Making ethics sexy: Three businesses that bring pleasure to body and peace to mind

By Amina Sergazina, Staff Reporter

Vivian Jones

The dim light of candles, slow music in the background, a bottle of organic lube, a pack of sustainably sourced condoms and a fair trade sex video to set the mood. There is nothing sexier than knowing your products were ethically made.


MakeLoveNotPorn is a social sex-sharing website that offers a non-exploitative alternative to mainstream porn.

“We are pioneering an entirely new category called ‘Real-world Sex,’ said Ariel Martinez, the head of curation at MakeLoveNotPorn. “Porn is very performative, it’s very choreographed, it is scripted. And MakeLoveNotPorn wants to show real world sex, which is just what happens between people when there is not a [professional] camera rolling.”

Each video and comment submitted by a person is moderated and viewed by a member of the curation team, unlike other traditional porn websites, Martinez said.

Participants must submit two photo IDs per person, including one issued by the government, and an introduction to the video to contextualize the sexual experiences that are being shown. People are encouraged to leave the video unedited to show the real sex with all the awkwardness.

“Porn frequently becomes the default sex ed and creates unrealistic expectations for a lot of people when they’re venturing out and having sex, not even for the first time but just as they go about their adult lives having sex,” Martinez said.

The videos on the platform can be viewed by either renting one for $5 a video, which allows viewers to watch the video an unlimited number of times for three weeks, or by getting a monthly subscription. The revenue is split 50-50 between the website and video makers. MakeLoveNotPorn does not have any downloading options, allowing on-screen participants to delete the video if they no longer want it public.


Maude is a modern sexual wellness company that has everything for before, during and after sex from personal lubricants, to sex toys, to massage candles, to an editorial platform about sexual health.

Éva Goicochea, founder and CEO of maude, is one of the 10 Latinx women founders who raised over $10 million in consumer goods.

Maude personal lubricants are 100% organic, vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free and pH balanced.

“As a company that is dealing with your body [and] things that are touching your body directly … [it’s] crucial to know what you’re putting inside of yourself and on yourself,” said Lily Sullivan, the senior manager of brand marketing and communication at maude. “Leading both with design and an awareness of the ingredients and the materials [of the products] was very crucial to the product development process.”


After going through the intimate care aisle and browsing the condom options, you might not find a suitable option because of ingredients in them like glycerin, parabens and propylene glycol that can lead to irritation of the vagina.

A woman-owned startup company run by four women in the United Kingdom called HANX makes condoms that are not penis-centric. The condoms are made with 100% fair trade rubber and are not cured with any chemicals. They are biodegradable within three months and can be thrown out with your normal household trash.

The outer packaging is cardboard but the only part of the packaging that is not eco-friendly is the foil that the condom is required to be wrapped in.

HANX condoms are officially sold on the Pepper website with the U.S. shipping option.

“If we’re doing one thing differently, this is a chance for us to completely reimagine what our business could look like, what our impact could look like,” said Emily Prichard, brand and communications manager for HANX. “I think there is nothing sexier than knowing that everyone who is involved in your sexual experience is happy to be there and no one’s being negatively impacted by it.”