Apple has decided not to sell a sex education game called HappyPlayTime on its App Store. Why? Because it deems it pornographic.
HappyPlayTime is aimed at women with the intention of teaching them about female masturbation. It's also hoped that it would contribute to removing the stigma and taboo surrounding the activity.
The app / game itself features a talking vulva called Happy that guides the player through a series of six mini-games. These teach the player the anatomy of the vagina and how best to stimulate it.
What should be noted at this point is that HappyPlayTime is entirely illustrated in a friendly cartoon manner. It doesn't contain any photographic nudity and its interactions are abstract.
Despite that, Apple rejected it for violating two guidelines. The first is 16.1 for "exceptionally objectionable or crude content".
The second guideline is 18.1, which pertains to "pornographic material". Apple uses the Webster's Dictionary definition of the term to inform its guideline.
This definition reads: "Explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs of activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings."
Apple's decision here has caused some outcry. People speaking out against it include advertising executive and MakeLoveNotPorn founder Cindy Gallop.
Gallop called out Apple's decision to let Rack Stare onto the App Store (which "lets men stare at tits") but "forbids women educating themselves" in reference to HappyPlayTime.
.@appstore lets men stare at tits @rackstare http://t.co/NAxZ4miA9u forbids women educating themselves @happyplaytime http://t.co/WpFnTKCAG3 - Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) May 18th, 2014The creator of HappyPlayTime, Tina Gong, has said that an Android version of the game will surface in the future.
However, with the iOS version a non-starter, Gong says that she'll be focusing on a web version of HappyPlayTime.
You can find more information on HappyPlayTime on its website. Note that the website may be considered not safe for work.New York Magazine