Proof That Porn Stars Are Smarter Than Most TV Executives
Erotica LA is a once-a-year convention that celebrates adult film, sex toys, sexual advancements and at least one website that boasts nothing except "EXTREME VAGINA SHAVING." Basically, Erotica is an appreciation of all things sweaty, heaving and perfect in this world. It's like a writhing, pulsing beanbag chair of bodily fluids and daddy issues and I love it. I didn't know it when I walked in the door, but Erotica LA, and specifically the porn stars contained therein, had more to teach me about current events and the future of the entertainment industry as we know it than I ever could have expected. I don't know why I didn't realize it at the time. I guess I must have been distracted by something.
The most effective Red Bull ad I've ever seen, even if the can is backwards.
The PornBot caused great conflict in me, as a result of my love of pornography and paralyzing fear of technology.
Porn stars giving free candy. Porn stars giving free candy. Porn stars giving free candy.
These are my people.
Every second, 28, 258 Web surfers are viewing Internet pornography, and "sex" is the most-searched word on the entire Internet. To find out why this might be (and because I'd already eaten my share of free ass-shaped candy, played a porn themed video game and matched wits with the PornBot), I decided to track down some porn stars and do some interviews.
The first person I interviewed was Gianna Michaels who, in addition to being super good at porning, is genuinely one of the sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. If the image of her getting rammed in the back of a van wasn't already burned into my retinas, I could really see myself settling down and raising a bunch of kids with her. [Full Disclosure: A) I don't know anything about proper journalism and B) when I asked porn stars for interviews, I guess I didn't actually expect them to say yes. So, when it came time to conduct the actual interviews, I didn't technically have any questions prepared. Still, that didn't in any way stop me from holding a little notebook up to my face to present the illusion that I was reading questions. For the record, this is what I was looking at during our interview:]
DOB: Gianna, thanks very much for meeting with me. Gianna: No problem. Who did you say you were with? DOB: Cracked.com! [Blank stare] DOB: Cracked....Dot com? Gianna: OK... DOB: It's a comedy website, we're... It's not important. Comedy website. Gianna: OK, sounds fun. DOB: Alright, now, first... first question....
DOB: [Clearing throat] How... long have you been in this business, and how often do you work? And how long will you plan on staying in the business? That... I'm sorry, that was three questions... Gianna: I've been in the business four years, and I work about three days a week, minimum, but I make my own schedule. It's really like a freelance business, but a very consistent one. You wake up in the morning and you check and see if there's any work that day, and you go if you want to go, or you stay home if you want to stay home. I'm going to keep doing this as long as it pays, because I love it. I work three days a week, and I'm making my living just fine.
Gianna: It can be an incredibly destructive force, that's a good question. It's really troubling for the industry. More and more studios are going under everyday, they have to close shop. I mean, look at music. We're facing the same problem that the music industry was facing a few years ago.
DOB: Thanks very much for your time. Gianna: Oh, no problem... This wasn't comical at all, by the way. DOB: Yeah, that'll happen, with us. I left Gianna's booth, still sort of enchanted both by her thorough knowledge of the Internet as well as that filthy filthy mouth of hers when I ran into another porn star, Kiera King, who was also kind enough to meet with me.
You'd think I'd wise up and be more prepared for her interview but my life is nothing if not an infinite series of repeated mistakes and unlearned lessons. Kiera was certainly attentive, but I'm pretty sure she sort of hated me (what are you gonna do?). Technologically speaking, she was a little bit farther along than Gianna in that she already had a website that she had total control over, but what Gianna lacked in tech savviness, she more than made up for in not-hating-me-ness, so I think it's kind of a tie. A sexy, filthy tie.
DOB: Oh. No, it's just, Gianna said that it might destroy the industry, so... Kiera: Well, I'm not going to worry about it. DOB: [Quietly.] But...Gianna said- Kiera: Look, the way I see, it, whatever is going to happen with the Internet is going to happen. I can control my website, but not the Internet or the industry, so I'm not going to waste my time worrying about something I have no control over. Why would I waste time on that? DOB: Gianna said- Kiera: Like I said, I got into this business eight months ago, the economy was already shit, you know? I'm thriving right now because I'm new, and I'm not used to getting paid what the other girls who've been doing this for awhile got paid, so I'm making my website work. I'm in complete control of my website, I'm thriving, I enjoy this and I'm not going to bother about anything else. [
DOB: No, no I think... I think I'm all set, here, this was great.
Whether it was luck, skill or porn star witchcraft, Gianna and Kiera provided some of the most insightful and important ideas regarding future of online entertainment I'd ever heard. I mean, I think it's already pretty obvious that the Internet is what it is today almost entirely because of porn--high speed Internet, higher quality videos, streaming sites; it all can be traced back to our overwhelming need for immediate porn. Still, I didn't realize just how on target Gianna and Kiera were when I interviewed them. You might have missed it the first time around. You know Gianna's plans for creating specific, personalized incentives for her consumers? The fact that she acknowledges the need for connecting directly with her audience, finding what they want and giving it to them? That's Niche Marketing and, according to
And just look at those glasses. Look how smart she is. By meeting with her audience, finding out what they want and giving it to them, Gianna's not just another Jane Q. Pornstar, she's actively providing a specific service that people need. She's creating something new that fills the void as defined by her audience. That, according to lots of smart people, is how you build an audience and develop your brand. She's not just a standout in the adult film industry, she's already standing head and shoulders above every existing mainstream studio. While most studios and networks are actively ignoring the Internet's impact, Gianna's already learned how to thrive on it by finding what problems her audience has and solving them. That's what Gianna's going to be doing while Fox waits around for this whole Internet fad to pass.
"I'm so hot for New Media." And Kiera is equally well-equipped for the future. Until we figure out how to make loads and loads of money off the Internet (never gonna happen), people are going to need to be prepared to work for less than the bloated salaries that are currently being thrown around. A lot of executive, fancypants elitist porn stars probably aren't prepared to make the leap to the Internet because it means a pay cut, which means less money to spend on dick-top hats and vagina monocles. Kiera is new and eager and hungry. She's ready to work often on a website over which she has total control and she's willing to do it for less money than porn veterans. When, as Gianna predicts, the studios do collapse, Kiera is going to be one of the ones left standing because of her aggressive work schedule and lean salary. Just makes you think. We can already credit porn for getting the Internet where it is today. And they're certainly ahead of the curve when it comes to figuring out and managing the future of the Internet. And they clearly know more than I do about everything, so it just makes you wonder. Why the hell aren't porn stars running this country?