Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Fetlife, Tumblr, all of these Social Networking sites have vastly different policies when it comes to depictions of sex. Under the guise of “Community Standards” Facebook clearly states that images of nudity are forbidden except under very strict guidelines like Fine Art or breastfeeding. Twitter’s policy is fairly clear that no “Pornography” is allowed, however “Porn” stars are becoming the biggest and smartest Twitter users out there. Pinterest under the Pin Etiquette states that no nudity is allowed at all.
However in contrast you can go to Tumblr and find all the naked people you ever wanted. The same could be said of Fetlife, although it takes a bit more work, and you will need to, you know, be social and friend people there instead of just lurk and look at the sexy people do sexy naked things. It’s this dichotomy of sites that want to be social and acknowledge sex without allowing any sex. Which is, in my opinion skipping over a very important part of adult social interaction. We have sex, we talk about sex, adult’s look at sexual images and movies. We want to share and express our sexuality with those people we have chosen to, follow, friend and otherwise interact with online. When I put out the quesiton, Is Social Networking Afraid of Sex? I got one answer back that was very interesting. Bambi said the following; “Yes, well not afraid of it but afraid to talk about it because now family, employers, friends,etc can see into our devious minds!”
Which bring up another issue, I know of several people who keep multiple Social Networking accounts, myself included. I have accounts for my Pen-Name Jean-Luc Gothos and I have network accounts for my real name. I keep the accounts for my real name for family, and my JLGothos accounts for my friends that are like-minded to myself. Fetlife is a social networking site for the Kinky/BDSM/Fetishist set, although honestly it’s really anyone that is sex positive and wants to have a place to freely explore and talk to other like-minded individuals. It has no restrictions on content with the exception of the obvious that is should be legal and everyone should be 18 years old or older.
If you look at Facebook for example, they only acknowledge two genders, although recently they have started to show support for same-sex marriage which is awesome. The Same goes for most of the other sites, the only show two options, male and female. When, and since I know you’re a well-educated individual if you’re here on The Swingset, we know that there are so many more options out there for gender Identity. Even Sexual Identity for that matter has more than just Hetero, Bi, Gay or Lesbian. You have Pansexual, and Asexual and so many others. With sexual expression being a major part of adulthood and being able to express your sexuality being so important to so many people. I really think it’s time that the “Mainstream” Social networks take a second look at how they could be isolating so many people because they aren’t allowed to express who they are.
The real question here is why are the more “Mainstream” sites so afraid of having adults share the content that adults want to share. The normal answer you will get is the cliched “It’s to protect the children.” However Tumblr, has settings for NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) content. I don’t think it would take that much effort for sites like Facebook, and Pinterest to add the same settings for profiles. I think that the real reason they don’t want to allow “Adult” content is because sex still has a fear element for most people. We still have an environment where sex is viewed as this dirty thing we do to make babies. And if you aren’t doing it to make babies then you’re just a perverted dirty person for enjoying sex. Since we are in the 21st century we really should be as a whole updating our views of sex, sexuality and sexual and gender identity. We should be to a point where we can openly talk about sexual expression and not have to worry that Facebook, Google+ or Twitter will suspend our account if you have a picture of a naked person in your timeline.
So what do you think, what’s your opinion on this subject. Please let us know in the comments and lets talk about this issue.
About Jean-Luc GothosWriter, Observer, Pansexual, NSFW, Geek. a few of the words that describe me. I live fearlessly, and I'm fearlessly Optimistic about everything.