Nudity and sexual content policies

If a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube.

What is and isn’t allowed

Sexually explicit content like pornography is not allowed. Videos containing fetish content will be removed or age-restricted depending on the severity of the act in question. In most cases, violent, graphic, or humiliating fetishes are not allowed to be shown on YouTube.

Content that contains nudity or other sexual content may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic, and it isn’t gratuitously graphic. For example, a documentary on breast cancer would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be. Remember that providing context in the title and description will help us and your viewers determine the primary purpose of the video.

Age-restricted Content

In cases where content does not cross the line, but still contain sexual content, we may apply an age-restriction so that only viewers over a certain age can view the video.

In cases where a video’s thumbnail contains sexual content but does not cross the line, the thumbnail may be rejected. If this happens, you’ll get an email and be able to replace the thumbnail. You can read more about our policies around thumbnails here.

Content containing nudity or dramatized sexual conduct may be age-restricted when the context is appropriately educational, documentary, scientific or artistic. Content featuring individuals in minimal or revealing clothing may also be age-restricted (for video), or rejected (for thumbnails), if it’s intended to be sexually provocative, but isn’t explicit.

What we consider when age-restricting a video or rejecting a thumbnail
  • Whether the subject is depicted in a pose that is intended to sexually arouse the viewer;
  • If a subject is minimally clothed, whether the clothing would be acceptable in appropriate public contexts (e.g. swimwear vs. lingerie).
  • For video: Whether breasts, buttocks or genitals (clothed or unclothed) are the focal point;
  • Whether the video setting is sexually suggestive (e.g. a location generally associated with sexual activity, such as a bed);
  • Whether the language used in the video is vulgar and/or lewd;
  • Whether the subject's actions in the video suggest a willingness to engage in sexual activity (e.g. kissing, provocative dancing, fondling); and
  • Other factors for age-restricting video include:
    • The length of time an image appears in the video
    • Fleeting vs. prolonged exposure especially relative to the overall length of the video. The camera angle and focus The relative clarity of the images in the video

Reporting nudity and sexual Content:

Flag the video: You may report videos that you believe violate this policy, or may not be appropriate for all ages by flagging the video.

If you wish to avoid discovering age-restricted Content, consider enabling YouTube's Restricted Mode.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?