Adult Industry Blog
Look over your shoulder. The sextoys are coming! The sextoys are coming! Many of us in the adult industry already know that several kinds of toys have made their way into bricks and mortar general merchandise stores such as CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and the ever-conservative Walmart. Yep, Walmart.
Industry giants Durex and Trojan have penetrated the mainstream market by placing their toys in the condoms and lubricants section of the stores – I mean, where else would they put them? They aren’t by the front counter… yet. Sometimes, they cleverly hide in the “massagers” area – the place where once can easily erase those aches and pains with a Tylenol and a vibrator. The mainstreamed products range from vibrating cock rings, the original cross-over product that created a stir when introduced into drug stores a decade ago, to real, live action VIBRATORS that make no pretense as to what they really are. Their discreet packaging is what slides them easily into those stores.
I was at a Walgreens recently and gulped when I saw the mainstay Pocket Rocket, complete with interchangeable heads, being pawned off as a massager. And of course, the price was waaay lower than what a typical adult store would need to charge to cover their overhead. I wondered how many elderly women would go back to their hubbies and say “Look what I got at Walgreens, honey! It’s for pain relief for my arthritic knuckles!”
I really feel that the mainstreaming of toys is both good and bad for the adult industry. Here’s why…
It’s bad because people don’t have to feel obligated to visit their local adult store to buy a vibrator. When checking out at Walmart, they can simply add it to their purchase. “That’ll be tissues, a bottle of Minute Maid, a new T shirt, a Transformers toy, tampons, and oh, a Trojan vibrator and the total of your order is…” with the check out clerk barely noticing what’s in the shopping cart. Vamoose pesky embarrassment!
So then you have suburban housewife, or even RURAL housewife, discovering the joys of using her new found toy. “Gee, I only read about these things in Redbook,” might cross her mind. “I think I like this.”
And that’s where we come in. Once Ms. Suburbia finds she likes the sensation of her new found pleasure, it can often open the door to more purchases of bigger, faster, harder, more kinds of toys. And lubricants. And body treats. And lingerie. And DVDs. And sex ed instruction books. The list can go on and on. It’s up to us to continue her education (and hopefully her partner’s if that’s the case) to let her know buying these things is okay. She’s an automatic upsell as the overwhelming majority of toys sold in the mainstream are pretty straightforward, well, straight, vibrators.
But I’m still concerned. It’s like my own little secret of where to buy these things has been mass merchandised and all the special attributes I’ve learned about each and every gizmo will be out there for everyone to know. But isn’t that why we do this anyway? To preach the gospel to the public of why we love these unique and always-changing toys? To share our enthusiasm and educate those hard to reach customers so they can reach those “hard to reach places”? I guess so.
So let’s embrace our mass merchandisers in the sex toy department, knowing that the next purchase for these women will be in our stores and from our websites, where we can provide so much more information than the clerk sporting the blue smock.
See ya on the next blog!
JOTB (joke of the blog, that is!)
Once a guy went to his doctor and said “Doc, my dick is orange!”
“Really?” the doctor replied. “Let me see.”
Sure enough, the guy had an orange dick. “Hmmmm,” said the doctor. “Do you live under high power lines?” he questioned the man.
“No,” he answered.
“Do you work at a nuclear power plant?” the doctor continued.
“No,” the man answered. “In fact, I’m not working right now.”
“Oh!,” the doctor responded. “Then what do you do all day?”
“Not much,” shrugged the man. “Sit around, watch porno, eat Cheeze Doodles…”
Attorney Karen Tynan and Kink.com director Princess Donna at the state capitol
This morning in Sacramento, proposed “condom” legislation Assembly Bill 332 was presented to members of the House Appropriations Committee. Sponsor of the bill Assembly Member Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) waived his opportunity to speak on the legislation and AB 332 was sent to suspense file by the committee. Free Speech Coalition is pleased that AB 332 legislation has not moved forward today out of committee.
Representing adult industry opposition to AB 332, labor attorney Karen Tynan stood ready to deliver a statement to the legislators, focusing on the financial pitfalls of the regulatory scheme. Tynan also hoped to speak to the process already started with state regulatory agency Cal/OSHA, to establish industry-appropriate regulations for adult film productions.
“My testimony was meant to explain and emphasize the incredible waste of taxpayer money that will result if AB332 is enacted,” Tynan said. “Cal/OSHA has a process where they have stakeholder meetings and attempt to create feasible regulations. We are still in that process with the draft regulations pending revisions. AB332 demands that the state legislature throw out all that work and start over with the AHF plan.”
Testimony would have also outlined the potentially enormous costs to taxpayers if AB 332 is passed, not only administrative costs, but also in a significant loss of jobs and revenue for counties in California as adult producers are pushed to other areas for production locations.
“Committee members with adult entertainment businesses in their districts should be reminded that these businesses create jobs, pay taxes, and should have a voice in this process,” Tynan added.
Kink.com founder and FSC Board Member Peter Acworth also attended this morning’s meeting with a contingent of performers and industry professionals. Acworth also had prepared a statement, but left the meeting without delivering testimony.
“We got here at 5:30am and spent most of the day,” Acworth said. “But we’re happy the bill has been put in suspension. I hope this is the end of the bill. I remain a strong advocate for performer testing and the APHSS.org database system.”
Representatives from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and other AB 332 supporters were apparently not in attendance at this morning’s meeting.
On Wednesday, Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke was accompanied by former performer Lydia Lee (aka Julie Meadows), producers Mo Reese and Lorenzo Marr, and FSC staff on a day-long trip to Sacramento, to stand in opposition of Assembly Bill 332, the proposed California bill that would require barrier protection use on adult film productions.
The bill was presented to the House Assembly Labor & Employment Committee by its backers Assemblymember Isadore Hall III and representatives of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Also in attendance were many adult industry members representing Kink.com, Hot House Entertainment, Factory Video, Naked Sword, and several other Bay Area adult companies. Lee and Marr both spoke before the committee, stating their reasons for opposing the “condom law.”
“It was inspiring to speak with so many industry professionals from Kink.com, Hot House Media and Factory Videos, as well as individuals from the community who care about how much more complicated this is than merely a condom proposition,” said Lee. “The opposition has constantly made demeaning comments that conflate the work I chose to do of my own free will with messages perpetuated by anti-porn propagandists, but I am proud of my participation in this process and exercising the voice I have.”
While attendees’ efforts were valiant, the Labor & Employment Committee unfortunately did clear AB 332 in a 5-0 vote later on Wednesday afternoon. The bill will now be sent to the House Appropriations Committee where it faces its next hurdle.
“The trip to Sacramento was a great experience,” said producer Reese. “Of course I’m not happy about AB 332 moving forward, but it was still interesting to see our political system at work. I appreciate the time and hard work both Lydia & Lorenzo put into their statements. It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a room full of politicians & fight for what you believe in.
“The outpouring of support from industry members from San Francisco was amazing – I wish we could have seen more people from Los Angeles,” Reese added. “Our fight against AB 332, Measure B & AIDS Healthcare Foundation is far from over; together we can win this. For people who choose to focus on the negative, or on what others should have done, maybe instead ask yourself what it is that you can do.”
FSC opposes AB 332 because it will drive the adult industry out of California, taking thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue elsewhere. This misguided legislation addresses a problem that doesn’t exist by creating an unneeded bureaucracy that will be paid for with California tax dollars. FSC supports and oversees the industry-appropriate system of STD testing for adult performers that has proved to be effective since 1998; AB 332 actually threatens the health and well being of performers by threatening to dismantle industry standards for self-regulation.
For more on AB 332, Measure B or the Los Angeles “Safer Sex” in Adult Film Productions Ordinance – and for info on how you can help oppose it – please, visit StopCondomLaws.com.
Porn’s perennial appeal means that there is a never ending flow of entrepreneurs that enter the business seeking their slice of the pie — but knowing where to start isn’t always easy and many prospective operators lack a cohesive business plan, or the industry savvy needed to come up with one. This however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go; since taking a small bite and learning as you progress may mean the difference between success and failure in the long run.
Starting a profitable adult website can be quick and easy and doesn’t have to cost more than a few bucks for a relevant domain name, scalable cloud hosting, a free copy of WordPress, a good idea and some time to implement it — of course at this basic level, nearly any “good idea” you will come up with may be 10 years too late — but miracles can and do happen…
At this juncture, acquiring content and traffic are the biggest concerns you will face regardless of the type of website you choose to build.
Although in many cases the cost of adult content has dropped considerably over the past few years (impacted by economic doldrums, market saturation, piracy and surfer indifference as to what constitutes “quality,” which can squelch the need for HD videos), without content you have no product, and there remains a tangible cost associated with it, even when your business plan relies on “free” or “user submitted” material.
For example, if you start a blog, where will the content come from and what will you hope to sell? If a TGP/MGP/Tube or other site featuring user uploaded material how will you prevent stolen or otherwise illegal content from appearing on it?
Your content has to come from somewhere…
As a result, you must either buy content or have it given to you, such as through an often legally questionable tube site video upload process — or by a sponsor for affiliate promotional purposes — such as through a private “white label” or co-branded website.
White label websites are a very popular alternative, with cams, casual dating, and tube and video-on-demand sites all available in co-brand configurations that provide a fast and easy path to market, with a low barrier to entry — all that’s needed is a decent domain name, a little knowledge (and time to learn) and a reasonable budget for traffic.
Building your home on another man’s land is rarely ever a really good idea, however; with some sponsor’s fine print making it as likely for you to collect a payment as you are to be struck by lightning on your way to cash in that winning lottery ticket — which is sad when they have products that would be profitable to push for a true “25 percent of everything everyone spends on your site,” regardless of how many times that white label customer had visited (or been a customer of) the white label’s parent website or any other site’s in the sponsor’s portfolio, where a previous referral prevents you from getting paid.
While many prospective adult webmasters view white label sites as a traffic building opportunity to feed other properties in their network, relying on the white label’s “SEO” features to deliver profitable search engine traffic, recent moves by Google show that the company is serious about penalizing “thin affiliate and doorway pages,” with no amount of custom category headings able to obfuscate the fact that “your” white label website is essentially identical to many thousands of similar sites.
I’m not hating on white labels, it’s just that the common notion that you can build one in five minutes flat and immediately have a ton of search engine traffic fall from the sky to make you a boat load of sales (earning you a new Ferrari every week), is a pipe dream — and not a good approach to building a strong foundation.
But if traffic generation isn’t their strong suit and content is, can white labels be used as a profitable destination for traffic acquired from other venues — without relying upon any search engines as a traffic source — reversing the flow that many operators embrace?
The answer is “yes,” and while you do want to take every opportunity to optimize the white label for search engine marketing (SEM), a two-step site approach where, say, that cloud hosted WordPress blog is used to market the white label, which is on a sub domain, or associated domain, to carry across your branding, may be the best approach.
For example, a video-on-demand white label could be part of a blog of video reviews, where social media can be leveraged by allowing website visitors to comment and vote — with the blog using free clips and screencaps from the white label as its main content.
This is also an easy avenue for testing white label sales against straight affiliate sales. For example, a blog feeding a white label dating site could readily make use of A/B split testing to send half of its traffic to the white label and the other half to the parent website, to see which one the sponsor is really paying more on. The same process works for cam, tube and other white label sites.
Once you know which of a sponsor’s offers earns you the most, split test that sponsor against other sponsors until you find the winning combination. All this testing takes a lot of traffic, but there’s a better chance of generating traffic through your blog than through a white label site, and you also have to measure its profitability, making testing essential.
It sounds complicated and there’s a lot to it, but in practice, the day-to-day operation of such a setup is simple (and even mundane) and makes a great starting point for those who are just entering the business — or those seeking a new approach. Of course, many other options exist for starting an adult website in 2013 and your budget and skills should guide you along the right path to profits — but for getting the biggest bang for your buck, a WordPress integrated white label website is a tough combination to beat for porn today.
(l to r) Attorney Karen Tynan, FSC CEO Diane Duke, director Eli Cross, performer Alana Evans, former performer/blogger Lydia Lee
Free Speech Coalition would like to express gratitude to the industry members and experts that volunteered their time to speak in Sacramento, on opposition to Assembly Bill 332 in front of the Arts & Entertainment Committee at the state capitol. AB 332 was presented to lawmakers on Tuesday.
Current performer Alana Evans, former performer/blogger Lydia Lee (aka Julie Meadows), producer/director Eli Cross and attorney Karen Tynan accompanied FSC CEO Diane Duke to Sacramento, to send a message to legislators that adult film producers and performers oppose mandated barrier protection regulations and, instead, support the current system of STD testing and industry-appropriate regulations.
Ultimately, the proposed bill was passed by the Arts & Entertainment Committee; it may go before the state Labor Committee as early as April 24. If passed by the Labor Committee, AB 332 still has several hurdles to clear – it would then be sent to Appropriations for budgetary approval before being presented to the State Assembly and Senate for final votes.
FSC will continue to lead industry opposition to mandated barrier protection laws and appreciates the efforts, on behalf of their industry, of Evans, Lee and Cross. We encourage all industry members to join FSC and actively support efforts to confront challenges to the industry. For more information on how you can help, please contact email@example.com or (818) 348-9373.
Okay, I know I might get crucified for this blog. For the majority of my 20 years in this wacky business since opening Grand Opening!, I, and most likely you, have been preaching from the pulpit that glycerin in a sugar and should be avoided in lubricants. Well, my friends, time for a little hard core science to prove to you that glycerin is NOT a sugar! Hang with me on this one: it will change your mind and thinking, too.
Many people have the belief that glycerin, a major ingredient in many lubricants, can cause or exacerbate yeast infections. This simply is not true. The popular belief is that yeast feeds on sugar, and that’s what glycerin is. But here’s the truth: Glycerin in and of itself is NOT a sugar but a sugar ALCOHOL and does NOT contain the components of a sugar that actively feed yeast or other bacteria. Again, it is a sugar alcohol and has the chemical make up similar to both of those.
You know, I don’t throw italics in my blogs that often so you know when I do, I really want you to pay attention.
Okay, back to science. According to Wikipedia, Glycerol (or glycerine, glycerin) is a simple polyol compound. It is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Glycerol has three hydroxyl groups that are responsible for its solubility in water and its hygroscopic nature. The glycerol backbone is central to all lipids known as triglycerides. Glycerol is sweet-tasting and of low toxicity and click on the link here if you want to read a lot of chemical compounding mumbo-jumbo about the actual make up of glycerin and polyols. Ah, chemistry… see, you shouldn’t have slept through it in high school.
Glycerin is constantly being confused with sugar because it has a sweet taste and because it is used as a sweetener in many different low-carb and dietary foods. During metabolization, which is what the body does to break down food in its digestive system, glycerin can be converted to glucose by the LIVER. HOWEVER, glycerin cannot be converted to glucose in the vagina because the last time I checked, my liver was not attached to my vagina in any way, shape, or form! For yeast to thrive, they need a sugar such as glucose, NOT an alcohol as glycerin is. Keep following me here…
So that’s basically what is going on. DIGESTED glycerin WILL change into a sugar in the body when it’s digested through the system so that’s why someone who is diabetic, for example, needs to be careful with their glycerin intake. But when you’re gonna smear lube around your girly bits, toys, or on his giblets, before and during your ins and outs, you have NOTHING to worry about. Glycerin based lube will NOT go through the metabolization process and will NOT turn into that pesky sugar everyone falsely blames on reoccurring yeast infections.
But let’s step back a moment to look at what a yeast infection is… sure, it could be the scourge of your local baker when a yeast infection churns its way into the sourdough, but when it comes to women, this is what it is and this is what it does:
First of all, yeast infections don’t happen as often as you’d think! The vagina is an incredibly complex eco-system, a place where heaven and earth come together, a place of mystery and power, a deep, dark pleasure cave that can topple governments… I’m getting ahead of myself and romanticizing vaginas. Glad I own one.
Back to science: Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans, which are, in extremely small amounts, usually part of a woman’s vaginal makeup (VAGINAL MAKEUP! There’s a market for that, I’m sure!) and inside the honey walls o’ pleasure, there’s also a few bacteria hanging around for good measure, too. Like a bad weed, sometimes the yeast can go galloping through your vag faster than Paul Revere shouting “The yeasties are coming! The yeasties are coming!” And the culprits can be things like a change in the in the vaginal environment such as injury (that can be caused by not using enough lube! Yep!), sexual transmission, HIV, douching, underwear, what you EAT, drugs, birth control pills (or other hormonal imbalances) and additional common causes. For example, taking oft-prescribed antibiotics can kill off bacteria but antibiotics may also kill off the cells in the vagina that normally keep the balance between bacteria and yeast at bay so when the bacteria’s away, the yeast will play. Whew!
What kind of panties are you wearing, little girl with the yeast infection? Those sexy satiny ones are probably not the best choice and even when they look smokin’ hot, your crotch definitely begs for cotton which breathes a lot more. Yep, cotton. Yeasties love vaginas as much as heat seeking body missles do so try to keep your snatch happy and just moist enough to keep the walls from sticking to each other. Gosh! What a delicate balancing act we have!
But wait! There’s more! Deodorant soaps will zap your natural moisture (and naturally occurring bacteria) as will commercially available douches. Speaking of which, a woman’s vag scent is an exotic blend of juices that is to be pleasured and enjoyed, not masked with “Summer Daisy Field” scent, no matter what they say.
I feel another blog coming on… so I’ll get back to the sugar/yeast infection thing.
Blast panels are tests where labs inoculate molecules such as glycerin with bacteria and yeast and it is often shown in these tests that glycerin and glycerin based lubes have a reverse effect on yeast almost to an anti-microbial classification. Yep, you read right. The OPPOSITE effect! Glycerin has to be bonded to several other molecules to become a complete sugar capable of feeding yeast which is what happens when you DIGEST glycerin and not introduce it into the tender cavity known as a vagina.
Okay, here’s another example of what I’m sayin’. Glad you’ve made it this far with all this hard science. There won’t be a quiz and I’ll give you an A when you’re done reading.
Many OTC (over the counter) yeast infection remedies and even homeopathic ones contain the inactive ingredient of glycerin to keep them slippery when sliding in for medicinal use. Glycerin in these products allow the medicine to be evenly dispersed within the vagina and if glycerin CAUSES yeast infections, do you really think it would be an ingredient in these products? Go figure.
We have a lot of work to do to undo the belief that glycerin is a sugar, so I am relying on each and every one of you to go out there and tell your friends, co-workers, and especially customers, that they have nothing to worry about in the glycerin/yeast infection department. You have hard, undeniable science behind you to support you so get the story straight and use more lube!
And now for the JOTBs (I know I forgot them last time and since you've read this far down, you deserve a few of them)...
Once a woman was checking out at her neighborhood supermarket and found herself with a handsome young man bagging her groceries. He offered to take her groceries to her car and while they were in the parking lot, she leaned over and whispered in his ear “I have an itchy pussy…” He looked at her and replied “I’m sorry Ma’am. You’ll have to point it out. All those small Japanese cars look the same.”
Once there were three old women sitting on a park bench when they were approached by a male flasher. He exposed himself and the first woman looked at it and had a stroke. The second woman looked at it and had a stroke, too. The third woman looked at it and refused to touch it.
Once there was a newly married couple that were going to undress each other for the first time on their wedding night. As the groom took off his socks, his bride noticed his toes were all curled up. “Agh!” she cried. “Polio!” “No,” he responded, “TOE-lio.”
Then he dropped his pants and there were red spots all around his knees. “MEASLES!” she cried. “No,” he returned. “KNEE-sles.”
Then it came time to take off his underwear and she took one look and said, “I know. SMALL COX.”
On that note... happy science and see ya again soon!
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) denounces actions taken by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) as another misguided attempt to monopolize public health policy by demonizing adult industry businesses
At a press conference today, AHF announced that it has filed a complaint against adult production company Immoral Productions. In response to the latest developments involving AHF’s relentless attacks on the adult industry, FSC CEO Diane Duke has issued the following statement:
“There hasn’t been an on set transmission of HIV since 2004 – nationwide. Adult film industry protocols are highly effective, which is why it is so preposterous that AHF has spent millions on a problem that doesn’t exist. Moreover, AHF has yet to bring forth performers who are not on their payroll and now, an ‘anonymous’ letter? Countless adult film performers have come out against AHF’s crusade as detrimental to their health and their livelihood,” Duke said.
“The bottom line is that AHF’s efforts will only diminish performer safety, drive jobs out of LA and California and spend valuable tax dollars on a non-issue,” Duke added.
As the adult industry trade association, FSC has opposed AHF’s special interest campaign for barrier protection use in adult productions since 2007.
In 2010, after a lawsuit brought by AHF delivered a crippling financial blow to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) clinic, which had been the primary source of healthcare services for industry performers. At that time, FSC stepped in to uphold industry-appropriate standards and protocols for production safety and developed the APHSS.org database program, to oversee performer STD testing.
In 2012, after an estimated $6 million dollars in campaign expenditures by AHF, county voters passed the Los Angeles ‘Safer Sex’ Ordinance for Adult Productions (aka Measure B) by a margin of 57% to 43%. Language on the ballot scarcely stated to voters the proposed barrier protection use, which includes condoms, dental dams, goggles and gloves. Soon after the election, Vivid Entertainment and two performer co-plaintiffs filed suit against the County of Los Angeles, in an effort to strike down the regulation. The case is ongoing.
AHF’s anti-adult industry attempts continue with Assembly Bill 332, which was to be introduced in committee today in Sacramento. The bill has been tabled by the Arts & Entertainment committee, but was handed over to the Labor Committee for further consideration.
FSC will continue to oppose AB 332 and the Los Angeles ordinance as unconstitutional and a burden on both adult industry and California taxpayers. If you would like to find out more about the Los Angeles ordinance, AB 332, or how YOU can help fight AHF’s big money, special interest campaign, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us @FSCArmy.
Iceland recently made headlines with the latest project on its allegedly progressive agenda: a nation-wide ban on pornography. No stranger to proscribing activities related to commercializing sex, Iceland has already passed laws banning printed pornography, prostitution and stripping, and has done so all in the name of feminism. Rattling off the standard laundry list of the evils of porn, the Icelandic Parliament noticeably lingered on the “damaging effects” adult material has on the children who view it and the women who participate in it. Iceland’s Office of the Interior Minister defended the ban by stating that Icelandic citizens deserve to live and develop in a non-violent environment, therefore, the resulting law is “not anti-sex, but anti-violence.” What’s potentially more concerning is that this feminist backlash against commercial sexualization is gaining serious momentum throughout Europe, as evidenced by the European Union’s recent parliamentary vote on a blanket pornography ban. Taking a page from the Nordic view on feminism, the EU claims the ban will foster gender equality and combat sexual stereotypes by sanctioning individuals and businesses “promoting the sexualization of girls.” With Parliament disclosing very little about the potential ban, most Europeans are looking to the recent path blazed by Iceland for some guidance on what’s to come.* So what is the likelihood of Iceland being the first democratic state to successfully ban pornography? The answer to that question probably depends on your definition of success…
Given that Iceland is expected to implement similar blocking filters to those used in China and Iran, it stands to reason that Iceland would enjoy comparable success in restricting online content. However, the environmental and temporal differences between Iceland’s efforts and that of middle and far east authoritarian regimes, shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. Countries like China and North Korea limited citizens’ access to online content, but such restrictions have been in effect practically since the Internet’s inception. Any armchair psychologist will tell you – and any parent of a toddler will confirm – it’s human nature to want what you can’t have. And if whatever you can’t have, is something that was in your possession but was taken from you, well that ups the ante even more. Like most citizens across the globe, Iceland’s people have had unfettered access to online adult material. To put it bluntly, it doesn’t matter how inherently progressive a country is, when you confiscate a piece of personal autonomy, there’s bound to be consequences.
Even if the Icelandic government seamlessly weathers whatever discontent that’s thrown its way, there’s still the matter of enforcement. Logistically speaking, Iceland will employ filters barring citizens from accessing flagged websites, and fire walls prohibiting Icelandic credit cards from purchasing adult content. But what about the tangible transport of digital pornography? Streaming, downloading and cloud access aren’t the only ways to retrieve digital content. What’s stopping someone located in another jurisdiction from entering Iceland’s borders with a pornographic DVD? With so many vehicles capable of transporting digital content, common sense says that it would be impossible to inspect each and every tablet, flash drive, laptop, and Smartphone that crosses Iceland’s borders. As long as there’s been contraband, people have been smuggling contraband – the digitization of such contraband has only made it that much easier.
The ability to control infiltration of the banned content leads directly to the next hurdle – the black market. We live in the Internet Age; every technological restriction is met with a response circumventing that restriction. Whether it’s a scrubbing tool used to mask IP address identification or software that scrambles collected geo-location location, there are countless techniques enabling the average Internet user to evade government-imposed limitations.
Without getting too high up on the First Amendment soap-box, this type of regulation tends to invoke the constitutional scholar in all of us. If Iceland wants to completely ban pornography, exactly what kind of material is considered “pornography”? Without careful and meticulous drafting, any such law will inevitably encompass content as innocuous as the mere display of genitals. Some reports say that the ban would only include “violent or degrading content.” As admirable as that is, we’re still left with the subjectivity surrounding the definitions of “violent” or “degrading.” Another variable to throw into the mix in determining what would constitute pornography is the intended purpose of the material in question. Specifically, was the content created for private consumption or commercial use? If Iceland’s chief concern is to prevent the commercialized sexualization of women and children, logically, only material disseminated commercially would violate the ban and any application of the law beyond that specific scope would be a flagrant infringement on privacy rights. Given the widespread creation and sharing of private erotica, a substantial amount of pornographic material would presumably be unaffected by the legislation.
In a very short time, Iceland will undoubtedly find itself at the age-old prohibition impasse, asking which holds more clout: a government imposed ban or the tenacity of those looking to circumvent that ban? As shown with most government-sanctioned goods or services, a black market develops; those participating eventually monopolize the marketplace; a consistent profit is generated; and ultimately standard supply and demand principles are used to exploit and perpetuate a marketplace devoid of legislative supervision. Government-imposed prohibitions might change behavior, but a behavioral change does not prove that the problem was solved; only that it has been forced underground. On that note, one must question whether the “problem” existed in the first place. One person’s degrading porn, is another’s…you know the rest. Ultimately, Iceland is unlikely to become a porn free zone irrespective of the pending legislation. If history has taught us anything, it’s if there’s a will, there’s a way.
*As this post went to press, the EU Parliament voted against the anti-porn proposal due to censorship concerns: “Language that would ban online pornography has been dropped from a report approved by the European Parliament.”
The following message of appreciation is to Mara Epstein, industry veteran and longtime member of the FSC Board of Directors. Composed by FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas, this message represents the deep gratitude and appreciation expressed by the entire Board of Directors and staff of FSC. Her contributions helped shape the coalition, and benefited her colleagues and peers in the adult industry during her time at FSC.
Mara is currently Director of Sales for Maia Toys. She continues to be closely involved in fundraising efforts on behalf of FSC.
“On behalf of the Board, and personally, I thank you and honor your 16 years of service as Director of the Free Speech Coalition. Throughout the tumults of work and family, you have been a dedicated advocate and volunteer for this organization, generously providing your invaluable expertise and insight. You have enriched us all.
- Jeffrey J. Douglas
Chair, Board of Directors
Free Speech Coalition
You know I’m often writing about emerging markets and other regional revenue opportunities, especially as regards local alternative payments. ZDNet.com has just published results of 2012 e-commerce sales for South Korea, and they took off last year to an all-time high - 1,144 trillion won which is USD $1.05 trillion – we’ve heard the word trillion tossed around with all kinds of negative connotation in recent days, but here’s a trillion that’s a good marker, and do in large part to increased B2B transactions.
An almost 15 percent jump from 2011 to 2012 – not bad for a lagging global economy. According to Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), this was a broad increase, with online transactions increasing across all categories.
The B2C sales increase was more modest, but still improved 6 percent to USD $18.1 billion.
A really interesting stat for those of you innovating in the software solutions arena, C2C sales ballooned over 20 percent to USD $10.9 billion so start thinking about platforms that can tap into that burgeoning activity, and make sure to implement responsive design for all those mobile devices in use there.
You can talk to me about converting South Korean traffic at: email@example.com