KINKING IT UP SINCE 2003

KINKING IT UP SINCE 2003

Self-hosting kinky content

It’s no secret that kink is getting censored more and more online

First Tumblr put out significant policy changes back in 2018, drastically shooting themselves in the foot by banning the content that arguably made them so successful in the first place. The great Tumblr exodus led to loads of people signing up for kink Twitters and Instagrams.

More recently we’ve seen Pornhub and XTube take steps to remove all unverified content in a nuclear move to avoid moderation costs following pressure to take action over illegal content on their services.

Twitter is now also cracking down on adult profiles, issuing suspensions left, right and centre to profiles that have explicit images in their bios. Instagram have a building reputation for suspending accounts without notice, and anybody who maintains one (myself included) accept they live on borrowed time.

All of these companies are perfectly within their rights to wipe you from existence on their servers, but that doesn’t help the fact that you may find yourself without your carefully crafted kink repository, or any of the folks you were sharing it with.

An alternative to social media

Once upon a time before Twitter and Facebook were a thing, when I was an abhorrent skinny nymphomaniac twink, much of the online kink world revolved around message boards, directories, chatrooms and personal websites. Loads of little pockets of filth, all connected to each other with blogrolls and discussions. You had your favourites bookmarked, and you were always happy to share your favourites with everyone else. Communities were formed, friendships were made, and to this day I’ll bet anyone my age and older still mentally segments some of their friends by which boards and sites they started chatting on.

Social media brought about a much wider immediate audience, with less effort required to connect with them. Why would you do the rounds on these various blogs and boards when everyone is posting their stuff up in one place? Why would you post your new horny pic in three different places with small audiences when you can just whack it on Twitter and reach everyone?

As a result, readership declined, updates slowed and nowadays that side of the net is not what it was. That’s not to say there aren’t still sites going strong to this day, but the focus has shifted.

With everything that’s happening, I’m all for it shifting back.

Make your own house and make your own rules

As I said in my relaunch blog, the big reason I started the site up again was because I want to safeguard against the very real possibility that all my current outlets for sharing stuff are closed off to me. I know that everything I put on this site is going to stay right where I put it, because the only person moderating it… is me.

I have adult-friendly hosting (more on that below), my own domain name, and I use an open-source platform to build the website itself in. Sure it’s a bit more effort than a Twitter profile, but I am in control of every aspect of what I put up on here, and how I put it up. Nobody is going to fiddle with an algorithm to make my latest posts disappear, nobody is going to whack a great big advert for family holidays next to my rubber gear pictures. I decide it all, and my god it’s liberating.

Website hosts are companies with rules too

Of course any hosting company is going to have its own terms and conditions, and this is the one area you’ve got to be mindful of. If you go out and buy yourself a package from GoDaddy, you do so knowing that the moment you upload a pic of your cock, you’re in direct violation of their terms of service, and you could be shut down far sooner than the Twitter profile you were worried about in the first place.

Thankfully everybody knows the internet is for porn, and there are a good bunch of companies out there who know for that to be true, you’ve got to be able to host it. As a result, there’s still a good number of hosting companies that will let you upload your filth, and usually charge a premium for it given the additional risks the hosting company takes on to do so.

An offer for anyone who wants to give it a go

This site is actually hosted through apii.io, an adult-friendly hosting company owned by a friend of mine! After helping me set up, I said I’d give them a shout out as obviously as with any small business run by a friend, I’d want them to do well!

Well they’ve gone a step further, and offered a very generous 30% discount on any of their packages if you use the code SWITCH30. Even the cheapest package gives you a load of space, fast servers, unlimited bandwidth, auto backups and updates, easy website builder stuff (so you can install a website like this, or even a web-store in moments) and if you buy a year package you even get a free domain name – Not bad at all for less than £3 a month!

As I say, I get absolutely nothing out of this offer – just the satisfaction I’m helping a mate out. I’m super happy with it, and I’m sure you would be too.

Alright, I got myself a website – where do I begin?

At this point you’re either very excited and full of optimism for making an awesome new site, or you’re daunted as all hell and don’t know where to begin.

I’m not going to spend a load of time talking about what to build it in, how to design it and what bits do what – there are literally thousands of blogs and guides out there to do that.

Instead I’m just going to focus on the considerations for our particular use – a filthy new place to call home.

Do you focus on a particular type of content?

Broadly, there are two categories you can put most fetish content into: visual or text.

If you’re a fetish photographer, video producer (porn or otherwise!) or an artist – you’ll want to design a website that showcases your visuals to the best of their ability. If you’re using WordPress (like me!) you’ll want a template that has awesome gallery functionality, has little in the way of other distractions, and has a solid tagging structure so people can find what they want to see, despite a possible lack of words to search for!

If you just like to put out blogs about whatever is on your mind, write adult fiction, or like to write guides and reviews, then your site is going to be more text-heavy. Sure you can put in a load of pictures still, but the words are what you want people to see most. If that’s the case, then often the site doesn’t need to be flashy – the main thing is that people can read what you write with clarity and ease. The standard free out-of-the-box yearly WordPress theme might even be enough for what you want!

My site is a real mix of both, and as a result I splashed out on a ‘newspaper’ style theme, which features loads of options for different types of content. As a result I can amp up the jazzy visuals where needed for my galleries, or dial it back to let the words do the talking. This one cost me about £50, but there are countless themes out there to suit any budget, including absolutely loads of completely free ones! The downside is that when you’ve got a site that tries to do a lot, you need to fill it with a lot, otherwise it looks kinda weird!

Make the most of both worlds while you’re in them

Right now I still have an active Twitter and Instagram, and there’s no denying that without them, I’d probably have far fewer people viewing this site on a daily basis.

For the moment, most of our social media profiles are going nowhere – but it pays to do what you can with your own site while you’ve got the means to promote it quickly and easily. If both my kink social accounts were suspended tomorrow, a load of folks know where else to find me.

There’s no need to naturally phase out your accounts, unless of course you want to! Social media always carries that risk of lives colliding and people stumbling across you and you’d really rather wish they hadn’t. Sitting on your own site, it’s a lot harder to get ‘found’ unless someone is really looking for what you’re offering.

Another reason you may move your focus is for monetisation. No harm in making a bit of money out of what you do, and indeed many folks make a very healthy living from their adult content! Just as Twitter is often used by folks to post teasers with links through to their fan accounts, you can shift the majority of the stuff you post to your own website with paid content, and use your Twitter to link through to it too. As long as you keep those tweets engaging in their own right, the two can work well together.

What else are you doing right now?

The other reason I put the site back up is because I have a lot of time on my hands with a pandemic raging outside. It’s cathartic to get the camera out, or just open the laptop and start typing.

You can basically give it a go for a few quid initial outlay, have a play about, maybe even learn some website design skills while you’re at it, and if it’s not for you – then it’s not the end of the world! I’ve started and restarted this site at least 5 times over the years, and this is by no means my first website either!

Give it a go! You might find a new hobby, a new audience, and if Twitter does a Tumblr, you’re all set!

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