All The Tropes:No Lewdness, No Prudishness
On All The Tropes, we want to serve our audience the best. Because of that, we have to keep a balance between covering all media, and being a site that people can feel safe to browse at work. (Don't tell your boss how much time you spend here, though.)
It comes down to -- it's okay to talk about pornography and violence on the wiki. It is not okay be pornographic or violent on the wiki. It's okay to talk about a work with any level of sexual content, but not to post pictures or exceptionally graphic text. Use your best judgment, and don't be afraid to ask us for help in The Forums.
Sometimes examples have a tendency to stray from the path of "funny, but informative" into the land of "downright lewd". Lewd writing is flat out pornographic. If you see it, clean up. Examples can be written without creepiness. If there is something sexual, it's best to just state the facts and move on.
"Lewdness" is more than just being about something sexual or potentially sexual. Here are some signs of lewd writing:
- Personal opinions on hotness. Examples should stand on their own without the introduction of YMMV material. Adding your own thoughts and feelings on an example is an opinion, same as calling an example good or bad. Don't do it. Don't try and extend your feelings to a larger group of fans either, e.g. "...and fangirls everywhere rejoiced". You're not fooling anyone.
- Overly detailed examples. The example doesn't need to be an exact sensory account of the event. Too much of that and you end up sounding like you're writing porn. When in doubt, drop a few adjectives.
- Unrelated fanservice mentions. If the hot bits aren't related to the example, they don't belong in the example.
- Pornographic writing. If you're writing porn, it should be somewhere other than the wiki. Literotica and adult-fanfiction.org are possibilities.
- Safe Screenshots, Please. Tell, don't show. We don't need images to illustrate NSFW Fan Service. If you really have to include a link, make sure to tag it as NSFW so that people don't inadvertently click on it. (See also Weblinks Are Not Examples.)
- Talking about actors instead of characters. An actor is not the character they play. When you're writing an example about a work, refer to the character, not the actor. This applies to non-sexual references, but too often it's tropers writing about how they find certain actors hot. That doesn't fit in character examples.
- Not Safe for Work works have NSFW descriptions. Nope. Just the tropes, ma'am.
If a page seems to be infested with lewdness, and you don't feel up to tackling it yourself — or if you're not sure whether it's lewd enough to fall afoul of this guideline — please report it in The Forums.
On the flipside of this, it's possible to be too prudish as well. The wiki is always going to discuss sex and sexuality because it's one of the driving forces behind most media productions; if you think Sex Is Evil, you are unlikely to be happy with the approach All The Tropes takes.
Merely being about something sexual or potentially sexual does not mean that a work or trope page is fair game for chopping on the grounds that it's creepy or perverse. There are things to avoid.
- Don't cutlist or gut pages just because they're about sexual topics. Sex exists. It's used in media a lot. You'll just need to cope with that fact. Relationships, fanservice, and sexual activity all fall into their own tropes as a result.
- Don't be a Bluenose Bowdlerizer. We're not looking to censor all sex off the wiki. If the sex and sexuality is an honest part of the work and relevant to the example, it belongs there.
- The wiki is not rated G. We aren't sanitizing the wiki for small children. Sex and sexuality are part of media and we aren't going to ignore them. This wiki is Family Friendly, not Unsupervised Small Child Friendly. This isn't an excuse to make work pages dirtier than the work itself, as the above No Lewdness section makes clear, but neither is it an excuse to make those pages cleaner than the work itself.
The Moderation Staff has had to permanently ban at least one person who wasn't willing to follow this advice regarding prudishness. Please don't be the next person on that list.