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The Evolution of Pornography

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WARNING : Explicit! Mature content! Juicy! Stop reading now if you do not want to read about Ronn’s fetishes and sexual objectification of the female body.

NOPE. I’m not going to write about my fetishes. Nor I’m going to write about sexual fantasies.

But I do think pornography is something fun to write about. Why? Simply because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Because pornography is the most consumed content on the internet. And because I personally think it is one of the best inventions to (virtually) fulfill the deepest need of human primal instinct (Freudien theory).

Plus, it’s an industry which I have been observing for many good years, so I think it’s time to put down some digital ink on this topic. Here we go.

In The Beginning ..

My first impression of pornography wasn’t really good. In fact, I thought it was awful. When I first watched pornography, especially Western pornography, I thought it was ugly, dirty, gross, and distasteful.  I refused to believe this level of pornography will appeal to anyone other than 60 years old sweaty sticky old men who somehow just have fetishes for everything ugly.

I genuinely felt pornography is a very badly packaged product that people will just keep buying anyway because people desperately need it. Sorta like TM’s Unifi. It’s expensive and not blazing fast by international standard, but Malaysians will still subscribe to it because they crave for ‘fast’ internet. We just don’t have many quality choices around.

Sure, pornography makes lots and lots of money… by selling an inferior product to a desperate market. However, I’ve always thought pornography could be at a higher level. The level where the industry makes lots of money selling a more tasteful product instead.

And then, I witnessed the revolution of Japanese pornography.

The Evolution of Japanese Pornography

Japanese pornography before the year 2000 did give me the same vibe as Western pornography but with just 2 main differences – Japanese actresses are more submissive compared to the western counterpart and their movies have more weird fetishes themes. And so yeah, equally as bad if not worse.

But it all changed in the mid of 2000’s. Around the year 2004, S1 Style Studio revolutionized and revamped the entire Japanese pornography industry with some pretty ingenious marketing killer moves.

Basically the two killer marketing moves they made were:

1 –  Relabeled ‘Porn’ to ‘Adult Video’ & relabeled ‘Porn Actresses’ to ‘Adult Video Idols’.

2- Made adult video idols mainstream.

So, how did S1 Studio make them mainstream? Apart from all the adult movies the girls performed in, they also …

  • Occasionally placed the girls in Japanese TV drama series as cameo
  • Fund movies for the idols to be a leading actress in some B-grade movie
  • Feature them as guests in TV game shows and entertainment shows
  • Organize fans meeting sessions
  • Producing music singles and albums
  • Mini concerts for them to perform singing
  • Produce music videos

Plus, instead of portraying the girls as sluts or some hyper horny creatures, they maintained the cute, innocent, and clean idol image in their adult movies. Fully naked of course. And no weird strange movie themes. Straight forward themes doing common role playing. Because the main focus is not about fulfilling some sort of strange fetish pleasures in the viewers. It’s all about showcasing the idols’ talent and beauty.

Suddenly, these girls are no longer porn stars.  They have useful talents. They are entertaining.  They are some sort of celebrity. They have fans following. It’s a newly defined industry.

What are the benefits of mainstreaming the adult video industry?

  • Creating new buyer behaviour –  By making adult video mainstream, people openly supporting the adult video idols has become culturally acceptable. No longer guys sneakily go into a shop to buy porn in Japan. Whenever a guy buys an adult movie, he is doing it not because he is some desperate horny guy (even if he is) but because he is supporting his favourite idol.
  • Gives a cleaner image –  These girls have useful talent. They perform. They are not just some shoddy actress. That’s why they are all over the TV. They are idols.
  • Creates following – Just like in JPOP and KPOP industry where fanatics will buy every single album and attend every concert of their favourite pop groups, fans of the adult video idols will also buy every single of the adult video release to complete the collection.
  • Expanding the pornography industry – People who wasn’t interested with pornography are constantly exposed to the cute and pretty idols on TV. Chances are they will check out the adult videos too.

S1 Studio was once the most popular studio popularizing legendary idols like Sora Aoi, Maria Ozawa, Honoka, Rio, Yuma Asami, Akiho Yoshizaki, etc.. But from 2011 onwards, they have since lost their throne to IdeaPocket due to lack of innovation and lack in aggression in recruiting new and fresh idols (because female idols will naturally lose their appeal once they pass the age 27 or 28, not only in adult video industry but also in JPOP and KPOP industries. It’s a natural thing.)

Sure, non-idol-mostly-weird-ass-gross-themes pornography do still exist. But the mass no longer go for them. It has became a niche. All the new videos on the best-sellers frontpage typically have an idol on it. Japanese pornography has evolved vs 10 years ago.

Evidence of how Japanese adult video idols went mainstream – A  music video of a pop group consist of all popular adult video idols.  (And yes, I do recognize most of them ;/)

The Incoming Revolution of Western Pornography? Or Just a Niche Market?

The Japanese pornography industry evolved by making their idols mainstream, boosting their popularity, and giving them a cleaner image thus making adult video culturally acceptable. How about Western pornography? Sure, some of the top porn actresses do get followings to a certain extend, but the entire industry landscape did not evolved much at all over the last many years.

However, I noticed a niche porn industry going on in the last 1 year which coincide with the ongoing habits of the social media world and new trends. And i’m start seeing the potential of the next generation of Western pornography. It’s not happening yet – But i’m gonna boldly make a prediction for the next evolution of pornography (and which I believe should happen)-

An all new Pornography industry for the female market

Pornography has traditionally focused and targeted the male market only. But i believe, pornography can evolve by just shifting the target market to the female market. And I strongly believe it should be the way to go. I based my analysis and prediction on the 2 points below:

Point A (WHY): The Rise of Artsy Stuffs and other Trends.

1. Tumblr – In the past few years, Tumblr has gotten more and more popular, especially among the female demographics. What is on Tumblr? Basically all the most interesting pictures and GIFs on earth are on Tumblr. And if you pay attention to what sort of pictures girls usually reblog on Tumblr, they are usually artsy, semi-erotic, sexy pictures. For example, a pretty boy sexily kissing a pretty girl with some random quotes.  Judging by all the pictures girls like viewing on Tumblr, I think the site it’s sorta like a porn for the ladies.

2. Instagram – As smartphone gets better and better, now everyone can take photos with their smartphone. We have now a trend where people like to add filters to the picture to create an artsy feel and sharing it with their friends.

3. Fifty Shades – Another upcoming trend I foresee is the rise of mainstream erotic novels. I think the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has broken barriers in many ways – Girls are not shy anymore to show they are reading an erotic novel and openly discussing about it.

4. X-Art, Met-Art, Joymii, Orgasms.xxx – Sites for artsy porn. They are still mainly catering to the male market but I believe by just slightly tweaking up the business model, videography and with some good marketing, artsy porn could easily penetrate the female market because I believe it is naturally appealing to the females.

When all the dots are connected , I strongly believe that there can be a huge potential for female pornography market to boom. It’s almost an untapped market. In the future, pornography will not be exclusively a guy thing only but could also for female too. And to make it happen we will probably need to make artsy porn mainstream.

Point B (HOW): Changing Standards To Fit New Market

As an avid gamer, I have witnessed how gaming industry in the past evolved from a traditionally male market and opened up itself. 15 years ago, female gamers were virtually non-existent.  Today, every 1 in 4 gamers are female. Of course, females don’t just naturally come and adopt gaming all of a sudden for no reasons. It’s all about the industry changing standards – By focusing the game to be fun instead of challenging. By focusing on attractive graphics and story-line instead of the gaming mechanics. By making games short and easy instead of long and difficult. By giving a more feminine feel to the game rather than masculine or macho feel.

And it’s the very same reason why I quit console gaming and despise this new standard. It’s the very same reason, why I prefer playing 15 years old games rather than new games. But at the same time, I’m aware that my personal vendetta with this new gaming standard is futile and one-sided. That’s because they gained many more female gamers for every one Ronn who quits.

Similarly, for the next generation of pornography, the standards can be changed to appeal to the female audience. We can get cues of what female want in the erotica department from the book Fifty Shades of Grey. Detailed, dreamy, fantasy-ish, passionate, the forbidden fruit, etc. Sounds pretty close to videos from X-Art.

I’m a big fan of X-Art videos. I personally love artsy porn for many reasons. For one, I think it’s extremely beautiful, clean and natural. It’s tastefully high quality. It’s like the iPhone of pornography. X-Art, in my opinion, did everything right by challenging the status quo of current hardcore porn and setting their own standards.

1. Good looking actors & actress (typically Eastern European girls who has a more natural beauty look)

2. Beautiful background and settings – From house, hotel, sea, beach, forest, or even outdoor city, everything is just beautiful. It’s like a perfect dream. (True story – I was watching one of the X-Art’s video and I was so marveled by the beauty of the sea and i was just staring at it for some time)

3. More intimate and passionate scenes

4. Better video filters to create a more artsy color and feel.

Artsy porn is definitely not for everyone. But if they can create a scenario where for every one old sticky sweaty man leaving but gaining several female customers at the same time, I would say it’s a good trade. A very good trade actually.

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Conclusion

Some may argue pornography may not appeal to all female. Surely, just like gaming industry, most females are not attracted to gaming despite how the gaming industry has evolved over the years. Heck, not even all males are gamers too. Some people may like it, some people don’t. It’s just the way of life. It’s just business.

But just like any other industries, if you could just increase the market share by 1% or 2%, you would probably be a champion. At this moment, every 1 in 3 person who watches porn is a female. Imagine the potential if it goes to 1:1

Right now, artsy pornography is on a very niche market. Will artsy porn become mainstream? Will the mass adopt the new pornography standard? As a multi-billion dollar business industry, I surely do hope the demand will not be forever dictated by the taste of old sticky sweaty men. To make it happen, it will need the power of female market to influence the supply and demand of pornography production. If the ladies are sold by artsy porn, then we would probably see the evolution and adoption of the next generation of pornography in the next few years.

Written by elan85

December 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm

SSTWO Mall needs some serious help

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I have only been to SSTWO Mall once in my whole entire lifetime eventhough the mall is just 5 minutes drive away from my house. It was a lunch with friends – but we ate and left straight after without exploring much… And I have never stepped on the mall for the second time ….. until two weeks ago.

I decided to pay SSTWO Mall a visit because I got to know a shop called  GNC which sell protein shake there.  Why do I need to buy protein shake? Because when a man wants to buy some protein shake, he will walk in to the mall and buy it.

But I ended up didn’t buying any. Anyway.

But this time, I had the opportunity to take a proper look at the mall. I walked around, floor after floor, to check out what’s cool there. Obviously, I was disappointed as there were nothing remarkable, reflected by all the empty-unoccupied-vacant shops.

Then, I noticed there were a bunch of people dressing very nicely. And so I stalked them for a while, and they were all heading towards Dynasty Dragon restaurant at the most upper level for a wedding dinner. Take away these bunch of wedding-dinner-goer people, and this mall has 50% less people.

The more I looked at the state of the mall, the more I raged. A beautiful mall, but everything is just wrong. What raged me was the lack of direction and purpose of what SSTWO Mall wanna be.  It is as though they are leaving it to fate, hope for the mall to succeed automatically while in reality letting it rot along the way.

And I have thought, they should just let me be the director and manage the mall. I walked around for 15 minutes and ideas just kept flowing in my head on how to improve this mall. And I thought, things will not go any more worse even if I fail in any of my plans.

Analysis

Out of the 10 biggest shopping malls in the world, Malaysia has 3.  And it speaks volume of how big a shopping culture is in Malaysia and how competitive the shopping mall market is. Hence, to succeed, every mall must have purpose and reason for people to step on the mall. There are basically, two major directions a mall can take to succeed –

A – Themed shopping mall 

Fashion – Sungei Wang, Starhill

High End-ish / Premium – Bangsar Village, Empire, Pavillion

Tech/Gadgets – Lowyat, Digital Mall

Food – Curve, Publika

Bazaar – Amcorp Mall, Curve, Summit

B – Generic shopping mall – Everything under one roof, whatever you want to find.

Example – 1Utama, Mid Valley, Sunway Pyramid, Times Square, Tropicana Mall, etc.

The secret success of a big-ass generic mall is simple, really. You just need to have three things and you are pretty much set to go.

1. Cinema (GSC, TGV)

2. Hypermarket (Tesco, Carrefour, Giant, Jaya Grocer)

3. Plenty of food options.

And everything else is just additional reasons for people to spend time walking around.

This is where SSTWO Mall failed. They are obviously not a themed mall since there are so many rojak shops. They have neither a cinema nor a reputable hypermarket, so they are not competing with the big boys. SO WHO ARE THEY?

Why should people go to SSTWO Mall? No reasons at all. And it builds up the viscous cycle –  less people visiting the mall, less money flow in, shops starts closing down, even less people coming in, even more shops close down and the cycle will  loop perpetually. Eventually SSTWO Mall will slowly die off and become nothing but a ghost mall.

Therefore SSTWO mall should start reversing and creating a positive loop instead. It doesn’t matter which direction SSTWO Mall is taking, whether to be a themed shopping mall or a generic one, as long as they choose one. Just like any business, a mall without any sort of direction or proper goals will die off.

Strategy

The easier path to take is obviously to push all the way to become a well-defined themed shopping mall .. especially for food or bazaar ala Curve’s style. It is the easiest way out I can imagine with the state of how they are now.

But since I’m already assuming the position of an armchair critic, where everything seems easy to be done as said, then I will just bullshit all the way through with some strategies on how to be a successful generic mall.

Here are the 5 points strategy.

1. Branded hypermarket – When I surveyed the surrounding of SSTWO Mall, all I see was condo, house, condo and more house. It’s basically a mall located in the middle of a housing area. When there are so many people staying in one area, groceries will be high in demand. This is when a hypermarket will come handy. And currently, there’s one supermarket in SSTWO Mall called Urban Food Supermarket. No offence but who the hell is Urban Food Supermarket? Nobody knows about them. People only know about Giant, Carrefour, Tesco and Jaya Grocer. Urban Food Supermarket represent nothing in people’s head. That’s why people go to Tropicana Mall for groceries and not to SSTWO Mall

Action : Get one of the big boys hypermarket in.

2. Cinema – 10 years ago, I learned that contrary to popular belief, piracy did nothing to stop people from going to cinema.  It’s because cinema offers something which almost every household cannot afford – big ass screen and big ass speakers. However, standalone cinema which shows only 1 movie at a time collapse, because there are no varieties offered. GSC and TGV in a way revolutionized cinema by shrinking the size of cinema hall and offered up to 10 ongoing movies at the same time for people to choose. And that was the start of the era of people visiting shopping mall to watch movies in cinema. If you do some surveys, watching movie will always be one of the top 2 activities in shopping mall along with eating. Now that I have explained the history of cinema in Malaysia, does this make any sense to you SSTWO Mall?

Action : Get GSC/TGV in.

3. Entertainment (especially for young people) – Bowling, karaoke, archery, arcade. There is only a snooker place/bar which hide itself at the most top floor. With so many houses around the mall, chances are there are many younger people staying around the area too. Secret of young people – they are allergic to money. They wanna throw it out from their pocket as soon as they can. But first, you must give them reasons why they should throw the money away. And SSTWO mall is not giving people any reasons other than food and maybe some ChaTime.

Action : One bowling centre and a karaoke lounge, and you will be giving plenty reasons to SS2 and Section 17 people why they should head over. Really.

4.  More bars with expensive food – Personally, I’m not a big fan of beer or alcohol but I do recognized the uptrend of people hanging out at bars with expensive western food (which will cost around RM50-RM100 per meal). The great thing  about PJ location especially SS2, Section 17, and Damansara is that it’s a predominantly Chinese population. Which means you won’t lose out a lot running non-Halal business. And Jaya One has set the standard pretty good.

Action : Mix the variety of existing food and restaurants at SSTWO Mall.

5. Free rent and just cover the basic utility cost like electricity, water, management fee – The 4 ideas above is about getting as many cool retailers in as possible – And the best way to get them in is to offer a nothing-much-to-lose reason. What is better than not charging any rent? Sure, there’s still some renovation cost and furniture cost, but free 1 year rent? Pretty good deal, I think.

SSTWO is already leaving a shitty impression to people that it’s a dying mall. It’s now or never before it’s going to collapse if no new retailers come in.

Action : RM0 rent for 1 year.

Few day ago, I was driving across LDP highway, and I noticed that Paradigm Mall is ready for their launching. Such a weird location, but I think they are gonna do well just for the simple fact that they have GSC and Tesco. And they will be having a grand ceremony by inviting celebrities in to perform. I won’t really bet my money on them failing anytime soon. There are plenty of stuffs SSTWO Mall can learn from Paradigm Mall on how to kickstart and launch a mall properly.

Written by elan85

May 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm