• You didn't think it was going
    to be that easy, did you?
  • Orange before it was cool
  • All I'm offering
    is the truth
  • I need your clothes, your
    boots and your motorcycle
  • Suddenly it's not decades
    away - it's right now
  • “Life,” said Marvin dolefully, “loathe
    it or ignore it, you can’t like it.”
  • Madness, and then illumination
  • Resistance is futile
  • Let the Hunger Games begin
  • I am your father
  • Aren’t you a little short
    for a stormtrooper?
  • Into the garbage chute, flyboy!
  • I’ve got a very bad
    feeling about this
  • I find your lack of faith disturbing
  • Watch your future’s end
  • Clearly, fame isn’t everything,
    is it, Mr. Potter?
  • Ask why.
  • Fair and balanced
  • I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS
  • Here it is, your
    moment of Zen
  • Tell me what you don't
    like about yourself
  • You won't like us
    when we're angry
  • You're fired
  • Where's the beef?
  • SIGN MY BOOBS
  • More than just
    a princess
  • We've got to risk implosion
  • A fire-eater must eat fire
  • I want to see gamma rays!
  • Hey doll, is this guy
    boring you?
  • We need not to
    be let alone
  • Yada, yada, yada
Report

In search of perfect porn

Tumblr, long the king of porn, has been overthrown. A new generation of porn sites has arrived, including Pinsex – the ‘Pinterest for porn’.

pinsex - use

In July 2013, David Karp posted on the Tumblr staff blog with a message updating users on the spam and NSFW filters on the new, Yahoo-owned, site. The third bullet reads:

“In an effort to discourage some not-so-nice people from using Tumblr as free hosting for spammy commercial porn sites, we started delisting this tiny subset of blogs from search engines like Google. […] If your blog contains anything too sexy for the average workplace, simply check “Flag this blog as NSFW” so people in Safe Mode can avoid it. Your blog will still be promoted in third-party search engines.”

What this means is: Tumblr can still be reached from the outside web for porn – if you type in “tumblr gay” into google, well, just look what comes up first – but inside, Tumblr porn-scouring is a much harder business.

Which is weird. Because porn is very very good business. An official stat might be hard to come by; it’s probably locked securely in an armed vault at Yahoo HQ by now, but according to an analysis from web measurement firm SimilarGroup, 16.45 percent of Tumblr traffic is porn. Internet-wide, 25 percent search engine requests are porn-related, 35 percent of downloads are porn.

All things considered, Tumblr probably received, maybe still receives, not insignificant traffic thanks to its pornography.

Then along came Yahoo.

Fresh meat

The reason Tumblr was so good at porn was because it had two metrics per post (like most other social networks): “do you like it?” and “will you share it?” Plus, Tumblr lets blogs pick a template for how they’ll look – a blog dedicated to porn could pick a gallery template (less available on WordPress), making it look very similar to a professional porn site. In fact, usually better: most porn sites go for a grungy, dirty look. It just seems a little self-conscious.

So Tumblr passes out of the limelight as a easy way to find good porn. That, of course, just opens up the possibility that someone could come along who combines porn with a social media UI (User Interface, the site’s appearance and logistics). We think we’ve found just that: pinsex.com, or: the “porn social network”,  a free social platform for curating and sharing porn.

It is more or less exactly like a “Pinterest for Porn”, complete with repins and little hearts to represent likes. That’s pretty much it for the UI: you open up the webpage and it is just a deluge of pictures, mesmerising gifs and videos. There’s also a shop, in case you feel inspired to try something at home. You can also comment on a video and upload your own; these aren’t features totally alien to porn users, however.

Pinsex, the Pinterest for porn.

Pinsex, the Pinterest for porn.

Porn can be a tricky business. More than a year ago there was ‘Snatchly’, which donned the “Pinterest for porn” nickname, but it seems to have gone bust since then. New porn sites are in a difficult position. Non-pornographic advertisers typically hate porn and won’t go to a site which has it or posts its adverts: which would effectively making the site NSFW.

This is the justification given behind the Tumblr crackdown. It means porn sites can either advertise through other porn sites or get media coverage (rare). That bottleneck probably makes it very expensive if you want to get known through ads.

The other option is to act as a mirror for bigger porn sites. Which is fine, I guess, to get some more traffic. But after someone’s fun’s been had, a person is unlikely to stick around on-site, perusing videos they now have no use for. Unless they have a particular reason to – say, they’re writing an article about the website.

So actually, while Porn might be big-business, it probably belongs now chiefly to the oligarchs of pornography – your Pornhubs, your xTubes – than for some aspirant. But Pinsex is different: it might even stand a chance.

Porn: the hobby

Most porn sites that are currently popular follow a YouTube-style interface: videos, likes, views, comments. This is probably based on the assumption that people go to porn sites to fap, not faff. But actually typically guys, depending on how much they consume, will pursue a minor hobby in porn curation: picking amongst videos and saving the urls in surreptitious folders (mine’s called “wank bank” – because what do I have to lose, now, really?).

Pornhub knows. They’ve got a playlist function – similar to YouTube – which drives huge traffic: typically 300, 000 – 600,000 views, often 1 million and above. But that is very much a secondary feature of the website. Pinsex is selling itself on its social aspect.

So curation could prove big, allowing guys to share with other guys the things that turn them on. The only foreseeable difficulty would be that they don’t feel able to share: that it seems a little “pervy” to care that much about porn videos (although people clearly do, given the rapture porn stores are treated with).

This seems unlikely, given that porn on Tumblr took off and would have taken off on Pinterest had it not been an outright ban of NSFW content. It still sneaks through, though.

Having said that, Tumblr had one advantage Pinsex hasn’t recreated yet: channels. Pinsex does have users who share content, but Tumblr, like Youtube, allows its users to create mini-websites. For porn, this is excellent. It’s like thousands and thousands of highly specialised porn destinations. Right now, user profiles feel more like playlists.

To be fair to the site: it’s about a year old and will have some kinks to work out. It has a sister (brother?) site: Pingay, for men seeking men, which, oddly, brands itself very differently from Pinsex – so you’d be forgiven for thinking they were two different companies.

Anyway. Pinsex might actually be on to something. With Tumblr’s porn haven currently in difficulty, a situation which is only likely to get worse, porn purveyors will be looking for a new network to curate and share their porn. Pinsex: it’s not pretty, it’s not perfect; but it gets you off.

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