On December 21, 2020, the popular adult user-upload site xHamster had 219,000 sex stories in its database:

219k sex stories at xHamster

Five days later, all those stories were gone. The URL had went 404 Page Not Found. (With a cute hamster, naturally.)

sex stories pornocalypse 404

Generic 404 text says “Sorry, this feature is technically unavailable due to technical reasons.” But that’s boilerplate. Three and a half months later, the sex stories are still gone. Sorry, people, they ain’t coming back.

Was this truly a #pornocalypse situation? xHamster isn’t talking, but signs point to yes. The biggest (and presumably most profitable) part of xHamster’s offering is its tubesite-style video content, which they monetize, presumably, in all the usual tube ways. In December of 2020, other large tubesites were targeted in a coordinated media campaign that used questionable content on their sites to successfully interrupt their credit card billing access via Visa and Mastercard. My guess is that xHamster saw that attack go down, did a quick internal review of vulnerabilities, and removed the entire erotic stories section out of fear that unpleasant content in there would open them up to similar attacks.

Story sites, as all who frequent them know, accumulate some really bizarre stories when not moderated. I don’t use the word “perversion” lightly, but I feel safe in saying you will get a comprehensive tour of human perversion when exploring any really big story site. The notorious and long-ago arrest of Jake Baker for posting snuff stories to alt.sex.stories notwithstanding, sex story archives have frequently been an “anything goes” medium for over-the-top erotic expression. Blood-on-the-walls splatter-gore, cannibalism, piss and poop and vomit, incest between people of all ages, and other squicky stuff that’s too odd to describe in a few short words: it’s all in there.

Now, I never frequented xHamster’s offering, and thus I can’t say whether or how well they moderated their stories. Maybe they didn’t have any of the wildly perverted stuff. Odds are, though, whatever they did have panicked them. They saw other tubes under attack, and it dawned on them how readily their most unpleasant story content could be weaponized against their billing. Since the stories likely weren’t much of a profit center… Boom! The pornocalypse came, real sudden-like.

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