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Sextech Salon with Sssh: Can Ethical Porn Satisfy Your Desires?

Last updated September 12, 2018
Sextech Salon with Sssh Can Ethical Porn Satisfy Your Desires? Feature Image

Introducing Angie Rowntree, founder of Sssh, as part of our weekly Sextech Salon. With discussion on the adult entertainment industry, how far we have come, and how far we must still go.

What is Sssh and how did you get into it?

Ethical porn site Sssh.com is the culmination of a vision I had back in the ‘90s, which was born of frustration. I looked around the market for adult content and saw there was almost nothing being made with a female audience in mind.

When I would ask people why that was, they’d always tell me something like “women don’t watch porn” or “women are not visual.” So, I set out to prove them wrong with ethical porn.

Humans are very individual beings with a diverse collection of likes and dislikes. I knew what I liked, but I had no idea what other people enjoyed watching. Given that I was making content for other people to view and enjoy, this was a bit of a problem. So, I began gathering feedback from women – doing an early form of crowdsourcing – and it all just grew from there.

What I hope Sssh is these days is a place where women, couples and anyone else to whom “mainstream” porn doesn’t appeal feels like they can find something different – something which speaks to them more and resonates with a more sex-positive attitude than a lot of mainstream porn does.

To this day we still base our films on the feedback we receive from our members. An unexpected benefit of asking other women to share their desires and fantasies is we now have 19 years of archived stats on women’s sexual desires.

Sextech Salon with Sssh: Can Ethical Porn Satisfy Your Desires?What did you want to be when you were younger?

I had so many interests growing up. I went through phases in which I wanted to be everything from a marine biologist or exotic animal vet to an astronaut or a pilot. One thing that didn’t change over the years though. I knew whatever I did, I didn’t want to be like everyone else.

What was your sex education like growing up?

As far as sex ed in school goes, I got none – zero. Fortunately, we spoke about sex very openly at home. No questions were off-limits, and all were answered.

I’m so fortunate to be able to say that. I’ll always greatly appreciate the way my family handled my inquisitive nature. Especially how they encouraged me to ask questions and keep an open mind.

How do you think the industry has changed in the past 5 years?

First the bad news: Content piracy, especially through so-called “tube” sites has gotten even worse than it was five years ago – and content piracy was already a huge problem in 2013.

The good news is the ethical porn industry has become a much more diverse place. It’s important to have diversity both in front of and behind the camera.

It’s also talking more about consent and the importance of ethical porn production and ethical business practices, each of which is a hugely positive development.

What is your vision for the future of Sssh?

I want Sssh to grow and flourish. I want to be challenged as a filmmaker. I want to continue to create movies with strong narratives and characters, along with great sex.

I want my members to feel empowered by their experience at Sssh.com. I want to provide interesting exclusive movies and content that meet needs for interactivity, education, and other modes of mental and emotional stimulation.

I would also love for the mainstream entertainment to recognise “adult” as a genre – not the evil step-sister. Sex is beautiful, and our movies are appealing and worthy of recognition.

When it comes to sex, what’s the one thing you wish everyone knew?

As long as it’s safe, sane and consensual, I think it’s important that we explore all of our kinks and desires.

via GIPHY

What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had since starting to work in sextech?

I guess my biggest surprise was how many people wanted their adult entertainment presented differently. Or, at least they seemed to appreciate having the option to choose. Technology has really helped this.

Prior to the level of access consumers had to content via the internet, it was a bit of a guessing game. Producers would see what was selling well and would attempt to identify trends, then would ultimately create content that embodied their best guess.

Today, via so many technological evolutions and development, people can really access the content they want. They can also provide endless feedback regarding what they are seeking.

The result is an endless variety of content that producers can create to meet the specific needs and tastes of people in the farthest corners of the world. Direct knowledge of that diversity and the ability to meet needs within that scope is amazing.

What are the key trends you’re seeing at the moment that influence your work?

Since my work is a direct reflection of my members’ interests, I see a sustained interest in story-driven content, connection and intimacy, and a little bit of kink too. As a filmmaker, I notice people responding well to enhanced interactivity and VR. 

What advice would you give someone who is looking to break into the industry?

First and foremost, I would tell them to be certain this is something they want to do before they take the plunge. Even with the greater social acceptance of porn, there’s still a horrible stigma attached to being a part of the adult industry, especially if you’re a performer. It’s so unfair and so wrong, but it’s still there and has to be taken into account when you’re deciding whether to work in the industry. 

For people who are interested in becoming performers, I strongly recommend they speak to someone at the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee and to watch APAC’s Porn 101 educational video.

APAC and the materials they offer will reinforce what I said above. Performing in adult movies is a major decision. The images and movies in which you’re depicted are going to be out there forever.

For prospective directors, my primary bit of advice is to stay true to your own vision. A lot of porn is very formulaic, and it can be tempting to just copy what you see working for other people.

You’ll find it far more rewarding to blaze your own creative trail – and to follow your passion, instead of the trends.

What wider changes do you think sextech can have or is having on society?

As a subsidiary of technology, interconnectivity and access is enhance. From interactive toys to interactive content, sextech is doing what technology does. Creating space for access and social connections, making life so much better for many, many people.

 

Thank you so much Angie for satisfying our desires!

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