Stock library Unsplash have created a free-to-use collection of imagery that aims to convey taboo subjects in a “more safe, creative way”. Sex as a subject is not going away, and in a world where communication has become predominantly visual, we need images other than limited “medical diagrams and porn”.
“Today, many sexual subjects considered ‘off-limits’ have a growing need to be communicated”, Mikael Cho, founder and CEO of Unsplash explains. “Unsplash is a safe space for all creators. So we made a new kind of ‘safe for work’ photography to cover the ‘not safe for work’ creative needs of the world”. Playing on the company name, Unporn is for those naughty, suggestive moments where you cannot be explicit; it is also for those points where you need humour and playfulness to discuss a taboo. Sexuality can be fun, and these ambiguous images, when used in the right context, are precisely that.
There are currently 77 photos in the Unporn collection, which features spiky, erect cactuses, juicy fruits, sizzling sausages and melting ice lollies. The series was available for a short time while Unsplash prepared for the announcement, in that time publishing companies went bananas for the photos. “They were downloaded 64,000+ times and used by Elle, Playboy, Women’s Health, GQ, and Newsweek”, Cho comments. GQ’s article humorously features a chunky aubergine next to the title “What makes the ‘perfect penis’”, a cheeky wink at girth and size. The company is looking for more images for the collection and is asking members of the public to contribute.
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