40-Plus and Fabulous

Gila Morgan
During the past year or so, the adult entertainment industry has awakened to a truth that much of the mainstream movie and TV audience has known for years: mature women are hot. Not just sexy hot, but sales hot.

Adult videos featuring women on whom time has sketched a few lines — from 30-something on up — have been doing big business. Far from being a new trend sparked by women such as the sexy headliners of "Desperate Housewives," the rush to add or expand mature content is a matter of supply catching up with demand.

"There is no question that the demand has always been there," General Manager Clark told XBIZ.

"We've been focused on mature for nearly 10 years and have been very successful at it. I think the last year has simply been the crest of the wave."

The draw of the mature niche, which includes MILF, GILF, older women with specific physical characteristics and fantasy situations set in offices and classrooms, is old news to Nancy M, who launched in 1997 in response to chat room requests. "It was nothing in '97, '98, '99 to get over 100,000 visitors a day," she said.

But the recent rising demand caught some content brokers by surprise. "I'm getting more requests than I've ever gotten for mature content," J$tyle$, owner of the, said, adding that he's just now stocking a bunch of mature and MILF titles from hardcore gonzo studio Pandemonium. "The studios I had on the roster didn't do it. I went looking for it because the demand was there."

"It's been a phenomenon to see this kind of growth," Larry Schwarz, public relations director for Red Light District, said. RLD's "Momma Knows Best" series, all released in the past year, are top sellers for the studio.

Part of the appeal, obvious in the MILF label, is an old, old archetype: the attraction between an inexperienced young man and a mature, sexually adept woman who instructs him in lovemaking.

"I think the draw to a sexually experienced mother figure who has retained her looks and sexuality is a real psychological pull for guys and always will be," marketing director Lea Busick said.

"Some of the most common [reasons for enjoying mature porn] are, 'When I was younger, there was this really hot teacher/friend's mom/lady at the grocery store,' " Nancy M said. "Lots were influenced at a young age by the 'older woman.'"

NicheBucks CEO Gavin Lloyd told XBIZ his affiliate program's flagship mature line, "Aunt Judy's," was named after some informal market research showed that many consumers of older-women content were young men who had reached puberty relatively isolated from girls their age. "The few members of the opposite sex in which he came into contact with tended to be friends or relatives of his parents," Lloyd said.

Styles agreed that for guys in their late teens, "there's always that fantasy about somebody's mom or that woman who's watering her lawn — that's in the spank bank."

That's why "more and more studios are jumping on the bandwagon," Styles said. "They know it converts because that fantasy is so pervasive."

But some of the growth also has to do with a new demographic reality: the graying of the baby-boomer generation.

"As the generation of free love, we're not letting go of our sexuality any time soon," Nina Hartley, a busy performer of MILF and "cougar" roles, said. "We've worked hard at learning to like sex more, being more comfortable in our skin, and we're just coming into our own."

The market for beautiful, airbrushed young women "is oversaturated," director Urbano Martin told The New York Times last December. "This is more normal people, more meat on the bone, like what you have at home."

"The orgasms are more intense, the wrinkles, love handles and other artifacts of life tell a life full of love and loss, and convey more emotion," alt-MILF performer Michelle Aston said. "Bottom line: The viewer can relate to what he or she is looking at."