Tumblr has officially banned porn (yes, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers)

Image: Robert Yang

I’ve watched Instagram flag and ban sex positive accounts. I’ve seen sex workers get shadow-banned on Twitter. I’ve had my own Facebook account flagged for sharing articles that simply discuss sex work. I’ve watched Backpage shut down and I’ve heard horror stories of large payment processors shutting down porn performers’ accounts. Now, Tumblr choosing to implement its NSFW ban today- on the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers- feels like a particularly cruel joke.

To all sex workers/warriors, to all those who relied on Tumblr to build and grow their fan base…we see you. We understand the fear of having your entire platform ripped out from under you at any moment. We understand that Tumblr just did that. We understand the need for online platforms in order to advertise and safely vet clients. The crusade against sexual content online is an increasingly-aggressive one. But we’ll continue to fight for you. Sex👏🏽work👏🏽is👏🏽WORK👏🏽.

To all those who have lost their once safe space to explore their sexuality…we see you, too. We know that Tumblr was a community, and we understand what this NSFW-ban may mean to you.

We also know that searching for adult content, especially as a woman, can be both daunting and demeaning. It’s literally the reason we created Bellesa.co- to provide women with a platform on which they can feel safe and empowered to embrace, explore and celebrate their sexuality, unapologetically.

All videos on Bellesa stem from a direct partnership with studios, with custom edits made in-house specifically to prioritize women’s pleasure. We’ve spent a lot of time instituting strict regulations that ensure that all content uploaded to our Video Library is ethical. This space can be difficult to regulate properly (and typically, it isn’t), but we’ve made that a pillar of what we do at Bellesa.

We’re also working on something really special. In 2019, we’re launching a Pics and GIFS platform to run alongside our videos, erotica, Boutique and Collective that will give our community members a tool to transform all porn videos on Bellesa into GIFs/images. By you. Ethically. Safely. Responsibly.

As platform after platform continues to shut down — choosing to eradicate their content entirely rather than to regulate it thoughtfully — we need now, more than ever, spaces that approach the category with nuance. True, not all sexual content is good, but that certainly does not mean it’s all bad. By filtering sexual content carefully, sorting out and showcasing that which is ethical, that which celebrates performers and supports viewers alike, we believe that we can ultimately change the way that our society perceives sex. And yet, time and time again, fear and misinformation have perpetuated the shame and stigma that plague the already difficult-to-navigate category — exacerbating problematic perceptions.

Having access to approachable, sex-positive content and a supportive community of women that encourages self-exploration is not only empowering, it’s game-changing. We believe this to our very core.

We welcome you into our community with open arms.

- Michelle Shnaidman, CEO Bellesa.co