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“Other people getting off to me gets me off”: Reddit’s DIY porn forums

Reddit is one of the largest websites in the world, used by tens of millions of people a month. One of them is Barack Obama, who posted a Q&A to the site in September 2012. And another is naughtylittlenurse, who posts naked photos of herself to r/gonewild, a subsection of the site where hundreds of people a day upload their nude photos, not for money, but for the valueless Internet points known as “upvotes.”

In real life, naughtylittlenurse is a 21-year-old “pretty typical girl” we'll call Amy (not her real name). A few months ago she posted a picture of herself naked but for a pair of green underwear. It received 142 positive upvotes, the points that determine the popularity and visibility of posts on the site. “It actually didn’t do very well, and I was disappointed, but I figured I’d try again,” she says. “I like the site because something about other people getting off to me gets me off. I have had a sort of exhibitionist streak for years and this is a really fun way to explore that. It’s always a huge confidence boost when a post does well, and I try to make all my posts creative and fun instead of just boring mirror shots.”

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