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November 9, 2012
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Sextoy01 by kozispoon

Sextoy02 by kozispoon

Sextoy03 by kozispoon
Sextoy04 by kozispoon


Alright, alright, settle down. While this isn't crazy serious, it's still an update worth note!

Throughout history, art and artists have challenged preconceived notions, pushed boundaries and taken on subjects often considered taboo. Art is alive and constantly changing, much like the community at deviantART is. The CEA Team believes that deviantART policy must grow, adapt and change, to allow artists to push boundaries and express themselves whenever legally and morally possible. Policy must remain flexible in order for something, which was initially ruled as an absolute, to bend and change in order to allow for artists and quality to shine through.

Lesbians 101 - Lesson 3 by FindChaos

One example of this kind of challenge to policy is with FindChaos's Lesbians 101 series-- a quirky and often humorous guide on lesbianism. Unfortunately, one installment of this guide depicted sex toys, which was removed in accordance with our FAQs prohibiting pornographic imagery. This issue prompted a discussion among staff and our legal adviser regarding our policies and FAQs. Are items like sex toys to be considered inherently and inescapably pornographic, or, as in the case of Lesbians 101, could members express themselves artistically and responsibly despite the content?

The CEA team held a series of meetings about the FAQ that details the prohibitions made in regards to the depiction of sex toys, and after some careful discussion (and using lesbians 101 as an example) we came to the decision that deviations such as these should have a place within the deviantART community. Naturally, we needed to update our FAQ to reflect this. We have spent the week working on the language of the FAQ, and the changes are live!  Here's a link for you to see:

FAQ #565: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic imagery'; what do you consider this to be?

So what has changed? And what does this realistic depiction mean?

What has changed is that sex toys can now be depicted in deviations (given certain conditions). As for "Realistic", this refers primarily to shape, so a realistic shape and unrealistic candy coloring would still lead to removal. By contrast, a review of the sex toys in Lesbians 101 would not fall under realistic depiction as they have spines, beads, and rabbits protruding from them. We still maintain that sex toys cannot be depicted in use as per the FAQ.

Please also note that context comes into play here. Realistic depictions of sex toys are normally removed, but the educational context of the work such as those used in Lesbians 101 and the clinical treatment of the subject means that this submission is fine with a mature tag- that will not necessarily be the case for other deviations. Because each submission is judged based upon the content, context, and merit of that specific deviation. If there are any doubts on the part of the artist for any reason, they are always free to submit their questions to the +help Desk, through Policy Inquiries, and we'll be more than happy to help!

We understand that a change to such a specific part of this FAQ may be surprising--there may even be be a lot of attention drawn to this deviation, and it will definitely be a mix of negative and positive--but we really believe that this approach will garner the greatest understanding from the community.
Sextoy05 by kozispoon
Thank you to ~FindChaos for her patience and for allowing us to feature her deviation for the sake of this discussion. Be sure to check it out!

It's incredibly exciting when a piece of artwork sparks a discussion amongst our team, and we hope to continually grow and change while still maintaining a safe, artistic environment!            
An update to our FAQs!
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:iconkozispoon:
kozispoon Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Student General Artist
May be indeed!
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:iconshibuya4lone:
Shibuya4lone Featured By Owner May 20, 2013
i see
Reply
:iconfehnryr:
Fehnryr Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
...So if I draw a dildo it's fine, but if I draw a neon green dildo, it gets removed?

You guys might want to go back to the drawing board...
Reply
:iconpeccantis:
Peccantis Featured By Owner May 12, 2013   General Artist
No no, a realistic shaped dildo (closely imitating actual anatomical parts of the specific actual anatomy part) is not ok regardless of its colour. Is how I understood the rulings here.
Reply
:iconkozispoon:
kozispoon Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Student General Artist
Correct. Come, frolic with me in the fields of clarity and understanding. :icononiskiplz:
Reply
:iconpeccantis:
Peccantis Featured By Owner May 20, 2013   General Artist
:iconoppaplz:
Reply
:iconfancycomicsreborn:
FancyComicsReborn Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Student Photographer
You may be a staff and all, but you should really take the time to look through that ACTUALLY don't belong here. Hey, just like iFunny, this ain't a porno site. Some stuff I (accidentally) find makes me go into WTF made.

I will not start pointing fingers. That just ain't cool.
Reply
:iconkozispoon:
kozispoon Featured By Owner May 20, 2013  Student General Artist
Reply
:iconbungy32:
Bungy32 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I am new to DA and learning the ropes. I just went back through my gallery and deleted deviations that don't conform with these rules. I grumbled a bit. Gone is a cartoon robot holding his hard phallus. It's hard because he's made of metal -- but "touching genitals" and "erect" make it a violation. The fact that it is smooth and shaped more like a missile than an anatomically correct penis might have made a difference, but who can say? I also removed a cartoon of two robots having butt sex, using motor oil as (what else?) lubrication. It seemed to violate the penetration and fluids rule. It wasn't just porn; I like the way this series raises interesting conundrums about the posthuman condition. But you know, we play by the rules of our hosts...

The good news in this post is that the moderators have moderated their policy in the wake of broadening their understanding of how their policy disproportionately affects a minority group. I deeply appreciate that our hosts are addressable on these issues and willing to adjust.

But I have to admit: as a queer artist interested in art that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also witty and a little disturbing, I draw heavily from an explicitly homoerotic palette. And rules are often just challenges in disguise. Can I contribute work that conforms to the rules but defies their spirit? You betcha! Will I? Oh yeah, quite probably.

Because at the end of the day, that's what artists do -- push at boundaries, challenge the rules. Those boundaries aren't always about sex -- sometimes they are about skill level or politics or taboos or... But if we deny art's ability to change our views about what is allowable and what is not in our myriad, overlapping cultures, then we curtail much of the value and purpose of art in the first place.
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:iconsempersalsius:
SemperSalsius Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very well said.
Reply
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