The state of the porn union

Union? What union? It seems that the porn biz is one industry that was really never cohesive to begin with, but the uniting factor, if there was one, seemed to have always been AVN News. Rumor has it though that Adult Video News is going out of business or is at least very close to doing so. In the thread in question you'll see that none of us are losing any sleep over it.

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'Recession proof' was always a term I took with a grain of salt in reference to any business. Nothing ever truly is, but there are some companies that in a time of recession not only never skip a beat but actually gain market share. It's not an indication of the state of the industry as a whole but merely who will lead it. Ours needs new leaders and what we have before us is an opportunity for change.

On the HungDevils forum, run by my favorite self-made porn star Vicki Richter, users are hemming and hawing over the ubiquitous link between AVN and porn powerhouse Vivid Video. They seem to have a pay-for-play arrangement that does nobody any good but them. In my view, this is all about keeping not the content nor the talent relevant, but instead bolstering those who produce them to retain their future ability for expolitation and relegation of 'lesser' niches of porn.

Happy talent takes care of the fans. Period. Producers would be wise to remember that. It's simple marketing. It's not all about the immediate bottom line and frankly, despite my being new to the content aspect of the adult business (but having run other adult businesses over the last decade plus), this is an attitude that I'm already starting to find extremely tiresome. Some in the industry call it complacency. I call it a self-serving business model that will eventually lead to a porn free-for-all as many 'stars' I know literally can only afford to eat once a day while more and more view the business with an attitude of 'every man, woman, and TS for themselves.' I don't want to see that and I don't think anybody else does either.

2In one thread on HungDevils, Steve Gallon (Seanchai) of Grooby and I had a disagreement over whether or not a transsexual porn star could break into a mainstream media role either because of or despite her porn star status. Look at Kimber James for instance. She has mainstream representation. Will anything become of it? Who knows, but while I don't think any casting directors are thinking, "hey, let's get a tranny porn star to play 'role B,' I don't think it stops an otherwise talented actress, musician such as Tempest or Jamie Coxx, or in my case a would-be radio/TV personality from finding a gig with a mainstream company as long as the audience is planted within a porn-friendly demographic, and in the upcoming decade that should be easier than ever. While it's in a studio's best interest to lower the expecations of talent and fans, there are plenty of trans-porn stars who are immensely talented outside of their ability to get naked or fuck. To me, insisting otherwise, despite the struggles we admittedly must face, is simply insulting. Just because somebody hasn't done something yet, that doesn't mean that it can't be done.

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The other issue people seem to have is with free content and the quality issues inherent with releasing it en masse upon an unsuspecting, but increasingly broke population of viewers. Many people think that the recession is not hurting the industry as much as the free content but it's becoming more and more apparent to me that the two go hand in hand. Does anyone really think that crappy porn would survive in a good economy any more than well produced, more expensive material is surviving in The Great Recession? Don't count on it. One and a half minute clips on X-Tube are no substitute for a full-length feature like Hazel Does Hollywood... unless you can't afford anything else.

The power vacuum is becoming more apparent daily as more and more girls set up their own solo sites very much resembling the X-Tube quality of content in terms of production values, and the studios, while claiming they don't have 'it-girls' (in order to avoid the possible embarassment of any future failures - Norma Jean doesn't always become Marilyn you know), are scrambling to create superstar names despite their claims to the contrary by setting up some performers with higher quality homes on the web than those of their studio-homeless couterparts. In the meantime, they will continue to build capital for these projects by travelling the world and shooting girls at the lowest possible cost - and with lowered quality standards, and will earn the money necessary to move onto bigger and better things.

If you doubt my perspective, just look at the message boards. The buzz is not circling around some girl named 'Delores in Lithuania.' Sure, she's cheaper to shoot, but nobody cares! She's just another no-name studio girl. It's girls like Kimber, Hazel, Morgan Bailey, Yasmine Lee, etc. that people are raving about and that give the business its vitality and it has a lot to do with the superior marketing plans laid out for them. Sure, money's tight and in porn the marketing budget is usually the first thing to get cut, but I don't see this recession as much of a nuisance as an opportunity. What say you?

~BB~

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