Dote Night: The Problem With YouPorn Sponsorship

Team YP

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

Last week YouPorn finally announced the name of the Dota 2 team they’re sponsoring. It’s Team YP now but was formerly known as Play2Win. I had never heard of them.

YouPorn have been snuffling about the Dota 2 scene for a while now and there has been a whole bunch of speculation as to who might add the YP logo to their branded jerseys. I want to run through why I think this is a bad move for pro-gaming, regardless of who ended up with the deal.

Team Secret, were front-runners (front-sails, perhaps?) when it came to the YouPorn signing rumour mill and would have been a high profile set of names for the porn video site. Team Secret, in case you don’t know, is composed of Puppey and Kuroky (formerly of Na’Vi), S4 (formerly of Alliance) and BigDaddy and Simbaaa (who used to play for Fnatic). It’s the definition of a top tier team.

I’m taking the fact that YouPorn have gone for a far lower profile team as a sign that sponsorship by a porn company was going to prove problematic, at least on a practical level for the team if not a personal or moral one.

Earlier this year YouPorn put a tweet [potetnially NSFW] out saying

“Do we have any competitive LoL, DOTA2, or HeartStone [sic] players following us? What do you think about YouPorn sponsoring a team?”

League was automatically out because there’s a rule in the League Championship Series [PDF] which states that LCS has the right to ban apparel advertising any pornographic website or pornographic products. It’s point 10.1.7.5 in case you were interested. Obviously the smattering of press coverage for a big League team could have been useful in signal boosting the site but if the team was unlikely to be able to wear any of the site’s branding for the duration of the sponsorship what would be the point?

Nope

To be honest I think Riot would have been stricter about the sponsorship than just forbidding logos too, so any top tier team from LoL would have unlikely to bite when YouPorn put out the sponsorship tweet.

Other competition rulesets for eSports I’ve been looking through online don’t appear to go as far as stipulating branded clothing in the way that Riot does but it seems reasonable to assume that developers like Valve and Blizzard would be similarly unenthused when it came to advertising a porn site, particularly since players themselves and fans can be under 18.

The point here is not one of demonising people over a desire to get off. It’s partly about playing into tropes which are problematic for the industry and for the people it involves and partly about making eSports a welcoming and inclusive space.

The caricature image of a gamer tends to be a young man who doesn’t leave his room much and has an unhealthy relationship with his computer. There’s a social isolation aspect to the trope which also plays into particular conceptions of young men and their relationship with porn. It can occupy this shameful comedy movie-esque “couldn’t get a real person, eh?” niche. Simply bringing a porn brand name to gaming doesn’t seem to do anything to subvert either social stigma. They just co-exist and potentially exacerbate one another.

In terms of how it could affect women, I don’t feel that’s positive either. eSports struggles with gender representation. There’s a lot which could be said on the subject – whole books and articles-worth of things to be said – but to put it in brief and general terms: eSports can superficially look like a meritocracy but there are a lot of subtle ways in which female access to gaming and the pro-scene is gated or at least made harder before that specific game or pro-scene gets involved (access to technology, finding people to practice with, attitudes fed down by marketing efforts, social mores and so on). The result is a heavily male-dominated atmosphere, although one where you’ll obviously still find switched-on and hugely knowledgable and capable women.

But attending those events you run into problematic attitudes. At the most recent eSports event I attended a handful of pro players got into a taxi with several journalists including myself. I’d never met these particular pro players before and one of them seemed curious as to why I was even there. He turned and indicated the male journalist next to me, saying “Are you his girlfriend?”

I’ve thankfully not encountered too much of that kind of thing but the attitude that women are there for reasons other than an interest in eSports is a common undercurrent even if it doesn’t always reach the surface.

YouPorn, meanwhile, has a homepage which is peppered with references to female performers as sluts, horny teens. Others are presented as dupes tricked into sex by their interest in fame or wealth. There are men sitting back, basking in the attentions of multiple girls. At the time of writing there’s “Two whores share one dick”, “Butt-fucking is another way to make him cum”, “Blonde facial wanting sluts cum covered*”, “Awesome sex with hot teeny”… The majority of the front page is dominated by what women are prepared to do for men or for the camera. The emphasis for them is on showing off or giving pleasure, the emphasis for men is on cumming all over or inside a woman.

YouPorn wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t work in terms of getting clickthroughs and finding its target audience. I’d also say that what people want when they want to get off is, in my mind, not a representation of who they are as people or what they do or believe in**. What is problematic here is that the sponsorship deal seeks to connect an environment which can be difficult, hostile and negatively stereotyping for women to a site which frequently positions those qualities as desirable and common – submissiveness, willingness to please, sexual availability, acting as groupies towards a guy or able to be tricked into bed with the promise of money and fame.

eSports is a growing industry, and one which has started to court a more mainstream audience and make efforts towards inclusivity. Sponsorship from YouPorn feels like taking a step backwards for everyone except YouPorn.

*Apparently compound adjective hyphens are not deemed sexy
**Although I do believe in being aware of what you consume and the circumstances in which it was created.

167 Comments

  1. Anthile says:

    It should be noted that this isn’t just an esports issue (uhh, NSFW?).

  2. Hairball says:

    bit of a cock up on Valve’s part not having a similar clause

    • Philippa Warr says:

      There’s a chance they might do, I just haven’t got a copy of the TI rulebook. If you have one to hand or a link to one I’d love to read it! (this is not sarcasm)

    • RedViv says:

      Yeah, not like it would feel to be too much bind & gag for those agreeing to it.

      • Rizlar says:

        Thought this was going to be a pun thread but we got pip-ed to the post.

        • pepperfez says:

          You don’t want to be caught with your pants down when a pun thread is at stake.

          • Fumarole says:

            Valve’s big enough that this wont cause them to go tits up.

          • karnak says:

            Plenty of Steam up their Valve, as it is.

          • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

            You have to be very careful when coming up with those documents, because you never know when a situation like this will arouse.

    • Syra says:

      “They just co-exist and potentially exacerbate one another.”

      I uh… misread that.

    • Serpok says:

      Clause in what document?

      Valve’s The International isn’t analogous to LCS. And I am not aware of any regulatory document setting limitations for other organizations’ competitions.

      • GSGregory says:

        I would bet that valve could threaten to remove that third parties permission to host the event.

  3. Jockie says:

    Be very surprised if they’re allowed to continue. It might be that for YP their work is already done – a big fuss has been made about their search for a team across a lot of scenes, even LoL where they wouldn’t be able to compete at the highest level.

    That they basically picked nobodies means they get their big announcements have a bit of fun promoting the team and get further coverage when they’re inevitably booted out. I read an AMA with team YP and they came across as respectful and pretty smart (which is obviously at odds with their content). I guess they’d probably already consider this a pretty successful pr exercise.

  4. LegendaryTeeth says:

    Not that I disagree with the main thrust of your article (ha ha ha), but I think a big part of why the videos are named the way they are is just down to SEO. You need to use the “right” words to show up in searches and viewers need to know what to search for.

    Not that that makes it good. I wonder if there are any sites that try and encourage a less degrading naming scheme. The titles are really only ever vaguely related to their contents anyway.

    .. or so I hear.

    • commentingaccount says:

      On most of these sites, and certainly on the biggest ones(HURR HURR), individual users upload them.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Beyond that, the writer obviously stumbled upon the heterosexual male version of YouPorn. They hide all of the gay male stuff unless you click to enable it or click to make it gay only. (there is, basically, a straight male and gay male version of the site)

      The porn industry doesn’t treat women very well. Even other women in porn industry do not treat fellow women in the industry very well. That aside, I’d be willing to say that porn, despite all of its deeply-seated flaws, is lightyears beyond video games when it comes to catering to the needs, expectations, and even dignity of women. There are plenty more women-oriented porn movies than women-oriented video games. Hell, there are more female-oriented porn production companies than female-oriented video game companies.

      All of that aside, my opinion is this: get the fuck over it. Stop wringing your hands about it. It’s sex, on display, for the entertainment of others. Making some kind of moral molehill out of it is nauseatingly prudish.

      • ringadingding says:

        Yes, a couple of great points, great stuff mcgee!
        Please RPS, your wowserism is showing…

      • Kitsunin says:

        It isn’t an issue of morals, and imagining you’re talking about the article (as the commenter above did), you ought to realize there was nothing of the sort within.

        The closest it comes to a moral issue, is that it may turn some people away from e-sports for moral reasons. The issue I see is that people under the age of 18 may view e-sports, and viewing a team which is sponsored by a porn site directs them towards said porn site, which they shouldn’t be visiting (technically, at least). This could lead parents to disapprove of their children viewing e-sports, or something like that. No matter how you look at it, it isn’t benefiting e-sports, though it is possible that it won’t be harmful.

        That’s my opinion, what the article talks about is the way that it enforces stereotypes and potentially encourages further gender exclusivity. Hardly a moral issue, it’s entirely pragmatic. Selfish, even, from the perspective of a gamer, though not really.

        • Unruly says:

          What’s the difference in being sponsored by a porn site and being sponsored by a liquor company? Both have age restrictions on their consumption, but you’ll find that almost no one bats an eye at a liquor sponsorship. I know this is a UK-based website, but in the US we’ve had auto racing leagues and drivers sponsored by beer and liquor for ages. Driving a car really, really fast was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch for 25 years and no one cared at all, but those are two things that should really not be associated with each other because of very obvious safety reasons. And it looks like that sort of sponsorship is still around in F1 racing as well. A quick search turned up an article from this year mentioning Martini & Rossi, Johnny Walker, and Smirnoff all sponsoring F1 teams. Musicians and actors, who have fans of all ages, are also known for using their fame to push alcohol on people, up to and including releasing their own name-branded liquors. And hardly anyone cares.

          So it’s not the age of prospective fans that’s the problem. It’s that people don’t like porn to be something that’s plainly visible, and definitely don’t want it to be anything close to being celebrated. It’s something that’s supposed to be a back room, behind the curtains, kind of thing. Everyone watches it or at least has watched some in the past, but they don’t want anyone to admit to it because it’s dirty and bad and wrong. In the US, the highest consumption of porn comes from the states that are most likely to be repressive in their handling of it. From what I hear the same holds true for whole countries where it’s banned. It isn’t that they don’t like porn, it’s that they don’t want people to know they like porn because porn is something to be despised. Having a sports team sponsored by a porn site makes it look like porn maybe isn’t so bad, and so they’ll be outraged about it.

          There’s also the “it might make women uncomfortable” angle, but honestly unless they’re plastering their shirts with images all over as opposed to just using a logo, I don’t see the problem. For YouPorn it’s a logo that consists of two stylized letters. That’s not offensive. The only reason people might think it’s offensive is if they find the idea of porn to be offensive. And then you just get back to my previous paragraph.

          • Kitsunin says:

            In all honesty I think liquor sponsorships are worse (though not the end of the world either), but this isn’t about my opinion, it’s about the opinion of others who this might turn away from esports.

            Because both porn and liquor are controlled substances (in theory, at least) they are similar. What separates porn, is that by merely looking for information on Youporn, you will find yourself looking at porn. Let’s say a ten-year-old watches a game and they have a shout-out for Youporn, the kid wonders what that is and looks it up, lying about his age don’t need to, and viola he is watching porn. The same situation with Smirnoff or whatever will never lead a ten-year-old to drinking alcohol.
            Simply put, porn is easy to come by for underage people, alcohol not so much. Furthermore, most parents teach their kids about alcohol while they’re young, but there isn’t much need to teach them about sex before puberty, which is normally fine, but can be a problem when it ends up in front of their face.

            The other issue is, as detailed in the article, the way Youporn and so many porn sites fill their front page with women they refer to as “sluts” “whores” etc. which I feel is certainly an issue, and surely does make women at least somewhat uncomfortable, contributes to to the idea that is acceptable, and so on. Though to be honest, I was just looking at a couple sites and I really didn’t see many titles that were particularly bad. It was all male pleasure focused, but most didn’t seem degrading.

          • GSGregory says:

            Quick difference. A kid cannot just get alcohol because he sees it on the side of a car or on a jersey. A kid can immediately visit a website in less than a second.

          • Unruly says:

            I’d argue that it’s just as easy to get access to alcohol. It might take more time, but there’s usually very little stopping a kid from getting some booze if they want to. I mean, not many parents keep it under lock and key. When I was growing up it was just a matter of getting into the fridge. Or going to a friend’s house and doing the same. At worst it was kept on a shelf or in a cabinet that was supposedly “out of reach” but all it required was pulling a chair over to stand on.

            Sure, a 10 year old kid probably shouldn’t be watching pornos on a regular basis, but it’s not like seeing a video of some people doing the nasty is going to scar them for life. More likely they’ll be confused about what’s going on(and maybe wonder why their nethers tingle), ask someone what it was later, and be scarred not by the act of viewing it but by how that person reacts to the knowledge of their having viewed it. I’ve got some firsthand experience in that. I stumbled onto my dad’s porno collection when I was 8 or 9, and it wasn’t a stack of old Playboys, it was all the best porn you could find on the internet circa 1995. I actually got caught looking at it by my dad, and after a hurried closing of everything he sat me down and explained things then and there in a calm and reasonable tone. I don’t even remember what I thought about it after that other than “that stuff made my dangly-bits tingle a bit,” it was just that unremarkable of an experience. But when my mom found out a few hours later she flipped her lid at me. I was scolded, yelled at, grounded, and otherwise led to believe that I had committed some terrible atrocity. And that was what stuck with me of the experience – that sex, and by extension pornography, was a horrible, atrocious thing that should never, ever be done. Her reaction was far more mentally damaging than seeing a short clip of a blowjob.

            At the same time, I was allowed to watch movies that featured people getting brutally stabbed to death and what not, because seeing a man’s entrails get ripped out is fine and dandy, but seeing a penis or vagina is horrible. I’m not saying that kids shouldn’t have their exposure limited in certain ways. But I will say that early or accidental exposure isn’t some horrible, terrible thing. After all, shared familial bedrooms used to be the norm, and are still common in certain areas of the globe. It’s not like people in that situation don’t have sex. They’ll do it while the kids are asleep right beside them, and if the kid wakes up, oh well. Can’t get much earlier exposure than a 4 year old in the same bed being woken up by mommy and daddy making their little brother or sister. And that’s perfectly fine, and those kids grow up to be perfectly fine because they don’t have some warped view of sex.

            We’ve developed a culture that considers sex to be shameful and wrong, and that’s the reason people have a problem with porn and porn sponsorship. And that’s about the gist of it.

          • Kitsunin says:

            I totally agree with you, for me, my parents got me a sex-ed book before I was out of elementary school. It’s just that a lot of people don’t understand it. And that makes this a potentially harmful choice to make. I dunno, maybe not. The main reason I can’t support it, is because I don’t see a possible upside, whereas the downside does exist.

          • DavishBliff says:

            @Unruly

            Are you actually arguing that it’s just as easy for a kid to get access to alcohol as internet pornography? Either can be easy but saying one is just as easy as the other is one of the most intellectually dishonest things I’ve seen in quite some time indeed. A 9 year old can get access to alcohol if he finds it lying around the house and his parents don’t lock it up well or something, but he cannot go to the store and get it. He can, meanwhile, find pornography on the internet with just a few mouse clicks, whether his parents “leave it around” or not.

            Not that the comparison between alcohol companies and YP in this case is in any way relevant, since I don’t see beer companies sponsoring eSports teams either. You can bet there would be a similar uproar if an alcohol company tried to sponsor an eSports team in a game popular with teenagers.

            Further, your assertion that viewing pornography won’t actually affect a child negatively is extremely presumptive. Go to the front page of a porn site and imagine a child seeing some of the things that are advertised – it’s not sex, it’s porn. There’s a big difference. If a child goes to a site and is exposed to BDSM or other violent sex, yes it’s entirely likely to be harmful. You don’t need to be a prude to want to shield children from that, and eSports are geared in a very real way toward children and adolescents.

            Not that any of this should matter, anyway – you’re overlooking half the argument of this article, which is that a YP sponsorship for an eSports team hurts the sport on a purely pragmatic level. It’s not going to improve the image of gamers and eSports as sophomoric or a boy’s club to have a porn site sponsoring a team.

          • Unruly says:

            @Davish Bliff –

            It’s also intellectually dishonest to say that the only way to get booze is to buy it in a store, and that there’s no equivalent to a locked liquor cabinet for porn. There’s an entire industry built around blocking porn access on phones, PCs, and tablets. All it takes is one of those pieces of software and suddenly YouPorn is inaccessible. Hell, a simple edit to a text file and you can block YouPorn specifically if you wanted. But parents don’t do that, because then daddy and mommy can’t get their porn fix without going and disabling it. And sure, they aren’t foolproof and a smart kid can get around them, but locks are the same way. A smart, or just determined, kid can learn to pick a lock just as easily as they can learn to bypass an internet filter. And so what if a kid stumbles onto some BDSM? You just have to explain it to them that it’s something that some people do, right there alongside homosexuality and the like. Kids, especially preteens and teenagers like those who are drawn to watching esports, are surprisingly capable of understanding things, despite what so many people would have you think. But I suppose that since you think they’d be harmed by seeing BDSM that you think they’d be harmed by movies like Natural Born Killers that show gratuitous violence as something that’s less than bad. Because they obviously don’t understand the difference between fantasy and reality…

            As for people getting in an uproar about liquor companies sponsoring esports teams, what makes you think that would happen? They don’t get into an uproar about other sports being sponsored by them, and those sports have a lot of teenage fans too.

            I’ll give you the sophomoric boys’ club bit, but at the same time I really don’t see it as that big of a problem. Why is it that everything under the sun has to be all-inclusive for everyone at all times? Why can’t there be a boys’ club? Why is it inherently evil and wrong to tailor to a specific audience? It’s like how when I was in little league basketball they changed it so that the boys’ league became simply “youth league” and girls were allowed to play in it, but at the same time they kept the girls’ league running without letting any of the boys play in it. I never did get an explanation as to how that was considered equal treatment.

            But hey, if that’s what the people who actually watch the games want, then let the league change its rules to accommodate the audience. Otherwise, don’t let outside commentators drive you. I couldn’t really care any less either way, since I don’t get behind any sport, be it of the physical or e variety, but I hate it when an extremely vocal minority is able to force their ideas on others. It’s stupid when it’s done for government policy and law, and it’s stupid when it’s done for private groups.

          • annonashera says:

            Well said unruly.

            I agree with all your points. Might I add, I wonder what the demographic of visitors to youporn (or sites like it) is.
            I’ll bet they have PLENTY of women visitors. Porn, erotica, romance novels, sexy movies, are all entertainment viewed by men and women to varying degrees.

            Having an EROTIC sponsor to a team, does NOT make it an all boys, we hate-women, club.

            That idea is ridiculous on many points, not the least of which being men do not own the EROTIC, and eroticism is not anti-female, or anti-women. (neither is the porn industry in fact.)

      • gwathdring says:

        So we should ignore issues of non-consent, sex trafficking and unsafe sex in the sex industry and just get over that because it’s a moral molehill? We should ignore the ways our sex-negative, racist and sexist corners of society produce porn that is itself sexist, racist, sex-negative and even abusive?

        There’s nothing wrong with people having sex and letting other people watch them have sex for profit. That’s fine.

        Surprise! It’s not that simple.

        • Pantalaimon says:

          It’s even more complicated when you consider that the sex-negative people are currently occupying our government and almost all positions of power.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Jesus Christ, what kind of porn are you watching? No wonder you have the opinion you have about the industry.

        • annonashera says:

          Not sure wtf porn you’re watching…

          The mainstream porn industry tends to be very respectful towards women. Read an interview, read a biography from a porn star. They are actors who love their jobs and make good money doing it.

          Are there sketchy practices in some parts of the industry. No shit.

          Is there ANY industry which DOESN’T have sketchy practices in SOME parts of that industry??

          Most females in porn are respected, well compensated, happy, and fulfilling their goals and dreams.
          Perhaps you should try to learn about the industry from people IN it, before you damn it because of edge-cases.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        Excellent point. I’m a gay man, and having seen both straight and gay porn I can’t help but feel that gay porn has a decidedly different feel overall. Where straight porn often devolves into women servicing men, gay porn leans more heavily towards mutual enjoyment, even in much of the more hardcore stuff. I know I read a few weeks back on Andrew Sullivan’s blog a response from a porn camera operator who felt that hetero porn was degrading, shameful, and dispiriting for everyone involved while gay porn was actually pretty fun and a situation where everyone enjoyed their job.

        That’s not to say that there aren’t dark corners to gay porn, but considering how gay pornography has always been less open and prevalent than heterosexual pornography, it’s remarkable how much more wholesome (for lack of a better word) it is.

        Not entirely sure how relevant this is to the discussion at hand–and it certainly doesn’t make anything less male-oriented–but it’s an interesting area of exploration.

    • gwathdring says:

      Ah. I see. So we should be ok with female sex workers and actors being referred to slurred “sluts” and “whores” because that will help people find videos of them being disrespected while performing their craft for a public that benefits from their produce?

      Ah. I suppose we should also be ok with racist youtube video titles because how else do white people find videos about black people if they can’t search for them by the preferred endearments …

      Why not “Two Women One Cock” or something? Why not a tagging system? #cock #penetration #group sex?

      I assure you. There are ways to locate the porn you are interested without words like “slutty” and “whore.”

      • Kitsunin says:

        As someone who googles porn sometimes, I can’t fathom why someone would think searching for videos with words like “slut” would be useful. I mean, it’s utterly meaningless, you may as well spin a porn roulette.

        • annonashera says:

          You both are missing the point and origin of these words. It isn’t really about SEO. It isn’t about being hateful to woman. If you watch any behind the scenes porn clips, or even check out an interview or a twitter feed of a pornstar you’d see the industry tends to treat women very respectfully.

          Are there studios or companies which don’t? Yes of course, but they aren’t in the mainstream. And those studios do employ shady practices etc, that should be criticized.

          The point of saying ‘slut’ or ‘whore’ in the titles is its FANTASY. These women are portraying sluts, they are pretending to be cock-hungry nymphomaniacs because that turns on a majority of their demographic.

          A mainstream porn star isn’t upset that they titled the video “slut gives great head”. It’s not personal, its not against her, she prolly loves the title because

          A. It turns her on to be submissive and exhibitionist
          or B. it makes her more money to title it that way

          Porn is ACTING. They are ACTORS. It’s easy to forget that.. but read a pornstar audiobiography or watch an interview and It’s pretty simple to understand honestly.

      • yogibbear says:

        Most websites do use multiple search systems consisting of categories, sub categories and a tagging system just as you envisaged. None of these systems are derogatory. The titles of some are ridiculous, as pointed out in this article, but 100% of the time it is either a) an obvious fake re-enactment because people get off on watching that sort of arrangement or b) totally inappropriate title being used as click-bait. In terms of quality there is a gigantic spectrum in quality out there, with a lot of the top tier ones avoiding the mistakes of “b)”.

  5. Asami says:

    So you stand for inclusivity until porn comes into play, because screw porn.
    If they’re willing to accept a sponsorship from a porn site, I think that’s fine. I’m 100% for a more sex-positive culture. People like to look at porn, it’s a huge industry that makes a huge amount of money, and get this: The more it becomes mainstream, out of the darkness, and into the spotlight? The less of those nasty anti-female titles you’ll see on videos, because more people will be ok with looking at it, and not ok with how women are represented in it. With the way society is now, it’s doubtful that it’s going to go the other way around. It would be nice, but… well I just don’t see it happening.

    Unfortunately the people with the sort of attitude towards it like your own, who think it should remain buried, make it difficult to take the first step toward creating better porn for everyone. That’s how it’s gotten this far with being so distasteful.

    • Amun says:

      I think the only problem here is that a lot of people that watch these things are under 18. If it was a competitive gaming competition put on by the adult entertainment industry, then it wouldn’t matter.

    • commentingaccount says:

      I don’t think that is what Pip was saying at all. Rather that Youporn is not the company to be doing it, and that a potential partnership between them and a MOBA team would wind up re-enforcing negative stereotypes for both sides.

      • Rizlar says:

        Yeah, this.

      • Amun says:

        I think he was complaining about the paragraph about “what women are prepared to do for men or for the camera” as if it were a revelation that hetero men want easy women and are willing to click on videos with titles that promise such fantasy.

    • wavedash says:

      Considering that the YouPorn sponsorship is potentially anti-inclusive (you could even say exclusive), it makes perfect sense to not want porn mixed in with e-sports. Because this isn’t a two-way street. YouPorn could affect e-sports. But do you actually think e-sports can affect porn?

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      “So you stand for inclusivity until porn comes into play”

      The article says absolutely nothing of the sort. Give it a(nother) read.

      • airmikee says:

        “Give it a(nother) read.”

        ZING!

        Love it, stealing it, but I promise not to use it here on RPS. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Godwhacker says:

      Well:

      If they’re willing to accept a sponsorship from a porn site, I think that’s fine. I’m 100% for a more sex-positive culture.

      Quite a lot of the porn that I’ve encountered is not exactly ‘sex positive’. The people in it are certainly having sex, but it’s almost always staged for the enjoyment of someone who isn’t participating, plus to some extent any males that are. There are exceptions, but first-hand experience suggests that they’re few and far between.

      People like to look at porn, it’s a huge industry that makes a huge amount of money.

      See also: the heroin industry, the arms industry, the gambling industry, FIFA, SouthEast Trains, Luxembourg, etc. Something making money has nothing to do with how good it is. Good things make money too; where would we be without zips on our clothes and the JPG algorithm. But it’s a totally separate point.

      and get this: The more it becomes mainstream, out of the darkness, and into the spotlight? The less of those nasty anti-female titles you’ll see on videos, because more people will be ok with looking at it, and not ok with how women are represented in it.

      Slippery slope fallacy*; the first thing may happen, or it may not; but there is no guarantee that the rest will follow. Moreover as you point out, the people making nasty porn seem to be doing well enough as it is, so what reason do they have to change?

      With the way society is now, it’s doubtful that it’s going to go the other way around. It would be nice, but… well I just don’t see it happening.

      What do you mean by ‘the way society is now’? Which society?

      Unfortunately the people with the sort of attitude towards it like your own, who think it should remain buried, make it difficult to take the first step toward creating better porn for everyone. That’s how it’s gotten this far with being so distasteful.

      She’s not talking about porn, she’s talking about a porn site with questionable goals sponsoring a team to play DOTA2 for publicity purposes. These are different things.

      Anyway, back to wanking…

      *I am aware of rule 34

      • pepperfez says:

        Quite a lot of the porn that I’ve encountered is not exactly ‘sex positive’.
        And even this undersells it. A great deal of mainstream porn is profoundly sex-negative. It’s dedicated to the notion that sex is dirty, degrading, and unpleasant (at least for women).

      • Baggypants says:

        I think you’re being a little unfair putting gambling on the same level as heroin, arms, SouthEast Trains, and FIFA

    • kwyjibo says:

      Good luck to them. The announcement of the sponsorship deal has probably already paid for itself. I don’t think Youporn sponsorship is a step backwards from the mainstream, I think it probably has greater mainstream appeal than the mice manufacturers we usually see.

      Porn is more mainstream now than it has ever been. Just the name, Youporn, suggests that it’s a haven for user uploads, normal (albeit exhibitionist) fucking, meaning more variation in performers and every kink under the sun. What’s more inclusive?

    • beekay says:

      “The more it becomes mainstream, out of the darkness, and into the spotlight? The less of those nasty anti-female titles you’ll see on videos”

      Are you suggesting that pornography is just not popular enough to have reached a general audience?

    • gwathdring says:

      Most porn I’ve encountered isn’t sex-positive.

      We can start with the obvious. Most porn isn’t about sex; it’s about masturbation/titilation. It’s not about the people on screen having sex. It’s about the people on screen giving you a good time. This isn’t a bad thing, on it’s own, but it gets us pretty far along in our understanding of why a lot of porn isn’t sex positive before we get into the problems in how porn is made and produced. Just from the basic principles of it’s conception, most porn isn’t designed for the people having sex, it’s designed for the people watching the people having sex.

      Porn isn’t interested in telling you that sex is good. It’s interested in telling you that the people you are watching on screen are worth watching on screen. So you get people doing things that are impressive, people with impressive proportions, people doing things that are unsafe, people having sex while barely touching each other so the camera can see what’s going on, people having sex that doesn’t really resemble how sex occurs in real life. This can be fine; fantasy isn’t inherently bad. But again, it does a lot of work in explaining why most porn isn’t sex positive–porn isn’t interested in depicting sex that is enjoyable for it’s participants but rather in depicting sex that is enjoyable for it’s audience.

      But then we get into issues of how it is made. How abuse, human trafficking, coerced consent, and unsafe sexual practices lead to financial profit from and fetisization of a dark version of sexuality. How negative attitudes towards porn combined with the seedy nature of the industry drive it into a sort of semi-underground which creates this sort of dark mystique around it, a titillating dirtiness. A desirable negativity. We get into issues of race and gender bias, issues of body shaming, issues of toxic attitudes outside porn pervading the porn and integrating into it’s sexual imagery. And so on.

      Most porn isn’t sex positive.

      But, you say, if we act nice about it it’ll get better because ONE of those many factors–the underground element–will go away. Well, aside from that being only one of many factors … how about instead of being nice about sex-negative porn until hope and unicorn wishes makes it sex-positive … we demand sex-positive porn and shun sex-negative porn?

      • aepervius says:

        I have seen you presenting those term a lot in this thread without defining them. What the heck do you mean with sex positive. Because it certainly are not the definition i know. If you were born a long time ago you would know that sex positivism was about not having ANY lock onto any sex expression as they viewed any lock as a pressure from the culture , mostly christian sex negativism hierarchy, sins, etc…. And Indeed sex positivist fought *AGAINST* anti-porn feminist. Yes I was in the tail end of the sex war, and the sex positive feminist were PRO PORN.

        Methink you are attempting sex positive and sex negative to give it the connotation you want : to make porn look bad because you feel it has negative aspect.

        Well i have news for you : sex positivism feminist is pretty much accepting porn.

        • GSGregory says:

          SO you are saying that sex positive as you knew it years ago is the only correct way to use it? You still call a cigarette a fag?

          Seriously though sex positive is basically the idea that sex for fucks sake isn’t bad/evil/ect. Sex positive does not mean that treating women as nothing more than fuck toys is good.

      • P.Funk says:

        I’m sorry you lost me at ‘human trafficking’.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      Sex-positivity doesn’t mean porn is good by default or – as I’d say a lot of people would like to think of it – I can jerk off to anything and I’m actually being _more_ feminist by doing it.

      “Two whores share one dick” is not a sex positive title and YouPorn is not a sex positive site.

      • P.Funk says:

        I think you guys are twisting the meaning behind sex positive. You’re clearly applying a moral component to it that I am not familiar with.

        Sex positive is supposed to be about safe sex and consensual sex but is then focused on non-judgmental attitudes towards proclivities beyond that. So if people like the fantasy of ‘two whores on a dick’ then thats supposed to be valid, so long as the individuals involved are consenting and everything is safe.

        If there is some more specific commentary about how the porn industry is lax with respect to safe sex practices (there was a time when aids was being spread around, but not anymore as far as I know) or how people are being coerced into sex acts (last I checked they threw Max Hardcore into prison) then I’d like to hear it. All I’m seeing so far is people basically saying that all common porn tropes are fundamentally sexist which seems to me like something you can’t readily apply the ‘sex positive/negative’ labels too.

        My interpretation of those labels sees them incompatible with this particular attitude.

        • Distec says:

          The comments here and on a previous article about a 3D sex game lead me to believe there’s some pretty puritan, highfalutin ideas about what porn should be like. It seems some people would prefer something like a “sex documentary” rather than accept pornography for what it is to most people: a fantasy excursion that fulfills a base want to see genitals collide into each other. Typically with paid, consenting actors. (Oh, porn stars only act like they enjoy some of the weird stuff they get up to? Shocker.)

          There’s a lot of hang-ups here about the words “slut” and “whore”, and how they are degrading and humiliating terms. And yet I know women who have enthusiastically requested that they be called those things in the heat of sex. I know a woman who likes getting choked as well. Is that a degrading act? Ehh… I’m conflicted because I have people telling me that this is terrible, and yet she is quite comfortable with it. I shouldn’t have to add that this kind of business does not leave the privacy of the bedroom. To relate to a wider point: there’s a lot of things in pornography I’ve enjoyed which I would never feel comfortable doing with another person. In some cases only if I had explicit permission, and others not at all.

          At least in the US, it’s clear we have some very confusing and possibly contradictory attitudes about sex and the naked body in general.

          • Rodafowa says:

            There’s a lot of hang-ups here about the words “slut” and “whore”, and how they are degrading and humiliating terms. And yet I know women who have enthusiastically requested that they be called those things in the heat of sex. I know a woman who likes getting choked as well. Is that a degrading act? Ehh… I’m conflicted because I have people telling me that this is terrible, and yet she is quite comfortable with it.

            Of course they’re degrading and humiliating terms, that’s why they’re powerful and that’s why they’re a thrill for some people. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that in the between responsible consenting adults.

            When I say I’m sex-positive, what I mean is “so long as everyone involved is safe and everyone’s a grown-up who’s given enthusiastic consent then nobody’s got a right to judge you for how, how much or how little you have sex. And if you aren’t into sex, or some specific aspect or practice of it then that’s nobody’s got the right to judge you for that either.”

            The issue is, as you implicitly seem to understand from the rest of the paragraph, is applying degrading and humiliating terms in a wider context. That’s not contradictory or confused or puritan, it’s that calling someone a slut who’s into being called a slut isn’t the same thing as routinely referring to women as sluts, so you can support one while decrying the other.

          • Distec says:

            Well, the chain of comments I was responding to were about how those terms and acts weren’t sex positive; the argument seemed to be that they were inherently negative. I’d argue that is puritan or at least narrow-minded, as if there are some standards of decency in addition to consent. I am just really tired of people regularly implying that their turn-ons and sexual activities are somehow more clean and pure, unlike that “negative” filth everybody else watches.

            In the wider context of porn? I’m just personally not concerned about what actors refer to each other as, or how the title of a sex video refers to them. And the reason for my lack of concern is because I haven’t seen anybody convincingly argue that the vulgar fantasy of some pornography reinforces attitudes against women in general. I’m not obstinately denying that could be the case, I just haven’t been convinced. And in regards to the article itself, I’m not convinced that a Youporn sponsorship degrades the game, the event, the players, or the audience.

            Until that case is made, then I believe this is a lot of handwringing about words one doesn’t care for.

    • Pantalaimon says:

      Porn is not the problem, and her article says as much. YouPorn is a problem. It’s an embarrassing site and it basically stands for all the things that are wrong about porn in the modern era. There are many porn outlets that are entirely sex positive and it would be a blessing if any of them sponsored a sports team (but of course this is currently very unlikely to happen).

      Have to agree that I was disappointed to see Dota associated with that site, given that the game itself, the way Valve run it, and the active community that surrounds it, is a positive gaming space.

  6. Melody says:

    Wonderfully said, Pip.

  7. commentingaccount says:

    I can completely and totally see the comment section for this article ending well.

    Now that the requisite Rock, Paper, Shotgun sarcasm is out of the way, my personal opinion on this: I’d honestly rather see a porn site directly sponsoring a team rather than the tube sites if the site was proven to not abuse its performers or wasn’t massively sexist/racist.

    The tube sites use some of the most vile names for their videos at times, which, to be fair, is due to the community who uploads them. When I go on them, I generally just ignore the names and look at the thumbnails and tags to see if it’s something I want.

    It gets worse if you look at pornography made with performers who are in minorities most people don’t think about often, like transpeople(Which tbh on tube sites i’ve only seen transmen a handful of times. It’s almost always transwomen) or people with one of the various forms of dwarfism. As someone who is transgender and is also attracted to transgender people, it uh… makes finding porn of my kind difficult. Very difficult.

    Because of the community based nature of the sites, they tend to be populated with awful people. Not sure why porn draws awful people like flies to honey… I think it’s due to how stigmatized it is. That’s another topic for another time. I’m just musing here.

    Anyhow, as for the porn sites themselves? Depends on the site. Some are less bullshit and treat their performers better than others, like Elegant Angel(Though they’re more of a DVD company). I’d be fine with them sponsoring a team. And others are Facial Abuse. They’re uh… vile doesn’t begin to describe them. If they sponsored a team, I’d likely stop playing the game the team was in altogether purely out of spite.

    Most are somewhere in between, sadly. The bigger name ones are usually closer to Elegant Angel than Facial Abuse, unless they specialize in rougher stuff.

    Smaller sites, due to their lack of exposure and thus not needing to keep to PR standards, are figuratively all over the map on this issue. I’m mostly talking about the big name ones here.

    • Amun says:

      Sooo… yeah. Porn is fantasy. Shouldn’t we be okay with people exploring their fantasies in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone? Your “vile name” is another person’s kink. I mean, you wouldn’t want someone coming along and saying that your enjoyment of watching transmen do whatever on camera is vile, would you?

      Anyway, I totally agree that taking a fantasy and mistaking it for reality is bad for everyone, just like treating performers poorly is bad for everyone. However just because the company makes “rougher stuff” doesn’t mean they treat anyone poorly — that’s mistaking fantasy for reality!

      • commentingaccount says:

        When I say rougher, I don’t mean rough sex. I mean active abuse in the course of the video, such as beating the porn actress, calling her as many misogynistic names as possible, etc etc.

        As for vile names? I’ll use my own group as an example. I mentioned I’m transgendered. To be specific, I am a transwoman.

        Such wonderful things my group of people are denigrated with in porn include, but are not limited to shemale, tranny, he-she. Many videos involving my minority often have transphobic themes to them as well. That is what I am referring to.

        • P.Funk says:

          So what you’re saying is that all forms of degradation and physically violent sexuality such as is common and central to aspects of S&M are morally reprehensible?

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        “Your “vile name” is another person’s kink.”

        Uh, did you even read the post? ‘Cause the OP freely said it’s their kink as well. There’s a difference between having a kink for a sort of person, and refusing to call that sort of person by a name they don’t find demeaning.

        • commentingaccount says:

          Thank you for getting it. I’ve brought this argument up before on other places and people so rarely understand.

          It says a fuckload about people that they have trouble understanding this.

        • Amun says:

          When I say rougher, I don’t mean rough sex. I mean active abuse in the course of the video, such as beating the porn actress, calling her as many misogynistic names as possible, etc etc.

          But what if that *is* what a viewer gets off on? What if that beating and misogynistic name calling is exactly what the performer in question signed up to do? What if that’s what she gets off on as well?

          As for vile names? I’ll use my own group as an example. I mentioned I’m transgendered. To be specific, I am a transwoman.

          Such wonderful things my group of people are denigrated with in porn include, but are not limited to shemale, tranny, he-she. Many videos involving my minority often have transphobic themes to them as well. That is what I am referring to.

          Yes, those are names you consider vile. I consider them offensive to use in day to day life, but I’m not going to tell people not to use them in their sex fantasies. I think scat play is revolting as all hell, but I’m not going to tell someone not to do it.

          There’s a difference between having a kink for a sort of person, and refusing to call that sort of person by a name they don’t find demeaning.

          Yeah what if my hypothetical kink is using non-PC terms while having sex with a consenting adult? Does that automatically make me an awful person?

          • Gap Gen says:

            There are a couple of issues – firstly, abuse is abuse, and there’s a difference between someone who willingly consents to have something done to them and someone who is coerced into it. Secondly, there’s a difference between someone’s private fantasy of being called whatever and normalising abusive language in more public forums.

          • Ada says:

            If your kink is using transmisogynist slurs on trans women, then that yeah makes you a transmisogynist. It just means that you get off on it. That doesn’t make it MORE tolerable.

          • gwathdring says:

            We have no responsibility to tolerate intolerance and abuse. If you are sexually excited by these things, I’m not sure I care.

            I have no interest in policing the fantasies inside your head. Let’s say you get off to murdering pre-teens in your own head. I don’t really care.

            But when someone is subjected to abuse and intolerance in front of a video camera and when that video is published on a public website? It’s not in your head anymore. Claiming some kind of sovereignty over something happening to other people as public knowledge simply because you get off to it doesn’t make any sense.

            It’s not your sovereign territory. These are human beings and this is our collective digital space.

          • Premium User Badge

            Jdopus says:

            They’re human beings who consented to being called vile names and being depicted as the subject of abuse. Like other people have pointed out, BDSM has always been one of the most widespread fetishes out there, there are plenty of people of both sexes who are willing to pay to be abused physically and verbally, it’s not exactly shocking that someone might be happy to undergo it in exchange for being paid themselves.

            Also, to argue that it’s somehow treading on your personal space is absurd. You don’t just stumble across hardcore BDSM porn while you’re clicking around browsing youtube or reddit, if you found some, you probably went to a website or typed in a search term specifically related to it.

    • pepperfez says:

      I agree with this. It would be really nice to see the distinction between decent pornographers (ha!) and the real dregs made more public. Unfortunately it seems that the trashier operators are the ones most interested in esports (Brazzers either sponsored or attempted to sponsor fighting games pros).

      • commentingaccount says:

        Brazzers falls into the in between part of the marketplace, FWIW. Most of their stuff isn’t too bad, though. I don’t look at their stuff too much though(They tend to hire porn stars I’m not attracted to), so I could be wrong.

        • pepperfez says:

          They’re totally mainstream and not notably bad to their employees (that I know of), but they’re everything that makes porn alienating to non-{straight men}.

          • Distec says:

            Well, the vast majority of their output (if not all) is for straight men. If you want to tsk-tsk them for not having more variety, that’s one thing. But what exactly is so alienating about their products?

            I actually give them credit to producing a range of porn. Some of it definitely is of the “Dirty Slut” variety, but a lot of it isn’t. A lot of their videos are pretty tame and devoid of violent language or rough sex.

    • Tendentieus says:

      Even when it comes down to ‘rough stuff’*, Facial Abuse has a pretty shitty name. Other sites like Kink.com are a lot more respectable in their treatment of actors in the adult entertainment industry. Their documentary (check it out if you can find it) gives a good light on some of the internal practices, production rules and the people they try to work with.

      Back to the original topic, I disagree on grounds that sex should not be more repressed then it already is. Being from a liberal EU country, it’s awful to see that my own aunt has a more sex positive attitude that today’s youths: Topless sunbathing has become socially unacceptable again, mostly by the cultural influence of the American film, television and Facebook. Should games be more progressive than other media? I can only hope, but as Trent Reznor once commented, it are ultimately the same ‘suits’ that also run the music and film industry.

      As far as YouPorn’s sponsorship, paint me cynical but I don’t think they ever actually intent to run a tournament.

      * By personal experience, if they call it by it’s name; BDSM, they generally tend to be a lot better. People that fantasize humiliation and abuse normally don’t want to admit that they are sadistic and like sadomasochism, not even to themselves.

      • commentingaccount says:

        Kink actually has fallen under controversy as to whether they treat their performers well. Google it, made me sad. I had thought the site the good place for people into kinky shit to go to before I read about the controversies.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, this is the issue, a lot of porn falls into the trap of bullshit masculinity moving into outright abuse, which as much as anything makes it problematic to condone. I don’t agree with the puritanical approach to porn – the list of things banned in UK porn makes it seem more regressive than protecting the performers, unless it’s more nuanced than the list I’ve seen. The idea that the Page 3 & Nuts/Zoo approach to sexuality is better than porn including sex toys and female ejaculation is worrying, I think.

      Another issue is that industrial relations in the West are generally awful across all fields – it’s hard to envisage porn actor pay and working conditions improving when wages and living standards are declining thanks to the dominance of movement conservatism and neoliberalism in Western governments and the weakness of labour movements. The treatment of porn actors is very important, of course, but I think a lot of these issues tie into growing inequality as well as issues relating to the industry working in the shadows thanks to puritanical politics and hence being harder to regulate.

    • FeralCactus says:

      People make way to many excuses for the porn industry, the whole thing is rife with human rights abuses and is connected pretty clearly to human trafficking. While the issue in the article certainly is real, I don’t get why people tend to skirt over the more disturbing facts.

      • gwathdring says:

        Precisely. There’s nothing wrong with two consenting adults getting together to make a video that they both consent to publishing for the consumption of others and there’s nothing wrong with consuming pornographic media.

        But the sex industry–pornography, prostitution, etc–is a complete mess that should not be supported or defended. We deserve access to sexual material that isn’t part of a corrupt and vile industry and the people in that industry deserve to be treated like human beings.

        The unfortunate reality is that ensuring that people in the sex industry are treated like human beings will dramatically reduce the size of the sex industry. A more responsible sex industry is probably going to be dominated by virtual and graphical art rather than film and photography. Certain “kink” material is going to be harder to find in a responsible industry that doesn’t force people into things.

        This is ok. You and your sexual pleasure are not worth destroyed lives.

        • Pantalaimon says:

          “We deserve access to sexual material that isn’t part of a corrupt and vile industry”

          This porn exists. People just need to vote with their wallet, or their left mouse button.

    • aepervius says:

      I have no idea where you all are getting your porn. The majority of what i see must seem bland and vanilla to you, because I rarely if ever hear a slur (or even words – beyond god, yes, and give it to me).

      I have the feeling you extrapolate a NICHE market toward the totality of porn.

      • DavishBliff says:

        I’m not really in a position to google it and find an article on the subject right now, but suffice it to say that extreme BDSM and kink content has very quickly become a huge part of the industry in recent years. The industry’s profits are nosediving thanks to tube sites like YP, and more extreme content is proving to be one of the only types of porn people are willing to consistently pay money for, so it’s growing very, very quickly. Declining profits seems to be pushing the industry toward more extreme content with even more horrendous working conditions. And yes, kids can easily access it.

  8. Anthile says:

    As someone who watches a lot of offline sports, it could be much worse. Sports clubs have advertised alcohol, tobacco, banks, betting and, of course, the entire nation of Qatar. Way back in 1988 a German football club advertised condoms and almost got points subtracted for it. It was also en vogue to have booze sponsors for some time which would be unthinkable today. Some years ago a German club was criticised for being sponsored by AREVA. How the times have changed. Some other highlights were Manchester United with AIG or Newcastle with Northern Rock.
    Of course, it could be worse still: The German ice hockey club ECD Iserlohn advertised Gaddafi’s Green Book in the 80s. Can’t top that.

    So yeah, shitty sponsorship deals are a part of professional sports, so I guess things are looking good for esports?

    • Baines says:

      Several sites and people complaining about the YouPorn sponsorship would probably accept esport sponsorship by most if not all of your other examples.

      • gwathdring says:

        Well, gosh. How damning. The argument must be wrong because you presume that the people making the argument might do things that are as bad or worse than what they’re arguing against.

        If a doctor who told me smoke is bad for my lungs got a DUI because he has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol I wouldn’t presume the smoking advice was bad because the smoking advice is based on evidence that has nothing to do with the doctor’s friggin’ drinking habits.

        Let alone if I was merely thinking “Gosh this doctor seems like the kind of person who would drink and drive why should I listen to that kind of person?”

        Seriously, what mirror universe do you come from? Stop patting yourself on the back with token hypothetical hypocrisies and use your damn brain. You’re welcome to disagree with the article but you can surely do so in ways that aren’t so transparently worthless …

        • aepervius says:

          Your example is incorrect. If a doctor was at the same time telling me to stop smoking and that drinkwater is bad for my health, I would stand a reason to consult another doctor…

          This is pretty much the case here : a *special* type of industry sponsoship is viewed as negative , because it can be linked to sex. Whereas other sponsorship , despite being deadly (cigs) or having a lot of societaly negative proven health effect are given a pass (i.e. alcohol).

          This is exactly the core of the debate.

          • GSGregory says:

            1. The assumption here is the always false well since you aren’t disagreeing with everything else you are a hypocrite. Just because we disagree with this does not mean we agree or disagree with anything else in advertising.
            2. All the other things require them to be bought and a kid cannot just walk out and buy something like alcohol.
            3. Alcohol is far different than porn which demeans a whole gender and reduces them to slut, trash, sex objects. Alcohol is not inherently bad either while there is rarely anything positive in porn. Same for cigarettes while they me be bad health wise what isn’t.
            4.This is also coming at a time when victim blaming, rape, sexism , ect are huge issues.

    • Nasarius says:

      Qatar and payday loan companies (eg, the current sponsor of Newcastle United) are clearly awful, but the rest are probably fine. There are plenty of beer-related sponsors in the UK today.

      It is rather amusing how Barcelona have descended from the holier-than-thou “we pay Unicef so we can put their logo on our shirt” to being sponsored by Qatar Airways in just a few short years.

  9. B.rake says:

    Not to mention the business itself is rather dubious ( link to slate.com – Mindgeek own Youporn), though I suppose that’s nothing new to sports sponsorships (favored by shady banks, fly by night gambling websites pyramid schemes etc…, which reminds me ; link to deadspin.com ).

    Though, I don’t think a single team with a suitably discrete jersey sponsorship should necessarily be an inclusivity issue (probably would become one were such sponsorships become commonplace- especially since sponsorship is central to the players’ incomes) – more, as mentioned, an image management and age-appropriate problem, as it should be for any sport aspiring to mainstream success.

  10. catscratch says:

    The main issue with this is: once you start inviting companies like porn businesses to sponsor your players, you will have to go down the road of alcohol/tobacco/adult product sponsorships, and will lose everybody else. Businesses don’t want to be associated with those kinds of companies, and will refuse to advertise alongside them. There’s only a small market group that is ok with this kind of association, and they’re all you’ll have to work with. Thus, it hurts everybody as a whole to let a porn website in.

    The same thing happened in the fighting game community. LI Joe was a player that, on a dare, contacted Brazzers for a sponsorship. He did it as a joke, but they said yes. The FGC responded by stating outright that nowhere on tournament streams will the Brazzers name be mentioned, and the deal was called off. Sadly, this was the right move for everybody, and I think tournament organizers will have to do something like this here as well.

    It has nothing to do with porn as an industry. I’m not going to get into discussing the stereotypes of gamers and the relative merits or lack thereof of porn. It’s just a reality of the business that in order to appear professional, you have to avoid sharing advertising space with companies that do adult entertainment in nearly any form, and those companies tend to have their own advertising space unique to themselves.

    So yeah… bad move for Dota.

  11. australopithecus says:

    It’s says something about our society that games like LoL, DoTA, Counter Strike etc etc are all about running around killing people, and there’s not much of a problem with that, but there can be absolutely no sex in games that might be played by children. So the portrayal of one activity, sex, that normal adults engage in regularly, is absolutely taboo for children, while another activity, killing, which is absolutely forbidden in society, is a core part of most video games.

    • airmikee says:

      I’d venture that’s because it’s a long stretch for a child to play a violent video game and then carry out violent acts. I’m sure it happens, but it’s extremely rare because it’s not easy to experiment with violence on other people and not face some consequences. Experimenting with sex is completely different, too easy to hide, too easy to shame unwilling victims into silence. I’m no prude, I think prostitution should be legalized, along with most drugs, and tobacco and alcohol regulations worldwide should be softened, but not when it comes to children. Their minds and bodies should be allowed to fully develop before they cloud it up with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. America has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the industrialized world, anything that works to keep kids focused on learning and growing instead of trying to be adults works for me.

      Since it’s been entirely possible for porn producers to sponsor things in the past, it makes me wonder why a website, that does not produce porn and simply acts as a hub for users to upload to (most of which is probably pirated material from copyrighted works,) suddenly feels the need to inject itself into events that are clearly magnets for underage eyeballs. Way back in April, 2012, Youporn was streaming 950 TB per day. This is a manufactured controversy, designed to bring a sleazy website operator more traffic.

  12. SpacemanSpliff says:

    Dota is rated E for everybody. You wouldn’t air the trailers for X-Rated movies at a G-Rated Disney movie. If I’m not mistaken a lot of the people competing in e-sports are under 18, and couldn’t even legally view these sites in most countries. At some point someone’s common sense should have kicked in.
    EDIT: Okay, I couldn’t find a rating for dota 2, but I stand by the comment anyway.

    • SpacemanSpliff says:

      Another thought is 90% of youporns content is someone elses stolen intellectual property, that has been reposted illegally.

      • B.rake says:

        Ironically enough, the company that owns Youporn also owns a bunch of the largest porn producers, in addition to almost all of the largest ‘tube’ sites (the Slate article I linked a few comments up is a pretty good read).

        • Baines says:

          I guess they realized that they weren’t going to stop people copying and uploading videos, and decided to become a premiere hosting site so that they can make money off of the piracy that would happen regardless.

          • SpacemanSpliff says:

            As dumb as this seemed at first glance I find my mind remains blown, so I guess I just need stfu and watch and learn.
            My mind keeps stopping on the fact that if Valve and the Porntube sites joined forces that might make the resulting entity the de facto ruler of the internet.

          • P.Funk says:

            The porn industry’s approach to piracy is kind of the perfect response to the music industry’s approach.

  13. Psychomorph says:

    YouPorn should develop their own pornMOBA. You could do 1on1 matches, have some group action, mixed teams with a variety of equipment.

    I’d watch it on Tbitch.tv

    • B.rake says:

      Plus you could totally incorporate tower defense and dungeon crawling elements without ganking up the lane running.

  14. luis.s says:

    “*Apparently compound adjective hyphens are not deemed sexy” got an involuntary chortle from me. Thanks for improving my day in an unexpected way!

  15. Emeraude says:

    I may come at things from a peculiar angle, given I believe advertising is inherently immoral, while porn isn’t, but apart from the fact that advertising an adult-only product to a crowd that will almost necessarily include minors is probably not a good thing for anyone involved (it’s bad business, it’s bad containment protocol), I have a hard time buying into your argument.

    I may be jaded, but the whole affair (not just your piece, but several I’ve read ) seems to me like yet another example of the industry wanting to buy itself an air of respectability now that it is serious business.

    I may be uncharitable, but when I read ” Simply bringing a porn brand name to gaming doesn’t seem to do anything to subvert either social stigma.” the thing I read really is that you accept the a priori argument that it *is* worth stigmatizing, or at the very least that you dare not dispute the claim that it is.

    If the stigma is an issue, then putting it under the rug (which in a way is basically what you’re advocating – let’s not create an association that could bring that aspect under the spotlight again) is not the way to deal with it. Daring to say that there is nothing worth stigmatizing in porn consumption as long as the porn is being produced ethically is. Or at least I think so.

    I think it would be far easier to stop at your first point: if you accept adult only-advertising, then you’re basically reducing your target market, and ensuring that only adult-only products/services are going to sponsor you, killing your potential growth in the process.
    The rest is is just noise.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    I must ask, how does YouPorn gain anything from this relationship? Brand awereness? Everybody already knows it exists, and everybody who likes watching porn… already watches porn.

    It seems as effective as Youtube sponsoring an F1 team.

    • Gap Gen says:

      It seems like YouPorn wants to gain acceptability by raising its public image. I’m guessing that they feel that if they can be the ones to break into conventional advertising, they’ll gain a bigger market share as people will hear their name.

    • Horg says:

      Advertising in a crowded market is all about being at the front of peoples minds whenever that person needs whatever product or service you offer. Unless a company can reach a critical mass, say Apple sized, then they need to advertise regularly to stay on top of the pile. You can be sure of two outcomes from this event: YouPorn will drop the sponsorship within 6 months if they aren’t forced to first, and YouPorn will show a huge spike in traffic. They probably don’t give a crap about e-sports, but they sure as hell got a large number of people in their target demographic talking about their site.

    • Boosh says:

      I don’t get your point, it’s because there are rival sites obviously, so yes, brand awareness.

      Why do Tesco advertise? We already know it exists…

    • B.rake says:

      Maybe they earnestly believe in the future of e-sports and want to lend their good name to building them up?

      I’ve always wondered why ubiquitous brands global hegemonies like Coke spend billions on advertising products everyone knows and likes, I guess that’s how they stay Coke- brand awareness, as it were? Plus for every thousand eyeballs that encounter their ads, surely one or two are compelled to walk down to the nearest bodega or vending machine and buy one- recoil in terror and disgust what that might imply about porn sponsorships…

    • Anthile says:

      Sponsorship is often used as a way of legitimization. Hence the many shady companies engaging in it, some of which I mentioned above. AREVA is a classic case, a humongous French mining company with an incredibly shady past going from forming cartels to uranium mining in various African nations, which goes as well as one would expect. It’s all spin.

    • kemryl says:

      I really hope I’m wrong about this, but I have an idea of what Youporn might be up to that is rather less flattering still: according to some reading I was doing a did a couple years ago on various kinds of addiction, there’s a small but growing body of research that suggests porn can be highly addictive to a large portion of its users, beyond any inherent biological urges it may address. There’s a wikipedia page on porn addiction and a reddit community which link to various relevant sources. I’ll attempt a comparatively concise explanation. (probable tl;dr incoming)

      It’s apparently very comparable to junk foods and sweets. Eating disorders are specific to the individual, but junk foods are designed to make anyone binge (lo and behold, we certainly do). Junk foods are not really food; they are supercharged, high-satisfaction low-nutrition concoctions designed to taste better than anything which occurs naturally on earth. They often have intense, unique or novelty flavours, perhaps iterated and expanded upon in serial fashion (so as not to let the experience of eating get boring for the heavy addicts). They pack high fat and salt content which activates an evolved “binge now!” response, since in the wild, discovery of such a source of food would be news for the whole jungle. Finally, they are typically cheap purchases compared to proper (or especially organic) foods. Those qualities often make junk food quite naturally addictive, without the need of any strange psychoactive substances (at least not necessarily).

      The comparison to pornography should be partially clear already: online pornography offers us easy access to a constant, novel, and limitless stream of the most extreme versions of sexual experiences we may never personally be able to have, and our biology similarly instructs us not to pass up what it thinks must be such a prime mating opportunity if there are so many new and impossibly attractive gyrating torsos beckoning, right in front of us. However, that rare and perfect mating opportunity never really ends; it’s just always right there, waiting a few clicks away. You don’t really need to have an addictive personality for that to be quite hard to resist; indeed, there seems to be agreement by most cisgendered males (at the very least) that “everyone watches porn nowadays”. Key thing to note is the tense of “watches”. For most viewers, it’s an ongoing thing, not something you do once, and for the users that account for most of the revenue of the porn industry, it’s done far in excess of anything wot would make for a healthy sexual lifestyle.

      The porn industry is of course well aware of this, and industry figures have expressed as much publicly. I believe I read there was some higher-up guy of some tube-style site who mentoned that there is a typical progression of the addiction, starting from the mundane and the pedestrian but growing evermore extreme and fantastical. If this is all news, consider that pornography has been under-researched compared to other avenues to addiction for the obvious reasons, however it has recently become a problem for a lot more people recently thanks to the proliferation of fast internet access.

      Big Tobacco figured out long ago that profits increase if you get people hooked earlier, and I think it certainly didn’t have much regard for the age of its customers. I wouldn’t really put it past the porn industry to consider the same business model. I have nothing concrete to support this theory whatsoever, mind.

      Edit: I realize I failed to make the point that pornography is both much more accessible and plays to a much stronger human desire (for most of us who are not starving, at least)). This makes it more potent as far as compulsion is concerned, or so the reasoning goes.

  17. Myrdinn says:

    Imagine our descendants who survive the nuclear holocaust to find a print of this article and figure it out.

  18. trjp says:

    I don’t see the point going down the tired-old-route of “Porn exploits women” when the simpler issue is that any team sponsored by someone who’s product targets adults is unsuitablein a competition around a game which has a lower age-certification or target audience.

    I think I’d have the same attitude to porn, booze, e-cigs (would be quite legal for these to get involved at this point – I’m surprised they aren’t already) or guns tbh – no need to talk ‘moral’ issues when there’s an ‘age restriction’ issue anyway?

    • Frank says:

      Yup, that is enough reason for me (while the “this industry or company is immoral” is less convincing to me, and more complicated in any case).

      Though, it’s not about what’s “legal”. These are just rules imposed by the league/developer for fear of bad PR, seems.

    • Sami H says:

      .

      • trjp says:

        I spotted an e-cig ad in a magazine recently – it looked EXACTLY like cig ads looked back in the 90s – it came as quite a surprise!!

        I’m guessing they’re going to crop-up a LOT more and – frankly – are probably more harmful in this context than porn is…

  19. almostDead says:

    Impressive tally of ‘problematic’.

  20. PopeRatzo says:

    By allowing this type of porn-sponsored teams, they would basically be saying they don’t really care about women playing their game. Or kids. Or people who think porn is by its nature exploitative.

    I’m thinking it’s just not worth the tsuris. A little surprised Valve hasn’t shut this down.

    • airmikee says:

      I sincerely doubt Valve would allow a team to play that was being sponsored by a porn site. No one has tried yet, which is probably why Valve hasn’t altered their rules to mirror what Riot did for LoL, but I’ll bet now that this story is breaking, Blizz and Valve will be quick to ensure that parents know their kids won’t be exposed to porn playing a video game.

    • P.Funk says:

      Right, and when they let an oil company sponsor a team they’re saying they don’t care about all the third world countries that suffer the effects of unregulated pollution and the economic corruption that sees their nation’s resources stolen by corrupt politicians. And when they let Krispy Kremes sponsor a team they’re turning their backs on diabetics everywhere.

      Oh man.

  21. woodsey says:

    The whole issue of gender inclusivity would be much better rectified if we could all just stick our hands up and admit that, yeah, pretty much everyone watches porn.

    • GSGregory says:

      Not at all. Because pretty much all porn falls under 1. sex trafficing 2. abuse. 3. sexism and reducing females to sex objects. And probably more.

      • P.Funk says:

        Wow, thats a pretty extreme interpretation of porn. Its so absurdly exaggerated. Its like that comment was fashioned specifically for a room full of people who already agree with you.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        Sex industry is one of the few areas where women are not only treated as well as men, but also make significantly more money and have more opportunities for advancement.

        • DavishBliff says:

          Some women, and usually for a shorter amount of time. The financial side of porn is quite complicated and it’s important to keep in mind that the industry is far from static. The last 10 years have shown that there’s room for many female performers to do quite well for a few years. Some can continue performing into their late ’20s and ’30s, and some are able to move into work behind the camera after some time. But that’s quite a small number in both cases – for most people the career only lasts a few years or less.

          It’s actually not unlike the NFL – the average career is only a few years and doesn’t necessarily pay terribly well, even though there are a few who can stay in the league for years and years, or who can pay for their entire children’s futures in 5 or 10 years.

      • Crane says:

        Pretty much all porn huh?
        Guess all that gay porn I watch doesn’t exist then… Yup. Full of sexism and degrading depictions of women, that!

        • jrodman says:

          It’s sexist because gay porn refuses to employ women.

          *cough*

  22. SubparFiddle says:

    Hmmm… This article reminds me of something… Something I left in another room. I need to go check on it.

  23. Jambe says:

    This has been said several times now, but to make it as concise as I can:

    DOTA 2 isn’t rated but it’d likely get at least ESRB’s T (13+). There are innumerable minors playing the game and in any case Steam itself demands its users be 13 or older.

    Porn sites demand their users be at least 18 (or whatever the age of majority is in their country).

    There’s a discrepancy here. It thus follows that if Valve allows YP to publicly sponsor a DOTA 2 team, Valve is allowing the advertisement of pornographic services to minors.

    This is legally (in addition to morally) problematic.

    Commence rambling:

    If DOTA 2 were rated M (for 18+) there’d be no legal issue afaik and the moral issue would be less severe. I’d still prefer an explicitly sex-positive catered porn purveyor to an everything-peddling sharing site like YouPorn, but I can’t get too worked up about that. I find most porn and speech norms to be unsexy if not outright gross (see for example the widespread use of “babe” and “baby” as pet names, which I find acutely unappealing; this is to say nothing of direct abuse either verbal or physical). However, where consensual sex acts and porn habits are concerned I think utilitarianism trumps categorical moralism (assuming involved parties are of the age of majority).

    Hypothetically, were DOTA 2 rated M and were a bunch of porn sites trying to sponsor teams, I think it could be argued that Valve should take a moral stance and reject uncatered sharing sites for more deliberately-ethical ones (Bright Desire over YouPorn, Crash Pad over PornHub, etc). They’re a private company after all, and can get away with saying “we dislike much of what’s on your site, so you won’t be advertising in/around our game.”

    They’d probably get flak from fringe nuts in religiously-libertarian e-utopias, but… well, one just laughs them off, as one does with earnest Rand scholars.

    • eggy toast says:

      Alcoholic drinks sponsor motor racing teams and thats not only a weirder crossed message than porn and vidcons, it’s also no sane reason to stop children watching nascar.

      They should stop watching it because it’s dumb, but theres no reason they should need to be of drinking age to see an advert

      • Pantalaimon says:

        Additional to this, I think I would actually find it far more difficult to explain to my future hypothetical kids why people enjoy drinking alchol, as opposed to why people enjoy porn.

  24. MadMattH says:

    I really don’t think that eSports will really get anywhere till the people who are participating in them start to use something other than what amounts to a stage name. I can think of at least one other industry where participants use almost exclusively stage names…oh wait.

    Seriously though, what would a team that ,since they apparently aren’t even widely known (even within the gaming community), have to lose by such a proposition? Somebody wants to give them money, they want money. It’s sort of like that guy that got companies to bid for tattoo space. Unlike him though their actual names aren’t directly linked to their questionable decisions. I could only find 2 actual first and last names for any of them, but I didn’t really put much effort into it.

    • eggy toast says:

      Musicians comedians actors writers all commonly use assumed names.

      • DavishBliff says:

        But their names are usually based on their legal or given names, and at least sound like real names. They don’t give themselves adolescent names that talk up their acting ability. Louis C.K. doesn’t call himself TheFunnyMan, and Michael Fassbender didn’t change his name to MasterThespian2k10

        • MadMattH says:

          There are some musicians that do use stage names as descriptors, with some even using their online name as their stage name too. Think of rappers, electronic music, or punk musicians for some examples. In most cases they do it especially for the reason of standing out and drawing attention, but they mostly (some do) don’t try to conceal identity. There will always be exceptions, but that’s true with anything.

          It has become more common to just use your real name for actors. The original reason was to make your name different from other actors with similar or the same name, not for concealment of identity.

          My point is that it would seem fairly strange for someone like an athlete to use a gamer type handle. It would be strange indeed to see TaCkLeMaStEr69 playing in the NFL. There are a few who have tried it (Chad Johnson AKA Chad Ochocinco link to en.wikipedia.org) who would still be taken seriously.

          Even stranger would be other professional fields like doctors or professors. It seems to me that those types of names or handles or whatever you want to call them are present mostly in fields where acceptability of the profession or trust of the person are not exactly foremost in the concerns of other people. Saying that, you can see why it would be acceptable for an actor or musician, but less so for doctors or lawyers. Sports being entertainment, but requiring a form of trust (playing by rules not cheating, for example), lies sort of in between something like music in which you place no real form of trust in the performer, and a surgeon where you place pretty much all your trust in them.

          In a gamer context, in anonymous online play, you have no real reason to trust the person playing against you (that’s why stuff like punkbuster exist) and if he is found to be a cheater (even if there are repercussions such as banning) there isn’t anything stopping the cheater to simply adopt another identity till he gets caught again. In e-sports, there should be more personal investment. If you show up at a tournament with the name Gamer101 and then cheat and get caught, then try and go to the same tournament and play under the name Gamer102, most likely someone will call foul and you won’t be allowed to participate. The entire point of the handle is anonymity. Yes there are gamers who have more well known tags, but most if not all of their ‘fame’ is invested in the name itself and very little or none at all attached to the actual person.

    • eggy toast says:

      Also you could argue that its more of a nom de guerre, in a combat setting

      • MadMattH says:

        The nom de guerre actually had the opposite of concealment of identity in mind originally. It was in addition to your real name to make it more specific as to who you actually were. They were assigned to you by the army, and acted to make your name more specific, not to conceal identity from somebody else. The concealment use is much more recent.

        As to actors and such using stage names, I was specifically referring to porn stars who frequently choose stage names more as a descriptor of their specific ‘talent’, or as concealment from creeper fans.

  25. Jason Moyer says:

  26. bp_968 says:

    First: I totally understand a company selling video games not wanting to be associated with porn. Yes, lots of us gamers are over 30 now and may not be opposed to porn but probably also have kids and so are likely to attempt to censor things related to porn from our children (which is bad for a companies bottom line).

    Sure, pornography has some weird film tropes (I often wonder how many people are REALLY actually into half that crap. Maybe I’m old fashioned but some of the stuff is really gross. Lol) but those women get paid and sign up for that work. I just don’t see how it can be sexist if the woman chooses to do it as a career (immoral yes, but not sexist). I realize that’s not always the case, and it’s not always that simple, but life rarely is. If you judge everything based on the outliers then, well, that just doesn’t make sense too do.

    Honestly that’s not the part I’m interested in arguing about though.
    I feel like many of these articles authors seem to assume lack of female participation in something always means something is wrong, or some sort of sexism is going on. While that might be true sometimes I believe it’s often simply choice. My wife likes to game but isn’t a big FPS or “twitch” gamer. She tends to prefer stuff like **Don’t Starve, The Sims, Tropico, digital boardgames or Guild Wars 2 (the only MMO she’s tried, I suspect she would enjoy WoW as well). She also enjoys a little Left for Dead 2 now and again. She doesn’t like military style games, RPGs with deep stories (to much crap to read. Click click click.. Lol). A good example is the book genre of “Romance Novels” . It’s consumed almost totally by women and can be quite sexist towards men, but if you ever look at them you’ll see they very often make the men strong and powerful, have them rescue the women, etc etc. stuff would often be labeled sexist if it was targeted towards men.

    We are different. One isn’t better then the other and each sex tends to gravitate towards different things. That doesn’t make something sexist, or weak, or better, just different.

    I honestly think the same applies to many other areas. We are seeing more stories about sexism in the “field” of game development primarily *because* of the fact that women and men tend to gravitate towards different jobs and hobbies. We see more stories about it because women gravitate towards journalism, but don’t tend to gravitate towards development/programming. I hope that changes on the design side (not necessarily the coding side) simply because some of my favorite authors are female (Margaret Weis, Ann Rice, etc) and the sexes tend to think differently enough it can make for very engaging stories.

    **Don’t Starve Together is amazing! Be sure to check it out on EA when it’s in open beta on the 15th or 16th!

    • Pantalaimon says:

      “I feel like many of these articles authors seem to assume lack of female participation in something always means something is wrong”

      It essentially does. A persons gender should have no bearing on their likelihood to enjoy whatever media, or seek employment at whatever career path. The imbalance is a problem, and it’s this extremely complex problem that our generation is facing up to try and improve upon.

      • Distec says:

        But it doesn’t. A lack of female participation could mean that there are obstacles preventing them from joining. It could also mean that women in the aggregate are just not interested for completely innocuous reasons.

        I really don’t like these kind of blanket assertions that imbalanced female representation is a problem, because that really depends on the reasons why that’s the case.

        • airmikee says:

          But it essentially does, you may think it doesn’t, but I’ll assert that’s because you’re a hardcore believer of most gender stereotypes. If you think video games in general have been inclusive towards females, then you’re living in denial (and not just the river in Egypt). I know lots of females that play video games, I also know that most of them don’t talk about video games when most guys are around because they don’t want to be mocked, and I also know a lot of them that stopped playing certain online games because of the male players in the game. Maybe you haven’t experienced that yet, because your wife seems to play games by herself for the most part, and now would be a really good teaching moment for you to learn about why anecdotal evidence, like most of what we’ve discussed, is useless in forming an opinion based on actual facts.

          “That doesn’t make something sexist, or weak, or better, just different.”

          Sounds like that “Separate but Equal” nonsense bigots have tried to use to defend their intolerance throughout America’s history that took a few decades to tear down so that true equality could begin to take root.

          And about your romance novel example, a movement has begun to end the very sexism you mentioned. See how it works? Removing the imbalance in everything so that everyone can enjoy whatever they want without having to worry about someone else’s gender stereotypes.

          link to salon.com
          link to judgybitch.com

          • Distec says:

            1) You are replying to the wrong person. I don’t have a wife.

            2) I’m not sure I’d be inclined to seriously respond to somebody who has opened up on me with accusations that I’m a “hardcore believer” in gender stereotyping and equates acknowledging aggregate preferences of media (for reasons that certainly warrant investigation and analysis) with separated water fountains of the past.

            3) I have no idea what point the bitter, angry author of that JudgyBitch article is trying to make. Other than to call people “fat fucks”.

          • quijote3000 says:

            Most facebook users, by a quite big margin are female. Facebook has been trying to attack more males for some time without much success.

            More than 90% of wikipedia editors are male. Let’s say again, 90%. Wikipedia has been trying to attack females for years already without success.

            Male are female brains are different. Any scientist know it. Deal with it.

  27. B.rake says:

    I noticed a number of mentions of consent and sort of, er ‘responsible’ pr0n in these comments… it’s not exactly relevant to the conversation but I thought I’d pass on this rather good (also adult, graphic and NSFW etc…) essay by Susannah Breslin that, among other things, does a good job highlighting how pliant that concept can be. link to theyshootstars.com

  28. Jamesworkshop says:

    i’m not familiar with youporn but aren’t videos named like youtube, by the uploaders and not the company.

  29. eggy toast says:

    Seems like this mostly boils down to “I dont like their website / content” which is honestly a fairly anemic complaint. :(

    • GSGregory says:

      So eggy. You would be fine with say the kkk or neo nazis or isis sponsoring a team? I mean just because you disagree with it doesn’t make it wrong….

      • P.Funk says:

        Right, because porn is as bad as racists who lynch people, terrorists who behead westerners, and a political party that oversaw the extermination of the Jews.

        Yea, thats a really reasonable comparison. Porn is as bad as the Nazis. I think there’s some internet rule about how you’ve automatically lost or something.

    • Niko says:

      Boil eggs, not articles.

  30. Zhrink says:

    Taaah-daaaaa! link to complex.com

  31. Halk says:

    Had to look up on Wikipedia what “Dota 2” was. Now that I know what it is I am little proud of the fact that I didn’t know.

  32. Little_Crow says:

    To put a different spin on it, there isn’t anything on their shirts that indicates a link to a porn site. Unless you’re already familiar with the logo, YP could just as easily refer to ‘Yellow Pages’.
    In fact I did a search on google with safe search on, and that is all I get, directory services links – no porn references at all.
    I think both parties are fully expecting this to be very short lived and are just riding the publicity wave (or publicity bomb, in recent UK media parlance).

    As much as I argue that parents have to take responsibility for how their children use the internet, I still find this an inappropriate sponsor . Searching google for YP didn’t get me to youporn, but a link on TeamYP’s homepage certainly did – not a huge stretch for today’s tech savvy kids.

  33. Rakombo says:

    TLDR: A porn sponsorship makes male and female gamer look bad.
    Of course more time is spent on talking how women are getting fucked by this.
    Great article,It sure has a lot to do with games or DOTA 2 because when I think of DOTA the first thing I think is:”Hm, who are the sponsors of these teams and what does their sponsorship says about me as a person?”

    Also Philippa,I find your twitter page incredibly offensive. Look at it for god’s sake,it has images of male caricatures standing on the beach but all of them look exactly the same. Brown skinned,toned,short black haired men. What are you trying to imply? That all men are the same? I DAMNED YOU REMOVE IT IMMEDIATELY!

  34. derbefrier says:

    I think This is less about morality and more about image. Most people don’t want to be associated with porn because its taboo and most companies don’t want to be associated with it because it will only cause controversy. My prediction is this won’t last long. I would be very surprised if this is allowed to continue. I personally donnt really care one way or another though.

  35. quarpec says:

    i agree, gamers in general are fucking scum and e-sport pro gamers doubly so

    • Distec says:

      What the fuck are you even doing here.

      • Niko says:

        You don’t have to self-identify as a “gamer” to play games.

        • Distec says:

          That distinction doesn’t make the original comment any less stupid, regardless if you’re referring to people who simply play games or people who self-identify as gamers.

          Unless we are taking it as a matter of fact that “gamers” are terrible humans. I’ve yet to subscribe to that school of thought.

          • bonuswavepilot says:

            This could be the result of a certain three-syllable hashtag which begins with ‘gamer’ having sufficiently skewed what it means to self identify as one..?

  36. Neutrino says:

    One of these days there will be a ‘Dote Night’ article that’s actually about Dota. Not sure when though.

  37. quijote3000 says:

    Again the usual RPS obsession. “We should ban/stop this whatever, because is demeaning for women”

    Jack Thompson made a mistake trying to ban games “for the children”. If he wanted to succeed, he should have tried the “it’s for the women” approach. GTA V was banned from stores in Target and Wallmart in Australia just because some feminists complained that “makes a game of bashing, killing and horrific violence against women”. (Men too. Not that anybody cares)

    Surprisingly, it seems RPS didn’t cover that news

    • Niko says:

      Why didn’t you end your essay with a period? The tension is unbearable!

    • PedroTheHutt says:

      RPS is a PC gaming only site, is there a PC version of GTA V? Well then~ There’s your answer.

  38. jrodman says:

    Somehow that image and title made me think that we were going to have some cross-promotion materiel with dota 2 pro player porn. This says altogether too much about me, I fear.

  39. Jeoau says:

    Way to derail an otherwise insightful article with your personal agenda. This had absolutely nothing to do with women or them being used by the porn industry– yet, somehow, it takes up over half of the article.
    Someone needs to revise your post.

    I agree that Porn should not be sponsoring teams in that that begins to set the scene into a more adult-centric atmosphere where I’d rather it be all inclusive.