Thursday, September 24, 2009

The King of Online Porn


In the summer of 2001 I was the king of porn, “king” of porn in my company that is. I worked for an ad network in Madrid, and we, like everyone else in the Internet world, were taking a beating. It was a particularly difficult summer for me, my company moved me back to Madrid from Buenos Aires, a relationship ended abruptly and I was living out of a hotel, and I had to adjust from being Country Manager of Argentina to porn manager of an ad network on the verge of bankruptcy. The CEO of the company told me I had better pay for my salary in sales or else, he gave me a couple of porn leads and told me to handle that side of the business. I got lucky and landed a very big client from Hong Kong who bought through a French media buyer and I kept my job. The long hot summer turned nightmarish on September 11.

Behind my cubicle was a big red sign that read Red Light District, and I could watch porn all day, it was part of my job. I was always amused by the banners the porn guys would send me. There were light, medium and hard core. It was amazing the sexual acts that could fit on a standard 468*60 banner. The porn money was crucial in getting us through those difficult times, and very importantly, they paid up front. One of the big problems during the collapse of the Internet bubble was unpaid advertising invoices. The Internet companies spent a lot of money to get traffic, and as they died, they left a lot those campaign invoices unpaid.


I think it’s no mystery how sexual the internet is, but if you had any doubts, here is some data from Israel Opinion.

“There are over 500 million pages of pornography on the Internet. Two out of five Internet users regular visit pornography sites. In a … poll of university students in America, 87% admitted having "virtual sex" with their computers. Over 63 million viewers enter adult websites per month, reaching 42.7 percent of the Internet audience. The Internet pornography industry generates $12 billion dollars in annual revenue - larger than the combined annual revenues of ABC, NBC and CBS.”

It is always shocking to read this kind of data. We should know how sexual we are, but with the internet we can really quantify it. For example, Google knows exactly what percent of searches are sexually related, and it is around 25%. The very Web 1.0 activities like watching porn online have given way to the Web 2.0 cybersex. And I remember Web 1.0 schemes that were entirely driven by revenue from ‘dialers’, programs that called a different internet access number and charged you a lot of money per minute. This was the old school affiliate program that got shut down when a lot of grandmas got $1,000 phone bills run up by there hormone supercharged grandsons. Average session was 11 minutes if that means anything to you. But today’s Web 2.0 affiliate programs are for webcam girls that charge per minute on credit cards or PayPal for ‘cybersex’ with a cam.

What is cybersex exactly? It is a web based conversation that becomes erotic, whether just by chatting with IM or using a cam. I’ve noticed since I began using ICQ many years ago that IM’s are dangerous because they can become heated more quickly than face-to-face conversations, people lose inhibitions. I have seen this at work many times, and I often avoided IM conversations on delicate topics because I realized IM’s discussions could get nasty more quickly. This is purely anecdotal, but I was convinced of it.

Maybe IM’s can also get heated in another way more quickly than face-to-face conversations. We know how sexual we are as humans, so should it be any surprise to us that as the Internet advances, so will the type of sexual encounters it creates online and offline. I have found some data, take it with a grain of salt, but I think it can give us an idea of how sexual the Internet has become.


• 57% of people have used the Internet to flirt.
• 38% of people have engaged in explicit online sexual conversation and 50% of people have made phone contact with someone they chatted with online.
• Evidence proves there is a high correlation between on-line infidelity and subsequent real-time sexual affairs.
• 31% of people have had an online conversation that has led to real-time sex.
A few years after the bad summer of 2001 I was actually offered the job of managing all of Private’s (very large porno content producer) marketing through Grupo Prisa’s media (Spain’s largest media group). But in a bizarre twist there was a fusion the night after I was offered the position, and when I went to sign the contract a hiring freeze had been put in place. And that was the end of my porno career.

The two key elements to online sex are anonymity and variety. The imagination, a voice, a blurry image and many people are finding themselves fulfilled online. And imagine what the future holds! Once machines can stimulate that body electronically, the possibilities are endless. And with the propagation of English as a world language, borders fade away and people find a new kind intimacy.

It’s very easy to pass judgment on these types of relationships as superficial, or escapist. And many are already talking about cybersex addiction, destroyed marriages etc. But what is clear is that our imaginations are without a doubt our most erotic organ, and as the technology and forums advance, so will the erotic nature of encounters.
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1 comment:

  1. “When you see a beautiful girl or woman or a handsome youth, immediately lift your thoughts to the supreme, most holy Beauty, the Author of every earthly and heavenly beauty, that is, to God; glorify Him for having created such beauty out of mere earth; marvel at the beauty of God’s image in man, which shines forth even in our perverted state; imagine what our image will be when we shall shine forth in the kingdom of our Father, if we become worthy of it; picture to yourself what must be the beauty of God’s saints, of the holy angels, of the Mother of God Herself, adorned with the Divine glory; imagine the unspeakable goodness of God’s countenance, which we shall behold, Carnal desire is sweet, but it is sinful, corruptive, and repugnant to God. Do not attach yourself with your heart to any girlish or female beauty, but to the Lord God alone, Who has created every beauty for His own sake, and say: ‘It is good for me to hold me fast by God,’ [Psalm 1xxiii.28.] to God alone, and not to fleeting carnal beauty."
    St. John of Kronstadt

    John of Kronstadt had no internet, but you can tell he was quite familiar with the same temptations we face today.
    All my life I have been dumbfounded by 'girlish and female beauty'. But now when I see a particularly attractive woman, I can't help but smile and remember these words of St. John's.
    http://theinnerkingdom.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/sayings-of-st-john-of-kronstadt/

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