It's very difficult to
fail at pornography.
-by Michael Chabon, an American author
Human sexuality is a subject of much consideration and debate among dozens of professionals in a variety of fields—psychiatrists, psychologists, profilers, writers, historians. There are entire jobs devoted to the exploration of sexuality. There are even the religious beliefs behind the nature of sex and what is right or wrong from the moral standpoint. While pornography has certainly been available since before the Internet, it has created an opportunity for the widespread viewing and use of porn. Not only can it be seen by anyone at almost any time, but being in it is no longer limited to those willing to go through a vigorous interview process. Now, in this new millennium, the world of pornography is there for anyone. The busty model. The angsty teenager. The transvestite prince. All these people are able to create and market their own pornography, all thanks to the World Wide Web.
With the widespread entrance of porn into the everyday home, the question of what exactly "it" is comes into play. Just because I've masturbated to Manet's Olympia hardly makes it pornographic. I have friends who masturbate to pictures of mountains that look like breasts. While that is certainly messed up, it doesn't qualify as pornography. So where is this line that separates the artistic from the hedonistic? That defines what is erotica and what is pornography?
If the matter is simple history of arousal, then we've grouped everything from Debbie Does Dallas to the works of Pieter Paul Rubens in the same category. This "masturbation factor" hardly seems to be a decent qualifier. As an aside, The Masturbation Factor seems like it'd be a brilliant Dan Brown book.
The United States Code says that Internet pornography is:
For purposes of subsection 8(B) 1 of this section, “sexually explicit conduct” means—
- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), “sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated—
- sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex;
- sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
- lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
graphic or simulated lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
-Section 18 USC 2256 of the U.S. Code
- graphic sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited;
- graphic or lascivious simulated;
- masturbation; or
- sadistic or masochistic abuse; or
Pornography itself is about the acts of sexuality. Arousal, penetration, climax. These things all have a place in porn. They can also have a place in erotica. The difference is that pornography is all about showing it to you. The idea for a pornographic photo shoot and an erotic photo shoot could be identical. How it's filmed, shot and written are what make the difference. The threesome with two hot blonds? The bondage project? A sex in the park scene? All viable for both categorizations. But where an erotic piece may only hint and tease at what occurs, a pornographic one will show it all. Porn is the girl who puts out like a firetruck, where erotica is the girl who will give it all up, but only after she's done teasing.
Remember when you were a kid and sneaking glimpses at your dad's Playboy stash?
No. Me either. But it the principle of people trading pornography has been there for decades. As computers evolved into networks and those networks evolved into the Internet, we saw this same act play itself out again. Only this time, with more toys involved. A university's scanner, those same porno mags from dad's “toolbox” and your a hit with all your friends.
Then along came online bulletin boards. Accessible by only the tech-savvy these boards were the beginnings of a revolution in pornography. For one, I was spending a lot more time alone with my computer. For two, and more importantly, a real business application for the Internet came into existence: sex. While people would still share scanned pictures and their favourite videos, the idea that people would pay for pornographic content sprouted dozens of websites almost overnight.
Meanwhile, as the BBS scene was flourishing, some found that the Usenet was a great way to get access to whatever content you wanted. alt.sex and its quickly-growing subgroups could connect you to like-minded individuals for just about any sexual desire you had. And the best part was it did this with complete anonymity. It was about as easy getting a dirty magazine subscription, but without any of the weird looks from the mailman. I no longer had to spend an hour working up the courage to walk into a hardcore porn store to get my daily dose. With a net connection, I was free to browse through any fetish I wanted without fear of being caught by my mother.
It took a while for the porno magazine industry to work their way onto the Internet, but by the mid-nineties, Playboy Online and Hustler.com had come into existence. Playboy offering the “white collar” sort of porn-site. And Hustler with its usual hardcore variety. The websites were basically just on-line versions of their magazines. Which is why their presence, although certainly expected, played little part in the pornography revolution. Porn was on the Internet. And it was there to stay.
For a while, the industry stagnated. While more porn sites popped up with more people starting paying for content nothing new or exciting happened. Up until just prior to the beginning of the new millennium. Digital photography technology was reaching an affordable point for much of North America. With digital cameras being in many homes, as well as webcams on thousands of computers, people began to share themselves with the world. It wasn't long before people started creating their own pornography, both for personal and professional use. It took me only two webcam shows to discover that people become very interested in guys willing to tease the camera. That, my friends, is how the Internet amateur porn explosion of the early 2000's began.
Today, the adult industry on the Internet is bigger than ever. Due in part to there simply being more guys on-line now than before. Also due in part to a growing quantity of women interested in softcore altporn. More precisely, everyday women are looking at other everyday women.. Whether it's because they find it pleasing to look at or they're looking at it to please themselves, women have become a consumer on the Internet pornography market.
And who doesn't like the idea of women looking at other women?
So, you're interested in porn, eh? Good for you! And you want some, too? Even better! I can hook you up!
Woah there! Wait a second! You said you wanted porn. What do you mean, "A woman trying to have sex with a mechanical bull while being whipped isn't what you wanted"? Shesh! Next time, be more specific!
The world of pornography is a vast expanse. Filled with something for everyone—even if the rest of us would rather pretend some of it didn't exist. But it's there. And there truly is a lot of it. So much that the broad definition of "pornography" isn't a whole lot of help.
So, to help this out, there are two main types of porn. Softcore and Hardcore. Softcore porn doesn't show genitalia nor any penetration. Hardcore, on the other hand, can and does. Sex acts are not simulated with hardcore. You get to see... well, everything.
Still, there there are a number of different classifications within these types. Some porn can have multiple classifications or just a single one. Some have to do with the age or colour of those involved, some has to do with what exactly is done. Nearly all of this different classifications can be either hardcore or softcore.
- Bestiality - Sex with animals. Just how is this arousing? That's the real question there. I don't get it and probably never will.
- Bondage - Usually involves restraints of some sort (handcuffs or rope) in order to force a subject into submissive positions. Often, bondage will go along with S&M.
- Celebrity - We all enjoy our stars. The actors, the singers, the dancers. We also enjoy their hot bodies. Is it no wonder that entire sites are dedicated to both real and fake celebrity porn? Britney Spears may be hot in her videos. But I'm damn sure she's also hot without clothes on.
- Costume - Cheerleader? Businesswomen? Army? If you can dream it, someone has done it. Costume porn often involves a model initially wearing some sort of costume and by the end is wearing almost nothing (or very little).
- Facial - Now, isn't this nice. Looking at a face. Yeah. No. Facial involves the act of ejaculation on someone's face.
- Gang Bang - Everyone knows somebody who has "screwed the whole football team", sure. But do they mean at the same time? Yup. That's right. Welcome to the Gang Bang club. Where someone has sex with a multitude of partners, in rapid succession (or at once).
- Hentai/Anime - The Japanese are known for their rapid advances in... well, everything. So it's hardly surprising that they'd have an entire variety of porn designed to fulfill anyone's fantasies. With their completely animated pornography, they're able to create things people would only ever dream about. While it can be relatively innocuous it rarely is. After all, why give someone a cupcake, when you can give them a nude woman wearing only icing?
- Kiddie - Child Pornography is what gets some people going. It's against the law just about everywhere and even looking at it can land you behind bars.
- Lesbian/Gay - Guy on guy or girl on girl. You get it.
- Masturbation - Masturbation. Boy is it fun. And fun to watch, too. Watching someone get themselves off or, as the case likely is, pretend to get themselves off.
- Public/Voyeur - Either people undertaking sexual acts in public places or watching someone in a sexual act without their knowledge/consent.
- Scat - Anal sex, I can understand. Sure, not something I'd partake in, but I do get why people would. But poop-sex? That sounds like something small children would joke about. "Your mom had sex with poop." But if those children really knew what it was they were talking about, they wouldn't say those kinds of things. Especially when, in the end, someone eats it. As I'm typing this, I'm gagging a little bit. Just thought you should know.
- Tentacle - Ever thought about what it'd be like to penetrate a woman with your giant octopus-like tentacles? No? Smart move. Because usually the kinda girls you pick to shove your giant tentacock into has acid spitting from her god damn vagina. ACID. VAGINA. While this stuff is animated, I don't think I'll get something this graphic or awful out of my head. EVER.
- Transsexual - Ah yes. Transsexuals. She-males. Chicks with dicks. The name-list continues. But as to who exactly likes this, I'm not sure. Given... I've seen people who HAD to be women until I saw their penis. Even then, I wasn't sure. But as a general rule, I'm not one who goes out looking for tranny pics.
Okay. All these different types of pornography—from that which I've deliberately sought to what I've discovered in an attempt to cover as much depth as possible—are everything I could find. Much of this you'll come across in your every day quest for pornography. But as for the really weird shit... It takes some serious searching. Both spiritually and literally. My eyes are burning from them. The soft porn is pretty. Some of the stuff I've seen, no man should know exists. A dog having sex with a woman who is eating a pile of shit that is being force-fed to her by a woman with a whip? NO! Somebody seriously needs to be shot in the face for that. Some of these images have been burnt into my very brain. I close my eyelids and wish for death. Just thought you should know.
Internet Porn makes a lot of money.
In 2005, it made anywhere from five billion 1 to twelve billion2 dollars. This number may seem somewhat vague. And it is. With millions of sites devoted to getting people access to pornography, it becomes difficult to track where and how much money is flowing in. Regardless of the actual number, it's generally accepted that Internet porn makes a lot of money.
It's actually rather brilliant how they go about attracting their audience and then getting them to pay.
We've all been subject to their advertising campaigns, in one form or another. Billions of spam emails reach people, in an attempt to get them to join the latest porn site. Promises of attractive blond women looking for nothing more than to engage in sexual intercourse with me. Well hot damn. And all I have to do is click this link? Will do, captain!
Like spam, we've all seen the other big method pornography sites have of getting your attention. Pop-ups. They're annoying. More then that. We hate them. But there are always those idiots who unknowingly encourage the bastards by thinking, "Porn site! OOOOH! LETS GO!". Which just causes more pop-ups to show up. Which just causes more people to click them. It's a vicious, awful, stupid cycle. So, as a favour to everyone, STOP CLICKING PORN POP-UPS. Please. I beg you.
As for how porn sites make money, that's simple. With a magazine, you pay for a subscription and once a month they send it out to you and that's the whole relationship. But with Internet pornography, your monthly payment allows you total access to their website. All their content is ripe for the picking.
So why don't people just get an account, check out the whole site, and then leave? Because of updates. You see, people like seeing new things. And if every month (or week!), dozens of new videos and hundreds of new pictures are there, they become happy. If this trend continues, people continue to pay.
And thus, the porn industry stays afloat. And then some. As long as I'm willing to spit out a couple of bucks a month for a few of my favourite sites, they'll keep giving me new and interesting pornography. Even if I decide not to, there are a dozen other guys and gals around to fill in the mild hole that my 24.95$ a month left behind. Much like the circle of life, the circle of porn never comes to a stop. It just keeps on going...
1: According to a survey done by N2H2, a web-filtering company.
2: According to a survery done by TopTenReviews.
A PornQuest 2006 submission.
And a special thanks to golFUR. Who was essential in the writing of this node. And to wordnerd who is the best Spelling/Grammar Checker ever.
And to Google for letting me search for "Porn". Actually, now my Search History is tainted with those searches. Uh oh...