Lost kinkster

Ad­vice from Alexan­der Cheves on how to re-kin­dle your kink com­mu­nity in the post-Tum­blr-poca­lypse.

The Coast - - SAVAGE LOVE -

QI’m a 19-year-old bi­sex­ual woman re­ally into orgasm de­nial and edg­ing. With the re­cent Tum­blr ban on all NSFW con­tent, I have no idea where to in­dulge my kinks and find my com­mu­nity. I’ve never needed to go any­where else to find porn, ex­plore my sex­u­al­ity and be sur­rounded by sup­port­ive peo­ple—and now I’m at a loss. A few Google searches have been re­ally dis­heart­en­ing. Clearly I’ve been spoiled by all the eas­ily found porn made by women, for women on Tum­blr. Hell, I’m used to it be­ing made by bi­sex­u­als, for bi­sex­u­als. I feel like I’m 15 again, des­per­ately scour­ing the in­ter­net for any­thing that ap­plies to me. Please tell me where I can find my porn!

P.S. You wrote about how this ban harms sex work­ers, Dan, but please write about how it harms queer and kinky peo­ple, too!

—Miss­ing My Porn Com­mu­nity A“Many peo­ple are scram­bling to re­lo­cate their fetish com­mu­ni­ties in the wake of Tum­blr’s ban on ‘adult con­tent,’” says Alexan­der Cheves, a queer writer who lives in New York City. “Porn is more than hot videos—porn cre­ates com­mu­ni­ties. I wouldn’t know half the gross stuff I’m into if it weren’t for Tum­blr!”

Luck­ily, MMPC, the men and women who cre­ated and/or cu­rated the con­tent that spoke to you and af­firmed your iden­tity didn’t evap­o­rate on De­cem­ber 17, the day Tum­blr’s porn ban went into ef­fect. Many have taken their clips, cap­tions, GIFs and erotic imag­i­na­tions to other plat­forms and some are cre­at­ing new plat­forms.

“MMPC should de­vote some time to scour­ing Twit­ter for bi­sex­ual women into orgasm de­nial and edg­ing, some of whom may be up­load­ing their orig­i­nal con­tent to plat­forms like Just For Fans,” says Cheves. “The cre­ators of JFF are right now work­ing on a more Tum­blr-like so­cial-me­dia ex­ten­sion to their site. Other start-ups like Slixa or ShareSomeCome and so­cial plat­forms like Swit­ter have emerged in the wake of this crack­down. Th­ese are cor­ners of the in­ter­net where MMPC can find her porn.”

Cheves wrote a ter­rific piece for Out that con­nects the dots be­tween Tum­blr’s ban on porn and the anti-sex, anti-porn, anti-sex­work and anti-queer crack­down that was al­ready un­der way on other plat­forms (“The Danger­ous Trend of LGBTQ Cen­sor­ship on the In­ter­net,” De­cem­ber 6, 2018). While there’s still tons of porn on the in­ter­net, as many peo­ple have pointed out (my­self in­cluded), the crack­down on ex­plicit con­tent on so­cial­me­dia plat­forms is fuck­ing over vul­ner­a­ble queers. As Eric Leue, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Free Speech Coali­tion, told Cheves: “Many peo­ple in straight, het­eronor­ma­tive com­mu­ni­ties don’t un­der­stand what the big deal is [about the Tum­blr adult con­tent ban], be­cause their lives and cul­tures are rep­re­sented ev­ery­where. For those in queer, or niche, or fetish com­mu­ni­ties, Tum­blr was one of the few ac­ces­si­ble spa­ces to build com­mu­ni­ties and share con­tent.”

And as long as sex-ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams don’t cover queer sex or kinky sex—and there’s no sign of im­prove­ment in ei­ther area— LGBTQ youth and young peo­ple with kinks will con­tinue to get their sex­ual ed­u­ca­tion on the in­ter­net. And the harder it is to ac­cess ex­plicit con­tent, par­tic­u­larly ex­plicit non­com­mer­cial con­tent, the harder it’s go­ing to be for young queers to find not just smut that speaks to them, but the ed­u­ca­tion they need to pro­tect them­selves.

“More youth will get hurt and more will get HIV thanks to Tum­blr’s con­tent ban,” says Cheves. “That’s not scare­mon­ger­ing—that will hap­pen. Case in point: I grew up in a fiercely re­li­gious home on a 500-acre farm in the mid­dle of Ge­or­gia with dial-up and a pretty in­tense parental blocker. I couldn’t ac­cess porn—I couldn’t even ac­cess ar­ti­cles with sex­ual il­lus­tra­tions, in­clud­ing sex­ual health il­lus­tra­tions. When I went to col­lege in 2010, the same year Grindr hit the App Store, I knew ab­so­lutely noth­ing about HIV and noth­ing about my com­mu­nity. It’s no won­der that I tested pos­i­tive at 21.”

Shortly af­ter get­ting the news that he was HIV+, Cheves started an ed­u­ca­tional queer sex blog. “I an­swer sex ques­tions from any­one who writes in—I stole the idea from you, Dan, to be hon­est,” says Cheves. “I wanted to reach those kids in the mid­dle of nowhere, kids like me.”

While Cheves writes pro­fes­sion­ally to­day— you can find his ad­vice col­umn in the Ad­vo­cate and his by­line in other pub­li­ca­tions—he still up­dates and posts new con­tent to the­beast­lyexboyfriend.com, his orig­i­nal queer sex blog.

“Sites like my blog are needed now more than ever,” says Cheves. “If MMPC wants to help her com­mu­nity sur­vive, she may no longer have the op­tion of be­ing a pas­sive con­sumer—she might have to start a web­site or blog, wave a dig­i­tal flag and find oth­ers. The in­ter­net is so mas­sive that cen­sor­ship will never be able to keep peo­ple with niche fetishes from con­gre­gat­ing, dig­i­tally or oth­er­wise. It’s just go­ing to be a lit­tle harder to find each other.”

Fol­low Alexan­der Cheves on Twit­ter @BadAlexCheves.

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