Catalogs is the Apple app store’s stealth (soft) porn category

Image Credit: iTunes

Earlier this year, Apple rejected an app, Geometric Porn, that featured squares, triangles, circles, and even rectangles in juxtapositions reminiscent of intercourse. Fairly tame stuff, one might think, but it contravened both Apple’s and Google’s app store guidelines.

Some surfing on the app store turned up some surprising images. And it turns out that the stealthy way to sneak erotic images past Apple censors is via the Catalogs section of the app store.

This is Geometric Porn: inspected and rejected.

And yet, a cursory look at the Catalogs category reveals what you’d think are much more erotic images.

For instance, the many, many tattoo apps are a common means of showing a little ink and a lot of skin:

And, of course, there is the eagerly-anticipated and much-needed Short Skirts Catalog, shown at the top of this post, which dainty young women doubtless peruse daily for shopping inspiration.

Not to mention Love Master, an app to master — if not your own domain — the finer arts, of shall we say, intimate connection. And a Supermodel Fashion for people 17+ that includes the “hottest,” “sexiest” models from all over the globe …

Those are all images that I captured today, months after Geometric Porn was rejected. And they are not the most explicit on the app store.

There’s an app that asks users to trace their fingers over a woman’s body, slowly revealing some of the more interesting parts:

And “Terror at Bikini Beach,” with both a wonderfully campy title and very little left to the imagination … much less, actually, than the denied iKamasutra application:

It’s no surprise that Apple’s app store guidelines are vague, capricious, and perhaps even somewhat randomly applied.

The confusing part is that still, four years after the app store opened, there are still huge grey areas in an approval process that denies some seemingly tame apps, and allows others that seem to be harder core.

Steve Jobs famously argued with Gawker’s Ryan Tate about app store review guidelines, saying that the iPhone offered “freedom from porn.” The real question is what one considers porn … and it turns out that app store rejections are as vague and capricious as the answer to that question.

The upshot?

If you’re looking to sneak erotica onto the app store, Catalogs is the category for you. And, if you’re on Apple’s review team, there are definitely teammates who think different.

Image credit: Lucky Business/ShutterStock

0 comments