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No Slump For Sex Online

JonKatz posted more than 13 years ago | from the -lessons-of-the-virtual-sex-boom- dept.

The Internet 270

The media is so stuffed with Tech Slump stories these days, that many people might not know just how many online subcultures online are booming -- auctions, women's communities, gaming, Open Source, entertainment, p2p, Weblogs and, most of all, sex. There is no slump in sex sites, says Robert P. Libbon of American Demographics Magazine. He cites a report from sextracker.com that the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period. (Read more.)

Despite the explosion of sexual activity online, a Zogby survey found that 65.l per cent of respondents believed finding sexual fulfillment on the Net was "not likely." Duh.

These robust figures show just how hypocritical and schizophrenic America's attitudes about sex and the Net are, and how much the success of online sex sites reveals about the future of the Web.

In a l999 CBS.MarketWatch.com poll, 23 per cent of the people surveyed called pornography the Net's worst feature. It's certainly all most politicians want to talk about when it comes to discussing the online world. But somebody isn't telling the truth. A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

The popularity of sex sites, especially during a so-called Tech Crash, ought to send a message about technology and applications that work online, or don't. Like Napster, sex sites offer genuine utility for millions of people who want sexual information and activity. Sex, like music and entertainment, is a universal human interest. Technology can make it easier for people to connect with these interests, and when that happens, the technology works. And the Net is rattling old taboos. Even though the number of people accessing sex sites has gone through the roof, the Cooper/Scherer report found that the proportion of sexual compulsives online parallels that in the general population. The hue and cry about the menace of cybersex addiction seems misplaced.

Law enforcement officials have also been reporting a dramatic rise in child pornography online, but there is no evidence that sex crimes are on the rise either, according to researchers and federal (including FBI) statistics. Is it possible that the availability of sexual material online gives people healthier and safer outlets for sexual impulses than were previously available?

The problem with the way media, politics, morality and the Net have gotten all tangled up is that the confusion makes it difficult to measure the real consequences of online sexuality, clearly a significant new social reality. The Net has, for the first time in contemporary history, given individuals the freedom to explore sex and sexuality, despite ferocious opposition to the idea from government, elected representatives, religous groups and much of media. Tens of millions of people can access sex sites, talk about sexual fantasy and practice, consider whether they're gay or straight, meet one another, indulge in fantasies, gather information, assume different identities. According to the Cooper/Scherer report, 87 per cent of sex- site users said they felt no shame or guilt. More than 60 per cent pretended to be a different age than they actually are; 14 per cent admitted that they made up other attributes; another five per cent assumed the opposite gender.

Some interesting conclusions emerge from all of this. Simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive as many politicians, moralists, educators and others would claim, as they pass legislation requiring blocking and filtering. Nor do the clucking or the legislation seem to have much effect. Even while Congress passes profoundly stupid laws like the Children's Internet Protection Act -- which forces local schools and libraries to install filtering programs whether they want to or not in order to get federal aid -- the number of adult Americans accessing sites devoted to sex seems to be growing by the day.

Another pattern that's been developing over several years is also becoming more distinct: The Net works well as a corollary to non-virtual human behavior and activity, not as a subsitute. Messaging doesn't replace voice-to-voice communications like phones; free music doesn't stop people from buying CD's (which sold in record numbers last year); e-books aren't more attractive to most readers than the real thing. And sex sites and virtual sexual identities don't replace real sex.

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Re:Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#312840)

But c'mon, man - they're foreign kids, and they've gotta have something to do when they're not making your Nikes!

Re:Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#312841)

1 + 2 does not equal yellow. The act of creating child porn is damaging because it requires a child to be assulted. The act of viewing existing images may be a safe outlet for those urges. Of course, never let logic get in the way of a good witch hunt.

supply is outweighing demand (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#312843)

It has been shown that while the number of porn sites is exploding, the "appetite" of browsers is not matching that explosion. The supply and demand balance is shifting towards too much supply. While a couple years ago it would have been easy to make a lot of money with porn on the web, that is no longer true today. Name a fetish, any fetish, and you will find dozens or hundreds of sites catering to you, for free. The porn kings are "pushing" the product, but there is only so much "pulling" (heh) that we can do.

Wireless Sex/Porn also rocketing (3)

strredwolf (532) | more than 13 years ago | (#312846)

Wired News also reported about a month ago on the Wireless Porn industry -- photos being sent down to a wireless PDA or Cell Phone, and therefore being a tremendous cash cow. Quite intresting how appealing to the basic human nature works.

--
WolfSkunks for a better Linux Kernel
$Stalag99{"URL"}="http://stalag99.keenspace.com";

Here's an exception.. (2)

defile (1059) | more than 13 years ago | (#312848)

Impossible to use the internet for sexual ends you say? Try http://www.m4m4sex.com/ [m4m4sex.com] . If you happen to be a gay male looking for some action, you couldn't pick something more efficient.

The site works well in heavily gay cities, such as San Francisco and Miami, but it works just as well in areas where being gay is practically a crime.

Perhaps Jon Katz should write an article about this site specifically. The members in Milan have continually expressed how helpful this site is for their lifestyle when they live in a country that is dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. I can't wait until they open up Rome.

Of course, I'm biased because I developed most of the site for them but it seems relevant here.

Re:supply is outweighing demand (2)

defile (1059) | more than 13 years ago | (#312849)

Too much porn?! Not likely

The day that the supply of porn exceeds the demand is the day that we as humanity have met our goals.

The days of viewing unlimited streamed porn of all categories any time any where for zero cost are not yet upon us. Until then, we must push forward!

"Unlimited" is defined as if you picked fecal fetish you wouldn't have enough time in your life to watch it all on fast-forward.

Perhaps people should start a community sex network. Membership costs either $25/m to view people having sex (in realtime) or it's free if you set up a streaming video server to record yourself having sex at least once a month.

Re:Blame the Puritans (2)

acroyear (5882) | more than 13 years ago | (#312855)

And of course, Hollywood treated THAT forbidden subject just like the current Sex/Violence ones...as if it was something to be praiseworthy and honorable.

Even light-hearted comedies like The Marx Brothers (specifically, Horsefeathers) had Speakeasies, active drinking by all characters, deception of quality (the same large jug was used to fill a bottle of "Scotch" and a bottle of "Rum" (by Chico)), theft of alcohol in large quantity for smuggling to others later (by Harpo), etc...of course, I could be misinterpretting Horsefeathers as a light-hearted comedy; it might have been seen as a very controversial film for the time...

Hollywood basically continued to act likes its promotion of alcohol was not only harmless, but like it was Hollywood's God-Given Right to promote alcohol.

Just as Hollywood today thinks its a God-Given Right to promote sexual promiscuity and open-activity...

b.t.w., these are opinions/observations of the actions of the Movie and TV entertainment industry, and not condemnations of alcohol consumption or sexual activity itself.

Re:Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (1)

ceo (6176) | more than 13 years ago | (#312856)

More to the point, the (probable) increase in the number of children being exploted in the creation of child pornography doesn't show up on the FBI's radar for one simple reason: most of it happens offshore, in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Sex is always lucrative and shameful (2)

PizzaMan (6633) | more than 13 years ago | (#312858)

Sadly, sex is always lucrative and shameful.

IIRC, pornography makes more money than Hollywood, yet while 9 out of 10 people will admit to see a movie, only 1 out of 10 will admit to watching pornography.

I see two conclusions.

1) Americans are ashamed of sex.

2) Pornography enthusiasts spend lots and lots of money on porn.

Slashdot is in on it too. (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 13 years ago | (#312862)

There is no slump in sex sites, says Robert P. Libbon of American Demographics Magazine. He cites a report from sextracker.com that the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year.

I suspect that the trolls of slashdot have increased the "popularity" of one infamous site. I had never heard of goatse.cx before (No, I am not going to provide a hyperlink, you really DONT want to go there) come to think of it, I never wanted to hear of the site.

Eeesh. What frightens me is that somehow someone could probably make money off of that site through the trolling on Slashdot. Recently some people who had seen the link forwared it to me via ICQ. Thanks to slashdot I already knew what it was and did not open the link...

I just thanked slashdot for educating me about goatse.cx...

Eeeww.

Pr0n is a big business (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#312866)

Pr0n is a big time money maker. It doesn't cost much to produce, and on the internet the distribution costs are low too, there is a huge demand for it, even though a lot of people don't like to admit it. Even the heavily religious and a lot of women, who are the most publically critical of pr0n are often closet pr0n consumers. The internet is a great outlet for pr0n, especially for the bashful pr0n consumer because people can view it more or less in 'the privacy of their homes' without having to visit some seedy adult book store, receive unusual packages in the mail or confront a cashier at a convenience store who is hostile to a purchase of Hustler magazine or whatnot. Of course as we all know there is not really much true privacy, especially on the internet, but to a certain extent there is strength in numbers, and there are so many pr0n sites and so many people visiting them that it is hard to single an individual out from that.

Re:Pr0n is a big business (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#312867)

True in many cases, but I suspect not all. I think that a lot of people, particularly some of the models may be in it strictly for the money. But if everyone involved does find it fun, it would only make it more of a no-brainer.

Re:Right on! (1)

Lizz (17532) | more than 13 years ago | (#312868)

"we are one of only two species on Earth that have sex for enjoyment,"

That's a load of garbage. You can't tell me that all those animals out there are thinking about procreation to perpetuate the species. Humans are probably the ONLY species that occasionally has sex for reasons other than pleasure. Penguins don't stop and think "Gee, it is probably time to do my part to contribute to the overall penguin population." Please people, let's turn our brains on occasionally.

Re:I got your numbers right here... (2)

BilldaCat (19181) | more than 13 years ago | (#312869)

If you have his numbers, please give Katz back his 1 key so he can stop using the letter 'l' as a substitute for it when he uses a date.

Sorry Katz, but your logic is flawed (3)

Frac (27516) | more than 13 years ago | (#312876)

Your argument for "no slump for sex online" is completely false. For example, you say

He cites a report from sextracker.com that the number of free adult Web sites grew from 22,100 in l997 to 280,300 last year. Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

Notice the survey is up to last year. If you track the dotcom boom up until last year, you'll still find tremedous growth. It's the beginning of last summer until now has the market been crashing down so quickly.

All your other dated surveys were made before the dotcom crash. How do you know if the sex online industry isn't slumping now? What if all those horny guys paying the sex sites were the ones downloading porn at work, and now they that they're fired they don't have the bandwidth to stream video from hotnakedteenagechickz.com?

Re:New idea (1)

suraklin (28841) | more than 13 years ago | (#312877)

It wont have the same legal issues as MP3 swapping, so would be a decent business modal, especially for pay-for-subscription.

Actually, something like this would run into the same problem Napster has eventually. People would start trading images from scanned magazines or other pay sites. About a year ago Penthouse went after usenet posters of their pictures. If Napster-like porn trading started and reached the levels of use Napster has the porn industry would sit up and take notice much like the RIAA.

Re:New idea (1)

Mickut (31426) | more than 13 years ago | (#312881)

Copyright laws also include photographs and other forms of art.

Ahh, for the days of the C=64 and the Apple ][ (2)

Pemdas (33265) | more than 13 years ago | (#312885)

Was playing around with some of the apple ][ emulators floating about the other day, and I came across disk images of Strip Poker. As I recall, those types of games were very popular.

The resolution of a modern cellphone display must be on par with the old C=64 and Apple ][ stuff, why should pictures of naked people be any less popular in that medium?

Age of Consent. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 13 years ago | (#312886)

"Hmmm, I think you're missing the point. Its not a "healthier and safer outlet" if some children are still be expoited to make the child pornography... get a clue."

Define "child" in this context. It varies around the world. Can you produce image with someone of unquestionable legal age (say, 18) that LOOKS like they are younger? No child is harmed here.

Also check out http://www.ageofconsent.com/ageofconsent.htm
and you will see that the age of sexual consent varies in the world (and the U.S.) from 12 on up.

Many countries have specific laws against child pornography, but they also specify ages younger than you would think. 16 in the Netherlands.

Check out http://www.interpol.int/Public/Children/SexualAbus e/NationalLaws/ for details.
--
Charles E. Hill

Re:Wireless Sex/Porn also rocketing (3)

collar (34531) | more than 13 years ago | (#312890)

Porn on cell phone? How desperate are people... how much enjoyment can you get from extremely poor resolution grey pixelled porn? I can see people scrolling around the picture trying to imagine what it all would look like if it fitted on one screen ;)

For god sakes get a grip people! Then again, maybe I'm just getting old and have forgotten the thrill of recieving a seedy low quality CGA stip poker game on a disk from a mate at school...

Only two profiable business on the Internet... (2)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 13 years ago | (#312897)


...online brokerages and selling pr0n.

Both of them are low setup costs, provide a service people want in the privacy of their homes and are addictive once you realize how easy it is.

Oops, Katz did it again! (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 13 years ago | (#312899)

> In a l999 CBS.MarketWatch.com poll, 23 per cent of the people surveyed called pornography the Net's worst feature.

L-999, huh? Nice typewriter ya got there, Katz!

As for the 23% who saw pornography as "the Net's worst feature" - obviously too many banner ads and not enough pr0n to make it worthwhile.

Re:I got your numbers right here... (2)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 13 years ago | (#312900)

They must mean they don't tell anyone but Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer.

Not necessarly. It could mean that they surveyed people at the Centre to find out what percentage downloaded porn, and got numbers that were 75% beneath the anticipated results (found by examining other surveys or surveying spouses or whatnot).

There are even experiments you can do in which you convince the participants that you already have the information, and you're just seeing if they'll be honest about it. These kinds of experiments sound outlandish but actually seem to work quite well (they've been used to determine that racism and sexism still exist, even though talking about either one except in humor is becoming taboo).

Daniel

Women's Communities not booming financially (2)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 13 years ago | (#312901)

Take a look at the stock of I Village (IVIL) or Women.com (WOMN) and tell me they are booming.
[yahoo.com]
IVIL today: $0.50/share 52-week high: $16/share
WOMN [yahoo.com] today: $0.15625/share 52-week high: $8.25/share


What are those numbers doing in a Katz article? (2)

Illserve (56215) | more than 13 years ago | (#312907)

Statistics? Facts? Where's the soapboxing about how the geek culture is unappreciated? Dammit, there's nothing here for me to get worked up about.

Now I have to rant about having nothing to rant about.

Porn (3)

zapatero (68511) | more than 13 years ago | (#312913)

The pornography industry has been a tech pioneer. I worked on a rather lame porn site in '95 that utilized realm authentication, used databases, tracked user 'preferences'; All cutting edge for the time. It was also of the first to implement the perl packages from (now failed) CyberCash. The porn industry was also first to make use of push-gifs, streaming media, and advanced features of DVDs, now all common place. Looking forward I'm sure pornographers will be first with the revolution going on in 3-d technology and the new generation of cameras.

Sex, or porn, might be the lowest common denomiinated message - the easiest content when content is a void. As Marshall MacCluan opined, as the medium expands, the message moves closer to it's lowest common denomintor -- which I would say is porn. I think we can witness small examples of this on cable TV -- the more channels we get, the more insepid the programming gets.

And on the web, the more URLs, the more porn. It's MacLuen's premis in action.

-z

Do we have it right? (1)

Dr. Transparent (77005) | more than 13 years ago | (#312920)

Is it really that people are people ashamed of sex or are people ashamed of non-monogamous, fantasiacal sexual encounters, even if only imagined?

Re:Oops, Katz did it again! (1)

Spankophile (78098) | more than 13 years ago | (#312921)

> > In a l999 CBS.MarketWatch.com poll, 23 per cent of the people surveyed called pornography the Net's worst feature.
L-999, huh? Nice typewriter ya got there, Katz!


Forfty percent of people know that!

Instinct! (1)

Jens (85040) | more than 13 years ago | (#312924)

You know what "instinct" is? Most animals don't THINK about what they are doing, they just DO it. Mice don't know WHY they eat cheese, or run away from cats, but it has been a healthy behaviour so the non-running mice probably expired quite quickly. Same with sex, most of the time.

Just the same, most animals don't actively think about why (or whom) they are fscking - The exception being humans and some apes (I heard that some have sex to kill off aggressions within the group, instead of fighting each other).

Thinking about it, humans should develop that way too. Make love, not war.

Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (5)

twjordan (88132) | more than 13 years ago | (#312925)

It was said: "Law enforcement officials have also been reporting a dramatic rise in child pornography online, but there is no evidence that sex crimes are on the rise either, according to researchers and federal (including FBI) statistics. Is it possible that the availability of sexual material online gives people healthier and safer outlets for sexual impulses than were previously available?" Hmmm, I think you're missing the point. Its not a "healthier and safer outlet" if some children are still be expoited to make the child pornography... get a clue.

Re:Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (5)

twjordan (88132) | more than 13 years ago | (#312926)

Of the responses to this so far most of them have been defending the statement I critiqued. Let me clarify why it's not OK just because it is a "small number of exploited children" and why I don't think my comments were in any way "witch-hunt"-like.

First of all, I think you're on shaky ground when you make the arguement that an increase in the availability of child pornography online doesn't lead to a corresponding increase in the creation of child pornography. Name me one market that, when the demand for its product rises dramatically, doesn't respond with increased supply. A fixed number of kiddie porn images isn't going to make a potential sex-offender happy forever. Once he's seen em all a couple times he's gonna want more and someone's gonna abuse a kid to make it.

Furthermore, personally I find an arguement that, although not explicitly, maintains that it is ok because a relatively smaller number of children might be exploited compared to a society in which it's harder to get the material to be repugnant. Child abuse is one area in which I don't really find much room for acceptable abuse levels. One is already too many.

That said, I do want to say that I recognize the fact that some of us, for whatever reason, are attacted to things that might be illegal or socially unnacceptable by urges beyond our control. It is quite unfortunate for these people and I hope that they can find an alternative outlet for their attraction, however, the fact that it is beyond their control doesn't excuse the abuse of the childred (or whatever victims there may be). Sex must be consenual or it isn't sex so much as rape. I don't understand how being against the raping of children is equal to hunting witches.

Re:Katz is ...right? (1)

FarHat (96381) | more than 13 years ago | (#312929)

Maybe his dickhead is smarter than his real head. Then again notice the shortness of the article compared to his usual diatribes, it appears it was being typed with one hand only. :)

FarHat

Re:Wireless Sex/Porn also rocketing (4)

scotch (102596) | more than 13 years ago | (#312932)

For god sakes get a grip people!

Yes, that is the idea.

Re:Blame the Puritans (1)

adapt (105738) | more than 13 years ago | (#312934)

dude, Amsterdam tolerates any kind of attitude, even people like you that are disgusted by sex and by drugs. Truth is, the worst of all are the Americans that come here to smoke our dope and fuck our chicks just because they have money and live in a repressive puritan country. I don't blame them, I welcome them as long as they follow some basic rules.

If you want to understand the concept of tolerance and of Freedom, jump on a plane and come have a look around.

As for the pr0n, all the *Made In Amsterdam* pr0n you see on the net comes from San Fernando Valley, Hamburg or Budapest.

doei, adapt

Re:People like porn... (1)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 13 years ago | (#312935)

Now I'm from Sweden, but I'm pretty sure we aren't more of sex maniacs then americans. The pornographic movies, for instance, were american like 99% af all pornography made...


The fact that more pron is made in America than in Sweden is Amrica is less sexually liberated, and therefore need to watch pornography to get sexual satisifaction (or relief) when in Sweden you can go down to the Red Light district everyone always talks about.

Impossible! (5)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 13 years ago | (#312946)

A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

Then how did the report find out?!?! I bet they were all going through the MS Passport Service. ;^)

Re:New idea (1)

Ronin X (121414) | more than 13 years ago | (#312948)

My friend, you are only a few years too late to submit your 'modal'. Search the web for peer to peer or gnutella.

Re:Blame the Puritans (1)

spiro_killglance (121572) | more than 13 years ago | (#312949)

Amsterdam is not stoned off its ass, anyone more than rest of western countries are drunk off the ass. People smoke spliffs in cafes if they want to, but you don't see as many off there face wrecks as you do drunks in the any other big city. The great majority of amsterdamers are normal respectable people going about they business. A lot of the tourist of course are there for the drugs and prositution that they can't get in there own repressive countries.

Article on Coding for Porn Sites (2)

mtDNA (123855) | more than 13 years ago | (#312950)



This article [freshmeat.net] on working for porn sites was on http://freshmeat.net [freshmeat.net] a while back.

It's really interesting (and no, it's not a dirty story). It's about how porn sites have to be coded really well to cope with high loads, including tons of images, and with very high reliability since they are pay sites.

Do you grok? Maybe you can work for the porn industry!

Re:Survey says... (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#312951)

Well, out of every 100 men they asked, 75 said they didn't enjoy online porn. Ergo, 75% of men are liars. :-)

Suspiciously round numbers (1)

Grab (126025) | more than 13 years ago | (#312954)

Hmm. Exactly 75%, eh? Does this sound like a "pull numbers out of my ass" situation to anyone? Or did they use a seriously small sample (say, 8 or 12 ppl)?

Grab.

Re:supply is outweighing demand (1)

CBoy (129544) | more than 13 years ago | (#312957)

Heh, you will NEVER view every single photo off the sites at www.uh-oh.net if you surfed 24/7. This is the only place I go now for the freebies. http://www.uh-oh.net [uh-oh.net]

bad link? (1)

omega9 (138280) | more than 13 years ago | (#312960)

Is it just me or is the link contained in the post bad? The ref on the link seems to be "http://slashdot.org/www.danamonitor.com".

Just wait until you goto an international college. (3)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 13 years ago | (#312961)

Just wait until you (or some of you) goto a college that accepts people from all over the world. You don't realize how open other cultures are to sex until you start mixing into a group of people from other countries. I'm from the US and when I first went to college I was kinda suprised as to how open so many people from other countries were about sex. Most people from other countries would willingly talk about sex out in the open on the campus while Americans would shy away from and walk around these groups of people to avoid the conversation.

Another thing I don't understand. Why is sex considered such a bad thing that everyone wants you to avoid? But then when you hit 21, sex is suddenly a great thing you should be doing. It's like telling kids 2+2=4, then when they turn 21 2+2 really equals 6.

I'm posting this again as a non-AC

You mean any niche (1)

HerrGlock (141750) | more than 13 years ago | (#312962)

There are a boatload of niche groups that only have a few hundred/thousand people that qualify in the whole world. IRL it is almost impossible to cater to groups that small because they are geographically seperated. On the 'net these smaller groups can find each other and keep updated with the latest and keep each other informed on what is going on that concerns them.

The other benefit of the 'net is that no matter where the information exists, it is accessable to all and no one has to go without the latest updates due to not knowing they exist.

DanH
Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]

Re:Blame the Puritans (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#312968)

Disgusting in what way?

Katz, do you allow your kid online? (2)

yankeehack (163849) | more than 13 years ago | (#312976)

Some interesting conclusions emerge from all of this. Simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive as many politicians, moralists, educators and others would claim, as they pass legislation requiring blocking and filtering. Nor do the clucking or the legislation seem to have much effect. Even while Congress passes profoundly stupid laws like the Children's Internet Protection Act ...the number of adult Americans accessing sites devoted to sex seems to be growing by the day.

Katz, all I want to know is wether or not you allow your kid to access sexual imagery/porn online?? I mean, simple exposure to sexual imagery doesn't appear as harmful or destructive.... right?

Financial success of online sex exaggerated? (1)

Bigboote66 (166717) | more than 13 years ago | (#312977)

I came across this CNN article recently:

http://www.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/10/21/index .ashe/cover.ashe/index.html [cnn.com]

It's about Danni's hard drive, but it includes this statistic:

online adult content generates about $300 million annually in the United States.

For all people talk about how 'big' the sex industry is, consider this: in 1995 (when I was doing some contracting for them), Philip Morris' domestic revenue was $30 billion (20 billion from food & beer, 10 billion from tobacco), their total world-wide revenue was $60 billion (non-domestic revenue was $20 billion tobacco, $10 billion food/beer). As for profits, keep in mind that PM is one of the most profitable blue-chips out there - tobacco generates mad profits, no matter how big the tax the govts put on it (food much less so).

I just find it interesting how such a tiny industry gets blown up into such a big deal - the whole online sex industry has revenue estimated at 1% of a single brick & mortar old economy organization.

A favorite quote of mine from the PM Globe (an internal newsletter) (paraphrased): "In 1995, the Kraft cheese division generated $3 billion in revenue. However, this only represents 1/6 of the world's cheese market, so there's plenty of room for growth!"

-BbT

P2P (2)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#312978)

...subcultures online are booming -- auctions, women's communities, gaming, Open Source, entertainment, p2p...

I love how you go from P2P sucks [slashdot.org] to p2p being a booming subculture.... All within one day!

Entertainment not in a slump (1)

L Fitzgerald Sjoberg (171091) | more than 13 years ago | (#312980)

Well, I suppose it depends on your definitions of "entertainment" and "slump," but I can offer first-hand assurances that entertainment sites are in the same slump that the rest of the industry is in -- the cash just ain't there. Sure, there may be as many readers as ever, if not more, but it's not lack of interest that's causing the tech slump, unless you count the interest of venture capitalists.

This isn't intended as a whine (or, for that matter, a whinge), just an observation. Most of the best entertaiment on the Web comes from people who never planned on getting rich anyway.

New idea (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 13 years ago | (#312982)

Hows this for an idea

A Napster-ish program (interface atleast)
that lets people trade porn.

Find some way to verify age and what not, and add a way to catgorize things (Which IMO napster should do as well, but alas..)

It wont have the same legal issues as MP3 swapping, so would be a decent business modal, especially for pay-for-subscription.
They may even make enough to justify paying people for their bandwidth (what a thought)

If anyone wants to take this and run, be my guest
Concider it a public domain software modal :}

Thank God (1)

Sinjun (176671) | more than 13 years ago | (#312991)

....I was really worried that we were going to lose interest in sex.

Right on! (5)

JordoCrouse (178999) | more than 13 years ago | (#312993)

The thing I like most about this, is that it gives America some perspective on where they stand in relation to the rest of the world.

We all know, due to the birth rate, that at any given second, lots of people around the world are having sex. Even in the United States where pornography is looked down upon, folks are getting it on. Even here in Utah, where sex is *almost* as bad as taking a drink, babies are popping up everywhere. So its obvious, there is a whole lot of lovin' going on.

However, in many countries, this sexual activity is in the open: it is discussed, and it is celebrated. These people recognize that we are one of only two species on Earth that have sex for enjoyment, and they aim to get the most out of sex, as long as the innocent are not getting damaged by it.

But of course, here in the good 'ol US of A, we revert to our puritan values, and look down on anyone that openly exposes sexuality. The whole attitude of the United States can be summed up in the words of Helen Lovejoy dicussing the statue of David (from the Simpsons for the uninformed):

"It depicts body parts that, pratical as they are, are evil".

In other words, we know that sex is required for the survival of the species, but it shouldn't be enjoyed.

So we come to the Internet, which brings the whole world out in the open, and, hey, lookie there -- there is a whole lotta sex out there. To the rest of the world, this is normal and expected, but to Americans this is an "explosion of evil". Sorry, Mrs. Lovejoy - there is no sudden infusion of pornography in the world, it has always existed, and it always will.... you have just had your eyes closed for the last 200 years.

a business plan? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#312994)

Given the demographics, what do you think are the possibilities of a slash site dedicated to porn?

Would it be a place where technology posts got moderated down as a "troll"?

Probably would get a bunch of hits ...

;-)

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

Re:Pr0n is a big business (1)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 13 years ago | (#312995)

Pr0n is a big time money maker. It doesn't cost much to produce, and on the internet the distribution costs are low too, there is a huge demand for it, even though a lot of people don't like to admit it.

You forgot a key ingredient; it's awfully fun to make....

Re:Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 13 years ago | (#313003)

Add to this the fact that there was a lot of this stuff made before it was illegal to possess and you don't actually need any new children to be exploited for the internet to have a lot of it-- all you really need is some old photos and a scanner. And I have to wonder if there aren't some mighty large collections out there that were never found or destroyed. I mean, if they told you you had to erase DeCSS from your hard drive or toss out your copy of "Anarchist Cookbook" because they were illegal to even own, would you?

Re:I got your numbers right here... (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#313004)

Just like all those "underreported" crimes out there...

New Slashdot Topic? (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#313005)

With two sex [slashdot.org] articles [slashdot.org] on the front page and another [slashdot.org] at the beginning of the week, maybe it's time to join our friends at Plastic [plastic.com] and create a new Slashdot topic [slashdot.org] ?

I'd be more interested in what types are popular (1)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#313006)

ie. is it goatsex [goatse.cx] that is leading the way?
Or is it plain Jane erotica [playboy.com] ?
Or do people simply not care as long as it's free [ampland.com] ?

That's the kind of metrics I care about. Maybe we could loosen the religious right's hold on America if we could show that, indeed, most people in this country are depraved [fatchicksinpartyhats.com] lunatics [cmdrtaco.net] . After all we are a D [riaa.com] E [mpaa.org] M [microsoft.com] O [doubleclick.com] C [sony.com] R [disney.com] A [verisign.com] C [networksolutions.com] Y [oracle.com] right?

Steven

Survey says... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 13 years ago | (#313009)

the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

This just wouldn't go past my bullshit filter. How can they know that 75% of pr0n surfers don't tell anyone about it, if they don't tell anyone about it ? If I say "No, I don't do xyzzy" then they can't turn around and say "Of all those who said No, we have found that 75% are liars."

Retarded reporting if I may say so myself, but of course most commercial survey firms are retarded. Fun.

Re:Wireless Sex/Porn also rocketing (1)

Peter Dyck (201979) | more than 13 years ago | (#313014)

Vice-Boy

Wish I had mod points. Mod him up!

Heh.... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#313015)

...I'm sure Dubya will be "fixing" this soon..

Jaysyn

Re:Blame the Puritans (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#313016)

Whatever....Amsterdamn is awesome....

Jaysyn

Re:Right on! (1)

ranessin (205172) | more than 13 years ago | (#313018)


Good point... There are a couple of species of chimp (Bonobo is the best known) that will have sex anytime, anyplace, with anyone (male or female), for any reason. Find a food source? Have an orgy! Meet another tribe? Have an orgy! Wake up in the morning? Have an orgy! Finish eating? Have an orgy!

Ranessin

Online advertising (1)

LowneWulf (210110) | more than 13 years ago | (#313020)

Free sex sites also make money because the pr0n banners are still returning good rates, while traditional advertising is dropping through the floor in CPM and per-click rates.

... now if it was only considered socially acceptable to put enlarge your willy banners over non-porn/warez/mp3 sites.

This may be stuff that matters... (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#313022)

but do you really think this is news for nerds? =P

Re:New idea (1)

mcknation (217793) | more than 13 years ago | (#313025)

Uh no not so new.... Check out pronster.com Never underestimate the need for Pr0n... Mck

Abundant sexuality is the hallmark of civilization (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 13 years ago | (#313026)

It's late, allow me to be pedantic for a bit.
To the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, there was no category of imagery known as pornography. Erotic imagery was everywhere in ancient Rome. Walter Kendricks does a nice book covering this topic called The Secret Museum.
It wasn't until after the rise of the press in Europe around the 1500s that the notion of a special category for sexual imagery came into being.
The idea that certain classes of people have to be protected from sexually explicit imagery is relatively recent in western culture and didn't necessarily originate from the church.
Rather, the development of censorship against sexually explicit materia seems to have had more to do with the desire to conceal the details of sexual difference in the name of upholding the otherwise weak sexual norms of that period in european history.
This desire for concealment has been an extrememly powerful force into our modern times and we are still only beginning to expose ourselves to sexuality in the manner of a society of soveriegn human beings.
Let us look upon the success of pornography on the net with great pride. We are slowly awakening into a civilized people.

Re:Wireless Sex/Porn also rocketing (3)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 13 years ago | (#313028)

Cool! I can see a perfect device already...

A handheld, with a large, 32-bit color screen, a cell-modem/bluetooth/whatever, an mp3 player, tons of memory, video player, really good image software, and designed for one-handed operation.

Call it the Vice-Boy. You could sell tons of them!

-WS

$10 Sez... (2)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#313032)

Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

...he visited each one in the name of "journalistic integrity". :P

Re:supply is outweighing demand (2)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#313036)

True, but not as much as you may think. There are tons and tons of new smaller, crappy sites, with pictures plucked off of Usenet, but the big guys are still doing very well. It's a tougher business than it was a few years ago, but like virtually anything else, there's still money to be made if you know what you're doing, and you're willing to work very, very hard. (no pun intended).

Katz is ...right? (3)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#313038)

Well, yes, it DOES appear that Katz is right on this occasion. The only problem is that his conclusion is painfully obvious. Sex sells. It always has, and it always will. Through good times and bad, the human libido continues.

Re:Blame the Puritans (1)

Bug2000 (235500) | more than 13 years ago | (#313039)

You are totally right. The last time the American puritans did it was for the Prohibition (1919-1933) and that's when, funny enough, the interest for forbidden spirits grew so much, mafia really rocketted and quality of alcohol was the worse (people would even drink methanol, get blind and die). Now they want to do it with sex... and it starts again. What about this sex boom, what about all this sex mafia in the eastern countries, what about the conditions in which the pictures are shot (snuff movies, child porn, ...) ?

The solution is regulation. IMHO.

Re:Blame the Puritans (1)

Bug2000 (235500) | more than 13 years ago | (#313040)

I hope that there are not too many people from Amsterdam here. They won't be too happy to know that they are all stoned off their ass.

Take a look at the real statistics [ukcia.org] (especially the murder rate) before you post next time.

Re:Blame the Puritans (1)

Bug2000 (235500) | more than 13 years ago | (#313041)

Hollywood is the money temple. Sex sells ? Let's sell sex. In France, the past 2 years, there were films with real unhidden sex (Romance [insideout.co.uk] , Baise-moi [aquestria.com] , and more) which 5 years ago would have been X-rated. And they were quite successful even though they did not sell millions.

I think the place where sex is really omnipresent is in advertisement even if it is suggested most of the time...

Why not creating a quality label (2)

Bug2000 (235500) | more than 13 years ago | (#313042)

The current boom towards sex stems from the fact that before the net, it was really hard to anonymously access this kind of information and knowing that people could see you getting into a sex shop or renting a porn video was discouraging enough for the majority. However, porn stuff is information (zeroes and ones) and with the net, anonymity is preserved in most cases.

Also, this is obvious, if sex is so successful, it means that there are a lot of buyers! Which means that online sex fills a gap, fulfils a need. In my opinion, sex is still a source of frustration for many, which comes from religion background mostly. If interest for religion continues to go down, sex will become *normal* and will no longer be associated with shame, guilt and evil. There are ethnies which live already very happily with sex and have been for centuries (ok they're not Christian, Islamic, ...).

To me, sex is not a problem at all as long as everybody is consentent. Where there is sex without unwanted violence, then there are no limits. However, I'm strongly against child porn because in probably 99% of the cases, the child is absolutely not consentent. This is why online porn is questionable... All the sites I've seen talk about lesbians, gays, ... (you name them), in short all the sex fantasies one would want to buy. But when they get into young teens they reach the limit of sexual maturity and the closer you get to it, the more unwilling the 'teens' may be.

Maybe a 'red label' (no pun intended) for quality should be put in place which guarantees that a porn site contains material with consenting actors only.

Re:Right on! (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 13 years ago | (#313047)

I assume you are speaking of Bonobos. Off the top of my head, vervet monkeys also have promiscuous sex to enhance social bonds. Then there are "ritual mountings" and other sex-related behaviors not leading to procreation in numerous species.

Ron Jeremy (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 13 years ago | (#313049)

From theonion's Ron Jeremy [theonion.com] interview. Actually I've heard this same topic breeched first after the video cassette boom and replicated time and time again with the latest tech achievement. I guess Jon Katz wanted something new to troll about this week:

O: How would you say the industry is changing with technology?
RJ: Well, CD-ROMs. We've always been the leaders. People in porno have always been the leaders in new eras and new things--on tape, on CD. The first X-rated tapes were pre-recorded, are you aware of that? And all the major studios followed. The very first tapes to rent and bring home were X-rated. I already shot a hologram technique. They shot me on hologram so I can now appear lifelike in your living room--isn't that scary?--with a girl. You know, we're the cheaper medium, so people experiment with us. In fact, we were the first of go CD-ROM with computers and all. So adult films have always been leading the way when it comes to technology. So we keep up. Basically, whatever's happening, there we are.

Re:Survey says... (1)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 13 years ago | (#313056)

the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

This just wouldn't go past my bullshit filter. How can they know that 75% of pr0n surfers don't tell anyone about it, if they don't tell anyone about it ? If I say "No, I don't do xyzzy" then they can't turn around and say "Of all those who said No, we have found that 75% are liars."


This is about the fifth post that I've seen that said this. Are we really this dense when it comes to surveys? What they are saying is this:

When asked in an anonymous survey, 75% responded that they don't tell people that they enjoy online porn sites.

There's a big difference between telling your wife, co-workers, minister, kids, or whoever and checking a box on an anonymous survey form.

Re:Sex is always lucrative and shameful (2)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 13 years ago | (#313064)

IIRC, pornography makes more money than Hollywood, yet while 9 out of 10 people will admit to see a movie, only 1 out of 10 will admit to watching pornography.

That's because Hollywood is pretty much limited to TV and movies for revenue streams, and setting up movie companies, theatres, and TV stations is expensive business. To be successful in Hollywood generally requires extensive distribution networks and large amounts of up-front financing to retain the big names. When paying for a plot, people demand (to a degree) more quality.

Pornography is a little different. For one, there's more of it. Anyone with a camcorder and a couple VCR's can make pornographic movies. Anyone with a camera can take sexually explicit photos. Beyond that there's magazines, strip clubs, etc.

All you need is a web site and you've got worldwide distribution capability. Your talent doesn't demand multi-million dollar paychecks because people don't demand "the big names" as much as they do in Hollywood. You don't need talented and thoughtful script writers. For most people as long as there's nudity and sex it's good porn.

So compared to the porn industry, Hollywood is nothing. Hollywood has higher overhead and more limited distribution models than does the porn industry. Porn has it easy...no wonder it makes more money.

That being said...Yes, a large number of Americans are ashamed of sex. But no, I don't think that porn afficionados spend more money that Hollywood afficionados. There's just more people interested in porn (it's a survival instinct).

Re:$10 Sez... (2)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 13 years ago | (#313065)

Sex-for-pay sites grew from 230 to 1,100 during the same period.

Since you brought it up, did anybody else think that the ratio of Sex-for-free vs. Sex-for-pay sites was way out of whack? They claimed something like 200 times the number of free sites than pay sites. And I haven't seen an actual free site in years. On the other hand, I feel like I must've seen more than 1100 pay sites in my day. There's something darn curious about those numbers...

I got your numbers right here... (5)

Gruneun (261463) | more than 13 years ago | (#313066)

A 1999 report by Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer of the California- based Marital and Sexuality Centre found that 75 per cent of those who enjoy adult Internet sites don't tell anyone about it.

They must mean they don't tell anyone but Alvin Cooper and Coralie R. Scherer.

Seriously though, nothing irritates me more than a researcher saying "Your numbers are wrong and mine are right because nobody will tell you the truth."

And how many of those stoners are Americans? (1)

typical geek (261980) | more than 13 years ago | (#313067)

And from what I've read, most of the "stoned off their ass" are tourists/refugees from countries heavily involved in the War on Some Drugs.

Blame the Puritans (5)

typical geek (261980) | more than 13 years ago | (#313068)

for giving Americans such a sex obsessed and sex ashamed society.

I wonder what the results of this survey in a more sexually enlightened country like Denmark or Sweden would show? There would probably be less sexual traffic, but more people admitting to it.

Sex, like drugs and voilence, is partly so attractive because it is forbidden, and yet marketed so extremely. It becomes a vice to grab Joe Sixpack into a cycle on consumption, dissatisfaction, and consumption.

Old writing style. (1)

KlausBYTE (267616) | more than 13 years ago | (#313070)

It is just me or I think that every keyboard now has the key for the digit 1 now? No need for using l for one.:)

Re:Wireless Sex/Porn also rocketing (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 13 years ago | (#313074)

In the days of yore, I remember a very popular program on our mainframe being an ASCII-art representation of a playboy centerfold. This was before cheap scanners and BMP->ASCII conversion programs, so I imagine the author was somewhat talented. Printed out very well on a DECWriter, as I recall.

But back on tangent, one might suppose that there's a little too much wireless hype going on right now. I have an iPaq with Ricochet, which is about as good as far as bandwidth and display, and I certainly wouldn't spend a lot of time squinting at porn on it.

Re:Right on! (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 13 years ago | (#313075)

That's a load of garbage. You can't tell me that all those animals out there are thinking about procreation to perpetuate the species.

Sure, but we are one of the only species that can have sex at any point in the female's menstrual cycle (except that really yecchy part.)

Re:New idea (1)

simmonsays (304042) | more than 13 years ago | (#313078)

ever heard of gnutella?

Timing on this is interesting (1)

clark625 (308380) | more than 13 years ago | (#313081)

Funny that this message appears at this time--I was just browsing around on some of my favorite "adult" sites that I haven't seen in quite a while. Now I guess I should feel guilty. Too bad.

Re:People like porn... (1)

Joohn (310344) | more than 13 years ago | (#313082)

Really? Too bad I haven't found it yet...

People like porn... (3)

Joohn (310344) | more than 13 years ago | (#313083)



I live in Sweden. An earlier comment here said that countries like Denmark
and Sweden are more sexually "enlightened". Whether that is true or not,
I do not know.

However, a year ago or so, a swede mede a documentary film about the
pornographic movies that is shown in a swedish pay channel. In this documentary,
some clips from pornographic movies were shown. This lead to a huge debate,
and many people wanted to forbid pornography in tv. The documentary was
shown in the swedish parliament and everybody seemed very chocked;they
had offcourse never seen anything like that before!

So, what you could excpect was some law changes since "everybody" thought
this was disgusting. But what happend? Well, after the documentary was
shown in tv, the subscribers of this pay channel, where the pornographic
movies were showed, increased by 20% !! That clearly proved how it really
is. People do want porn, even if most of them don't admit it.

Now I'm from Sweden, but I'm pretty sure we aren't more of sex maniacs
then americans. The pornographic movies, for instance, were american like
99% af all pornography made...

So really, who are we trying to fool here? People want port!

Freedom (2)

JohnnyKnoxville (311956) | more than 13 years ago | (#313084)

The advantage/disadvantage of the Internet is the ability to be anonymous. People can express ideas that they would never express, or partake in things like online porn in the privacy of their own home (the guy at the video store doesn't even have to know)which they probably wouldn't if they could be identified. For that reason people will always partake in things like on-line sex sites or other things that might be publicly frowned upon.

Re:a business plan? (2)

mooman22 (312066) | more than 13 years ago | (#313085)

You seen www.nakednews.com [nakednews.com] ??

It might be a bit like that...

Re:Availability of Kiddie Porn Healthy? (2)

DetritusX (319569) | more than 13 years ago | (#313091)

Just because there has been "a dramatic rise in child pornography online" doesn't mean that more children are being exploited, just that child pornographers are making their product more widely available using technology. I think what Katz was trying to get at was that perhaps with the widespread availability of kiddie porn on the net, folks who are into that sort of thing will be able to get their fix online (sharing a small number of exploited children) rather that each having to find and exploits children themselves.

PROOF that even toe word "sex" sells (2)

Eoli (320216) | more than 13 years ago | (#313092)

I was checking out this page and noticed it said something like "26 comments". I hit refresh about 10 minutes later and it was suddenly at 82!

I hope this doesn't mean that many people want to see Katz having sex.

Makes sense when you think about it (3)

Eoli (320216) | more than 13 years ago | (#313093)

The more cable channels we get, the more graphic the channels seem to get (anyone see last week's Sopranos, where about half the episode took place in the strip club?). I think it's due to the increased competition. What's the best way to get someone to watch your channel instead of a "Friends" repeat? Hmmm... howzabout sex!

Sex was a forbidden topic... (2)

Chakat (320875) | more than 13 years ago | (#313094)

Part of the reason for the large amount of sexual discussion online is the fact that discussing sex, sexuality, gender roles, etc, is the fact that although humans are naturally curious about the topics (hell, none of us would be here without sex), either through shame, illogic, etc, we don't talk about it. We have shows which discuss eating on the radio and TV, but a show that talks about nothing but sex would be considered a "vulgar" thing. The internet, on the other hand, changes that. Anonymity and pseudonymity give people a chance to as those questions that "decent" people would never ask, and also, an ability to role play, to see what's on the other side of the mirror. So, it's no real surprise that there is a proliferation of sex on the internet, people are curious about it, and they are able to ask questions without having a funny stare when they start asking for the latest hermaphrodite pr0n.

I wonder... (1)

increduloidx (409461) | more than 13 years ago | (#313099)

How many pop more pop up ads have been generated in this time, relative to say, a year ago. Anyone have any figures on such stuffs?


The One,
The Only,
--The Kid

In other news: (1)

Flying Headless Goku (411378) | more than 13 years ago | (#313101)

Food remains a strong seller.

Residential electricity sales show no sign of declining in the e-slump.

People are still willing to pay to be entertained.
--

Hoy! (1)

Eustis Burbank (415579) | more than 13 years ago | (#313107)

There's too much sex on my computer! I mean, I keep fallin' off!
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