Bellesa Responds to Criticism, Removes Videos

CYBERSPACE—In response to the outcry of condemnation registered on social media and elsewhere over the past several days against upstart "female-friendly" adult site for populating its video section with pirated content under the guise of an "ethical" model, the site today removed all videos and pictures from its platform and CEO Michelle Shnaidman issued the following statement via Bellasa's Twitter page:

Hi, My name is Michelle Shnaidman and I am the founder and CEO of Bellesa.

I feel it is necessary to respond to some of what has been going on the past few days.

Bellesa was built with a relatively simple mission: Give women a website that feels safe in order to celebrate their sexuality online.

There is no denying that there are other websites that cater to women. There are a lot of people out there- producers, performers, etc.- doing truly amazing things. These are people that we, as a company, support and look up to.

The focus of Bellesa was, and is, three-fold:

1. Share original erotica written by talented women

2. Create a community of women that write articles on topics such as relationships, sexuality and women's health in order to spark insightful, open and shame-free conversation

3. Provide a highly accessible video platform for women to engage with that aspect of their sexuality

I wanted women to be able to share and watch porn that they liked. Stuff that turns them on, stuff that makes them feel empowered and unashamed of their sexuality.

I wanted to make sure women could access this porn without having to undergo an experience that would make them feel unsafe/unwelcome. I created a platform for them to do that.

A lot of the negative reactions over the last few days challenging our existence hurt simply because our mission was and remains to empower women around the world to embrace their sexuality. This is not a marketing tactic- this is what I and everyone at Bellesa lives and breathes.

With that said, it has become soberingly clear to me that the goal with which I created this platform has regrettably become in direct conflict with supporting and respecting the women of the sex-space. The way this platform ultimately ended up being used is not a reflection of the reason it was created. 

By empowering women to embrace their sexuality, we were simultaneously disempowering the women who helped to create the great content that we were sharing in the first place. This was never our intention. We've displayed a massive amount of ignorance with regards to the adult entertainment space and have unintentionally hurt women who work the sex space. We are unendingly sorry for this.

What everyone has written on Twitter and sent to our inbox was heard- loud and clear. I am sorry. I am sorry to those who feel like Bellesa disempowered them, disrespected them, or placed our interests above theirs. This is something that we must change if we want Bellesa to be the great platform for women that we know it could be.

Words are only half the battle.

I am making a firm commitment, right now, to transition the entirety of the video section of Bellesa to feature exclusively videos that are in direct partnership with studios, and that compensate all fairly for the contribution.

For those that are open to working with us, we would love nothing more. To those that do not because it's too little, too late, I understand and I'm sorry.

Until such a point, we are taking down our entire video section.

To those that we have offended or who feel wronged by our operation up to this point; I can't stress this enough, I am deeply sorry. Myself and Bellesa are looking towards the future with our sights set on making a platform on which all women can be inspired to participate, including and especially those that are directly involved in the industry.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.


Michelle Shnaidman

A message at the bottom of promises: "Bellesa videos will be back and better than ever!"

(Above, image from a current article on