In thinking of the demise of the oldest gay-porn mags, I had a conversation with one of their former editors. It seemed almost too obvious for each of us to point out that print porn has been effed for a while, screwed over first by VHS videos, then rode hard by DVDs and finally put away wet by the Internet.
1 posts from July 2009
But what killed those gay porn mags and what will soon kill off all the rest of them was not only the means of delivery, it was also what was being delivered. Print became antiquated, yes, but the content of what consumers demanded switched from pro to amateur. The most popular kind of porn now is homegrown. Formerly a niche, amateur porn is now ubiquitous on the Internet, which just so happens to be the perfect mode of delivery, allowing for instant receipt, no chance for cold feet, a Wild West outlook toward the law and other rules and—best of all?—the shit is often performed and available for free.
Gay porn is a niche within all porn, but I think the same end is coming for all porn. (For example, Mavety Media, the company that shuttered the gay mags in question, still produces straight porn—but has cut the pay and hours of all their staff.)
I was thinking about all this because I think print porn is the canary in the coalmine for all print media. And much more.
The death of all print media has been predicted before and often. But what's more interesting to me is applying the lessons to other forms and to other types of content.
For example, I think if you look at the popularity of amateur porn, there is a direct parallel between that and the surge in reality stars that we've seen on TV in recent years. This leads me to think there seems to be a drive—in all pop culture—toward amateurs. In the past, while it was fun for the public to know that the Lana Turners of the world had begun life as the Julia Jean Mildred Francis Turners who'd grown up next door, it was even more satisfying or comforting to look up to those stars, to feel intimidated by their fantastic glamour. Nowadays, I think we have passed the point of no return on stardom—it seems like the public is more excited to do away with the middle men who used to create stars, instead preferring amateurs who haven't been taught how to speak and how to give interviews by a select group of people whose own tastes may be influencing the variety of stars we have to choose from.
In short, reality TV is amateur porn with more clothes.