Fair Questions: Should Apple ban orgasm practice apps?

I learned recently via an article on VICE that there are a variety of smartphone apps for people to use to educate themselves on how to provide a woman with pleasure by stimulating the vagina in various ways.  The only app I ever designed and tested was a language-learning app for English speakers starting to learn the basic characters of the Japanese syllabaries, and I don’t use many of the apps available for my smartphone, so I am hardly an expert on these apps.

I did learn that La Petite Mort, the app that has been banned from the Apple app store, is available in the Google Play store for $2.50, so maybe some Apple iPhone users will have an incentive to switch to an Android phone.  It’s described as an audiovisual game, though the article points out that the visuals in question are heavily pixelated.  Despite this, it was banned by Apple for essentially the same reason as pornographic images are banned.

The app developer quoted in the article argues that it should not be banned because morally equivalent apps are allowed to remain.  While I am an ascetic who thinks that self-denial is an essential part of the life which is developing toward moral perfection, and subsequently that masturbation isn’t something we should be actively encouraging as a society if we want to promote moral growth, I also don’t think my moral beliefs matter in the case of Apple’s decision.

Apple can ban whatever items they think will harm their bottom line from their app store.  This is not an area in which my role is to do anything more than not buy their products if I find their business practices objectionable.  And it’s true that I don’t buy Apple products for myself, though that decision is a matter of practicality rather than a matter of protest.

In the end, there are other educational alternatives to the La Petite Mort app, which means people still have access to masturbation aids or games, however one looks at them.  So it’s not as if an iPhone customer has no remaining options even if they stay with Apple. No one is being denied an essential service here, or even an orgasmic experience. They just don’t get to see and poke at pixelated vulvas, so we need not sympathize too much with their loss.

Not only is it not killing anyone, but it’s also not even a little harmful.

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