Patreon: the best way for artists and creators to get sustainable income connect with fans. Unless you create any sort of adult content, of course. Right now Patreon has no problem with me using their platform to help me make audio porn… providing that I don’t link to Patreon from anywhere I also express my sexuality. After almost a month of dealing with this sex-negative censorship, all I want to do is say ‘fuck you Patreon’.
Content note for…
First I want to acknowledge my privilege here – while Patreon is currently doing their best to get rid of me and my pornographic content, I could still go to ridiculous lengths to comply with their guidelines. This is better – though not much – than sex workers and porn producers, many of whom got pushed off Patreon a few years ago when they “clarified” their terms and conditions. At the time, sex-industry folks who were using Patreon primarily for filthy words or audio erotica were given a reprieve: Patreon wouldn’t make them stop using their platform to create fuck-positive content… yet.
And in all fairness, Patreon has no problem with me using their platform to create fuck-positive content. They just have a problem with me promoting my Patreon account anywhere I also post nudes.
Patreon contacted me about a month ago, saying that they’d reviewed my content and found that it violated their community guidelines. When I asked for clarification, they explained that they didn’t have a problem with my filthy words, or my audio porn, or the sneak peaks at sexy artwork I shared with my Patreons – their issue was with the links to my blog from my Patreon page. Now, I post fairly frequent photos of me partly or fully naked, so I understand why Patreon wouldn’t want me to link to my blog or my Twitter from my Patreon page.
While it was a little annoying, it was also totally reasonable. I went through my Patreon page and deleted all of the links to my sex blog and NSFW Twitter. I emailed them back to say that I’d removed the “links to pornographic material” from my Patreon page and asked if they could reinstate my account.
Now, the biggest hurdle of censorship is usually that a platform does not have to give reasons for why your account has been suspended, so you have no grounds for appeal. I thought that them engaging in a dialogue with me about how my Patreon account broke their community guidelines meant that I’d be able to get it back. Until they came back with another stipulation for my account to be reinstated, which I wasn’t prepared to meet:
“Please remove the links and mentions to your creator page on your blog since pornographic content cannot be linked, shared or funded through Patreon.”
My Patreon account is marked 18+, because I create adult-only content. This means that you can’t go to Patreon and search for ‘On Queer Street’ or ‘Quinn Rhodes’. You can only find me by clicking on a direct link to my page. This means that unless someone clicks on a link in a blog post or a tweet, they’ll never get to my Patreon page, and so won’t be able to support me to make more audio porn. They were trying to enforce an interpretation of their guidelines that meant I couldn’t link to my Patreon account from anywhere I also posted photos of my tits.
Which meant I couldn’t promote my Patreon page anywhere. Which meant that while I could jump through hoops to meet this – frankly, bullshit – interpretation of their terms and conditions, I would struggle to grow my Patreon or to share the Patreon content I created.
To be clear, porn is not illegal. My sex blog is not illegal. I am completely allowed to post nudes on my blog and (for the moment, at least) on Twitter. Despite Patreon’s claims, their guidelines do not explicitly state that creators cannot promote their Patreon in places where they also share pornographic material. Sure, they ask that creators “remove and unlink websites that contain pornography from their Patreon page” but they never state those same creators can’t link to their Patreon pages from accounts containing NSFW content.
Even if they were to come out and say this, it would be a ridiculous, terrible, and entirely impractical rule to try to enforce. Patreon cannot control content I post on other platforms, just because I am also using those platforms to promote my Patreon account. Patreon can’t say that I’m not allowed to sexually express myself on the internet if I also want to use Patreon. Except that while I don’t think this interpretation of their guidelines is reasonable or even possible to reenforce, they don’t have any obligation to reinstate my account until I comply with their absurd rules.
Seriously: fuck this sex-negative cisheteropatriarchal censorship bullshit, and fuck you Patreon.
Additionally, because I linked my Twitter account to my Patreon page, they were also able to look through my tweets and find specific tweets that violated this interpretation of their guidelines. Patreon paid someone, who knows my legal name and credit card details, to look through my NSFW Twitter account at photos of me wearing butt plugs to prove that I was violating the guidelines of using their platform. It’s been more than two weeks since I found out that they did this, and I still feel ewwy and violated.
If you were someone who supported me on Patreon, I’ll be in touch as soon as possible. I have a number of sex-positive perks that I offered on Patreon earlier this year, and I’m still determined to get them to y’all! I’m also going to be looking for other ways to continue making audio porn – Patreon may have won this round, but I’m going to keep fighting sex-negative censorship and keep talking about sex.
Because I really like talking about sex.
Is one of your 2020 goals to support more queer creators? This censorship does impact my sex writing – my Patreon income was small but it paid for my blog hosting every month. It would be great if you could throw me some £/$/€ to help me fight this puritanical nonsense.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.