Sex has always been a polarizing topic, and sex censorship is nothing new. We use the internet and social media to connect with others and create community, and to educate our audiences.
Internet marketing and social media are essential parts of your business tools as a sex coach, which is why censorship of sexual content can be so damaging for us.
This post was originally written for our community regarding the changes to the Instagram community guidelines coming on December 20, 2020, but the advice here is applicable to any future changes that social media and tech companies may—and inevitably will—make.
In this post, we’re offering you support and advice on how to keep your business going in spite of internet censorship and on how to protect yourself long term.
As sex coaches and sexuality professionals, we must always be ready to adapt to the shifts in our sociopolitical landscapes. With mindfulness, we can avoid becoming martyrs to the cause so that we can keep doing the work, while also being allies to sex workers and erotic performers.
Protect Your Content
This is what you can do to protect your content you’ve worked hard to produce.
- Back it all up! On Instagram, that means going to your actual page and clicking the 3 horizontal lines in the top right corner of the page, then click settings, then click security, then click download data. It will be emailed to you and you have 48 hours to download it and save it to your device. On Facebook, go to your profile, click on “Settings and Privacy,” then “Settings,” “Your Facebook information,” then “Download your information,” and select what you want to save—namely your posts, photos, and videos. Back up your blog content and content you post anywhere else. Do this at least twice per month.
- Repurpose and repost your content onto other channels, especially onto your blog. If you have the time and capacity, repurpose your most popular posts to your blog as blog posts, and you can even turn your most popular blog posts into downloadable PDFs to give away or sell— which is good social media and marketing practice anyway.
- Focus your energy on getting your followers onto your mailing list. Yes, you need a mailing list! You own your mailing list, it is one of your most valuable marketing tools. You can give incentives to get people to join your mailing list, do regular posts with Calls To Action to get people to join, and reach out to your most engaged followers to join.
- Do an audit of your Instagram and social media posts and delete posts that depict erotic imagery or content. Yes, this feels sex-negative and shaming, but if you want to stay on the platform, you need to preserve yourself. Repurpose this sexy content for your blog or on other social media platforms.
- Regularly search for banned hashtags so as to avoid using them, and delete them from previous posts.
- Encourage your followers to not only “like,” “comment,” and share your content, but ask them to “save” your posts, too, if applicable to the platform. Tell them about what you are facing and create community with them.
- Do the same on other sex-positive accounts you love, support them, too! Share their content, save their content, show them love and support.
- Don’t be tempted by any offers of buying followers, as this will quickly get you banned. Don’t do it!
- Keep showing up. You may need to tweak your content, you may need to use the word “sex” less, you may need to filter what you say. Do it in your unique voice and in alignment with your values, but please keep showing up.
- Consider setting up a profile on the new sex positive social media platform PleazeMe.com. You can follow Sex Coach U’s profile here.
How you can contribute to the cause as a community
- Here is a Change.org petition for Instagram to reassess these guidelines, we encourage you to sign it: https://www.change.org/p/instagram-instagram-stop-unfairly-censoring-nudity-and-sexuality
- Create content around how you disagree with sex-negative guidelines and censorship and how they harm our profession and sex workers. State your values and how you stand with other sexuality professionals.
Don’t lose heart
In all of this negativity, it is crucial that you don’t lose heart or the bigger picture. Focus on the change you want to create in the world and believe in your own voice. Your voice matters and is needed more than ever.
Work on your mindset around your fears of showing up and shining your light online, because each and every one of you has a unique gift the world needs.
This could look like getting emotional support from colleagues and/or professionals, resourcing yourself, or practicing extreme self care. Use the Sex Coach U community and keep going.
We are not going anywhere, and neither are you.
Do you have any advice to offer? Share it below to help keep sex coaches and sexuality professionals doing this vital work.
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