At the end of June, Blogger changed their policy and told sex bloggers that adult content is allowed--as long as they aren’t making a cent from it.
In yet another move by a major corporation stating that sex and money should remain isolated, Blogger, purchased by Google in 2003, recently sent out an email to all of their bloggers informing them that adult content that brings in cash is no longer welcome on the popular blogging platform:
Please be advised that on June 30th 2013, we will be updating our Content Policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger. After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.
If your adult blog currently has advertisements which are adult in nature, you should remove them as soon as possible as to avoid any potential Terms of Service violation and/or content removals.
Blogger was the safe haven of the sex bloggers who wanted something a bit meatier than Tumblr, but weren’t ready to take on hosting their own sites. Now, yet another site is saying that hey, sex is okay...as long as the subject isn’t putting money into your account. Every blogger who had affiliate links on their site, whether they be for cam sites, porn, sex toys, phone sex, or more, will be booted if they are caught promoting the monetization of sex blogs. In a post addressing alternatives for money-minded sex bloggers, Epiphora, a well-known sex toy reviewer and blogger, said “This is a huge, huge, huge bombshell for sex bloggers trying to survive out there without paying for hosting. Not gonna lie, you guys, shit is looking bleak if you want to continue to blog without paying for it.”
It’s decisions like this that lead those in the sex industry to develop a new skillset due to sheer necessity to ensure that the time, effort, and money they have put into producing content for their blogs isn't completely lost. Sex bloggers will either be forced to compromise their preferred platforms to move to Tumblr, and hope that Yahoo doesn’t eventually decide to sanitize the site of its unwashed sexual heathens, or learn to manage their own site.
As the idiom proclaims, you do indeed get what you pay for. Blogger was a free service and they are entitled to ban whatever kind of monetized content they would like. However, it is unfortunate that corporations continue to moralize against the obvious exchange of money and sexuality. Once again, someone made a decision based on shortsighted information: They will be locking out people who are working to de-stigmatize sex, and get paid for the time they’ve spent doing it. These people are essentially working for free anyway; most small time bloggers aren’t making enough affiliate sales to be rolling in the dough, and the bigger bloggers who are making notable money on their affiliations most likely host their own sites.
By banning everyone from cam girls who are selling their content and sharing their experiences to sex educators working on taking away the pennies they are earning on their work is unnecessary and alienating. They don’t seem to recognize that the conversation about sex work, escorts, sex education, and yes, sex toys all contribute to the larger cause of normalizing frank conversations about sexuality and offer the opportunity for those whose rights are regularly trampled on (sex workers, holler!) to speak out.
How this change is going to affect the Blogger community in the long term remains to be seen. Professional sex bloggers, pornstars, sex workers and/or sex educators who have diversified their businesses by offering multiple services and managing affiliate partnerships with several companies will definitely see a hit to their business, not only in the time and effort it takes to learn how to move their sites over while maintaining basic functioning, but also in terms of the money they will now be paying for site hosting. Depending on the site used, it may not be an exorbitant amount of money, but it certainly adds up over time.
Perhaps Blogger will feel the effects of a mass exodus, although when it comes to a company owned by the internet’s greatest monolith, that is probably too much to hope for. For those tech-savvy folks: This may be an opportunity for a major gap to be filled. Sex bloggers are a loyal bunch who advocate hard for the companies who support them and do well by them. If there was a platform available that provided what Wordpress and Blogger have offered sans moralizing, the sex community would be on it faster than a money shot.