Disclaimer: The subject of this rant is sex and smut on the net. If you read it you might be plunged into depravity and wantoness which will cause your brains to liquefy and dribble out your ears-you have been warned! This page, and the opinions theron do not in any way represent the opinions of the University of Michigan or the Department of Geological Sciences. It is solely my own creation.

If you aren't of legal age or this stuff might be illegal in your jurisdiction, go someplace else.

Q: Is there smut on the 'net?
A: You Betcha!

In my capacity as Webmaster and bargain-basement HTML Guru, I have undertaken, strictly as a public service of course, the arduous task of examining this question in infinite detail. It was a tough assignment, but nothing is too good for my adoring fans.

Yes, there is a lot of smut available on the 'Net. It's everywhere, in the newsgroups, the BBS's, ftp sites, and WWW Servers. What strikes me first however, is how just plain repetitive it all is. Somebody once claimed there are only really five country-western songs. The same seems to be true for porn shots, not just because there are a fairly limited number of ways to make the plumbing work, but also because once released on the binary highway, this stuff takes on a life of its own. The same photographs can often be found posted to a newsgroup, available via ftp, and through a paid-access Web site, all in the same day. Some will be high resolution, some very low, others will be cropped oddly, or have text/advertising added. One definition of the Net I've seen is: a system for violating copyrights with a scale and speed never before possible.

Most of this stuff is sexual junk food-the Twinkie of erotica. Sure, it's momentarily functional, but not very fulfilling, and probably bad for the teeth. Clearly there is a demand for 'Net sex. Look what happens to the servers of popular sites. Andy Inhatko's column in the January '95 issue of MacUser suggested a game for web surfers based on finding stuff that would offend Sen. Exon. As a visual artist, I'm mainly disturbed at how bad most of it is, and by how often copyright is violated. We're not just talking poor taste here-though there is plenty of that. It's just that so much of it is visually dull. I suppose as simple wank fodder that's fine, but it's not very challenging.

It's not all bad. I have come across a few sites with erotically charged material that actually have some class. I encourage you to vote with your browsers, and where possible your credit cards for the folks providing these sites. Some of them can be found on my photo links page.

Dale Austin mrwizard@umich.edu
All images and text copyright 1977-2003 Dale Austin

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