London Times Focuses on XBIZ EU

Bob Johnson

LONDON — Despite a strong turnout of enthusiastic adult professionals at the XBIZ EU conference in London last week, one of Great Britain’s major mainstream newspapers focused instead on the woes of the sex business in a special feature article.

The paper’s story, “Why Sex Has Stopped Selling” highlighted a feminist demonstration outside of the Bloomsbury Hotel where the conference was being held and noted that adult is trying hard to be mainstream by sitting through keynote speeches and presentations on “fast changing markets.”

But the Times also pointed out that the gathering of executives from major companies including Private Media, Hustler, PussyCash, Groobybucks, the ASACP and the Free Speech Coalition, among others were personable, “far from sleazy” and appeared to be more like typical corporate America.

One of the more positive comments quoted in the article came from FSC Executive Director Diane Duke who spoke on the continuing .XXX controversy “If .XXX became compulsory in America we would fight it as a breach of free speech under the U.S. Constitution,” Duke said.

Piracy, tube sites, webcams, the burgeoning novelty and mobile sectors and a comment from Private’s Ilan Bunimovitz that adult is becoming more acceptable, citing recent porn star appearances on HBO were noted in the feature.

When asked about the objectification of women in porn, particularly the infamous Hustler meat grinder cover, Hustler President Michael Klein said that that was a long time ago and quickly switched gears to point out the positives of the company and how proud Hustler is of their blockbuster parodies including “This Ain’t Avatar XXX’  and “This Aint Ghostbusters XXX.”

The article did point out that porn is adapting to new markets to stay afloat, particularly with live webcams that are pirate-proof.

Attempting to appease some of the anti-porn demonstrators, the story noted conference attendee Peter Phinney, a self-proclaimed fighter of piracy, who approached the demonstrators and said he’d introduce them to some of the female performers at the event, explaining that women are often paid more than men.

“Some of the biggest producers and distributors in porn are now women,“ Phinney told the Times.

Monetizing content, was the buzzword most often heard at the XBIZ conference, according to the story. “What I hear most over the weekend is not sex, but money,” the author wrote.