The Fun, The Bad And The Scary In Mobile Porn

"The Sexy Porn Star Name Generator? What the hell is this doing on the phone?" Oops. Perhaps I should have erased all of those adult-content apps I downloaded to the Droid the other day before passing it off to my fiancée. I was hoping to have her test some new person-to-person apps with me, but her first text message from the field got us side-tracked. SMS is a tough medium for rationalizing. Consider this post evidence in my defense. See, honey, I really was researching porn apps for a column.

Android is where you have to go for app-based porn, of course, and among the pornsters in that marketplace it has become a mark of pride. One app, simply called "Sorry Steve," is just an open letter to Jobs about the restrictive content policies in the App Store. It even takes a jab at Jobs' anti-Flash fetish: "Please stop focusing that much in Android and start worrying more about your Safari: people are using it to laugh at you while watching naked women all day long. Good luck with your tyranny."

I am not sure whether the writer of this app was just not a native English speaker or, ya know, 12 years old. But I actually like the idea that an app can be a one-page illiterate rant now.

The notion of watching porn on a three-to-five-inch screen still strikes me as pathetic. How desperate for a peek of skin do you have to be? And to get there you have to paw through so much crap and false starts. Just like the porn wave on the Web in its first five years, most of these apps come off as scams, teases, and come-ons to draw ridiculously high monthly subscription rates out of you. There are loads of app/portals that bring you into the porn mobile Web, which is filled with all the usual $10-a-month fetish sites found on the general Web.

The apps follow suit.  "High Class Sexy Dancing Girls" anyone? "MyBooty Unlimited" (20,000 butt shots). There are the porn-star apps. Many of these starlets are really just using the branded app model -- free wallpapers of the non-naked girl in provocative outfits like a leather nurse uniform (new to me... honest to God, honey). Porn starletry is all about brand building and getting yourself top of mind -- just as with credit cards.

Ultimately, the laws of mobile still apply even to porn: Be of use, provide value, leverage the medium and the use case. To wit: the only porn worth playing with on a phone seems to be the weird and the wacky stuff. At its best, porn on Android can be like the adult joke section at Spencer's Gifts. There is a Paris Hilton sex tape sound board with audio clips from the celeb's career-making sex tape. There is a "Woody Measurements" app that is a very task-specific version of the smartphone measuring tape -- but with special audio, of course.

What is interesting about the adult apps in the Market is that the successful ones follow all the same principles that make for a good mainstream app. The Sexy Porn Star Name Generator is a party toy. Tap in your gender and you will not only get a name like ShoGun Buck, but also a small profile, including the number of films you made and adult video awards you received. By the way, this app is ad-supported by AdMob with banners clicking to Match.com's app. These apps are using the ad network economy.

Leveraging the unique technology of the mobile phone, Dildroid has you stretch the familiar Android logo to increase the pace of the phone's vibration. Now that is called mapping an app against mobile technology. To hell with GPS. It is the vibration technology that is being underused. 

But there are even some polished mobile utility apps here. Tera Patrick's Fit4Sex app is a video-powered sexual exercise app. Tera demonstrates exercises and ties them to sexual positions, in a video with strong production qualities throughout. Adult content on Android might get a better name for itself if more publishers followed Tera's lead. Mobile media is mobile media, regardless the category. Utility, usability, or entertainment quality are all applicable, even in porn.

"Ooh, look, 'The Forbidden Swing'?" My fiancée has discovered one of Tera's moves. Suddenly, she's interested. "Maybe I should look at this."

"I am not sure that is legal in Delaware."

"But this app seems helpful. Let me see that."

Doomed, I say. If you don't see me back here next Tuesday, someone send in the medics.

Tags: mobile
Recommend (1)
4 comments about "The Fun, The Bad And The Scary In Mobile Porn ".
  1. Andre Szykier from maps capital management , November 11, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.

    Excellent article, tongue in cheek (no pun intended). Porn has always pioneered the latest media delivery techniques, alternate payment methods, categorization of content, live engagements with at home content providers and optimization of video content including Flash along with pre and post roll video advertising.
    Porn's migration to mobile apps along with location based services and ads sets the tone for non-salacious mobile usage.

    The Dildoid app shows how porn providers are leveraging the functionality of the physical mobile platform. Kudos. As mobile users start to provide just in time self generated content, it can only drive the feature requirements of the next generation 3G/4G smart phones.

    Couple this with online gaming and gambling, along with multi-user engagements (Plenty of Fish social dating site would love this) we have a fertile ground for revenue generation. Would love to see the telecom carriers salivate over the revenue sharing potential. Online ads? Who needs them...

  2. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing , November 11, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.

    I see you are getting the choice assignments steve! Awesome! LOL

  3. Hart Weichselbaum from the planning practice , November 11, 2010 at 4:51 p.m.

    One of your best.

  4. Greg Alvarez from iMeil , November 11, 2010 at 4:56 p.m.

    Porn is not just video on a phone. There are a lot of varieties in this "industry". Seana Mulcahy once wrote an article pointing out the numbers of this "industry" (http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=31323).

    Mobile Porn certainly will increase their presence. Based on certain data, sex related web searches is one of the highest preferred topics (I did a research a couple years ago for a classy porn magazine). So, why not to go mobile? It's something inevitable.

    You just need to take care to avoid any similar actual situation.