YouPorn adding a new category to their existing bottomless pit of a library does not breaking news make. However, after learning they had added a ‘Mental Health’ category, I had to look into it further.

I have good news and bad news.

Bad news: It’s not POV therapist-banging-patient type shit.
Good news: That already exists, numb nuts.

Instead, YouPorn’s “Mental Health” category refers to their new initiative titled 2020 Confessionals. It encourages users to upload and share vlog-style videos of themselves talking about the struggles they have been facing in the notoriously shitty year of 2020. On their site it reads “YouPorn is hoping to inspire a new kind of release by encouraging people to share their experiences from a year filled with lots of highs and lows, be they joyful, sad, frustrating, hilarious, sexy or otherwise. All re-tellings are welcomed.”

This has been launched in partnership with BuddyHelp – a free mental health support website. YouPorn pledges to donate $100 to BuddyHelp for every 1000 views that these videos rack up. Cool, sweet, thumbs up.

YouPorn’s user base is primarily made up of males. Men, of course, are statistically more likely to not seek help for mental health issues they face. So yeah, I get it.

CEO of BuddyHelp, David Braun told Mel Magazine “Men are far less likely than women to seek professional support and are also less likely to disclose a mental health problem to friends and family. This is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness for the resources that are available.”

This is just the latest in a significant list of efforts that porn sites have been making to turn their previously etchy reputations around. PornHub have been donating to charities that look after the health of sex workers and offering free premium subscriptions to users in lockdown.

The initiative is in its very very early stages, (I wanted to say infantile stages but so not appropriate). Only six videos have been published at the time this article went live. To get the mental health party started, the first videos published have featured porn stars/sex workers sharing their own struggles. This humanises them nicely and will likely encourage more people to join in and upload themselves.

However, there are already issues. One video on the page is just a hardcore porn video someone uploaded (surely YouPorn were expecting that to happen) and another one is a video of a music speaker playing Lenny Kravitz’s Fly Away. Hearing that jam did instantly help my mental health tho, tbh.

The very first video uploaded was by Jedy Vales, YouPorn’s own animated virtual star. It’s a 48-second vlog of her complaining about being in virtual lockdown and her virtual neighbours who have been having virtual sex all day before she realises the noise was just coming from her phone, which was open on YouPorn. It seems a bit ridiculous and misses the point of their own initiative entirely IMO, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

I’m keen to watch this space over the weekend. You can check out 2020 Confessionals, or even upload your own video here. (That link is SFW).