If you’ve been wondering what has gone wrong with the porn industry, there’s an interesting article in Slate that may help explain the current state of porn affairs. The article is called Vampire Porn and its social media share-line is “There is a porn monopoly, and its name is MindGeek.”
MindGeek is a porn provider. Or more accurately, the porn provider. MindGeek has become the porn monopoly, putting industry members in the paradoxical position of working for the very company that profits from the piracy of their work. The MindGeek hydra exerts so much force that people in the online-porn industry are scared to talk about it for fear of blacklisting. And MindGeek’s dominance should serve as a cautionary tale of the dangers of consolidating production and distribution in a single monopolistic owner.
Specifically, MindGeek owns a large number of porn aggregator “tube sites” (so named because they mimic YouTube’s format) such as Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube, which serve up huge amounts of free porn funded by ads. According to porn-industry blogger Mike South, MindGeek now owns eight of the top 10 of these aggregator sites (the exceptions being xHamster and Xvideos). These sites, whether owned by MindGeek or not, notoriously host a lot of pirated content. While each individual tube site responds to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown requests, most porn producers do not have the resources of movie studios or record labels to monitor piracy; according to adult film star Siri, MindGeek’s sites “force copyright holders to jump through hoops to get our content removed.” South told me that consequently, production of porn films is down 75 percent from where it was eight years ago, and DVD sales down 50 percent in that time. The general sentiment is that the porn business crash around 2008 was due to the rise of widescale piracy on tube sites and torrents, an increase in amateur porn, and the Great Recession.
All those tube sites (which I am hereby dubbing “vampire tubes”) make their money selling ads against the pirated content uploaded by “their users” — although there has been rumor and speculation for years in the adult industry that the big tubes hire shadowy employees to do most of the pirate uploading. Google, for reasons known only to itself, gives the vampire tubes top billing in its porn search results, while banishing most independent porn site operators to the impenetrable depths. Don’t believe me? Do a search for “prostate milking porn” on Google. It’s vampire tube results all the way down the front page:
But did I actually find such a link in the first ten pages of the Google results? Let me cut the suspense: I did not. (However, you might. Google results differ with every refresh these days.)
Vampire porn is so profitable (bringing in porn surfers from Google, showing them free pirated porn, selling ads to advertisers desperate for that huge mass of horny eyeballs) that MindGeek has bought up a big chunk of the porn industry with the profits:
The crash in the porn business provided MindGeek with the opportunity to purchase high-profile porn content producers, including big names like Brazzers (in 2010) and Digital Playground (in 2012) at discounted rates, each of which themselves operate dozens of sites. Alongside names like Hustler and Vivid, MindGeek effectively came to control a huge amount of the mainstream “traditional” porn industry—the Hollywood-like production scene based in California’s San Fernando Valley, which has given us Jenna Jameson and Sasha Grey. As Adult Empire director of business development Colin Allerton told the Daily Dot, “every major studio and star is now partnered with MindGeek or has worked for a studio that MindGeek purchased.” Since then, industry workers have been in the difficult situation of seeing their work pirated on sites owned by the same company that pays them — imagine if Warner Brothers also owned the Pirate Bay.
Even content producers that MindGeek owns have trouble getting their movies off MindGeek’s tube sites. The result has been a vampiric ecosystem: MindGeek’s producers make porn films mostly for the sake of being uploaded on to MindGeek’s free tube sites, with lower returns for the producers but higher returns for MindGeek, which makes money off of the tube ads that does not go to anyone involved in the production side.
There is a sense in which all of this sort of works for the average porn surfer, if by “average porn surfer” you mean someone who is looking for a few short fapping clips. But in the longer run, you gotta pay for your porn if you want anything but generic (and mostly old) least-common-denominator stuff. How long can independent porn producers keep producing high-quality, innovative, artistic, and most importantly new porn, if it primarily appears for free on the vampire tubes and Google won’t even show the producer’s links to people who are looking for their stuff?
Are you now, like Vladimir Lenin, wondering “what is to be done?” If so, all I can say is “Welcome to the club.” You’re not the only person wondering. The porn industry has been wrestling with this problem for years, and all that’s happened is that the vampire tubes have gotten bigger while everybody else in the ecosystem has gotten smaller and poorer.
One deus ex machina solution would be for Google to stop giving top billing to the vampire tubes for every porn search result. This is mentioned in the Salon piece:
As for the porn industry, will anyone survive? South said that vertical sites catering to specific fetishes such as Kink.com are far more immune to MindGeek’s vampirism (“There are riches in niches,” he says), and South hopes that Google will eventually crack down on tube sites in general and derank them for mass piracy, shaking MindGeek’s lock on the industry.
Your breath, do not hold it.
However, there is an interesting development along these lines. There’s a recently-launched search engine called Boodigo that has (among its many innovative features) a partnership with a porn industry anti-piracy company that sends DMCA notices by the gazillion. That gives Boodigo access to a huge database of known pirate-friendly sites (the ones that get the most DMCA notices) which it is using to purge the vampire tubes from its search results. (Note well: Google could easily do the same thing, using its own database of DMCA notices. But that hasn’t happened so far, despite promises and announcements that date back to 2012.)
I am planning and working on a massive review of the new Boodigo porn search engine, but the review is not ready yet. The short version: It’s an impressive effort that still needs a lot of work. It’s astonishing how much better the porn search results are once you subtract out most of the vampire tube results! But Google still has a lot of tricks that work against other types of search engine spam, and Boodigo hasn’t yet learned all of them. It’s also the case that Boodigo’s database of porn sites feels shallow to me, like they simply need to spend more time crawling than they’ve had yet. Look for a complete ErosBlog review soon!
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The click-bait headline is a complete lie. This account covers only two days of unrestricted sexing, it’s written in the style of erotic fiction, and we never find out what happens: For One Week I Decided To Have Sex With My Boyfriend Whenever He Wanted (Here’s What Happened).
However, early on there’s a brief discussion of why men like porn, that I think may have some wisdom in it:
Anyways, we watched porn together sometimes and I knew he watched it alone. I’m not like, “the cool girl” who’s totally okay with her boyfriend watching porn but I knew it was an uphill battle and one that wasn’t going to end well for either of us, so I tried to use it to bring us closer together. One night … I asked him what he liked about porn, and whether access to me or all the other women in the world (hotter ones, I even gave him) would be better, ideally.
His answer surprised me, it wasn’t about quality or quantity, but about availability. With me, (and he loved me very much, he clarified), he had to woo me, constantly. Sex was never a given, and this is a biological difference between men and women. He was trying, all the time, to make me think of him sexually and to initiate sex and even my higher-than-average female libido couldn’t keep up with him. As loving and as open and assuring as I was towards him, he was still getting rejected by me in this way, often (and even more often if he would be honest about how frequently he wanted sex).
And so watching porn made sense to me in a way it never had before. The fantasy, the real fantasy, was a world free of rejection….
In my experience and observation, even the most sexually generous women, in even the most loving and sexual relationships, are but dipping with a small spoon into the hogshead of available male proposition. I would be open to the argument that they need to be skilled at rejection and at preempting the propositions that make outright rejection (with all its costs and dangers) necessary. But it had never occurred to me that this project of ongoing rejection could become so automatic, as with breathing, that a woman might cease to be aware of doing it. And yet this author was, she says, surprised to learn how often she was rejecting her boyfriend.
That surprise? It surprises me.
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Got any obscure material depicting a male in bondage, blindfolded, where a group of dominant females have secured him to one of those gloryhole-style milking tables, while one female is under the table teasingly manipulating his oiled penis and testicles, a second is ravishing his well-greased anus with a good-sized strap-on, as a third is forcing him to lick her hairless pussy? If not, I’ll settle for this blindfolded dude to be locked in a chastity device, while one female teasingly attempts to lick his manhood through the open spaces in his cock cage, a second is inserting a fat butt-plug into his sphincter, while a third has backed into his face for a thorough rim-job.
Well. That’s certainly specific, Snidely! And the sad answer is that no, right this very moment I do not have any images that precisely match either of those requests. But I can offer a drawing that seems very much in the spirit of them, if one doesn’t mind missing a few details:
Artwork is by Eric Stanton, probably from one of his Stantoons publications.
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It is the time of year when Dr. Faustus rolls out his annual Squick Or Squee extravaganza, which consists of his practice of commissioning (with actual payment of money!) and publishing art both erotic and (to some at least) disturbing, for everyone’s viewing pleasure and/or distress. (See also Infernal Wonders, where it’s “Squick or Squee” the whole fine year around.)
For me it’s a definite squee. Did Charlie Brown grow up to be a pervert who finally knows he’s hit upon the proper way to summon the Great Pumpkin? Has this woman been kidnapped for sacrifice to a pagan god? Do we have particularly fearsome birds in these parts, whose scaring away requires especially spectacular scarecrows? Only your pornographer knows for sure! He’s Matt Williams at Sexually Broken, exposing the model known as Darling. (I wonder how long it took her to get the last of the pumpkin seeds out of her sinuses?) I, for one, applaud anybody who is willing to make porn that doesn’t look boringly like all the other porn out there. At that — at least — this Sexually Broken photoshoot is a triumph.
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It’s just a friendly game of naked table tennis. But I think she digs him.
From the photographic style, I’d say this is from one of the many nudist/naturist magazines that used to be available.
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I recently got an email of mild complaint. Why, my correspondent demanded to know, do I not post moar bondage sex? (The “WTF???!!?” was implied.)
I’m not convinced the accusation is fair; indeed, I have always thought ErosBlog has rather a lot of bondage sex material.
But I live in service. Demanding reader, here is some additional bondage sex artwork just for you:
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The link list is a venerable web archetype. Almost as soon as the World Wide Web was invented, one of the earliest sorts of webpage was a list of links to fun things elsewhere on the web. And just as soon as porn appeared on the web, porn linklists followed.
Good ideas never go away, they just get refined. And The Porn Dude is a highly refined porn link list. It offers over 750 links in 55 categories, from amateur porn to XXX comics:
Many of these links will be familiar to seasoned porn surfers, but unless you’re even more highly jaded than me, you’ll find not only sites that are new to you, but entire categories of sites that are new to you. Did you know there were a dozen different porn search engines?