This page describes the rating system we use. There is also some information on the various "features" that are noted in the reviews.
For individual scenes
- Excellent. Passionate and convincing portayal of people really enjoying sex with each other. From the prodution side, the camera should stay out of the way, and there will be no issues around the "male gaze" at all, so that the scene may be equally appealing to people of all genders.
- Good. The sex should be fairly passionate, with the performers clearly enjoying themselves, with no real sense that something is being staged. But there will be annoyances here and there that detract from the sense that one is just watching people have sex. The sex may just not be as passionate as it could be, or there may not be much chemistry between the performers. Or one may have some sense that it is being performed or staged, because of positions or poses. From the production side, there may be a few times the camera embodies too much of a "male gaze", or there may be too many porn clichés that detract from the sense of realism. But overall, the scene should live up to the ideals of egalitarian (or feminist) porn and be enjoyable to watch.
- Decent. The sex is still enjoyable to watch, and to some extent the performers are enjoying themselves, too. But there will be much less of a sense of realism, with the whole scene seeming too much like a choreographed performance. On the production side, there may be lots of porn clichés, or generic and predictable poses and camera work. And, especially, there may be too much of a male focus. But the scene as a whole should still hold attention.
- Not terrible. But now starting to be a bit boring, predictable, or annoying. There will likely be little sense of realism, with the sex seeming far too staged and performed, so much so that it is hard to imagine anyone is actually feeling real pleasure. On the production side, the camera may in many ways seem the focus of the scene, almost enforcing its own perspective on what is happening. And that will typically be a male perspective.
- Objectionable in some way. Poor quality sex and/or camera work. (Much standard porn would get this rating.)
- Declined to review, usually because it is obvious from a brief look that it does not qualify as feminist porn in any way.
There are also more detailed ratings concerning particular aspects of the scenes. These are rated on a three-point scale: Unacceptable, indicated by: ❌; Acceptable, indicated by ✓; and Excellent, indicated by: ♀. The categories, and the meanings of the various ratings, are as follows:
- Pleasure: Is female sexual pleasure prioritized in the scene?
Unacceptable: The female performer does not really seem to be enjoying herself. If she fakes an orgasm, the scene automatically gets this rating, however much she may seem to have been enjoying herself otherwise.
Acceptable: The female performer at least does seem to be having a good time.
Excellent: The woman's partner has given her pleasure has some special attention. This may involve his encouraging her as she approaches orgasm, or clearly trying to get her to orgasm, or something of the sort.
- Passion: Does the scene appear to present an authentic sexual encounter involving people who are genuninely attracted to each other and who want to have sex together?
Unacceptable: The scene seems to be staged, with the performers simply working through a script.
Acceptable: For the most part, the performers seem in charge of what they are doing, and the female performers, in particular, seem to have at least some say in what happens and not merely to be passive participants.
Excellent: The performers seem genuninely to be into having sex with each other, so much so that there is some sense that the director has simply set the performers going and filmed the action. The female performer, in particular, seems to be an active participant.
- Balance: Is the video presentation of the scene dominated by the "male gaze"?
Unacceptable: The way the scene is shot and edited presents the female performer as simply there for male enjoyment.
Acceptable: The female performer is at least presented as a whole person, not a collection of isolated body parts. In heterosexual scenes, however, there may still be more of a focus on her than on her male partner. He may, for example, all but be cut out of certain parts of the scene, due to how they are shot. (As things now are, this is so common that one does, more or less, have to accept some such flaws.)
Excellent: The presentation focuses more or less equally on both the male and female performers. Or, in the case of non-heterosexual scenes, it does a particularly good job of presenting the woman (or women) as whole people.
We started doing these sorts of ratings only in July 2013, after the site had been up and running for a while. So many scenes do not have them.
For collections of vignettes
The overall rating is based upon the average rating of the scenes, with overall impression rounding the average up or down, if need be.
For movies with plots
- Just a terrific film. There is a good story line, and it is well acted, with the sex scenes well-integrated into the story overall. And the sex scenes themselves should be equally good.
- A good film, worth watching. But there will be significant flaws in the story, or in the acting, or in the production. Still, the movie should treat all the characters, but especially the female characters, as real people, with interests that are not just sexual. And it should treat the sexual partners as equals, with proper attention paid to women's pleasure and satisfaction as well as men's.
- Decent, but with some serious flaws. The story may be contrived, or the acting may just be bad at times. The sex scenes may not integrate well into the story, making the story seem like an add-on or an afterthought. Probably, there will be real issues of gender balance, such as a dominant male gaze in the camera work, or too little attention to women's pleasure.
- Not terrible, but with some redeeming characteristics. The story may just be so dumb, or the acting so bad, that it is simply impossible to take it seriously. Or the sex scenes just may not be very good. (Probably this means that most of the scenes are too staged.)
- Crap, probably because there are too many issues of gender imbalance, or that the female performers are treated with disrespect. But it may also be that the film just doesn't work for some other reason.