Does Sex Still Sell?

SIAN DOLDING talks porn


According to the Times this week porn has simply “stopped selling” with its revenues cut in half. But why is this and do we really care? Porn is under attack globally, and the culprit? Piracy.

Sure we all think it’s wrong to buy pirate copies of the latest offering from Hollywood or to have a sneaky session on Megavideo but why is it that a lot of us don’t see anything wrong with stealing porn?

Well it’s a symptom, largely of the times, in a recent blog post by Sam Harris he lamented the difficulties of getting paid for anything which is accessible via the internet as people increasingly demand more free stuff online.

Sites like “Spankwire” which condense viewing into a short clip, often taken from actual porn films, cut straight to the hardcore stuff, and after that most viewers aren’t keen on coughing up for the whole thing. On top of this it’s also seen as sleazy to actually pay for porn, which I can understand, I mean who wants that sort of information on their latest bank statement?

Like it or not, however, this is damaging the porn industry immeasurably, just like our music and film industries where people would rather go on Limewire to download a song (although ironically you can unintentionally download porn there too).

So the porn industry’s in trouble? Big deal, so are many industries in the “current economic climate”.
I mean aren’t all these people in the porn industry sleazy, pony-tailed creeps just selling soulless sex? Don’t they deserve to be ripped off like every bugger else? Well the clear and cut answer is, of course, no, nobody deserves to be stolen from and theft is theft regardless of whether it’s the latest Vampire Weekend album or “Lesbian Spank Inferno”.

But can we ever be selective of what we steal? It seems to me that there is a double standard to our morality here; studies suggest that while we may think it wrong to steal from music and film distributors, which we consider to be morally reputable organisations, we are beneath paying for our porn.

It appears that there is even a “Porno-WikiLeaks” website (I kid you not, it exists) which actually demands that free porn be a fundamental human right, akin to freedom of speech. Isn’t this all a little…ridiculous? Demanding the right to free porn? Stop being a big baby and pay up if you want to watch it, economically speaking, we’ve surely got bigger fish to fry.