Yesterday, tumblr announced a change to their policy, titled A better, more positive tumblr. Adult content, including sexual and explicit artwork, will no longer be allowed on their platform starting on December 17. The announcement has left many artists who create adult content feeling angry, sad, confused and frustrated. Including me.
The loss of power in bringing niches together
While I wasn't super active there, I really did like the platform. The fact that people from all across the world can share their art and re-share it with others has helped bring together people who had very niche interests. I still remember my excitement and delight in stumbling across the galaxy cop tag on tumblr after watching the Lego Movie. And I recently was really happy to learn some of my erotic artwork had gotten reblogged a lot, more than any of my other work on any other platform.
There aren't many platforms like this left that are large enough to allow people with niche interests to come together. Sure, you can put up your own blog somewhere but you can't take advantage of searching for content by tag and the power of tumblr's reblogging allows people to spread your content further.
The burden of moving
I feel sympathetic to those who've posted a lot of content on tumblr. If you're one of them, you now have to deal with the burden of exporting all of your content and moving it elsewhere. Not to mention you have to do it with only three weeks notice during one of the busiest and most stressful seasons of the year.
Perhaps what makes me the most sad is what this policy change represents. The title of their news announcing the policy change is “A better, more positive tumblr” as if to say the sexual content is negative. It feels like a rejection. It feels like someone is saying “your art is not worthy” or “sexuality is wrong.”
Sex is a part of life. It's part of who we are. Literally, none of us would be here without it (unless you were conceived through something like invetro). Sex is a physical expression of desire and/or love for another person. Why is that so wrong? Why is it taboo? I just don't get it. This is such a step in the wrong direction for us all.
I've noticed quite a few artists saying that they're going to move to twitter because twitter doesn't have restrictions for adult content. But like with any platform, they can change the rules at any time and you're left trying to pick up the pieces.
There's a part of me that says “hey you should be excited about this. Here's an opportunity for my community to meet the needs of others.” But I'm still overpowered by the sting of rejection.
We're here for you
Whenever you recover from this setback, please know that PaperDemon and the Red Curtain, our section dedicated to erotic art and fiction, is here for you. All of you from the tumblrpocalypse who are looking for a new home are welcome to join us. We're a small community and perhaps some day we can have the same kind of impact tumblr has in bringing people together.
But at the very least I can offer these words to you...
Your art is worthy.
Sex is beautiful.
Your art has value.
Your art is beautiful.
We will not reject you here. You and your art have a home here. Welcome to our corner of the internet.