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The Internet

No Slump For Sex Online 270

Posted by JonKatz
from the -lessons-of-the-virtual-sex-boom- dept.
The media is so stuffed with Tech Slump stories these days, that many people might not know just how many online subcultures online are booming -- auctions, women's communities, gaming, Open Source, entertainment, p2p, Weblogs and, most of all, sex. There is no slump in sex sites, says Robert P. Libbon of American Demographics Magazine. He cites a report from sextracker.com that the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period. (Read more.)

Despite the explosion of sexual activity online, a Zogby survey found that 65.l per cent of respondents believed finding sexual fulfillment on the Net was "not likely." Duh.

These robust figures show just how hypocritical and schizophrenic America's attitudes about sex and the Net are, and how much the success of online sex sites reveals about the future of the Web.

In a l999 CBS.MarketWatch.com poll, 23 per cent of the people surveyed called pornography the Net's worst feature. It's certainly all most politicians want to talk about when it comes to discussing the online world. But somebody isn't telling the truth. A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

The popularity of sex sites, especially during a so-called Tech Crash, ought to send a message about technology and applications that work online, or don't. Like Napster, sex sites offer genuine utility for millions of people who want sexual information and activity. Sex, like music and entertainment, is a universal human interest. Technology can make it easier for people to connect with these interests, and when that happens, the technology works. And the Net is rattling old taboos. Even though the number of people accessing sex sites has gone through the roof, the Cooper/Scherer report found that the proportion of sexual compulsives online parallels that in the general population. The hue and cry about the menace of cybersex addiction seems misplaced.

Law enforcement officials have also been reporting a dramatic rise in child pornography online, but there is no evidence that sex crimes are on the rise either, according to researchers and federal (including FBI) statistics. Is it possible that the availability of sexual material online gives people healthier and safer outlets for sexual impulses than were previously available?

The problem with the way media, politics, morality and the Net have gotten all tangled up is that the confusion makes it difficult to measure the real consequences of online sexuality, clearly a significant new social reality. The Net has, for the first time in contemporary history, given individuals the freedom to explore sex and sexuality, despite ferocious opposition to the idea from government, elected representatives, religous groups and much of media. Tens of millions of people can access sex sites, talk about sexual fantasy and practice, consider whether they're gay or straight, meet one another, indulge in fantasies, gather information, assume different identities. According to the Cooper/Scherer report, 87 per cent of sex- site users said they felt no shame or guilt. More than 60 per cent pretended to be a different age than they actually are; 14 per cent admitted that they made up other attributes; another five per cent assumed the opposite gender.

Some interesting conclusions emerge from all of this. Simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive as many politicians, moralists, educators and others would claim, as they pass legislation requiring blocking and filtering. Nor do the clucking or the legislation seem to have much effect. Even while Congress passes profoundly stupid laws like the Children's Internet Protection Act -- which forces local schools and libraries to install filtering programs whether they want to or not in order to get federal aid -- the number of adult Americans accessing sites devoted to sex seems to be growing by the day.

Another pattern that's been developing over several years is also becoming more distinct: The Net works well as a corollary to non-virtual human behavior and activity, not as a subsitute. Messaging doesn't replace voice-to-voice communications like phones; free music doesn't stop people from buying CD's (which sold in record numbers last year); e-books aren't more attractive to most readers than the real thing. And sex sites and virtual sexual identities don't replace real sex.

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No Slump For Sex Online

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It has been shown that while the number of porn sites is exploding, the "appetite" of browsers is not matching that explosion. The supply and demand balance is shifting towards too much supply. While a couple years ago it would have been easy to make a lot of money with porn on the web, that is no longer true today. Name a fetish, any fetish, and you will find dozens or hundreds of sites catering to you, for free. The porn kings are "pushing" the product, but there is only so much "pulling" (heh) that we can do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2001 @10:27AM (#312844)
    It's not fair to say that ``sex sells'' to all humans. And it's not fair to say that the ``human libido'' continues. And I don't mean this in a trivial way in the sense that I can find an eighty year old grandmother who isn't interested in sex on-line or getting laid. Rather, there are entire cultures where the adults go years without having sex because they see sex only as a means of procreating. So they only have sex when they want a child. People are fond of saying ``all men masturbate and most women too;'' according to the anthropologists who have studied the above mentioned culture, that is probably not the case. In fact, probably none of them ever masturbate.

    My point is this: so many people are fond of saying things like ``human nature'' and ``human desire'' and try to apply some claim to humans universally. But often when people make claims like this they are very far from the truth. For example, there is a culture where it is accepted, no expected, that a boy suck his fathers penis and swallow its load. It is part of the boy's passage to manhood. The idea is that by accepting an important part of what it means to be a man from another man he is gaining that mans intelligence and power. So it's not fair to say that ``human nature rejects the idea of sex with children.'' Or another relavent example is the one I have given above. Or cannibals give another example. Or entire socities that are vegetarian; so it's not fair to say ``it is human nature to eat meat'' or ``we are carnivores by nature'' when there are groups of thousands of people showing that to be false.

    Our sexual desires and our nature is dictated almost entirely by our own culture. Our attitudes towards sex, drugs, food, personal space, hygeine, alcohol, education and so on are different than almost all other cultures. When it comes to human nature, there are almost no absolutes, almost no universals and almost surely large sets of counterexamples to every sentence of the form ``it is human nature to do X.''

    So here is how I would change what you said:

    Well, yes, it DOES appear that Katz is right on this occasion. The only problem is that his conclusion is painfully obvious when applied to our society. Sex sells to most Americans. It almost always has, and it almost always will. Through good times and bad, Americans will almost always want to get laid.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2001 @11:15AM (#312845)
    I work in the online porn industry myself, and would say the view from the trenches are different than those reported.

    The metric used, counting the number of free sites and pay sites over two time samples, is almost completely unrelated to the the success or profitability of the industry. Unlike many non-porn dot coms, porn has historically been very protiable, but the profits per subscriber and per "amount of work" (nebulous, I know) are generally decreasing.

    If you look at publicly traded companies that own or run porn pay sites, they've been hit as hard as the rest of the tech sector. New Frontier Media (NASDAQ: NOOF) [noof.com] which runs iGallery.net (which in turn runs tits.com [igallery.net], pussy.com, etc.) went from $12 a share in April 2000 to around $2 a share today. Private Media (NASDAQ: PRVT) [prvt.com], a major European porn publishing company which runs its own sites as well as has licensing deals with US net companies, went from $12.5 a share in April 2000 to around $6 a share today. Rick's Cabaret (NASDAQ: RICK) [rickscabaret.com], a Texas-based strip club company that runs several large sites, went from $5.50 a share in April to $2.25 a share today.

    More intangible measures, such as profits per surfer signup, also seem to be falling. Exact figures aren't published, but some major companies are reducing their "referral fees" paid for advertising the sites. Cyberotica [cybererotica.com], the 1st or 2nd most visited for-pay porn site most months according to now-defunct PCDataOnline.com, has dropped their referral fees from $40 to $25 per "free signup" since last year. Smaller companies are following suit, and larger ones that are holding the line for competitive reasons are showing signs of financial strain. RJB Telcom, which runs the other top-visited pay site, Karas's Adult Playhouse [karasxxx.com], has held their referral fees at $35-$42 per subscriber, but has been a couple weeks late paying affiliates for several months. (Their difficulties initially stemmed from an expensive legal entanglement last November, but if they were as profitable as a year or two ago, they almost assuredly would have recovered almost instantly). Both companies are very well run, and grew from profits rather than IPOs...the publicly traded companies haven't shown any outward signs of profit problems, but their management is typically not as sensitive as the successful private firms in responding to market changes.

    The boom in free porn sites, which Katz cites as a sign that the industry is doing well, may actually be the opposite, at least economically: the abundance of free porn is widely thought to be eroding the demand for pay sites, though there are too many factors at play to prove a causal relationship. For those who don't know the business model, free sites exist by running ads for pay sites, so the success of the two are intertwined. One thing most of the industry agrees on is that it's harder to make money in porn lately, whether from free sites or pay sites, and based on the few publicly traded companies dealing in online porn, investors are seeing the same thing.
  • by strredwolf (532) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:03AM (#312846) Homepage Journal
    Wired News also reported about a month ago on the Wireless Porn industry -- photos being sent down to a wireless PDA or Cell Phone, and therefore being a tremendous cash cow. Quite intresting how appealing to the basic human nature works.

    --
    WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
    $Stalag99{"URL"}="http://stalag99.keenspace.com";
  • There certainly is some real child porn out there. But the way law enforcement officials define child porn is pretty broad. They say if you do not have files on hand documenting the ages of each model depicted in a film or still photo, they are assumed under 18. So, we are not just talking about pictures which depict what appears to be a 9 or 10 year old child performing oral sex. You must also include nude photos of nubile 19 year old college girls who could pass for 16 or 17. Both of these are painted with the same broad brush. So, when I hear about some guy getting busted because child porn has been found on his hard drive, I wonder whether he had real child porn or the trumped up variety.
  • Impossible to use the internet for sexual ends you say? Try http://www.m4m4sex.com/ [m4m4sex.com]. If you happen to be a gay male looking for some action, you couldn't pick something more efficient.

    The site works well in heavily gay cities, such as San Francisco and Miami, but it works just as well in areas where being gay is practically a crime.

    Perhaps Jon Katz should write an article about this site specifically. The members in Milan have continually expressed how helpful this site is for their lifestyle when they live in a country that is dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. I can't wait until they open up Rome.

    Of course, I'm biased because I developed most of the site for them but it seems relevant here.

  • Too much porn?! Not likely

    The day that the supply of porn exceeds the demand is the day that we as humanity have met our goals.

    The days of viewing unlimited streamed porn of all categories any time any where for zero cost are not yet upon us. Until then, we must push forward!

    "Unlimited" is defined as if you picked fecal fetish you wouldn't have enough time in your life to watch it all on fast-forward.

    Perhaps people should start a community sex network. Membership costs either $25/m to view people having sex (in realtime) or it's free if you set up a streaming video server to record yourself having sex at least once a month.

  • we have come to think that awful pisswater like Miller is what beer is supposed to taste like.

    Why do you think Budwieser have those huge horses? Me thinks it's not a coincidence that Bud taste like piss.

    somebody made a non-alchohol beer that tasted the same Guiness, I would drink it all day, every day.

    Amen brother. "Honestly Boss, it's non-alcoholic Guinnes...hic...Guinness"
  • Sure, but we are one of the only species that can have sex at any point in the female's menstrual cycle (except that really yecchy part.)

    See...sex hang ups. The yecchy part? So what - wear a condom, wash up after. Big deal. Plus for some women the release helps them relax and makes the cramping a little more bearable.

    Besides - Unless it's a gushing heavy flow, it's not that messy plus it's pre-lubed.
  • He cites a report from sextracker.com that the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

    The misleading assumption here is that each "site" represents a company that has set up shop to sell pornography online, much like Amazon.com is a "site."

    In reality, a single pornographer is liable to have hundreds of sites under its "umbrella." I know a guy who used to run DNS for a Web pornographer, and he was regularly called upon to register or alter DNS info for hundreds of domain names every day.

    Statistics like these prove there are a lot of porn sites out there, true. But they don't actually say anything about the health of the online pornography industry per se.
    --

  • And of course, Hollywood treated THAT forbidden subject just like the current Sex/Violence ones...as if it was something to be praiseworthy and honorable.

    Even light-hearted comedies like The Marx Brothers (specifically, Horsefeathers) had Speakeasies, active drinking by all characters, deception of quality (the same large jug was used to fill a bottle of "Scotch" and a bottle of "Rum" (by Chico)), theft of alcohol in large quantity for smuggling to others later (by Harpo), etc...of course, I could be misinterpretting Horsefeathers as a light-hearted comedy; it might have been seen as a very controversial film for the time...

    Hollywood basically continued to act likes its promotion of alcohol was not only harmless, but like it was Hollywood's God-Given Right to promote alcohol.

    Just as Hollywood today thinks its a God-Given Right to promote sexual promiscuity and open-activity...

    b.t.w., these are opinions/observations of the actions of the Movie and TV entertainment industry, and not condemnations of alcohol consumption or sexual activity itself.

  • Check both your links, and find that the first contradicts what you say about the second - alcohol consumption prior to 1840 was more than double (nearly treble) what it is today.

  • Sadly, sex is always lucrative and shameful.

    IIRC, pornography makes more money than Hollywood, yet while 9 out of 10 people will admit to see a movie, only 1 out of 10 will admit to watching pornography.

    I see two conclusions.

    1) Americans are ashamed of sex.

    2) Pornography enthusiasts spend lots and lots of money on porn.
  • Wow, what a simple viewpoint.

    First, define "drunkeness". What do you mean? The 13 day moving average of my blood alcohol content? Perhaps you mean the amount of alcohol consumed?

    Check out this link [drugtext.org] and you'll see that beer consumption did go down, but the hard liquor consumption was unaffected.

    Check out this link [ohio-state.edu] and you'll see that consumption has far exceeded in the years after prohibition any level seen before prohibition. Do you still think we're on the fast track to the level of drunkeness only seen in Russia (ha ha)?

    Sorry to interrupt this discussion with some FACTS. I know that sort of behavior is considered rude by some.
  • But, if you know your history, you'd understand that public water supplies at that time weren't safe. Drinking alcohol was a necessity if you wanted to avoid intestinal nasties. As the water supply improved in safety, you see that alcohol consumption went down. Not many people realize that the founding fathers drank enormously during the Constitutional Convention. Amazing to see they could still work.

    The person I replied to claimed that the US was on the fast track to complete and utter inebriation (all your kegs are belong to us?) before prohibition. This is clearly untrue, as shown by the data in the links.

  • look at how they got the numbers -- I don't know about this particular study, but an anonymous poll that goes

    1. do you or have you ever enjoyed an adult internet site?

    _Y _N

    2. Did you, have you, or will you ever tell anyone about this?

    _Y _N

    many people will say things anonymously who won't say them when they can be traced back to them. Anonymous cowards on slashdot are a clear example of this. Sometimes they even say accurate, useful, interesting things.

  • Pr0n is a big time money maker. It doesn't cost much to produce, and on the internet the distribution costs are low too, there is a huge demand for it, even though a lot of people don't like to admit it. Even the heavily religious and a lot of women, who are the most publically critical of pr0n are often closet pr0n consumers. The internet is a great outlet for pr0n, especially for the bashful pr0n consumer because people can view it more or less in 'the privacy of their homes' without having to visit some seedy adult book store, receive unusual packages in the mail or confront a cashier at a convenience store who is hostile to a purchase of Hustler magazine or whatnot. Of course as we all know there is not really much true privacy, especially on the internet, but to a certain extent there is strength in numbers, and there are so many pr0n sites and so many people visiting them that it is hard to single an individual out from that.

  • True in many cases, but I suspect not all. I think that a lot of people, particularly some of the models may be in it strictly for the money. But if everyone involved does find it fun, it would only make it more of a no-brainer.

  • If you have his numbers, please give Katz back his 1 key so he can stop using the letter 'l' as a substitute for it when he uses a date.
  • If that's your opinion then fine.

    The opinion of law enforement over here (which, as a computer guy, seems sensible) is that it may not always be possible to gather that form of evidence as the one can't be distinguished from the other.

    I'm happy with this situation.
  • by GregWebb (26123) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @11:16AM (#312874)
    Right, someone else diving in here - partly as I've had this discussion elsewhere.

    UK Law (which strikes me as sensible) says that anything which is or appears to be child porn is illegal. Why?

    Simple. If the fake is legal, it's almost impossible to prosecute the real thing as the instant defence becomes 'it's faked'. How do you prove beyond reasonable doubt that it isn't? You can't, in all honesty.

    If you want to keep the real thing illegal and prosecutable, the fake has to be illegal too. A free speech advocate is almost certainly going to jump up and down on this, but this is the sort of thing which makes me GLAD Britain doesn't have absolute freedom of speech. It creates far too many problems and undesirable situations. For reference, I'm a Liberal Democrat [libdems.org.uk]. Slightly left of centre, basically.

  • by Frac (27516) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:38AM (#312876)
    Your argument for "no slump for sex online" is completely false. For example, you say

    He cites a report from sextracker.com that the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

    Notice the survey is up to last year. If you track the dotcom boom up until last year, you'll still find tremedous growth. It's the beginning of last summer until now has the market been crashing down so quickly.

    All your other dated surveys were made before the dotcom crash. How do you know if the sex online industry isn't slumping now? What if all those horny guys paying the sex sites were the ones downloading porn at work, and now they that they're fired they don't have the bandwidth to stream video from hotnakedteenagechickz.com?

  • Katz, this has to be the most misleading mixture of statistics I've ever seen. There may be some support for your point, you may even be right, but your quotes of random statistics prove absolutely nothing.

    the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

    And just what constitutes a Web site? Is it one nudie picture or a whole multimedia adventure? The sex industry uses 'free sites' as a lure to take you to there pay site. Many of these pay sites are just a sub-section of a larger one. These numbers mean nothing.

    Despite the explosion of sexual activity online, a Zogby survey found that 65.l per cent of respondents believed finding sexual fulfillment on the Net was "not likely." Duh.


    Define 'sexual fulfillment', please. Hell, just define 'fulfillment'. 68 percent of the people I survey believe sexual fulfillment only occurs in a lasting, trusting relationship. That's sort of hard to find on the 'Fuck My Ass Hard' web site.

    These robust figures show just how hypocritical and schizophrenic America's attitudes about sex and the Net are, and how much the success of online sex sites reveals about the future of the Web.

    How do two unrelated, meaningless numbers reveal anything.

    In a l999 CBS.MarketWatch.com poll, 23 per cent of the people surveyed called pornography the Net's worst feature. It's certainly all most politicians want to talk about when it comes to discussing the online world. But somebody isn't telling the truth.

    Try cruising for some porn for a while. No other category of sites has as many pop-up banners (except maybe MP3 sites). I would call porn sites the Net's worst feature.

    A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

    And here is the worst lie of all. Just because the vast majority of people cruising for porn don't tell anyone, you imply that everyone is doing it. If 4 out of 100 cruise for sex, 3 won't tell anyone, 68 will think there is nothing to be gained by it and 23 will think it's disgusting. Your numbers add up perfectly Katz, but they don't mean anything, and they definitely doesn't imply that people are lying, hypocritical, or schizophrenic.

    The popularity of sex sites, especially during a so-called Tech Crash, ought to send a message about technology and applications that work online, or don't. Like Napster, sex sites offer genuine utility for millions of people who want sexual information and activity. Sex, like music and entertainment, is a universal human interest. Technology can make it easier for people to connect with these interests, and when that happens, the technology works. And the Net is rattling old taboos.

    Or maybe the net is offering those who would break the taboos anyway a chance to do it without suffering the social stigma. Every culture has activities and views that it finds acceptable and taboo. People who follow the social structure are accepted, those who choose to break the taboos choose not to be part of that social structure. All the Net does is provide people with enough privacy to walk in two worlds at once.

    According to the Cooper/Scherer report, 87 per cent of sex- site users said they felt no shame or guilt.

    I'm willing to bet that this correlates well with Napster users. Maybe the revolution of the net is that it allows people to break social taboos without incurring the social punishment (the only thing that really keeps the number of murders down).

    More than 60 per cent pretended to be a different age than they actually are; 14 per cent admitted that they made up other attributes; another five per cent assumed the opposite gender.

    Only 14 percent. My survey shows that every male in every chat room has a 12in wanger, yet a recent study by a condom company (see today's bbspot) says the average length is 5.6in. My conclusion is that the net has a special attraction for people with big wangers. All the 45 year old men are either 18yr old females (36DD, BTW), or 22 yr old, independantly wealthy playboys. Remember, on the Net no one knows that you're a dog.

    Really, Katz. Is this the best you can do?

  • Jon Katz appears to have fallen off of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.

    Let's talk about online pornography. As a dad trying to keep his kids from seeing it. The web makes pornography extraordinarily difficult to hide from my kids. When I was a kid in the late seventies, there was no such thing as 'online pornography'. If I wanted to see it I had to go to my best friends house and look through his Dad's closet. I would never have seen the world wide host of stuff appearing a click away on the web.

    As a society we've gone from having to sneak to look at the stuff to not being able to buy it in stores but being able to look at things people should never see in the privacy of our own homes.

    The problem as I see it is that a mild dose of the stuff can help answer questions for children that they couldn't get answers to any other way. A major dose of the stuff leads naive young minds to believe things about members of the opposite set that are most certainly not true.

    On line sex sites almost never go to the tame and ordinary, they strive for the bizzare and extraordinary and in the process they take countless young minds with them. How plain real life must seem to budding youth when it is compared to some online pornography.

    On the other hand and to a different subject, there is no amount of child pornography that is healthy for any society. To permit it with enthusiasm is to guarantee that most children who are abused by it are to be left behind to deteriate. Maybe they will grow up to be exceptionally screwed up adults. Maybe they will abuse their own children. Maybe they will end up on "Love Line" with Dr. Drew talking about what their parents did to them and wondering why they can't form a relationship.

  • Was playing around with some of the apple ][ emulators floating about the other day, and I came across disk images of Strip Poker. As I recall, those types of games were very popular.

    The resolution of a modern cellphone display must be on par with the old C=64 and Apple ][ stuff, why should pictures of naked people be any less popular in that medium?

  • by collar (34531) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:16AM (#312890)

    Porn on cell phone? How desperate are people... how much enjoyment can you get from extremely poor resolution grey pixelled porn? I can see people scrolling around the picture trying to imagine what it all would look like if it fitted on one screen ;)

    For god sakes get a grip people! Then again, maybe I'm just getting old and have forgotten the thrill of recieving a seedy low quality CGA stip poker game on a disk from a mate at school...

  • From what I understand, a large porportion of the child porn being found is endless reposts of the same pictures, made back when it was legal in places like Denmark. While that is still obviously not acceptable, it's much better than if it was new.
  • by gorilla (36491) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @11:10AM (#312892)
    Let's talk about online pornography. As a dad trying to keep his kids from seeing it. The web makes pornography extraordinarily difficult to hide from my kids.

    Well that's your problem. Perhaps instead of trying to hide it from your kids, you should have age appropriate discussions with them, so that when they are exposed to sexual images they can deal with them.

  • Obviously they must not have counted the number of personal pron sites. Frankly I think including those would get those numbers up above the million mark easy. How many of you /.ers out there made your personal collection available on one of you Linux boxes?

    --

  • Just as Hollywood today thinks its a God-Given Right to promote sexual promiscuity and open-activity...

    Well, I think that's probably more in keeping with what the pron industry does, but in fact sexuality in films was really quite open in early Hollywood - until the decency schoolmarms, fresh out of the job of persecuting consumers of alchohol - turned to a much easier target. Hollywood.

    But more to the point - so what? I'm sure there are a lot of very sheltered people and ostrich-like parents screaming about American Pie in the terms you use. My uncle wouldn't let my cousin watch the Breakfast Club because it was "permissive," whatever that means (it's the moralistic equivalent of "inappropriate" - it means, Humpty-Dumpty-in-Wonderland style, whatever the speaker wants it to mean).

    But I don't think that American Pie was a success (after the first weekend) because a kid boned a pie; the movie was a relatively fresh and honest portrayal of the confusion, yearning, and emotional turmoil that accompanies peoples' first sexual experiences. Portraying a subject is not the same as glorifying it, as you seem to imply.

    Frankly, I think this was the most coherent Katz article I've seen. Those wailing or crowing about "the death of content" would do well to look at the things that are succeeding without judging them or moralizing if they are to understand what forms of entertainment DO work online.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • I've not figured how to get sex, free or otherwise, online yet. If anyone figures out how, please let me know.

    -------
    CAIMLAS

  • Actually, IIRC, this is an old typist trick (someone correct me if I am wrong):

    1997 has to be typed with both hands, while l997 can be typed with one, which may be faster in certain cases (not that it is a good thing on the net)...

    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!

  • ...online brokerages and selling pr0n.

    Both of them are low setup costs, provide a service people want in the privacy of their homes and are addictive once you realize how easy it is.
  • Indeed, sex is keeping Exodus and other hosters are staying alive because of porn sites ... further, any crackdown on porn by the Religious Right would make the tech slump a LOT worse ...

    I wrote a piece on this for the Wall Street Journal Online. If you have an account at wsj.com, you can find the piece at:

    http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve@6.cg i? lperdue/text/wsjie/data/SB985111489151882790.djm/& amp; d2hconverter=display-d2h&NVP=&template=cen ter-OutO nALimb.tmpl&form=center-OutOnALimb.html&bo ol_query =&maxitems=20&HI=

    OR

    you can get a longer, uncut piece at http://www.eroticabiz.com/.

    consider:

    -- 13 of the top 20 adult web sites are hosted by a handful of large, well-known public companies whose SEC filings never mention their adult clients: AboveNet, Digex (part of MCI), Exodus, Level3, UUNet (part of MCI), and Verio (owned by Japanese telecom
    giant, NTT).

    -- 19 of the top 20 run on Linux or some variant or precursor.

    -- "Two years ago, our money came from e-commerce companies, ASPs [Application Service
    Providers], ISPs, and portals", said Hall. "Today companies in those sectors are struggling and
    mostly unable to pay their bills. Probably 20% of our mainstream customers have gone out of
    business over the last six months, while only 2-3% of our adult customers have gone out of
    business." Other hosting and backbone sources confirmed Nash's statistics with some saying that
    non-adult customer loss was between 10 and 25% including those officially still on the books, but
    not paying their bills.

    What's more adult sites are also the most profitable. "An average mainstream customer at our
    company spends $5,000 per month," said Hall. "An average adult customer spends around
    $20,000 per month."

    -- "I'd say that about 65% of the data transferred through the data center I work in is porn," said a
    network engineer with Exodus. Other estimates of how much of the Web's total bandwidth that porn
    consumes ranges as high as 80% but none put it lower than 40%.
  • They must mean they don't tell anyone but Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer.

    Not necessarly. It could mean that they surveyed people at the Centre to find out what percentage downloaded porn, and got numbers that were 75% beneath the anticipated results (found by examining other surveys or surveying spouses or whatnot).

    There are even experiments you can do in which you convince the participants that you already have the information, and you're just seeing if they'll be honest about it. These kinds of experiments sound outlandish but actually seem to work quite well (they've been used to determine that racism and sexism still exist, even though talking about either one except in humor is becoming taboo).

    Daniel
  • Take a look at the stock of I Village (IVIL) or Women.com (WOMN) and tell me they are booming.
    [yahoo.com]
    IVIL today: $0.50/share 52-week high: $16/share
    WOMN [yahoo.com] today: $0.15625/share 52-week high: $8.25/share


  • Statistics? Facts? Where's the soapboxing about how the geek culture is unappreciated? Dammit, there's nothing here for me to get worked up about.

    Now I have to rant about having nothing to rant about.

  • have sex at any point in the female's menstrual cycle (except that really yecchy part.)

    *ahem* Some folks like the yecchy part, too...


    "Smear'd with gumms of glutenous heat, I touch..." - Comus, John Milton
  • Here's a perfect example of someone willing to throw freedom out the window because of the evil-bogeyman-of-the-day, in this case child pornography.

    How do you prove beyond reasonable doubt that it isn't? You can't, in all honesty.

    How about actually finding the abused child? If the picture is real, then the cops have photographs of the victim while the crime was being committed, which is more than they have to go on for most other crimes. Yeah, it means they may have to do a bit more work, but convenience for law enforcement is not an excuse to suppress freedom. It's that kind of thinking that gave us Carnivore and you guys the RIP bill.

  • Maybe the pay-for-sex are really rent-a-chick sites. Have you tought at this ? :)
    --
  • by zapatero (68511) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:28AM (#312913) Journal
    The pornography industry has been a tech pioneer. I worked on a rather lame porn site in '95 that utilized realm authentication, used databases, tracked user 'preferences'; All cutting edge for the time. It was also of the first to implement the perl packages from (now failed) CyberCash. The porn industry was also first to make use of push-gifs, streaming media, and advanced features of DVDs, now all common place. Looking forward I'm sure pornographers will be first with the revolution going on in 3-d technology and the new generation of cameras.

    Sex, or porn, might be the lowest common denomiinated message - the easiest content when content is a void. As Marshall MacCluan opined, as the medium expands, the message moves closer to it's lowest common denomintor -- which I would say is porn. I think we can witness small examples of this on cable TV -- the more channels we get, the more insepid the programming gets.

    And on the web, the more URLs, the more porn. It's MacLuen's premis in action.

    -z
  • It's simple: parents and teachers are two-faced lying hypocrites. They want you to feel badly about anything they can't control, your sex drive being one of those things. They mask their "concern" for you with paranoid fears about disease and pregnancy, (both of which can be avoided with safe sex and education). It changes when you're 21 because (too bad for them) you suddenly have just a few new rights and freedoms (not to mention money to spend...). But if you get married, then it's your turn to start living the lie that your parents lived! Luckily most 20-somethings I know grew up with much healthier attitudes, and if mom, dad, and every damn prude out there doesn't like it, well they can go screw themselves!
  • by jidar (83795) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @10:34AM (#312922)
    I see a lot of people in these comments questioning those numbers put forth by the researchers for one reason or another. I'd like to say that I think those numbers aren't far off at all.

    I work in a small town ISP in middle American right in the center of the Bible Belt. It's a pretty religious place being 98% christian (conservative guess), and we have more churches than grocery stores here.

    A few months ago I ran a transparent web proxy on some of our lines to guage whether it would do us much good. While tuning the cache I noticed is that there is a -whole- lot of porn browsing going on. (No I didn't match any of that up to user info, I respect privacy as much as possible).
    Out of curiosity I wrote a simple script to comb the cache and see what percentage of URLs were porn related, I made a list of obvious things to search for like 'breast, pussy, hotchicks.com' etc. etc. Not scientific by any means but it gave me a decent ballpark. At 10pm at night I was getting percentages in the 35-40 range, quite a bit more than I expected.
  • Hollywood basically continued to act likes its promotion of alcohol was not only harmless, but like it was Hollywood's God-Given Right to promote alcohol.

    Just as Hollywood today thinks its a God-Given Right to promote sexual promiscuity and open-activity...

    Being an atheist, I can't vouch for whatever rights a god might grant to Hollywood. However, first amendment free speech restrictions do give anybody, including Hollywood, the right to talk about whatever the hell they want to.

    It's the advent of censorship, ratings etc. that has more or less gagged Hollywood from showing more explicit or disturbing material. To the point where some people actually believe that Hollywood does *not* have the right to make movies with any content they wish, which is undoubtedly the intent of the censorship.

  • by twjordan (88132) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:14AM (#312925)
    It was said: "Law enforcement officials have also been reporting a dramatic rise in child pornography online, but there is no evidence that sex crimes are on the rise either, according to researchers and federal (including FBI) statistics. Is it possible that the availability of sexual material online gives people healthier and safer outlets for sexual impulses than were previously available?" Hmmm, I think you're missing the point. Its not a "healthier and safer outlet" if some children are still be expoited to make the child pornography... get a clue.
  • by twjordan (88132) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @10:00AM (#312926)
    Of the responses to this so far most of them have been defending the statement I critiqued. Let me clarify why it's not OK just because it is a "small number of exploited children" and why I don't think my comments were in any way "witch-hunt"-like.

    First of all, I think you're on shaky ground when you make the arguement that an increase in the availability of child pornography online doesn't lead to a corresponding increase in the creation of child pornography. Name me one market that, when the demand for its product rises dramatically, doesn't respond with increased supply. A fixed number of kiddie porn images isn't going to make a potential sex-offender happy forever. Once he's seen em all a couple times he's gonna want more and someone's gonna abuse a kid to make it.

    Furthermore, personally I find an arguement that, although not explicitly, maintains that it is ok because a relatively smaller number of children might be exploited compared to a society in which it's harder to get the material to be repugnant. Child abuse is one area in which I don't really find much room for acceptable abuse levels. One is already too many.

    That said, I do want to say that I recognize the fact that some of us, for whatever reason, are attacted to things that might be illegal or socially unnacceptable by urges beyond our control. It is quite unfortunate for these people and I hope that they can find an alternative outlet for their attraction, however, the fact that it is beyond their control doesn't excuse the abuse of the childred (or whatever victims there may be). Sex must be consenual or it isn't sex so much as rape. I don't understand how being against the raping of children is equal to hunting witches.

  • I seem to get alot of the same questions about my post so I'm replying to myself to form some kind of response :)

    To boil it down: A lot of people asked why I was looking at cache files and accused me of being unethical by snooping around. Honestly I don't remember the specific reason I was looking at cache files (this incident happened several years ago) most likely had to do with me being much more clueless at the time. My friend was standing looking at the screen watching what I was doing and saw the cookies and files from the porn sites herself so I didn't point them out to her and say "look what your husband is doing!" She asked me how they got there and I simply told her that someone had to have visiting those sites.

    It is true: directly this is not the fault of pornography, its the fact that her husband was lying to her, but I believe that if there was less access to such a thing that there might have been less of a problem

    Also as far as statistic showing that porn effects long-term relationships, this is true, I don't have them infront of me and I'm not sure where they are on the net but I promise I have seen them.

    Finally I don't pretend to be a sex theripist or try to dictate how people should act about sex or how people should live their lives, I'm pointing out that there is evidence that says maybe there are good reasons to choose to stay away from it.

    As a side note I have been to Europe and just because sex is more prevelent doesn't make it any better


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • I'm sure this is going to get modded down since I don't have views of the general /. community but before you do at least see my point of view:

    Some interesting conclusions emerge from all of this. Simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive as many politicians, moralists, educators and others would claim, as they pass legislation requiring blocking and filtering.

    First of all I want to say that I am all for free-speech and free-press. I don't believe that library computers should have censorware placed on them mostly because I don't think that it works and I don't want to be blocked from legitimate websites. The problem with this statement is that it paints all politicians, moralists, educators in a light of being completely conservative, stupid and incapable of understanding the real issue. Some of them don't, this is true, but to generalize all of them this way is unfair. I think there are real issues that should be addressed and are over-looked by both extreme conservative parties, and extreme liberal parties.

    I would most likely be considered by this audience to be a "religious" person. But I'm not going to sit here and spout off that God said sex was bad and therefore we shouldn't look at porn, that's not the point (and besides God never said that, just an idea that is put forth by people who haven't actually read the Bible). The point is that contrary to Mr. Katz statement above, people who engage in sexual activity, be it porn (internet or elsewhere), or one-night stands, whatever, have less fulfiling long-term relationships. And I know there will be people who don't much care for long term relationships in the first place but it is proven statistically that people in long term relationships, especially marriage relationships are happier and lead more fulfiled lives.

    There are more victims of porn than first meets the eye. First the people being photoed, erotic dancers, whatever, a lot of times they do these things willingly but because they feel they have no other way to make money. Of course there is the child argument which goes without saying. But I personally think what is most over-looked is partners/spouses of people looking at porn. About a year ago a married friend of mine asked me to come look at her computer (some problem with the Internet settings) in the course of working on it I discovered cookies and cached files from porn sites that her husband had been surfing. She was devistated. She felt like she wasn't good enough, that her husband didn't love her for who she is. In essence that women is a victim. I certainly would be upset if it was my girlfriend looking at these things, and I know she'd break up with me if she thought that I was. The victims can be the people we care about.

    Finally we victimize ourselves. By looking at porn we buy into an unrealistic fantansy of strange women who show up out of nowhere and have sex with us. Come-on! That doesn't really happen, and we start evaluating people by those ideas.

    Pornography turns people into objects of sex. Maybe I have high ideals but I believe that people should be judged as people. I know its rare but maybe its time as a society we change. Freedom shouldn't come at the expense of other's Freedom.

    Flame away! :)


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • by scotch (102596) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:24AM (#312932) Homepage
    For god sakes get a grip people!

    Yes, that is the idea.

  • the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

    So, you want me to believe there are 200 free sites for every commercial sex site. This must be some new definition of free that I am not aware of...

  • How about actually finding the abused child?

    Good point. Having a victim to testify against the person who *took* the picture, for that crime, is a good idea.

    However, I believe possession and distribution are also crimes. These criminals may not even know who the kid is, or if the photo is real or not. In these cases, it is important to follow intent. As long as it is a crime to possess or distribute kiddie porn, it doesn't matter if the material is real or fake. What matters is that it is intended to pass as real.

    Freedom of speech only goes so far. You cannot shout 'Fire' in a crowded theater, because people might get hurt. Likewise, you cannot fake kiddie porn and claim it's acceptible if for no other reason than it will create a market for less technical perverts to pass their real kiddie porn as fake, because kids will get hurt.

    --
  • by jvmatthe (116058) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:08AM (#312946) Homepage
    A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

    Then how did the report find out?!?! I bet they were all going through the MS Passport Service. ;^)



  • This article [freshmeat.net] on working for porn sites was on http://freshmeat.net [freshmeat.net] a while back.

    It's really interesting (and no, it's not a dirty story). It's about how porn sites have to be coded really well to cope with high loads, including tons of images, and with very high reliability since they are pay sites.

    Do you grok? Maybe you can work for the porn industry!

  • Well, out of every 100 men they asked, 75 said they didn't enjoy online porn. Ergo, 75% of men are liars. :-)
  • Sex sells. It always has, and it always will. Through good times and bad, the human libido continues.

    This is a good point, that bears some further discussion. Throughout history, whenever a new media is developed, someone immediately finds a way to use that media to deliver pornographic content. Here are some:

    Photos [internetdump.com]

    Daguerreotypes [internetdump.com]

    Stereoscopes [internetdump.com]

    Postcards [internetdump.com]

    I'd say that people's desire for pornography has driven many technologies. Many people credit the adult industry with the rapid development of VCRs and portable video cameras. What do you think the number one use of Polaroid cameras is? Hint: It's not taking pictures for the bullettin board at work. Bottom line? Porn sells. Always has, and always will. I'd even be willing to bet that the race to create a good Virtual Reality program to perform complex, life-saving surgeries is being run with just slightly less vigor than the race to create a Virtual Reality program to give blow jobs.

  • Just wait until you (or some of you) goto a college that accepts people from all over the world. You don't realize how open other cultures are to sex until you start mixing into a group of people from other countries. I'm from the US and when I first went to college I was kinda suprised as to how open so many people from other countries were about sex. Most people from other countries would willingly talk about sex out in the open on the campus while Americans would shy away from and walk around these groups of people to avoid the conversation.

    Another thing I don't understand. Why is sex considered such a bad thing that everyone wants you to avoid? But then when you hit 21, sex is suddenly a great thing you should be doing. It's like telling kids 2+2=4, then when they turn 21 2+2 really equals 6.

    I'm posting this again as a non-AC
  • What about the case in which photorealistic child porn is made with CGI? This is probably not happening quite yet, since photorealistic CGI (e.g. Phantom Menace quality) is still out of the reach of the average consumer. Give it 5-10 years, though, and it'll be relatively easy and therefor common.

    How do you feel about that?

  • Disgusting in what way?
  • I accept that in general increased demand will drive increased supply or increased prices.

    [ with the excpetion of california and electricity]

    I don't accept that increased availability increases demand.

    As for the 'witch-hunt' situation, it's a case of anyone who is supsected producing / viewing kiddie porn is automatically considered a sex-offender who must be executed now. In many US states the mere accusation will effectively end the career of the accused - just like in the UK with witches, accusation of being a witch resulted in death by [drowning/fire].

  • "
    The problem with that logic is that pedophiles will always want more. (That's the nature of addiction).
    "

    Surely this doesn't follow?

    Pedophiles are no more addicted to sex than homosexuals, hetero-sexuals, bi-sexuals, catholics, mormons and linux developers.

    The problem here is you've equated :

    Someone who finds children sexually exciting = additcted child pornographer = regular child rapist = satan

  • Name me one market that, when the demand for its product rises dramatically, doesn't respond with increased supply.

    1) Music CDs

    2) DVDs

    3) Crude Oil

  • Some interesting conclusions emerge from all of this. Simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive as many politicians, moralists, educators and others would claim, as they pass legislation requiring blocking and filtering. Nor do the clucking or the legislation seem to have much effect. Even while Congress passes profoundly stupid laws like the Children's Internet Protection Act ...the number of adult Americans accessing sites devoted to sex seems to be growing by the day.

    Katz, all I want to know is wether or not you allow your kid to access sexual imagery/porn online?? I mean, simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive.... right?

  • by FortKnox (169099)
    ...subcultures online are booming -- auctions, women's communities, gaming, Open Source, entertainment, p2p...

    I love how you go from P2P sucks [slashdot.org] to p2p being a booming subculture.... All within one day!
  • 1) Music CDs - there sure are alot more out there today than there were in the 80s. I would say the supply increased as the demand grew.

    2) DVDs - I can now rent DVDs at blockbuster on the corner, when only a few years ago I couldn't. Even the discount stores have DVDs now. Once again, the supply has increased with the demand.

    3) Crude Oil - The control of this resource is very political, not to mention the amount of crude in the world is believed to be limited. Still, while we do endure temporary shortages, I think you will see that the production of crude has grown as demand has increased. Aren't there more cars on the road now than there were ten years ago? Fifty years ago?

    wishus
    ---

  • Not just brokerages and porn.

    Gambling is also very profitable online, especially sports betting.

    Also, Varient, the company that runs the servers for the online game Everquest, makes tens of millions of dollars EVERY MONTH! Talk about easy money! Just run a farm of about 50 servers, charge the EQ junkies $10 a month to use them, and sit back and watch the money pour in. Not to mention all the cash that Sony makes for selling the game software... Pretty good haul for patching a 3D graphics engine on top of a second-rate MUD.

    That said, most people on line don't get rich, because they tend to latch on to ideas that were not as good as they seemed. ("If I become the first to sell wholesale brussel sprouts on line, I'll be a millionaire!")

    However, just as in the California Gold Rush, the people who made the most money were not the prospectors, but the outfitters. Selling stuff to those who are chasing easy money can be very steady business. For example, Verisign is making truckloads of money selling SSL validation licenses, credit card processing, and so on. I'm sure that they make many times more money than the vast majority of their customers, who are setting up various e-commerce sites.

  • Actually, drunkenness went down under prohibition. America was on the fast track to being an entire nation of alchoholics (sort of like what Russia is now) prior to prohibition.

    The reason it was repealed was not that it did not work, but that illegal booze became a high-profit product for organized crime (much like cocaine is today).

    There's no question that cocaine use would be higher if it was legal. You can make a case for legalizing it for a variety of reasons, but to imply that outlawing a drug is going to make it more popular is just silly. If that was true, then alchohol and tobbacco would be the least popular drugs in America, because they are legal... In fact the opposite is true, they are far more popular than the banned ones.

    Ever since prohibition, our culture has been one which, for the most part, insists on "responsible" drinking. (The typical college campus being an obvious exception for the last 20 years or so.) Contrast alchohol consuption in America with most European countries, and you will see that we are still relatively dry.

    That reminds me of the time I was drinking with some stangers from Finland. When I was about ready to call it a day, they insisted on buying me another round. One of them said to me, "in Finland we say: If you drink, and you don't get drunk, it's wasted."

  • First, define "drunkeness". What do you mean? The 13 day moving average of my blood alcohol content? Perhaps you mean the amount of alcohol consumed?

    Very well. Drunkeness - The state of being heavilly intoxicated.

    Total consumption over the course of the year does not mean much as an indicator. Somebody who drinks 2 glasses of wine with dinner every evening drinks more in a year than somebody who binge-drinks every Friday, but the regular wine-drinker is living a more healthy lifestyle, and far less likely to cause a major car accident, isn't he?

    Even accepting your numbers, according to your second link, drinking was at its absolute LOWEST during prohibition... If the goal of prohibition was for people to drink less, that would be an indication that prohibition was working.

    Thank you for your facts, but they seemed to lend more to support my argument than yours.

    Also, yes... We are once again on the fast track to being a nation of alcholics. A good indication is the steady rise of alcholism among young drinkers. Binge-drinking on college campusses has been rising at an astonishing rate for quite some time now.

  • People don't drink beer because it tastes good, but because it has alcohol in it.

    Correction: People don't drink crap like Budweiser and Old Milwaukee for the taste, but to get intoxicated.

    There are a lot of people drinking beer specifically for the taste, as evidenced by the rising popularity of microbreweries and imported beer in America.

    Here in America, we are a little behind the rest of the world in discovering that beer is supposed to taste good. We've been drinking horrible beer for so long, that we have come to think that awful pisswater like Miller is what beer is supposed to taste like.

    The alchohol is part of the flavor and texture of the drink. If somebody made a non-alchohol beer that tasted the same Guiness, I would drink it all day, every day.

    Coffee on the other hand... I drink that mostly for the fix. :)

  • Excuse me, but did I even once express opposition to the decriminalization of drugs in my post???

    You are in such a rush to get your hackles up against a perceived enemy, that it does not even occur to you that I might in fact favor looser restrictions. I'm merely pointing out that the argument that decriminalization will reduce use is not really supported by the facts.

    Why am I concerned that binge-drinking is on the rise among the young? Because, as Charlie Chaplin pointed out, the thing about young people is they grow up to be adults. A trend among young adults, if it continues, becomes a trend of the general population.

  • by JordoCrouse (178999) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:27AM (#312993) Homepage Journal
    The thing I like most about this, is that it gives America some perspective on where they stand in relation to the rest of the world.

    We all know, due to the birth rate, that at any given second, lots of people around the world are having sex. Even in the United States where pornography is looked down upon, folks are getting it on. Even here in Utah, where sex is *almost* as bad as taking a drink, babies are popping up everywhere. So its obvious, there is a whole lot of lovin' going on.

    However, in many countries, this sexual activity is in the open: it is discussed, and it is celebrated. These people recognize that we are one of only two species on Earth that have sex for enjoyment, and they aim to get the most out of sex, as long as the innocent are not getting damaged by it.

    But of course, here in the good 'ol US of A, we revert to our puritan values, and look down on anyone that openly exposes sexuality. The whole attitude of the United States can be summed up in the words of Helen Lovejoy dicussing the statue of David (from the Simpsons for the uninformed):

    "It depicts body parts that, pratical as they are, are evil".

    In other words, we know that sex is required for the survival of the species, but it shouldn't be enjoyed.

    So we come to the Internet, which brings the whole world out in the open, and, hey, lookie there -- there is a whole lotta sex out there. To the rest of the world, this is normal and expected, but to Americans this is an "explosion of evil". Sorry, Mrs. Lovejoy - there is no sudden infusion of pornography in the world, it has always existed, and it always will.... you have just had your eyes closed for the last 200 years.

  • Given the demographics, what do you think are the possibilities of a slash site dedicated to porn?

    Would it be a place where technology posts got moderated down as a "troll"?

    Probably would get a bunch of hits ...

    ;-)

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • seems to me the sucees of sex sites reveals the hitherto uknown fact that so many men get sexually aroused by watching uncontrolled popping windows.

    Who would have guessed...

    To be serious, sex sites never participated in the NASDAQ's irrational exuberance and it is not at all surprising that they are not affected by the market dive. Sex sites don't need investors because they are already cash cows.

    If you think about it, sex sites and fancy business ideas like priceline and co have something in common at a root of their business plan. They both market the costumer's own desire back to him in a shiny wrap. They "add value" to our desires. The difference is that sex sites succeed because they have a grip on the end customer's desire, whereas most dot coms figured out that you could make a kill out of investors' desires and fantasies and never have to deal with real customers. To bad it will end soon. There is little in life more asthetically pleasing then watchig a fool and his money part.

  • While I completely agree with your assessment of what porn is and does, I think blaming porn is at least half wrong.

    What is porn? Porn is media ( image, sound, story) that is designed to cause or enhance sexual arousal. I cannot see what is wrong with that. I thing being sexualy aroused is a good and healthy thing when it happens when you want it to happen. And getting some mediation to help is useful to many people and may be indispensable to some ( older folks, adolescents, people who just want to masturbate right now, people stranded alone on an island ;-), etc. )

    The problem with the porn we have is that it reveals the innards of a sick culture. Not only unrealistic but positively disgusting imagery is mainstream in the porn industry. I fail to see what how so many people get aroused sexually by watching women degraded and abused, or by contemplating mechanical humping that I find as sexy as watching robots build a new Ford SUV, or the endless galleries of women faces adorned with sperm, etc.

    Don't blame the porn industry for handing us a mirror to see how disgusting we are. The problem is not porn, the problem is men who hate women. Go buy a collection of stories called Herotica ( can be found at an amazon.com near you) and it might change your idea of porn so much that you might recommend it to your next boyfriend.

  • I am sure God loves sex, in fact I asked her once and she told me she insituted the day of rest precisely for that reason. You work six days and you shtoop on the seventh, and in the skies above God shtoops with the handsome Angels to the sound of chimming bells.

    On the other hand the idea that Christianity never viewed sex as evil is ludicrous. You're either a flamebait or a complete ignorant. Why don't you read St. Pauls letters in the Bible for a more serious engagement with official Christian doctrine?

  • exactly does it follow that men who watch porn hate women? What about women who watch porn? Do they hate men? Or women? Do the men who watch porn hate men? Or do they hate the men in porn? If not, why just the women in porn? I think you see what I'm getting at here...

    I see you're getting nowhere. The statement follows from the content of most porn, not from the concept of porn ( which, if you read the whole message, I was trying to defend). I also consume porn. The question is what porn. if your sexual fantasy includes treating women like shit, you are expressing in it a deep level of frustation and hatred. You seem to believe that the content of our fantasies has nothing to do with us. That would be odd, wouldn't it?

  • With two sex [slashdot.org] articles [slashdot.org] on the front page and another [slashdot.org] at the beginning of the week, maybe it's time to join our friends at Plastic [plastic.com] and create a new Slashdot topic [slashdot.org]?
  • Well, not a flame but I hope a reasonable response
    Lets go thru some of the points:

    There are more victims of porn than first meets the eye. First the people being photoed, erotic dancers, whatever, a lot of times they do these things willingly but because they feel they have no other way to make money.

    Doing something you hate because you need money... you've just described most tech support jobs. The solution is to go find another job. Fears of recession aside, there is still a pretty good job market out there, no one is forcing these people to do porn. In fact adult film companies turn away quite a few people, so we can assume most of the people in porn want to be there.

    As to the women devastated to discover her husband looking at porn, I think she's a tad bit naive to think her husband would never look at porn. This is like being surprised to discover that your husband prefers action movies to romantic comedies.
    What about single men? Is it ok for them to look at porn? If not what do you suggest they use when masturbating (because you certainly can't suggest that men don't masturbate)

    Finally we victimize ourselves. By looking at porn we buy into an unrealistic fantansy of strange women who show up out of nowhere and have sex with us.

    It's called fanaticizing, we do it all the time, not just about sex, but maybe about having a sports car or a really big house.
    The solution is simple: if you don't like porn, don't look at it. I happen to enjoy porn so I will continue to look at it. I've never heard of anyone being forced to watch porn against their will.
  • It seems a lot of the growth of this sector has been in the free smut genre. Does that mean "free as in beer" holds true in pr0n as well?

    I remember hearing some horror stories from college where some guys I knew dated the same young lady one after the other. Sharing was okay, it seemed, as long as you included the source code.

    Don't even get me started about "groupware."

    I need to take a shower. Now I feel all slimy. [ridiculopathy.com]

  • The Net has, for the first time in contemporary history, given individuals the freedom to explore sex and sexuality. . . .

    Where were you during the '70s, man??? Have you never heard of the "sexual revolution"?? (Not that I was there, but at least I've heard tales.)

    The Net is revolutionary in many ways, but people explored sexuality with freedom, and often with anonymity, long before the word "personal computer" ceased to be an oxymoron. Let's acknowledge the revolutionary nature of the Internet, but let's not exaggerate it ad absurdium.

  • by WinterSolstice (223271) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:54AM (#313028)

    Cool! I can see a perfect device already...

    A handheld, with a large, 32-bit color screen, a cell-modem/bluetooth/whatever, an mp3 player, tons of memory, video player, really good image software, and designed for one-handed operation.

    Call it the Vice-Boy. You could sell tons of them!

    -WS
  • It's interesting that so many non-geeks I know don't share this crowd's enthusiasm for porn. Maybe it's true what they say about exposure.. hmm..


    I think we're just more honest. I've only met one other guy in my life who I can honestly say never watched any porn. One of the beauties of Slashdot is that people have an amazing tendency to be honest, thanks to anonymity.

    No woman can live up to the images in porn.

    And no man can live up to the images in an Arnold action movie - most people can separate fantasy from reality. I don't expect my sex life to resemble a porn flick anymore than I expect my National Guard unit to resemble a Rambo movie.
  • Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

    ...he visited each one in the name of "journalistic integrity". :P
  • True, but not as much as you may think. There are tons and tons of new smaller, crappy sites, with pictures plucked off of Usenet, but the big guys are still doing very well. It's a tougher business than it was a few years ago, but like virtually anything else, there's still money to be made if you know what you're doing, and you're willing to work very, very hard. (no pun intended).

  • I wish I had some mod points for ya' AC. You're exactly right.

  • by NineNine (235196) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:10AM (#313038)
    Well, yes, it DOES appear that Katz is right on this occasion. The only problem is that his conclusion is painfully obvious. Sex sells. It always has, and it always will. Through good times and bad, the human libido continues.

  • The current boom towards sex stems from the fact that before the net, it was really hard to anonymously access this kind of information and knowing that people could see you getting into a sex shop or renting a porn video was discouraging enough for the majority. However, porn stuff is information (zeroes and ones) and with the net, anonymity is preserved in most cases.

    Also, this is obvious, if sex is so successful, it means that there are a lot of buyers! Which means that online sex fills a gap, fulfils a need. In my opinion, sex is still a source of frustration for many, which comes from religion background mostly. If interest for religion continues to go down, sex will become *normal* and will no longer be associated with shame, guilt and evil. There are ethnies which live already very happily with sex and have been for centuries (ok they're not Christian, Islamic, ...).

    To me, sex is not a problem at all as long as everybody is consentent. Where there is sex without unwanted violence, then there are no limits. However, I'm strongly against child porn because in probably 99% of the cases, the child is absolutely not consentent. This is why online porn is questionable... All the sites I've seen talk about lesbians, gays, ... (you name them), in short all the sex fantasies one would want to buy. But when they get into young teens they reach the limit of sexual maturity and the closer you get to it, the more unwilling the 'teens' may be.

    Maybe a 'red label' (no pun intended) for quality should be put in place which guarantees that a porn site contains material with consenting actors only.

  • Actually, in a recent study teenagers in the UK actually take more drugs than those of any other nation in Europe - including Amsterdam.

    When did A'dam become independent?

  • IIRC, pornography makes more money than Hollywood, yet while 9 out of 10 people will admit to see a movie, only 1 out of 10 will admit to watching pornography.

    That's because Hollywood is pretty much limited to TV and movies for revenue streams, and setting up movie companies, theatres, and TV stations is expensive business. To be successful in Hollywood generally requires extensive distribution networks and large amounts of up-front financing to retain the big names. When paying for a plot, people demand (to a degree) more quality.

    Pornography is a little different. For one, there's more of it. Anyone with a camcorder and a couple VCR's can make pornographic movies. Anyone with a camera can take sexually explicit photos. Beyond that there's magazines, strip clubs, etc.

    All you need is a web site and you've got worldwide distribution capability. Your talent doesn't demand multi-million dollar paychecks because people don't demand "the big names" as much as they do in Hollywood. You don't need talented and thoughtful script writers. For most people as long as there's nudity and sex it's good porn.

    So compared to the porn industry, Hollywood is nothing. Hollywood has higher overhead and more limited distribution models than does the porn industry. Porn has it easy...no wonder it makes more money.

    That being said...Yes, a large number of Americans are ashamed of sex. But no, I don't think that porn afficionados spend more money that Hollywood afficionados. There's just more people interested in porn (it's a survival instinct).
  • Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

    Since you brought it up, did anybody else think that the ratio of Sex-for-free vs. Sex-for-pay sites was way out of whack? They claimed something like 200 times the number of free sites than pay sites. And I haven't seen an actual free site in years. On the other hand, I feel like I must've seen more than 1100 pay sites in my day. There's something darn curious about those numbers...
  • by Gruneun (261463) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:14AM (#313066)
    A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

    They must mean they don't tell anyone but Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer.

    Seriously though, nothing irritates me more than a researcher saying "Your numbers are wrong and mine are right because nobody will tell you the truth."
  • by typical geek (261980) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:07AM (#313068) Homepage
    for giving Americans such a sex obsessed and sex ashamed society.

    I wonder what the results of this survey in a more sexually enlightened country like Denmark or Sweden would show? There would probably be less sexual traffic, but more people admitting to it.

    Sex, like drugs and voilence, is partly so attractive because it is forbidden, and yet marketed so extremely. It becomes a vice to grab Joe Sixpack into a cycle on consumption, dissatisfaction, and consumption.
  • People are actually into looking at porn on their phones/pda's? I can only imagine how far the addiction will go with the increased availability of networked appliances... nothing like checking out some cheerleaders while waiting for your toast. On the fridge, we could develop a system that ties in the thermostat to a 3d image of a coed... the colder the fridge, the bigger the nipples! It's genious! Entertaining and useful! Gives a whole new range of possibilities to the promise of being able to finger the fridge!

    #finger fridge
    fridge: ooh it's cold here, come warm me up big boy!


    $man microsoft

  • Or for a more relevant comparison: Hollywood's most successful movies get more than $100M just in US ticket sales. If that $300M is gross revenue, then 3 Hollywood successes beat the whole porn industry. It is possible, though, that porn studios average more profits than Hollywood -- they don't pay the leads $20M each, or spend $50M on special effects.
  • by Joohn (310344) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:26AM (#313083)


    I live in Sweden. An earlier comment here said that countries like Denmark
    and Sweden are more sexually "enlightened". Whether that is true or not,
    I do not know.

    However, a year ago or so, a swede mede a documentary film about the
    pornographic movies that is shown in a swedish pay channel. In this documentary,
    some clips from pornographic movies were shown. This lead to a huge debate,
    and many people wanted to forbid pornography in tv. The documentary was
    shown in the swedish parliament and everybody seemed very chocked;they
    had offcourse never seen anything like that before!

    So, what you could excpect was some law changes since "everybody" thought
    this was disgusting. But what happend? Well, after the documentary was
    shown in tv, the subscribers of this pay channel, where the pornographic
    movies were showed, increased by 20% !! That clearly proved how it really
    is. People do want porn, even if most of them don't admit it.

    Now I'm from Sweden, but I'm pretty sure we aren't more of sex maniacs
    then americans. The pornographic movies, for instance, were american like
    99% af all pornography made...

    So really, who are we trying to fool here? People want port!

  • The advantage/disadvantage of the Internet is the ability to be anonymous. People can express ideas that they would never express, or partake in things like online porn in the privacy of their own home (the guy at the video store doesn't even have to know)which they probably wouldn't if they could be identified. For that reason people will always partake in things like on-line sex sites or other things that might be publicly frowned upon.
  • You seen www.nakednews.com [nakednews.com]??

    It might be a bit like that...
  • Just because there has been "a dramatic rise in child pornography online" doesn't mean that more children are being exploited, just that child pornographers are making their product more widely available using technology. I think what Katz was trying to get at was that perhaps with the widespread availability of kiddie porn on the net, folks who are into that sort of thing will be able to get their fix online (sharing a small number of exploited children) rather that each having to find and exploits children themselves.
  • I was checking out this page and noticed it said something like "26 comments". I hit refresh about 10 minutes later and it was suddenly at 82!

    I hope this doesn't mean that many people want to see Katz having sex.
  • by Eoli (320216) on Thursday April 05, 2001 @09:33AM (#313093)
    The more cable channels we get, the more graphic the channels seem to get (anyone see last week's Sopranos, where about half the episode took place in the strip club?). I think it's due to the increased competition. What's the best way to get someone to watch your channel instead of a "Friends" repeat? Hmmm... howzabout sex!
  • Part of the reason for the large amount of sexual discussion online is the fact that discussing sex, sexuality, gender roles, etc, is the fact that although humans are naturally curious about the topics (hell, none of us would be here without sex), either through shame, illogic, etc, we don't talk about it. We have shows which discuss eating on the radio and TV, but a show that talks about nothing but sex would be considered a "vulgar" thing. The internet, on the other hand, changes that. Anonymity and pseudonymity give people a chance to as those questions that "decent" people would never ask, and also, an ability to role play, to see what's on the other side of the mirror. So, it's no real surprise that there is a proliferation of sex on the internet, people are curious about it, and they are able to ask questions without having a funny stare when they start asking for the latest hermaphrodite pr0n.

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