Dear Youtube: Please Define “Sexually Gratifying” in a way that isn’t sexist

Published on March 29, 2022

TL;DR: click here to enter to win a free giftcard simply by retweeting/replying/posting to youtube/etc!

For many years now, Youtube has stated in their “Community Guidelines” that pertain especially to “Nudity and sexual content policies” that:

Explicit content meant to be sexually gratifying is not allowed on YouTube. Posting pornography may result in content removal or channel termination. Videos containing fetish content will be removed or age-restricted. In most cases, violent, graphic, or humiliating fetishes are not allowed on YouTube.

Youtube Community Guidelines as of March 2022 https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802002?hl=en&ref_topic=9282679

The same page goes on to “”””define”””* such banned content as:

  • Explicit or implied depictions of sex acts for the purpose of sexual gratification 
    • This applies to real-world or dramatized content such as sex scenes, video games, or music
  • Masturbation, fondling, or groping
  • Masturbation or fondling of genitals, breasts, or buttocks
  • Using or displaying sex toys to provide viewers with sexual gratification
  • Animated or illustrated pornography, sex acts, or fetish content
  • Nudity or partial nudity for the purpose of sexual gratification
  • Bestiality or promotion of bestiality
  • Incest or promotion of incest
  • Non-consensual sex acts or unwanted sexualization
  • Celebrity wardrobe accidents or nude photo leaks
  • Violent, graphic, or humiliating fetish content where the purpose is sexual gratification
  • Aggregating content for the purpose of sexual gratification
  • Any sexual content involving minors — see our Child Safety on YouTube page for more information

A list that they helpfully end with the caveat that “Please note this is not a complete list.”

* “define” herein used sarcastically as using the same vague terms like “sexual gratification” and “fetish” without clear examples isn’t clarifying anything at all

And really, this is yet another perfect example of the insane yet predominantly unquestioned hypocrisy and blatant sexism behind topless inequality in the face of censorship–what defines “sexual gratification”? If an audience perceives a piece of content as sexually gratifying, does that therefore make the content sexually gratifying, even if the actual creator of the content intended it to be anything but? How far can one bend the line of what is able to be argued in good faith whether or not something is “intended for the purpose of sexual gratification” or not? At what point does perceived gender affect whether something is considered “sexually gratifying” enough to warrant censorship? How “female” does someone have to look before the content containing their visage falls into the category of “sexually gratifying” therefore “nude” therefore against community guidelines from such vague websites as Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and all the other American-focused social media and video sharing platforms that make up the bulk of the English-speaking internet space?

Basically, what possible non-sexist explanation could there be for whether a piece of content featuring nipples is “intended for sexual gratification or not?”

Of course, it’s quite obvious for anyone even passingly familiar with American’s puritanical foundation and continued dehumanization of women and anyone else who deviates from the straight cis male category what Youtube really means–any “female-presenting nipples” are meant for sexual gratification. Anything where “female” nipples are visible, regardless of purpose, context or actual intent, counts as “nudity,” AND is therefore “intended for sexual gratification.” As long as you “look male,” your nipples are allowed on their platform, no questions asked.

And asking Youtube (along with all the rest of them) to simply admit this blatant sexism and, idk, NOT give special anti-censorship rights to “people who look male” alone is a waste of energy. One might more simply ask for equal pay for women vs men!

Rather, I thought it might be a fun community-involving project if we ask Youtube directly:

“What are some clear examples of what “intended for the purpose of sexual gratification” is defined as? How do you draw the line between “intended by the creator to be sexually gratified” vs “treated by viewers as sexually gratifying, despite the creator’s clear explanation that it is NOT intended to be taken that way?”

Call me crazy, but it sure seems like “community guidelines” like the one above sure do seem to conflate “intended as sexually gratifying” with “treated by others as sexually gratifying” as the same thing, when they’re by definition very different?

If a majority of people are jerking off to something like the classical Greek sculpture Venus Di Milo from 150 FREAKIN BC, does that mean the statue is therefore “intended for the purpose of sexual gratification”?

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s Youtube themselves who have decided any and all female nipples are “sexually gratifying,” regardless of whether or not that’s the creators intent?

Like I said, asking US-commercial-shareholders-beholden platforms like Youtube to simply admit their blatant misogyny and stop enforcing policies that maintain such a sexist status quo as an exercise in futility.

Instead, perhaps we can pin Youtube to their bullshit by bombarding them with requests to clarify their bullshit policies–like all major corporations, Youtube itself will never change until/unless there’s sufficient public outcry, enough that they realize there is more financial incentive to follow public opinion towards justice, just as they have done with gay rights, black lives matter, and many other progressive gains in public opinion for the last however many decades.

One way we do this is by making others notice and resent the hypocrisy, and how better to do it than through the very same platforms that have for all this while maintained their sexist status quos?

If you want to push the needle towards social media platforms abolishing their misogynistic and transphobic topless censorship rules, post your own content to them demanding a clear definition for what “sexually gratifying means”

This “community question” project is in its infancy, and for now is mostly just a nebulous concept I thought I’d write down before I forgot about it. For now, I just have this quick vlog I filmed while thinking about the concept-

(I fully intend to do a proper “topless topics” style video expanding on this topic, when I have the time and not-sick chance to do it)

If you like, use this as an example of how simple your own entry need be! No need to make it topless (though if you “look male” you might as well exercise that sexist right, to further highlight the hypocrisy!)–just film yourself asking Youtube (or all social media) “What does ‘intended for the purpose of sexually gratifying’ mean?”

And/or if you don’t/can’t post a video, feel free to post the question as an image or text-only, then let me know so I can retweet/share it and post a link to it here!

Expand as much or as little as you want to, and tag others you know so they can also participate, or at least boost your own post!

And yes, you can win a gift card for participating!

If you did not know, recently I started offering chances to win one of four gift cards to the digital store of your choice every month, simply through social media engagement! (retweets, original posts, reply videos, etc). You can read more about that here: https://www.toplesstopics.org/giveaway/

Sorry, that was too much to read all at once. What is it I want you to do, again?

To explain the idea as succinctly as possible, this is the (current) plan:

  • You (yes you, the one reading this right now!) record a video for Youtube/Facebook/Instagram/Tiktok/etc (or post an image or text, etc) wherein you ask Youtube directly: “What does ‘intended for the purpose of sexual gratification’ mean?”
  • Mention somewhere in the post that you’re asking this question on behalf of Topless Topics, who asked the question originally, and direct them to this link (in the video description, in a reply to your original post, wherever)
  • Contact me (click here for my various forms of contact) to share the url to your post, so I can add it to this page and enter you into the monthly gift card giveaway!
  • Share your post with friends, family and followers, and encourage them to take part in it as well!

Community Posts Asking Youtube to Define “Intended for Sexual Gratification”

(more entries will be added as they’re sent to me!)


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