It's a sad fact that most of our favourite social media platforms are slowly sterilising themselves of porn. Last year, the world's most porn-friendly social media site, Tumblr, announced it would ban all adult content from December 17, effectively rendering the site useless because honestly who used Tumblr for anything other than perving at filthy gifs and well written erotica?
Post something Instagram deems vaguely inappropriate and instead of banning your account, they'll delete your post and slap you with a sneaky two week "shadowban", which effectively mutes your account and makes it unsearchable. Then there's good ole Facebook, who will happily smash you with a ban of up to 30 days for anything that remotely resembles a nipple. Even an artistically shot camel toe will send you to the silent sin bin these days, as I've recently learnt.
Patreon is no exception. In June last year, the crowdfunding site went on a porn purge, suspending a whole heap of adult content creators, and blamed it on receiving pressure from the site's payment processors – Stripe and Paypal (which have a history of refusing to serve sex workers).
But recently, Patreon has waged a war on a very specific kink that's been thriving on the site.
Patreon is now targeting people who create "erotic hypnosis" content.
Yep, some people get their kicks from being hypnotised or hypnotising and Patreon are not okay with that.
For the uninitiated, erotic hypnosis, or "hypnokink" is a fetish where one person hypnotising another for some form of sexual pleasure. The scenarios vary but could involve a person hypnotising someone to orgasm, or hypnotising an eager participant into a state where they are begging to be mentally controlled by the hypnotist. Hypnokink does nothing for me (well, at least, I doubt it does), mainly because just the word conjures up images of some neckbeard in a fedora swinging a brass pocket watch trying to lull me into a horny state. But each to their own.
Not according to Patreon though, which has banned several wannabe hypnotists, claiming they've broken the site's rules on "sexual violence."
News of the crackdown first broke when a creator received an email from Patreon requesting that he remove all hypnosis content from his page. In the email, the site claims it has a “zero tolerance” policy for “the glorification of sexual violence,” such as “coerced consent” content. That umbrella includes “blackmail scenarios, ‘hypnosis,’ drugging, or ‘consent’ obtained through deceit.”
He tried to plead his case but another representative responded by saying Patreon does allow “real or animated content that glorifies non-consensual sexual activity.”
Not long after, another Patreon account that features hypnosis fiction and historical essays on hypnosis had her account targeted.
“I’m really fucking upset. Not just about the loss of income, though yeah, 2/3 of my writing income is quite a blow. But mostly the sheer fucking helplessness of something I enjoyed and was even proud of being destroyed because apparently, The Internet Is for Money Not Porn,” the creator tweeted.
Honestly, fedora or not, hypnosis is one of the most vanilla kinks there is. The fantasy revolves around playing with boundaries and eroticises the power exchange that happens when someone is under another person's control – it's not about forcing people to do things they don't want to do.
As one kink after another is targeted and banned on sites like Patreon, the purge of adult content on social media comes closer.