New site hopes to be Kickstarter for porn

What does the launch of yet another adult crowdsourcing site mean for the porn industry?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published July 3, 2013 12:00AM (EDT)

Misogynist pickup artists aren't the only ones unwelcome on Kickstarter -- the crowd-funding website has long banned pornographic projects of all stripes. But a new website, Fan Fund XXX, which launched today, is more than happy to pick up its slack.

CEO Peter Housley told me in an email that the service is in part a response to the difficulty of getting funding for X-rated projects. "Banks, venture capital and even angel investors tend to shy away from adult entertainment for multiple reasons," he says. "Crowd funding in any form, mainstream or adult, allows creativity and ingenuity to flow -- it offers a place where fans of a concept or idea can choose to make it a reality [rather] than leaving decisions to starched white shirts pushing pencils and tapping calculators scrutinizing a pro-forma built by some accountant."

Fan Fund is hardly the first to exploit Kickstarter's prudery. Offbeatr and GoGoFantasy have already beat them to the punch.

Many of the projects on GoGoFantasy are best described as charity porn. One description pleads, "Help me hire cute, petite, everyday girl to make a porno with me!" Another reads, "25 year old really hoping to make his own video with tons of bitches like the pros." They've raised $100 and $310, respectively. A self-described 42-year-old virgin managed to raise $1,720 to lose his virginity -- presumably by paying a woman to have sex with him. A particularly amusing project by the name of "Spank and a Wank" explains its mission like so, "We are 2 dudes that want to masturbate while we wait and sit in a hotel room filming it." In exchange for donating $5 they promise "a 1 page story of the day" including details about not only how many times they masturbated, but also descriptions of "what the carpet looked like afterwards." They've raised an impressive $725.

Offbeatr is is less lowbrow, but not exactly highbrow -- let's call it nerd-brow. Proposals include one for a video game by the name of "Pocket Pussies," which has raised more than $18,000. Another proposed game description reads, "You're lost. Far from home, owing a certain someone a great deal of money for the cargo you carelessly lost, and without a penny to your name. Clearly, there's only one thing to do -- start a brothel!" There are projects for furries, including one for "cat girl porn," kinksters and even lovers of Mormon missionaries.

The question is what these X-rated crowdsourcing services will mean for the mainstream porn industry. These sites have the potential to empower amateur porn performers to create higher-quality material; it's yet one more step in the direction of democratizing porn production, which isn't exactly in the best interest of major adult studios. (Maybe someday soon we'll see Vivid Entertainment pulling a Zach Braff  and trying to crowd-raise funds for a sequel to the "Teen Mom" porno.) Housley points out that fan-funding "has been tremendously successful for the music industry which suffers from similar issues." But he ultimately seems more concerned with the impact crowdsourcing will have on consumers: Illegal downloads and tube sites may hurt pornographers' bottom line, but he says it also fundamentally impacts their ability "to develop programming that consumers want to view." I can only hope that the latest project added to Fan Fund isn't representative of what the porn consumers want: an X-rated parody of "Saw II."

Tracy Clark-Flory

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