Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.

7 surprising ways porn is changing / Salon

Faced with the prevalence of pirated, ‘free’ porn available online, the adult industry has had to adapt to stay afloat. While many of these changes have created a worsening scenario for performers, producers and consumers, they also open the door for companies, like MLNP, who take a more ethical approach to the sex we see online.


Written by  for ALTERNET and reposted on Salon. Originally published on August 2, 2015.


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“Users of Internet pornography are probably familiar with the site YouPorn. And maybe RedTube. There’s also Tube8, XTube, ExtremeTube, and PornHub. The list goes on. These sites, often referred to as the “tube sites,” host a wide array of free (and largely pirated) user-generated content that’s starting to change the porn industry. Listed below are seven of the most surprising ways porn is changing.

1. There’s a lot less content.

Industry insiders will confirm that porn production is at an all-time low. Colin and Angie Rowntree have been in the porn business for over 20 years. Back in 1994, the AVN Hall of Fame inductees founded the BDSM website Wasteland.com. In 1999, Angie started Sssh.com, a porn site “for women, by women.” Colin estimates that at least 50% of the small studios have gone under in the past 10 years. Angie told me over the phone, “A lot of the little tiny mom-and-pop ones are gone, and those were the ones that had original ideas.”

Colin added, “If you want to get new content, quality content that’s actually well made, somebody has to pay the performers. Somebody has to pay the cameraman. Somebody has to pay the editors. Somebody has to pay for all this stuff. And if nobody is paying to buy it, the whole thing comes tumbling down — which it currently is.”

The duo has mapped out a little blurb that appears at the end of each of their films, reading, “Piracy is not a victimless crime. Please be respectful of the people who have shared a very intimate part of themselves with you, the crew that helped bring it to life, the editor who put it all together and the studio who paid for this production and gave everyone a safe, respectful and fun place to work. After all, would you work for free?”

2. Porn stars are picking up gigs on the side.

Porn isn’t as lucrative an industry as it once was. And that fact is starting to work its way into performer’s paychecks. “Performer payment rates have dropped, my guess would be, 35-40% over the last 10 years,” Colin says.

It’s not uncommon for aspiring actors to pick up gigs on the side. Aspiring porn actors are no different. As production continues to slow, well-paid positions are getting harder to come by, and performers are looking elsewhere for extra cash. Personal appearances are one option. Social media outreach is another. But these endeavors are usually reserved for more established stars. The rest fall back on other forms of business.

Rowntree told me, “The really unfortunate, unintended consequence for performers is that a lot of them are also escorting on the side now. Which I have no problem with. But escorting is different than being a porn star. Escorting has got certain protocols, requires a certain amount of street sense.”

“You know, Suzy from Nebraska who goes to L.A. to be a porn star starts turning tricks in a motel room without any backup security and things like that, it’s just a disaster waiting to happen.”

3. Age verifications are becoming harder to track.

The  “2257 Regulations” refers to an FBI program that requires porn producers to verify the age of their performers. As it states on the FBI website, “Section 2257 was enacted to require producers of sexually explicit matter to maintain certain records concerning the identity and age of performers to assist in monitoring the industry. The identity of every performer is critical to determining and ensuring that no performer is a minor.”

But as Rowntree explained, pirating content breaks that chain of information. He said, “There’s absolutely no way to backtrack it. It just becomes lost. So it opens itself us to underage performers in sex movies on free tubes becoming accessible so anybody. And I’ve got a real problem with that.”

It’s not great news for those on the other side of the screen, either. Most tube sites don’t have any age verification program in place. Rowntree said, “Any 12-year-old, without even clicking a button that says ‘Yes I am over 18,’ can get in there and see more hardcore porn than you could ever imagine.”

4. Catering to the niches pays off.

Transformers 5 is currently in the works. While it probably won’t be so different than the previous four movies, one thing is for sure: it’s going to make a lot of money. As Angie Rowntree noted, Hollywood has found the perfect formula. Porn isn’t so different. The big-busted blondes, the well-endowed hunks who so often appear in porn are all over the tubes. The scenes are formulaic and unoriginal, but also widely popular and profitable.

In regards to this kind of “vanilla porn,” Colin Rowntree says, “There’s just so much out there. It’s so oversaturated between the tubes and all of the various remaining paid sites. It’s just a fool’s errand to try to produce that stuff unless you’re some huge distribution company.”

He added, “Specific niches, like BDSM and porn for women, are really good because there aren’t a lot of other people shooting that kind of thing.”


Read the rest of the article here.

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