Serious Discussion on the Meaning of Adult Content

Author: bsh1 ,

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  • bsh1
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    Aloha, DART!

    Currently, the site's Code of Conduct bans "adult content" from being posted or linked to on the site. But what does "adult content" even mean? I wanted to create this thread to have a discussion on that question.

    To me, adult content means, in general, anything that fully depicts the ass, groin, or (for women) breasts in a state of undress. This applies to depictions of humans or other, anthropomorphic entities/creations. A good rule of thumb (though certainly not a cast iron rule) for me is whether the amount of skin would be allowed on an average public beach in the US. Revealing, or even highly revealing states of dress, are not the same as adult content. Bikinis could be considered highly revealing, but they're not really adult content. Similarly, someone in a mankini--though they may be guilty of a serious fashion faux pas--is not adult content either. This all, in my mind, seems fairly common sense.

    This issue does get into some thornier grey areas, however. For instance, should artwork depicting nudity be banned? Some of the greatest masterpieces contain full or partial nudity, masterpieces like Botticelli's The Birth of Venus or, more recently, Hockney's Peter Getting out of Nick's Pool. Ancient Greek art is littered with phallic imagery, sex scenes, and other nudity. What do we do about these kinds of images, and how do we distinguish them from other kinds of images containing nudity?

    Another thorny area might be sex scenes in movies. Does the fact of what is being portrayed make the content "adult" even if the actors' bodies are not visibly exposed or nude? Or what of clips of movies or shows like Game of Thrones, where nudity is displayed? These obviously have artistic merit, so should they be prohibited?

    And absolutely none of this is to touch on the other dimensions of adult content, namely that content which is too violent or disturbing to show to a general audience. We need to consider as well what counts as too violent or disturbing to post on this site.

    With these thoughts tossed out there, I'd like to open this thread for general commentary and feedback. These issues may eventually be put to a MEEP, but right now, I am just seeking constructive discussion and dialogue. Thanks!

    - Bsh1, Chief Moderator
  • RationalMadman
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    The fact society sooner feels the need to mention the sexual side of adult content than the 'other side' that you barely hit on, highlights ridiculous conservative and religious brainwashing concept of morals that we are instilled with from a young age.

    Only western Europe and some African Pagan tribes seem to have some cultures (Scandinavians especially) that have fully understood that the naked body and sex are beautiful things while violence and that side of our banal urges are the stuff to hide from children.

    We are built for both sex and violence but it is only the latter that needs to truly be removed from the ideal society, in my Progressive eyes.

    I am aware that I dont speak for this website and that's why I take the liberty to express this opinion.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @bsh1
    So a women can't show her breasts but a man show his?
    This issue does get into some thornier grey areas, however. For instance, should artwork depicting nudity be banned? Some of the greatest masterpieces contain full or partial nudity, masterpieces like Botticelli's The Birth of Venus or, more recently, Hockney's Peter Getting out of Nick's Pool. Ancient Greek art is littered with phallic imagery, sex scenes, and other nudity. What do we do about these kinds of images, and how do we distinguish them from other kinds of images containing nudity?
    Anything can be considered art so nude sculptures can't be allowed if you take a hard-line stance to in the form of female/male genitalia and women's breasts. So basically nude art is not a good defense for having nude sculptures because anything can be considered art so if you allow nude sculptures on the basis it is art you are going to have to allow rule34 stuff as well while also porn-stars nudes as well. All of them can be considered art so adults content rules would be useless if it was based on what is art. 

    That is under the assumption that you don't want the rules put in place to not be arbitrary. 
    Another thorny area might be sex scenes in movies. Does the fact of what is being portrayed make the content "adult" even if the actors' bodies are not visibly exposed or nude? Or what of clips of movies or shows like Game of Thrones, where nudity is displayed? These obviously have artistic merit, so should they be prohibited?
    If no male or female genitalia is shown or female breasts then I guess it would abide by the rules you currently have as in what can be worn on the beach. If sexual content like seen from sex scenes is adult content then like I said in the last paragraph anything can be considered adult content. From feet to hair can be sexual so you would pretty much have to ban everything. Even animals and even in-animate objects. Animals are considered sexual to people who like bestiality and in-animate objects like dildos are used to pleasure humans. 

    Basically just keep it to what is considered societally okay on the beach. The only real critique I had was with the question I gave at the top. If answered sufficiently then from my eyes you shouldn't change anything from the beach standard.

  • blamonkey
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    Art, in the nebulous sense, could include pornographic images. Oxford Dictionary defines art as: "The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." 

    Does this apply to pornography? Well, the application of a "creative skill," i.e. photography and "acting" is necessary for porn to exist. In addition, there is emotional power to certain scenes, be it revulsion or attraction. So, by technicality, art should include pornographic images. 

    As far as scenes in movies are concerned, I don't see much of an issue. I have never watched Game of Thrones, but most sex scenes in television and movies crop out genitalia. It would still be considered safe under the beach standard.

    In short, I don't see any alternative to the beach method. Sure, it disallows sculptures of David, but it only takes a few seconds in Microsoft paint to make it SFW anyway. If feasible, perhaps a NSFW forum category could be made if people really wanted to display NSFW content. Or, you could allow nudity but disallow criminal activity being filmed and posted on the website. Then people wouldn't be penalized for minor infractions such as posting scenes that border on adult.

  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @TheRealNihilist
    Women breasts are considered sexual and nudity, not a mans
  • Mopac
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    Someone please think of the children.
  • bsh1
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    I think one way to get around the art question is to ask: would the Louvre display it? If not, it’s not allowed.
  • Ramshutu
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    I would personally wait for there to be a problem before trying to determine what the solution would be.

    ”Adult content”, is so vague and ambiguous, that your not going to be able to come up with a decent enough definition that satisfies all situations. I don’t see there being any problem in making judgement calls when a particular type of content is complained about. You’re going to be making those either way.


  • Outplayz
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    --> @bsh1
    I think one way to get around the art question is to ask: would the Louvre display it? If not, it’s not allowed.
    I'd say keep the beach standard. This would include stores, resorts and popular tourist spots. I live next to a lot of popular beaches and i think what you're trying to go for with this "art" angle would be covered by this standard. 

  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    Women breasts are considered sexual and nudity, not a mans
    Ask men and women who get turned on by men's breasts. You don't have a case you are just spurting out words you don't fully comprehend. I have already addressed this that by saying anything can be sexual. From feet to hair. Did you miss that? 

  • Dr.Franklin
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    But why?
  • TheRealNihilist
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    But why?
    I said more than one point so I want you to be more specific about what you are specifically targeting with the why. 

  • Dr.Franklin
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    No your last comment
  • TheRealNihilist
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    Why people find men's breasts attractive?
    Why don't you fully comprehend what you are saying?
    Why I spoke about that earlier?

    Which one?
  • Dr.Franklin
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    1st
  • SupaDudz
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    If someone has a problem with skin showing or a lot of it showing then it is their fault and if they don't like it then they can fuck off
  • TheRealNihilist
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    Same reason men and women find women's breasts attractive. They have a particular feature they like and latch onto it with their partners or while judging other people. 

  • Polytheist-Witch
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    Totally unnecessary since it was just goldtop being a douche. 
  • bsh1
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    So a women can't show her breasts but a man show his?
    Adult content is, largely, determined by social standards. We can critique those standards as being biased or lopsided (and I would agree that they are), but until the standards shift, the definition of adult content, as it is widely understood, is not going to change. I am not going to put this site in the progressive vanguard on this issue, simply because I want members of society in general to find this a safe place to be, which requires using social standards to craft site policy, irrespective of the antiquated nature of those standards.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    Adult content is, largely, determined by social standards.
    How do we determine social standards?

  • SupaDudz
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    Showing tits is now socially acceptable. Showing your dick or pussy is not ok
  • bsh1
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    How do we determine social standards?
    From any number of social cues. I am honestly not going to get into that debate because it's far too pedantic. Suffice it to say, there are reasons that most public access shows blur breasts out.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    From any number of social cues. I am honestly not going to get into that debate because it's far too pedantic. Suffice it to say, there are reasons that most public access shows blur breasts out.
    So the very thing I am assuming will be excluded due to things you don't know how to define or demonstrate they are this way. I'll take your stance to be arbitrary then. 


  • TheRealNihilist
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    Showing tits is now socially acceptable. Showing your dick or pussy is not ok
    Tell that to bsh1. He has a different social standard he is abiding by if he is actually abiding by any social standard. 
  • SupaDudz
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    that was meant for bsh too