Nude Photography and the New Morality

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by carneymalone, Nov 20, 2017.

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  1. I start this thread to discuss problems many photographers have had with the posting of their nude photography on various photographic website. Their "breaking" of uncleanly stated rules has led to their suspensions and even banning from a number of sites.

    I start this thread to discuss the experience that members may have had regarding this issue.

    Please be polite!

    Let us have a civil adult discussion.
  2. I have no problem with nudes. When they shade over toward softcore porn, I have no problem either, but don't look at them. Sites, however, are privately owned, and can dictate their terms of use. This gets discussed a lot, but it all seems a bit pointless.
  3. And sites like Fred Miranda, that depend on advertising revenue must cater to the desires of the advertisers or lose that money. FM recently banned nude and partially nude photos, amid much angst and consternation.
  4. No personal experience with this topic but since you haven't gotten a lot of responses, I'll put in my 2 cents.

    If a site allows nudes but not pornography, I think there's no way to avoid "uncleanly" stated rules because what is porn and what is not is very subjective. For example you could have a rule that states that the photo cannot depict sexual acts, sexual fetishes, etc. So let's say someone posts a nude wearing handcuffs. Does it break the rule or not? You might say yes, but what if it's 4 naked people who appear to refugees, wearing handcuffs while looking at the statue of liberty? To me a photo like that is making some sort social commentary and probably has little or nothing to due with sex. But you probably have pictures where that may not be so obvious.

    And who decides? And what if the site depends on advertising targeted at people who might be offended?

    Hopefully most site moderators would just take down the photos and warn the photographer rather than immediately ban them (unless the problem is underage models or something extreme like that).

    My guess is that most photographers know when they might be pushing the envelope a bit and I'd recommend they either ask someone they trust be honest to give a ruling first or even just have the moderator take a look before they are posted on the site. Short of that, do your best to pretend you're just a casual observer of your photograph and don't know what it is you're trying to show. Could it be seen as something more sexual than intended?

    Personally, I wouldn't even categorize all depictions of sex as necessarily being porn either but no matter how pure the intentions of the photographer and the models, someone will see it that way. I'm in my 50's and as an adolescent, the intimate apparel section of any department store catalog might as well as have been porn to me.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  5. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    The guidelines state that if posting nude photos - those photos MUST be properly categorized so our "nude curtain" can cover them for people not interested in seeing nude thumbnails. Those same photos will also not get advertising on them. As it relates to nude vs porn - Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart best described it in "I know it when I see it"
    DavidTriplett and tomspielman like this.
  6. GPalm, how about addressing the pop-up ad issue being so actively discussed elsewhere.
  7. I'm a libertarian, truth is in my dna. Of course not all libertarians are created equal...
  8. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Spelling check - Libertine? :D
  9. No, libertarian, not libertine. Freedom without a moral code is individuality without responsibility which ultimately leads to silly and blind collectivism in turn giving rise to fascism.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  10. That's exactly the quote I was thinking of and it's pretty much what it comes down to. IMO, it's very hard to create a well defined set of rules that really work well and ultimately it's going to be up to someone's judgement.
  11. This is not the Supreme Court.

    A web site ought to be able to come up with some descriptive guidelines about nudity while also explaining that some cases are going to be harder to determine than others and, as Glenn has already said, that the discretion lies with management. Not being able to give a 100% accurately-defined set of exact rules shouldn't excuse the responsibility to come up with the best you can do to inform members of what's expected in the arena of nudity which could, with just a little bit of thought and care, cover more ground than Justice Stewart's copout did.
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Back to Lucretius "What is food to one person may be bitter poison to another." Stewart didn't cop out he simply recognized that it is subjective. Yet another right - to be allowed to choose what the particular individual finds acceptable or offensive. Not to dictate, but to enjoy the opportunity to view or not view.
  13. has a category for "Nude and Erotic". The erotic part opens the door (obviously) to a lot more than just nudes. The line between erotica and porn can be pretty blurry, - especially in the world of still photography. I can appreciate why people would want some guidelines but I can also understand the hesitancy to try and come with a set of things that are allowed or list of things that are not. Any such list is guaranteed to exclude things that could be OK or allow things that aren't.
  14. This has nothing to do with Stewart, who is a Supreme Court Justice charged with determining what the law finds to be obscene. Glenn is charged with determining a web site's policy on nudity. This has nothing to do with individuals finding things acceptable or offensive. It has to do with what I can post and what I can't post. Anyone is entitled to find whatever I post offensive or not. I understand those judgments will vary, as they should. I just want to know what the site's policy on nudity is so I can have some idea of what I can and can't post.

    Glenn could, if he wanted, say something along the lines of nudes are allowed but no overt sexual acts should be depicted. Sure, there might still be gray areas, but that would probably alleviate at least 90% of confusion. All it takes is thought, clarity, and the willingness to make a decision and state it. He could say something like "no erect penises." Again, there might be gray areas (semi-erect), but most would be able to figure out from that what is ok and what's not.

    Don't make this about the cause of individual freedom, Sandy, because that's not what it's about. It's simply about management committing to a policy and stating it clearly. If they can't cover 100% of the possibilities, which of course they can't, then discretion will have to be used in the 2% of the cases that fall outside the very simple guidelines that are created, if only they would be created.

    It's really not a difficult concept or task to accomplish. We're not asking Glenn to be Justice Stewart or fill the shoes of someone interpreting the nation's laws. We're asking him to state as clearly as possible a site policy.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  15. In other words, I don’t want to know whether Glenn finds photos with erect penises obscene or not or whether he thinks photos depicting sexual penetration are obscene. I just want to know if depictions of erect penises or sexual penetration are allowed on PN. Members deserve this kind of basic information. This is not “subjective.” This is management.
  16. Hey, we were all born nude. Unless there is some sort of exploitation going on so what. Most folks nude look rather pop bellied and have a swishy flesh thing. they put some clothes on and leave the rest to the imagination. They cannot be all like me rippled with muscle like a Greek God.

    Now model nudes are different take.... Greek/Roman perfection. Sort of boring in many ways.

    Us folk in the UK mostly have fist fights when we have had one too many....seems you colonists want to pack heat to see who is the fastest on the draw.

    Cowboy culture to my mind....loved those old westerns but lets keep them in the fantasy land they belong.
  17. Methinks my mate Sandy might have a pop belly;))
  18. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Actually, no.
  19. A loose shirt, Sandy.

    Unbutton reveal the truth;))
  20. Back in the day Sandy....time moves on.
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