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Yes, Virginia, Tumblr is important for all those other reasons and also…






There is a particular take on the destruction of Tumblr that I keep waiting for someone to write, but no one has yet. Which means I apparently need to do it myself.

The take is, essentially, that not only should adults have access to adult content – in itself, valid and true – but also it is important to cultivate SOME social spaces where the overtly/explicitly sexual overlap with the non-sexual. (Not all spaces; I still think it should be illegal to have sex on the sidewalk. But SOME spaces that enable the sexual and the non-sexual to exist side-by-side)

Part of what I think leads to the dehumanization of sex (and subsequently allows the stigma and shame to cling so heavily to it) is the complete bifurcation of life into SEX and EVERYTHING ELSE and never the twain shall meet. When we – at every turn – put all aspects of human life into one sphere, and sex into another, we dehumanize it. We remove the full subjectivity of people from it, which is a problem. 

I think we need to actively cultivate spaces LIKE before-time!Tumblr where we can be people, and talk about what happened at work today, and the funny thing our dog did, and how our parents make us crazy during the holidays, and how dare they do X thing on Supernatural, and here’s a great version of that distracted boyfriend meme, and ALSO be able to talk about being horny on main, as the saying goes, and find the right porn clip to fap to. Or post nude selfies. Or hunt down that sweet, sweet NSFW Symbrock fanart. 

Having spaces where the explicitly sexual and the non-sexual overlap is important to humanizing sex and, subsequently, de-stigmatizing it (which, it should go without saying, is particularly salient for marginalized people who often suffer way more heavily from sexual stigma) 

This. As someone who is half French half British I’ve forever struggled with the frankly pretty Puritan British attitude towards sex and our bodies and the open French attitude. I know which is healthy and which isn’t from personal experience. People not discussing sex, nudity etc in a safe environment leads to so many issues around lack of education, understanding and future deep emotional and physical issues for young adults trying to figure life out. It can last our entire lives if not addressed.

My friends and I got naked in front of each other as teens to change like it’s no big deal and yeah on occasion we looked and compared bodies, it’s thanks to this that I know that my nipples which I hated for being so huge are actually not that weird. My friends all have completely different body shapes and it made me comfortable in mine knowing it was ok to not look like a model/porn star and be different because we all were.

I’ve learned so much from tumblr just from discussion and I share this with others, it’s embarrassing how little people know about their own bodies due to a lack of a forum to discuss it. This is such a good place for it and I’m so sad it is so niche already let alone if that now collapses.

Due to lack of discussion of sex and just human bodies someone close to me didn’t address the pain he had every time he had an erection until he confided in me as an open friend and it turned out he needed a medical circumcision. He went 10 YEARS with this pain (and not having sex) because he had no one to talk to about it and nowhere to look it up. Fucking ridiculous.

So yes, even for non trans / queer folk it’s so important to have an open forum somewhere regarding these things let alone how hugely important it is for these communities.

While at the same time I’m also angered that sex and nudity is villainised while nazism and it’s ilk is fiiiiiiine.

This . Is . Wrong .

“also it is important to cultivate SOME social spaces where the overtly/explicitly sexual overlap with the non-sexual.”


One of my favorite things about rl kink communities? That we also went to munches (get togethers at restaurants) and just hung out, and sure we’d probably casually mention/joke about being huge perverts at some point because it was safe to do so among people we knew wouldn’t be offended, but the nice thing was just being able to be around people and talk about anything.

God, yeah. I remember being wigged out at first when I got on tumblr and it was just this free-wheeling place where someone would complain about their bad day and their next post would be a reblog of pornographic fan art with graphic comments in the tags. 

You can follow people who make nsfw content (photos, fic, art) and get to know them as people. You can follow people that aren’t content creators and get to know their tastes in kinky shit. You can have friends you met because you liked the same kind of porn and find out all the other stuff you have in common and become real friends. 

I don’t talk about my sex life on fucking facebook (other than in very locked groups, lol). Hell, I’m not sure I’ll do it on twitter unless I start a separate one for that (which….tbh I might; I liked having a sideblog here for me to post nudes and sexual tmi). 

I’m really gonna miss the way that stuff was all mixed together here. 


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Author: Penny Wilder

Penny Wilder is a queer human who writes and reads far too many books. She lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and four cats. Her favorite thing to do at the end of a very long day is to curl up with her tablet and read. She does bookkeeping for nonprofits by day, and by night moonlights as a blogger, artist, illustrator, actor, director, performer, and also sometimes as a business manager for a fledgling theater company. (Not all at once though, because that would be crazy!) She has spent a good deal of her life working in theater; either onstage as a performer, or backstage doing just about every job imaginable. Her love of writing dates back almost as far as her love of reading.

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