Naughty In a Bad Way

AfterEllen publisher deletes “naughty lesbian sex scenes” post after criticism


Three weeks after firing beloved editor-in-chief Trish Bendix, the straight men who now run longtime “lesbian site of record” AfterEllen posted and quickly deleted a post headlined “Naughty Lesbian Sex Scenes.” The post was criticized by Bendix and others on social media for looking at lesbians and queer female culture through the eyes of a straight man.

After Bendix published a blog post about her firing and the site’s all-but demise last month, Emrah Kovacoglu, the straight male manager of AfterEllen’s parent company who denied Bendix promised severance after she wrote her blog post, wrote his own post denying her claims.

“Evolve Media acquired from Viacom in October 2014 and proceeded to up the investment in the site by creating new features, franchises, and content to grow the site and its advertiser base. Unfortunately, those efforts did not result in increased audience or enough advertiser support to justify continuing to invest at the same levels,” he wrote. (Studies have shown that queer women make more money than straight women do, but are ignored by advertisers.)

Though the headline for the “Naughty Lesbian Sex Scenes” post still appears on the homepage as of Saturday afternoon, the link is dead and there is no cached version of the page, suggesting it was deleted rather quickly. There is no editors’ note or explanation of the post of any kind.

Kovacoglu promised the site would continue to be updated, and at least one regular contributor has vowed to stick around, but Autostraddle, now the last big “lesbian site of record,” has hired a number of AfterEllen’s writers, and Kovacoglu wouldn’t commit in his blog post to saying how often the site will be updated.

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