Increase in Gay Porn

Porn Studies

Tampa Tribune, 11/12/06 - Gay pornography is the fastest-growing segment of adult entertainment and has never been more available to its customers, executives in the industry say.

"This is big-time stuff now," said Paul Allen, publisher of NightMoves, a Tampa-based adult magazine.

"Gay material is not in the backroom anymore. Every single [adult] video store has it, every [adult] Web site, there's no stopping it."

Ralph Mervine, executive director of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority, resigned Wednesday after reporters asked him about documents listing him as the owner of a California-based gay porn video company.

Mervine's name appeared on business documents dating to 1999 filed with the San Diego County Recorder. He is listed as owner of Coast Productions, which operates at least two porn Web sites and offers DVDs for sale.

Coast Productions does not appear to be a major player in the adult industry. The largest corporations are as familiar in the adult industry as brands such as Coke and Pepsi are in the beverage market.

The movie production name "Coast Productions" does not appear in the 2006 Adult Video News industry directory. Nor do any of its titles appear on the top 100 best-selling gay adult entertainment titles last month, Allen said.

Dan Miller, editor in chief of AVN.com -- the Internet version of Adult Video News -- said AVN has never heard of Coast Productions.

Considering the material in the company's videos, which feature teens ages 18 to 21, Miller believes Coast is a "shoestring budget operation."

The adult entertainment industry probably generates several billion dollars a year in revenue, Miller said, when statistics include everything from video on demand at hotels and Web sites.

Major titles can cost $100,000 or more to produce. A shoestring production, however, can cost $5,000 to $12,000.

Depending on the sex acts and number of people involved, performers may earn only $500 each.

The young male genre, as Coast appears to specialize in producing, is a very small segment of the market, Miller said.

"Those are often entry-level performers, probably getting the minimum," he said.

Five or 10 years ago, gay-themed adult material was relatively difficult for consumers to find and relatively unusual for companies to produce, Allen said.

But that has changed.

The Internet has enabled hundreds of companies to enter the market, and broadband connections at home give consumers easy access to material.

Popular culture has made being gay more acceptable. The adult entertainment industry has followed suit.

"Dare I say it, gay porn is mainstream now," Allen said.

In just the past few years, major adult film producers, such as VCA Pictures, have started divisions to produce gay-themed adult entertainment films.

Adult Video News magazine, which sponsors several adult entertainment business conventions, has started trade shows specifically for the gay-themed market -- to bring together producers, distributors, reviewers and aficionados.

At the same time, barriers to entering the industry have never been lower.

Inexpensive digital cameras, video editing software and broadband Internet access allow virtually anyone to become an amateur video producer and online distributor.

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