Despite living at a moment in time when nearly all of our pornographic desires can be fulfilled online, there’s a group of men who crave a lack of fulfillment instead. They self-identify as “beta males” on Reddit, and for them, porn is something they’re undeserving of. And so, they seek to censor it.
On r/CensoredForBetas, over 30,000 betas gather to view pornographic content in which nothing actually pornographic is visible. Rather, every titillating detail, from nipples, to genitals, to faces, has been pixelated into obscurity. All that’s left is the suggestion of something explicit. But it’s this suggestion — and this absence of nudity — that they find so erotic.
“I always thought women in lingerie are hotter than nude women,” says one prominent subscriber, SirLewo, who considers himself a “switch” — i.e., he’s interested in both censoring others and being subjected to censorship. “I guess the mystery behind it makes it appealing, but a very important aspect lies in the name, too — CensoredForBetas.” As he goes on to explain, the subreddit is meant for guys who enjoy the subjugation that comes with the “beta” title. The humiliation and being undeserving of enjoying the sight of a naked woman is exactly what they crave.
“Alphas deserve those women, their bodies aren’t meant for the betas,” SirLewo continues. “I often get comments on my posts saying [the betas in the subreddit] don’t deserve the women depicted in the images, and sometimes they complain about them not being censored enough or some body parts being uncensored like feet, armpits or belly buttons.”
With that in mind, a few of SirLewo’s censored creations have entered absurdist territory where there’s barely even a recognizable human body on display, like one slideshow featuring pictures of women in skinny jeans. There appears to be legs filling the jeans themselves, but they could easily belong to a mannequin.
Another subscriber, jb22_pics, sees creating posts for r/CensoredForBetas as a chance to flex their creativity and dominance. (Jb22_pics declined to tell me their gender.) “Usually I start by finding a sexy image or video, and then seeing what kinks fit well with it,” they explain.
On the subreddit, there are various ways of categorizing content. Some users prefer pictures to be censored using pixels, while others like a blurring effect or black bars. Meanwhile, there’s typically an intersection with a variety of other kinks. For example, as SirLewo mentioned, some photos allow feet to be shown. Another popular format involves a picture or video slowly becoming censored, calling for users to ejaculate in the few seconds they have before the content is hidden entirely.
“In my mind, it’s a creative process where I try different themes and then narrow in on what I want to do with the source content and what captions will work well,” says jb22_pics. “On r/CensoredForBetas, I’ve made the users measure their penises for me, made masturbation games (can you beat the pixels?), locked up users in chastity, censored their wives/girlfriends/crushes and made a series where you turn yourself into a premature ejaculator.”
Currently, they’re releasing an “advent calendar” on the subreddit with a new, holiday-themed censored photo each day of the month. They also enjoy putting together content from non-censored NSFW subreddits, censoring the important bits and including comments from the original post.
“At the core, I get to see the sexy content, and they only get to see what I allow them to see,” they continue. “I think that might be why the posts that are censored with the comments of users where the source material was taken from are so popular. They see how people reacted to the uncensored material, but they can only imagine what it actually looks like.”
“I know she is beautiful from the comments and I am so glad that REAL MEN got to enjoy seeing her naked body, but I know I do not deserve it AND I could not handle it,” a user commented on one such video.
In most cases, porn is censored on religious or moral grounds, or self-censored by those looking to abstain for similar reasons. But among those who participate in r/CensoredForBetas, the pixelation and restriction is its own form of peak erotica. By keeping everything hidden, perpetually waiting to be revealed, their desires remain forever unfulfilled, which, of course, is exactly how they like it.