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Simulated Sex Sells and Women Are Buying

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | May 11, 2010 |


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The L.A. Times yesterday had a "think piece" of sorts about the state of the soft-core porn industry, reporting that it's thriving, especially in places like Cinemax and Showtime, and that many of the soft-core elements of those cheesy Skinemax offerings have made their way into shows like "True Blood" and "The Tudors." The popularity of these offerings -- "Zane's Sex Chronicles" attracts 1.4 million viewers an episode on Cinemax, comparable to the ratings of "Mad Men" or "Breaking Bad" -- can be attributed, in part, to a female audience who apparently prefer the illusion of a plot line.

Ironically, the proliferation of hard-core porn in recent years seems to have made the softer stuff more appealing -- or at least more palatable -- to a wider audience, particularly among women, according to industry observers. While women who are now in their 20s and 30s have grown up in an era when adult entertainment has become increasingly mainstream and sex tapes helped launch the careers of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, many of them are still uncomfortable watching all-out porn, even if it's in the company of a partner.

That's an interesting observation, and it helps to better explain the popularity of "True Blood," which seems to be more popular among women (anecdotally, at least) who are perhaps looking for a more discrete way to watch sex on TV. I always figured late-night Cinemax to be primarily the domain of teenage boys sneaking into the TV room after their parents have gone to sleep, but apparently, it's just as much the ladies sneaking into the TV room after dark to watch, perhaps, one of the more popular offerings of late, Cleavagefield, the trailer for which I found in researching the After Dark offerings. Doesn't look terribly female-friendly to me, but then again, what do I know about women's fondness for shaky cams and Hooters girls.




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