Happy Valentines Day, Online Porn!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d touch upon the modern man’s one true love: online porn.

I love online porn but, much like the female species, I fundamentally do not understand it. OK, that’s not really true. I am cursed with being an understanding, empathetic sort of guy, the kind that comes fairly close to understanding the finer gender. But that line seemed too good to resist.

Tumblr is a site where bloggers can easily share free, often searchable porn content.

As for online porn, I understand what it is supposed to be. I, as the viewer, am supposed to subscribed to Web sites, handing over my credit card information to be billed monthly for access to photos and videos of an erotic nature. This content may be streamed or downloaded depending on the site. But what it comes down to is the consumer paying for online content.

Yet I have never paid for online content. And I am a robust consumer of online porn. How, you ask? Because there’s so much fricken free porn on the World Wide Web that I cannot fathom why anyone would pay for it.

True, if you have exceptionally esoteric tastes, you might have to shell out some cash to see exactly what you want. But chances are, if you Google what you are interested in seeing, you’ll easily find it. Though a basic understanding of the Internet and how to effectively search for things will surely expedite you effort. For example, it’s usually best to avoid the top search engine results for porn because those sites more than likely paid to be listed there. And only paid sites, the kind you have purchase the content from, can afford to do that.

Of course, if this isn’t your first time surfing for porn, you’ll know there are certain sites where you can more easily find what you seek. For example, all sorts of erotica can be found on Tumblr, including everything from bikini pics of celebrities to genuine hardcore images, gifs, and videos – even niche categories like “sideboob.”

And there are also sites like Xvideos and Xhamster, both of which offer pornographic videos. They offer an incredible variety and you can search by genre or star. And even though the clips are often brief, usually that’s all anyone is ever looking for online.

Like everything on the Internet, the names and even the types of sites populated with easily accessible porn change with the times. But my experience – and I have been surfing for porn since the late 90s – is that the accessibility, quality, and variety of free content available have all steadily improved.

Explicit images and videos of adult actresses like Charmane Star are readily available online, free of charge. (image source: raymond santos)

So my question is this: if I can easily get any sort of image I want on Tumblr, and most every type of video snippet imaginable on these other sites, why would I ever pay for such content? It baffles me. Yet I know there must be enough people who actually do sign up for these sites in order for the industry to continue making money.

Not long ago, it was all about VHS video rentals and sales. Then came the DVD and Blu-ray. You may not have wanted, or needed, the full movie – most of which are nearly feature-length – but you had to pay for it anyway.

When the World Wide Web came along (thank you, Al Gore), the adult industry must have seen it as a great marketing tool, offering samples of content to promote their stars and videos. And as bandwidth and speed increased, while the costs of everything from server space to monitors decreased, the amount and quality of that content has exploded like the proverbial moneyshot.

I’ve often wondered if all this free content is the result of a marketing backfire. That is assuming the industry made all this content available for free, in hopes of enticing a purchase for the full-length films or subscriptions to sites with additional content. But then they must have realized that these “samples” ultimately eliminated the need for a purchase because they were often all that was “needed” by the average male surfing online porn for pleasure.

Or is it a case of others, presumably those who have purchased these films or subscribed to the sites, putting all this free content out there against the wishes of the industry? That seems far less likely, because I imagine the porn producers and their stars would aggressively pursue them for copyright infringement. And I can’t imagine whatever funds these free sites may generate from advertisements would even come close to covering such legal fees.

So I remain confused (albeit undeniably delighted as well) as to how and why there is such a treasure trove of free porn available online. How does this put money in the pockets of stars like Brianna Love, Malena Morgan, Sarah Shevon, Sasha Grey, Stoya, and Tori Black? I hope it does. And I have nothing but respect and admiration for them and production houses like Kink.com. But with so much free content online – readily available, and in high quality – why would anyone pay for it?

Online porn remains a beautiful, mysterious thing. And, perhaps, therein lies the romance. Happy Valentine’s Day, online porn. I hope you are as happy in this relationship as I am!