NSFW Sunday Knows What’s Up With Pornhub

Feature image of Halo the GxdBody and La Muxer Diosa in Crash Pad Series episode 305. All of the photographs in this NSFW Sunday are from the Crash Pad. The inclusion of a visual here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the model’s gender identity or sexual orientation. If you’re a photographer or model and think your work would be a good fit for NSFW Sunday, please email carolyn at autostraddle dot com.

Welcome to NSFW Sunday!

Betty Blac and Kitty Stryker in Crash Pad Series episode 132

Earlier this week, Pornhub announced that it would ban downloads, bad unverified uploads, and expand its content moderation. As Samantha Cole reports at Vice, this is a step that both “non-consensual imagery activists as well as porn performers have been asking the platform to take for some time,” and is “a big shift” to the company’s previous standard of allowing whatever until a rights holder made a complaint.

But that’s not the end of the story. As Melissa Gira Grant reports at the New Republic, the change came as a result of pressure from a group led by Nick Kristof, who you might know from a recent NYT piece I’m not going to link to and who Grant describes in a tweet as “a guy who believes that sex trafficking portends the apocalypse and the literal return of the whore of Babylon”:

“As a result of their years spent building influence, ‘fighting trafficking’ as defined by these groups has also led to policies to defund AIDS programs that worked with sex workers and instead support programs mandating abstinence over condoms. Catholic groups used fighting trafficking to block funding to anti-trafficking programs that offered referrals for birth control and abortion. Women’s rights groups teamed up with religious right groups to shut down Craigslist’s and Backpage’s ads for sex work. All this was accomplished by religious right groups marketing themselves as anti-trafficking groups who were invested in protecting women and children from abuse. Meanwhile, their approach led to police abuse of sex workers under the guise of anti-trafficking raids and ‘rescues,’ while also dismantling sex workers’ efforts to work independently and protect themselves. This isn’t fighting human trafficking: In some senses, it has increased the likelihood of exploitation and violence.”

Read the whole piece for more on what’s happening. Plus, Visa and MasterCard also announced they’re cutting ties to Pornhub, in a concerning move that’s devastating for performers. As EJ Dickson reports at Rolling Stone:

On Thursday, credit card processors Visa and Mastercard made a shocking announcement: they would be terminating their relationships with Pornhub. It was part of a series of reforms surrounding the porn behemoth […] Alex and Cassie reacted to the news with ‘complete horror and fear.’ ‘There’s absolutely no work in our area and without paid content on these sites, we’ll lose more than 50 percent of our income,’ they tell Rolling Stone. For the first time since the pandemic started, they wondered if they might become homeless. ‘No other industry cuts someone’s salary in half overnight,’ they say. ‘And it feels terrible, because we have done nothing wrong.’

Beating Hart, C’est La Vie, and Cinnamon Maxxine

Beating Hart, C’est La Vie, and Cinnamon Maxxine in Crash Pad Series episode 308

In a devastating blow, the bad sex writing awards have been called off for this year. According to the official statement:

“After weeks of deliberation, the judges of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2020 have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s prize.

The judges felt that the public had been subjected to too many bad things this year to justify exposing it to bad sex as well. They warned, however, that the cancellation of the 2020 awards should not be taken as a licence to write bad sex. A spokesperson for the judges commented:

‘With lockdown regulations giving rise to all manner of novel sexual practices, the judges anticipate a rash of entries next year.'”

Kissy Burgundy and Cinnamon Maxxine

Kissy Burgundy and Cinnamon Maxxine in Covid Edition: Kissy Burgundy

What’s the deal with sex positions?

It’s okay to have chaotic habits.

Bhutan voted to legalize gay sex.

You should absolutely not be traveling anywhere for the holidays this year. As a theoretical thought experiment though, here’s how to have a messy hookup in a place you grew up if you do not currently live there.

The single best question you can ask in a relationship – any type of relationship, including with friends and family and a stranger you started talking to in line and will never see again – is “do you want listening, or do you want feedback?” I like this even more than my previous go-to, “do you want advice or affirmation,” because that approach still implies an action or response of some sort instead of simply listening. Also:

“[C]hecking in about feedback before the conversation starts ‘increases the likelihood of it being received in a productive way because having clear and mutually agreed upon expectations is essential to healthy communication,’ Fisher says. Also, more often than not, expressing the willingness to listen and support someone in times of stress builds the kind of trust they need to welcome such advice. It ultimately strengthens the relationship by demonstrating that the listener cares more about hearing the person’s feelings than being right.”

Sal Marquez and Vivi Marie

Sal Marquez and Vivi Marie in Crash Pad Series episode 310

At Guernica, Emma Rault writes about how her age-gap lesbian relationship turns her and her future wife into time travellers, including growing up assuming that at some point you’ll stop being attracted to older people (not the case):

“All my life, I’ve been drawn to older people. Precocious and cerebral, I was the kid that loved sitting at the adults’ table. My crushes were no different. Every time another lesbian my age tells me about the best friend she was in love with in middle school—something that seems to be universally acknowledged as a queer rite of passage—I’m secretly bemused. At six, eleven, sixteen years old, I was in love with my teachers, my friends’ parents, my parents’ friends. ‘When I was a kid, I had crushes on women in their twenties and thirties,’ I tell Dori when, somewhere around date three or four, she asks about my history with older people. ‘I always assumed that as I grew up—once I got to that sort of age myself—it would even itself out. But that’s not what happened.’

Dori scrunches up her eyebrows—she’s gathering her thoughts.

‘You like what you like,’ she says.”

Carolyn Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Carolyn has written 1087 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. Re the supportive listening article, when I’m the one about to launch into a rant/story/dilemma, I’ve also found it helpful to clarify beforehand if I’m looking for moral support rather than advice, especially when I know I’m talking to a perpetual rescuer type whose first impulse will be to try to fix it. As a (hopefully reformed) former rescuer myself, it’s hard to remember to counter that impulse in the moment, especially if the issue brings up strong emotions. If both people can try to remember to cue each other, over time it helps to break the habit.

    • I’m disturbed that if you read this article you wouldn’t even understand that the action against Pornhub is because of child sexual exploitation. And you barely spared a sentence for it, but a lot of their videos depict sexual assault. I know you’re not a journalist per se, but there should be some attempt made at balance. You can advocate for the workers harmed without glossing over how huge the problem is.

      • I was appalled at this article too, action had to be taken against pornhub and glad companies are distancing themselves from the site but this article fails to even mention the child sexual exploitation.

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