February 26th, 2009

When was the last time you walked yourself to a real-life store and bought an actually porn DVD? The last — and only — time I can remember doing that was so five years back, the summer I turned eighteen. Eager but awkward, I stalked the halls of a local, semi-shady video rental place, then tried not to make eye contact with the cashier as I shuffled out into the daylight with a black plastic bag under my arm.

For the last few weeks, for my PC World piece on internet porn and whether it’s recession-proof, I’ve been researching the ongoing transition of porn from real-life to digital distribution. Soon it seems dirty DVDs will be like VHS tapes: relics of an older age sold in bargain bins for years after they become obsolete. Instead, the newest generation of porn consumers goes online for their fix, paying for downloadable content or site memberships, if they pay at all.

While I’m not one to stand in the way of progress, I can’t help but wonder how this sea change will effect the quality of adult entertainment. While the recession weeds out all but the best, most creative studios and force movies online, I still feel certain pornos deserve to be owned on DVD. The Opening of Misty Beethoven, for example, sits proudly on my movie shelf. By contrast, there are plenty of less intelligent adult films with a certain vapid quality that seems oddly well matched with the ephemeral nature of downloads and tube sites.

What to do with all those old porn DVDs? The same thing I do with my VHS tapes. Build an old-tech fort and sit inside it watching new-tech smut.

Tags: porn

One Response to “Porn DVDs are the new VHS”

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