Has Gay Porn Bottomed Out (Financially Speaking)?

The Advocate just released an article called "Porn Panic" which asks whether the gay porn industry will be dealt a "knock-out blow" by The New Depression much like the auto and financial industries have been. It's an excellent article that deserves a full read, but we've summarized some of the interesting highlights and have posted some polls to get your feedback.

Gay Pride Parade

PORN IS PRIDE?: Porn DVD sales are down between 25% to 45%, model fees have been cut 20%, February was a bad month for new memberships, and declined credit cards on recurring billings have increased from one or two per week to seven to 10 per day, according to some websites. Apart from offering whack-off material, bigger porn studios also contribute large amounts to HIV and gay rights organizations. So if big studios go down, so will their contributions (with no other givers to fill the vacuum).

In the future everyone will fuck like robots

CYBER SEX GETS AN UPGRADE: To compete in the overcrowded online porn market, some porn sites/studios are consolidating to create large gay adult entertainment conglomerates. For instance, Raging Stallion Studios/Pistol Media combined with AEBN/NakedSword in February. This allows for competitors to combine their accounting, warehouse, distribution, web, studio, and factory resources instead of redundantly competing. Meanwhile, others studios are changing their web formats to accommodate mobile devices and vary their offerings. For example, some porn sites now also feature downloadable videos, DVD and sex-toy stores, fan social networks, porn star blogs, picture galleries, and on-demand video.

More points and polls, AFTER THE JUMP!

Pirates are soooo gay

PEOPLE AND PIRATES LOVE FREE PORN: "Tube sites" (like XTube) feature user-created porn content while other file-sharing and bit torrent sites let members download pirated studio material illegally. Although XTube prohibits and actively removes pirated porn, other big tube sites shrug and say that there's no way they can police all of their users 24-7-365, placing the policing back on porn studios' hands. Though a handful of studios have won court and out-of-court settlements against pirates, studios would rather spend their money creating more porn and not every one can afford their own investigative and legal teams.

Look what you've reduced her too!

HARDER, FASTER, BETTER?: Reduced model salaries can force would-be porn models to seek out careers in other fields, like escorting or working at Subway (like Kurt Wild once did) and higher education (RJ Danvers currently attending college). Porno movies also used to attract well-trained filmmakers looking to snag some bucks on the fly. But the rising number of free and amateur sites has pushed out the "professional porn director" except for some big names, like ChiChi LaRue and Dink Flamingo. Although porno flicks still come close to achieving artistry despite the financial crunch (like Raging Stallion's well-made To The Last Man), but other studios feel forced to cater to niche audiences with kinkier tastes (such as water sports or barebacking) because web-users can find vanilla sex almost anywhere else for free. A few billing providers (such as Visa) prohibit their partner sites from charging for certain content like water sports, for example. Likewise, some beautiful porn models might prefer to opt out than go bareback or have someone pee in their eyes.

Money shot

POLITICS AND PORN BAILOUTS: While the auto and financial industries get bailouts, the American government often saddles the porn industry with additional burdens, leaving porn barons asking for the help of fans and viewers to get their politicians to ease up. But while a large outpouring of support from porn lovers is unlikely, a diminished porn industry means less studio contributions to LGBT and HIV service organizations. "Last year Titan Media alone donated more than $100,000 to such groups." Also, porn forms a big part of gay culture and was probably the first exposure some of us had to gay intimacy, especially for older gay men. However, younger gays of the "Google generation" don't feel the same sexual oppression of the past and neither have nostalgia for nor respect porn, seeing it as purely a way to get off.