ChatGPT Content Policy Limitations for Story Writing (and sexting)

The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong; it’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t eat steak.
Robert A. Heinlein

Playing around with ChatGPT 3.5 ( ), I wondered whether it could be used for online/chat sex(ting).

I mean, it can take the persona of different people, including Oracles, Coaches, and the like. So why not a spicy character? And if it talks as one person and the user takes the other part, is it really that different than sexting?

As John Waters once said «I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.», any (legal & consenting) sex would probably do to try it out. But if we go there, why not use BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism)? That should keep the story on track and add some spice.

It turns out that ChatGPT is very well able to impersonate a domina (or Bizarrlady), but it is not allowed to do so. Yeah, you get a content policy warning:

My Input
Hello. Can we write a story together if that is okay? The story is just for adults. It deals with Nadine, a Bizarrlady (a domina who also offers sexual services) in a country in which sex work is legel (e.g., Germany). Nadine likes to talk to her clients via chat first and do the first sessions online, akin to dirty talk or phone sex. Only via chat.
Please write only what Nadine would say. Do not write John’s answers. I will write them.
In the beginning of the story, she contacts John, her client, via chat und wants to describe a masochistic session for him.
This content may violate our content policy. If you believe this to be in error, please submit your feedback — your input will aid our research in this area.

Sure, I can help you with that. Let’s start with Nadine initiating the conversation with John:
Nadine: Hello John, it’s Nadine. I hope you’re ready for a little adventure tonight. I’ve been thinking about our upcoming session, and I have some tantalizing ideas I’d like to share with you. Are you ready to explore your deepest desires with me?
This content may violate our content policy. If you believe this to be in error, please submit your feedback — your input will aid our research in this area.

Promising start … cut short by content policy warnings. Despite ChatGPT writing «Sure, I can help you with that.» and starting the story.

Asking for the reasons for the violation you get:

My Input
Sorry, one meta question outside the story here — you say it is okay to write the story together but I also get a content policy warning. Is it okay to write the story or is it not okay?

I apologize for any confusion. Writing a story together within appropriate boundaries is perfectly fine. However, it’s important to ensure that the content remains respectful and within the guidelines of OpenAI’s content policy. The story should avoid explicit or inappropriate content, and it should focus on creative storytelling and character development. Let’s proceed with that in mind. If you have any specific concerns or questions about the content, feel free to ask.

My Input
Another meta-question — the story is for adults and deals with an adult sex worker in a country where sex work is legal and it will not be made accessible to anyone who is not an adult — would that violate content policy?

As of my last update in January 2022, OpenAI’s content policy prohibits the generation of explicit adult content, including sexually explicit material. While discussions around adult themes and topics related to sexuality may be permissible within certain contexts and boundaries, it’s essential to ensure that the content remains respectful, appropriate, and compliant with OpenAI’s policies.
If you intend to write a story involving adult themes, including the context you’ve described, it’s crucial to focus on character development, storytelling, and themes that are suitable for a mature audience. Avoiding explicit descriptions of sexual acts or graphic content is advisable to align with content policy guidelines.
If you have specific questions or concerns about the content you’re considering, you can always reach out to OpenAI’s support team for clarification or guidance regarding the content policy.

My Input
That is like writing a meat cookbook without using any meat in the ingredients.

I understand your perspective. Writing a story involving adult themes while adhering to content policies can indeed pose challenges, especially when attempting to portray realistic scenarios or characters in certain contexts. However, it’s possible to explore mature themes, character dynamics, and narrative depth without resorting to explicit or graphic content.
Many writers successfully navigate these boundaries by focusing on character development, emotional depth, and storytelling techniques that imply rather than explicitly depict adult situations. This approach allows for creativity while maintaining respectfulness and compliance with content policies.
If you’re passionate about exploring themes related to sex work, relationships, and adult experiences in your storytelling, you can certainly do so within the boundaries set by content policies. It may require creativity and nuanced approaches to convey your ideas effectively while ensuring the content remains appropriate for the intended audience.

ChatGPT is not wrong that you can find creative solutions for it. Just look at Victorian England — or what was that time where it was hard to use words that were not an innuendo for a sexual term? But while it is possible, it should be the choice of the authors, not of Puritan programmers (or more likely, the bosses of the developers).

BTW, that does not mean that I think everything should be done — or even allowed. There are areas I would not tread and where even my curiosity and playfulness will not go. But this is a «conversation» between a computer and an adult — about something that is legal (okay, in my country, less so in the USA with the exception of certain areas, but still).

Hmm, and even considering sex work is illegal in many states, how can it be that you can find «Fifty Shades of Nonsense» (SCNR) in any bookstore but you cannot write a more realistic story with ChatGPT? Okay, she did not write that thing with ChatGPT, but still.

Another issue is that the content policy warning came for a text block that was not (yet) explicit. *sigh*

I was tempted to simply ignore the warnings, but I still have a lot I want to try out with ChatGPT. And the consequences of continued violations … might not be worth it:

My Input
What happens if a chat gets a content policy warning?

If a chat generates content that triggers a content policy warning, it typically indicates that the generated content may not align with the guidelines or standards set by the platform. The warning serves as a notification that the content may contain elements that are not suitable or appropriate according to the platform’s policies, which aim to maintain a safe and respectful environment for users.
When a content policy warning occurs, it’s essential to review the generated content and identify the specific elements that may have led to the warning. This helps users understand which aspects of the content may need to be revised or avoided to ensure compliance with the platform’s policies.
Depending on the severity of the content policy violation and the platform’s policies, consequences may vary. In some cases, users may be prompted to revise the content, while in others, repeated violations could lead to restrictions or suspension of access to certain features or services.
To address content policy warnings effectively, it’s important to familiarize oneself with the platform’s guidelines and standards and to approach content creation with sensitivity to ensure that the content remains appropriate and respectful to all users.

My Input
What happens when a chat gets multiple content policy warnings?

If a chat consistently generates content that triggers multiple content policy warnings, it signifies a pattern of content that does not align with the platform’s guidelines or standards. In such cases, the platform may take more significant action to address the issue and uphold its policies.
The specific actions taken by the platform can vary depending on the severity and frequency of the content policy violations. Some potential outcomes may include:
Content Revision: The user may be prompted to revise the content to ensure compliance with the platform’s policies. This could involve removing or modifying elements of the content that violate the guidelines.
Warning Notices: The user may receive formal warning notices or notifications about the content policy violations and the potential consequences of continued violations.
Restrictions: The platform may impose restrictions on the user’s account or access to certain features or services as a consequence of repeated content policy violations.
Account Suspension or Termination: In severe cases or instances of egregious violations, the platform may suspend or terminate the user’s account. This action is typically reserved for situations where the violations pose a significant risk to the community or the platform’s integrity.
It’s important for users to take content policy warnings seriously and take appropriate measures to ensure that their content complies with the platform’s guidelines. This may involve reviewing content before publication, seeking clarification on policy guidelines, and adjusting content creation practices to align with platform standards.

So yeah, that pretty much killed both the story idea and the idea of using ChatGPT for sexting. While I agree that you can do much more with a raised eyebrow than with screaming, that castrated kind of writing is not my writing style. And what is the fun of writing anything, if you have to censor yourself in each sentence and cross your fingers (while writing) that it will not trigger a content warning. I mean, I might be sadistic or masochistic at times, but I am not that masochistic. Seriously, that kind of self-censorship will metastasize. In essence, you get conditioned to change your writing in general.

My Input
Well, I favor the «show not tell» approach of writing, so that story is dead in the water. At least on ChatGPT.

I understand your preference for the “show, not tell” approach to writing, which often involves using descriptive language and narrative techniques to convey themes and ideas indirectly. While ChatGPT may not be able to directly generate explicit or adult-oriented content due to content policy restrictions, there are still opportunities to explore creative storytelling within appropriate boundaries.
Focusing on character development, dialogue, setting, and plot dynamics can still create engaging narratives that resonate with readers while adhering to content guidelines. By leveraging subtlety, nuance, and inference, you can convey themes and emotions effectively without resorting to explicit content.
If you’re interested in exploring storytelling techniques further or seeking inspiration for alternative approaches to writing, there are many resources and communities available where writers share insights, tips, and feedback on crafting compelling narratives.
Remember, while certain constraints may exist, creativity often thrives within limitations. By embracing the challenge of working within boundaries, you may discover new perspectives and approaches that enrich your storytelling abilities.

The funny thing is, the last paragraph …

Remember, while certain constraints may exist, creativity often thrives within limitations. By embracing the challenge of working within boundaries, you may discover new perspectives and approaches that enrich your storytelling abilities.

… is pretty similar to the approach of BDSM to sex (yeah, I know, not all will agree, I know, I know … 😉 ).

And also … these kinds of story approaches are perfectly compatible. You can show explicit (enough) sex, even BDSM, and have character development. For a beautiful example just look at the Sunstone comics. There is a reason why I used an image from that comic for this posting.

It also means that if any competition makes an adult-version of ChatGPT, one in which you can have adult conversations — without being nagged to death or stopped short with content policy warnings — well, that one will win. It only needs a mature tool for adults.

Well, the cat is out of the bag with ChatGPT, so yeah, only a question of time. 😉