Stay! The blog post is safe, I swear!
I’m a passive fan of ItsNickster. I don’t watch a lot of YouTube content anymore (I simply don’t have the time) but I enjoy his Apex vod reviews. I like Apex and come Golden Week I want to buy a new computer from Tokyo that can actually run the games I like. Anyway, none of that’s important. He recently got into a discussion with a viewer about the Hot Tub streams that have been blowing up over Twitch.tv. This conversation happened maybe a month ago but it popped up again in my Discords due to the recent ban of Imjasmine for her “wardrobe malfunction”. Basically, the discussion is about the discussion around Twitch and the Thot Streams. This is not a new problem, it has plagued Twitch for quite a while. It is only now that Twitch has opened to not being just a game streaming site that the problem has escalated the way it has. And today, I think I’ve come across a realization of the issue with the Thot Streams. Of course there is a solution but it’s not going to be one that everyone likes but whatever, it’ll be in here… somewhere.
Let me make make it explicitly clear up front, I don’t have a problem with Thot Streams. If I need to define what a Thot Stream is for you, basically it’s a softcore porn stream. If real life were an anime, it’d be an ecchi stream. Not hard enough to be banned from view by minors but sufficiently spicy such that it’s not something a Christian parent would want their teenager watching. They can be a variety of streams, the more popular one is sticking a girl in a tub, water covering the important bits and just chatting.
These types of streams have come under fire for a number of reasons.
- Age appropriate – Should Twitch really be allowing such content to be streamed on the website for 13+ year olds?
- We’re not just talking tube tops and short skirts, we’re talking naked women in tubs, women painting their boobs, breastfeeding on stream even at one point.
- Objectification of women – Are women being objectified by the viewers?
- Some streamers are more equal than others – Moderation policy regarding some of the slips for these streamers has been light in comparison to what might be expected for a different type of streamer doing the same stuff
- Reminder: Twitch made a change to their ToS such that accusing the staff of giving favorable treatment to a streamer due to sexual favors is now a violation and may result in account termination.
- It’s exploitative – It encourages horny teenagers to send money to a streamer for ecchi
This list is not exhaustive. And I think a lot of fair discussion can be had about these topics that result in meaningful change that will please the plaintiffs. The problem is, it seems that any time someone wants to have these discussions, they get shouted down for some number of reasons. You’ll get the usual feminist responses. “Why are you objectifying women? It’s a free market. Sex work is real work. Why do you care?”
What is a Stream?
It’s important that we understand what a streamer is. A streamer is a person who provides content to entertain an audience via livestream. Simple enough. Steamers usually appeal to a particular audience to carve a niche in a market. For example, there are speedrunners (like myself). I stream speedrun content but not only that I speedrun a particular game. There are art streams, there are furry art streams, there are furry NSFW art streams. We can keep applying modifiers right but ultimately what we’re doing is we’re defining the content of a stream. I like to define the content of a stream as the essential portion which if removed results in the highest loss of viewership. This content can be aural (in the case of Audio ASMR streams) or visual (in the case of speedrunning streams). If you remove the video of the game I’m speedrunning, it’s not really a speedrun stream anymore, is it? So, for example, let’s go back to ItsNickster. He’s an FPS streamer. He streams Apex Legends. I watch him for his Apex Legends streams. So if you remove the Apex and you just put the camera on him playing Apex, I stop watching. I think it’s fair to say most of the audience would do the same. So let’s put all of this together.
Now let’s take a look at the hot tub streams. I’m not going to name a thot since it’s not something I particularly know enough about to make more than a surface level observation. So I’m going to apologize now if I’m a little misinformed here since I pick everything up through hearsay and media articles that I read during lunch. If I’m wrong, feel free to comment, tell me your own thoughts. Streamer name isn’t important. These streamers tend to run just chatting streams. So presumably in such streams, the main component is aural. And the content is just chatting of course. Audience interaction. Let’s look at our stream chart again.
This now begs the question of “Why the Hot Tub?” “Why the boob painting?” If the content is aural, then the visual content isn’t terribly important. Maybe put something cute there, age appropriate, and run your chatting stream. The apparent answer is that the visual content is important. And based on the focus on these streams on the TnA, I suspect that if you remove the TnA, you remove the audience. So let’s fix our table.
And now we’ve arrived at the supposition I’ve started with. And the reason I’m classifying these streams these way is because again, in my view, the essential portion of content is the visual component. If you want to “watch” a stream that has a primary visual component, you cannot close your eyes and be able to “watch” the stream. On the flip side, consider a music stream. A live concert. You don’t need to see the musicians to hear their music. And sure, there may be a visual component in the movement, the facial expressions, but it’s not “the essential” content. If you remove the music from a music stream, you just get something that isn’t what we came for.
An alternative method for arriving at the same point is to think about what the streamer would be willing to cut from their stream and still operate it. I’m a speedrunner, so when I stream I can’t really cut the game. I could cut my commentary, then it’s just the game. I could cut the timer, it’s nice to have but not essential. I could cut controller view on stream, it’s nice to have but not essential. As a self-interested streamer, I would avoid cutting the video game footage of the speedrun at all costs.
If we go to let’s say an Auditory ASMR stream. They might show the items they’re using to produce the sounds. But they don’t need that, they could remove it if they had to. They could theoretically remove all visual components but they absolutely need that auditory content since it’s the essential content.
Now let’s consider the Thot Streams. If this is truly a “just chatting stream”, I wonder how many of them would be willing to cut the visual content. Granted, facial expressions and body language are what, 70% of communication? But if you want to make sure those are in, how many of these hot tub streamers would be willing to cover up when they’re on camera. Do they think they’ll maintain the audience that way? If they cannot, then we have to assume the “essential content” is the partial nudity and whatnot.
Now you’re probably wondering why I’m going through all of this mess to define “What is the streamer, what is the essential content”. It’s because I need to set up the responses to the feminist responses and it’s a lot easier for you to understand where I’m coming from ahead of time before I get into them.
“Why are you objectifying women?”
I actually think this is a fair question to ask despite the stereotype of the type of people who this question often applies to. This question is intended to make the recipient feel bad. Why? Because objectifying
women people is wrong. But let’s take a step back. What is objectifying people? If when we consider people to be objects for our own amusement rather than people. In western culture, this is frowned upon.
But wait a minute, what was the essential content of these hot tub streams again? Is it the women’s bodies? Well that’s what I labeled it as (TnA). The audience isn’t some amorphous blob of wills. It’s people looking for a particular type of content. Why am I not in the hot tub stream audience? Because I don’t have a desire for that type of content. If I did have a desire for that type of content, I’d go to the streams. But it goes further. An audience cannot exist for a stream that does not exist. Who has power over the streams that exist? The streamer. Which means if we accept the proposition that the audience is objectifying women, we have to first admit that the streamers are objectifying themselves, willingly. If a streamer felt uncomfortable about being objectified, they could just… not… do the hot tub streams. But since they persist, we must accept that even if it’s an unintended audience, it’s an audience they have no problem with.
So the answer to this question is that women objectify themselves and the audience is only consuming what the market is providing. So yeah, the audience is objectifying the streamer but the streamer objectified themselves first, so they clearly have no problem with it.
You can watch something else
I can, and I do. But the whole point of the discussion is that people are uncomfortable with these titty streamers being on the front page for little Timmy to watch. I think it’s fair to say that at least the liberal position is that we put some guardrails on the content, not remove the content outright. Still, it’s amazing that a service that used to be about streaming games has become about streaming softcore porn.
So what’s the problem?
Well obviously the problem is a lack of communication. I think the fault is on the side of Twitch and the tub streamers. For some reason Twitch and the streamers would rather this discussion continue to be a problem than solve the problem in a reasonable manner. I believe it’s financially motivated. Obviously I can’t prove it, but it would be one of the easiest causes to come up with. But I think we’re missing the bigger picture here. As a fairly liberal person, if I assume that the complaints are coming from fellow liberally minded individuals, I don’t see why these people can’t have their own category for their softcore porn. I don’t see why it’s unreasonable to limit access for accounts run by minors, so that parents can at least rest assured little Timmy isn’t going to see the nipslip on the account that they made together.
The biggest problem however, is the way this miscommunication is happening. We liberals are being gaslit by the streamers and Twitch, pretending the very issue we see with our own eyes either doesn’t exist or is a figment of our own imagination. It’s a figment of our imagination shared by a substantial part of the community. Guess that qualifies as religion? The cause for the gaslighting in my view is the truth behind the “Sex work is real work” claim. I think these people understand that “Sex work” is not in fact “real work”, and is really more “desperation work”. It’s the world’s oldest profession and one of the most degraded professions. Not because there’s anything wrong with sex (which is what most people probably think) but rather because the value that such professionals provide what is typically an expression of intimacy at a cost.
There’s a meme out there something like “I would never sleep with a girl that has an onlyfans” and the “own” is someone responding “How many girls with an onlyfans want to sleep with you?”. It’s a nice response, but it misses the point. If a woman is willing to have sex with someone for $1000, and I marry this woman and have sex with her, what exchange of intimacy did we have? I gave her a piece of my heart, she gave me a service she renders for $1000.
What these thots are doing is trying to do (not literally but just for the phrasing) is to provide the services of a prostitute while being perceived as a virgin. And we, as general audience are being gaslit for calling her a prostitute. “It’s not prostitution it’s ACTING“. They miss the point. We don’t care that it’s prostitution, it’s her choice, it’s a liberal society after all, we just want her to do it maybe in the back streets where little Timmy cannot see it nor request her services (or be provided them). Basically, at the end of the day:
WE HATE LIARS
Stop lying to us, be reasonable, listen to what we have to say instead of (as is tradition) dismissing what the plaintiffs say as “bigotry”. Accept what you’re doing for what it is. If there really is not shame in it as the common feminist response is, then you wouldn’t be afraid to call a spade a spade. It wouldn’t make you recoil as it does. And the worst part is that by shying away from the label, you’re actually reinforcing the stigma of the label. So again, if “Sex work is real work” then embrace the “real work” and if it isn’t, maybe you should look inside.
Solution and Conclusion
So the problem is two-fold. One is website functions. The other is streamer mentality. The audience is only responding to a perceived problem and the fact that Twitch modified their ToS tangentially shows that their concerns are not unfounded. Of course, you could propose an argument for why their concerns are unfounded or misguided. Again, I’m willing to read the comments and see what you come up with.
Again, I think as far as the Twitch goes, the most practical solution is to gate the material that is ecchi behind mature ratings and whatnot. This will help placate the more “puritan” crowd while being I think a reasonable middle ground. Alternatively you could actually prohibit pornographic content as is prohibited in the Twitch ToS. A 3 day ban for a wardrobe malfunction imo is probably not the treatment DarkSydePhil would get if his junk were displayed on stream by accident. Ultimately though, as I said in the previous section, I think these streamers need to take a look at themselves and accept what they’re doing for what it is. Stop trying to hide your titty streams behind a chatting stream. Just call it a titty stream, we don’t care. After all, as I titled the post: It’s OK to like tiddy. Think that’s about all I got right now though. Thanks for reading.