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Culture War Roundup for the week of April 22, 2024

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Dispatches from the War on Horny/Payment Processors: the other shoe has dropped for Pixiv.

A year and a half ago, Pixiv made signs that they'd be clamping down on content on some of their services to appease Visa and MasterCard. Today, Pixiv announces that US and UK users will face restrictions on content they can upload. (Specific details here.)

Currently remains to be seen how much this affects the Western artists who are on Pixiv, but it doesn't bode well. Some think this portends a coming era of digital pillarization, and while I won't rule out the possibility that things will get so walled off that VPNs become a necessity, it's hard to say how likely that actually is.

EDIT: This may be the rationale for the change.

Via conversations with the people who are most affected by this, those who use sites like Pixiv commercially, they seem to believe that there's a cabal of anti-porn American Evangelicals behind payment processing restrictions. This seems to be approximately a consensus. When I tried to question them on alternative hypotheses involving a Visa/Mastercard Duopoly, even the "moderate" suggestion that excess chargebacks is the primary motive for not wanting to deal with adult content, there was a lot of pushback. Didn't even risk discussing right-wing hypotheses involving debanking or Operation Chokepoint. My impression was that they pattern match all politics they dislike to political groups they dislike regardless of whether there's actually a link.

No one who is suffering politically likes to be told "actually you have no enemies, it's all an illusion, move along nothing to see here". It's natural to want someone to blame. (And frequently, there is someone who can be blamed to at least some degree.)

When you look at:

  • The mass exodus of porn from tumblr
  • Patreon instituting overtly political/moralistic guidelines for what content is allowed on the platform (they went out of their way to say hypnosis porn is banned, what the fuck)
  • Total porn ban on all the biggest social media sites, facebook, instagram, tiktok, youtube
  • The extreme difficulty of getting adult content published on major distribution channels like Steam or the Apple/Google app stores
  • The desexualization of media in general due to the rise of wokeism, particularly the sorts of casual non-explicit sexualization that would be appealing to a straight male audience
  • Japanese adult game developers increasingly ditching porn altogether to comply with regulations on mobile app stores and to gain access to the Chinese market, which also has its own strict regulations

you start to get the impression that a lot of people really don't like porn. It's not an isolated incident. And this is all before we even get into the laws against loli manga in many countries, people literally going to jail for lines on paper that clearly depict fictional characters.

Some of these have nothing to do with payment processors either. I receive no payment for putting up free porn on tumblr or youtube, but I'm still not allowed to do it.

The porn artists might be more inclined to believe the "it's just a totally random confluence of business factors" theory if they felt that public sentiment was on their side. If they felt that people really did believe in a principle of free artistic expression, and it really was just the credit card companies who couldn't get on board for some reason. But you ask people about these porn bans and the typical response you get is something along the lines of "of course, this content is totally perverse and obscene, and probably harmful to children and society too, and no one in their right minds would actually want to be caught paying for or even looking at this stuff, and certainly no one will miss it if it's gone... but it's not being banned because people don't like it, don't be silly, it's really just those pesky chargebacks, sorry kid it's just business..."

Do you see why porn artists might get suspicious? Where are their allies? Who is actually willing to support them?

Granted, blaming it on Evangelicals is also wrong. But the basic impulse to see it as a political issue rather than a purely economic one is, I think, quite correct.

The extreme difficulty of getting adult content published on major distribution channels like Steam or the Apple/Google app stores

Difficulty publishing porn on steam? I find that doubtful.


Jap publishers have more esoteric content like loli and beast, which steam takes down immediately. Ironically I think guro is also taken down on steam, even though you can flip to the next screen and download gore simulator 20000.

So I get downvoted because some Japan tier messed up porn genres, ones I haven't even heard of are.. not allowed on Steam.

Got it.

Not that it matters, but it wasn't me. For what its worth you're right, and the steam rules are, as others have noted, remarkably nebulous. I think there're incest-adjacent visual novels on Steam, and literal nazi dating sims, but those haven't attracted the eye of sauron. It is more likely Steam is reactive than proactive, and it only needs a moralizer to flag a game and put it under review. Look (not so) hard enough and almost all the adult games will have something objectionable.

Steam is so weird about it they even removed a completely safe for work game just because it had art by Muk. There's been feuding review teams at Valve since the old Hatred scandal, so their policy is schizo.

Traditionally for adult Japanese games sold on steam like Muv-Luv and Subahibi they were censored and you had to download a separate patch from an external source to put the porn back in. Maybe Valve has gotten more permissive recently and I missed the memo.

I think there are some games on the store that are straight-up uncensored, no patch needed.

they went out of their way to say hypnosis porn is banned, what the fuck

I am not so surprised that someone wants rape via mind control be kicked out of their platform (or is it somehow something else?)

To my understanding the consumers of hypnosis porn are indulging in the fantasy of they themselves being hypnotized. Something about giving their ego the justification to fantasize about indecent acts with plausible deniability.

OK, I was not expecting this one. So it is fiction, about pretending to be forced into some sexual acts, via nonexisting method?

How many layers of indirection people need here?

Still, it technically includes depiction of rape somewhere so I am not so surprised that they get rid of it.

I think "character/person hypnotized into sex" is more prevalent in illustrated form rather than in live-action. More live-action stuff is probably the preserve of seriously niche and weird fetishes like sissy hypno (one of the genres where, as Aqouta and Prima mention, the viewer is the one that's supposed to be getting mind-controlled).

So it is fiction, about pretending to be forced into some sexual acts, via nonexisting method?

Yes it is fiction, typically mind control erotica features elaborate magic/sci-fi scenarios that aren't possible in real life.

How many layers of indirection people need here?

It's not about indirection. It's very direct. Contra @aqouta, for most people into hypnosis porn (the people who self-insert as the sub anyway; others might self-insert as the dom), the idea of a total loss of control, of utter submission and objectification, ego death, etc., is the entire point. That is the object of erotic fascination. It's not a preliminary step to another thing.

Someone who wants porn about X is not the same as someone who wants X.

Well, obviously it is fictional depiction of such acts, maybe at most only fans-style porn.

Well hypnosis is fake so it doesn't really matter.

Hypnosis is actually not fake, it just doesn't work the way people think it does. It's used in modern (Western) medicine it just doesn't really work well and the real version isn't mega useful so you don't hear about it a lot.

well, between you, @AhhhTheFrench and this in-depth discussion I'm hoping to continue with @jimm, We've now covered all the possible positions on the subject of hypnosis. I'd certainly be interested to see more discussion about the facts of the matter.

Some of that was deleted (or I otherwise can't see). Missed the previous discussion in the weird psychopathology thread line.

I invite you to read the wikipedia page, which links to some actually studies on the matter (ex:

Basically the most evidence based approach to hypnosis concludes that it seems to function similar to mindfulness meditation, biofeedback, and other similar modalities where someone hacks their cognitive state and level of arousal, which is often easier to do with assistance from an external resource then by a person on their own.

Obviously this implies a limited level of clinical utility but it can help with psychosomatic adjacent pathology and any time "mind over matter" is more directly relevant.

I was fortunate enough to experience some training in this during my medical education and while I personally was not hypnotized I witnessed some of my colleagues experiencing it....and it was ultimately very unexciting and contrary to media portrayal (which is as this usually goes).

It seems most reputable people who do this emphasize the limitations and the fact that it can't really make you do stuff you don't want to do already.

What do you think would happen to the reputation of the hypnotist that hypnotized your colleagues if he surprised the women with orgasms?

This is bog standard shit in the erotic hypnosis community, and the reason you didn't see it in your medical education isn't that it's not possible.

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shoot, I mangled the link. here's the correct version. For what it's worth, my understanding of hypnotism is the same as yours, but @jimm has a very, very different perspective.

Well, obviously it is fictional depiction of such acts, maybe at most only fans-style porn.