I was out of porn long before "the tubes" were a thing, which by now is well over a decade ago. The way online porn went is actually rather instructive, I suppose : as the traditional barriers to distribution faced by the various print and footage producers (recently emboldened both by cheaper film technology and by a relaxation of legislation on the topic throughout the 70s and 80s) were reduced to irrelevancy in the mid 90s as more and more people bought computers and Internet connections, porn exploded as a business.
For the early adopters it was a license to print money, literally, indisputably. Any scene was guaranteed to bring back six figures, and often enough it happened that once every downstream added up, a third or more of a modest library turned out seven! No matter how much the model got (and she really rarely got more than a few thousand), no matter how much location cost (and most of the time it was free, or free-for-sex - the rule being throughout my tenure that whoever's naked on the set is getting fucked and doesn't get to ask questions), no matter how much the photocrew would get (and often the crew would be the very businessman in question anyway), margins under 50% were a practical impossibility, and even getting them under 90% took some serious work. It was strictly impossible to spend a coupla quarters in this business and not be set for life - unless of course you were one of the models, they usually managed. Or, I guess, one of the groupie boys, they also mostly managed. Not that they seemed to mind it any, at their age and for their mental needs free pussy and open bar after hours was heaven, pure and unadulterated.
The other thing they managed was to spread the word - because what is clueless youth good for if not to gab. That, together with the ascendancy of cheap digicams and a furibund (if ultimately fruitless) drive to entrepreneuriat among the US proletariat resulted in a deluge. Originally termed "gonzo" in an obviously (to anyone but the attempters) attempt to co-op it (in a subordinate role, of course), it soon found the way to light. Supported by far reaching societal changes driven by the very production of the previous decade, homemade porn drove business porn straight out of business. By the time the WTC dust settled, only the truly clueless were still involved in what had become a desperate, costly, unrewarding and otherwise doomed tooth and nail engagement. Just as an unshaved snatch or a virginal asshole became social suicide among the teenaged set, pornography as a business became a financial impossibility for everyone else. Who could have known to predict!
That was the porn, the porn I knew, the porn I loved. It rose and it fell, like an algae bloom in the wake of a rust bucket. In its wake, other than the nostalgia of some happy few, remain of course also the less glamurous, unhappier stories of toil and labour that made comparatively tiny successes out of various things you might have heard about - and costly defeats out of so many more you'll never hear about. I did, however, hear of most of them, on account of being vaguely connected with many people in the field and because every industry of this sort works exactly as Clemens described centuries ago,
My pile of stock was not all given to me by people who wished their claims "noticed." At least half of it was given me by persons who had no thought of such a thing, and looked for nothing more than a simple verbal "thank you;" and you were not even obliged by law to furnish that. If you are coming up the street with a couple of baskets of apples in your hands, and you meet a friend, you naturally invite him to take a few. That describes the condition of things in Virginia in the "flush times." Every man had his pockets full of stock, and it was the actual custom of the country to part with small quantities of it to friends without the asking.
That's how everything ever works, that's how Bitcoin worked at first (but you weren't in it), that's how porn worked back when your mother was not yet wearing panties and still taking it in all the holes, that's how computing was at first (but is no longer - and please wake up to this). Everything's bound to go that way, parties begin in obscure fraternity and end in dullard animosity.
And so, over the years during which webcams tried to put the ashes together into some sort of chicken or maybe even turkey if not really full blown resplendent phoenix, I got all sorts of invitations to check out this or that, free credits, stuff like that. I never used any of it personally - there was always a younger set eager to take them off my hands and in all honesty I had no interest.
I understand, of course, as well as anyone, how the thing's supposed to work - the girl sits at home in front of a cheap camera connected to her computer (and to think ten brief years ago most females anyone'd want to see were not capable to turn on a machine by themselves! ye progress!) and a parade of men order her around to various degrading tasks.
That's what you think, innit ? That's what I thought myself, also. My mind did follow the incredible cheapness, the meani nature of it all. Look, no more dealing with the town's rich to use their villas for a backdrop, so that the girls get to see life from a different perspectiveii, even if briefly and between the cocks. None of that. Instead, all the "convenience" of their proletarian, poorly furnished cages and cells. The thing self-importantly calling itself an "industry", as if symbologyiii was ever industry, the thing that nevertheless drove innovation in video tech for a decade suddenly gave up the fight. Back in 1998 the groups of people doing films for the state were thrilled every time they could borrow the tech of the independent, sovereign people doing porn for the Internet. The first time anyone in cinema ever saw a cutting edge item in person was when that someone was admitted on a porn set. Yet now... the cheapest cam a girl out of work could find will do ? Aww.
But it didn't occur to me just how bizarre this world actually is, not until today. I was idly going through the list of "services that take Bitcoin" (to no end of unpleasant discoveries - such as that 4chan doesn't take it, or that Payza is a scam) when I ended up on "69BTC", a Bitcoin skin on bongacamsiv. Here's a visual aid to keep your attention :
So yes, it's true that I ended up going through the model list backwards, landing on the first girl that wasn't butt-ugly and making her day, I guess. But before that I spent almost a whole half hour in the strangest soup I've ever encountered in my life (which may not be saying much, I'm oversheltered).
For one thing, and most shocking : while you'd think camwhoring is structured to degrade and structurally degrading women, in practice it works out to the exact opposite! Because of differences of scale previously encountered in our discussion of why supermarkets ruin economies, the end result of the camsite is a horde of clearly subhuman bois hounding a very tired, very confused, stressed out female.
Which takes us to the other most shocking thing : the effects of long term cam whoring on the models are nothing short of scary. The girls look disturbingly like early Alzheimer's / late PTSD : small, repetitive, uncoordinated head and eye movements, confused speech, poor or absent reaction to stimuli... The ill effects of long term elevated cortisol are screamingly obvious even through the narrow viewport, it's outright a miserable job. Air traffic controllers have to handle fewer interruptions per second, call center slaves in India, Bangladesh, Romania or wherever have to swallow less abuse, I am not remiss to say the life of the professional camwhore is certainly and beyond any doubt the hardest professional life available.
The girls say the system "pays well", but I could scarcely see how this could be true. Taking over a girl's time costs somewhere between a few and maybe 10 dollars a minutev, of which the girl gets about half. A lawyer bills for about as much (not a good one, either) but the lawyer bills by the hour not by the minute, and works independently not on the "customer"'s monitor. Moreover, it is traditional for the people getting the absolute worst employment deals to misrepresent their lot as "good jobs", a sad fact to which anyone involved in the union fights of the early XXth century can readily attest.
Yet I could scarcely imagine something less erotic than a camshow, nudity irrespective. It was said (and not just by me) about Pasolini's work, such as for instance Salo, that it is fundamentally anti-erotic due to the very public, nonintimate construction of both story and set. If this were true (and while in principle I see it, even though certain parts are pretty hot), then camshows are so deep underwater one'd have to excavate the ocean floor. I can't begin to imagine how such a thing would get me going, and before you contemplate how this must mean I'm getting old - I had no trouble whatsoever seeing how the stuff we did in the 90s would get people born even in the other 90's going. There was absolutely nothing mysterious for anyone, us or them, in understanding why closely shaven labia and eagerly swallowed glans might raise the very dead, let alone the marginally still living. So... mno, I do not think it's me.
Otherwise, the cause of damnation is readily apparent : in cleaving apart access to the female body and the female's own attention, the camsite purports to satisfy what, in a naive first analysis is a fundamental male desire. You'd think, wouldn't you, that what the male means by preferring women strip and keep quiet, by preferring they fuck and go back home, by preferring generally to exclude a whole raft of behaviours and activities conventionallyvi dear to the female's heart is specifically this : to "objectify" the female, which is to say to reduce her to physiology. Yet as her attention bandwidth is comandeered to manage the flow of access to her anatomy (and handle the extraction of value from the process), the value of said anatomy drops, in direct proportion to the progress of the cleavage!
Turns out that what the male actually rebuffs are specific behaviours, not womanhood altogether! Yes he doesn't want you to talk so much, but this not because he doesn't like you, but because he doesn't like hearing you saying stupid shit! Yes he wants you to leave after he fucked you, but this not because he doesn't like you! Merely because he doesn't like you being annoying in bed. Who could have predicted this!
Much more importantly - turns out that cleaving things apart is, in and by itself, a very poor business model. This promises to remain an ongoing dispute for quite some time, of course. I do not blame the engineers, mind. It's not their fault that people can't figure out in the end what the fuck it is they want. But then again, I'm not so sure this is in any sense the people's fault.———
- You know this word really denotes low birth, scarce means, poor prospects, a narrowness of perspective, everything but what you think it does. That because you're the only mean thing in the world - but I suppose you prefer to be called "a consumer" as you prefer to pretend that mean denotes free speech instead. [↩]
- You know what Englishmen generally knew of the great houses, in town and country ? About as much, never entering them other than as servants, never allowed to look up. [↩]
- The fundamental reason why no act of representation can ever be industry is both contained in and explained by the ancient observation that epistula non erubescit : there is no resistance of the medium involved in the act of blather. [↩]
- Relatively minor player, opened by some Russian dudes in 2012. Lot of traffic, rather poor value. [↩]
- The girl in the picture had to work a little over 3 minutes for my 10 bucks [↩]
- From experience this is not so - they're just compensatory behaviours. Yes your girl likes to cuddle a lot per unit of sextime, but this is not because she's a girl - it's because she's your girl. She's stuck dealing with the possibility of being a "slut", and with the implications and meanings of that symbol in a certain sociocultural context. Yet my girl is proud when I call her a slut, so clearly all the brouhaha is not because "girl". What remains is that it's because you. [↩]