It’s been quite a while since I’ve laid links on you, dear reader. Now, it’s time I made up for that! So, here’s what I’ve been up to reading on this web we call worldwide!
Starting our links off this month is something I can’t stop thinking about: sex-positive feminism is now passé.
Reading this just about broke my heart for a few reasons. 1) I am clearly now in the “elder feminists” group that has fallen out of touch with those coming after us, and I need to work harder to keep up. 2) Sex-positive feminism did not accomplish what it set out to do—to my way of thinking, it was to integrate empathy, compassion, and healing into our understanding of sexuality. But that is, clearly, not the messaging that these young people received.
A snippet from this Buzzfeed article from Madeleine Holden:
“As the concept of sex positivity became more well known, it often appeared without important context. Thoroughly picked over by brands, magazines, and social media, it became shorthand for libertine sexual adventurousness without all the fine print about consent, autonomy, safety, and health. Now, some Gen Z’ers — a generation raised in sex-saturated environments yet also increasingly sexless, according to a recent study — say the concept is outdated, and even harmful.“
More on this topic from Michelle Goldberg at the New York Times:
Sex positivity now seems to be fading from fashion among younger people, failing to speak to their longings and frustrations just as anti-porn feminism failed to speak to those of an earlier generation. It’s no longer radical, or even really necessary, to proclaim that women take pleasure in sex. If anything, taking pleasure in sex seems, to some, vaguely obligatory.
In the more-uplifting links department, the federal government bungled its case against Backpage.com so badly that the judge declared a mistrial…and ripped into prosecutors for their ineptitude.
As quoted by Michael McGrady at YNOT:
“’I, at the beginning of this, gave the government some leeway, because child sex trafficking, sex trafficking, are forms of prostitution,’ [Judge] Brnovich said. ‘Yet, in the [government’s] opening and with every witness thereafter, it seems, the government has abused that leeway.’”
Read more at YNOT.com.
These surveys, though usually pretty flawed methodologically, are nevertheless always fun in a round-up of links.
The latest, from BathMateDirect.com (??), found that “69” was by far the most-searched-for term, with “missionary” coming in second. Kind of boring, but don’t worry—”wheelbarrow” made the list in Maine. Guess those long winters make for imaginative searches. “Butter churner” (WTF?) and “spooning” brought up the rear.
Read the rest at BathMateDirect.com!
Speaking of fun links… Mashable’s Anna Iovine dug deep to find out why there’s so much more full-frontal nudity featuring dongs in recent years. It’s an interesting question that never occurred to me, being so steeped in explicit content that I hardly notice a shot of a dangler on TV. But she has a point!
Here’s what she found:
As explicit content online seeps into the consciousness of content creators and audiences, porn is increasingly influencing TV, and vice versa. Further, popular streaming and premium cable providers…don’t have to adhere to federal rules against nudity, sexual content, and explicit language like network television, nor do they have to bow to the will of advertisers like basic cable.
Read more at Mashable.
Mashable once again killin’ it with the investigative journalism! In this article, Mark Hay looked at how the verification requirement now in place on P*rnhub has changed the game for non-American content creators. A nibble:
Now that P()rnhub is no longer overrun with pirated content that artificially boosts a few faces into extra-heavy rotation it makes sense that “U.S. commercial studio content may currently have less relative visibility.” It also makes sense…that indie creators would benefit the most from this shift. Put those two developments together, and you have an environment that finally gives a little more visibility to a preexisting and vibrant pool of content creators from across the globe — and especially from the best-developed non-American markets.
Read more at Mashable.
Perhaps you somehow missed the OnlyFans debacle in August. If so, I’ll catch you up: In mid-August, OnlyFans—the app that allows consumers to pay adult content creators directly for explicit content and only takes a small cut from those creators—announced it would ban adult content starting in October.
People freaked out, and rightly so. The internet has become an increasingly hostile environment for legal sex work since the passage of SESTA/FOSTA, and OnlyFans has allowed thousands of content creators to safely, legally earn a living through the pandemic.
Unexpectedly, OnlyFans reversed course. They told the press that “the banks” had been behind the decision, but that they would do everything in their power to keep payments flowing to the sex workers who made their company such a success.
Great. But the OnlyFans debacle, and the P(o)rnhub debacle that preceded it, both demand a look at what’s causing all this mayhem: banks and credit card processors caving to far-right Christian groups and conservative politics.
Emily Coombes writes for The Nation:
Even with the decision by OnlyFans to suspend its p*rn ban, we’re witnessing a mass cleansing of sex work from the safer sections of the Internet. You can see political whorephobia in the intentionally vague language that platforms embed in their terms of service to chill speech and prevent sex workers from organizing. You can see it in the decision-making processes of algorithms that discriminate based on social hierarchies of race, gender, class, age, disability, body size, and migration status.
Now, read the rest at The Nation.
And, oh, by the way, the anti-smut wars online are far from over. The links round-ups are always full of these, so let’s get on with it.
Vice’s Samantha Cole wrote about a lawsuit leveled by everybody’s favorite anti-secks-work activists at NCOSE against Twitter, one of the last mainstream bastions for sexual expression online. The lawsuit accuses Twitter of—you guessed it—MORE sex trafficking. A tidbit:
Twitter’s moderation practices are far from perfect; it’s frequently too slow to address abuse, seems to prefer adding flashy new features over addressing real problems like harassment and hate speech, and deplatforms sex workers without explanation. But if Twitter ever bowed to pressure from anti-trafficking organizations and cracked down on explicit content, the repercussions for people who use the site to promote their brands would be seriously damaging.
Read more at Vice.
Now for something practical and illuminating, from Jessie Sage for Buzzfeed:
One of the most difficult parts of the job is walking clients through the process of buying our content/services, and this is in part because no one talks about how to be a good customer or client (few even admit that they are customers and clients)!…I could chalk the behavior of these callers up to disrespect and laziness (it probably is a little of both), but I also understand that for most people, communicating with a sex worker is intimidating and not something we are taught to do.
Read tips from Sage and other sex workers at Buzzfeed.
That’s it for this month’s links, folks! A quick reminder: If you backed the Kickstarter for PACK 1-3, I need your survey completed by Friday, October 1! You should be able to access it at BackerKit.com if you haven’t received my messages or e-mails!
And, speaking of links, don’t miss my last post, about the first short story I ever wrote!