Dutch Porn Channel for Women Boasts 1.2 Million Viewers

Feb 14, 2011 10:00 AM PST
HILVERSUM, Netherlands — A Dutch TV channel that’s being billed as the first of its kind in Europe to provide non-stop porn and erotica for women is now boasting 1.2 million viewers.

Called “Dusk,” the channel was launched three years ago by Martijn Broersma a cable industry veteran and reportedly has grown to a 24 hour a day, seven day a week network that airs on the Netherlands’ two largest cable providers.

During his stint in the cable business Broersma heard networks complain about the lack of erotic content for women and found that more than half of Dutch women watched porn and that 78 percent wanted a channel of their own.

“We call it 'porna,' to give the idea that it’s porn made for women, something different from traditional porno,” Broersma said.

He added, “Women really like to see explicit content. They want proof that it’s really happening, that it’s not fake.”

Broersma said a number of qualities that set porna apart from traditional porn are realism, respect and a realistic storyline.

“You want to see that people are actually having fun. Often in porn you can see that the woman is thinking ‘when do I get paid,’ or ‘do I have to get the groceries.’ She is not there with her mind.”

Some of Dusk’s content includes S&M, daytime softcore “Black Tie Nights,” and "Matinee," the award-winning drama by American erotic filmmaker Jennifer Lyon Bell.

Besides making female-oriented porn through her Blue Artichoke studio, Bell is a Harvard-educated psychologist who teaches a course in erotic film at the Dutch Film Academy.

“Holland is lucky to have Dusk. There is definitely a market of under-served women [in the U.S.] who would love to have something like this. There is a revolution going on right now in porn, in alternative and feminist porn, and yet there aren’t a lot of outlets for it to be sold,” Bell said.

Broersma said, “We sat down together and decided that we don’t know what it is, but it’s about time we figured it out.”

Dusk viewers can also give their opinions on the programming in an online forum, that allows Boersma to customize shows based on the feedback.

The current top 10 shows include "My Mother’s Best Friend," "Barcelona Sex Project," (a reality sex documentary) and "The Gift," a ‘90’ classic directed by porn veteran Candida Royalle.

The big challenge, according to Bell, is finding talent who have their hearts into what they’re doing and producing a credible plot to frame the sex.

“Casting is my No. 1 challenge. Within the porn industry, some of those people can act but it’s hard to find them. I’ve had more luck working with performance artists, dancers … theater and film actresses who are willing to take a risk or just regular people who are very open and honest about their sexuality,” Bell said.

Despite its female-centric focus, Bell and Broersma said men are also interested in porna.

“I think a lot of men are fed up with traditional porn and they want to see something else. They are always interested to discover what women want to see. Couples are also watching together,” Broersma said.

Broersma is reportedly planning to expand Dusk to Germany in 2011 and said he has inquiries from several other countries.

He maintained that the Internet has made TV companies realize that they can’t ignore the female half of its audience.

Broersma said, “When we started here in Holland we had the ambition that the word porna has to be within the dictionary within three years. We only have one year left and I think we will succeed.”

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