The Wolf’s Den: How You Find Out About the Porn You Love

Carnal Media founder and CEO Legrand Wolf takes fappers behind the curtain of affiliate porn blogs—and why some just aren't worth the company's time.

Owning a gay porn studio is a weird thing. I love it—or I wouldn’t have started two of them—but you have to admit, running companies dedicated to men having sex with one another is not something that you get a lot of training for.

A lot goes into creating each new release. There’s casting, of course, but also coming up with the scenario, finding a great crew and editors, and making sure that every video in your subscription is as hot as we can make it. And if that means I have to jerk off to every single one myself, so be it!

But that’s the easy part. The harder part is getting the word out. We don’t have million dollar campaign budgets like tube sites that built their traffic machines almost entirely on stolen content that they gave away for free. We’re definitely competitive with them, but we don’t have even the modest budgets of gay studios like NextDoorStudios, owned by the much larger straight company Gamma Entertainment, or Falcon|Naked Sword, owned by the much larger straight company AEBN. But word of mouth is awesome and social media (when it’s not censoring us) has been a huge boon to traffic. 

And there are affiliate blogs.

You know affiliate blogs, even if you don’t know the term. Those are the sites that write up new releases with photos and trailers and links so you can subscribe. The twist is that each link ties you back to the site where you clicked it. If you subscribe, that site gets a version of a finder’s fee.

This isn’t just for porn, of course—you think The New York Times’ Wirecutter isn’t making money every time you click on a link to buy something? It definitely is.

Good affiliate partners are super excited about the content because it turns them on. On the other hand, a humdrum affiliate will grab every single bit of content that comes their way in the hopes that people click on something and then buy some porn so they can make some money.

For our part, we’re most eager to work with affiliates who get our content and who aren’t promoting stuff that we find questionable. So no revenge porn, nothing involving white supremacy, and we try to work with affiliates who don’t spew hate in all directions. It might be the Internet, but we can still have manners. And common sense!

That goes both ways—we also promote partner content in our member areas. We try to focus on people who are making content that is similar in nature and quality to our own. By far, we’ve found content made by gay people for people who get off on gay content is going to sell better, and ultimately when you’re promoting someone’s content, the goal is to have ads that people will click on and buy from.

But we try to be careful about avoiding promoting content made by anyone with credible allegations against them. That’s a fine line to walk, of course, but we try to be thoughtful about who and what we tacitly support with banners and content swaps. 

Likewise, we try to be thoughtful when an affiliate partner publishes a bad review about our content. If the criticism is valid and constructive, we take it to heart—we always want to be better! But if something about one of our sites has been flagged by some arbitrary checklist, then no, we’re not going to stress too much that we don’t offer enough download sizes in flash, or that our site looks funny on an outdated Internet Explorer browser from 10 years ago.

Our primary focus is always on our Carnal consumers, not on what a particular luddite with a blog thinks we “should” be doing.”

That goes for the content, too. Most people understand that porn is fantasy, especially ours, but every now and then the same old cry of moral concern goes up and there’s a flurry of hand-wringing. Boy for Sale, for instance, has been a lightning rod from the beginning. I’m sure those critics are also concerned every time an actor plays a character that dies in a movie, because obviously an actor had to die to make the film! Or they’re Tipper Gores who think culture glorifies everything it portrays. It’s stupid! But like in life, we tend to ignore the loud idiots and focus on the personality of our individual sites, like Fun-Sized Boys and Growl Boys. That’s why we’re still in this business, after all—creating hot, sexy content to keep our users happy and satisfied.

The Gay Goods is dedicated to engaging with a range of opinions and viewpoints. To share yours, email editor@thegaygoods.com.

1 Comment

  1. Porn is fantasy. Too many think it’s sex ed, or something else. They’re wrong it is fantasy!

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