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Pantsless in Portland

The creator of Erotisphere writes about the website,
the Portland scene, and life without pants.

by AnDroid

Selling Out

Written by AnDroid   
Thursday, 09 September 2010 16:20

I didn't create Portland Erotisphere to make money. I created it because I saw a need for it, and I wanted a resource that I could use for my own purposes. That said, when I began compiling the data and figuring out how to put it all together, I always had the thought in the back of my mind that if this thing got popular it could be a potential source of revenue, or at the very least it might be able to generate enough money to pay for itself.

Initially I thought, “I'll just throw some Google AdSense in there, and it'll take care of itself.” Well I quickly found out that Google doesn't want anything to do with adult websites, and while Erotisphere doesn't have any porn on it, the site is nonetheless considered guilty by association. So fuck that idea.

I briefly tried an affiliate banner ad program, but I didn't have faith that visitors of this site would click on the ad and actually purchase sex toys, which is what would have to happen in order to get any money from that. It would have to happen a lot. It was too much of a long shot, and besides, I felt that it conflicted with the local adult stores I have listed in the Erotisphere business directory. So I nixed that idea.

Ideally I would like local businesses to advertise on this site exclusively, but it hasn't really started generating enough traffic yet to make that worthwhile. Portland Erotisphere isn't exactly a household name in this city. Still, the site's been up for a little over a year now, and it's been getting enough regular traffic to warrant looking at advertising options again. So I ended up finding an adult advertising network called Black Label Ads and, as I'm sure you've noticed, I finally added a banner ad in the right column.

Like AdSense and other ad serving applications, Black Label Ads plugs in ads based on how many hits the site is getting, how much the advertisers are paying, and how closely the content of the site is related to the ad. A local business could actually purchase the spot through Black Label Ads if they wanted to, and probably at a ridiculously low rate, but there's no way of knowing if and when that will ever happen. Anyway, what I didn't think about when I signed up for it is the fact that Portland Erotisphere caters to a broad user base – men and women, straight and LGBT, people looking for private sex shows and people looking for bongs. So who the hell knows what kind of ads could pop up?

The first time I loaded the homepage with the new ad spot I was confronted by an image of a dude with a huge erection.

It was so jarring I actually screamed out loud. My immediate reaction was to say “Aw hell naw! I gotta get this off of here right now!” Don't get me wrong – I'm not the least bit offended by pornographic images like that. It's just the idea that everything I've done on this website might now be displayed with a picture of a giant cock next to it. I imagined lesbians searching the business directory for places to buy vibrators, and this grotesque penis photo pops up and slaps them across the face. I have no idea who all uses this site, but this is a genuine concern, especially considering there have never been pornographic images displayed here before.

But, you know, maybe people aren't even shocked by that kind of shit anymore. This is an adult website, after all, and it seems like most adult websites have obscene banner ads these days. After meditating on it for a little while I'm honestly still not sure how I feel about the whole thing. From what I've read, Black Label Ads doesn't pay all that well, so maybe it's not even worth it. I dunno. I'm planning on keeping this ad spot on the site for at least a few months. I may tweak the settings or block out some of the pornographic ads. In the meantime I'd be interested to hear some of your opinions on the matter.



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