It feels gross.
I just went through all of my posts and blurred out any part of the human body that our back-asswards, puritanical society have decided is shameful or illegal to display. The pic above; that’s all the naughty things I blurred out. The parts of the pictures that are shameful.
It hit me harder than I thought.
Right now we’re being told, in no vague terms, that certain emotions we have are wrong. Invalid. Unacceptable. They’re sin. Hide them away in shame.
The anti-sex work, anti-porn, and anti-lgbt wave that has been hitting the internet has been hard. My SO is a sex worker. I’m not, not outside of Potlucksoup at least. She’s who encouraged me to start drawing NSFW content. It was fun and we started joking about how we’re be rivals and see who would be more popular. (We’re tied, but she’s pulling down way more $$ than me so far). It’s fun. I like drawing this.
Like I often say, I love seeing your positive comments.
That’s what makes it hard though; I have a history with this, all of this.
I grew up with a devoutly religious, nearly cult level, family. I have literal, and I mean literal, anti-porn crusaders in my family. They have little stickers on their books and laptops advertising it. I saw them yesterday. No exposed shoulders. All skirts are always safely below the knee. They work together to sell their god to lonely and outcast students in colleges. They shared stories about that. Then they laughed and schemed how they could push their missionary work into elementary schools, to children.
I wish I were joking or exaggerating.
It hits hard. Religion, or any philosophy really, can do good things for people. It can bring them together, give them a sense of purpose. It can fill the deep, existential void when your thoughts turn dark and brooding. It’s a tool, like a hammer. It can build a stable home. I can build great things. It can build amazing art.
It can also be used as a weapon.
Growing up, the school I went to had no sex education. The parents didn’t want that. In the religion I was a part of, masturbation was a sin. Sex was a sin. Your existence, was a sin. Women were second class. Men were slaves to their emotion. Any deviation from the perceived norm was squashed out.
I wasn’t allowed to close my door at night because my parents feared that I might be tempted to do something that would make our god cranky. I remember the guilt mostly. How I’d pray for “forgiveness” and cry when I did something as natural and healthy as taking a walk or stretching your knees after a long run. How I tried locking the feelings away and how deep of a depression that pushed me into.
I was lucky too. I was cis, heterosexual. I looked the part. I could more easily hide my thoughts and desires by just looking how I looked. But, it wasn’t just sexual acts that were banned either.
For a while at my family’s house I was banned from drawing or writing anything that was not based on something in our holy book. I was caught drawing a comic about pokemon once and got grounded for that. My parents searched my room often, just in case. They once found the stash of drawings I made and hid in my bed. They laid them out on that bed for me to see when I got home from school that day. They wanted to shame me. I was forced to go to anti-porn rallies after that where I sat in the crowd and wished I could go home. I had to talk to the religious leaders, lay out to them why I was a bad person. They didn’t tell me, I had to guess why.
I remember thinking about how hypocritical and heartless is all was.
A lot of people are going silent today on tumblr. There’s a few little protests. Everyone is trying to figure out what to do next. Its a bigger problem than just one platform blocking content. No more sex work on Craigslist. No more talking about sexual terms or preference in private chats on Facebook. No more sexual images on Instagram, on Twitter.
Anything sex; your preferences, your emotions, your kinks and communities are no longer okay. This is bigger than tumblr making a decision to increase their market share.This is our societies fault. This is the people who are either afraid of sexuality or afraid of the people who are. Tumblr is only doing this, it’s only profitable, because this is what people want.
It’s sad, but there are people out there who are actively trying to keep you from expressing yourself. They’re doing it because it eliminates the competition. Take away the outlets. Take away the fun. Take away the excitement and curiosity Make your world a castrated, joyless cloud of grey.
Saviors are only an attractive option when you desperately need to be saved.
Right now, about 1/3 of my posts are still in appeal. I’ve added a level of censorship to my posts that should be good enough to make my blog just SFW enough to survive. Even with all that, I’m not sure this blog will make it through the ban. I don’t trust Twitter to avoid the wave that’s hitting. Potlucksoup.com will stay up as the archive, even if every social media page dies.
I’m going to keep posting everywhere I can, as long as I can. I learned about sex through the internet, through blogs and sites that have long since naturally faded away. I’d sneak on late at night to see if masturbation, sex, and sexuality was wrong. I’d ask people if the whole world was like the world I grew up in and I learned that it wasn’t. I learned about art and kinks, consent, sexual play, the different colorful and unique communities the world had. It was a whole different world and people were actually smiling in it.
So I’m going to keep posting.
I’ll keep posting art. I’ll keep reblogging and retweeting it. I’ll keep posting things about sex education, when I find them. I’ll keep posting my kinky illustrations and the (hopefully) sexy stories.
I want to do that because I know that there are people out there who are struggling with sexuality, or their kinks, or how their bodies feel or look.
I want all those folks to know that you’re okay.
Your emotions are valid.
What you feel is okay.
No matter what you’ve been told, there’s a place for you in this world.