Question and answer-sharing platform Quora is not the first place one might think of to see someone peeing into their own mouth, or a poorly-lit selfie of someone getting an enthusiastic rimjob. The platform's mission, according to the site, is to "share and grow the world’s knowledge," which is a noble enough cause. But among the platform's dorky questions about history and literature lies a thriving erotic community—and it might be the nicest place to post a dick pic online.
Quora is like Yahoo! Answers for grownups: Instead of teenagers asking "Am I pragnent?" users ask questions like "Can you drive from New York City to Acapulco?" for others to answer. To credibly answer a question, you can state your qualifications ("Been to 50+ countries on every continent, incl. Antarctica," for example) to encourage more upvotes for your post. The site is a mix of people who actually know what they're talking about, smug Silicon Valley types explaining productivity hacks, and armchair scientists spewing nonsense out of boredom or attention deprivation. Most people contribute under their full names (until four months ago, pseudonyms were banned), and mini resumes appear if you hover over profile pictures, listing places of employment, location, and education. One of Quora's rules is that all posts must have proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and sentence capitalization, adding to its sheen of professionalism.
Why a casual internet denizen would upload a photo of their whole meat and potatoes online for free, for fun, is not a mystery—if the internet had an official pastime, that would be it. Why one would choose this website, when there are scads of others dedicated to this sort of thing, is a little more confounding.
For one, the rules don't forbid nudes. "Content about sex and sex-related topics should be intended to be useful and should not be jokey, puerile, adversarial, or graphic," according to the platform's rules. Quora allows sexual content if it's relevant to the conversation; specifically, its rules state: "Users should avoid sex-related language/content in their answers if it is not relevant or important to the quality of the answer." Seeing adult content in public feeds is an opt-in feature.
"Useful" is an interesting word choice. Like "obscene" and "explicit," to most people, it's arbitrarily defined, differing from person to person. If someone asks, "Can I see some dick pics please? I want to think about swallowing your loads," then certainly, the 69 images of penises that follow are reasonably "useful."
Less obviously, people post their nudes to Quora because of the community. "I decided to post nudes on quora because this community is a lot more nonjudgmental of that stuff and also because I’m proud of my size," a user named Peter told me in direct messages on the platform. He used to answer questions asking for nudes frequently, he said—of his penis while sitting on a toilet, or facing a blank wall—but hasn't posted in a while. "This is the only place where I post my nudes." He said he likes that there are specific sections of the site for adult content, and that other users are friendly. "I like the community a lot," he said. "I talk with most people on here but occasionally I’ll give my number out after I talk to them for a while."
Sherman, another frequent poster whose bio says he's a "car enthusiast and homeowner," told me he'd been using Quora for a while before uploading a nude. He's since posted a variety of dick pics, and at least one close-up image of his own asshole, answering the question "Any men who can exposed his ass on here?"
"I guess it wasn't a decision as much as an opportunity," Sherman said. "I have made comments on occasion and here was a question about posting a pic of me that I felt I could enjoy sharing."
"The men on quora compliment me a lot," Jola, an erotic masseuse who has met sex partners through Quora, said.
The appeal of a like-minded community, combined with seeing a lot of other people doing something that piqued your curiosity—in this case, posting hole—motivated several of the people I talked to. "I didn't really decide to use Quora for that at first, but like everything else in life, whenever you see others do it you feel safe doing it also," Pat, who posted one photo of his penis on Quora, told me. He now regrets doing it, and said he tried to delete the post but it wouldn't let him (users can delete answers at any time). But it's not like it keeps him up at night, anyway; I asked him why he regrets making the post. "Because of normal reasons like I use my real name on Quora it would suck if my mom came home one day and said well I know I've seen you naked for a good portion of your existence but GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK," he said. When I offered him anonymity for this piece, he replied, "No it's OK I'm not anonymous I'm just human and that's all I ever want to be so no worries." Alright!
"I really don’t mind posting any nudes…just a body," another user, Daye, told me.
Intermingled with the gaping and erections are questions about celebrity sex tapes, leaked nudes and paparazzi shots. There are also a lot of stolen images from porn performers, sometimes turned into memes as part of confusing spam and scam efforts.
Most of the people posting their own nudes that I've seen and talked to are doing so for the love of the sport, so to speak—there's no way to monetize these posts on Quora, unless you're using them to direct people to another site. In a time when the walls feel like they're closing in for sexual speech online, Quora might be one of the last mainstream platforms that allows its erotic communities to thrive.