Surrogate Pornography

UNDER THE SHEETS
Friday, December 20, 2013
SURROGATE PORNOGRAPHY
The cyber womb that drives technology adoption
Surrogate Pornography
Surrogate Pornography

Every time Patchen Barss walks through an electronics shop, a feeling of uneasiness follows him from aisle to aisle. The Canadian journalist who has written about science, technology, and culture for almost 20 years reckons how about 80 percent of modern consumer electronics owe a debt to the pornographic world. In his bestseller, “The Erotic Engine,” Barss describes how pornography has powered mass communication from Gutenberg to Google, and why it is sometimes impossible to relate between the sexist, exploitative, and predatory nature of pornography on the one hand, and its accelerating effect on technological advances on the other. Thus, to avoid accepting the origin of the latest communication gadgets, we scrub the dirty open secret from history... but it is too late to stop now...because the truth has already hooked you.  

 

Pornography or the reward that kept the progress going

 

Printing Press: Because of the perpetual demand for high-quality sexual depictions, the press had to grow. The experts trace its early stages back to the traditional Japanese woodblock prints, Hindu temple carvings, 40,000-year-old cave drawings, 6,000-year-old Mesopotamian reliefs, and the Gutenberg Press.

 

Motion Pictures: While 3-D technology is still in its infancy in mainstream media, the porn industry has already fathered the $4 million, 3-D Hong Kong-based movie "3D Zen and Sex," and released it in 2010. As we speak, the industry is working to advance this technology for at-home usage.

 

World Wide Web: While the military created it, the Internet would not have found a solid consumer base without the porn industry finding enough early consumers to keep the software around; it also established streaming video and online credit card transactions, paving the way for YouTube and eBay.

 

Second Life: Websites that require memberships, encryption coding, and speedier file-sharing technology, have their roots in the adult industry that ensures privacy, convenience, and anonymity. Moreover, much of the success of social media networking outlets is attributed to their private chat rooms.

 

New Age Erotica: It all started when people realized they could connect in ways they never did before. They meet online, fall in love, and exchange erotic/pornographic messages/signals. A porn company about to delve into video gaming is now working on a dating game where partners can have ‘virtual sex.’

 

The most notable technologies we owe to pornography

 

Bandwidth: The push to move from pornographic text... to images... to video created a voracious demand for higher speeds, faster connections, and more secure interfaces. The need to perfect both usability and utility has built the efficient infrastructure that allowed the Internet, as we know it, to exist and evolve.

 

E-commerce: Porn was the first product to make money on the web. In the process, it served as a model for a number of online sales mechanisms (monthly site fees, early purchases, promotional discounts…) while up-selling auxiliary services and providing a safe milieu with the aid of credit card verification sites.

 

Haptic Technologies: The purpose here is to add an extra sense to a porn viewing experience. Once this technology became fast, familiar, and easy to use, the diaper maker Huggies came out with a “pregnancy belt” that allowed an expecting father to experience the feeling of the baby kicking in the mother's womb.

 

Home Video Market: Classics like the VCR, HD DVD, Ultra HD Video, Blue Ray, pay-per-view…. It is the clash ‘Betamax vs. VHS’ that shows how influential the porn industry is; Betamax was a better tool, but it was more expensive. So porn went with VHS and the latter became the dominant standard for 20 years.

 

Mobile Apps: Days after the release of the iPad, a porn company announced creating a cloud computing technology that enables users to store salacious content by skipping Apple’s restrictions. ‘Snapchat,’ an app that self-destructs images seconds after sending them, became a hit due to its heavy use in sexting.

 

The shift from pornographic to non-pornographic businesses is a natural occurrence in the realm of adult entertainment. Its investors have the deep pockets that allow them to buy the weirdest and latest high-tech applications, the insatiable hunger that drives them to sexualize a design when it is in its rough state, and the heartlessness that consoles them when they sell it once the ripened innovation becomes ready to go public.

 

"In the adult business, many times the traditional venues are not available to us, so we have to be innovative to get our content to the consumer,” explains Ilan Bunimovitz, CEO of Private Media Group. There is a cutthroat competition in today’s market, especially with the rise of increasingly popular social networking websites that focus on the community itself by giving it the chance to publish its private compilations, express its opinions in a forum, chat with a model….

 

“There will always be new forms of communication that are as unfamiliar as the Internet once was.”(Barss)

 

“Some of them will flop and some of them will be big, but there's always something in the works.”(Bunimovitz)

 

Now, I leave you with the thrill I feel when I think that the future of surrogate pornography will be one hell of a show!