June 26, 2002 02:00am
Naked Goth Girls!
Source: Wired News
by: Jess Barron
When people hear the term "porn site," most picture ugly Web design, annoying pop-up ads, and badly lit pictures of big-haired breast-implanted blondes. The Suicide Girls website features photos of naked goth, punk and alternative girls.
Not so now. Four stylish subculture sites are putting a new face on porn. Raveporn, Supercult, Suicide Girls and FrictionUSA feature artful nude photos of women who are more likely to be purple-haired, pale and pierced. And there isn't a pop-up ad in sight.
What's more, a significant number of their members are women.
While Playboy magazine reports that 17 percent of its readers are women, these new sites say that they have at least twice as many paying female users.
Dr. Al Cooper, director of the San Jose Marital and Sexuality Centre and a psychologist at Stanford University, believes the Internet allows women more opportunity for sexual experimentation than they may have in their offline lives.
"The Internet's 'triple-A' -- access, affordability and anonymity -- is particularly attractive to women," said Cooper, who is the editor of Sex and the Internet: A Guidebook for Clinicians. "Women are supposedly equal today, but in terms of sexuality, they're not -- in their everyday lives they're more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault and potential damage to their reputations."
Raverporn, an electronic music oriented adult website launched by Scott Owens in July 1999, features nude models wearing colorful plastic bracelets and wigs in the fashion of club-goers. "Porn doesn't have to be dirty and nasty, and it can be enjoyed by both men and women," said Owens, 24. He reports that between 30 to 35 percent of the site's paying members are female.
"I want to take the sketchiness and smuttiness out of porn," said Chase Lisbon, 28, who launched Supercult in August 2001. "I don't use words like tits or ass or pussy anywhere on the site." Supercult is a mod-styled website featuring pictures of naked hipsters posing with Lambretta scooters and Star Wars action figures. Chase estimates that 30 percent of the site's paying users are female.
Supercult's photographer, known as U.S. Romance, appears nude in photos on the site. "I posed mostly because I didn't want to be a hypocrite, you know, asking the girls to get naked if I wouldn't do it," he said.
Launched in September 2001, Suicide Girls is an online community built around pictures of naked gothic and punk models who keep online journals. The two twenty-something founders call themselves Spooky and Missy Suicide.
According to Spooky, more than 50 percent of Suicide Girls' paying members are female, and browsing the user profiles it is apparent that many identify themselves as heterosexual. Missy and Spooky believe women enjoy the site because the pictures aren't especially graphic and the models aren't being degraded. Model Isabelle, 22, wrote that she decided to pose for Suicide Girls because "there are so many beautiful ladies and not a cum shot in sight."
Missy, the site's photographer, who appears on the site in non-nude photos herself, shoots her subjects in the style of modern pin-up girls. 'The classic pin-up girl photos are so appealing because the girls were pictured doing normal everyday things," said Missy. "They made it possible to think that we could all have those sexy moments."
But why are so many straight women paying to look at naked females?
Suicide Girls seems to appeal to straight women for two main reasons: It's a punk rock Vogue or Victoria's Secret catalog and it's a good place to meet guys.
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