You probably know by now my distaste for the disconnection between sex and everyday life. One worrying effect of the prevalent cultural approach towards sexuality is to consider anything sex-related as a sort of hidden chapter in our existence, something to be ashamed of and to deny no matter what the obvious truth is. This is extremely dangerous, in too many ways to list: because frustration and duplicity lead to neurosis, of course, but also because denial implies the suspension of good sense – about disease and accident prevention, in example, or about legal responsibilities. Or about business practices.
Case in point: the food delivery service Eat24 recently shocked the “proper” marketing world by advertising on porn websites. Respectable business aren’t supposed to do that… but placing your advertisements on an adult site costs orders of magnitude less than targeting “real” online venues, and ensures several orders of magnitude more views. As a result, Eat24 got a bit of flak from bigots – but saw its revenues skyrocket because, after all, everyone watches porn and they are perfectly good customers.
Talking about the online world, the current big dogs there are clearly the social networking websites. Facebook and its colleagues have billions of users because… Well, because that’s exactly their job: to offer you enough free fun things to do to capture your attention, your involvement and your personal data, then resell them for real money to Very Evil Organizations. Dating sites follow suit.
Since both aim to maximize their audiences, they are of course trying to keep their act clean – sometimes with laughable results – to attract more zombified, narcissistic, undignified, compulsive selfies/feet/meals photographing drones neat and wholesome users. Which is actually a huge limit, because as everybody knows, the only real reason for the success of social networks is their usefulness in finding a ‘Status: single’ somebody near you to hook up with. But no respectable company would ever taint its brand by acknowledging the existence of sex, wouldn’t it? Well, think again.
In the last couple of weeks a number of sex-positive social networks have been announced. Pinsex is simply Pinterest without restrictions on nudity, sex and generally explicit contents (plus a shop to buy sex toys from). The awfully-named NautiNinja is instead a generic social network, sans the bigotry and openly designed for dating – and with premium features.
They are just the latest entries in a series of similar enterprises. Fetlife, in example, is a 2,5 million users strong community for people into BDSM and fetish; Alt.com is another giant dating website for people into similar alternative sexualities; the list could go on. All of these online resources have three things in common: they don’t buy into the absurd denial game when it comes to sex; they can afford to offer premium features because their users are actually interested in them; last but not least they are hugely successful. Can you see now how behaving like grown-ups is good for you and your businesses?