ErosBlog: The Sex Blog

Sex Blogging, Gratuitous Nudity, Kinky Sex, Sundry Sensuality

ErosBlog posts containing "pornocalypse"

July 5th, 2024 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For Etsy

The etsy logo surrounded by icons for no dildos, no sex toys, no porn, no XXX, and no doggystyle sex

I have argued that the pornocalypse began with Meg Whitman’s eBay, back in the last century:

Then Meg Whitman happened. It’s too many years ago now for me to recall how many successive waves of anti-porn activism swept the eBay auction platform, but it was many.

The adult items got their own section, it got put behind an age self-verification button, the adult items vanished from the general search, the adult section itself got removed from the category listing making it very hard to find, and then there was wave after wave of auction removals based on listing policies that were vague and erratically enforced. There were rules about how much nudity could show on magazine covers, there were wide-ranging keyword bans that meant you could not list (or show an uncensored photo of) the true titles of many porn items, there was a ton of selective enforcement, and there was an enormous chilling effect because seller accounts were often banned or limited based on first-offense violations of these deeply-murky rules.

It eventually became clear to everyone that Ebay under Meg Whitman (the former Disney exec) was now officially hostile to porn, where once it had been the leading sales platform for vintage porn especially. The market dried up, market offerings became bland and boring, and everybody who was on eBay for that reason had left. The suits, having stricken off the member that so offended them, declared victory and moved on. They broke it, but they like broken better. Broken is what they wanted, broken is what they got.

History, they say, doesn’t repeat itself, but it echoes. Last week we got the news of a pornocalyptic crackdown on Etsy, which used to be a sort of “eBay for handicrafts” but which is under enormous pressure from the suits to become a sort of anodyne reseller of cheap Chinese crap. Some of the handicrafts that latterly gave Etsy its charm were kinky or erotic, but that’s all over now. Per Anna Iovine at Mashable:

Etsy to ban sale of most sex toys, explicit content, and more; Policy changes go into effect next month.

Online retailer Etsy will prohibit sales of most sex toys, content that depicts sex acts and genitalia, and more starting July 29.

The indie seller published its Adult Nudity and Sexual Content policy yesterday, which states that sales of adult toys that are insertable, “applied to the genitalia,” or “designed for genitals to be inserted into them” will be prohibited. That pretty much runs the gamut — dildos, vibrators, rings, plugs, and the like will be banned. “Non-insertable and non-penetrable adult toys and sexual accessories,” such as BDSM wear, will be allowed as long as listings follow Etsy’s guidelines around mature content, also updated yesterday.

That’s just the beginning of the anti-adult rules in the new sexual content policy and the updated mature content guidelines. But fans of Tumblr’s infamous ban on “female-presenting nipples” will be delighted to learn that Etsy has jumped on that with both feet and is valiantly trying to claim its own share of that delicious infamy:

Etsy is also banning nudity for human models, including “gluteal clefts and female nipples/areolas.” If you’re selling a sexy item of clothing, for example, you must censor body parts, use a mannequin, or opt for just photographing the clothing.

Remember that my theory of pornocalypse focuses on financial inflection points — when a company is trying to go public or negotiate a new funding round or navigate an IPO or a merger/acquisition, that’s when we most often see formerly-welcome porn evicted from a platform.

There isn’t any news (as far as I know) of Etsy facing any major financial events, but a few quick minutes searching the financial press reveals many stories of Etsy having a bad first quarter in 2024 and facing a lot of investor pressure to improve profits. If they do have a massive financial event in 2024, tell all your friends you knew about it in advance because you saw the leading indicators on ErosBlog!

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March 15th, 2024 -- by Bacchus

The Pornocalypse Comes For Gumroad

Gumroad, which for those who don’t know it is an online sales platform that lets people sell a wide variety of digital content, has just gone full #pornocalypse, barring all sexually explicit content, defined extremely broadly. Like Patreon and for some of the same reasons (credit card processors) Gumroad’s adult content policies have always been a little bit incoherent. Nonetheless a lot of erotic artists were using the platform to sell things that weren’t welcome at Patreon, and that’s now over.

gumroad bans explicit content

There seems not to have been an announcement; the only link being bandied about is to their adult content policy page. Here’s what it looked like two days ago, and below is a side-by-side graphic (which expands slightly on clicking) of the changes. Porn featuring real people had already been banned, but as you can see the new prohibitions are much more sweeping, and touch on a wider universe of art, animation, comics, et cetera:

gumroad porn-hostile TOS comparison

Whenever we lose another adult-tolerant platform you’ll see people all over social media asking “What’s a good alternative?” There’s never a “good news” answer to that question. The squeeze on commercial erotic expression continues. Until we find a way to break the moralistic chokehold of the credit card companies, it’s not going to get better. The pornocalypse comes for us all.

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March 4th, 2024 -- by Bacchus

Jumping Through Pornocalypse Hoops: Generative AI Art

I think this article by size fetishist Aborigen (his thing is giantesses and little men) is a fascinating snapshot into the tricky process of generating fetish art while struggling with the porn-hostile terms of service and active filters built into so many generative art tools:

I don’t have my own art generator, so I can’t create some of the really gorgeous Size Fantasy work I’ve seen going up on DeviantArt (RedFireD0g) and Pixiv (AIBishoujo) and Instagram (elegantlyenlargedai, boneheader19). Instead, I have to accrue enough credits with Starry AI to hammer away at it and learn how to get around its ever-increasing safeguards against adult content, or run through the paces with Perchance, which is free but has no option for high-resolution images. OTOH, Pixlr does offer an AI-assisted image enlargement feature, so more options should be emerging in the near future.

While I can sometimes trick AI art programs into creating giant women through forced POV or low-angle shots, I absolutely cannot get them to insert tiny people into a scene. Instead, I have to create these collages. This is the kind of thing that anyone could do for themselves, for free. If you can’t draw, you can screw around for an hour and come up with reasonable images to collage together.

giantess and tiny man

This one used the “Warriors” filter in Starry AI, though I had to put “weapons, armor” in negative prompts before I could begin producing scantily clad women. This one happened to come with a handy ledge for a tiny person to stand on, and I wasted too many credits in trying to get a reasonable image of a man in the same filter, in order to shrink him down for the scene. Not perfect, but again, all it cost was brainpower and time.

There are also a bunch of nude images that I probably shouldn’t post here, and while they don’t look fantastic they still look pretty good. My point is that if you really, really want to create giantess/tinyman fetish images, you can do so with free, publicly available tools. It may not turn out as great as if you’d actually learned photography and Photoshop or practiced drawing for 20 years, but if you lower your expectations, there are shortcuts.

As for me, I’m still playing with the Lucid-Creations client for the generative art resources in the AI Horde. It’s fun but I haven’t had time to get very serious.

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December 30th, 2023 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For Your Gay Apparel

The Bowdlerization news out of Florida is some real Mickey Mouse #pornocalypse bullshit:

the 1877 lyrics to deck the halls

Word comes to us that, in a new holiday stage show at Disney World that features Mickey and Minnie Mouse singing the Christmas Carol “Deck The Halls“, the gay apparel we all know and love has been taken out and shot by Disney’s songwriting prudes. The new line, and I am not making this up, is “don we now our cozy sweaters.” As John Russel, writing for LGBTQ Nation, somewhat drily notes:

The omission of the word “gay” from the traditional song is, of course, notable given the context in which the show is being performed. Florida, where Walt Disney World is located, has been at the forefront of a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeping state houses across the country. Last year, Republican governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the “Parental Rights in Education Act.” Commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, it originally banned classroom discussions of sexuality and gender identity at certain grade levels but was expanded this year to cover all grades.

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October 23rd, 2023 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For The Blind

Today I learned that software for the purpose of describing images to the blind all comes with #pornocalypse baked in. I don’t have details, only this report from Blind and Sexy on Mastodon:

screenshot from mastodon that says software exists that describes images to the blind, but all of it censors adult content

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September 6th, 2023 -- by Bacchus

Pornocalypse Comes For Kink Education

Speaking honestly, I’ve sort of let my #pornocalypse coverage lapse recently. Not much has changed in years; corporate social media keeps tightening the noose, formerly adult-friendly places become less so. On the one hand we still have the old-fashioned open web, with the freedom to publish on adult topics but without much access to traffic or to the financial system. The freedom to sleep under a bridge, right?

meme of the space under a highway bridge, studded with concrete pyramids to prevent human access, superimposed with the Anatole France quote about how the law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges

On the other hand, we have the infamous five websites, which is where all the people are, and from which they mostly will not migrate nor follow any links.

famous five websites filled with screenshots tweet by Tom Eastman

Adult material and links are mostly not welcome there, on the five websites, except to the extent that that this material is disguised from the machine censors by cutesy emojis and twee circumlocutions. If you’re a “spicy accountant” or a “mattress actress”, a lover of “quink” or a “corn” aficionado, a fan of big eggplants or women whose peach icons sometimes spray cartoon raindrops, corporate social media is very much for you.

eggplant peach eggplant peach eggplant peach squirt squirt squirt squirt

So yeah, I’ve grown tired of the #pornocalypse beat, and I’ve let lots and lots of pornocalyptic stories glide by without any of my commentary. But yesterday, Pandora / Blake (perhaps best known to ErosBlog readers as the director and publisher of Dreams Of Spanking), published an open Patreon post discussing their frustration at the recent deletion of their kink education channel on YouTube.

Blake, also sometimes professionally known as Pandora Blake

Blake’s treatment exemplifies the recent trend in #pornocalypse behavior by the major social media platforms that I first wrote about back in May:

Increasingly the hot new trend in #pornocalypse is social media platforms banning accounts and people not for what they posted/linked, but merely because of who they are. Biggest example was PornHub getting banned from Instagram despite having a whole team of lawyers and creatives making sure their Insta account broke no rules. It’s frustrating, and it’s why I never have the courage to try anything effortful on adult-hostile social media channels.

It used to be common for porn-hostile platforms to tolerate porn-adjacent people, sex educations, and even sex workers, as long as the platform’s specific TOS against adult material were complied with. For many people, this was workable; they’d ride the ragged edge of the TOS for months or a few years, getting specific posts banned and enduring shadow bans, until eventually (and with great pain) they’d lose an account after too many strikes and have to start all over again. You could make a living that way, if you didn’t tire. But, over time, I started noticing that specific TOS compliance stopped mattering. All over porn-hostile social media, people started losing accounts not for any specific violations, but simply because of who they were. If their public identity was too identified with adult topics, they would be banned without warning or appeal, never knowing which posts gave institutional offense. Thus, Blake’s experience:

I’ve been publishing videos on YouTube since 2014, throughout my campaigns against UK porn censorship and age verification. For the last two or three years I’ve been regularly posting original kink education videos, many of which I’ve accompanied with transcripts here on Patreon. The channel mostly consisted of these fully clothed talky adult education videos on topics ranging across consent, BDSM, porn, feminism, queerness, and organisational and self-care strategies. It also included video podcast style interviews with other educators, interviews with adult performers, political campaign videos, and a few carefully cut trailers for spanking films that showed no sex or nudity, but either clothed character interactions and plot snippets (in the case of multi-performer videos) or excerpts from clothed POV fetish talk videos. I suspect it was these latter videos that fell afoul of the content policy, but I have no way of knowing.

None of the videos on my channel included sex or nudity. I avoided posting links to any adult sites in the video descriptions, linking to Patreon and instead. … I’m furious that a channel 90% of which consisted of educational material about consensual pleasure and LGBTQIA issues has been summarily deleted without any option to review or edit the content. Was it just those few talky trailers which YouTube objected to so much, or is the entire project of BDSM education in itself too risqué for YouTube?

My speculation is that the answer is “neither”. Rather, I suspect that one or more videos generated enough algorithmic red flags to fall under human eyes, and the human in question applied the new-ish unofficial #pornocalypse policy that’s been spreading so rapidly throughout corporate social media: “If the entity who posted this is any kind of pornographer or sex worker, nuke their whole stinkyporny channel and get them off the platform. Fuck the terms of service! Those words only mean what we pay them to mean, no more and no less.”

nuked by social media crude digital collage

For me, the event that dropped the final scale from my eyes was when PornHub got banned from Instagram. If it ever made sense to go dancing with the social media devil while accepting your periodic lumps from the censorship algorithms, it no longer does, in my opinion. PornHub has a whole professional social media team, complete with content creators, editors, and as much legal support as they need. You can guarantee that they posted nothing that contravened Instagram’s TOS, not by the least jot or tittle. Did it matter? No. Throw them into the pit! You and I? We’re not going to fare any better.

I don’t have any solutions to offer, and anyway Blake explicitly isn’t asking for any. So I’ll leave you with Blake’s powerful summary of the state of the #Pornocalypse in 2023:

I mourn the loss of the open internet that was promised us in the early 2000s. My cyberpunk dreams of open peer-to-peer communication and free expression have been repeatedly thwarted, and I’m so angry about it. Fuck Google, their YouTube takeover, and their long-standing policy of devaluing adult sites in search results. Fuck Elon Musk for turning Twitter into his own personal ego trip, and a hotbed of Nazism and transphobia. Fuck Meta for taking over Instagram and enforcing their “family friendly” policies in a way that forces grown adult sex educators to talk about “s3x”, “quink” and “spicy corn”. Fuck Tiktok too, while I’m at it. I hate that in order to reach an audience we’re forced into these privately-owned silos which loathe everything to do with consensual adult sexuality, and which have the power to remove our access to social connectivity at the whim of a badly-trained algorithm.

All of this, every word.

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March 12th, 2023 -- by Bacchus

The Pornocalypse Comes For Your Geese

When I coined my now-infamous maxim that the pornocalypse comes for us all, it was a decade ago, and if prompted-AI generative art was a thing in some deep research lab, I certainly didn’t know of it. But now, today, it most certainly is a thing, and its masters and owners emphatically do not want you making porn with it. This menacing message is said to be from the Midjourney generative art tool:

no white goo for you

For as long as I’ve been on the pornocalypse beat, I’ve noticed a trend away from the classic pornocalypse (welcome porn users during early stages of a service, then dump them in a bid for respectability at a financial inflection point) towards baked-in pornocalypse: the service has porn-hostile terms of service from its inception.

Meanwhile, I extend a standing invitation: if you, my beloved readers, learn of any publicly-accessible generative-art tools that aren’t crippled by anti-porn “features” and filters, please make sure to let me know of them. That would be ErosBlog fodder for sure.

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