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Maksim Shmeljov/Shutterstock (Licensed)
From Mastodon to Pillowfort, you can still get your fix.
Tumblr porn is no more. After years of laissez-faire policies on adult content, Tumblr has outright banned NSFW content on the site. The move essentially kicks out sex workers, adult artists, kinksters, and 18+ bloggers who made a home on the service for over a decade.
While Tumblr stored a rich and inclusive archive of queer porn, fetish artwork, and kinky communities that cannot be replaced, there are alternatives out there for users fleeing from the Dec. 17 ban. Some have been around for ages, while others are still growing and maturing. Here are some of the best Tumblr porn alternatives to look out for in the meantime.
The best Tumblr alternatives
Twitter quickly became a popular safe haven for artists and adult content creators impacted by the Tumblr ban. The site sports laid-back policies on adult content, letting artists, porn creators, and cam girls all build a following on the site. While Twitter usually tags NSFW material, and you may need to manually allow “sensitive content” to be displayed on mobile, it’s one of the last major social media networks that still freely allow pornographic content on its servers.
If you’ve never used Twitter before, the site lets users follow each other to curate an endless timeline filled with tweets, or short messages that max out at 280 characters. Searching for content is as easy as typing in a keyword or hashtag and reading through the results, plus many adult artists and sex workers on Tumblr already have accounts on Twitter. To get started, we recommend checking out artists bramblefix and Ktullanyx, as well as adult performer pawslut. For queer porn in particular, Valerie Halla’s NSFW Twitter account @drool_cutie is a great choice.
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2) Mastodon’s Fediverse
Mastodon took off in 2017 as a popular, progressive alternative to Twitter. The social media service sports content warnings, improved privacy features, and best of all, a federation system called the “fediverse.” On Mastodon, users interact by registering accounts on an instance—a separate community and server part of a larger Mastodon federation. Users from different instances can interact with each other, or they can simply hang out in their own instances. The social media network has incredibly inclusive policies on adult content, so much so that its founder even put together a blog post explaining why fleeing NSFW Tumblr users should make the switch.
Mastodon hosts an enormous catalog of instances based on adult content. There’s Humblr for one, a self-described “home to all previous Tumblr users that were pushed [off] the site” due to the NSFW purges. Another 18+ instance, displaced.social, offers a “safe, open space focused on those in the NSFW LGBT+ community.” Then there’s Art Alley, where artists and commissioners alike can post adult illustrations. For sex workers and their clients, Switter is an excellent sex work-friendly for staying in touch.
Instead of following creators like on Tumblr or Twitter, Patreon lets users pledge a small, reoccurring amount of money to support their favorite artists. In return, artists provide perks or incentives based on tier pledges. NSFW comic artist ThirtyHelens, for example, runs a Patreon with over 400 users supporting her work. Patrons can pledge a wide range of tiers per month, from $3 for full-resolution versions of her comics one week before release to $10 per month for PSD files of everything ThirtyHelens creates.
Other popular Patreon users include the artist Fuya, who does anime-inspired explicit drawings, as well as NSFW illustrator Sakimi Chan. Adult game developers also run their own Patreon pages where fans can turn to support their creations. Redamz, the creator behind adult dating game Monster Girl Island, has over 6,000 patrons on the service. Game developer Palmer, meanwhile, lets users pay $10 per month for early access to erotic video games created by the studio Love-Joint.
In some ways, Pillowfort is to Tumblr what Mastodon is to Twitter. The service has laid-back policies on adult content and gives its users much more control over their privacy. Granted, Pillowfort is still pretty small, having only sent out registration keys to the service’s Kickstarter backers in September. But the site has grown in users since Tumblr announced the NSFW ban in early December 2018, and adult content has gradually made a place for itself on the site.
If you’re interested in following Pillowfort accounts for adult content, we recommend checking out the site’s community feature, which is a great way to quickly fill your feed with NSFW content. The “NSFW” community is a perfect starting point for adult illustrations, with over 800 users part of the group. For fleeing Tumblr users looking to reconnect with their friends, the “Tumblr NSFW Art, BDSM, Kink and Sex-Work Refugees” community is as popular as it is active. Oh, and for queer men, the “Gay Bears” community is a great choice for the boys out there that like their dates big and hairy.
Fair warning, you may not be able to create a Pillowfort account at this time. Previously, interested users could request an access key by donating $5 to Pillowfort, but the site has since closed registration in order to “improve performance and add necessary features,” according to a tweet from Dec. 14. In the meantime, you can still access the adult communities listed above, albeit you may experience slowdowns while Pillowfort continues improving its networking.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Waypoint, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.