An Open Letter To Tumblrs Who Post Unexpected Porn

Chelsea Fagan
Chelsea Fagan

Hey everyone,

Let me tell you a story. The other day, I was in a cafe getting some work done, minding my own business. (I work at home and the only way to escape the crippling loneliness is to occasionally pretend to be social by sitting amongst people at a place with coffee, free wifi, and a big afternoon lull where I can squat a table in the corner. But I digress.) And as sometimes happens, I briefly let my mind wander from the task at hand and digitally waddled over to my favorite time-waster, Tumblr. Having pre-emptively blocked several key words that would help keep the NSFW content to a minimum, I assumed that I would at least be able to get a couple decent scrolls through without accidentally stumbling on something that would offend the monocle off the older couple behind me. Oh, how naive I was.

Not even three full scrolls into my journey, I was visually assaulted by a 500×500 GIF of anal sex. (Shot from underneath, no less, so as to leave absolutely no mystery as to what we were all having a nice, long look at. It was truly an angle that can only be referred to as zesty.) It was just a fleshy carnival of penis, and butthole, and slapping testicles, and pubic hair — which was almost charming, given how vigorously-waxed most modern porn tends to be. I clicked out as quickly as I could, but the damage was done. The people behind me had seen, and now I was the girl who browses anal blogs on the public wifi in her spare time. I briefly considered turning around and frantically shouting, “THEY USUALLY POST VEGAN COOKIE RECIPES AND ADVENTURE TIME GIFS,” but it would have been in vain. The judgment was made, and rightfully so.

I know what you’re going to say, and I suppose you’re right. I shouldn’t be browsing my private feeds in such a dangerously public setting. It is not everyone else’s job to trim their content so that I can log on in serenity while out and about. If I wanted that, I could go over to Pinterest like an actual grown human being. But let’s be real here for a second: We all check our private shit in public sometimes, and we all have our moments on Tumblr that last a bit longer than they should while we’re sitting in a coffee shop. It just happens. So this is something that we all do for each other, a gentleman’s agreement that ensures that none of us will walk unexpectedly into an anal land mine while just trying to see some people liveblogging Game of Thrones and posting pictures of pugs. We all deserve that much.

So I propose that, instead of depriving ourselves of all the X-rated images that are clearly so essential to the full Tumblr experience (that is not sarcastic, by the way, porn is half of what makes Tumblr great), we start tagging these things in a concise, uniform way. Even a simple NSFW on all of your precious James Deen ball shots would be more than sufficient, and allow people to decide when and where they want to be pleasantly surprised with a new angle of Stoya’s labia or some anonymous dude in a three-piece suit spanking a girl with rope around her boobies. It allows us both the joy of posting exactly what we would like at any given moment, and the security of being able to pass some time on Tumblr in the airport without having to worry about getting carted off by security to the padded room where they keep all the people they’re afraid are going to start running around the cabin with a double-ended vibrating dildo.

Imagine that world. It’s a better place, and I know you’re capable of envisioning it. I don’t want to see the porn go away — au contraire, it is a little spot of lubed-up sunshine on an otherwise mediocre day — but I want to see it at the appropriate times. It’s the kind of world we could all live in, and it could start today.

You can keep the ones where the girls read books with a vibrator underneath the table untagged, though. That is classy fun for the whole family. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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