Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Should the adult movie industry get it's own top level domain name (.XXX)?

Asked by wundayatta (58591points) November 18th, 2011

It would make it easier to find porn in one place. Still, there is a big court battle about it. And many organizations think they would be forced to buy domain names defensively—can you say

Is dot xxx a good or bad idea? Why?

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33 Answers

Aethelflaed's avatar

You know, Violet Blue’s article just leaves me totally confused. It’s more intermediate – do you perhaps have a “for dummies” article on the controversy (the legal/economic one, not the ‘omg porn is bad’ one)?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t understand tech much but it sounds good to me if only to be used as a tool for parents to be able to block porn from home computers their children can access or in schools and businesses to keep their networks “clean”.

Aethelflaed's avatar

So, found this article, which explains some of the issues:
The problem, in other words, is that as soon as .xxx launches, conservatives in Congress will begin to clamor for laws to make the domain mandatory for sex-related Web sites. That may not be a big deal for hard-core pornmeisters who prefer that virtual street address, but what about sex education sites that include explicit graphics and don’t wish to be blocked by filtering software? And where should—which features images of topless women – or – which publishes important interviews with U.S. presidents – end up?

So, it’s ends up being a restriction of free speech, not just for the US but for nations who are traditionally far less interested in free speech.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I find @Aethelflaed ‘s 2nd post highly interesting, as that is exactly why I think .xxx is a good idea.

Yes, make a .xxx domain and make porn sites use .xxx by law so that we can block all .xxx sites with one click, and finally do away with people complaining about how the internet is full of porn and that they don’t want their kids to be online. Kids need to have access to the internet so they can learn how to use it properly, the internet is not going away, and if your kid does not know how to use it, his chances of finding a job will be lower.

If it’s for medical purposes you get to use .org or .net, and .com is then reserved for non-porn VAT paying companies only.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@poisonedantidote But what are medical purposes? Sex education isn’t just “STDs are bad, don’t get one”, it’s often “this is how to put on a condom” and even “this is how to put on a condom in a sexy manner” and “how to have safe anal sex”. Why should a kid who needs to read the Playboy interview of the president for school not be able to?

wonderingwhy's avatar

When they first came up with the idea I was actually fairly supportive of it since it creates a clear division that is so simplistic, people who oppose the porn industry can’t reasonably argue with it – in other words if you don’t like it don’t go there. And now the location of “there” is defined.

Since then it’s been nothing but a debacle. Instead of creating definitions and protections against censorship, granting all .not xxx porn sites an identical .xxx site for free, arbitrating conflicts, mandatory blocking of “squatter/fumble-finger registration” (I’m blanking on the proper term), and allowing the transition to happen over a negotiated period we get lawsuits, greed (waiving legal rights and claims as a requirement of registering is always a favorite), and a whole lot of wasted time and money over something that could have been done on the cheap and been a long term win-win for everyone.

@Aethelflaed all it takes is some common sense definition and enough wiggle-room to negotiate where “grey” sites should register. Also, it’s easy enough to err on the side of non-restriction with particularly grey sites such as what you described. The problem is political social agendas are allowed to get in the way of that and we allow what could be a pretty good solution to get tossed aside because it’s not absolutely perfect in all situations.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@wonderingwhy I think if the definitions were simply a matter of common sense, there wouldn’t be such a huge and divisive war over what falls where.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Aethelflaed Sex education and medical content would include any sexual content that is not designed fully or partly as entertainment.

Graphic photos of STD’s are fine, people giving birth, rectal exams, checking for lumps, putting condoms on, would all be fine.

Putting on condoms in a sexy way goes under .xxx as does playboy, and if the kid really really needs that badly to know what insightful questions playboy put to the president, then they can go figure out how to hack parental controls.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Aethelflaed simple: is the purpose of your site primarily educational – as in qualifies to be registered as .edu? no, enjoy your new .xxx

If that’s not enough, and I haven’t actually done any research to say it is, it certainly seems like a good starting point. Point being, I’m sure with all the money being salivated over and/or spent on the lawsuits surrounding the issue all sides could hire a non-partisan team to come up with a reasonable and well negotiated solution.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@poisonedantidote Putting condoms on in a sexy way counts as both sexual content that is not designed fully or partly as entertainment – it’s distribution of information – and as xxx under your new system. And what if that’s only .5% of the content that site offers – the rest of the info, like on how the Morning After pill works, and how it’s different from The Pill, and easy to follow scripts helping teens start conversations with their parents, should all be punished and restricted for one page within a larger website? That seems harsh. And what about countries that don’t value free speech – for example, what’s to say that Iran won’t make it so that none of its citizens can reach the XXX domain, leaving tons of women who now can’t use much of the internet as a way to take control of their sexuality?

@wonderingwhy Well, I do do research on this, and trust me, in the past century, despite everyone hiring experts, thinkers, non-partisan mediators (if there is such a thing), no one has been able to come up with an answer that everyone, or even most people, find satisfactory.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Aethelflaed Knowing how to put on a condom in a sexy way is not essential to prevent pregnancy and STDs, it goes under entertainment, and if you don’t want your entire site classified as .xxx then don’t include that content. For a mere $10 you can register the .xxx version of your site and have both.

As for Iran and other such places, not having a .xxx system is not going to turn them in to a democracy overnight. Their twisted problems are more fundamental.

For now we have only talked about .xxx sites, but what if putting condoms on in a sexy way were to be .x and playboy were to be .xx and full blown porn sites were to be registered as a .xxx site. Maybe we could even have .wtf for 2 girls 1 cup and all that other fun stuff.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Aethelflaed so what’s wrong with the .edu approach? It’s not going to solve the social problem of Alice finding something objectionable that Bob doesn’t, but it will solve the basic issue of where to place the .xxx dividing line. And again, even if it’s not great, good, or barely acceptable, the point is to start with something and build, rather than do nothing beyond wasting time and resources because no one can agree on a perfect system.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I do think that there will be a problem when people start buying .xxx domain names with the same URL as another site, except for the xxx instead of com, org, etc.

Many websites already own copies of their URL with different domains. Have you ever been to With a .xxx domain, businesses would need to register their websites in the .xxx domain to prevent people from creating fake versions of their websites, which can be dangerous and have malware. Also, I don’t really think some business would like to register in the .xxx domain. How would you feel about registering Fluther as a porn site? The .xxx domain is not something that many people would like to have an open association with.

This problem could be resolved if there was a rule against registering a .xxx domain name with the same name as a site in another domain. Then, I don’t really have an objection to this idea.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@poisonedantidote So sex ed should only be about the prevention of STDs and pregnancy? What about helping kids figure out when they’re ready to have sex? What about helping them figure out what a partner who respect you and cares about you looks like? What about helping to combat body images issues – for example, I know many girls (and woman, for that matter) find much porn objectionable because their genitals aren’t the “porno uniform” of small inner labia and everything extra pink, so what about The Great Wall of Vagina, an art project designed to showcase just how diverse female genitals can be, and widely acclaimed as helping women be ok with their bodies? Given that many (and often times most) teens will have sex before they turn 18 (often because the age of consent in their state or nation is under 18, meaning they can have sex years before they can view porn), why shouldn’t they be able to access all the information available so that they can have no just sex in which no one gets STDs or pregnant, but have their first experiences be respectful and where both partners feel comfortable saying “no” and saying “more to the right” and developing healthy communication skills right off the bat? Isn’t it worse to have kids having sex when their teens (something that seems rather unavoidable), but not able to start having mutually respectful and mutually pleasurable sex until they’re a few years older, thus ingraining some bad habits?

@wonderingwhy Actually, what qualifies as ”.edu” is not just educational material. The .edu domain is intended for accredited post-secondary educational U.S. institutions, and that’s pretty strictly enforced. Just because I run a blog that provides educational, informative, and wonderfully sourced material on Napoleon so as to better help students write papers on Napoleon doesn’t mean I qualify for a .edu domain.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Aethelflaed It is a good point, but I don’t see how teaching about respect and such things requires graphical images. As for the great wall of vagina, the site does not have graphic content, sure it has “statues” or plaster casts of vaginas, but the statue of david also has a penis. If your kid ends up jerking off to the great wall of vagina that is just hard luck, it was either that or your latest fashion magazine, you wont stop them.

It should be obvious that the great wall of vagina does not fall under porn, Sure, some super conservative moron may dislike it and may even have the power to declare it .xxx and that would be bad, but parents could always exclude some .xxx sites from the parental controls, just as you can exclude some programs from a firewall.

Is the system perfect? no… if you keep picking you will eventually come across a point that I can’t counter, buy by and large the system would be more convenient that what we have at the moment. The benefits would outweigh the down sides.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@poisonedantidote Well, they do. It’s sort of hard to convince a girl who’s seen images of traditionally porn accepted female genitals that her’s aren’t defective or deformed just by going “trust me” – you usually have to show her competing images so she has something to replace it. You can’t successfully knock down one model without replacing it with a different model. In general. That’s just how the human brain works.

So what’s the difference between art and porn? After all, it’s not like Michelangelo carved David and people were totally fine with seeing the peen, but rather they voted repeatedly to censor it. And Michelangelo’s other graphic works.

Those super conservatives a) have power a lot of time and b) can call me a super liberal moron, so nothing’s really gained by throwing nasty names in their direction. And sure, parents can – but will they, when it’s extremely unlikely that they or the child will know about the site with the software on? And will they when many parents use net nanny software so they don’t have to spend more time monitoring the kid’s online habits themselves – doesn’t having to check out these sites and add them to the exception list defeat the purpose?

What benefits? You can already use net nanny software to block many sites. Even with the xxx domain, there’ll still be enough porn out there – via torrent, via livejournal, via personal websites of fan fiction with some NC17 stories thrown in, etc – that it doesn’t seem like it’d be effective enough for parents to be satisfied (very few parents who get upset by their children seeing porn react with “oh, but it was only these 20 movies and 43 stories my kid managed to get through other venues, not those hundreds and thousands of movies, so it’s all good”). But there’s seriously corrupt business practices at foot, including anti-capitalism bullshit, infringement of free speech, and human rights violations. Convenience? How is that a good reason to do a bad thing?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Aethelflaed “So what’s the difference between art and porn?”

Art, may or may not incite eroticism in the viewer. Art has no preconceived agenda other than providing a different perspective that the viewer may not have previously considered. Contrary to popular opinion, Art does not speak to humanity… rather it encourages humanity to speak upon the Art, thereby encouraging the evolution of the human perspective on reality… one perspective atop the next… traceable in a logic driven tautological manner. The Blues begat Rock n’ Roll.

Porn comes with a preconceived agenda to incite eroticism from the very beginning. It is designed with a specific intention, to produce a specific result. It does not invite or take well to criticism as Art does. Porn does not encourage the viewer to speak upon it, and evolve human perspective. Porn speaks to us. And in the message of Porn, it begs us to accept it, become infatuated, and never leave.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Porn is created with the intention of winning our approval… to the degree of addiction.

Art doesn’t care if it is approved of or not… and it thrives upon criticism.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies By that definition, the Middle Ages in Europe has no art, and some porn (despite porn not being “invented” till several centuries later). I’m sure medieval historians will be thrilled to know that you’ve now made many of their sources impossible to access should the university they work for decide they cannot access xxx domains on the work computers. It also bases it on the intent of the artist, when it’s often hard or impossible to know what the artist’s intent was (or even who the artist is). And based upon that last definition, I have never known an artist, only pornographers.

XOIIO's avatar

Why not .sex?

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Aethelflaed agreed it’s similar to .gov, and that could be too strict in that it doesn’t catch enough to be meaningful (or too liberal, I guess if one is conservative, in that it doesn’t catch enough to cover every last naughty bit) but it could still be a starting point. Or adapting the methodology which enabled .edu to be defined in order to create a smaller grey area for .xxx from the start. Either way it serves the purpose, enabling the defined creation of the TLD that provides an uncensored and protected (which are key, without them there’s like to be only evil afoot), more easily identifiable, home for porn. And, oh my yes, all the issues that opens up! Good times!

Sadly, all of this, while enjoyable discourse, is likely academic as the argument now seems centered more on money, motive, and monopoly.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@XOIIO I think that was discussed at one point; if so I can’t remember / don’t know why they went away from it. Heh, .nsfw would be seemingly on point as well.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The word Pornography hails from the description of prostitutes… the writing of prostitutes, in that the original intention is to incite sexual behavior.

It begins with an intention to accomplish a specific goal of inciting eroticism. It may or may not achieve that goal… but the goal is there from the beginning, at the time of creation.

Fine Art doesn’t do that. Fine Art may or may not incite eroticism, but that is at the viewers discretion, not the creators intention.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Yes, I’m aware of the origins of the term. So what? It almost never means that today, nor has it for quite some time. Like many words, it changes from its original definition.
What’s the difference between art and fine art? Is one good and one bad? Is one only allowed in .xxx and the other doesn’t have to be there? Where does Courbet’s Origin of the World fit in? de Sade? What about The Royal Dildo, a pamphlet designed not to arouse but to discredit the Old Regime – why on Earth would that be allowed, but Natalie Portman’s less graphic sex scene in Black Swan not?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Pornocracy seeks to overwhelm the senses through the dominating influence of harlots. It does not seek to expand the consciousness as Art does. In fact, an argument could be made that Porn actually contracts the consciousness, with the mechanism of overwhelming the senses to a degree that one is lost in the substance put before them, and totally engulfed within it.

Whereas Art encourages the viewer to expand the consciousness… never attempting to hold the mind of any viewer hostage.

Fine Art arose out of a necessity to separate it from Decorative or Graphic Art.

The less graphic Art which depicts sexuality may or not be Pornography. Some creative work may be designed to incite eroticism, yet no graphic act or genitalia are displayed. The viewer is free to imagine, and therefor expand their own consciousness on their terms… without the need of having it all spelled out for them. And some viewers may not find it erotic at all, but rather repressive, or an illustration of contempt, betrayal. The viewer has the freedom to take Art anywhere their mind will roam. But Porn, not so much. It’s all up in yir face you know… You’re either seduced or repulsed… but no realizations of a greater awareness will ever come from Pornography.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Oh, good, yet another definition of “porn vs erotica” that means “porn I like vs porn I don’t like”. Thank goodness that’s always worked out to be such a universal standard that anyone can apply!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I do believe you’ve either misread me, or seek to drown my comments with mockery.

You asked the difference. I answered. Yet you won’t be satisfied until we agree there is no difference between Art and Porn. I don’t believe that will ever occur.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Well, seeing as how you are making such sweeping and universal statements, like that I could never possibly have a greater awareness come from pornography (even though I think I have gotten quite a lot out of pornography other than orgasms), I’m ok with the mockery, because you speak in terms of “everyone” and not “just me”.

I believe there is a difference between porn and art. What I don’t believe is that a) your answer provides any kind of real-world standard that can be applied in courthouses, homes, or other nations and b) that there could ever be some widely accepted, universal standard of separation between the two.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Sweeping universal statements? I do believe my comments were quite specific.

Conflating Art and Porn is the most “sweeping universal statement” of all.

@Aethelflaed “I’m ok with the mockery, because you speak in terms of “everyone” and not “just me”.”

Read again. I specifically stated that Art leads to the evolution of consciousness and awareness. Each viewer is encouraged to speak upon the Art… rather than allowing the Porn to speak to them… there is a huge difference.

@Aethelflaed “What I don’t believe is that a) your answer provides any kind of real-world standard that can be applied in courthouses, homes, or other nations”

That’s a pretty specific standard… The intention to incite eroticism vs the creation of a medium which invites expansion of consciousness on the viewers terms, rather than the creators.

“It is the simple truth that man does differ from the brutes in kind and not in degree; and the proof of it is here; that it sounds like a truism to say that the most primitive man drew a picture of a monkey and that it sounds like a joke to say that the most intelligent monkey drew a picture of a man. Something of division and disproportion has appeared; and it is unique. Art is the signature of man.
G. K. Chesterton

Porn does not appeal to the higher notions of humanity. It lowers our resolve to that of brutes and monkeys.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies You’re either seduced or repulsed… but no realizations of a greater awareness will ever come from Pornography. is a universal statement. It doesn’t say “I’m either repulsed or seduced” it says “everyone, ever, no matter what is repulsed or seduced”. It says that no one could ever find something of “awareness and consciousness” in it. Not even that they didn’t like that porn. Not even that they liked that other porn. Not even why they liked that other porn, and not this porn. Not even if it helped them realize that they weren’t ready to have sex with another person yet. Not even if it helped them heal the wounds from their sexual abuse.

Intention – so what? We don’t always know the intention, and it says that intention should always be the main consideration, no matter what. So, yeah, how do you apply that to a lot of things, because if people have a hard enough time proving intent for murder, I don’t know why proving the intent of a anonymous creator from another continent for a piece from a century ago would somehow be easier. Especially since I’m guessing that people would be really pissed if every site, ever, had to spend it’s day in court proving intent, because that’s a pretty huge drain on taxpayer dollars.

It also assumes that sexuality, pleasure, sex, orgasms, etc are all bad, and that we should only value the mind and not the body, which has some serious Eurocentrism in it. And again, when fighting a charge of applying a universal standard, I’m not sure a quote from Chesterton really helps your case.

What’s wrong with monkeys? Isn’t brutes usually another word for “savages” and “barbarians”, aka “those people who look different and think different and cannot possibly be civilized”? Must everything appeal to the higher notions of humanity – and if so, do you not think we should also be getting rid of many frivolous retail shops, who also in no way appeal to the “higher notions of humanity”?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Now we’re talking about good and bad? I didn’t make that assumption… but I see that you are. Who says “It” assumes “we should only value the mind and not the body?

Intentions aren’t hard to determine.

Porn is bought and paid for before its creation. And if not, it carries advertisements to pay for it in advance.

Art is bought and paid for after its creation. Art does not carry advertisement.

Who said there was anything wrong with monkeys or brutes? Don’t assume to put words in my comments that are not there.

You asked the difference between Art and Porn. I answered… without saying that one is good or bad, better or worse… just different.

I well know the erotic ecstasy of becoming a brute during sexual activity. I fully understand the bliss of animal attraction in sex. I never said it was good or bad. I simply distinguished Porn from Art.

Your assumptions are nothing on me.

jerv's avatar


Do we honestly think that all porn sites would go through the hassle and expense of re-registering? Do we think that they won’t continue to be creative with their naming?

As well-intentioned as such a proposal may be, I don’t see it ever working, and I do see it ausing a lot of problems.

rojo's avatar

Aaaaaaaaand, back to the original question, Ya, it’d be ok for porn to have its own domain name. Probably make life less confusing. I ,personally, am constantly getting .gov sites mixed up with snuff porn.

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