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Porn is dead. Long live porn!

Porn is dead. Long live porn!

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I wouldn’t call myself an inherently pessimistic person, but it’s hard to deny that things in gay porn land are looking a bit bleak. Erik Rhodes died, Austin Wilde and Anthony Romero were fired, and piracy is still a pressing issue. To paraphrase Abed Nadir from Community, this is the darkest timeline.

Recently, gay porn’s favourite monster-cocked curmudgeon, Diesel Washington, went on a lengthy Twitter diatribe about how gay porn is now dead. To abridge it the best way possible, he places the blame on the fact that since porn isn’t making as much money as it used to, studios are using the same pool of models, who work for less money, and thus the overall quality is sinking. Therefore, porn is dead.

With all due respect, porn is not, nor will it ever be, dead.

Look, no one is saying that porn is entirely free of fault or that there aren’t certain aspects of it that could be improved, but the jump between “imperfect” and “deceased” is a big one. Hell, porn is easily the most unkillable pop-culture phenomenon since Cher. Porn is like Jason Voorhees: you can drown it, electrocute it, hack away at it with a machete, and blow it into outer-freaking-space, but it’s just going to come back again and again because enough people are willing to pay money to see it.

Yes, the industry is changing, but that’s what happens when technology and social attitudes shift at an exponential rate: practices and execution have to change with them. Admittedly, porn is experiencing something of a culture shock when it comes to adapting to the new consumer model, but to call it outright dead is to assume that these issues are insurmountable and permanent.

It’s best to remember that porn is more of an abstract concept than it is set in stone. Porn is more essentially rooted in idea than it is in execution: it’s about connecting with people on a sexual level, rather than it is about any specific economic model or fetish. There will always be people willing to get naked and fuck on camera for some form of compensation, and there will always be people willing to pay to see it. However, when it comes to how porn is created, marketed and sold, old practices will eventually die out, be replaced with new ones and die out again to begin the cycle anew. It’s like the Circle of Life, only for butt sex.

Yes, there are certain parts of the industry that need an overhaul, but a full-blown burial is a bit premature. Washington makes a lot of salient points about the current state of the industry, but his conclusion just doesn’t stick the landing. Porn is going to continue to exist in one form or another, if only because there’s really no conceivable option. Nothing will ever stop people from sticking it in each other on camera.

Comments

Couldn't disagree more...
I'm biased, but I have every reason to disagree with Diesel Washington's estimation of the industry. The industry is evolving (and is perhaps a bit behind the learning curve in some ways), but there's no way it's dead... In fact, if I have my way, there's a whole new conversation to be had about the state/potential/purpose of adult media.
The industry might be dying
There is a lot of amateur porn out there as well, some people don't even need the compensation, getting attention is enough for them. Its strange that everyone blames piracy for every financial problem nowadays. But the industry is becoming less interesting, in my opinion, and maybe it is going to disappear soon. Not very soon though.
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