Hubby and Wifey

Tim Byars (
Tue, 21 Jul 1998 17:56:44 -0700

> Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle
> For years, the Oregon couple known in cyberspace as Hubby and Wifey
> had a little secret -- they liked to take video and still pictures of
> each other when they
> made love.
> But their private pastime became very public about a year ago when
> Hubby, on a lark, posted a Polaroid of a topless Wifey on an Internet
> discussion group.
> Now they're making money at it.
> The couple regularly posts explicit photos in several forums, and each
> posting casually mentions that "videos are available."
> They've been selling a lot of those videos at about $40 to $50 each.
> They don't want to say how much money they've made, but it's a large
> sum -- enough that
> they worry that revealing it would hurt their image as earnest
> amateurs.
> Hubby and Wifey -- who don't want their real names used -- are among
> hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals who post nude and sexually
> explicit images
> of themselves online.
> They aren't professionals. These aren't porn stars or topless dancers.
> They are everyday people who like to show off, and like Hubby and
> Wifey, some of them
> are making good money doing so.
> Hubby and Wifey, who met in high school, are now both 33 years old. He
> owns a distribution business; she's a stay-at-home mom with three
> young children.
> "We are really just kind of plain-Jane people," said Wifey. "If you
> ever saw us on the street, you wouldn't recognize us. I look just like
> a suburban housewife;
> I'm not very glamorous."
> These provocative images appear in one of two places.
> One is in Usenet news groups, thousands of individual discussion
> forums on the Internet, each devoted to a specific topic. Some of the
> groups are set up
> exclusively for the posting of erotic photographs.
> The other area is the World Wide Web, the part of the Internet that
> combines graphics, text, sound and video. There, a growing number of
> people who don't
> consider themselves part of the sex business are setting up Web sites
> that feature photos of themselves.
> Sex on the Web is big business, one of the few on the Internet to turn
> a tidy profit. Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass.-based market
> research firm,
> estimates that sex Web sites will rake in $137 million this year, a
> figure that will jump to $296 million in 2001.
> Most of that, said Forrester analyst Seema Williams, "will come from
> smaller players. Big name brands don't mean that much in this
> business. The brand name
> doesn't necessarily dictate the type of product you are going to be
> getting."
> The Web is the perfect delivery system for pornography, because it's
> very private, said Williams. "No one is going to see you walking into
> an adult video store."
> Pornography on the Net has been largely unregulated since the U.S.
> Supreme Court last year struck down as unconstitutional the
> Communications Decency Act.
> That law, crafted as part of telecommunications reform in 1996, made
> it illegal to place "indecent" material on the Web in a way that it
> could be regularly
> accessible to minors. Since the ruling, several replacement bills have
> begun making their way through the legislative process.
> The issue of pornographic material on the Internet raises tempers on
> both sides.
> "It's a tough issue, because it's a free speech issue," said Steven
> Carr, general manager for Clearsail Communications, a Houston-based
> Internet service provider
> that filters out pornographic Web sites and news groups on behalf of
> its customers.
> But Carr, like many who oppose pornography on the Web, said its open
> availability is just morally wrong.
> The Web is where the money is made, but it is Usenet where most of the
> amateurs begin. Much like Wifey and Hubby, it is usually through an
> expression of
> exhibitionism that generates positive feedback.
> Wifey, who happily admits to an exhibitionist streak, wasn't upset
> when Hubby first posted those topless Polaroids. And she was
> particularly gratified at the
> e-mail that poured in from people wanting more.
> "We were getting 100 to 200 e-mails every day," said Hubby. "It became
> a kind of game for us -- let's try to guess how many e-mails we have
> today."
> Hubby and Wifey gladly obliged and gave the regulars in the Usenet
> news groups what they wanted -- extremely explicit photos of the
> couple having sex,
> including still pictures from a high-quality video camera.
> Last September, the couple began offering to sell videotapes, and
> orders began pouring in.
> "Our main issue right now is time," said Hubby. "It takes a lot of
> time to process all these orders, box up the videos and take them to
> the post office."
> But it's worth it financially -- enough that the couple has paid an
> experienced Web site design firm to create Wifey's World, which will
> be used to sell their
> videos in the near future.
> "With the Web site, we can take credit cards -- that should cut back
> on the amount of time we have to spend processing orders," he said.
> The couple speculate that one of the reasons their pictures and videos
> are so popular is that "people are turned on by the fact that we are
> monogamous," Wifey
> said. "I'm madly in love with my husband, and it shows."
> Danni Ashe, former topless dancer and soft-core porn film star, was
> one of the first professionals to launch a sex Web site back in 1995.
> Danni's Hard Drive has
> grown dramatically from the days when she was designing the site
> herself.
> "Today, I have 17 employees," she said. "We made $3 million last
> year."
> Although most of Ashe's site is devoted to professional models, she
> recently started an area to tap into the demand for amateur images. An
> area on her site called
> "Naughty Newbies" features amateurs who've sent Ashe pictures of
> themselves.
> Another popular venue for online exhibitionists are Web-cams -- live
> video cameras that show either the intimate details of someone's life
> or planned strip shows.
> Billy DaMota, a Hollywood casting director, maintains a
> tongue-in-cheek directory on the Web of sites that feature women who
> take their clothes off in front of a
> Web-cam and charge money for it. Customers pay a monthly fee to have
> access to the cams, enticed by a free area up front that shows past
> scenes.
> DaMota said his listing began as a parody of another site, but he soon
> began getting requests from women who wanted him to include them on
> his pages. This is
> despite the fact that DaMota obviously doesn't think much of the women
> who do it.
> "This is the online equivalent of women who don't want to be bothered
> getting a mundane job, like being a secretary or waiting tables, and
> instead get a job as a
> stripper," he said. "That's what these are -- online strippers."
> DaMota said there are now businesses that set up shop and hire a
> stable of women to pose for Web-cams. "They take half the girls'
> money," he said, "just like
> pimps."
> For many amateurs who want to show off, the Internet is a kind of safe
> underground where they can do so without being seen by the mainstream
> -- including
> their relatives, friends and neighbors.
> A Maine man who goes by the online name of F1guru began posting
> pictures of his girlfriend Tobi late last year. The first shots were
> "very plain -- bathing suits
> and workout stuff," he said.
> "Tobi didn't know about it, but soon found out," F1guru said in an
> e-mail interview. "She was positive, but apprehensive at the same
> time. I convinced her to let
> me post a topless picture after getting a lot of mail asking for
> more."
> Tobi became an online sensation, with Usenet regulars clamoring for
> more. The couple set up a Web site earlier this year, charging
> visitors $14.95 a month.
> "In two months, we made a couple thousand dollars," he said. "We got
> about 3,200 hits a day." Hits represent people viewing their Web site.
> But then, a boyfriend of Tobi's cousin spotted her pictures on Usenet.
> Her cousin then told the rest of Tobi's family, who accused F1guru of
> taking advantage of
> her.
> "The cousin decided she needed to tell everybody," F1guru said, "and
> said that Tobi was being mistreated and that graphic images of her
> were being displayed
> for profit."
> After her family confronted her, Tobi asked that the site be taken
> down.
> Hubby and Wifey keep their Internet activities away from their young
> children. And Wifey worries that her very religious parents will find
> out. If that happens,
> she said, her days of flaunting it on the Net will likely be over.
> "That's what bothers me about this -- the children," said Carr of
> Clearsail Communications. "What if her children find out? What if
> she's in the grocery store one
> day with her kids and someone recognizes her and says, `Hey, I know
> you!' "

Don't go lookin' for snakes you might find them. ...Metallica

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