Long considered the only unassailable video industry, porn for profit is struggling these days - and online games like World of Warcraft may partially be to blame.
There's a wonderful moment at the end of the hilarious puppet-based musical Avenue Q when Trekkie Monster (having earlier proclaimed that "The Internet Is for Porn") declares that in a poor economy, the only stable investment is the adult entertainment industry. And for a while, it seemed as though his words were law - the Internet only helped the rise of porn, one of the most dominant industries in the world.
And yet, its dominance may be fading, if the shrinking floor space at the annual Adult Entertainment Expo in 2010 is any indication. An interesting blog post over at The Daily Beast examines five of the reasons that porn-for-profit may be struggling, based on conversations with those in the biz on the AEE floor.
Four of them are interesting albeit kind of obvious when you think about it: Piracy and YouTube-esque sites for free porn mean that DVD sales are way down, the stigma against porn is largely vanishing which means that more people are trying to get their way into the industry than ever before and guys can set up sites for their girlfriends or partners more easily than ever before.
Video on Demand - where movies are shown for six or seven cents per minute - while long hailed as the possible savior of Hollywood, doesn't quite work for porn, where a person will watch four or five minutes, masturbate, and then turn it off. And finally, increased communication between porn stars and fans means that more and more porn actresses are having sex with said fans for money as alternative ways to make money (and some people must figure, why watch the video when you could get the real thing?).
But that isn't the most intriguing reason on the list - the most intriguing is #4, where Mr. Abowitz points a finger at online games like World of Warcraft for taking people away from their porn. "It is all entertainment that you are getting involved in the same way as porn is entertainment," says industry insider Aiden. "I won't say everyone, but a lot of people in the industry play videogames. The games are competition for porn. Fans jerk off to porn and are done, but you can keep playing a game."
I'm not sure I buy that playing online games - even to the point of addiction - necessitates a drop in time spent watching porn. Perhaps not watching porn DVDs, yes, because an online gamer is already hooked into the 'net, but just because you aren't popping in Back House Honeys 16 doesn't mean you aren't watching porn.
I mean, what else are you going to use all that raid downtime for, huh?