Have you ever thought about the way porn is being produced? No? Us neither, until we heard about CHEEX. The platform focuses on “fair” and “ethical porn”. It means: fair working conditions for all performers, STD-checks before filming, age restrictions and realistic story-lines. At CHEEX, sex, desire and human relations are presented just as they happen in real life. Instead of over-the-top moaning, fetishising, and races to orgasms, you can see diverse body types, real couples and even hands-on tutorials. However, CHEEX doesn't only offer self-made softcore videos: in the film section of the website, there are categories such as “glossy”, “group” and “rough”. It all comes with high quality illustrations in a SFW mode, an educational magazine, erotic audiostories, and, recently, even some workshop offers. We spoke with the founder of CHEEX, Denise Kratzenberg, about authenticity in porn, sex work and open communicationnevernot: It takes courage to launch a liberated sex and porn platform. How did it happen?
Denise Kratzenberg: Each time I spoke about sex and porn with my friends, we could agree on one point: we were not happy with the current offering. Me, I was really upset, so I decided to do something about it.
nevernot: An alternative to the porn industry. You’re more ethical and diverse than regular platforms. How does it work?
Denise Kratzenberg: On the one hand, CHEEX is a user-generated platform: we value good curation and, in the meantime, we even produce ourselves movies that we want to see.
On the other hand, we follow fixed guidelines in order to make sure that all people involved are of legal age, the contents legal, and produced with everybody’s consent.
In addition, authenticity is very important to us. We want our community to know the people in front of the camera, hear their stories and be able to identify with their desire on a new level. Besides, CHEEX aims to showcase the diversity of body shapes, gender identities, age groups, abilities and sexual orientations.
nevernot: CHEEX includes films, audio, tutorials, workshops and a magazine. Why did you choose to make your offer so multimedia? What does every single type of media offer?
Denise Kratzenberg: That’s right. We offer films, audio, tutorials, live-workshops to the members of our community, as well as a free magazine, free podcasts and of course, our social media channels. My motivation for CHEEX was to create a sexual wellness world, that shows sex in an authentic, friendly, funny, and pleaserable way. I wanted a platform in which sex workers are treated fair, receive a fair payment and are celebrated for their work. I also wanted a place where every user and every performer can feel safe, no matter what they identify as, and what sexuality they have. Our videos and audio give users a chance to explore their own sexuality, stir their imagination and get inspired to try out new things. That is why I wanted our design to be elevated and to support a friendly, open, tolerant and progressive attitude towards sexuality- free from any evaluation. I also considered a learning space important, because getting information about sex, sexuality, sexual health, etc. can be extremely encouraging and enable people to communicate about sex in a more open way and explain it more open too.
nevernot: What do you expect from porn, sexual education, stigmatization of sex and sex work in the future? How can we work towards the sexual liberation together?
Denise Kratzenberg: I hope, in the future, porn becomes a safer, more diverse and sustainable industry and that people become more aware about their consumption of it.
I also hope, education becomes more diverse, in order to ensure well-being and safety of the learners, while they engage in sexual acts and learn something about the amazing diversity of sex, sexuality and sexual orientation. I think this can help reduce the stigma attached to the industry and we can accomplish a state, where sex workers are respected and not stigmatized - because sex work is work and it´s important.
I would say, one of the greatest chances for supporting sexual liberation consists in further education about sex and sexuality in order to overcome the stigma. This could also ensure that not only some specific social areas become educated and sexually liberated, but the society as a whole. Besides, the judgement and discrimination of sexualities and sexual preferences, as well as the censorship must stop. The trust, open communication, tolerant society and sexual education as well as a mixture of different sexual practices are key to working together towards sexual liberation. Specifically, it means more talking with each other, instead of judgment!
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