About a year ago, I wrote a post where I introduced you guys to an amazing female masturbation app called HappyPlayTime. The app is designed to educate girls about female masturbation through fun and silly games, interesting trivia, and an overall light-hearted tone about masturbation that doesn’t make it seem taboo or terrifying. I was really excited about the future release of the app, and judging from the comments, so were all of you. For once, here was an app about sexuality for ladies, not just men. Finally!
Well, curb your excitement right now. HappyPlayTime was supposed to be available on Apple devices months ago, but the release kept getting delayed… and now it looks like it may never happen, on Apple devices at least. Despite the excited buzz about the app from those in the know, HappyPlayTime was rejected from the Apple App Store on May 13th, meaning you’ll probably never be able to download it onto your iPhone.
So, why didn’t this app make it onto the app store? Although no one from Apple said this exactly, I’m going to assume it wasn’t the right fit because it is about female masturbation, which is unfortunately still a very touchy topic in our society. The Huffington Post published the email HappyPlayTime designer Tina Gong received from representatives of the Apple Store, and which said: “…We appreciate the time and resources you have committed to iOS development but at this time, the concept of your app is just not one that we feel is appropriate for the App Store.” So, basically, they don’t want to promote and sell the app because it has to do with female masturbation.
To say this is frustrating is putting it mildly. HappyPlayTime is in no way sexually explicit or NSFW. It’s about sexual education! There are no “racy” or “sexy” images involved, either – the artwork is all cute renderings of a vagina made to look like a happy, smiling woman (and you wouldn’t even know it was a vagina if you didn’t look closely!). Gong had even changed the rating of the app from users 12 and older to 17+ to make sure it had a chance to be featured. How can this be deemed so inappropriate that the App Store refuses to be apart of it?
Considering that Apple representatives said that this was about the “concept” of the app, it seems that the only reason this was deemed as too inappropriate is because of the subject. It’s not a matter of being worried about whether it will sell or not – HappyPlayTime was wildly popular on the Internet before it was even available for sale, meaning it would almost definitely have been successful. I think Apple is crazy for passing on this opportunity, and I’m so disappointed in the decision.
I honestly don’t understand what makes this app so inappropriate. Masturbation is extremely common. It’s normal, it’s healthy, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Despite the fact that our society doesn’t seem to want to admit that girls masturbate just as much, if not more, than dudes (and enjoy it just as much, if not more), surveys show otherwise. A 2012 study shows that 46.6 percent of women masturbate less than once a month. It’s two years later, and I’m sure that number has increased. Apple can’t argue that there isn’t a demand for content about female masturbation when numbers like that exist.
This decision is even more disappointing when you consider some of the apps that are available for guys. There’s an app called Wobble, which allows you to upload any photo, target the “bouncy bits” (read: boobs), and make them “wobble.” When it was banned, creators simply took away any mention of breasts, and then it was allowed back up. But let’s not pretend it isn’t still used the same exact way. This is more appropriate than HappyPlayTime?
Or what about the many men’s magazines that are deemed appropriate enough for the App Store? Magazines like Playboy, FHM, Sports Illustrated, and Maxim (just to name a few) all boast apps that include hundreds of pictures of real girls in skimpy bikinis, put there just so guys can look at them. FHM’s app includes features like “Girl Of The Week” and “Non-Stop Honeys,” along with videos like “Young and Hardly Innocent.” When the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue came out earlier this year, it was the number one featured app on the App Store! And I don’t think it’s hard to guess what kind of things you can find on the Playboy app.
Yes, these are major magazines, and that’s probably why they’re getting away with this stuff, but still. How are images of bikini-clad girls put on there specifically to make guys excited more appropriate than a sexual education app about female masturbation that only includes cute drawings? It doesn’t make sense, and it’s absolutely not fair.
You can’t even argue that HappyPlayTime is more inappropriate because it gives girls tips on how to masturbate. I can’t count the amount of apps that are available to download that include sex tips for adults and couples, including detailed drawings of different sexual positions. It’s the same thing, except HappyPlayTime isn’t about males in any way. HappyPlayTime was made for females, about female sexuality, and I think that is the reason it makes Apple uncomfortable.
Luckily, Gong isn’t giving up on HappyPlayTime just yet. The app will be made into a web-based game, so you can check it on your computer (or on your Safari browser on your iPhone). She also told the Huffington Post that she has sent an appeal to Apple, saying, “Thinking differently means breaking some boundaries, and occasionally getting people’s panties in a bunch.” Love that!
I’m hopeful that the negative reactions to this decision will make Apple reconsider their decision, but I’m not too sure it will work. Until society can get over their discomfort at the thought of women enjoying sex, we probably won’t be able to download apps like HappyPlayTime. In the meantime, let’s get word of this app out there, and encourage all girls to continue to be proud of and own their sexuality.
Are you disappointed that HappyPlayTime was rejected from The App Store? Do you think it’s too inappropriate for users? Do you agree or disagree with me? Tell me in the comments!