Section 6.1. Creating Adult Sites

6.1. Creating Adult Sites

Putting together an adult web site is very much like creating a vanilla web site from a site construction viewpoint. It's very important, just as with a vanilla site, to use includes in your site architecture (see Chapter 1 for information about using includes) so that you can easily tweak advertising across an entire site.

One key difference with an adult site is that you need to take steps to prevent people who don't want to see your content from viewing it. It's wrongfor ethical, moral, and legal reasonsto have the index page for your domain open with content that may be offensive.

As a start, to protect unsuspecting visitors, it's a simple matter to make sure that all sites with adult content open with a bland, vanilla page containing appropriate warnings. This page should describe in inoffensive words the content of the site and make it easy to exit without proceeding.

For more information about the law and adult sites , see "Legal Issues," next. Please also take a look at "Protecting the Children," later in this chapter.

As with vanilla sites, adult site content can be generated in a number of different ways. You can:

Create content yourself

Feasible if you are a talented pornographer (for X-rated stories), videographer, or photographerand have attractive models.

Purchase content

There's a great deal of available adult content you can license. You can also contract to have custom content made for you. You can find a good list of providers with content to license or purchase in the Content Providers section of the XBiz Directory at

Find a way to obtain free site content

Among the many strategies for putting together a site with free content are using submissions from visitors and creating specialized directory and review sites. In addition, in the adult-content industries, quite a few affiliate programs will provide their affiliates with sample content, with the hope that this will send traffic to the program site.

See "Making Money with Advertising," later in this chapter, for more information about adult affiliate programs.

6.1.1. Legal Issues

Publishing a web site that draws adult traffic raises some special legal issues . First, in some communities sites with adult content might be considered obscene and therefore illegal and subject to criminal penalties. Adult web traffic and obscenity

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects you from criminal prosecution for what you write or publish, including adult contentfor the most part. However, the First Amendment does not protect obscene content.

There's no hard-and-fast standard for what is obscene. As Justice Harlan Stewart once famously observed, he couldn't define obscenity but he knew it when he saw it. Essentially, obscene speech, which is not protected by the First Amendment, has come to be defined as violating community standards, or as speech that is utterly without redeeming social value.

The problem with this from the adult webmaster's viewpoint is that it is not a hard-and-fast definition, and it is subject to different interpretations by different jurisdictions. And unlike most other media, web sites can be opened in almost any jurisdiction. Your takeaway should be that there is always some possibility, however remote, that some prosecutor in a benighted jurisdiction might decide to go after a particular adult web site, with consequences that are hard to know in advance. This happens very rarely, if it all. If you can't live with this level of uncertainty, don't start a business that draws adult traffic. And by all means consult a lawyer with knowledge of First Amendment law if you are in doubt about any specific content. A good source for general information about legal issues and adult content is the Legal Articles section of XBiz, located at

Adult webmasters are also, of course, potentially subject to jurisdictions in countries other than the United States (meaning the rest of the world). This is primarily of concern to webmasters who live in the jurisdictions in question. If you live in a country with strong sanctions for involvement with adult content, obviously the risk profile for engaging in this activity increases.

Common sense, and common courtesy, strongly suggests that you place a waiver on the opening page of your site. This practice will help to avoid offending unsuspecting people and would afford some legal defense if a site is ever accused of obscenity, along the lines of "they were warned, and they decided to have a look anyhow." The wording of this waiver can be complex, and it can require users to check a box or click a button to signify agreement.

However, it is probably just as legally efficacious to put simple text along the lines that I've already suggested:

This site contains adult material. If you are under 21 years of age, or if it is illegal to view adult material in your community, or if adult material offends you, please do not click the link to enter this site, and leave this site immediately. Children in pornography

Obscenity is not the only legal concern of those involved with adult content. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 2256 and 18 U.S.C. 2257 forbid a variety of sexual conduct involving minors. If there is any possibility that photographs or video on your site might depict a minor in any situation, then you must comply with the record-keeping provisions of this law to make sure that minors are not involved. You are also required to post an 18 U.S.C. 2257 notice on the opening page of your site affirming that no minors were involved, and stating where the required records can be reviewed.

Not only should you comply with the provisions of this law, you should also make sure that any site sponsors do as well. Celebrities

Provocative images of celebrities are immensely interesting to many people and are therefore desirable content for any site that hopes to draw adult traffic. There are a great many provocative, erotic, or nude photographs of celebrities in circulation. Some were taken before the celebrity became famous, others are of look-alikes, some were released by the photographer without permission, and still others were intentionally released by the celebrity for publicity purposes. If you are thinking of publishing photos of celebrities on your site, you should get competent legal advice and take the following steps:

Make sure all copyrights are in order

It's important to have a signed model release with an authenticated signature as well as a license from the owner of the copyright to an image.

Consider celebrity rights of publicity and to privacy

Depending on the jurisdiction, a celebrity may have rights to publicity over imagery that depicts them and rights of privacy relating to their imagery that can provide a cause of action when photos are published.

Run the celebrity photo in an editorial context

Adding editorial content to a photo of a scantily clad celebrity lends the image the protection of the First Amendment, which is usually gained at a low threshold of some redeeming content. In other words, if you write something (indeed, almost anything that isn't derogatory) about the celebrity you are less likely to run into trouble.

Avoid any negative characterization of the celebrity

You don't want to give the celebrity a possible cause of action for defamation.

6.1.2. Protecting the Children

Protecting children should be a top priority. As a parent, you can make sure that children do not surf the Internet without supervision. As an adult webmaster, you can take a series of successively stronger steps to protect your content from access by minors.

Reporting Child Pornography

If you see child pornographydefined as lewd images of children under 18on the Web, you can report the site to ASACP, the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection, at The mission of ASACP is to help self-police the adult industry via a code of ethics, a logo indicating compliance with the code, and a program for reporting child porn sites to the appropriate government agencies.

You'll need to know the exact URL of the page containing the child pornography. You can't use ASACP to report P2P child porn, emails, etc., only web pages. Please be sure to read the ASACP FAQ, at, for all the details before reporting a site.

An opening page that provides a description of the content and makes the visitor affirmatively click through to the adult content is an easy step that won't dissuade any traffic, but it probably won't stop any children either.

Many sites provide an exit link for users unhappy with the content described on an adult site. These exit links are a profit opportunity for webmasters: they can open G-rated properties run by the webmaster.

A step up from a simple warning and disclaimer forbidding minors is the requirement that visitors certify or affirm that they are adults using a mechanism such as the BirthDateVerifier Age Verification System , Like a site warning label, this probably won't turn any traffic away, including minor traffic, although it may help mitigate any liability you might have for that traffic.

Yet another step you can take is to place content and graphics on your home page urging visitors to install "parental control" software such as Net Nanny or CyberSitter on their computers. The downside to these programs is that it's easy to find out online how to defeat them. In addition, many of the adult sites with links to this software are making money off referral fees and conversion.

Adult verification systems such as Adult Check and CyberAge do effectively monitor age by requiring a credit card. But they charge a small fee, which once again, depending on the situation, can result in income to the adult site that sends traffic to sign up for the adult verification. Additionally, many users resent credit card verification, which can result in lowered traffic.

Since teenagers are now often issued credit cards, credit card age verification may not be entirely effective in any case.

Expect changing technology and legislation to impact this aspect of adult-content access. Biometric measuring hardware and software may become a standard way to verify identity (and age) at some point. And, if the pending Child Internet Protection Act becomes law, many sites will have to require a credit card before allowing entry to the site (a measure the credit card industry is fighting bitterly).

6.1.3. Adult Web Hosting

The terms of service (TOS) of most vanilla web hosts forbid adult content on their servers. You should not try to ignore the TOS and host a site oriented towards adult traffic on a vanilla host. It might take a little while before your adult site is noticed, but it certainly will be noticed if it draws trafficputting your entire business in jeopardy and exposing you to legal risk for violating the TOS.

Fortunately, there is an entire industry of adult web hosts ready to serve you. One of the best of these is MidPhase , You can also find many web hosts specifically geared towards the adult industry in XBiz's Service Providers directory at Adult.TopHosts.Com ,, also provides an extensive directory of adult web hosts (as well as resources for adult webmasters).

You can expect essentially the same technologies and services from an adult web host as from a vanilla web host. However, adult web hosts tend to be slightly more expensive for comparable specificationsand slightly rougher around the edges when it comes to customer service.

Adult web hosts will protect your privacy to a greater extent than vanilla web hosts. For example, you can expect an adult web host to provide its own contact information to the domain registrar for your domain, so you don't end up connected with your adult traffic in a whois registry.

Some adult sponsors will give you free web hosting provided you refer a specified amount of traffic that converts to the sponsor.

6.1.4. Converting Traffic

To convert a sales prospect means to get the prospect to actually plunk down money for something. Generally, for you to make money with adult advertising, the traffic you send to adult sites will have to convert (and spend money), as is the case with affiliate advertising in general (see Chapter 4).

In some cases, you can make money on an adult site on a CPC (cost per click) basis, although it is a less viable approach than with the vanilla Web. For more information, see "Making Money with Advertising," later in this chapter.

The three "secrets" of converting adult-oriented traffic are:

  • Instant gratification

  • Product credibility

  • Targeting content to your traffic Instant gratification

Adult traffic wants what it wants when it wants itwhich is now! If you are counting on making money based on site visitors' making a purchase, assume that they won't buy anything, such as a mail-order product, that won't lead to instant gratification.

The purchase of products online that can be enjoyed online either on a subscription or per-item basis is the name of this game, because these products can be consumed and enjoyed in real time without ever leaving the computer. Examples include X-rated personals, downloadable videos, and content sites aimed at a specific interest (See "Adult Site Segmentation," later in the chapter). Product credibility

The for-fee adult products available on the Web can be junky and cross the line into outright rip-off. It's good to start from the assumption that your site visitors are smart enough to know this and don't want to be ripped off.

This means that product credibility is paramount. Brand names help with credibility (as, of course, they also do on the vanilla Web). For example, Jenna Jameson and Vivid are powerful brands in the adult-content world.

Product endorsements that seem authentic also help to establish credibility for links to site sponsors. Good adult webmasters have learned to research the content their site sponsors provide and place enthusiastic reviews of the content on their own sites along with the link to the sponsor's content. Targeting content to traffic

Visitors to sites with an adult orientation tend to have very specificand differentinterests. For example, straight men are probably uninterested (and even turned off) by gay male adult content. The implication is that you cannot sell straight male traffic sponsored gay content (and vice versa).

See "The Taxonomy of Desire" next for more information about adult site segmentation.

When you create your site, you need to be very clear about what specific sexual interests your content appeals to and what kind of traffic you are drawing. You need to target your content to the interests of your traffic.

What's more, traffic may not be segmented when it comes into your site, and your site may present material geared to a number of different interests. You should take care to differentiate the topic areas of your site and use mechanisms to present material that is as relevant as possible.

An easy way to segment content is to provide a separate page for each content area. However, this runs counter to the site architecture principle of using a single include for ads in one position across a site. You can solve this problem by checking, within an include, for which page you are on and displaying a different ad based on the content of the page.

For example, suppose a site has content aimed at people interested in bondage and submission (commonly known as BDSM) and in lesbian sex (to pick two interests at random). Supposing a site was written using PHP, the include file used to display an ad in a given page location (such as the upper right) could test to see which page was being displayed, and then display relevant content, like this:

     <?php     if ($_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] == "/bdsm.php") {         echo '<!-- Display BDSM HTML ad content here -->';     }     if ($_SERVER['PHP_SELF'] == "/lesbian.php") {         echo '<!-- Display lesbian HTML ad content here -->';     }     ?>

6.1.5. The Taxonomy of Desire

Specific groups of people are interested in specific kinds of content and they have very little interest in other kinds of content. There are at least a dozen major adult subject-matter categories and quite a few specialty niches on top of that. So people interested in spanking are probably only going to purchase from sponsors providing spanking content. This content may only appeal if it is primarily addressed to giving spankings (as opposed to receiving spankings). The gender of both the giver and receiver is probably important. The implements used in the contenta hairbrush on a naked bottom, for example, as opposed to a bare handmay matter.

There are innumerable variations of human sexual proclivities. These proclivities are of vital obsessive interest to particular groups and bizarre and unattractive to others. For instance, some people like to give or receive enemas, and others get a sexual charge out of being dressed up like a baby (both of which are hard for me personally to appreciate). However, if you want to make money from your site you should appreciate the specific interests of your visitors and target advertising to their interests and needs.

It's obviously beyond the scope of this chapter to provide a catalog of the vast variety of human sexual preferences . If you are interested in this topic, you might take a look at the resources and information provided by the Kinsey Institute at

Although cataloging these sexual tastes is a scientific (and possibly anthropologic) task, adult webmasters do need to consider the taxonomy of the different market segments.

Perhaps the best way to look at this is to see the categories used by the adult industry itself. Figure 6-1 shows the table of contents for Persian Kitty ,, a leading directory of adult sites.

Figure 6-1. Persian Kitty is a leading directory for adult sites; its table of contents can be used to glean taxonomic information about adult interests

The Persian Kitty table of contents is a little misleading because it combines categorical information with method of delivery information (and also whether sites are free or for-pay). Still, the following major categories can be gleaned from Persian Kitty:

  • Amateur girls

  • Erotic stories

  • Fetish sites

  • Gay men

  • Models and porn stars

Most of the categories could be labeled differently, and each of these major categories has subcategories, but you probably get the point: visitors will expect a certain kind of content on your site and expect to find this content using specific topic keywords. You should deliver this targeted content and advertising that relates to it, not random content of a sexual nature, and make it easy for visitors to your site to find the content that interests them.

Take away "sex" as the subject matter, and the concept of making it easy for site visitors to find content they care about applies to web sites in general.

Another way to look at this issue is to consider the content that site sponsors, who also have targeting content to your traffic in mind, make available. The content offered by your sponsors will to some degree limit the traffic you can hope to serviceand convert.

Figure 6-2 shows the broad taxonomic categories offered by one major adult sponsor. Within each broad category (called niches by this sponsor) there are usually multiple individual sites catering more specifically to tastes and proclivities.

Figure 6-2. You can select individual sites from these broad categories for site advertising

To learn more about adult content niches, you might also want to take a look at Cozy Academy , which bills itself as a free school for adult webmasters. Cozy Academy presents an entire course on nichologythe study of sexual niches, or preferencesat The course provides information about 37 separate adult content niches!

Google Advertising Tools. Cashing in with AdSense, AdWords, and the Google APIs
Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with Adsense, Adwords, and the Google APIs
ISBN: 0596101082
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 145
Authors: Harold Davis

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