Bil Browning

Let's talk about sex, baby. Let's talk about you and me.

Filed By Bil Browning | February 22, 2008 3:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Site News, The Movement
Tags: blog traffic, gay rights, hypocritical motherfuckers, religious right, sex, sexual taboos, shame, statistics

I've pissed off several contributors and readers in the past week. Several of you have written in about my Big Brother butt post and yesterday's Big Brother porn entry. No one, however, wrote in about Abigail's "Lindsay Lohan Naked Photo Shoot" post. Others wrote in and thanked me for "sexing it up a bit."

When we re-launched as the Bilerico Project we chose the name purposefully. Our tagline is: Daily Experiments in LGBTQ. Why? There's a lot we can learn from each other - especially when we step outside of our own boundaries to examine ourselves and others. My posts on Big Brother were an experiment; you were the subjects. Thanks for participating.

Let's look at the results and extrapolate. This one is going to spark one helluva discussion.

The vast majority of e-mailers were women. I had 4 e-mails from men - all contributors - out of 46 messages I received. Forty-four came after yesterday's Big Brother porn post.

Hillary Clinton guest posted the week before my first Big Brother post. She brought a lot of traffic to the site, of course. The Indianapolis Star featured Bilerico Media in a story at the beginning of last week and a couple days later, I posted about BB9's gay contestant. Abigail's post about Lindsay Lohan hit the site a couple days ago and does not have the actual photo shoot pictures or anything even remotely adult to it. Yesterday I posted the BB9 porn post. Originally, I left the pics uncensored after the jump, but about halfway through the day I covered the naughty bits with a big black dot, but allowed readers to click the pic to see the uncensored version.

This is the website traffic graph for the past two months. I've marked the important timelines. (You can click to embiggen.)

traffic.jpg

Here are the last few keywords for Bilerico and the 7 most popular posts since we re-launched as the Project.

keywords.jpg


  1. Big Brother 9 Neil Garcia shows his ass (literally)

  2. Lindsay Lohan Naked Photo Shoot

  3. Hannah Montana Dirty Photos!

  4. A message to LGBT Americans: I want to be your President

  5. The queer red light district

  6. The Future of Anal Sex

  7. Barack Obama: A Call for Full Equality

Notice which posts have been particularly popular on the Project – sexy posts. Posts about anal sex, naked boys and celebrity nudity. Sex sells as you can plainly see from the graphs. I had to stretch the top five to the top seven just to include Barack Obama’s guest post.

Now here are clips from some of the e-mails and comments that I got:

Today, I'm embarrassed today to say that I'm a contributor here.
----
I am not opposed to nudity on the site and I do think that Bilerico should be sexed up a bit... Sex continues to be a big part of the GLBT movement and by virtue of us being human, our lives.

I dig politics as much as the next person, but I also am interested in pop culture, technology, celebrity gossip, sports, art, sex and pics of hot guys. And, when I think about what I would like to see on Bilerico, I want some of all of that.
----
This reminds me of the old guy at a Pride Parade that's wearing the pink thong with his balls hanging out. It's not something I'd want my kids to see, or think I was affiliated with. Not because I'm a prude, but because think it's pathetic and beneath Bilerico standards.
----
The other day, a gay male friend of mine who is very political and into issues called me up. He had started reading Bilerico at my suggestion and initially he was impressed. Now he was saying on the phone, "I can't believe they put that posting up...I've lost a lot of respect for them."
----
When I signed onto Bilerico, I had no idea that I was signing onto a venture that intended to use gay porn as a hook to get readers. I wonder how the other contributors feel about that. Maybe you should do a poll and find out how all of them feel... ...the Huffington Post isn't using porn to to hook their traffic. So in the long run, I think this policy, and the impression it creates, is going to work against you.
----
I don't have a problem with sex topics. What I do have an issue with are in IN YOUR FACE COCK PICS. Blacked out or not, it's not something I'd want my Congressman, neighbor, or family member seeing... There's a HUGE difference between talking about sex, and showing it.
----
all I can say is this... it is a sad sad day when gay news has to resort to dicks and monkey sex to get hits.

What's the disconnect here? Our most popular posts are about sex. Our site is aimed at the LGBT community - a group known for being discriminated against because we can fall in love with and have sex with someone of the same gender or traverse other gender boundaries that are set in place by society to ensure arbitrary sexual compliance. We've been defined - as a community - by our sex.

I don't want anyone to think I'm preaching the values of porn on Bilerico. I'm not. In fact, I was a little leery of putting up the cum shots and erections yesterday, but did it to prove a point... As a whole, we're not as comfortable with sexuality as we'd like to think we are. We're judgmental and we're lustful. We're prudish and yet voyeuristic. We're hypocritical.

I don't have all of the answers - that's the point of the Project. We're here to learn from each other. Communication is key. So let's talk. I have some questions about the whole experience that I'd like to chat about. I don't want to preach - I want to discuss. Let's start with these questions:

  • I can watch the traffic on Bilerico in real time. I can see folks who have accounts when they show up at the site and I can see what pages were viewed. Almost everyone who wrote clicked through to see those pictures of cum shots and erections and bare ass. Every. Single. One. Is it okay to look at porn as long as you're outraged by it later? Does curiosity outweigh prudishness? Does gender factor in to this?
  • If we put up eye candy posts (no genitalia exposed) and it were of men, women and trans folk, would that be okay? Where's the dividing line between eye candy and porn? Does eye candy drag down the site or add to what a lot of people obviously want? Other sites like Queerty, OMG blog, and Proceed At Your Own Risk all put up eye candy and sexy posts. All three kick our ass in traffic and Queerty and PAYOR are also political. Do our readers consider us different than other queer blogs and websites? If so, what's the difference?
  • Thousands upon thousands of people came to see those posts. Not all have stuck around, but quite a few have. Is it worth momentary uncomfortableness by some readers to gain others?
  • Most of the visitors to Abigail's post clearly weren't looking for her video as much as the actual photo shoot of Lindsay. They obviously didn't stick around to look at other posts, but they did provide advertising dollars. Does it matter that they showed up and left or is it just my posts that were more explicit? Can we use sexy to bring the traffic but leave the reader with a virtual case of blue balls? Or is what I have to say in the main column more important than comic videos?
  • As a community, we fight for sexual freedom. Why are we so afraid of penises? Or vaginas? Gay, lesbian or trans - most of you were pissed off I'd posted those pictures. Do we fear what others (like the religious right) will say about us? Why the double standard of celebrating sexuality while condemning examples of sex?
  • More people came to see the sexy posts than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama's guest posts. What does that say about our community's priorities? Or does it say anything? Is there a ranking system where I can't be political and horny - maybe even both at the same time? Are we that binary?
  • And finally, what does it say about the place of porn in our society?

So let's have it. Stop e-mailing me and start talking to each other. After all, it's not just my site - it's everyone that participates here too. It's readers and contributors - we're a family.

Let's talk about sex, baby.


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Okay you know this deserves a comment..

I use to have a sign hanging above my workstation at Loral Corp. it said
"SEX!
Now that i have your attention
Have a nice day"

Sex is a bass and cheap way of obtaining attention, just like the crowd that gathers at an intersection when a pedestrian is hit.

You need to understand something..
if you want to talk about Anal sex and The She-Male life style your going to loose in the long run.

What has attracted most of your contributers and your readership are the other stories and the diversity in comments.

You might not like me but you and i know i am right.

Gay Porn site fine they are a dime a dozen...
you want to keep your readership then maybe you should realize your experment might blow up in your face.

Ya'know... in the end it's your site, do what you want.


Take care
Sue

I'm not averse to a little sex spice here and there but I would not want the Bilerco project to become as sex-gimmicky as some of the other popular gay blogs. Trust me, I love penis, vagina, naked people, toilet humor, love it all and I check those things out frequently. But I always viewed Bilerico as a little more serious than that.

the once every few days sex-gimmick posts are fine. I have no problem with that. Especially if it generates attention but I'd feel differently about bilerico if that integral part of this blog.

There are millions of sites which cater to sex, nudity and all the other things that make us wet, hard or smile, but there are so few which actually hold the discussions we have here. I'd hate to see those undermined.

However, unlike some people on here, my briefs (or panties) aren't in a bunch because of the few postings submitted already. Relax people, it doesn't mean it's a new trend.

As you have seen, both Monica Roberts and myself have had articles here having to do with sex and the transgender community, which seemed to have brought out the trans prudes in droves.

I'm very interested in having a much broader discussion about sex within the entire LGBT community, as long as some people don't try to hijack the discussion and try to steer it toward something it isn't. Is that possible?

Bil, why is it you get static over stuff like this, but I can make any kind of dick joke I can think of and I never get a response, but if I say something about Hillary, I get email from Bilerico readers.

Go figure.

I have been reading some of the other comments and I can see their point. I buy Newsweek for news. If they printed porn, they would sell more, but they would lose their core audience.

Eric Levin mentions that he likes levity, but he can read a sex blog anytime.

the once every few days sex-gimmick posts are fine. I have no problem with that. Especially if it generates attention but I'd feel differently about bilerico if that integral part of this blog.

Maybe Michael Buckley and I are your comic reliefs, maybe you need more, maybe less. Dunno. But I think your audience is composed of folks looking for more of a NYT fix - something work safe, cause you really can't masturbate in your cubicle.

And as a side note, No Bil, I am not showing you my cock!

I think of the Bilerico Project as an escape from the rest of the gay blogosphere's fixation on empty celebrity culture and commodified sexuality. (setting aside What the Buck, I guess, which is at best occasionally funny and at worst easily ignored).

I'm pro sex, but the Bilerico's approach to talking about sex has in the past been so much more intellectual and substantive than so much of what's out there, and that's what has kept me reliably coming back. Smart people whose perspectives I'm not going to hear elsewhere. If I was looking for eye candy there's no shortage of places on the internet I could reliably find that. A diversity of LGBT voices, with a progressive focus and commitment to intelligent dialogue is much more difficult to find.

It seems very foolish to dilute the project with naked pictures of contestants on reality shows. There's nothing interesting, edgy, or progressive about that.

FatherFaggot | February 22, 2008 4:40 PM

As St. Thomas Aquinas would have said: De gustibus non dispudandum est. (You can't argue about taste.)

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | February 22, 2008 4:43 PM

OK, Bil. You've asked the question and invited everyone, including your contributors in a separate E-Mail, to chime in.

I became a contributor to this site some 18 or so months ago when it was still a relatively "local Indiana" site, primarily because of my interest in the controversy over a proposed amendment (SJR7) to the Indiana Constitution dealing with marriage. I'm an attorney and hoped to contribute to the general undersanding of some related issues by hopefully writing in as "non-legal" way as possible. There were many times when I've wanted to send a link to a piece to non-GLBT family and friends.....and I have to say that "the sex thing" has been an impediment to my feeling comfortable with that.

On the other hand, my partner and I have several Herb Ritts semi-nude mail art pieces in our home, and they don't get taken down when the grandkids visit, nor does the Advocate get put away. Anything "stronger" wouldn't be left around, and the differentiation as to where we draw the line is certainly not a readily defineable one.

I struggle with the matter, because I hardly consider myself a 69-year old prude, but on the other had don't let whatever libido remains (I'll never tell!)define me. I am fully aware that this issue has a lot of generational flavor to it. I would not draw back from references to sex simply because our enemies claim that in the end, our communites are all about our genitals and nothing else. That charge iss, of course, quite untrue. On the other hand, I am simply not on the same wavelength with those who assert that anyone who dares object to crossing a certain line, or establishing any line at all, is just hopelessly internalizing their own pathological sexophobia.

Quite honestly, Bil, I generally don't read below the line on most of the items that you, Alex, and others post from time to time that could generally be described as more "sexually graphic" (whatever that might mean). So I am not one really qualified to point to this or that and say what I think should or shouldn't be on TBP.

Maybe ultimately the marketplace controls here; if certain contributors make decisions not to stay around and/or others are attracted, and the readership is affected up or down accordingly, then that is the best tool available in making business decisions. That assumes, of course, that ultimately business decisions drive these things, and I know that like most responsible and dedicated journalists, for you it is not completely, or perhaps even primarily, "the bottom line".

As an overall sense, I think the recent items under discussion have gone a bit too far, but not yet so far as to make me change my own mind about continuing to contribute. In the end, of course that will be mine to make. That will be the case with everyone else for whom this issue causes some uneasiness.

That is of course, only one data point for you. I hope there will be many other provided.

Fascinating. I guess I've never understood some bloggers' obsessions with increased traffic unless of course, their blogs are actually businesses. Is Bilerico a business? Selling a product? Generating revenue (or even the expectation of future revenue?) Is fame the objective? Is greater status in the organized gay world the objective of Bilerico? If so, lean on sex to get you there. (Out of my 50 videos on Youtube, the one of the black man with the huge dick trussed up in leather gets a zillion times more hits than any of the others). Until the day when "dick" is available on every street corner and virtually accessible to anyone anywhere anytime, it will draw attention. Meanwhile, I think you might want to take stock of what your purpose is. Anyone who reads me knows that I am no prude, and that I will go from high to low brow without hesitation. I buzz to this flower for its distinct nectar. While I was pleased to see the big dick in question, I was surprised to find it here and assumed you were hungry for traffic. But what kind of traffic did you get? If you're not going to feed the dick-hungry-newbies regularly, they will soon wander away. I appear to have lost my train of thought. I think I'll just click back to some of those big dick pics to refresh my memory.

Bil,

I'm struck by the desexualising of politics and the depoliticising of sex that seems apparent in the responses to your posts. I don't buy into the usual queer theory crap that having sex is somehow liberatory or that sexual expression is equal to political rights (another post altogether), but it's of concern to me when queers, of all people, decide that sex (of whatever kind) is somehow improper for a queer site.

And perhaps I'm extrapolating too much from the comments you posted, but I can't help but discern some serious - and I never thought I'd use this lingo -- self-loathing on the part of queers who've responded negatively to your posts. As an example: "This reminds me of the old guy at a Pride Parade that's wearing the pink thong with his balls hanging out. It's not something I'd want my kids to see, or think I was affiliated with. Not because I'm a prude, but because think it's pathetic and beneath Bilerico standards."

So it would be okay to have young guys in pink thongs with balls hanging out? There's a lot going on here in terms of derogatory attitudes towards older queers and how they should comport themselves, and there's also a lot going on here in terms of our community's overvaluing of youth and beauty. But, in addition, what's all this talk about standards and kids? First of all, your kids are not going to be blinded if they happen to see what you might consider gay porn. Just explain it to them, and don't expect sites like bilerico to do your work of censorship for you.

Secondly, how do you explain the million straight-identified sexual images that bombard your kids'eyes on an hourly basis? The gender stereotypes they're subjected to on a minute-by-minute level? Queer parents, overall, experience vastly different kinds of pressure to be perfect parents. And women in particular experience the pressure of power differentials on top of that. I'm sympathetic to all of that. But I'm also tired of the idea that queer community posts and sites like bilerico need to conform to some 1950s model of comportment in order to pass as respectable. We've all seen where the quest for respectability takes us (all together now: "Larry Craig") and I don't think we need to contribute to the inherent hypocrisy of pretending that queer life and politics isn't inherently also about contesting paradigms of respectability - let's remember that, by many standards of respectability, we shoudn't even exist to begin with. (And Bil, while on the topic of hypocrisy: I love the fact that you can see who's been viewing and staying to look at pics before they write in their complaints!)

It isn't that queer sex is inherently radical. It's simply that the demarcation of queer sex, in any form, as not within the norm has always been about political and economic marginalisation. As a bilerico contributor, I'm distressed at the idea that we feel the need to cover up naughty bits with dots, or that we even feel the need to call them "naughty bits" to start with.

I'll stop there. But, long story short - this is a queer site, people. Not your babysitter. And sex is as political as anything else. And I haven't even begun to think out loud about Bil's question about the place of porn in our society...

That's it for now,
Yasmin

I've got a few thoughts on this...

First, when I first heard about this, of course the first thing I did was to go to the post and see exactly what the issue was. Not only was I curious just in general, but it's kind of ridiculous to voice an opinion on something you haven't seen.

Second, I don't see any problem with eye candy, especially if it's tastefully done. It's a time-honored media technique of drawing interest. For me, the issue comes in when it crosses the line from eye candy to bonafide pornography, as I believe this post did, even once the black circles were added.

As far as the gaining of additional hits goes, I think there has to be a line. The Internet has plenty of places to find porno, gay or straight, if that's what you're looking for. That's not what Bilerico is about, and personally, I'm pretty glad of that.

For me, and I'd suspect for most of our readers and participants, the Bilerico Project is a place where they can read about LGBT politics, culture, and many of the hot topics and issues that don't get the kind of coverage or diversity of opinion elsewhere.

It's nowhere near as difficult to find porno online, and of course, there's plenty of people out there looking for it. Just because there's a market for a certain kind of content, though, doesn't mean it's the kind of content Bilerico should be offering. While I stop short of calling it unethical, I will say that, in my opinion, it's not what our readers come here for, and it's not the kind of content for which we've spent the last several months building a well-respected reputation providing.

In short, in my opinion, putting pornography in Bilerico makes us look sleazy, and for me, as someone who contributes to and cares about this site, that's the worst part of all.

Monica;
Most of us in the TS/HBS community don't spend all of our waking hours thinking about sex nor do we peg our value to how often or by whom we are loved
(or sexually used take your pick)
If we want that kind of stuff we know where we can find it. or at least we can call you to talk dirty to us. Why do you think there is a movement to take the Sex out of TransSEXualism.

The majority of us (and i should know) who have successfully transitioned (surgery job documentation etc..) spend the majority of our daily lives on other issues we didn't transition for some new kind of kinky sex because we got board, we did it because we were borne female if not partially in body then in brain or both.


Take Care
Sue
===============================================
Father Tony.
The reason some Bloggers are obcessed with sex is because it sells...
See those ads over to the right-hand side of the entries.

Take care
Susan Robins


Quite simply, USA Today sells more copies than The Nation. But the movers and shakers are not reading USA Today.

Wow, the comments are coming in quickly. I'll have to come back and read them all soon. For what it's worth, I never wrote an email to you because I don't have a problem with it. And if this is an experiment, perhaps a poll of readers would be useful. I don't think you found out that our community is anti-sex, I think you found out that our community is quicker to complain than to praise.

I personally like some sex in my politics, as I like some politics in my sex. I think it's great to have such a wide breadth of material here, and I'm glad to know this is the kind of place that is willing to post something as explicit as the pics in your recent post.

That said, I must say that the whole big brother thing kinda bores me. There seems to be a lack of insight and political analysis in it. It seems to be all "OMG celebrities!" I wouldn't ask it to be taken down, I just pay less attention to it because it isn't my thing. But if you're interested in what gets my attention, find a radical sex-positive queer/trans activist involved in porn or elsewhere in the sex industry who's hoping to make a difference through such work. Now that's what I call sexy.

Well, since my interest in dicks is nil, and I have not seen a good vagina shot on this site yet, I don't see what the hubabaloo is about.

If you wanted to see the shots, you had to click into the story, and I didn't bother since I had no interest in it at all. I have to admit I did click the Abigal vid on the off hand chance I could see a bit of Lindsay!

I view the whole thing as Bil explained it, an experiment. Whether he wants to continue is his perogative, I don't have to click into the story if I don't want to. Now if you put in some nice lesbian lovin, I would be there no doubt. Until that though, I will just click over the posts to the ones that interest me.

This is a gay blog, and this is the internet, and by whatever, that means sex will be one of the topics handled here. Also, it is not 1958, but 2008, the net was built on porn and sex sites, well there was also the dancing baby thing, but that is so old even I barely remember it.

Go for it Bil, but next time, why not give us ladies something for a change?

But if you're interested in what gets my attention, find a radical sex-positive queer/trans activist involved in porn or elsewhere in the sex industry who's hoping to make a difference through such work. Now that's what I call sexy.
they don't exist. a little sex is like salt in a good stew. a dash makes the stew better. a dash and a half ruins the stew.

Sue

as the writer of the monkey sex line, and the monkey sex post, I would have to say Huffington Post SO uses sex to sell, it's just straight sex. there was an article about eco friendly sex toys the other day, so... um... sorry. everyone does it.

personally, I thought it was a little sleazy but mostly because it's about a stupid television reality show. I also sure as shit clicked through to see what was so "big."

but mostly, I have to agree with Yasmin. It is a queer site. and you know, I have taken my kids to gay pride year after year. sometimes, there are topless women, sometimes the almost naked guy in a thong, always the SM float, and dancing, and balloons, and candy and free condoms...

I explain, and they know, this is our culture. We accept and embrace. Different people have different ways to express themselves, if it's in art, in music, in writing or in a parade.

I also find most people don't come and wag their weenies or bare breasts in the kids faces. I find that candy is passed down the line to them, and they pass back the condoms.

And the free kiehls lotion samples.

I wouldn't want to see it everyday. but um... I did write about monkey sex so...


Even being in on what was going on, I freaked out when Bil posted the full monty pics without blurring or "dotting" them out. I told him that he had gone too far and threw a bit of a hissy about cheapening the whole thing because of gratuitous cock shots. I'm not averse to cock shots at all - I consider myself a connoisseur in fact - but I too felt that those shots were too "low class" for our site. I believe my fit is actually what brought on the dots and forcing a click to see the full nudes.

Still, I think this was a great experiment. The point of this site is to learn something about the LGBT community, not just comment on what we already know. I'm still not sure what we have learned exactly, but we have indeed fulfilled our mission with regard to this little experiment.

There are so many aspects of this that I find interesting I don't know where to start. I think my favorite part is seeing there was an equal number of people saying "give us more" as there were saying "that's so offensive" and still they ALL looked.

I do want to throw out some questions though...

diddlygrl called for something for the ladies. But would some T&A be greeted any differently? Would it just be "objectifying women"? Would it be gross and offensive? What would be considered too hard core?

I don't know what the exact sexuality/gender identity breakdown of respondents were in Bil's responses, but of the ones he shared, there were some pretty clear lines - gay men tended to be fine with it and wanted more. Lesbians and transgender folks, not so much.

Is there a double standard?

I came out to read the article because you asked nicely. I didn't bother going and looking at the pics. I'm just not interested. Tasteful nudity has a place, but based on your remarks in the article and other readers' comments, I deduced that tasteful was not the case.

I don't have time to be a daily junky of the electronic information world. I'm doing good to make it to any blog once a month. That said, if you can't hook me with celebrity posts or informative local news and discussion, you're damn sure not going to get my time with porn.

Sex is more than naked people with large genitalia humping each other. To me, sex is a sacred act of emotional and physical intimacy. I'd rather see bodies with something left to the imagination when I wish to look at "sexy" pics at all.

Michael Bedwell | February 22, 2008 6:16 PM

Defenses, or should I say, hypotheses, such as those you catalogued always remind me of a scene from “Butterflies Are Free” involving discussion of a play.

Mrs. Baker: Do you think the public really needs to see this?
Director: Are you kidding? They're dying for it!
Mrs. Baker: I have no intention of seeing filth, indecency, and degeneracy.
Director: Mrs. Baker, these things are a part of life.
Mrs. Baker: So is diarrhea, but I wouldn't classify it as entertainment!

Which is not to equate what you’ve posted with diarrhea, but clearly some would classify it as “filth, indecency, and degeneracy” while others are “dying for it.”

I think the key word you used is “place.” I read little more than part of one post about your personal experience with a problematic prostitute, but I would imagine you affirmed your support for the legalization of prostitution, the “they’re people, too” prima facie equality of prostitutes, etc. But “place” is a variable that has to be taken into consideration for selling sex just as does showing it online or merely pictures of penises and asses of whatever gender.

Does your wearing clothes when you leave your house mean you’re anti the human body, erotiphobic, etc.? And before someone bleats, “but that’s just because he’d be arrested,” let me change the hypothetical to a friend’s home. After arriving and being welcome inside wearing the legally-required minimum amount of clothing would anyone strip naked before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner or start going down on your lover while your host cues up the latest DVD release? After all, nudity and gay sex are natural, not to mention fun, right?

I don’t need my sexuality or my same gender emotional attractions validated by anyone, either in the “real” or cyber world, and it wouldn’t occur through beefcake, coy or explicit, in any case. With all due respect, I think that “experiment” was performed long ago with successful results for us all. Whereas, there are endless opportunities on the Net for free cheap thrills deriving from nudity and sex for those who want them, and I sometimes do; there are, despite the number of blogs, few where civil discussion about topics that enlighten or motivate us personally or collectively occur.

Nothing is gained, I feel, of any real value from trying to combine the two, however rarely. “Playboy” magazine has always been an intellectual and may a card carrying atheist dare say spiritual fraud no matter how many men genuinely buy it “just for the articles.”

I'll be honest, a couple of the above quotes are mine. In fact, I'll be wide open honest. I almost quit because of the porn post. Had Bil not let me in on it, I was ready to walk. I don't have anything against talking about sex or about posts about sex, but that's not why I'm here. If I wanted good porn blogging, I'd go over to one of the best sex bloggers I've ever known (additionally, if it weren't for her, I wouldn't ended up @ the St Marks @ 1 AM in the East Village, but that's another story entirely), Waking Vixen

Something that I realized in all this (and earlier from my best friend Ethan) is that most M2F's have a harder time in queer culture because we came out of hetero culture. Most F2M's identify as lesbians before they transition, so they've pretty much grown up in queer culture. In het culture the dividing lines between sex and the rest of life were very clear. If you wanted  anonymous sex, you found a prostitute, and if you wanted porn you went to an adult bookstore. I've found in queer culture the lines  aren't always as clear.

I made the comment about children. I stand by that 100 percent. To use todays cultural bombardment of sex as an excuse doesn't wash with me. To me that's the same thing as saying "All the other kids are doing it." I don't want to post to a site that serves up porn. If I did, I'd be posting over at Shit Porn Blog.

I made the comment about children. I stand by that 100 percent. To use todays cultural bombardment of sex as an excuse doesn't wash with me. To me that's the same thing as saying "All the other kids are doing it." I don't want to post to a site that serves up porn. If I did, I'd be posting over at Shit Porn Blog.
you scare me sometimes, but only in the way that when i read things like the above i can easily see me saying the very same things.

your comment on t-folk is interesting to contrast the people i know and the ones who come to our monthly support/social group meetings tend to like being in the hetro-community, some have even left the SanDiego TG community because of the level of acting out and the sexually charged atmosphere.
It seems to be a point of view thing...
where you are you tend to see that as the norm,
quite natural actually.

Good Comment Marti
take care
sue

What's the disconnect here? Our most popular posts are about sex. Our site is aimed at the LGBT community - a group known for being discriminated against because we can fall in love with and have sex with someone of the same gender or traverse other gender boundaries that are set in place by society to ensure arbitrary sexual compliance. We've been defined - as a community - by our sex.

I don't really see the disconnect. Those posts got a whole bunch of hits because of search engine traffic. I'm going to guess that the emails Bil got were from regular readers and contributors. The Hillary and Obama posts did well because of link traffic from LGBT and Democratic blogs. These are all different people who, not really surprisingly, have different opinions.

Almost everyone who wrote clicked through to see those pictures of cum shots and erections and bare ass. Every. Single. One. Is it okay to look at porn as long as you're outraged by it later? Does curiosity outweigh prudishness?

Or maybe, like Becky said, it's ridiculous to send an email and complain about something if you haven't seen it. I'm going to guess that if people didn't click past the jump, they didn't know what was there. Really, when Bil emailed me about the cum shot post, yeah I clicked to see it and it differed from what I thought it'd be from the description he gave in the email. But I looked at them for like two seconds because I didn't think they were all that sexy.

Other sites like Queerty, OMG blog, and Proceed At Your Own Risk all put up eye candy and sexy posts. All three kick our ass in traffic and Queerty and PAYOR are also political. Do our readers consider us different than other queer blogs and websites? If so, what's the difference?

Does PAYOR really beat us? OK, I'm not going to say anything about that or I'll get in trouble with their blog mistress....

But apparently people do see us as different from these other sites. And Queerty's eye candy posts don't have cum shots or cock shots even. And, no offense to Belonsky if he reads this, but Queerty isn't as wonky as we are, it's more variety and celeb gossip and stuff. And our audience is really different from his - I know that back in the ENDA split days most of his commenters were in favor of it while most of ours were against it, even though Belonsky himself was against the split. Go figure.

The rest of the questions, well, I'll just say that what Kevin says makes a lot of sense. My personal reaction wasn't about the sexiness of the posts, it was that they were pretty callous, so devoid of emotion, so cheap and commodified that it was really different from the general aesthetic we go for around here, smart and intimate and real. I wouldn't have had as much of a problem with the pics if they just weren't so hideous, lol.

The other issue that few people are talking about (of course) is the fact that we have to work constantly with people from outside both the queer and the internet communities, and it's a whole lot of work. And no matter how sex-positive we are here, it's hard to sell this product as something to be associated with because we're still, in the end, a queer blog, no matter how snooty we get about the great content. And I've spent a whole lot of time trying to get new contributors and guest posts and other stuff from people outside the site (as has Bil), so it looked like a lot of that work was either going to be undone and be made much harder in the future.

In the end, we have a smaller readership than sites like Tottyland, but we're definitely growing. And we're building on a pretty specific theme - well-thought-out perspectives on a variety of queer topics from people actually working on these issues. Porn doesn't fit in with that, and bad porn definitely doesn't.

What if we tried this experiment again with better pics? Would that change anything? I'd like to see the results of that. But something tells me we only get one run-through on something like this....

And two other random issues. First, Bil and I specifically told a contributor that she couldn't post something several months ago because it was too risque, and it had no pics, it was just text. Bil got calls and emails from certain readers and it was pulled. That's something else that bothered me about this whole thing, I like senseless stability.

The other: Michael Bedwell's comment makes a lot of sense to me. See? I don't disagree with everything he says!

Michael Bedwell | February 22, 2008 7:52 PM

Alexis, mon cher! Tout is forgiven. Well, not tout, but.... :-)

I reiterate my preference for naked thought, passionate advocacy, and fully engorged activism, with the occasional tickle of humor, and spreading the love for those who have come before us and those who deeply insert their minds, their time, their money, and sometimes their bodies for us today.

"And let me tell you something, Ernie! Twenty goes into eighty a helluva lot more than eighty goes into 20!"

Sue,

I never took you as an expert in the sex industry. Could you share what your background with it is?

I'm also curious how you would have managed to search through the sex industry so thoroughly as to prove a negative. How can you say that radical sex positive activists wanting to make a difference with their work in the porn industry "don't exits"?

I'd be quite impressed if you've actually spent time searching for such people. But I'd also be quite saddened that you turned up empty handed. Such folks have been very important in my life and include a range from folks I don't like so much but appreciate their work all the way to people who top my personal list of heroes. That includes folks like:

Nina Hartley
Annie Sprinkle
Shar Rednour
Carol Queen
Tristan Taormino
Buck Angel
Morty Diamond
Shine Louise Houston

And that's just a short list of people who've actually gained some recognition and success, compiled off the top of my head. Thinking about all the radical sex positive activists in the sex industry I know, well, I've dated a few and I'd be willing to put my name in that category as well. So I'm happy to tell you that we do very much exist.

As for your stew, I think it's a matter of personal taste. Some folks would rather have as little salt as possible. Others will skip the stew altogether and go straight to the salt lick. I say, to each their own.

Tobi
interesting....
I never said i was I did however in another post say that I worked in the distrubution department of a local adult content publisher and gay newspaper.
So what does that have ot do with my reply to Marti?
I have seen the stuff and read some of what an ex coworker use to publish in the form of TS-Exploitation.
I never called myself an expert those are your words.

You may not like my stew; that is okay.
I never saw sex as a recreational activity or a sport to see who can put as many notches in their bedpost....

Call me old fashioned or a prude, to me sex is the highest form of expression of one's love for their partner.

Seems you are quite the expert.
I shall defer to your vast and nearly endless expertise on the subject. I suppose it comes from decades of dedicated research.

Take care
Sue

Tobi, am I off a bit, beause it seems like you're claiming that if I don't want porn here that I'm not sex positive.

I don't read $read for my views on ENDA, and I hope people don't read Bilerico for blow jobs. I'm all about sex...but I'm about it being in the correct place. I think of porn like I think of "bad words." Porn is mostly context, and I'd like to leave that context separate from where I write about serious topics. I'm sure you could get tons of hits with amputee porn, but does that really fit into the mission or the feel of Bilerico? I think not.

I may be weird, but I don't like chocolate in my peanut butter.

I agree with a number of the comments, but I just want to understand this:

What is porn? Who gets to say what is and isn't porn? To some, the pics on the first BB post that just showed the guy's ass would be "porn" but it's not considered porn by MySpace standards.

So how do you decide where the line is? Is it OK to mix politics and eye candy, but not porn and politics? Seems to me porn and politics is a great match - they're both dirty, raw, and rather impersonal.

And Alex mentioned the issue of yanking someone else's post because it was too racy. But doesn't this experiment prove that was a good editorial decision? Further, I think it's easier for Bil to post something that pushes the envelope simply because it's easier for him to take the heat from it than a contributor. Contributors face the possibility of getting booted in a shit storm, he doesn't.

I'm so enjoying this conversation. There are so many facets and I think it is beyond fascinating watching folks work it out for themselves even.

Sue,

Ah, useful to know. Though I think you're confused. I wasn't pointing a reply you made to Marti, but a reply you made to me. Re-read your comment #16, you were saying that radical sex positive activists trying to make an impact in the sex industry don't exist.

As to the stew metaphor, I find nothing wrong with taking sex in moderation. And I would never call you a prude. I find the implication that folks have to have lots of sex is just as disempowering as the implication that folks have to have no sex.

I shall defer to your vast and nearly endless expertise on the subject. I suppose it comes from decades of dedicated research.

Decade... maybe. I'm still pretty young. Depends on what you count. But, yes, it is a subject I hold close to my heart.

===============================================

Marti,

I'm trying carefully to talk about my own reaction and response. I'm not trying to read into the motivations of other people's perspectives. I said that I didn't have a problem with porn being here, but that I'd prefer it was more political if it's going to be. I'm sex positive, and I appreciate a space that's willing to show explicitness. But that does not mean that anyone who has a different perspective from me is sex-negative. There are plenty of other reasons to have not want porn here.

And despite my preferences, I wouldn't be offended or consider it sex negative if there was a no-porn policy here. Both because there are plenty of other places I can find that and because I, like everyone else, have to my compromises to live in a sex-negative world. (We'd have to talk about what porn is and isn't, though, and if there was a no-talking-about-porn policy, that's a different matter.)

I wasn't particularly bothered, although I do find it amusing that the explanations offered for the post are not very creative. Common sense would dictate that the post was gratuitous.

Instead of posting the pictures for everyone to see, Bil could have put them in as links at the end of the post for those interested with the "evidence".

Nevertheless, the uproar is quite disproportionate to the perceived offense. Contributors quitting over a few pictures? Talk about snobbish, especially coming from a set of people who criticize the attempts to censure that currently try to censure the porn industry. A few contributions at a blog and these people swear they're under public scrutiny, how pitifully self-aggrandizing.

While the post is not consistent with the average line-up, had Bil kept the pictures in links, it would've been perfectly fine, as nobody is forcing them to read the post.

As for Bil's failed try to sex up the blog, may I suggest a simple addition of porn blogs to the list of recommended sites for the more concupiscent minds? It would spare some readers the insufferable mock outrage of individuals who like to delude themselves into thinking they are not considered part of the fringe in our society.

Jereme, I'm not sure what profiles you're going to, but I don't see too many guys getting blown on myspace. If someone's getting sprayed with sperm, it's probably porn.

As a rule.

Unless they are sperm farmers... Or sperm astronauts....then it's science.


Sperm farm? I thought they shut that thing down years ago!

Marti honey, reread what I wrote. I was talking about the first pics that were just the guy's ass from myspace, not the second pics of the guy sucking cock.

My point was that some people really are prudish enough to consider an ass shot porn - and those people exist in our community.

My point was to say that the line between what is and is not porn is very unclear. Adding the dots makes them CLEARLY not porn in a legal sense - you can send dotted out material in the mail in all 50 states even if they don't allow "pornographic material" to be distributed by mail.

So are we going with a legal or personal definition of porn and if so, whose definition are we following?

Since you mention the cum shot, is that the line for you? Were the cock shots OK? What about the cock sucking? See the point? In the progression of pictures in that post you go from seeing the guy's butt, to seeing his cock, to seeing him suck cock, to seeing him shoot a load on someone's chest. Which pic crosses the line and which doesn't?

Jerame,

Well, lets turn the question around, and ask if the shots that were posted were just objectifying the men in them?

It isn't only women who are victims in that regard. All people are victimised when they are put into the position of just a sex object, rather than a human being.

It can be a fine line which goes between porn and "art". Someone once said, "I know obscenity when I see it", and I guess that is the point, it is truly a personal distinction which unfortunately a society has to deal with, a distinction that can not satisfy everyone.

But I would still like to see some nice T and A, for us girls.

Nevertheless, the uproar is quite disproportionate to the perceived offense. Contributors quitting over a few pictures? Talk about snobbish, especially coming from a set of people who criticize the attempts to censure that currently try to censure the porn industry. A few contributions at a blog and these people swear they're under public scrutiny, how pitifully self-aggrandizing.

I don't give a shit about "public" scrutiny. I don't give two shits what anonymous people think about some place I write about, but I do care about where future employers, and or my kids know I write. I do care about the credibility of Bilerico.

As for Bil's failed try to sex up the blog, may I suggest a simple addition of porn blogs to the list of recommended sites for the more concupiscent minds? It would spare some readers the insufferable mock outrage of individuals who like to delude themselves into thinking they are not considered part of the fringe in our society.

It's an outrage based on appropriateness of content for the site, not part of what I think of porn in general. I chose to be a part of this site based on it's content.

Wow. A lot of comments already. I knew this one would spark some good discussion. I'm really happy to see everyone having this conversation together.

Let me be clear: I'm 99.9% sure you probably won't see hard ons and cum shots on the site again. :) Remember, I'm the editor who insisted on the rule about not putting curse words in the headlines. *grins* I'm probably more prudish than most of our contributors actually.

My point in bringing this up isn't so much to discuss whether or not we should sex up Bilerico, but to talk about some of the larger issues like what we say we're after measuring up to what we truly seek or fearing what the right wing thinks about us.

While Marti and Becky were the most vocal, it seemed to me that all of the men who e-mailed me seemed to be saying, "Eh, I'm not that into it, but sex sells and we need the traffic." Looking through the comments quickly, the comments seem to be following the same theme. Someone else can count - I've just glanced at some of them so far.

But you know what this really reminded me of? The Burger King commercial where they stop serving the Whopper for the day and the people freak out. That so happened here. It's kind of funny to me (it helps to be in on the joke!), but LOTS of people were pissed off. Only a "couple three" folks knew what was up - even Alex and the rest of the Ed Team were left in the dark.

But one thing I'm surprised about? Only Marti really challenged me about it. Alex counseled against it in a separate e-mail, but Marti blasted me on the Ed Team list. :) The best part? All of them could have taken down my post if they'd ganged up together and demanded it. They are a team. No one but Alex "edits" me, but he knows when it comes down to something like that he's my editor too. The power has changed somewhat now that I've moved to the Publisher position and yet he didn't use it to protect the site (if that's what he thought was necessary). If it had been anyone else, I have no doubt he'd have yanked it before I even saw it.

Instead they all talked to me quietly and tried to get me to change my mind. What does that say about the power vacuum? As Jerame says, it was easiest for me to do this. I'd demanded another post be pulled for a lot less than this. Yet, when I do something obviously out of character, no one really stood up and said, "What the fuck are you DOING? Knock that shit off!"

Isn't that what most this is about? Power?

I fully agree with Marti here. It's the reputation and credibility of Bilerico that I care about most. Those things reflect on everyone who's involved with the site as an editor or a contributor.

If I want pornography, I'd have no trouble finding it online. I just don't think it has any place here at Bilerico.

In all honesty, like Marti, at first I had my doubts about my continuance with the site if that was truly the direction Bil intended to go with the site in order to gain more hits. I made my feelings known to the editorial staff that I thought it was a major mistake, and then resolved to wait and see what response I got from the rest of the editorial staff before I said anything else or even considered making any decisions. Fortunately, my instincts were good as I soon became aware that Bil had, indeed, not completely gone off the deep end in his quest to increase traffic to the site.

One of the things I thought was most interesting about the initial reaction of the editorial staff was that the male editors who responded were cheering and making jokes about the post while the women were displeased and offended. That said a lot to me about how differently men and women perceive pornography. I doubt I'd have felt much differently if the pictures were of lesbian porn, and I suspect most of the other women wouldn't have either. My guess is that that probably has a lot to do with personal feelings about being objectified sexually and how those can be very different for men and women in general, and, I'd expect in perhaps a similar but yet different way, for transfolks.

Responding to some of the comments now.

Eric in #3

I'm not averse to a little sex spice here and there but I would not want the Bilerco project to become as sex-gimmicky as some of the other popular gay blogs. Trust me, I love penis, vagina, naked people, toilet humor, love it all and I check those things out frequently. But I always viewed Bilerico as a little more serious than that.

Where's the line? How much is "a little" and when do you cross over to "sex-gimmicky?" I'd agree that I think of us as a little more serious than the porn post, but not the bare butt post. :)

Storm in #5

Bil, why is it you get static over stuff like this, but I can make any kind of dick joke I can think of and I never get a response, but if I say something about Hillary, I get email from Bilerico readers.
...
I have been reading some of the other comments and I can see their point. I buy Newsweek for news. If they printed porn, they would sell more, but they would lose their core audience.

I completely see your point about Newsweek. I'm with you. As for comments, I've never figured out why you didn't get more comments on your posts. Cartoons and a screed? I read you every damn day. I'm going to make it a point to comment on every post of yours. I'm soooo cool everyone else will follow. LOL

Kevin in #6

It seems very foolish to dilute the project with naked pictures of contestants on reality shows. There's nothing interesting, edgy, or progressive about that.

The butt shot or the porn pics? I'd like to know which ones you're specifically talking about.

Personally, I like all sorts of things - anime, reality TV, books, sex, video games, the list goes on and on. I'd argue that silly things like the butt pic would be fine among our other offerings any day. It may not be serious, but neither was my joke pic of Dick Cheney's penis, the many cartoons I've posted, or every What the Buck video, Abigail's videos, or Storm's toons.

Father in #7

As St. Thomas Aquinas would have said: De gustibus non dispudandum est. (You can't argue about taste.)

I try not to argue with dead saints no matter the subject. People look at you and then you have to kill them and hide the bodies. My backyard is only so big.

"I don't give a shit about "public" scrutiny. I don't give two shits what anonymous people think about some place I write about, but I do care about where future employers, and or my kids know I write. I do care about the credibility of Bilerico."

As if your current situation isn't enough to cause you trouble getting a job.

This is one post out of how many that do not include explicit material? Again, cut down on the hyperbole. Bilerico isn't going through some clandestine make-over.

"It's an outrage based on appropriateness of content for the site, not part of what I think of porn in general. I chose to be a part of this site based on it's content."

And its average content stays the same. It is only an outrage to those who are too sensitive to the puritan vestiges of your society. Someone who is so involved with politics should be familiar with the concept of thick skin, especially the T's. If you feel that a post now and then might not meet your perception of what this blog is about, feel free to leave. However, don't go broadcasting in the comment section about how you had considered quitting; there's no need to be an attention whore. The irony of such "squeamishness" is quite laughable.

Don in #8

There were many times when I've wanted to send a link to a piece to non-GLBT family and friends.....and I have to say that "the sex thing" has been an impediment to my feeling comfortable with that.

The porn post was yesterday. As you say, you've been here for 18 months. So what do you mean by "the sex thing?" The topic? The discussion? Would you include the anal sex discussion about lube post with HIV information in it? When do we go from Herb Ritts to Robert Maplethorpe?

Father Tony in #9

Is Bilerico a business? Selling a product? Generating revenue (or even the expectation of future revenue?) Is fame the objective? Is greater status in the organized gay world the objective of Bilerico?
...
While I was pleased to see the big dick in question, I was surprised to find it here and assumed you were hungry for traffic. But what kind of traffic did you get? If you're not going to feed the dick-hungry-newbies regularly, they will soon wander away.

Yes, Bilerico is a business. The product being sold here is the website. We're generating a small amount of revenue and Alex and I get paid. (When I say "paid" I don't mean "livable wage" so much as splitting what comes in!) Fame? Not so much; it's nice but it doesn't pay the bills. Greater status in the organized gay world? Honey, how long have you been out? We organize bridal showers but never our own community! *grins*

You bring up a good point with your question about the traffic. We gained about 100 RSS readers since the first BB9 post. Most of the Lindsay Lohan visitors didn't get what they wanted and left right away - staying only seconds. On the other hand, I've noticed some new commenters on the site the past couple of weeks and our "regular" traffic (not to the big sexy posts) has gone up considerably.

Yasmin in #10

First of all, your kids are not going to be blinded if they happen to see what you might consider gay porn. Just explain it to them, and don't expect sites like bilerico to do your work of censorship for you.

I don't know that I agree here. One of my main concerns about Paige getting online has been how "adult" the web still is. Porn is everywhere as our predators, spammers and thieves. At what point do we become responsible web citizens and keep to a "non-adult" version? Or can queers have a non-adult version? Someone will always think we should hide our very existence since they only think "SEX" when they see us. And - as someone pointed out earlier - are we more New York Times than USA Today? Newsweek or Playboy?

I think that's different for all of us on the site.

Becky in #11

Just because there's a market for a certain kind of content, though, doesn't mean it's the kind of content Bilerico should be offering.

Agreed. But all of the posts have been LGBT-related and that's the only criteria we really put on contributors. Did I miss that mark?

Kevin in #13

Quite simply, USA Today sells more copies than The Nation. But the movers and shakers are not reading USA Today.

Do you think the movers and shakers are reading Bilerico? Cuz I'm gonna guess most of them also look at other more "naughty" pages too. Is there a way to combine them? I doubt it.

Tobi in #14

I personally like some sex in my politics, as I like some politics in my sex.

I'm with you 100%. And I really liked your suggestions after the clip too. I think the more intellectual sex posts are spectacular, but - I have to admit - I do look at porn. Just not on my own site. *grins*

diddlygrl in #15

I'm not even going to quote you because you know I love you and think you're super smart and beautiful. I wondered about the click thru people too - I even marked it NSFW. I said it as clearly as possible what was after the jump. Still people went, looked and then got offended.

And love - you leave a link to your favorite picture of vagina here in the comments and I'll let it stand. (Only diddly now, people! We don't want vaginas everywhere just laying around and getting tripped over!)

Sara in #17

I wouldn't want to see it everyday. but um... I did write about monkey sex so...

Honey, if you want monkey sex you can just say so. I'm sure you'll get several volunteers. Bruce, put your hand down; it's hypothetical. :)

Seriously though - when you say it's a queer site, does that mean we should expect overt sexuality and porn? Or just that if it's here that we should be tolerant and look the other way?

Jerame in #18

I believe my fit is actually what brought on the dots and forcing a click to see the full nudes.

'Tis true. I went full Monty and even shocked Jerame with how far I took it. He and I have often argued that I'm too prudish for the site (my rules on cursing in the headlines, etc) so I loved shocking him.

Michael in #20

Nothing is gained, I feel, of any real value from trying to combine the two, however rarely.

How do you take the sex out of a queer blog? I'd say it's impossible.

And I'm going to believe that you were referring to us when you mentioned "few where civil discussion about topics that enlighten or motive"

Marti in #21

Something that I realized in all this (and earlier from my best friend Ethan) is that most M2F's have a harder time in queer culture because we came out of hetero culture. Most F2M's identify as lesbians before they transition, so they've pretty much grown up in queer culture.

That's fascinating. Personally I wondered that all of the MTF were against the porn that showed penis. That brought up 3 considerations for me: Was it "penis bias?" Is gender so naturally ingrained that trans women automatically sided with women thus proving that gender is more mind than body? Are trans folk more skittish about seeming sexual (as in Monica's post, I believe it was) since it seems the two choices for trans folks are "whore" or "celibate?" I'd never have thought of your take. Thanks for sharing that. I'll have to think about that for a while.

Alex in #23

I don't really see the disconnect. Those posts got a whole bunch of hits because of search engine traffic. I'm going to guess that the emails Bil got were from regular readers and contributors.

Abigail's traffic definitely came from search engines - as did the anal sex post (although that post got comments from searchers). The BB9 posts were featured on Towleroad, OMG Blog, Queerty, the Peculiar One, and Fleshbot. BB9 posts most closely mirrored the presidential ones for viral marketing, but most blogs make their bread and butter off of search engine results. Hence, the importance of SEO (which you'll notice I used correctly on all of those posts plus this one!).

Or maybe, like Becky said, it's ridiculous to send an email and complain about something if you haven't seen it.

But there's the rub. It's silly to send a complaint if you haven't seen it. So you should go see it so you can complain? Most people didn't get a notice from me that it was there. They just saw the front page and decided to click through even though I had very clearly marked it as adult content. They were curious and then shocked.

My personal reaction wasn't about the sexiness of the posts, it was that they were pretty callous, so devoid of emotion, so cheap and commodified that it was really different from the general aesthetic we go for around here, smart and intimate and real.

Posts about cruising parks or picking up lesbians online or at bookstores are smart? Not that I'm trying to say they suck - I'm just saying it seems like a narrow divide...

And no matter how sex-positive we are here, it's hard to sell this product as something to be associated with because we're still, in the end, a queer blog, no matter how snooty we get about the great content. And I've spent a whole lot of time trying to get new contributors and guest posts and other stuff from people outside the site (as has Bil), so it looked like a lot of that work was either going to be undone and be made much harder in the future.

I'm really glad you brought this up. Several e-mails touched on this subject. Because what I'm hearing here - and I'm just as guilty of it when we set the standards for the site - is that we've decided to censor ourselves based on what other people might think of us. It's true. We do. It's how we get "top drawer" guest posts and contributors. But do we do it at the expense of something? I cant' answer that myself.

Bil and I specifically told a contributor that she couldn't post something several months ago because it was too risque, and it had no pics, it was just text. Bil got calls and emails from certain readers and it was pulled. That's something else that bothered me about this whole thing, I like senseless stability.

That's why this whole thing is fascinating to me. I really thought you'd yank it. :) You know what the standards are and yet you deferred to me. Why? Power position? Or a hesitancy to seem sex-negative while at the same time feeling disapproving inside? I knew it would make you uncomfortable from an editor's point of view, but you'd be okay with it from a sex-positive POV. We've often joked we should just post boy pics and get 10x the traffic. That you thought I'd do it cracks me up. :)

Tobi...
that first comment you referenced (#16) was partially tung in cheek..
----------------------------------------

I also find i have to agree with Marti and Rebecca on the reputation aspect... it wouldn't make any difference to me if it was gay lesbian straight or tranny porn.
We all know where we can find porn if we want it.
-----------------------------------------------
from #39


"I don't give a shit about "public" scrutiny. I don't give two shits what anonymous people think about some place I write about, but I do care about where future employers, and or my kids know I write. I do care about the credibility of Bilerico."

I am no5t sure where this orginally came from but i do remember it....
I have to agree with this comment. it seems the self employed among us forget that some of who do work for someone else are subject to have our names being googled by our prospective employers.
Something for the management here to consider if they want to retain their readership.

I may end up leaving over this issue i don't need this place to pass the time of day i enjoyed what this place was. I know i am not alone and will probably be leaving if the trend for trash continues.

Maybe the answer lies in a second site?

Sue

I would love to post my favorite vagina shots, or video in this case, but unfortunately it is on a site that you have to be a member of to view.

I think Marti hit the nail on the head, as an MtF, most of my life was spent in a hetero normative society, I had LGBT friends, but did not really get involved in the community. That being the case, I have had to learn as I go in the queer community. Of course, comparing the two, I never want to go back, since for the most part I find the LGBT community to be a more open and caring place to be with many smart and wonderful people. The openness about sexuality is very refreshing.

I think that is part of the reason your post did not bother me as much as it may have others. Since I had no interest in pictures of naked men, I just clicked past it.

As a person who gets to see her articles here occasionally, I would hope my input would be considered.

For the longest time, I was not a big fan of blogs. Marti can vouch for that. I would try to get OpEd pieces in the various LGBT publications around the country, succeeding every so often. It was nice. But time changed my mind.

Not too long ago, I started my own blog and I have asked Bil to publish some of my articles as well. He has turned some down. I don't have contributor privileges, but I will continue to submit articles until the day comes when I will be one. I have to earn it.

Why here? Why do I want to be added to the list here above all places? Because THIS IS THE BEST LGBT BLOG ON THE INTERNET. Period. It is the most respected, the most read and the most talked about around. It is the "team" that Bil has assembled that has made it that way. It is the content and the diversity of what we read. The articles here are the best written ones out there. Many here could be professionals, if they haven't already.

So Bil, if my opinion matters for anything at all, I suggest that you don't do anything to lower the high benchmark you have established. Let others start the porn blogs or even skirt the edges of porn, but not here. After all, what good is a gold standard if it becomes tarnished?

Posts about cruising parks or picking up lesbians online or at bookstores are smart?

I think they have been. What, have you had a problem with them? That seems like something I would have expected to see in the comments.

Because what I'm hearing here - and I'm just as guilty of it when we set the standards for the site - is that we've decided to censor ourselves based on what other people might think of us.

Yeah, so?

Everything is censored. People talk about self-censorship as if it's a bad thing, but it's the only thing that makes the world intelligible. We aren't literally banging on the keyboard here, we censor out certain letters so that the words make sense. It starts there, and then we're working within a theme on this site, which also is a form of self-censorship.

I've posted about this before - writing's an inherently heteropatriarchal practice IMHO. There's always going to be an aspect of self-censorship to create words, to create a legible narrative, to express certain thoughts and emotions but now all thoughts and emotions, etc.

That's why this whole thing is fascinating to me. I really thought you'd yank it. :) You know what the standards are and yet you deferred to me. Why? Power position? Or a hesitancy to seem sex-negative while at the same time feeling disapproving inside?

Or maybe it was about 9 when I first saw it on a Thursday night, the big party night in France, and I was already drinking with some straight boys and having my Existential Crisis of the Month (we've emailed about this one, haha). Just sayin', I saw it and was like, I'll deal with it in the morning. And, yeah, I personally didn't care and that probably had a lot to do with it. It was just cum shots. Jeez, I've seen millions of those at this point in my life.

But what I was thinking about at first was "How am I going to explain this one to [the contributor whose post got pulled]?" It seemed pretty arbitrary and unfair to get mad about her post but then put up those pics yourself. And unfairness really gets to me.

Two other things:

1. Thanks Monica!

2. Haha, I've used the term "heteropatriarchal." Now someone has to refer to someone else as a Hitler and the comments discussion is complete.

So Bil, what did you learn from your experiment…that sex sells and increases traffic? Of course it does and you knew that prior to the experiment I’m sure. But the question is, does it add value? That is the question you will need to wrangle with so to speak.

IMO, it does not add value. I think it reinforces the old stereotypical perception….that queers are allllllll about sex…which is not true. Sex is a portion of who we are, the same as heteros in that respect. I take exception to a statement you made in your initial post,” As a whole, we're not as comfortable with sexuality as we'd like to think we are.” I think most of us are very comfortable as we have had to address our sexuality throughout our lives. However, there is a time and a place for everything.

If you want this blog site to be taken seriously, it should add value to the community and to those outside of the community who may just learn something about us when they ‘tune in’. There are many serious and for that matter non-serious issues to discuss, including serious discussions regarding sex and sexuality. I just can’t take graphic sex seriously….sites for these are a dime-a-dozen.

IMO, the question is, do you want to competitively differentiate this site from the rest and offer something substantive? Or just be another dime-a-dozen eye candy site. If national prominence is what you are seeking, I doubt you will achieve it using the latter approach.

Pardon me for being dense, but I'm still trying to figure out what half these comments are talking about...

First of all, no one except commenters has suggested that we're considering adding porn or even eye candy on a regular basis. There is a finite number of posts we're talking about, but that number isn't 1. It's 4. There is the BB9 MySpace/Butt shot post, the Abigail Lindsay Lohan post, the Hannah Montana post, AND the naked pics.

Everyone keeps fixating on the nakedness, but the idea is to have a discussion on ALL of these posts and what the different outcome for them says about our community and life in general. This thread is NOT here just so everyone can chastise Bil for a "bad decision".

But I am seriously concerned that so many folks are fixated on the nakedness and cum shots rather than the entire body of what happened this week. I'm further concerned that this chastising is just a continuation of the emails Bil got.

But I really worry for the folks who seem to think the point of this experiment was to see if porn would fly and if it would increase traffic. Of COURSE everyone knew it would increase traffic for the site. That was a side effect of the experiment. The meat here is how our community handles the situation, how the reactions fly, what assumptions are made, etc.

Few has seemed willing to debate the substantive questions regarding sexuality here. Instead, it seems more like, "who can chastise best without being mean." Are we really so prudish that's all we can handle?

I've asked many substantive and important questions and I've yet to see them tackled. What gives, folks?

As if your current situation isn't enough to cause you trouble getting a job.

My current situation? Can you please clarify?

I don't want to be professionally associated with pornography. Sorry if that makes me prudish, but there's a big difference in my "current situation". A porn site would have cum shots, and penetration, Bilerico has Clinton and Obama. I'm sure my potential employers can see the difference.

This is one post out of how many that do not include explicit material? Again, cut down on the hyperbole. Bilerico isn't going through some clandestine make-over.

One post, or twenty, if it's a trend, I will leave.

And its average content stays the same. It is only an outrage to those who are too sensitive to the puritan vestiges of your society. Someone who is so involved with politics should be familiar with the concept of thick skin, especially the T's. If you feel that a post now and then might not meet your perception of what this blog is about, feel free to leave. However, don't go broadcasting in the comment section about how you had considered quitting; there's no need to be an attention whore. The irony of such "squeamishness" is quite laughable.

I don't care about the average. It has nothing to do with "puritan vestiges" and everything to do with perception. As far as being an attention whore, I have little need for that. I get enough attention just by being me. ;) (see also: my multiple 100 comment posts).

Apparently you aren't much of a listener. It has nothing to do with squeamishness and everything to do with my reputation and where I put my work.

Lucrese in #30

I wasn't particularly bothered, although I do find it amusing that the explanations offered for the post are not very creative. Common sense would dictate that the post was gratuitous.

You're completely correct. I knew that BB9 posts added to Abigail's search term popular post would bring in quite a bit of traffic. That helped me prove my point that we could bring in porn or eye candy and our traffic would increase dramatically.

Marti in #35

I don't give two shits what anonymous people think about some place I write about, but I do care about where future employers, and or my kids know I write. I do care about the credibility of Bilerico.

Do posts that talk about anal sex or Lindsay Lohan add to our credibility? Would you be ashamed of someone coming to read the anal sex post about lube? What's the divide?

Becky in #37

One of the things I thought was most interesting about the initial reaction of the editorial staff was that the male editors who responded were cheering and making jokes about the post while the women were displeased and offended. That said a lot to me about how differently men and women perceive pornography.

Good call. I touched on this earlier. Does gender matter? While I had e-mails from men that didn't think it was a big deal, I also got some that thought it was. But all but one woman didn't like it. And would it have been better if I'd used females instead of men for the experiment? After all, my Queer Red Light District post also went skyhigh - without male porn. Instead it showed two computer generated women having sex with a strap on. No complaints. Not one. Is it because the picture was of women? How about because they aren't real people?

Monica is #45

Why here? Why do I want to be added to the list here above all places? Because THIS IS THE BEST LGBT BLOG ON THE INTERNET. Period. It is the most respected, the most read and the most talked about around. It is the "team" that Bil has assembled that has made it that way. It is the content and the diversity of what we read. The articles here are the best written ones out there. Many here could be professionals, if they haven't already.

Let me start out by thanking you for the very nice compliments. I'd question whether or not T&A takes away from "the most respected" writing.

Because that brings me right back to my original thoughts - are we (as the LGBT community) strongly in favor of sexual freedom and yet still ashamed of our sexuality and desire for sex?

The point isn't about whether we'll add porn to the site. We won't. I think that's been made abundantly clear. That being said, you can look at the statistics and see that while we get decent traffic, we don't get nearly as much traffic as when we use sex to sell the product. The "people" clearly want things sexed up. But is that a good thing? Does it add to the conversation? Should we be afraid of it? And how do we get more people into the actual serious conversations instead of just surfing for pics of Lindsay Lohan's boobs or a reality show contestants willie?

Alex is #46

Everything is censored. People talk about self-censorship as if it's a bad thing, but it's the only thing that makes the world intelligible.

I'd agree. But are we censoring because we want to or because it's what we want to show the world that we can be decent people not obsessed by sex?

Jan in #47

So Bil, what did you learn from your experiment…that sex sells and increases traffic? Of course it does and you knew that prior to the experiment I’m sure. But the question is, does it add value? That is the question you will need to wrangle with so to speak.

You've hit the nail on the head and flow out of my comment to Monica. Yes, I knew it would increase traffic dramatically. It did. Which proved my point that more folks are interested in Lindsay's boobs than serious discussion of pertinent topics. Did it add value? It got us more advertising dollars which makes it easier for Alex and I to take the time to be editors here - which is quickly turning into a full-time job for both of us. Plus Michael now! So on one hand, it does add value.

On the other hand, if it turns away readers or contributors, what have we gained? As someone pointed out earlier, we'd have to keep showing porn all the time to keep the new viewers most likely. That's not something I'm willing to do, so it looks like it'll be a wash. The horny str8 guys looking for Lindsay's boobs will obviously not be back to read about heteropatriarchy and my first boyfriend.

But the question isn't about whether or not we'll add porn. We're not going to add porn. I did it once to prove a point - and that's only one post among four I've mentioned. One is just showing bare butt - and it's #1 - it passed porn. Abigail's video definitely isn't porn and she's #2. In fact, the porn post hasn't even made the top ten. But is porn required to be sexy or to pander to people's fascination for pop culture?

Jerame in #48

I'm not going to quote you. Leave it at this is why I married you. :) Thanks for helping me point out that this goes beyond one simple post that everyone's fixated on and into a broader discussion about our level of comfort with our own sexuality.

I think Bil misses the point.
it's not about being comfortable with our own sexuality. it's about how we chose to conduct ourselves in a public place.

I am probably more comfortable with my sexuality they you are Bil. I don't need to display my sexuality in public to satisfy some insecurity.

This shows a basic difference between certain types of people, Those who must expound on how comfortable they are with their sexuality and push it in the faces of others and those who are truly comfortable with their sexuality.

Take Care
Sue

Sue in #51

it's not about being comfortable with our own sexuality. it's about how we chose to conduct ourselves in a public place.

A very valid point. Is a blog a public place? I guess it is since anyone can come here - although it's rather self-selecting.

This goes back into Alex's comment about self-censorship. Are you arguing for censoring ourselves? I can see that point - I don't let contributors do some things on the site already - so we obviously censor ourselves.

But the larger question for me is why?

"I'm sure my potential employers can see the difference."

No, they cannot. Being transgender and participating in LGBT activism already places the scarlet letter on you for most employers who would care if you were associated with porn. Again, cut the hyperbole. This is not a porn site. This one one of many articles not dealing with porn. Even then, the "porn" you claim is taking hold of Bilerico took the backseat to the post if you had taken the time to read Bil's post closely. They never took the center stage by design.

"One post, or twenty, if it's a trend, I will leave."

Except it's not a trend. You don't have enough evidence to call it a trend. It's preposterous that you're berating Bil for a few pictures in one single post that will soon fade back into the archives with many others that were not "porn", which were the majority.

I have to agree with Jerame. This is turning almost into some public crucifixion of Bil. Every ravenous wolf is taking a bite when it has a chance.

See? We're not so different from the straight people we criticize for taking an arrogant moral high ground against us.


"I don't care about the average. It has nothing to do with "puritan vestiges" and everything to do with perception. As far as being an attention whore, I have little need for that. I get enough attention just by being me. ;) (see also: my multiple 100 comment posts).

Apparently you aren't much of a listener. It has nothing to do with squeamishness and everything to do with my reputation and where I put my work."

Quite the contrary. Your juvenile braggings, the nature of your posts, and your abuse of position as a contributor to sling mud at anyone you disagree with ( that post you braodcasted with a vitriolic response to Sue was very classy) seems to show the opposite.

Your "reputation" (funny, I would have thought that such a term would require to be on the radar of people) is safe. You've managed to create a public shaming of one of the founders of this site in order to conserve it. Don't think this blog is more than an after-thought for those who come to entertain themselves with discussion. Give it the end of this week, and everyone will have forgotten about it. That way, you'll get to maintain your precious reputation and perception while continuing to write inflammatory posts known for sophomoric mockery and homogeneous discussion.


Bil
Ref...#52 what i am arguing for is the mix of subject matter that Bilerico had through most of last year. it was a good stew of topics.
I am not averse to topics like the one in the second big brother topic or even the first, I thought the picture in the first was a little over the line.
(my feelings)
I did read the my first time article..
i thought it was a good example of stepping up to a line and not toeing it to make a point in a post.
Would i discuss my first sexual experience with my mother well no however every rule has an exception, this is what made the masters of music history the greats they are; they knew just how to bend the rules a little. The true value in this is how tearfully and how infrequent the rules are bent. If done poorly it makes for lousy reading. if done too frequently it cheapens the experience.

I hope i have adequately explained myself.

Take care
Sue


No, they cannot. Being transgender and participating in LGBT activism already places the scarlet letter on you for most employers who would care if you were associated with porn. Again, cut the hyperbole. This is not a porn site. This one one of many articles not dealing with porn. Even then, the "porn" you claim is taking hold of Bilerico took the backseat to the post if you had taken the time to read Bil's post closely. They never took the center stage by design.

Again, it's perception. If a person visited Bilerico a few days ago, they might have thought it was a site that is mixed with pornography.. I know exactly what Bil meant by the post, because we talked about it privately when he was stilll writing about it.

Except it's not a trend. You don't have enough evidence to call it a trend. It's preposterous that you're berating Bil for a few pictures in one single post that will soon fade back into the archives with many others that were not "porn", which were the majority.

And duh, that's why I'm still here. I didn't say it was a trend. Please reread...I said IF.

I have to agree with Jerame. This is turning almost into some public crucifixion of Bil. Every ravenous wolf is taking a bite when it has a chance.

Where the hell do you get that from? I've known Bil for what, five years? This has NOTHING to do with him personally. He is free to do with Bilerico whatever it is that he chooses, and I have the same right with my content.

Quite the contrary. Your juvenile braggings, the nature of your posts, and your abuse of position as a contributor to sling mud at anyone you disagree with ( that post you braodcasted with a vitriolic response to Sue was very classy) seems to show the opposite.

It ain't bragging if you're right. ;)

When Sue posts here, she puts on her big girl pants. What you call vitriolic, I call passionate.

I've never claimed to be classy. What I am, is up front about how I feel.

Your "reputation" (funny, I would have thought that such a term would require to be on the radar of people) is safe. You've managed to create a public shaming of one of the founders of this site in order to conserve it. Don't think this blog is more than an after-thought for those who come to entertain themselves with discussion. Give it the end of this week, and everyone will have forgotten about it. That way, you'll get to maintain your precious reputation and perception while continuing to write inflammatory posts known for sophomoric mockery and homogeneous discussion.

Public shaming? Bil, do you feel I've done that? I contacted Bil as soon as the post went up, and told him exactly how I felt. Through the whole thing, I don't feel like I attacked Bil personally. Again, it has nothing to do with Bil, and everything to do with my creative content. Bil and I run in some of the same circles with activism and politics. I knew Bil as an activist, before I knew him as an editor. But the dynamics of our relationship changed when I came to write for Bilerico. He's supported me, and opened doors for me at more than one level. I think we can disagree and still be friends because we're both being up front with how we feel about a given topic. I hardly think I've shamed him.

As far as the value of said content, I leave that up to the reader to decide. But I've participated at this site because of the integrity and quality of the site. That's very important to me.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | February 23, 2008 3:26 PM

Bil asks:

"Because that brings me right back to my original thoughts - are we (as the LGBT community) strongly in favor of sexual freedom and yet still ashamed of our sexuality and desire for sex?"

I'm not sure the two concepts are mutually exclusive, because the definition of "sexual freedom" can range anywhere from the right to engage in private consensual sexual behavior without fear of criminal prosecution (which after the Lawrence vs. Texas decision has been achieved in the United States, at least) to the right to engage in public fisting matches inside the Lincoln Memorial on a crowded Sunday afternoon. Thinking the latter out of bounds is neither synonymous with one's sexuality or sexual desire.

No more than one can still be all from freedom of speech and have in one's comment terms a conditions the right to delete "excessive foul language". I read that somewhere recently and am spending the rest of the afternoon developing a suitable definition of "excessive".

"Again, it's perception. If a person visited Bilerico a few days ago, they might have thought it was a site that is mixed with pornography.. I know exactly what Bil meant by the post, because we talked about it privately when he was stilll writing about it."

Yes, and someday you'll be a real boy, Pinocchio. Please, you expect me to believe that anyone coming in, who checks the links, who checks more than that particular post, will make that link? Anyone who's read the title of the post will obviously know it's not pornography-centered. This really shows your naivety when it comes to the subject in question ;).

"And duh, that's why I'm still here. I didn't say it was a trend. Please reread...I said IF."

And before that if, you went on a diatribe full of hyperbole, making it seem as if the site had been ret-conned by Chi Chi Larue in a single post.

"It ain't bragging if you're right. ;)

When Sue posts here, she puts on her big girl pants. What you call vitriolic, I call passionate.

I've never claimed to be classy. What I am, is up front about how I feel. "

This coming from someone who has criticized Hillary Clinton's semantic games. My, I've got me some nice serving of irony today.

"Public shaming? Bil, do you feel I've done that? I contacted Bil as soon as the post went up, and told him exactly how I felt. Through the whole thing, I don't feel like I attacked Bil personally. Again, it has nothing to do with Bil, and everything to do with my creative content. Bil and I run in some of the same circles with activism and politics. I knew Bil as an activist, before I knew him as an editor. But the dynamics of our relationship changed when I came to write for Bilerico. He's supported me, and opened doors for me at more than one level. I think we can disagree and still be friends because we're both being up front with how we feel about a given topic. I hardly think I've shamed him.

As far as the value of said content, I leave that up to the reader to decide. But I've participated at this site because of the integrity and quality of the site. That's very important to me. "

I take it you don't count insinuations at lack of professionalism, exaggerated slippery slopes, and being responsible for this post-- which has opened the gates for more criticism on a person that already had become cognizant of their mistake-- as elements of public shaming. Of all people, Bil specifically mentioned your stance as a "challenge". Interesting way to describe your behavior, don't you think?

How can you pursue integrity when your posts are characterized by pink shirts describing an ideological opponent of yours as "Miss Little Missed The Point"? Is that professionalism to you? Is that appropriate content for a serious political discussion site? What makes you think your affairs possess more integrity than those of the porn industry? For the first time, I feel like I'm talking to members of the Religious Right in this site. What's with the high horse?

Bil, to answer your question directly, I think your site would be better without both the porn and the butt shots. Not because I think there's anything wrong with butt shots but because it doesn't contribute anything of substance to the discourse. It seemed devoid of any kind of critical analysis deeper than "OMG CELEBRITIES," as someone upthread noted. If you were writing something intelligent about Mapplethorpe photographs or James Bidgood or something, I'd be all for butt shots. I've come to expect a lot from this site and its excellent contributors so it seemed sort of out of character. Sorry if I'm holding you to a really high standard, but you've earned it!

This is the problem I have with What The Buck, which--while we're being bluntly honest--with its rampant misogynistic language and least common denominator pop-culture focus, seems to fall far short of the rest of the content here.

you know Keven you bring up something i overlooked and want to comment on.


This is the problem I have with What The Buck, which--while we're being bluntly honest--with its rampant misogynistic language and least common denominator pop-culture focus, seems to fall far short of the rest of the content here.

What The Buck is the kind of lower tier relief that it good to have on the right side of the page.

One of the qualities of the TBP layout is it's intuitive nature regarding reader focus. The page was set up by someone who reads blog pages.

All of the good elements of web design are incorporated into the layout of the page.

What the Buck is like A Town Called Dobson a diversion from what goes on on the left side of the site where the lion's share of the attention belongs.
Pam's on the other hand has no such diversion it is dry and linear. Pam's House Blend like Starbucks will do when nothing else is around, and is always second choice.

Take care
Sue


...but the Town Called Dobson cartoon, while it usually provides light entertainment, advances a progressive political argument. Abigail's teen diary has a sharp satirical wit and truly clever premise. WTB's version of "humor" seems to mainly consist of labeling women as sluts, bitches and whores, and fixating on mainstream corporate media culture without any kind of progressive critique.

Kevin
to have some low tier diversion doesn't mean it must be political....
WTB is better then having a Howard Stern clip and serves the same purpose.
it's a little like Gay-Diet-Stern.
I don't watch all of them however maybe three times a week...
:)
Buck is a little over the top and that is what makes him funny.

Take care
Sue

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 23, 2008 9:26 PM

I’ve just skimmed the comments and I’d say that Marti’s

I do care about where future employers, and or my kids know I write. I do care about the credibility of Bilerico.

Kevin’s

I think your site would be better without both the porn and the butt shots. Not because I think there's anything wrong with butt shots but because it doesn't contribute anything of substance to the discourse.

And Don’s

the definition of "sexual freedom" can range anywhere from the right to engage in private consensual sexual behavior without fear of criminal prosecution…to the right to engage in public fisting matches….Thinking the latter out of bounds is neither synonymous with one's sexuality or sexual desire.

comments sum it up for me.

I am not a sexual prude. But there is a time and place for everything and I don’t see Bilerico as a sexually explicit blog.

I’d like to be able to put Bilerico’s on my CV, or open it to read at work. The mere fact it’s an LGBT blog already makes that almost impossible in most workplaces. Explicit sexual content on a regular basis would guarantee it was not workplace-safe with most any company I’d like to work for. And it would make me

As someone who’s already lost a job and may have been turned down for an interview (with a progressive company, no less!) due to my internet presence, the issue is anything but theoretical for me.

My personal feeling is that it didn't bother me that a nude picture was there. I wasn't interested in the post, so I didn't click through from my blogreader. However, I should mention that I dropped Queerty from my reader subscriptions because it is more celeb news than anything else, in my opinion, and that's not what I'm interested in reading.

Marc Griliches | October 7, 2008 8:49 PM

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