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A model is placed in a restrictive position for bondage photography

The sex industry is the term given to the industry commercial enterprises which employ sex workers in various capacities, generally relating to what is described as adult entertainment which includes erotica, as it comprises a number of forms of entertainment not considered suitable for children.

The sex industry earns as much as $13 billion a year in the United States[1] and has been credited with driving technological advances in popular media, such as home video and DVD, pay-per-view, live streaming video and video on demand. In the United States, the sex film industry is centered in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. In Europe, Budapest is regarded as the industry center.[2][3][4]

Examples of the types of modern business operating in the sex industry include Hustler (a monthly men's magazine); SexTV: The Channel (a digital cable television channel); YouPorn (a website that allows amateurs to upload porn); Artemis (a mega-brothel in Germany); and Ann Summers (a successful chain of British sex shops).


Types of businesses

Adult films

The explosive popularity of the videocassette recorder in the 1970s and 1980s led to unprecedented growth for the adult film business. The portability of the technology vaulted the availability of so-called "dirty movies" beyond the realm of the simple loops and movie projectors of an earlier era to bigger profits and higher-quality production values. Every year, AVN Awards—including categories such as Best High-Definition Production and Best New Starlet are given to selected adult film


The first home-PCs capable of network communication prompted the arrival of online services for adults in the late 80s and early 1990s. The wide-open early days of the World Wide Web quickly snowballed into the dot-com boom, in-part fueled by an incredible global increase in the demand for and consumption of porn and erotica.

Adult Management and Staff

Many confuse those working in a management or staff position with those who are Adult Service Provider or Sex Workers. Nothing can be further from the truth. Those who manage or are in staff positions are in the higher levels of the adult business and do not participate in the sexual services for adults personally and often have no direct deals or view adult content.

Their role is to create business models, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Traffic Trading, Press Releases, Negotiate contracts with other owners, buy and sell content, technical support, Servers, Billing, Payroll, Trade Shows and various events, Marketing and Sales forecasts, Human Resources, Taxes and Legal. Usually those in management or staff have no dealings directly with the Sex Worker instead hire a photographer(s) under contract who have a direct social network with the Sex Trade Industry and Sex Workers. Pornography is a product that management and staff in the Adult Industry professionally markets and sells to adult webmasters for distribution on the Internet.

A depiction of a sex worker in Germany

Adult Service Provider

An Adult Service Provider (ASP), or Adult Sex Provider, provides sexual services for adults. This can include escorts, call girls, prostitutes, adult webmasters, erotic dancers, the independent contractors sometimes associated with brothels, and others who are generally referred to under the umbrella term sex worker. These providers have been known to offer pastoral care and training at levels typically associated with blue chip companies to their staff.

Sex tourism

The growth in sex tourism has led to a corresponding growth in the sex industry in some countries. Illegal sex tourism with under-age boys and girls has become a notorious problem in poorer Third World countries in places like the Caribbean and South East Asia. Legal (above the age of consent) and consensual sex industries make a significant contribution to the local economies of some urban centers. The Hamburg Reeperbahn is a licensed and taxed prostitution zone serving tourists from all over the world.


Sex industries tend to cluster around military bases. The British naval port of Portsmouth had a flourishing local sex industry in the 19th century, and until the early 1990s there were large red light districts near American military bases in the Philippines. The Monto red-light district of Dublin, one of the largest in Europe, gained most of its custom from the British soldiers stationed in the city; indeed it collapsed after Irish independence was achieved and the soldiers left. The notorious Patpong entertainment district in Bangkok, Thailand, started as an R&R location for US troops serving in the Vietnam War in the early 1970s.


The sex industry is very controversial, and many people, organizations and governments have strong moral objections to it, and, as a result, pornography, prostitution, striptease and other similar occupations are illegal in many countries.

The term anti-pornography movement is used to describe those who argue that pornography has a variety of harmful effects, such as encouragement of human trafficking, desensitization, pedophilia, dehumanization, exploitation, sexual dysfunction, and inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships.

Feminist objections

Radical feminists are strongly opposed to the sex industry. They argue that this industry is exploitative towards women, contributes to the male-centered objectification of women, increases sexual violence against women, and undermines gender equality. They say that prostitution is a form of male domination, of violence against women, and, as a result of such views on prostitution, Sweden, Norway and Iceland have enacted laws which outlaw the buying, but not the selling of sexual services (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute).

Conservative and religious objections

Social and religious conservatives condemn to the sex industry. They argue that this industry undermines the conservative lifestyle and leads to the moral breakdown of society. They say that these professions are amoral, weaken family values, and are contrary to the religions teachings.

Other objections

The sex industry often raises objections because it is sometimes connected to criminal activities, such as human trafficking, illegal immigration, drug abuse, and exploitation of children (child pornography, child prostitution). The sex industry also raises concerns about the spread of STDs.

See also


External links

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