Gay hookup app Scruff recently announced that it had changed its rules regarding profile pics.
Following concerns an app store might drop Scruff (the commercial kiss of death!), it stated guys couldn’t post profile images sporting just a jockstrap or bikini-style brief. Such images could still feature in private albums for swapping with other users.
Scruff CEO Eric Silverberg said, ‘Our change is meant to align our content standards with the evolving content standards of our app store distributors.’
The move comes following Tumblr’s high-profile crackdown on adult content. Facebook and Instagram have also announced that it is working harder to ban any sexual content or nudity, including buttocks and females nipples. Together, it represents a shift in the way social media companies and apps censor users’ content.
The Scruff decision raised eyebrows, however. Unlike Tumblr or Instagram, it is specifically aimed at an 18+ audience.
Athletic and uplifting
Are jockstraps – originally designed to provide athletic support – that obscene? Clearly, if someone’s bending over and parting their butt cheeks, we could understand the concern a little better. But, as these images of guys in jocks demonstrate, what’s wrong with just showing a little flesh on a site designed to put you in touch with other guys for dating or sex?
Some of the men we contacted got back to us with their own thoughts.
‘Jockstraps are comfortable and make me feel sexy, they fit amazing and lift everything in the right places,’ says @maoribeef (above).
‘I recently uploaded this photo to Scruff (see below). However it was rejected and moved to my private folder as it was considered nudity.
‘I understand the big crackdown on nudity lately and being more strict. However, I personally don’t find it an issue wearing/showing off one’s body sexually, and don’t understand why all these changes are happening especially considering Scruff is a sexual/adult app for meeting people for sex? I mean, not everyone, but you know…’
‘I can understand why Scruff changed its guidelines’
‘It’s an interesting topic which I’ve been discussing with people lately,’ says red-haired actor and dancer Gerard (@gwsgingerface).
‘In my experience of Scruff, like with Grindr, it’s less of a dating app. The majority of people are “open” couples or people just looking to hook-up.
‘As a single man, I find people on Tinder to be more open to going on dates rather than hooking up and even though I know the positive side of a polyamorous relationship, having less people into polyamory on there actually gives us a chance to find a boyfriend. Instead of falling for someone already taken.
‘The photos on Tinder are still flirty and show someone’s personality but more often say “I’m looking for a boyfriend”, which I prefer.
‘So, I can understand why Scruff changed its guidelines and hopefully they can have more of a Tinder vibe. I’ve met [co-founder] Johnny Scruff before, he seems like a great guy so I wish him all the best with it.’
Impact on sex workers and models
Underwear model, go-go dancer and personal trainer Jesse Diamond has a different take.
‘When apps like Scruff ban photos of guys in jockstraps and Tumblr bans NSFW content, it directly affects sex workers and can have a negative impact on their life.
‘These are the types of platforms that camera models and adult film industry workers will use to promote themselves and network with other artists. When sex workers are censored in these ways, it will have a direct affect on their income.
‘This ban will do a lot more harm than good in my opinion.’
This image declined by Scruff as a profile photo
‘I just re-downloaed Scruff and I think it’s silly what they’re doing,’ says personal trainer Dave Tyson (@dtysmotivation). ‘I used this photo and they removed it.
‘That’s going to steer more people away from the app. I doubt I’ll keep it downloaded. Yes some people are overly sexual with their pics but thats not the case here! I think the pic is sexy, not sexual!’
Another personal trainer is also critical of the Scruff ban and other recent moves to reduce adult content online.
US-based Brian Michael (above) told Gay Star News: ‘I can google search our First Lady and find her artistic nudes. Rather than read her for it, I applaud her bravery and freedom to express herself.
‘The human body, male or female of any shape or size is poetry in motion. Jockstraps? I own plenty, some are functional for sports and others just make me feel sexy.
‘Actually all my underwear makes me feel sexy. It’s why I buy it. Which is my final point. Everyone deserves to feel sexy in the skin they’re in and express that with or without clothing.’