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Tumblr has been a site for LGBTQ, kinky and geeky individuals to build spaces, networks and cultures, and for sex workers to share skills and referrals for safety.From December 17 (coincidentally, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers), Tumblr will only permit nudity “related to political or newsworthy speech”.The social networking and microblogging site Tumblr announced on Monday that from December 17 it will no longer host adult content on its platform.The Washington Post reported that the policy “removes one of the last major refuges for pornography on social media”. Over time, Tumblr has become a haven for fanfiction writers, artists, sex workers, kinksters and independent porn producers who have built subcultural community networks by sharing and discussing their user-generated content.But this policy reinforces a tenuous conceptual distinction between art and pornography.The demarcation of art as something distinct from pornography was influenced by the increasing availability of photography in the 19th century, which threatened the very existence of art.Tumblr’s new policy still permits: These policies restrict representations of women’s bodies to their reproductive functions and repeat the tired framing of women’s bodies through medical lenses, at the expense of pleasure.

They helped sites like Tumbr to flourish by populating the platforms with content, increasing their size and commercial viability.Aside from the obvious regulatory dilemma of ascertaining which nipples appear to be “female-presenting”, this kind of targeting of women’s bodies has met with public criticism.For example, the Free the Nipple campaign has protested the criminalisation, censorship and fetishisation of women’s breasts.Tumblr’s definition of what constitutes permissible adult content fails to recognise the value of this kind of work.It separates sex from politics, preserves a class-based distinction between art and pornography, and limits representations of female nudity to reproduction and health.Depictions of sexual practices can be traced back to ancient civilisations.The sexually explicit frescoes of ancient Greece and Rome were displayed publicly and integrated into daily life rather than being, as Walter Kendrick describes, “locked away in secret chambers safe from virginal minds”.The result is the loss of a dynamic cultural archive and the unnecessary sanitisation of public space.Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.While traditional paintings sought to imitate the real, photography was considered “too real” and “too close”.It prompted fears about proximity (its corporeal effect on the viewer), danger (its seductive power) and contagion (its potential to harm or infect). It was used to distinguish lowbrow forms of cultural consumption for the masses from highbrow forms of art for the elite.


  1. Apr 8, 2019. Pros A refreshingly open approach to dating in a time where many. It's disheartening how many women have to resort to 'please no sex.

  2. Jan 19, 2018. 5. When they made sure to educate others about safe sex. Dating As An Adult Is Hard And Here Are 21 Tumblr Posts That Prove It. If You've.

  3. Feb 5, 2016. Love is sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, and sometimes just really weird. Tumblr rounded up its most popular dating posts of 2015, and we.

  4. Apr 12, 2016. Jessica Williams and Ronny Chieng examine discrimination against minority singles in online dating.

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