By Coleen Singer
CYBERSPACE – Something I noticed on the internet over the past six months disturbs me and pisses me off: It’s difficult to find porn or adult entertainment in the usual ways online.
Search engines, specifically Google, have shoved most of the organic links to actual porn sites and movies down on deep page results. Well, unless you get very specific[i] in your search. “Ukrainian midget porn” does yield first-page results, as nobody has started a Wikipedia page for that topic. Yet.
Mainstream media websites have pretty much scrubbed the deck clean of any links, or even type-in domain credits, on stories. Even the traditionally liberal Huffington Post threw porn under the bus recently, as noted here.
Social media? It just goes on and on. Within the past several months, Blogger enacted draconian policies for adult entertainment bloggers, banning them from posting any ads for adult products on their blogs. Twitter Vine deep-sixed adult related hashtags last week. Facebook has always been hostile to adult content, but last week, banned all advertisements to adult products. Google+ now insists that if a female porn actress, writer or producer wants to have a Google+ page, she needs to use her real name along with a photo of herself and accurate bio information. (Talk about a stalker’s paradise! Creepy guys can go find the actresses’ homes. Morality in Media and other conservative nutbars can burn crosses on the lawns of adult industry producers, filmmakers and bloggers.)
As MsNaughty noted, “Long-time adult blogger Bacchus calls this the Pornocalypse, and he says it comes for us all. It’s come to Ebay, Blogger, Amazon, WordPress, Paypal, Kickstarter, the iPhone, Google Glass and Tumblr, among many others.”
Even rising star Cindy Gallop, the unique new bedfellow in the adult industry and founder of Make Love Not Porn, managed to get a bellyfull of it after attempting to navigate the treacherous waters of collecting money from folks that want to rent or buy movies on her site. In a blog post, she noted, “Every day we get at least one MLNP member writing to us saying, ‘I’m having trouble setting up my credit card details.’ Every few days, we get at least one member asking, ‘Why don’t you work with PayPal?’ A number of you write to us and say, ‘I set up my account fine, but I don’t seem to be able to rent?’ Every time we get one of those emails, we die a little inside. Because we know we’re not delivering the experience you deserve.”
The billing situation has been this way since about 2000-2002, when some bad people entered the adult industry for fast cash and pissed in the punch bowl, did some major scams and banged a few million dollars in unauthorized credit card charges, which caused AMEX and PayPal to pick up their tents and leave. Billing options are very limited now. “Adult” is now squeaky clean as far as billing integrity and consumer protection from future nefarious acts, but the damage was done long ago. However, I have wandered off on a tangent worthy of a full article about billing in adult.
Back to the topic at hand: In a recent Free Speech Coalition interview, adult industry veteran Colin Rowntree (publisher of Wasteland.com since 1994) explained the corporate censorship issue in more depth:
[QUOTE]One of the biggest problems for the adult industry in general at this time is the swift and merciless “ghettoization” of adult content on the internet. During the 10 years of the “lively discussions” about the threat of Dot-XXX having this effect (which, thankfully, it has not that I can see), who could have anticipated that corporate media would fill the role of the ultimate judge in driving adult content into the dark shadows of the internet?
To be sure, mainstream has always distanced itself from “porn.” Since Day One of the net, most credit card processors would not do adult. Most mainstream news, information, dating and community sites have never taken adult advertising. That all made sense for a variety of reasons. But the recent fast trend is that this is happening in a big way now in other sectors that have traditionally, if not enthusiastically welcomed adult, at least allowed it into their spaces as it drove traffic to them. But this has changed.
Looking for generic-sounding porn words on Google these days? Well, be prepared to wade through the first two or three pages of Wikipedia results. Want to have a Google+ page for your brand? Be prepared to use your real name on it, and then be very careful not to slip a nip on there or get banned instantly. Facebook ads, Twitter Vine, Blogger.com, Tumblr … the list goes on and on with a rapid-fire list of new developments in which adult is being thrown under the bus. Even the unlikely candidate for doing such, the traditionally liberal Huffington Post, seems to be climbing onboard….
So, as much as our industry has always been vigilant in fighting government censorship, those fights are within the realm of free speech protection under the First Amendment (and, in the UK, the Magna Carta, which apparently Prime Minister Cameron needs to re-read) and generally “winnable” (or at least, slow-downable) in the courts. But there is no court for “corporate cowardice,” and I’m sure it is just easier for the mainstream networks to take porn off the radar to keep their advertisers and stockholders in a calm and happy “cute kittens on the piano” paradigm.
But once again, the adult industry does need to take a bit of responsibility for this situation. We as an industry have a long and consistent history of “poisoning the well” and alienating mainstream by seeing opportunities for often inappropriate exploitation of consumers and mainstream media, and then flooding those venues with a volume of free content offers and possible scams that have led over the years to everyone from PayPal and American Express to Google and social media to enthusiastically exiting stage right from any connection with adult.
Back to our experience as surfers looking for movies, photos or written words about some particular sexual practice: Assuming that most of us are not really [I]that into “Ukrainian midget porn,” let’s go looking for something a little more common. How about “blow job?” Anyone who has ever seen a porn movie knows there is at least one blowjob in it. If the movie has six scenes, there are probably six blowjobs in it. So, let’s say I really want to find one of the skinamatic masterpieces, maybe just to pick up some new tricks and techniques for my personal use at home.
- Step 1: Go to Google.com.
- Step 2: Make sure any adult content filters are shut off to be able to see “the good stuff.”
- Step 3: Type in the search term “blow job” and wait 150 milliseconds for all of the wonderful things to choose from.
Here is what comes back, in order of appearance on the front page of search results for “blow job”:
#1: Oral Sex Tips – How to Give a Great Blow Job – Redbook
Redbook? I want to see a blowjob, not how to make curtains or cupcakes!
#2: Fellatio – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oh great. A questionably accurate article about the history, socio-economic ramifications and etymology of the blow job. Not exactly toe curling blow job entertainment.
#3: Blow Job (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hmmm…. This looks promising. Maybe it might have a link to it to a website with a blow job movie. Oh wait, the wiki article tells me “Blow Job is a silent film directed by Andy Warhol and filmed in January 1964. It depicts the face of an un-credited DeVeren Bookwalter as he apparently receives fellatio from an unseen partner. While shot at 24 frames per second, Warhol specified that it should be projected at 16 frames per second, slowing it down by a third.” Warhol had me at saying 24 frames per second, but maybe I’ll come back to that one when I’m in a mood for modern filmmaking techniques.
#4: Urban Dictionary – Steak and Blowjob Day
I didn’t even bother clicking on that one.
#5: Visa Blowjob – YouTube
About as sexy as a YouTube “cute kittens on a piano” home video.
#6: Cosmo Master Class: How to Give a Blow Job – Cosmopolitan
Oh great. Is that before or after Cosmo makes me feel like my ass is too fat, or I read about Angelina’s latest adoption of a lucky kid?
#7: Blow Jobs Videos – Metacafe
Well, finally — something that might have a blowjob movie in it! MetaCafe? Sounds kinda like a tube site or something, so clicked on it. After patiently waiting a full 30 seconds to be force fed a PlayStation advertisement, I was rewarded with an iPhone video of a couple of people under a blue plastic tarp doing something under there. Not sure what it was. Onward.
#8: Her BJ Hang-Ups – AskMen
Oh great. A men’s magazine blaming all blow job problems on women’s attitudes. Is Pat Robertson on their editorial staff?
#9: 7 Killer Blow Job Techinques | Sean Jameson | YourTango
Mind you, I actually am a regular reader of YourTango and enjoy it, but I know for a fact I am not going to actually see a blow job movie on their site.
End of Google Page 1 results.
Sigh. Thwarted at the Google gate in finding a blow job movie. “Maybe Page 2,” I optimistically said to myself.
Page 2 did offer a link to something called OV Guide that promised at least to have a set of reviews of blowjob movies, all on the tubes and probably pirated content, but hey, I was getting desperate so gave it a click. As soon as every possible anti-virus and security warning went off telling me this site was going to steal my identity and soul, I quickly returned to my Google Page 2 results.
Page 2 consisted of a blog posting by some guy remembering that his first blow job in high school was painful, several dictionary site definitions of the word, an Esquire article claiming “eight of ten men surveyed preferred giving to receiving oral sex” (yeah, right), and some posting on a site called “Family Sex,” which sounded too creepy for me even to consider clicking on.
Page 3 of Google results for “blow job” offered Gwyneth Paltrow giving advice for women about blowjobs, some more dictionary definitions, a couple of cocktail recipes (I had no idea there was a cocktail called a “blow job,” so bookmarked that for later mixology experiments) and … FINALLY! One line to some blow job movies! Some site called xnxx.com that seemed to have lots of blow job movies.
Click with eager anticipation….
A free porn tube. With horrible quality movie clips (many possibly pirated) and three live sex-chat windows spawned in the background, all while a friendly woman in a little chat window offered to please me and another message told me there were dozens of women in my hometown who want to fuck me (which seems odd, as I live in a rural town with only 1,200 residents).
Pagess 4 and 5 offered much of the same. Celebrity blow job opinions, drink recipes and a couple more cheesy (and probably illegal in some way) tube links.
It was not until Page 6 that I finally found exactly what I was looking for: The Art of Blowjob: Redhead Camille Crimson’s Blowjobs.
I clicked. It was good. Peace was restored to the realm.
Now, had I known the name Camille Crimson and that she made great blow job movies, I could have searched for “Camille Crimson blow job” and it would have been on the first page of results. (It is, actually.) But I didn’t, and like most surfers who don’t know the buzzwords or porn star names to look for, I had to rely on the search engine to give me things to look at. And, in the instance of “looking for a blow job movie,” it was not real helpful to have the first quality relevant result be buried on Page 6 after at least 130 links to Wikipedia, grocery store tabloids (like Wikipedia, with colorful photos) and advice column blogs. This would have been expected and welcomed if I had Google “Safe Search” turned on, but I didn’t — and Google knows darned well that a keyword search for “blow job” in NSFW mode is not from someone looking for a cocktail recipe or academic discourse on the matter.
Just to check reality, I tried a couple of other searches in Google to see what happened:
“Pornography” — I got as far as Page 20 with no links to actual pornography. Lots of dire warnings about how bad it is for you and how just about every mass murderer and psychopath in recent history has blamed his behavior on porn. My finger got tired for all the wrong reasons from this search, so I moved on.
“BDSM” — This search fared a little better, with Kink.com on the first page and Wasteland.com at the top of the second page, but other than that, mostly just a lot of wiki-leaking and vanilla sex tips from Ask Men and HuffPo.
“Porn For Women” — Aside from two links on the third page to MsNaughty’s sites (For The Girls and Bright Desire), not much to look at here on the first 10 pages other than solid blogging by Violet Blue and a lot of silly nonsense from The Frisky, Marie Claire and other “authority voices” on porn for women (read: sarcasm).
Maybe there is something to looking for “Ukrainian midget videos” after all. At least these can be found without digging through a maze of mainstream PG-rated tripe.
Not to leave you on a sour note, let’s take another peek at a now-dated video from a kinder a gentler time about “internet Porn,” created in an age before “Google” was a verb, when “social media” was a big advertisement banner being dragged behind a bi-plane over Miami Beach. It pretty much says what it was, and what we are quickly loosing.
Coleen Singer is a writer, photographer, film editor and all-around geeky gal at Sssh.com, where she often waxes eloquent about sex, porn, sex toys, censorship, the literary and pandering evils of Fifty Shades of Grey and other topics not likely to be found on the Pulitzer Prize shortlist. She is also the editor and curator of EroticScribes.com, at which this post originally appeared. When she is not doing all of the above, Singer is an amateur stock-car racer and enjoys modifying vintage 1970s cars for the racetrack. Oh, she also likes porn.