Q&A: Former HotMovies Staffer Creates Guide for Sex on the Internet
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Internet is filled with wonderful things, like pictures of horses and topless celebs. It's also filled with horrible things, like pictures of dead horses and computer viruses.
Former HotMovies.com employee Bill Turner took it upon himself to help those in search of perhaps the Internet’s most wonderful gift — porn — with the release of his new e-book, “The Cybersexual Bible: The True Consumer's Guide for Sexual Content,” while avoiding horrible things germane to the territory, like fraud, pesky bugs and embarrassment.
Essentially a how-to guide for timid and/or clueless surfers looking to consume online adult content (and here's the key word) safely, Turner says it gives detailed advice on how to avoid dangerous websites, illegal content and other potential problems that can arise when securing sexual content — or even sex — on the Internet.
“The book is an actual consumer guide, not an adult product infomercial, though I do name names of the best companies in the business that I endorse,” Turner told XBIZ.
Turner took on the project after moving to Portland, Ore., following a seven-year stint at the parent company of HotMovies.com, where he began in customer support and worked his way up the corporate ladder to managing a content division for a sex products website. Also a co-founding editor of the extant literary fiction magazine “Per Contra,” Turner has returned to his roots and now earns his bread and butter as a full-time writer.
XBIZ caught up with Turner to discuss "The Cybersexual Bible" further and get tips on how to fearlessly surf for porn.
Why did you decide to write your “Bible”?
I was doing some background research for another book that I’m writing about my experience in the industry and discovered a number of people who believe that somehow, someway, no matter what you do with any adult content online, you’re in a illegal or shady [place] or something’s going wrong. It kind of exposed a need to kind of break down what it really is, what the business really is, and in doing that I realized that the primary reasons that a lot of people are developing those kinds of opinions is because they have no clue what they’re doing when they go to look.
And it’s much the same way, I would put it, if you’re a legitimate business owner and you decide to do advertising. There are a thousand bad advertising agencies out there, that will basically just take your money, slap you up somewhere online, and you may or may not ever see any business, so that kind of makes it hard for the good advertising agencies trying to get your site promoted to make money because the industry itself has such a bad reputation.
And looking at that as a model, I decided it’s better to educate people on what’s good and what’s not good, and kind of create a system where someone who’s never before in their life searched for adult content can actually find good adult content from good, reputable businesses.
What are readers going to learn/encounter in the book?
The first two sentences [in the preface] I set up in a very specific way: The first one says “most adult businesses are like any other business” and then the second sentence talks about masturbation. And that’s the idea — to shock the reader into understanding that the two are not incompatible. Then I go on to explain the cause of the social stigmas that revolve around adult content. A lot of times people just lump all the adult into shady, eastern European 'backroom providers,' and that’s not the case at all.
But then I go on in the book, and I explain from a consumer point of view how to protect your identity, how to protect your money, how to protect your home if you’re into online dating, sex dating specifically, so you don’t have people coming into your home. How to manage and navigate whether or not you’re going to put pictures of yourself online, how you’re going to handle those pictures, who’s going to have access to them. It’s a complete breakdown of how to protect yourself. When you’re out there, if you’re well protected, if you’re well prepared for being involved in adult stuff online, then you don’t have nearly the worries of the person that’s just shooting in the dark.
Do you think its odd that people are so uneducated or miseducated about adult, given how prevalent it is and how many people partake?
I think that is precisely why I wrote the book, is because there is a giant gap in consumption of the content — 40 percent of all Intertnet users are going to access adult content — and then the amount of material that’s available to educate people about the content. For instance, a great example is that if you go Norton forums and they talk about the different websites. Norton will tell you straight-up that such and such adult website is a great adult website: it’ ok, there’s nothing wrong with it, there’s nothing on it. And then you’ll look in the comments section and you’ll see people saying, 'I got a virus off of this stupid website.' And the next person will be like 'Well, what do you expect from a porn site? Everybody knows that a porn site has viruses.' And that’s the furthest thing from the truth. There are shady operators that capitalize on the system itself, the way its set up and the lack of information, but they’re the ones that have the executable downloads on their sites, they’re the ones that have the Trojans, the spyware, etc.
The reputable porn dealer does not want anything associated with his site or her site like that. In the second chapter of the book, I start out with one, how to protect your own privacy on your own device, so if you’ve got kids you know how to eliminate the history. I teach them how to go incognito in [Google] Chrome so your computer doesn’t even record your history. Second, in the third chapter, I talk about how to browse the Internet, how to spot shady content, how to check links before you jump them to go to the next site, how to do all of the things that prevent you from landing on either disturbing or illegal content.
Do you think this information is known to everyone under 20?
Part of my research was actually searching the adult dating sites and the number of people who are in their early 20s, who have a picture of themselves with their face, buck naked, and their name and where they’re from. So a potential employer goes online and decides to do a background check , and a lot of the companies do that now, and they see ‘Oh a member of MENSA society, member of this, member of that — Oh, [member of] Hot Bunny Screw Love in Portland, Oregon. And what happens then?
I teach everyone — and this point especially applies to the younger people — how to separate your professional and personal profile from your adult profile, so that you can actually do the things that you’re doing right now, but you create a wall between your real life and your adult life. That’s where the kids are going to benefit from this book — from actually knowing how to create this division.
What’s your story with HotMovies? How did you get that gig and what was the experience like?
I started in 2005. I was building a magazine at the time, which has gone on to become very successful, it’s called “Per Contra,” and in that time I just needed a job to pay the bills because all of my money was going into the magazine. I responded to an ad and got a job as a customer service rep on the telephone, and eventually worked my way up to where I was the content manager for a site they no longer own, called SexToys.com.
Now I just write for a living, so I’m just back to being a writer again. The reason that I left HotMovies was essentially I wanted to move to the West Coast and relaunch my writing career. I would still be working with those guys if they were out here, more than likely, in some capacity or another. I really respect them.
“The Cybersexual Bible: The True Consumer's Guide for Sexual Content” is currently available on Kindle and as an e-book in the Amazon Kindle Store.