Porn flourished with the rise of the internet, as opposed to other parts of the entertainment industry. But now several barriers to entry other than distribution (production and cultural, to name two) are falling. An extremely resilient industry trying to find a better business model: For Pornographers, Internet’s Virtues Turn to Vices
The Internet was supposed to be a tremendous boon for the pornography industry, creating a global market of images and videos accessible from the privacy of a home computer. For a time it worked, with wider distribution and social acceptance driving a steady increase in sales.
But now the established pornography business is in decline — and the Internet is being held responsible.
The online availability of free or low-cost photos and videos has begun to take a fierce toll on sales of X-rated DVDs. Inexpensive digital technology has paved the way for aspiring amateur pornographers, who are flooding the market, while everyone in the industry is giving away more material to lure paying customers.
Related: Web, reality TV help make porn pervasive — pdf; discussing the APA’s recent report: Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (Executive Summary)
It used to be that only managers of by-the-hour motels were happy to have their properties mistaken for bordellos. But with soccer moms taking erotic dancing classes at the local community college and Carl’s Jr. using Paris Hilton (read: sex) to sell hamburgers, some hotels aren’t afraid to offer guests more than X-rated pay-per-view movies.
Julie Albright, who teaches classes on human sexuality and social psychology at USC, says easy access to sexual messages and images has shifted the bounds of what’s considered socially acceptable.
“It’s the pornification of mainstream society,” she said. “There’s more overt sexuality in our media, on television. More people have cable TV. More people are on the Internet.”