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at the heart of the gross outcry over ‘censorship’ in videogames where a developer has chosen to sometimes not go with the d-grade fanservice panty peek is the idea that a lot of straight men are used to getting porn for free. Sure, they pay for a video game but that media has the added bonus of being inundated with images of women that are there for little other reason than to arouse them. if not be wank material, to be a kind of weird cushy window dressing, that a world that a straight man ought to want to escape to is one where all women are there for his comfort and pleasure.

And this is seen as a targeted-marketing strategy, that ‘sexy’ designs with little actual womens’ sexuality in them focus test well with men who are raised to see those images as normal and inviting. That other kinds of images of women are seen as less inviting or even hostile after being spoiled for so long. But let’s not call it a marketing strategy for a second? lets call it that straight men are used to getting free sex-and-machismo gratifying materials with almost everything they purchase. Or even randomly see, if billboards with 10-foot-tall lounging bikini ladies are anything to go by.

And that’s not even to go into the amount of men that think they are entitled to a woman’s sexual or intimate labor, especially a sex worker’s, for free. They may justify it with shit like ‘I paid for dinner, and she didn’t even go down on me,” or “I paid to get in to the club, why won’t you give me a dance?” or whatever. Or even in the realm of total creepzone, the culture of men online who take illicit photographs of women, share their ex’s nudes, publish revenge porn, whatever. Even to the places where artists are drawing explicit material and a huge amount of people refuse to pay up, want freebies. Or they just go to someone who has already paid for the material and get them to share it online when its against the artist’s policy. Or they shave the watermarks off. stuff like that.

it all stems from that sex and sexual imagery, especially from women, is seen as ought to be free or else a free perk of another purchase. And the conventional wisdom goes that if your stuff doesn’t include sexy material for them, you’re losing potential consumers, so it needs to have some, and not alienate those same audiences in the same product. So it self-perpetuates. Men expect porn for free because providing porn for free is a way to make men buy it because men expect it because its a premium for them to buy it because men expect it, etc.

breaking that cycle, even for a totally unrelated, non-progressive reason is not ‘censorship.’ not any more than including it is “freedom of expression.” What companies ‘express’ by including pointless boner fuel is that they think only straight men’s moneys are important, and that those moneys-bearers see getting free pinups or just outright softcore with everything like needing a toy in their happy meal or a prize in their cereal box.