What Porn's Kickstarter Can Teach Us About Adult Stuff People Want to Buy

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Porn is a dying industry, we've even seen it compared to journalism. And it makes sense: like free articles you can find all kinds of free porn on the Internet (we're told). But if you look at the most successful projects on Offbeatr, the crowd-sourced fundraising site that's like an adult version of Kickstarter, there are people willing to shell out lots of money for porn and those projects seem to have two things in common: comic books and video games.

Offbeatr (har har) is around a year old, and built in the mold of Kickstarter by putting the funding adult-themed projects in the hands of the people. It's gotten more attention lately in part because of a rash of copycat sites, most recently Fan Fund XXX and the ever-growing fascination with Kickstarter (thank you Veronica Mars) and the idea that people want to pay for things. But Offbeatr is still the kind of crowd-sourced porn ventures. The only slight difference between Kickstarter and Offbeatr is that Offbeatr requires a preliminary vote before it goes to the funding process, but that's not really what you're here for, is it.

We wanted to know, for journalism's sake of course, what people are willing to put money into. As The Atlantic's Jordan Weissman pointed out in June of 2012, the industry is wheezing and looking for new life.  "Big production companies have seen their profits shrink by as much as half since 2007, as audiences have fled to aggregators such as XTube and YouPorn that offer up a never-ending stream of free naked bodies," Weissman wrote, referring to the democratization of the porn industry. 

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While Offbeatr has saucy projects like a Mormon-themed gay porno, and some altruistic ones like an AIDS awareness-themed coffee book, what anyone seeking to make money (listen up porn companies) should be looking at are on the site's "successful projects" tab. And that tab has a distinctly comic-bookish, sci-fi, video game feel. Here's a SFW sampling:

Yo're reading that right. "Poni Parade" and "Trials in Tainted Space" both earned more than 1,000 percent of what they were asking for, with "Trials" earning over $190,000—way more than what it costs to produce an average porn movie. If you look at the next set of very successful offbeat, they're also comic/sci-fi based (ahem, "Night of the Dragon's Embrace"):

So there's a definite thread here: people are willing to throw top dollar at comic book/fantasy-inspired adult entertainment. And the top grosser, "Trials in Tainted Space" is actually a video game. Their description reads:

You play as personalized character bent on making his or her fortune among the stars, starting out with only the ship left behind by a deceased father.  From there, you plunder the mysteries of the universe... particularly if they're curvy, well hung, or both.  It's about discovering the exotic and the erotic.

Another video game, "Pocket P*ssies" described as a Pokemon and Legend of Zelda hybrid, has already met its $20,000 goal and has more than 32 days to go. Stop blushing and giggling. This is serious business. There's a reason people are willing to fund video games and comic-inspired porns because, clearly, there's a demand here without a sufficient supply of quality goods. And yes, as silly as it may seem (just like say, 15 pictures of cats who are so over Edward Snowden) big, dying porn companies (like big dying news corporations) probably should take notice. 

Photo by: fotoscool via Shutterstock.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.