not what you would call a porn aficionado, I have seen enough sleazy pop-up ads and email spams to know that a large amount of porn focuses on the exoticization of women of color. Even with the recent emergence of ‘feminist porn’ that tries to erase the misogynistic elements of the pornography industry, the topic of racism in the porn industry still does not get the attention it deserves. Especially now, when porn is more accessible than it has ever been and has an annual revenue of 13 billion a year.

In the adult entertainment industry, Latina women are portrayed as promiscuous, with a high sex drive and low-impulse control ready for sex wherever and whenever.

We are the maids that are seduced by the rich husbands, the secretaries giving a blow job to our white corporate bosses or the unfaithful wives. We are the ‘hot and spicy’ girls giving our body for a green card, because, of course, most of us are undocumented immigrants. Those are the roles pornography puts us in and they reinforce existing stereotypes in our society. It tells the men in our society that we like to be hypersexualized and dominated and tells Latinas how their sexualities are supposed to manifest.

Pornography reinforces existing stereotypes in our society. It tells men that we like to be hypersexualized and dominated and tells Latinas how our sexualities are supposed to manifest.

Black women are treated even worse, seen as the ‘Jezebel’ or the ‘black ghetto ho’ who needs to be taught a lesson for being disrespectful to her man.

The Black woman, like the Latina, is hyper-sexualized but in a worse way because she is seen as someone needing to be controlled, an attitude with roots that go back to colonization and slavery.

An example is the definition of a ‘vixen’ on the porn site Ghetto Gaggers: “Vixen is a sassy ghetto fabulous beyatch with more attitude than Harlem has crack. She needed a learnin’ by some white c*cks …. Ghetto Gaggers, we destroy ghetto h*es ….” This definition alone reflects the damaging racial stereotypes of not only black women but black people in general.

Black men in the pornography industry are also forced into negative racial images, as many pornography videos have them act as thugs and criminals who force white women to have sex with them.

Porn star Prince Yahshua spoke about this on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, saying, “Black men are particularly portrayed as being thugs or criminals in porn and women can refuse to work with black men solely based on their skin color.”

The discrimination is economic as well, as women of color make less than their white counterparts, who are seen as the epitome of feminity and beauty.

Black adult entertainment star Lexington Steele spoke about pay inequality with author Lawrence Ross.

“In a boy/girl scene, one girl one guy, no anal sex, the market dictates a minimum of $800 to $900 per scene for the girl. Now a white girl will start at $800 and go up from there, but a black girl will have to start at $500, and then hit a ceiling, of about $800,” said Ross.

In pornography, Asian women are fetishized as “submissive” and “exotic.” Unlike the stereotypes of Black and Latina women, she does not need to be tamed, as she is already sexually submissive to men.

“We are made to be seen, played with or touched, but not heard. Their value relies only on their bodies or looks. Mainstream media, including the porn industry, has created a dangerous myth that Asian women enjoy being dominated or serve at the behest of someone else’s pleasure,” said Rachel Kuo in an article on The Huffington Post.

The porn industry stereotypes all Asian women as “Chinese,” completely disregarding the diverse population of Asian women. If you want more evidence of racism in the porn industry, simply search up sites dedicated solely to the fetishization of women of color, such as Pimp My Black Teen, 8th Street Latinas, and Asian Fever. 

To be clear, I am not saying we should ban all pornography, it is virtually impossible after all.

Pornography can be beneficial for people to feel pleasure and explore their sexuality. The problem arises when porn eroticizes sexual violence against women and uses racism as a tool for fetishization.

As a woman of color, I will end with this: our race and ethnicities are not here for you to market pleasure off of.

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Written By

Latina woman, aspiring journalist and film lover, trying to stomp stereotypes and the patriarchy with my large combat boots. Anais is the founder and editor in chief of Modern Girl Literary Magazine and also writes for Mental Movement Magazine. Born and raised in Miami, Florida.

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