In early October, Pamela Anderson shared on Twitter a tranquil video of a lake with the caption, “Everyone should enjoy a peaceful sexy life.” One of the most fascinating aspects of the human species is the unique way our minds work, sometimes drawing rather ... specific ... connections between two ideas. Somehow, someone at YouPorn connected Anderson’s quote to the United States democratic process. In an open letter to all U.S. citizens eligible to vote, YouPorn’s virtual brand ambassador, Jedy Vales — emphasis on the virtual — quoted Anderson while pushing the site’s new voter initiative, writing that to encourage democratic participation and living a "peaceful sexy life" YouPorn has committed to giving anyone who votes on Election Day a free YouPorn Premium Membership for three months.
YouPorn vice president Charlie Hughes said the promotion came from the company's belief in the importance of voting. "Less than half of the country is voting regularly," Hughes told Mic in an email. The nonpartisan electoral reform nonprofit FairVote found 60% of the voting eligible population votes during presidential election years, and just 40% votes during midterm elections. YouPorn hopes its titillating incentive will get more people to the polls.
To redeem the offer, voters must email a selfie with either the "I voted" sticker or pin to Jedy@youporn.com. For those who vote early or absentee and don’t get a sticker or pin, Hughes says the site will accept other forms of proof, like a photo taken outside of a voting booth or of a ballot envelope. All they ask is that voters do not take pictures inside the booths themselves, nor send images of their actual ballots.
Once a voter sends their picture to Vales, they will receive an access code to redeem their free Premium Membership.
YouPorn is not the first porn site to connect social initiatives to porn consumption. In 2014, PornHub launched a “Give America Wood” campaign during the week of Arbor Day, in which the company promised to donate one tree for every 100 videos viewed on its site's “Big Dick” category. In 2012, PornHub pledged to donate 1 cent for every 30 views of certain breast-related content to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, though the foundation ultimately rejected the donation.
Another site, IJustCame.org, gives 1 cent per video viewed. The donations are split between the Movember Foundation, for prostate and testicular cancer; the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, for ovarian cancer research; and the Joyful Heart Foundation, which works to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
This year, Election Day falls on Tuesday, Nov. 5. It's an off-year election, featuring some special elections in certain congressional districts and three gubernatorial races. Such off-year races typically see way lower voter turnout — but YouPorn is hoping the average voter can't resist a good deal.