opinion

A Love-Hate Relationship

Matt O'Connor
If you read XBiz.com as often as you should (I recommend once a day, at least), two facts should be obvious to you. One is that people hate the adult industry.

In Utah, they hate the adult industry so much that they want to use taxpayer money to run anti-adult public service television commercials.

The American Family Association hates us so much that they launched a massive letter-writing campaign targeting Adelphia Communications after the cable giant began offering hardcore content. Adelphia quickly turned tail and dropped the XXX content.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., hates us so much that he has vowed to lead a crusade against the industry in Congress, even though he doesn't have a problem accepting adult-related money to fund his campaigns.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hates porn so much that he's instructed Justice Department attorneys to comb through federal laws to start building ammunition to wage war on adult companies. And to show he means business, Gonzales made an appeal of the Extreme Associates' dismissal one of his first official acts (for more on these stories, check out XBiz World magazine).

With such severe opposition, it's a wonder adult companies can turn a profit. And there's the rub, because, as we all know, a lot of adult companies are turning quite a nice profit. Industry-wide revenues are estimated to run anywhere from $7 billion to $15 billion per year — and that's just in the United States.

Which brings me to the second fact I alluded to earlier, which is: People love porn.

They may stand outside their local Lions' Den holding a picket sign that says otherwise, but they love it. They may act outraged every time a celebrity is caught having sex on film, but they probably have copies of the DVD hidden in their sock drawers.

People love porn. That's why Jenna Jameson is a household name. People want porn. That's why Forbes magazine pays attention when Vivid Entertainment hints it may go public within the year. People need porn. That's why the adult industry remains profitable even in the worst of economic times.

As Howard Stern, one of the industry's few vocal and unabashed supporters in the mainstream media, frequently points out, the numbers don't lie. Unless 20 guys in Debuke are spending half a billion dollars each on porn, no industry can generate the kind of revenue ours does unless a huge portion of the population is buying it.

And that's why the industry will continue to thrive despite constant political and legal attacks. People love porn. And, after all, love is stronger than hate.

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