Photographer and cinematographer Hywel Phillips is the visual genius behind Restrained Elegance, which I have long considered to be the best and most visually striking of the bondage photography sites that strive to produce pornography and art simultaneously. He, along with his wife and model and business partner Ariel Anderssen aka Amelia Jane Rutherford, are some of the people Spanking Blog calls “porn producer heroes” as they continue to make fetish porn in Britain subsequent to the “latest round of bat-shit crazy UK censorship laws.” In an excellent long-read post yesterday, Hywel cataloged the whole constellation of challenges facing people trying to be adults and to do adult business on the modern internet. He begins:

The internet is no longer a safe place to be an adult. Puritans and authoritarians are closing in from all directions: state censorship, financial censorship and corporate censorship. This sounds like paranoia, but it isn’t. Here’s why.

There’s really no way to summarize the post for you; all I can do is commend it to your attention. Although his post ranges much more wildly, he covers (and shares) many of the concerns I have hash-tagged #Pornocalypse when discussing corporate discrimination against adult materials, adult businesses, and adult-oriented web traffic. He even touches briefly on what I used to call Bacchus’s First Rule of the Internet, or as Hwel puts it:

First, don’t rely on any service where you are not the direct customer. Don’t blog on blogger, get a little bit of web space (ideally hosted in country with protected speech), install WordPress and do it yourself.

I’ve stopped harping on my “rule” because social media have made it… not less essential, but perhaps less sufficient? Despite numerous software efforts and projects (which Hwel discusses in passing) there’s still no good self-hosted way to enjoy the network effects of social media. And that lack makes my notion of pornocalypse all the more chilling, since every big web property and social media silo eventually seems to reach that point in the corporate life cycle where it appears sensible to start banning all the porn. Before the internet, we lived in a world where you could not be heard unless your message was acceptable to corporate sensibilities. The World Wide Web changed all that, but now, corporate social media and squeamish search engines are taking us back to those bad, bland, and puritanical old days.

But now I’m rambling. Hwel does not ramble. Check his post out.

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