As you’ve probably heard–since the whole internet is talking about it–Tumblr is banning adult content. They have non-consensual “revenge” porn in mind and child sexual abuse. These are obviously worthy topics of concern and should be policed. But banning all adult content that includes “real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content — including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations — that depicts sex acts” is a shift in a seriously sex-negative direction.
Personally, I found Tumblr to be an amazing space for exploring and accepting my bisexual identity. The popular GIF format that erotic material circulated in was less over-the-top than a full porn video, meaning it could be viewed in terms of sensual appreciation even when you weren’t looking for full, sexual gratification. A Tumblr feed was a great space to combine sensual video clips and images, thinkpieces on sexuality, and writing inspiration. Sadly, it will no longer be. The internet has grown smaller.
Also, “female-presenting nipples”? Really? Because I thought we had already agreed Instagram was ridiculous enough with that. What on earth is a female-presenting nipple, anyway? One with long hair that wears sundresses?
While erotica is still on the green list, meaning the “sexy word of the day” I’ve had in mind could still be hosted on Tumblr, I am pretty dang bummed. As this great NY Times article points out, Tumblr was one of few pornographic content platforms that had majority female viewership. Maybe this content will migrate elsewhere, but I imagine it will be swamped in the rating system of platforms like PornHub, where there are certainly female-pleasure oriented videos, but viewership and therefore voting is dominated by men. (Last year, according to PornHub, 75% of US users were male.)
I mention PornHub specifically because they have stepped up to propose that their platform fill the hole (wink, wink) left by Tumblr’s new policy.
Pornhub welcomes you with open arms. Join our amazing community of millions
Curators: Customize your personal feed, create playlists, generate gifs and more
Creators: Upload videos, photos, gifs & share text posts to a massive audience. Earn revenue on your content.
— Pornhub ARIA (@Pornhub) December 4, 2018
This seems like something worth looking into. Any thoughts on PornHub? I’ve always enjoyed their year in review statistics (more than their other content, frankly, but I am a confessed data-nerd). Can Pornhub become a more female, queerer, word-based space? Or should sexy words stick to some other platform?