Is suicidegirls the first porn textad ever on MetaFilter? February 22, 2002 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Is suicidegirls the first porn textad ever on MetaFilter? It is certainly good to see such a liberal editorial attitude being displayed. Money does not corrupt. I wonder what their click through rate is, with the promise of naked girls and all? BTW I only clicked on it because I'm interested in goths and punks, and wanted to read their blog...obviously.
posted by RobertLoch to MetaFilter-Related at 6:45 PM (71 comments total)

is it porn if they use the silkscreen font?
posted by machaus at 7:06 PM on February 22, 2002


Actually I was wrong, it is not porn. They have a shop. I tell ya their men's white vest is very fetching - I'll just add that to my cart.
posted by RobertLoch at 7:21 PM on February 22, 2002


It looks like a hybrid of porn and blog. The future?
posted by xammerboy at 7:29 PM on February 22, 2002


The site is here, btw.
posted by xammerboy at 7:30 PM on February 22, 2002


(waiting for some subscriber only photos to pop-up on filepile)
posted by skallas at 7:44 PM on February 22, 2002


skallas - pics of that girl Mary(who may be female perfection personified) have been floating around the goth porn newsgroups for a while.....(or so I've heard..)
posted by jonmc at 8:15 PM on February 22, 2002


I'm sorry, but these girls' style is, like, so 1996. I loathe this look and attitude almost as much as the leather paradigm in gay porn. I like my porn nice and wholesome.

Why do I feel like my posting to this thread is equivalent to the time I got thrown out of a straight strip club for being a 'fruitcake'?

I'm gonna start a gay porn site just to buy textads for it.
posted by evanizer at 8:33 PM on February 22, 2002


the time I got thrown out of a straight strip club for being a 'fruitcake'?

That's ironic, Evan, considering that every stripper I know is bi at the very least. Although I do recall one night after a fight with my girlfreind I wandered directly from strip club to a gay bar, after pounding down several Buds(and realizing where I was after getting a lot of flirtatious glances), I decided to make the best of it and sauntered over to the jukebox.
After looking for heavy metal and (of course) coming up empty, I found the Ramones "I Wanna Be Sedated" and began pogoing around the bar like a madman. After a few moments of utter bewilderment a few guys started pogoing along with me. Since that night I've been the bar's pet hetero.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 PM on February 22, 2002 [1 favorite]


Is suicidegirls the first porn textad ever on MetaFilter? It is certainly good to see such a liberal editorial attitude being displayed. Money does not corrupt.

I didn't take on this ad lightly, consulting several friends both male and female, and actually one friend reworded their ad to be clear and straightforward. I talked with the people that run the site, they're big metafilter fans and after looking at the site, I have to say it's the best designed porn site I've seen (plus no popups/popunders or deceptive signup practices), everything there is fairly softcore and not exploitative. It's basically an edgier, indie Nerve more than it is your typical porn site. I doubt I take any other porn sites again, this one was a special case and I didn't take it on lightly.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:11 PM on February 22, 2002


considering that you'd apparently have to click through several levels *and* cough up some cash to see anything even approaching the nudity found in yesterday's "realistic fake breasts" post, not to mention countless other metafilter posts through history of really questionable taste, this seems pretty reasonable to me. while i find the site name a bit off-putting, the rest of the site seemed, as matt said, to be fairly sex-positive in the nerve vein rather than more traditional web porn. my sense is that it's a fine line, but that i wholly trust matt's judgment on these things.
posted by judith at 11:07 PM on February 22, 2002


According to this article (with racier photo than any you can see on the site in question for free), 65% of the paying members are women, so it's not your typical wank-a-thon porn site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:01 AM on February 23, 2002


If I ever get married, I hope that my wife will be the type of girl who would be right at home on suicidegirls.com.
posted by bingo at 12:30 AM on February 23, 2002


I think it is fine to advertise it - it was an interesting example of many things, including a site mixing commerce and community together. After all porn drives web develop so one just has to keep an eye on it. Mat, god you must have lost out massive on this deal, in terms of cash raised to time spent making the decision.

I love text ads, and am often found searching the textad directory for gems - it's a great exercise.
posted by RobertLoch at 7:06 AM on February 23, 2002


Mat, god you must have lost out massive on this deal, in terms of cash raised to time spent making the decision.

Really mature. I ignored the first time you made a condescending asshole remark, so you went ahead and made a second one. Fucking brilliant.

What's your problem exactly? You think I didn't think this over and took the money? You think I'm lying about asking several people's opinions and having someone rewrite their copy so the destination for following the link was clear? Do you think I didn't let over 24 hours pass between the time they placed the order and the time I took the order while I asked others and thought of the consequences? You think I took this on a whim and am not dreading having another racy site advertising here ever again? If you don't believe me when I say I did or didn't do all these things, I don't care, I've never lied to the userbase here and I'm starting now.

Jackass.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:55 AM on February 23, 2002


Matt: Take a deep breath and laugh, son. Who the hell is RobertLoch? And what's wrong with porn sites, provided they are non-annoying? That one is indeed quite pretty. Porn sites like that should be given wide exposure, to encourage the rest of them to clean up their act.

You made the right call. And Bob can eat cake.
posted by rusty at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2002


Mat, this is a massive mix up in communication.

I fully believe that you did what you said you did. That is entirely consistent with the impression that I've got of you. I would have been stunned if you had not. I was simply making the point that for $10 it obviously wasn't worth your effort to even consider their request given the time that would be involved in fulfilling it. It is to your credit that you took the time to consider them, and see if you could help them out.

I was somewhat surprised that you accepted what could be seen as a porn ad, not that I think that you were wrong to, I just thought it worth bringing up. My 'condescending asshole' comment, which I'm guessing refers to 'Money does not corrupt' was made as nothing more than a flippent reference to what some might think, rather than what I think. I wasn't even trying to be as sophisticated as playing devil advocate, just making an off hand comment. It would be ludicrous to believe that for $10 someone would compromise their ethics, especially someone like yourself who has cpnsistently bent over backward to prevent even the impression of compromise being given. Certainly in reference to MetaFilter anyway. That if anything is what made me curious as to why you hand done it. Surely you can see that at face value it was something that appeared inconsistent with your apparent ethos towards this place?

I repeat that I personally don't see anything wrong with you advertising it - and sadly I genuinely found their site interesting in terms of the way they mixed subscription, blogging, message boards, communty, and e-retailing together. (note to myself - go to the pub immediately)

Anyhow, I might give up writing - I hate trying and failing to express myself this way. Sorry.

And Rusty - it might be better to give me a chance to respond prior to adding comment....I don't quite see why your added attack was necessary.
posted by RobertLoch at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2002


Robert your comments sounded so overly sarcastic "mat, god you must have lost out massive on this deal..." I don't see how I could take them any other way.

Perhaps phrasing it as something supportive like "It sounds like you put a lot of thought into it, was the time and effort taken worth the money they were paying?" and I wouldn't have interpretted it as sarcastic remark. I'm sorry for calling you a jackass if you weren't being sarcastic.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:59 AM on February 23, 2002


Fair enough. I thought that 'in terms of cash raised to time spent making the decision' gave the required clarity. I personally don't see where sarcasm can be found in those words. But as said, I'm crap with the written word.

To be honest I hate writing - even after throwing myself in the deep end writing columns, I'm still not even close to getting my writing powers up to my verbal. The advent of the internet has certainly be difficult for those of us who are literately challenged.

I remember a guy at uni. He was really shy and I never felt that I'd quite got the full experience of him. After I left I kept in touch by e-mail. Suddenly there was a whole role reversal, he was communicating with huge confidence, and I was the introverted one. After years of confidently communicating, suddenly anytime I wrote an email I felt really insecure. It was an enlightening experience, one that reminded me that it is best to hold off judgement on people as long as is possible, and to really try to make them feel secure in communicating with you.

One of the great things about MetaFilter is that it gives you a daily opportunity to practice, and refine your writing expression. For that, I'm very thankful.


posted by RobertLoch at 12:43 PM on February 23, 2002


I cannot even begin to find most of the women pictured on that site attractive. Many have done terribly ugly things to their hair, to their faces, to their bodies, and some of them weren't that attractive to begin with, so I have to wonder what made them think they should take a job modeling for a porn site. In fact, it seems the less attractive they were originally, the more they've done to make themselves look even worse. I guess the theory is that if you're not all that attractive, you might as well go all the way rather than staying in the middle of the road. But people finding this sexy boggles me. WTF'ingF?

De gustibus non disputandum, obviously. I mean, I can't fault people for their tastes, but do I even belong to the same species as someone who'd pay for that? If 65% of site members are women, perhaps not.

Maybe I shouldn't talk. I'm not all that sexy myself. On the other hand, I don't pose for a porn site. (You may thank the God of your choosing at your leisure.)
posted by kindall at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2002


Jackass.

This is exactly the sort of reason why I stopped instant messaging. I was once having quite a light conversation with a friend over Yahoo and happened to phrase something badly -- he took it the wrong way and we spent the next two hours bitching and sniping at each other in text which got neither of us anywhere. Eventually my friend realised I wasn't being sarcastic at all, was trying to offer some helpful advice and I started using Trillian.

But people finding this sexy boggles me.

My eyes! My eyes!
posted by feelinglistless at 1:28 PM on February 23, 2002


Anyone who enojyed this site will also like Supercult, which has loads of naked indie rockers.
posted by skwm at 1:40 PM on February 23, 2002


I cannot even begin to find most of the women pictured on that site attractive.

Really? I dunno, maybe it's because I've always been attracted to geek girls, but I prefer girls like this over anything on baywatch. To me, they look real, like real girls I knew in college, and I like the playful "you feeling lucky, punk?" attitude expressed on the site and in the photos.

Not to completely derail this to a battle of personal tastes (too late), I'll take anything at this site over soft-focus silicone any day of the week.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:40 PM on February 23, 2002


I cannot even begin to find most of the women pictured on that site attractive.

Kindall: Beauty is 100% subjective. I fail to see what is unattractive about the picture you linked. Of course, this conversation about what I find attractive and what you find attractive and what everyone else finds the same could go on all night and we still wouldn't reach a conclusion. Beauty is always based on your own experience and truly is in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are socially bred forms of beauty, but not all of us find them to be a picture of perfection. (I'm not saying that I find Sports Illustrated models ugly, just very plain and wholly uninteresting in a world where the media is chock full of supermodels).
posted by eyeballkid at 1:41 PM on February 23, 2002


i am reminded of spook, from rcade's cruel.com site. it was hard to forget spook, really.
posted by moz at 1:43 PM on February 23, 2002


No kidding. Her hourglass figure gives me the creeps.
posted by rcade at 1:48 PM on February 23, 2002


God rcade, remember that women - I think you described her as 'miss specific' or something. The one that defined the exact process that you had to go through to get a date with her. That was a scary realisation, finding out that someone like her existed.

Kindall - It is good to hear that you limit yourself to the 'obvious' it leaves the more expressive girls to those of us that appreciate them.


posted by RobertLoch at 2:26 PM on February 23, 2002


jeebus! why have you forsaken me?!

daddy, the girl with the hourglass body scares me... make her go away.
posted by boogah at 2:30 PM on February 23, 2002


wow, that (spook) was really creepy.

subjectivity of beauty is really interesting, as there are certain things we do seem to agree on (basic symmetry etc) but other things which we just can't explain to one another. Personally, I can't see how anyone would prefer regular porn stars to those suicide girls. But hey.
posted by mdn at 2:30 PM on February 23, 2002


well, mdn, you've got that same kind of intelligent alterna-chick thing going yourself. which is a very good thing.
posted by bingo at 3:13 PM on February 23, 2002


kindall-the chick you linked to was indeed mite scary. This little honey one the other hand, is positively dreamy not to mention she looks like the type of girl who might actually talk to me, as opposed to some Britney wannabe. See, Matt knows what i'm talkin' about...
posted by jonmc at 3:22 PM on February 23, 2002


Talk to you, nurse you, whatever.
posted by dong_resin at 3:38 PM on February 23, 2002


Yeah, I know beauty is subjective. And I'm sure some of these girls have great personalities and/or are very smart, which for me counts well over half for attractiveness, but none of that comes through in pictures, of course.

jon: I agree that she's probably the most attractive of the bunch. She also appears to have the largest breasts. I wonder if that's a coincidence. I know it's hard to drag your eyes away from her chest, but check out that hairstyle, it's doing nothing for her.

"Spook" is spooky. She is going to have some serious health problems later in life, I bet.
posted by kindall at 3:46 PM on February 23, 2002


kindall- I've seen this girl before on newsgroups and such. I think her braids are cute myself. But you're right, beauty is subjective, several women told me they dug my 7 inch ponytail and goatee back in my grunge days, not to mention my acne scars. So who knows?
posted by jonmc at 3:52 PM on February 23, 2002


Well, first of all, she's really not a girl. She's an adult, otherwise she wouldn't be on that site. She just looks like a girl, in large part because of her hair. Like she's trying to look like she's thirteen, even while the rest of her body betrays her true nature. I find that a little, well, creepy's not the right word. Just wrong in some small way. Off-kilter. I mean there's porn where there woman dresses up as a schoolgirl, which is kind of twisted, but that's just fantasy; presumably this woman goes around looking like that in real life.

"But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."
posted by kindall at 4:10 PM on February 23, 2002


Ehh. I don't think she's playing the jailbait angle, honstley. It's the tattoos and the sly, knowing "check me out" look she wears in other pictures(sans pigtails and avecBetty Page bangs that pushes her past "attractive" and into dreamboat territory.
posted by jonmc at 4:33 PM on February 23, 2002


kindall you sound like a freaking cap alert or something - it might be "just your opinion", but when you're so out of touch with the subject at hand it's hard to emphasize with your pov (disclaimer: a friend of mine is on the site and she is well hot)

you mention the girls personalities not coming through in the shots (not my own experience) - which totally disregards what's going on with the community based aspects of the site...
posted by sawks at 6:00 PM on February 23, 2002


RobertLoch: That was Mary Romantic. We talked about her here, too.
posted by rcade at 8:36 PM on February 23, 2002


FWIW, I tend to agree with kindall on this one. While there's a few on that site that I could find attractive, the majority just don't do it for me. Then again, I'm your stereotypical WASP, so what do I know?
posted by tsumo at 8:44 PM on February 23, 2002


tsumo - sounds like you need to take a walk on the wild side, and you have to listen to me cos my sister used to be a counselor at your college.
posted by jonmc at 8:52 PM on February 23, 2002


FWIW, I tend to agree with kindall on this one.

I mean this in the least insulting way possible, it's worth nothing that you agree with kindall. Such is the nature of beauty and sexual attraction. I don't find men attractive at all, but I don't see a reason to publicly state that men are not attractive, because to most women and many men, they are. I find that most of the sample pictures on the site do fall into my idea of beauty. Of course, that is worth nothing to anyone else but myself either.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:53 PM on February 23, 2002


All girls are yucky.
posted by evanizer at 8:57 PM on February 23, 2002


ah, evan, it's all the same in the dark as they say...
posted by jonmc at 8:59 PM on February 23, 2002


Evanizer, are you gay or something? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:59 PM on February 23, 2002


I find that most of the sample pictures on the site do fall into my idea of beauty. Of course, that is worth nothing to anyone else but myself either.

eyeballkid, that was my point, too. When it comes to this topic, none of our opinions matter. While I may share certain ideas of beauty with kindall, I wasn't disputing your vision of beauty. I guess I didn't make that clear the first time.
posted by tsumo at 9:12 PM on February 23, 2002


agreed to, naturally, disagree, then? ;)
posted by eyeballkid at 9:19 PM on February 23, 2002


when you're so out of touch with the subject at hand it's hard to emphasize with your pov

After reading how posts talking about these women as meeting their ideals of beauty, I didn't expect many people to empathize with my POV. I was just hoping to understand people a little better.
posted by kindall at 9:55 PM on February 23, 2002


I like nekked girlz.
posted by geoff. at 10:15 PM on February 23, 2002


And Rusty - it might be better to give me a chance to respond prior to adding comment....I don't quite see why your added attack was necessary.

Sorry Robert. The comments read to me the same way they read to Matt, as snide and very undeservedly nasty. Mixup realized, apologies all around, hope there's no harm done, and I owe you a beer. :-)

Mainly I posted it because Matt's been sounding rather... tense lately. I was just trying to be supportive.
posted by rusty at 11:48 PM on February 23, 2002


All right, I'm going to go ahead and play the bad guy here, not as a troll, but because I really mean it. I do not think that beauty is subjective. Taste is subjective, but there's a difference. I recognize that, say, Julia Roberts is attractive, but she is not my type. My type is more like the girls on the site in question. We all have our individual quirks and issues that attract us to particular people; otherwise we would all just go for the first generally attractive person we saw in a room, all the time. If beauty was really as subjective as various comments above suggest, then it must be some kind of amazing coincidence that girls like Jeri Ryan and Rachael Leigh Cook just happen to fall high on the completely subjective personal attractiveness scales of a lot more people than say, the mother in Throw Momma From the Train.

The facts that we each have our own preferences, that not everyone cares that much about being with a physically attractive partner, that there is a massive marketing mechanism that seeks to direct our taste in a particular direction, do not mean that some things (and people) are just plain beautiful, and some things (and people) are just plain ugly.
posted by bingo at 12:57 AM on February 24, 2002


bingo: I think some types of beauty are subjective. For instance, as a black guy I tend to have a real problem with the black models that tend to succeed or get exposure - and get the impression (right or wrong) that they're being picked against some other standard of beauty. For instance, I see Roshumba all the time (Sports Illustrated) but I don't find her thaaaat attractive. Garcelle Beauvis, Traci Bingham, or Michael Michelle score way higher with me. Probably just too much Baywatch.

Anyways, until I hear otherwise I will be looking for this woman and her legs.
posted by owillis at 1:48 AM on February 24, 2002


No problem Rusty. In fact I used to often ask myself the same thing - "who the hell is Robert Loch," but never came up with a decent answer. Perhaps - work in progress - would be the best way put it. Btw I'll hold you to that beer - give us a shout when you are next in London.






posted by RobertLoch at 6:30 AM on February 24, 2002


RobertLoch: I'd buy you a drink too if you promised to hit that 'delete' button to suck up the extra space before you post your comments. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:12 AM on February 24, 2002


MiguelCardoso that is an easy promise to make - although my level of concentration will probably find me wanting. I'll will try my hardest though.
posted by RobertLoch at 7:56 AM on February 24, 2002


bingo: Agreed, to a certain extent. There are no even highly plump women on the site. (Also, I remember reading an Ani DeFranco interview in which she stated that she started sporting her current look in order to not come off as a sexual object. She grew weary of being forced to be sexy, etc. So, now it's OK to look at people dressed the same way as sexual objects? Or is it still sufficiently different? Is it a more natural sexiness? Less WASP-o-centric? More individualistic? Maybe not, since the women listen to the same sort of music, for the most part, with the exception of a Nina Simone here and there. In any case, the look is still a production, no matter what you think of it. It's just alterna. Not everyone was way alterna on the site, but plenty are.)

In any case, if I remember correctly, the mother in "Throw Momma from the Train" was also very mean, a nasty person to be around. You're remembering her as ugly not just because of her looks. Not that we'd all be looking at nude grannies on here very soon, but aesthetics don't make for attraction or lack thereof alone.

posted by raysmj at 11:00 AM on February 24, 2002


disclaimer: Or at least they don't totally matter to anyone worth knowing.
posted by raysmj at 11:01 AM on February 24, 2002


Oh, and it's DiFranco. Always screw that up.
posted by raysmj at 2:19 PM on February 24, 2002


raysmj: Okay, we can say that aesthetics don't matter to everyone, but they're still there, right? The mother in Throw Momma is a physically ugly person, right? Sure, if she was more likeable, we might have been able to look past her ugliness, but the ugliness would still be there, and we would know it.

Incidentally, I heard a recent interview on the radio with Ani DiFranco in which she was coyly asking the male interviewer if her skirt was too short.
posted by bingo at 2:49 PM on February 24, 2002


Yes, I think it was, with her, probably more of a matter of who was hitting on her and how, and whether she was in any control of the situation, ir whether her outfits could give one the idea that she is or isn't in any control. Which of these is more important - the who or the how or he whether- is hard to say. But no one wants to feel unattractive, and almost any look can be sexualized, after a time, even ones designed to scare off certain people.

By the way, look who's next to "Momma" Anne Ramsey on this tribute to character actor's page. He's not exactly handsome, but he had a good run. About as good looking as this guy. But his butt is more famous than any of the butts on the suicidegirls site combined and squared, eighteen times over.
posted by raysmj at 3:35 PM on February 24, 2002


I signed up with suicide girls, and I'm here to tell you that the content is so tasteful, and even, I daresay, chaste, that calling it porn is quite a stretch. I've seen rated R movies that were a lot racier. Mostly, it's a bunch of still photos of naked tattooed girls, standing there and smiling at the camera. There aren't that many moving images, and the few that I've seen so far are more documentaries about the girls' personalities than they are sex movies. In fact, there doesn't seem to be any sex, really; so far as I've seen, just a few images of girl-on-girl kisses and caresses. No guys. Not even any mastrubating, it seems. Unless you find nudity itself dirty, it's a very clean site, and once you get past the front page it quickly becomes clear that it's really aimed much more at women than men anyway.

I just wanted to let you all know what it is that we were arguing about.
posted by bingo at 10:44 PM on February 24, 2002


Wow.
Think you'll be able to get your money back, bingo?
posted by dong_resin at 1:30 AM on February 25, 2002


bingo - a sale! See advertising on MetaFilter works. Suicide Girls (obvious I'll accept my share of responsibility, although someone else would have brought this up if I had not me thinks) certainly got their money worth from this ad.

I hope in return that they will be telling their community, and everyone else, what a wonderful place MetaFilter is to advertise on.
posted by RobertLoch at 6:37 AM on February 25, 2002


How much do you think Matt could charge for the text ad plus guaranteed MeTa thread with not more than 20% snarkiness package? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:00 AM on February 25, 2002


LOL. You can not put a price on that, the market reseach value would simply be too high.

posted by RobertLoch at 8:28 AM on February 25, 2002


I have no regrets. It's fascinating, really. In a way, it's a sort of porn that's more about feeling a kind of intimacy with the model than it is about sexual stimulation. Those girls are hardly objectified...if anything, the whole site is designed to make sure you understand that they are people and not just bodies. The model profiles and journals are so obviously not intended to project a male fantasy persona, that they are almost parodies of that page in Playboy where the model supposedly talks about her personal life (damn, I can't believe I forgot the name for that page, I'm getting old).

posted by bingo at 10:47 AM on February 25, 2002


bingo: Does the concept of anti-fantasy as fantasy (at least for a minority audience) make sense to you? Think: Miles Davis turning his back on his audience and people eating it up, or punk bands wearing ratty or shocking clothing or even the early Stones, wearing street clothes rather than matching outfits. The TV show about nothing as the popular TV show, etc. The whole Playboy thing might have lost (actually, I know it has) its fantastical spark with certain audiences because of its manipulativeness and ubiquity in modern American culture. There are other sites out there similar to this, y'know.
posted by raysmj at 11:49 AM on February 25, 2002


raysmj: I'm not sure about your intended tone here. Are you musing generally, or criticizing what I said, or something else...seems I have this kind of difficulty understanding you a lot. We must have some fundamental difference in thought patterns that will someday be revealed more clearly.

I am of course familiar with the idea of deconstructive entertainment, e.g. the blatant violation of whatever the basic tenets of the medium have come to be. However, I don't think that's exactly what's going on in the case of suicidegirls. I don't think their intention is to break the taboos as part of the act, so much as to put on a different kind of act. In terms of your analogies above, I would say it's less like Seinfeld (which I assume is what you mean by the popular TV show about nothing), and more like Wayne's World (not the sketch or the movie, so much as the show-within-the-show, the public access program that Wayne hosts from his mother's basement). Also, more like Wayne's World in that the deconstructive nature of the thing is less deliberate and calculated. Like those Sprite radio commercials from a couple of years ago, where they would have lyrics like "This song is so stupid/We don't know why you would listen to anything we say," as opposed to an (imaginary) ad saying something like: "Sprite. Please drink it." To me, the fact that they wanted to buy textads to begin with supports this idea.
posted by bingo at 12:21 PM on February 25, 2002


yuck.
posted by goneill at 12:27 PM on February 25, 2002


bingo: bingo. And musing critically. I often wonder if there is a latent or hidden demand for this sort of entertainment or culture out there, or if it's just reaction against what's considered typical or forced down your throat. Probably a bit of both, I'd imagine. Anyway, I'm wondering if this site and others similar to it (try, say, the decidedly less alterna meapculpa.com) might be aimed at two types, which may interlink: 1) the people who were never into Playboy type porn to being with and 2) those who can't get off on Playboy anymore because it's aesthetics are too standard and ubiquitous, so much so that their fantastical element has been dulled. They were dulled a long time ago, actually. (Also, the hardcore thing has been pushed the outer limits online. It really has.)

Anyway, you could say: the Sprite ad you write about above is entertaining in a sheepish, we're-not-really-serious sort of way. But a product is still being sold. Similarly, a type of fantasy or vicarious intimate experience is still being sold on the site in question.
posted by raysmj at 1:01 PM on February 25, 2002


I don't think it's exactly a fantasy that's being sold. Looking at that site is more like watching or reading an interview (in fact, most of the movies seem to be primarily made up of interviews on non-sexual subjects). Sure, you are expected to fantasize, but they're not going to help you build the fantasy beyond presenting you with a little bit clearer view of what these girls look, act, and talk like in reality. The fact that they're naked in this context doesn't make them seem more or less accessible than if you met them in a coffee shop. According to the copy, a lot of them are photographed in (or getting out of) their own street clothes. These girls are not stripping for the camera as a coy tease to the unscrubbed masses, nor are they burned-out humiated wretches scrounging for enough cash to buy more cocaine. They are attractive girls who love their own bodies, and if you want to pay to see them take off their clothes from a safe distance, they'll do it because they don't give a shit. I find that interesting.
posted by bingo at 11:25 PM on February 25, 2002


But all that's a part of the attraction, which was my point. It's not as if the owner's are trying to lose money here, anyhow. The site *is* being sold. (A couple of the models, I've noticed, can also been seen elsewhere online, such as at the Portland-based girlsdotcom.com. So it's a living, at least partially, for the models!) The potential audience wouldn't stick around if they did the usual porn schtick. It's not particularly self-conscious in this regard (except for maybe the we-just-found-everyone-around-off-the-street intro bit - I get the feeling that's showbiz), but it's still a commercial site and tailored to a certain audience. It's even advertised too, even if probably through banners and in a understated way on a geek-and-hepsters-heavy community weblog.
posted by raysmj at 7:53 AM on February 26, 2002


True. All I'm saying is that the fact that they're trying to make money doesn't, to me, mean that there isn't another sincere idea behind it. We all have choices about the ways we decide to make money, and I respect the fact that these people chose to do it this way. You can sell your product as the product itself, a representation of something that actually exists, or you can virtually bring into being something that does not actually exist, and sell it as a sort of pathetic dream, with lots of push techology and hidden fees. It makes a big difference to me. After visiting that site, I don't have the same kind of cognitive dissonance I usually feel after looking at online porn. I just feel like some hot girls wanted to show their bodies, and I looked, and there was nothing sordid or controlling about it from either end. So they want $9 per month. I hardly feel exploited.
posted by bingo at 9:02 AM on February 26, 2002


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