Relationships are the New Sex

The Canada Business magazine headlined a couple weeks ago with the words “SEX ISN’T SELLING: How the web killed the oldest truism in the business.”

It’s funny, actually, because the subtitle saved it from me writing it off completely. Otherwise I would have snorted at a business magazine being this late in reporting the obvious and moved on.

Of course, I love it when something is reported as being “dead”.  I just imagine sex lounging in a rumpled bed somewhere, smoking a cigarette, murmuring, “Darling, rumors of my death have been GREATLY exaggerated.” Like, as if.

Sadly, the article focuses mostly on the porn business, which I think is a lost opportunity, but perhaps the author thought he was cutting a bit too close to the bone as it was. I mean, my god. Marketing sex won’t work any more? THE SKY IS FALLING. WhatEVER shall we do?

Apparently, there is an old saying (on the internet. I think this was meant to be funny) that if you had to pay for porn, you failed the internet. har har har. But still true. Innovative techniques the porn industry is using to recatchure its market share:

Specialization and niche marketing: servicing all kinks, all the time

Building Scalable relationships: selling subscriptions to live feeds or one on one live chats

Convenience: there’s talk of creating an iTunes for porn, making it so easy to find what you want! Plus—customized recommendations just for you!

Notice anything? These are techniques that build relationships with consumers on a much more … personal basis. (You have no idea how much I wish I could program a breathy Pam Anderson purr into that sentence). In fact, you might have first noticed this type of micro-specialization as the era of the bloggers occurred.

Sure, you could get your porn off of any of a thousand free sites. But if you found a paid site that serviced your water-play, rubberfetish, s/m kink with freckled boyish redheads right out of your favorite fantasy — well, you’d probably pay for that pleasure. Maybe even tell your kinky friends. Meanwhile, the pornographer is keeping careful notes of what customers actually purchase, and if anything, gets BETTER at filling their needs.

That, my friend, is a committed relationship. It’s no longer about the slap and tickle.


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