We all see the kink bios: NMIK (No Minors In Kink), DNI (Do Not Interact) MINORS, 18+ ONLY, etc. Keeping minors out of the kink community is very important for their safety as unfortunately our community is a target for sexual predators and groomers. This is also important for your own safety as you could be held liable for someone getting hurt. Additionally, many types of play can be extremely dangerous if attempted improperly. For these reasons and more, minors interested in kink should take their time before turning 18 to read and learn rather than actively participate in the community.
If you are a minor reading this, I understand why you may dislike this guideline, but please know it is in place out of our concern for you and desire to keep you from being hurt like many of us have.
Unfortunately, many minors do not like being told what to do. They like to drink before 21, drive before having their full license, and watch X-rated movies. In a similar manner, they also want to be a part of our community before turning 18 (the common age accepted internationally as being a legal adult, also known as "the age of majority"). Don’t let age fool you; minors are clever! They will lie about their age, come up with excuses, and may even provide fake proof of age all in an effort to gain access to your account. I have had my account for only two years now, but you would not believe some of the excuses I have fielded (and not accepted)!
Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of actions you can take to monitor your page for minors and keep them out of your corner of the community. Remember, you cannot control the entire community, but you can do your part to contribute towards a healthier and safer online environment!
- Look for an age in the account bio that is 18+ and confirm that the age listed makes sense with how they look. Lots of people will lie about their age, but if they have a tattoo or show pictures of them at a bar and their bio says 22, it is very reasonable to assume their age is correct.
- Message the account asking for their age before/when they follow you. This is labor intensive and you can get temporarily action-blocked for doing this too often in a given period of time, but believe it or not many minors will answer honestly if you do not explain why you are asking for their age first. I suggest asking for their age first, then explaining why you ask after they have given their age for best results.
- Post an Age Check in your story/fleet or on your page. This is typically a poll or quiz with age range options. Again, this works best when there is no explanation of why you are asking on either that story or any before it. Below is an example for Instagram Stories:
- Search your following/follower lists for the terms that are often found in minor handles and/or bios: "teen", "minor", "10"-"17", "tbdl", "agere", "HS", "regressor", "regression", “sfw”. IMPORTANT NOTE: just because someone has these terms in their bio or username does not mean they are a minor, and not all minors will use these! Searching these terms simply allows you to focus on a more manageable list of accounts that minors are more likely to be on, which is particularly helpful if your following/follower lists are large. NOTE: As of 6/8/2021, this is not foolproof on Instagram; there is a glitch that causes some accounts with these terms in their username/bio to not show up when searched for. I have noticed this on my account as well as others, and the problem persists regardless of origin country, IP address, or whether you use an iPhone or Android.
- When in doubt, ask for proof of age. Any adult over the age of 18 has access to getting a legal identification card, and everyone of adult age will have some way of proving their age. DO NOT FALL FOR THE EXCUSES! Worst case scenario, why don’t they show you a birth certificate, medical document, passport, Fetlife page, OnlyFans subscription, proof they can purchase alcohol, etc? Offering to allow them to blur or cross out irrelevant information (anything aside from their birthday and face) will put their minds at ease that they are not at risk for identity theft.
- Put a disclaimer about your NMIK/18+ policy in your bio and/or your posts. This will not stop many, but it will stop some minors from reaching out. There is already a lot of tension between the kink community and minors, so when doing this please remember to be kind and civil; there's no reason to make it inflammatory and sink to their level.
- Try not to cross tag. “Cross-tagging” is when you use tags on your posts that are frequented by non-community members. When this happens, it increases your visibility to anyone following or searching that tag, thus increasing the odds a minor stumbles across your post. Example: #kittenplay for a pet play post may seem like a relevant tag. However, when you click on that tag, you will find a lot of posts of actual kittens playing around, which minors are definitely likely to follow (because I mean, who doesn’t want to watch playful kittens lol). So while they are looking at adorable little fluff balls, they may scroll past your 🔥🥵🔥(:fire:steamy:fire:) content and be like 😳(:flushed:). In general, the best way to check that you are not cross-tagging is to click on each tag you use and scroll through both the Top and Recent posts feed. If you see a kid or something a kid is very likely to follow in more than a few posts, then that's not a good tag to use for your 18+ content. NOTE: Tags do not work for private accounts! Since your content is private, Instagram doesn't have permission to post your stuff under those tags. My advice is to not even bother with tags if you are a private account!
- Switch to a business account and add age restrictions. If you have a public profile on Instagram, you can switch to a business account for free, then set an age restriction so that your page is only able to be found by accounts that are 18+. This is an amazing feature and I highly recommend doing this if you are public! If you are private, like me, then you can join me in hoping this feature becomes available to us as well! Keep in mind, with this feature, people must put in their age on their Instagram profile, so anyone with no age information will also not be able to find your account. Help spread the word about this and make sure you put your age information in as well! This information remains private, so you don't have to worry about others being able to see your birthday.
- On Tiktok, do not use the #fyp, #foryou, or #foryourpage tags, as that increases your chances of showing up randomly on the "for you" page of any user regardless of age. Fair warning: you can still show up on this page without those tags!
- Add a NSFW (Not Safe For Work), NMIK, or 18+ warning slide at the beginning of your post/video.This gives people a chance to click away before seeing your content if they are underage. This does not keep minors out, but does allow them to self-regulate better. It is important for us to remember that not all minors want to see our content, and it is our responsibility to work with them in that effort!
Even with all of these measures in place, minors are bound to slip through the cracks. If you see a minor following a kink account, do the community a favor and let the account know via private DM (direct message) to help out! I have seen many people immediately blast other accounts on their stories for having minors following them, and honestly that kind of uninformed cancellation only makes the community more toxic. Perhaps that account doesn’t even know that they have minors following them! Screening for minors is a lot of work and we all make mistakes or can be tricked, so help each other out and don't be offended if and when someone shows you a minor on your page!
Stay Safe and Stay Sunny, friends!