Community Guideline Update and "Adult" Content

So, recently an update was rolled out for the Patreon community guidelines, and one addition goes into detail on adult content.

Prior to this I recall the statement was just a vague “Artistic nudity is okay,” and in practice as long as the content wasn’t banned in the ToS or wasn’t just someone selling sexual services or porn vids, it was largely fine. Stuff like animated content, games, artwork, etc. were generally okay as long as their themes weren’t over the lines set by the ToS.

The new policy overall feels a lot more clear compared to before, e.g. by much more clearly stating what isn’t allowed, and not implying that artistic nudity is a prerequisite, but some parts are still a bit vague, like in the “you can’t use patreon funds for…” bit and what that extends to. (Considering the language is similar to what it was before, I’d assume that it’s referring to people trying to run a porn site / produce porn clips, but I’d like to get confirmation still.)

Are Patreon’s policies about the same as they were prior to this change, and was this change just to make stuff more clear? Or are there are any major differences and changes to Patreon’s policy with adult content (particularly fictional / illustrated stuff) and how they carry it out?

I do remember seeing one page is currently being subject to review, though that page had a lot of graphic imagery in its page description as well, instead of censoring it, so I don’t feel like that was unwarranted. (I believe the guidelines have ALWAYS stated any public-facing aspects need to be appropriate.)

For anyone else curious, the new guidelines can be found here:


I would like to know as well. While it sounds like it’s still saying no real person content as rewards (videos, porno movies, etc of real people) I’d love some clarification on that just to be sure that visual art that doesn’t cross the other guidelines is okay.

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I would definitely like to know more about the last bit they added, which feels as if they intentionally kept it vague. It’s clear that Patreon doesn’t want their platform to turn very Adult centric due to the influx and interest, so basically “It’s okay” is something they don’t want to say ever when it comes to Adult content. Don’t get me wrong, the new guidelines are mostly dominated with GOOD clear-cut descriptions of what is okay and what isn’t okay and I’m sure 99.9% of the people using this platform would agree with them. Bestiality, necrophilia, incest, child pornography and sexual violence has no place in this platform and I hope everyone would agree with that. However, the last paragraph seems to raise the most eyebrows.

The problem with that last bit (“You can’t use Patreon to raise funds in order to produce pornographic material…”) is that up until that point, nothing regarding the guidelines sounded as all-encapsulating. It’s inconveniently made unclear whether that sentence means “you cannot use Patreon to BUILD establishments to make pornographic material, and here’s some examples but it’s not an exhaustive list” or “you cannot put up pornographic material of the varieties listed”. It could even mean “You can’t make money on Patreon to make any ‘products’ with pornographic material in them” and the only clue we have to prove that isn’t the case is that, they wouldn’t spend any effort into specifying and describing what ISN’T OKAY about pornography if they flat out refused it all in the first place. The wording is lack-luster and is bound to make people uneasy as Patreon has the power to refuse people their livings now.

Also: “You cannot sell pornographic material or arrange sexual service(s) as a reward for your patrons” is another vague excerpt. So is it okay for me to make pornographic material, but I have to make all of them available to all my patrons instead of associating them to paid tiers? If so, why? And is this about mostly live-action porn material (since it’s coupled up with sexual services)? What about the illustrated pornographic material that you DID go out of your way to specify in an earlier paragraph? Are you not specifying it because you don’t want to be caught saying “It’s okay if you draw porn if you do this and that”? Would that mean this paragraph does not concern me if I happen to be doing pornographic illustrations and comics?

I mean I know Patreon doesn’t inherently hate that so many people on their platform make their wages by doing pornographic material - it is a hard thing to do internationally without the support of such a platform. The keyword here however is “international” and that includes countries with harsher bans on pornography. Those who chose doing such material as their career, may end up having Patreon as their last resort (as they cannot sell their product directly in their immediate local markets), depending on where they happen to be living. Sure, it’s not Patreon’s responsibility to secure those, but clarity would be appreciated for those who have been stressing out for legitimate reasons.

The way I see it, that last paragraph is written in a way that pretty much implies that they mean pornographic material and services in the traditional sense.
As in, you can’t run a porn movie studio with Patreon funds, fund your porn actors, run a porn-hub like website, or have a Patreon where you wanna raise money so you can dangle your genitals in front of a webcam as reward :film_projector: :eggplant: :scream: :skull: :fire: :fire: .

This all sounds veeeeeeery much like something Paypal would ask them to put there. They’ve been paranoid about this forever, yet all artists still use Paypal to handle commission payments, including for adult artworks. Emphasis on artworks though.

What I’m also interested in having Patreon think about is something that clearly oversteps the boundary of both categories and exists in a grey-zone inbetween.

Consider this: Photorealistic adult artwork depicting real life humans engaged in sexual acts. Does this fall under artwork, or under the traditional pornography kinda category? My gut feeling would say it would be impacted because it is just too close to the real deal. But yes, clarifications!

@ellie @erin

From what I’ve heard about another creator whose page was set under review and OK’d, the big issue is just the public facing aspects.

Which makes sense. You have to present your page in a manner that if a kid found it, they wouldn’t be able to get access to any questionable content. Public posts need to be decent, images on your front page can’t be pornographic, and you can’t have links to any NSFW files (in his case he had a version of his game available on his page, and it’s an adult game.) Patreon basically told him there wasn’t an issue with the state of his adult content and it wasn’t violating any ToS, but he needed to just correct his page layout.

Mmh… Even for pages that were flagged as adult, and thus hidden from being discovered through random Patreon creator browsing? :open_mouth:

Thank you for tagging me, @Temrin, and everyone else for sharing your thoughts/questions/concerns about the recent update to the Community Guidelines.

The guidelines at Patreon are essentially the same as before; we’ve just made some adjustments to the language to make them more clear. So if your page has been ok in the past and you haven’t changed the content or how you are sharing it, you are likely still within the guidelines.

One thing we took a stronger stance around is some fringe areas of adult content (specifically bestiality, incest, rape, and sexualization of minors). If your Patreon page currently has any of these categories, I’d encourage you to update it to not include them, rather than waiting for us to contact you about it. Some ways you can make updates would be by removing tags, texts, images or depictions that glorify the above themes.

While some people might think the updated guidelines are creating stricter rules around the content you make, this is not actually the case. Porn, which we define as real people engaged in sexual acts, has never been ok on Patreon. We want to be clear with how you can and cannot use Patreon so that you can make sure that you are creating within the guidelines as you build your Patreon pages and share content/rewards with your patrons.

One update that we feel greatly benefits creators is the new reform process, which will allow creators who may be outside of the guidelines to adjust their pages before any risk of actually being removed. The possibility of removing someone’s income is not a decision that’s made on a whim and that’s why our Trust and Safety team is working closely with these creators. You can read more about this process in a blog post from our legal team posted here.

My hope is that you all feel free to create and share the content that you want on Patreon, while also maintaining a safe space for other creators and their patrons. I really appreciate all of the responses to this so far and the incredibly supportive community we have in here.


Thanks for the response, Ellie. That’s about what I anticipated–as I said initially it definitely feels a lot more concrete than the policies that were present before, but otherwise about the same.

That all permanently puts my mind at ease. :stuck_out_tongue:

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That reform process sounds reasonable and it is good to see that Patreon is aware of the income dependency many creators are in, in regards to the platform. Thanks, Ellie! :+1:

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Thank you for the clarification, Ellie. As long as Patreon’s official stance stays this way, my mind is at ease. <3


One thing we took a stronger stance around is some fringe areas of adult content (specifically bestiality, incest, rape, and sexualization of minors)

@ellie Could you (I mean @patreon), please, publish a list of parameters by which this or that image will be recognized as relating to bestiality, incest, rape, and sexualization of minors.
I will give examples:

  • The presence of genitalia, similar to animals, will be considered bestiality? If so, it’s a huge blow to a lot of furry artists. Will the images of a dildo with a similar shape be banned too?
  • How will incest be determined? I mean, it’s not even illegal content… For example, the relationship between brother and sister (both of 35 years) will be considered as incest? What about the case when their sexual intimacy is shown, but it is not indicated that this is a brother and sister (but they are)? What about the distant relatives (cousins)? IIf I painted sex between John Snow and Dayneris, but did not watch the last season of the Game of the Thrones, would this be considered as an incest? Will incest be considered if sexual intimacy is not shown, but comic book characters have common children, while it is known that they are brother and sister (Father and daughter / Mother and son)
  • How is rape determined? This is a very serious issue. BDSM will be considered rape? What about hard BDSM? What about role-playing games?
  • With minors, I have a similar question. How will the age of the character be determined if there are no direct indications of him? How to determine the difference between 21 years and 17? What about the cases when at the beginning of the comics it will be indicated that the character is 21 years old, but by the looks he will look like he is 10 years old? Do I have to scan the passports of a fictional character drawn, and will this be sufficient proof of his age (lol)? What about dwarfs or smaller creatures (eg fairies)? What about anthropomorphic creatures (including furies)? What is the age of majority for dragons? Deyneris’s dragos is clearly under the age of 21, for example…

That’s what I mean. Without clear parameters, according to which the artist could walk to make sure that he does not violate the rules, these rules… are absurd, in some way. In the rules you need to include a clear list of parameters by which this or that type of content will be determined. Moreover, these parameters should be interpreted unambiguously, that there were no discrepancies.

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Patreon will do what almost every other platform has done: gradually conform to the mainstream until no R-rated content is allowed. Payment providers and investors will guarantee this.

So, have a plan B folks.

Comangamer: congrats on showing the absurdity of our society in trying to police the thoughts in our heads as well as our art, which just spills over to Patreon

Patreon will do what almost every other platform has done: gradually conform to the mainstream until no R-rated content is allowed. Payment providers and investors will guarantee this.
So, have a plan B folks.

That’s sad story actually… But still, it is not the answer. When they come, the same list of parameters will be needed anyway.

I mean, I already live in a place where people are imprisoned for reposting erotic pictures in the anime style. At the same time there are no publicly available parameters according to which this or that image can be recognized as an image of a minor. So, for example, even the fifth breast size and 2 meters of growth can not be a guarantee that the image is recognized as child pornography without a clear, publicly available list of parameters. I do not want the patreon to become something like that…

@comangamer, thanks for the follow-up questions!

The Trust and Safety team decided against offering any blanket answer on these issues because, as you’ve hinted yourself, the context is so important. When reviewing content, Trust and Safety considers whether or not the act is hinted or fully described/depicted. The first case would be allowed, while the second would be reviewed more carefully. It does not mean that we would necessarily remove the content but would go deeper in the review, raising questions such as: “Is it the whole theme of the fictional piece?”; “Is it a survivor story?”; "Does the piece glorify non-consensual sex?”; or “How old is the character in their original source?”

I understand that this might not be the yes or no answer you were hoping for. I also want to highlight that the Trust and Safety team realizes the skills it takes to create adult content and that is why instead of going with blanket answers, they decided to incorporate context.

If you are concerned about any of your own content crossing the line, you can always contact the Trust and Safety team directly at, and someone from the team will offer guidance and review your page. Just know that it might take a little while to hear back, as the team wants to make sure they spend enough time helping each creator who contacts them.