Pornhub Is Making A Huge Change (& It Only Makes Porn Better)

Photographed by Michael Beckert.
Most porn video plots are so notoriously bad that we can almost guarantee you'll see a few hilarious clichés pop up in any porn you choose to watch. Sometimes, watching a plumber seduce the woman whose pipes he came to fix adds to the sexiness of the video. But sometimes, their sickly sweet dirty talk is enough to turn you off. So, many people choose to turn the volume off while watching porn, even when no one else is home.
But what if you couldn't choose whether or not to hear the porn performers talk about the dirty, dirty plumbing? What if you couldn't choose whether or not to listen to their moans? Until today, that was the reality for deaf and hard-of-hearing people who tuned in to watch Pornhub videos. But now, the popular porn website is adding a closed captioning category to change the experience for deaf viewers.
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There are currently more than 1,000 videos in the new category, including videos from the site's most popular straight, gay, bisexual, and "transsexual" categories, according to a statement shared with Refinery29. And the site plans to add captioning to more videos later. The captions not only tell viewers what the performers are saying, but also help them distinguish emotional changes in the performers' voices (and their moans).
"It’s important that we continue to service all of our users’ needs and make content accessible to every individual," Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, says in the statement. "We are now able to render some of our most popular adult content more enjoyable for our users who are hearing impaired. We encourage them to provide feedback, which is especially important as we seek to continue to offer content with the differently-abled user in mind."
Pornhub isn't the first porn provider to consider the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. In 2008, a man named Dino Capone founded Deaf Bunny, the first deaf-owned and deaf-staffed porn company. "When deaf people get together, it's an opportunity to share, interact and express themselves, either sexually or platonically," he told Wired at the time. "The dialogue in our movies represents all the emotions, facial expressions, and sexual gratification that the playmates are experiencing." Since Pornhub's videos aren't made with deaf performers, and therefore don't use sign-language or express emotions in the same way as deaf people, they won't be quite the same as Deaf Bunny's videos. But, Deaf Bunny is a small and niche site. With the change from Pornhub, deaf and hard-of-hearing people who want to watch porn will have many more options.
The decision came from Pornhub's philanthropic division, Pornhub Cares, which has made other changes to address lack of access in porn. In 2016, the company launched a descriptive video category for visually impaired users, which compiles audio descriptions of the site's most popular videos. Pornhub has also optimized its website for visually impaired users by using enlarged text, customized color contrasts, and keyboard shortcuts. Pornhub Cares has also created sex education videos for both older and younger viewers to help close the gap in our understanding of sex and pleasure. All of these changes help Pornhub reach more customers, of course, but they also help differently-abled people have a much better porn experience. Because everyone should be able to fully experience a sexy plumber seducing a housewife if that's what gets them off.
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