by Randy Muselman
Not the author of this article.
Ever wonder what goes on in the average video rental store? You know we're there corrupting the youth of your local community, don't you? We force pornography upon you from the moment you walk in the door. I've worked at this particular video store for almost three years. Not a week goes by that I donít get at least one or two folks in that let me have it because we offer adult rentals. And today was no exception.
A couple comes in today asking me if I have a section of religious titles for rent. I reply that we have no religious section, mostly in my opinion, because I think that the buyers for the store I work for most likely think it will not rent. I indicate to them that I have somewhat of a small budget that they allow me to use for my own purchases. I attempt to buy what I can to replenish titles that we don't have or those that become damaged. Unfortunately, religious titles are not at the top of the list. I do however make a point every time I purchase titles to at least find one copy of something that is very family related, such as the film Joshua, which I found to be extremely good viewing.
The reply to this was "You have an adult section, with how many rentals? So you rent porn but you don't have the decency to carry religious materials?" Yep, I'm in the Bible belt, and I get belted pretty damn well every now and then.
Now I am not sure how other video stores work their adult rooms, but I know my staff and I try our very best to keep those out of the adult room that shouldn't belong there... Oh yeah, I forgot to mention; our adult titles are in a room completely segregated from the rest of our rentals. It has a door on it, and VERY LARGE SIGNS. Those signs look just like a stop sign and printed in very large letters are "STOP! If you are under the age of 18, you may not enter this room." The door is always closed and yes, we even have security cameras positioned in the room, and they aren't just for catching crooks. The door to the adult room is straight across from our office door, so someone is bound to catch you if you're not supposed to be in there. To be honest, this has never been a problem for us. Most folks don't even realize that particular room is there, let alone know what's in it. For those that want adult titles, they are not shy at all about asking us if we carry them, and where they are located.
For some reason though, when these right wing folks show up, Iím treated as if I have a huge flashing neon sign that says ďXXX porn for rent.Ē I apparently have big red arrows and a path of colored carpet that clearly points the way to these rentals. Why is it that the average person whom I deal with every day doesnít know that room is there, but these folks always do?
Why is it that we carry adult rentals at our video store? The answer to that is fairly simple. Sex sells. Thatís it, plain and simple. Donít believe me? Then you havenít watched television commercials during prime time. Many of them feature something related to sex, they are just not blatant about it.
Let me give you some facts about the video industry, the adult industry in particular. Whether you like it or not, citizens in the old USA spend $10 billion annually for their adult entertainment according to Forrester Research of Cambridge, Mass. Of households in the United States who have either television or a computer, 25% of those households visit porn sites on the internet, or watch adult content. Thatís 1 in 4 people. Those also are the households that are actually admitting to watching content, so the number could be far higher. The porn industry in general has exploded because people no longer have to actually go out and rent an adult video to watch it. Most of the porn consumed in America today is received via satellite or cable TV.
According to PBS, 77% of online visitors to adult content sites are male. Their average age is 41 and they have an annual income of $60,000. 46% are married. Of the billions generated in revenues from all home video rentals in 1997, adult home video rentals accounted for a little more than 26%.
Now that report was issued seven years ago folks, and technology has advanced, so I doubt very much if video rental stores are responsible for even 26% of what is consumed in 2004. Not when you can sit back on your couch and order adult content with the push of a button from your cable company or your satellite TV provider.
According to a National Opinion Research Center survey, people were asked the following question. ďHave you seen an x-rated movie in the last year?" Of those who answered, 27% said yes. Those statistics seem to stay fairly consistent, 1 in 4. Remember, the survey results are THOSE WHO ANSWERED. No mention of exactly how accurate that survey was, how many did not answer, or didnít want people to know they actually watch adult content.
Just FYI, 70% of all the porn that is made in America is produced in the Los Angeles, California area. And while researching the information for this article, I also discovered that an actress in adult films has a career length of roughly one year, and that the usual rate for actresses in adult films for each act of male/female intercourse is $1,000.
Sex is big business people, I doubt very much that is going to change in the near future, other than possibly becoming more attractive due to ever growing acceptance. Unfortunately, for those of you who want to come in and give me a bad time because I rent adult titles, you are in the minority. I donít have any control over it, and corporate America just isnít going to ignore the ability to cash in on 10 billion dollars out there being spent on adult content annually.
So next time you come in to rent a video, be nice to me, will you? Iím going to do my very best to be nice to you, make sure you have what you want to rent, when you want it. Iím going to go out of my way to ensure that your visit with at least my store is as pleasant as I can possibly make it. And I assure you, I am NOT going to even mention porn, adult rentals, sexÖÖÖ..
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originally posted: 03/11/04 11:23:39
last updated: 03/11/04 14:33:07