As Twitter’s new video-sharing app battles the inevitable proliferation of porn, I can’t help wondering what Vine could mean for the future of sexting and amateur smut. (I mean, aside from the prospect of an annoying new portmanteau to describe the act of digitally sharing naked media.) This question is admittedly a bit premature — Vine, which limits clips to six seconds, doesn’t offer a way to privately and directly share videos — but it’s easy to imagine such a development, if not on the part of the app’s makers than by some enterprising tech vulture. And while the app has begun blocking searches for terms like “sex” and “NSFW,” presumably to avoid violating Apple’s puritanical standards, loads of X-rated material is still available; it’s just harder to find. (One must know which accounts to follow, or get creative with keyword and username searches.) There’s already at least one independent NSFW site compiling naughty vines, and the app’s only been around for a few days.
What makes me ask the question isn’t the fact that users are already using the app for sexual ends — that happens with virtually all new technology — but rather that it hits the sexual sweet spot of our time. Just last month, I wrote about the rise of GIF porn. At the time, I said, “It should come as no surprise, I suppose, that as our thoughts are distilled into 140 characters, our porn is similarly reduced to 256 colors.” Porno-GIFs are more interesting than a photo but require less time investment than a video — and Vine porn only improves upon that formula, better satisfying our desire for high stimulation with low commitment. It’s also way easier to make than a GIF; and it combines recent trends in porn (amateur porn, gonzo clips, tube sites) with the increasing insta-broadcast of every single thing in our lives.
Of course, Vine didn’t invent the six-second video, but neither did Twitter invent sentences of 140 characters. The app simply provides the tools for creating and sharing such videos; make it and they will, ahem, come. As NSFWVine.com has already shown, if the official app isn’t willing to cater to people’s pervy desires, someone else out there will be. The same is true for the ability to easily record and share such video clips privately à la Snapchat (and you thought underage sexting was scandalous). We could be on the verge of a whole new generation of sex scandals. Just imagine if Anthony Weiner had had access to Vine in 2011! On the other hand, picture the Screech sex tape being reduced to a more bearable six seconds. (You lose some, you win some.) Then again, Vine could easily snap from the weight of excessive hype — after all, I can’t predict the future (if I could, I’d be sitting on a private beach purchased with my Silicon Valley billions). But here’s what I know for sure: Technology is going to keep on revolutionizing sex — from how we meet to how we get off — and watching that happen is going to be more exciting than any six-second clip.