Sex and the City's Candace Bushnell 'censored' on Instagram for talking about sex

Sex and the City creator Candace Bushnell has said she was banned from promoting her new memoir on Instagram in a short video because the content was deemed “explicit”.

Bushnell, whose book Is There Still Sex in the City? comes out in August, claims she uploaded a spoof video featuring two men discussing “cubbing”, a term applied to describe young men who date older women.

In the short clip, Bushnell also read an excerpt from her book, stating: “It’s a whole new world out there when it comes to middle-aged mating,” she said.

“Take the ‘cubbing’ phenomenon. Cubs are young men in their 20s or early 30s, who are on the prowl for older, sensible women. I call them catnips. They’re Mrs. Robinsons in reverse.”

But after the author tried to turn the video into an advertisement on the platform, Bushnell said she was presented with a notice from Instagram saying the content breached its guidelines on explicit content.

The notice read: “This ad isn’t running because it doesn’t follow our advertising policies.

“We don’t allow ads that promote adult products or services, such as sex toys, sexual enhancement devices, or sexual videos and publications… Ads like these are sensitive in nature and typically evoke a negative reaction from viewers.”

Bushnell explained she was shocked by the notice and swiftly responded.

“I wrote back and said, ‘This is a book written by a 60-year-old woman who takes a funny and poignant look at her own life — not a sex toy!’,” the author told PageSix.

“I’ve been censored!” she added. “Which makes no sense, because think of all the bikini-clad women you see on Instagram every day.”

However, Instagram has since revealed the notice was sent to Bushnell in error and the ad will be reinstated.

An Instagram spokesperson said: “Every week, we review thousands of ads, and at times we make mistakes. This ad was rejected in error and we are sorry. It has since been reinstated.”

On Instagram’s website, it explains in its Community Guidelines that it will only allow photos and videos that “are appropriate for a diverse audience”. 

“We know that there are times when people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature, but for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram,” the guidelines state.

“This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks. It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed. Nudity in photos of paintings and sculptures is OK, too.”

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