Adult Content: It’s Just Business

Yesterday I went to visit some of my relatives up in DC. They’re a wonderful family — I love them to death and don’t see them often enough. We had a most delightful lunch and then sat around for a couple of hours yammering about the girls’ respective travel and college adventures. It was lots of fun.

At one point my Aunt asked me, “So Lisa tell us about your new project, what are you working on?” So I talked a bit about what Grouvia is and how excited I am about it, and how every day brings something new as we peel back the layers of the onion designing this site.

“For example,” I said. “Earlier this week a question came up about allowing adult content. You know, Grouvia will have private groups that will be hidden from the public group directory and can’t be found in search engines. As long as the private groups aren’t doing anything illegal, shouldn’t we allow them to do anything they want? You know, like X-Rated?”

Dead silence.

Well, I thought, that sure was a buzz-kill. Finally my 21-year-old cousin (who just returned from a year traveling in Asia) piped in, “Sure, why not?” and the moment passed, but we quickly moved on to another, safer topic.

I’m currently reading John Irving’s “A Widow For One Year.” Part of the book takes place in Amsterdam where prostitution is legal. A murder takes place in the red light district and the story has a certain amount of detail about how the prostitution business works. They treat it like any other business and, seediness aside, the whole thing is rather matter-of-fact. So I guess at the moment I’m slightly desensitized to it, but really — I would have expected my rather liberal forward-thinking family to be able to discuss the topic without any discomfort. But it did give me something to think about (not to mention the material for this week’s post).

On a side note, the Dutch have a long history of being a very practical and tolerant culture. For instance their support for Freedom of Religion turned it into a mainstream idea.

At any rate, whether people agree with it or not, adult content is HUGE business on the Internet, and therefore a potentially lucrative revenue channel for Grouvia. It’s not illegal to look at girlie pictures or watch pornographic videos, as long as it is done within certain legal parameters. Some people even collect it. Whether I personally have any interest in it or not is completely irrelevant. I also don’t have any interest in fly-fishing or poker or monster truck rallies or hang-gliding or beauty pageants (and on and on) but we’re not going to ban them from Grouvia because I personally find them uninteresting or even distasteful. However, there are clearly a handful of activities that are legally restricted (including gambling, smoking, alcohol, etc.) and therefore these topics should be considered “adult” topics and should be less visible, if not invisible, to the general public.

I’m ok with this. This is about business, not about personal beliefs and mores. As long as it’s legal, it will be allowed.

I welcome any comments you may have on this subject.

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