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An example of non-nude erotic photography
Non-nude pornography, also called "NN" or simply "non-nude", is a genre of photography or video which contains sexually suggestive images of human subjects intended to arouse, but never complete nudity. The genre is closely tied to certain online communities whose purpose is the sharing of photos within the genre. Non-nude communities vary in the level of sexuality they allow, and whether or not they permit "implied nudity" and the depiction of sexual acts. Not only an online phenomenon, non-nude photography is the focus of such contemporary lad mags as Maxim or FHM, which showcase scantily-clad photos, often of celebrity subjects. Detractors of non-nude photography claim it is unequivocal softcore pornography, and prefer to call it "non-nude pornography"; a label that is not favored by adherents of the genre. Non-nude photography can be of both candid subjects and professional models, can include the subject in normal street clothes, swimwear, lingerie, and even technically nudity through obscuring the private areas with such techniques as the handbra, or careful posing. The vast majority of websites featuring non-nude photos focus on photos of women.

Fans of NN often consider it a hobby, and cite a number of reasons for participation: some are not aroused by hardcore pornography or prefer the look of clothed people to nudes, some wish to avoid the stigma or consequences of visiting pornographic websites, and others simply point out that many attractive people refuse to be photographed completely nude.

The origins of the non-nude photography are highly debated, but many in the "NN community" trace their roots to various Usenet photography groups in the days before the Internet. Many NN sites have existed for years, although there is a high turnover rate and a number of major sites—and hundreds of obscure sites—come and go each year. The use of personal computers and high-speed Internet connections has proliferated growth and popularity of NN among younger web-surfers.

Accusations of child pornography

Many NN online communities focus on underaged teenagers (13-17), while others are specifically 18+ only. The subject of underage models is controversial in the United Statesmarker, but the genre currently remains legal there as long as no sexually explicit images are involved. Because of the controversy and the potential for future legal restrictions, some billers and credit card companies refuse to accept payments for underage modeling sites limiting the methods by which the webmasters of such sites can obtain payment. Underage non-nude is popular among those who wish to view sexually suggestive images of adolescence, but do not want to risk the legal ramifications of child pornography. Although non-sexually explicit underage photographs are not illegal in the United States, NN sites with underage content have occasionally been condemned by child advocacy groups, or subjected to increased scrutiny by law enforcement. This negative media attention about underage photography has prompted many NN sites to implement an 18+ rule. Enforcement of age and content restrictions is often sporadic, as the ages of the subjects of NN photographs are often unknown; usually decisions about the age of a subject or the appropriateness of a picture are left to the subjective discretion of a webmaster or forum moderator.

An additional factor to the age issue in the United States is that while sites must all obey the federal child pornography laws of the United States, they only need follow the more stringent laws if they exist of their own state, not any other adjacent states or all states. As such, many sites featuring models under the age of 18 would be illegal and subject to prosecution in states with stricter child pornography laws, yet due to interstate commerce legislation, they can base themselves out of states with more open laws or ones that only use the exact same guidelines as the federal government. This is why several such sites use Colorado and Florida as their location, as those two states have relatively lenient child pornography laws. So far, attempts to close up this grey area of U.S. law have failed, with federal legislation not making it through either the House or Senate on at least one occasion, and the US Supreme Court refusing to address the issue yet.

Types of non-nude pornography

NN communities can exist in a number of different forms, such as Usenet news groups, IRC channels, traditional static websites, message boards and other forums, Yahoo groups, and even blogs. However, NN communities are generally categorized by their technical incarnation rather by the source of their content.

Types of communities

Webfinds are websites that harvest images or video from pre-existing online communities (such as Flickr, or Photobucket). There is no regularly used name for this subgenre; "webfinds" is rarely used, but often these types of sites are just referred to simply as "NN" with no further qualifiers to distinguish them from the other types. Many of the pictures on these sites were not originally created for the purpose of sexual gratification. Their presence on NN sites often constitutes copyright infringement, as these photographs are often obtained, reproduced, and distributed entirely without the permission of their original owners or copyright holders. In addition, they are often removed from their original context, and could thus be considered humiliating or even damaging once placed in their new, sexual context. For legal reasons, paysites do not usually fall into this category, although many sites of this type attempt to make money through advertising.

Additionally, the "webfinds" genre includes a small variety of nonnude websites who produce content based on surfer submissions. With standard "webfound" sites, content is normally taken/stolen from an originating source and reposted on the "webfound" site. Based on the legal implications and emotional impact this can have on persons who find themselves on a "webfound" site, a new outlet was formed and surfer submission based nonnude began. Sites backed by surfer submissions allowed individuals wanting to be in the lime light a means by which they could publicly post their pictures for anyone to see and in most cases comment on. The concept is similar to that of a voyeur, but much more disconnected, and not as defamatory as simply publishing nude/hardcore photos.

Candid NN sites and consent issues

Candid NN sites are where photographers (either professional or amateur) host or submit photographs that they have taken in public places, sometimes of complete strangers. Much candid NN photography is taken "on the street" or in malls of subjects in regular clothing, but much is also taken at places like beaches and swimming pools where subjects can be photographed in swimwear. Although taking photographs of people without consent is often considered unethical or controversial, candid photography of this type is generally legally protected in the United States, although it may sometimes violate rules that some public places establish against any photography. Photographs taken of subjects in private settings without their knowledge is not generally considered part of NN, and belongs instead to the voyeur genre of pornography. So-called "upskirt" and similar photography is generally not accepted by the NN community. Many candid sites are run by the photographers whose work they feature, while others accept republish submissions by other photographers sometimes in exchange for monetary payments or free access to paysites. A number of candid paysites exist, although most are free and supported by advertising.

NN "model sites"

Some NN sites feature images created with the active participation of a model, sometimes professionally. Many NN models are active participants in NN forums, and many have their own forums on their sites. A majority of these sites require payment in order to access their full content. They are often structured similarly to regular pornographic paysites—except for lack hardcore material—and often use the same billing systems such as Verotel or CCBill. NN models are almost all young adult females. Some underage girls are known to have websites, but these are considered to be of the "internet child modeling" genre, and not the "Non Nude" niche.

Hybrid NN sites and communities

These feature a combination of the above techniques, mostly "webfinds" and candids with a smaller amount of modeling content. Candids and modeling pictures are sometimes posted by or with the permission of the copyright holder, but are sometimes reposted without permission from other NN sites. Copyright infringement against other NN sites is treated much more harshly by the NN community than the day-to-day copyright infringement that defines the "webfinds" subgenre of NN, since stealing from NN sites is seen as undermining the community, while stealing from non-NN sources brings new material into the community.


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