ICANN, ICM’s dot-XXX numbers sham, and the Feminist Porn Awards

by Violet Blue on May 4, 2012

The now: me in my office, late night blogging, bourbon, Bowie.

If you have any vested interest in any capacity or regard to a healthy open and free internet – especially free of racketeering and cronyism – and domain names, ICANN, fairness in domain registration and maintenance processes, porn, dot-XXX and TLDs, the business of sex, and feminist/queer porn, then you’ll want to read my new piece:

A calm title belies a concise teardown of numbers just released by ICANN and dot-XXX’s ICM registry showing that triple-X domains are a shell game for the history books.

The numbers don’t add up.

But worse, in tracking numbers and sites six months into dot-XXX I found that several of the ‘patient zero’ top-ranking porn sites for .xxx stem from one source: danejones.com/orgasms.xxx.

Interestingly, Dane Jones is the name of Mad Men/X-Men actress January Jones’ son, Xander Dane Jones. The baby was born in September 2011, and DaneJones.com was first registered November 22, 2011 by British pornographer Lewis (known as Lew, aka female porn persona Viv) Thomas.

The relative – obfuscated – unknowns behind DaneJones (aka “Really Useful Ltd.” aka Ruseful) got special access to buy prime XXX domains before anyone else. Dot-XXX is performing like shit, but Ruseful’s domains are currently the top ranking .xxx sites.

And here’s the thing: no one has heard of them – not outside old boys’ porn anyway, and not in the post-alt era of actual porn for women. Yet somehow they (as DaneJones.com) just won a 2012 Feminist Porn Award. This earns them a massive reputation buy-in that gets them linked to from female porn sites on good faith that Good For Her has vetted them.

I can’t get Good For Her to respond to me about who “DaneJones” (aka orgasms.xxx, aka casting.xxx) is to them, why they won an FPA award, or how they made the award happen. Good For Her/Feminist Porn Awards has not responded to my inquiries in my official CBSi/CNET queries or as myself.

When the article was published I was contacted by people who had linked to “DaneJones” on blind faith. For them the links are coming down until Good For Her explains what’s going on.

I would like to urge anyone that has linked to DaneJones or their sites, especially as endorsed by Good For Her, to remove the links until we can ascertain that not only is endorsement legit, but that this is not part of a linkscam. Seriously: we’ve worked too hard for anyone to trade off our reputations and values. Gently unlink. Personally, I’ll be unlinking and withdrawing all endorsement for Good For Her until I have satisfactory answers.

Read the article and you’ll see that the “DaneJones” / orgasms.xxx entitiy seems to be a moving part in the wider multi-million-dollar dot-XXX scams.

Posting my article, I stated that ICANN has a lot to answer for in this mess.

Right now, so does Good For Her, and the Feminist Porn Awards.

Violet Blue

The London Times named Violet Blue "One of the 40 bloggers who really count" and Self Magazine named TinyNibbles one of the “Best Sex Resources for Women.” Blue is an autodidact and pundit on sex and technology, hacking and security, porn for women, privacy and bleeding-edge tech culture. She is a journalist for ZDNet, CBS News, CNET; she's an educator, speaker, crisis counselor, volunteer NGO trainer, and the author and editor of over 40 award-winning books.

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{ 4 comments }

1 Iamcuriousblue May 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm

OK, I responded first to your “postmortem” piece, but upon reading this, it’s clear you have many of your key facts straight-up wrong.

1) Lewis Thomas IS NOT Viv Thomas. I’m not sure if they’re actually related or if Lew’s last name is a pseudonym, but in any event, he *used to* work as a director for Viv Thomas (doing some of their better releases of the last few years, notably, the “Unfaithful” series), but broke off from VT to start doing his own content.

2) Viv Thomas, for his part, *has never pretended to be female*. Viv, short for Vivian, is a unisex name in the UK, from which Viv Thomas hails.

3) “Nobody’s ever heard of them”? Clearly you don’t follow “girl-girl” fandom – Lesbea.com (the site that was to have been Kiss.xxx before Rusefull quietly put the .XXX thing aside) has been the breakout site of the last year.

2 violet blue May 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

Buck, thanks for chiming in.

With all due respect, this blog post (their response) makes them look worse.

3 Buck Angel May 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

Hey Violet,
I totally agree that the whole .xxx thing is a scam. But I have to jump in here in regards to Good For Her and the FPAs. I am a big supporter of this show (not just because I have received 2 awards over the last 5 years), but because they are very honorable people. They do not just hand out awards to people and the awards are definitely not “for sale” in any way. I think you are assuming something there that isn’t true.

I have done business with Good For Her since I started in the adult industry over 9 years ago and I can tell you that they are absolutely honest people with good intentions.

The dedication they put into the awards show comes from the heart. I know that they truly want to support and give props to those doing good work in an industry that does not normally honor feminism or women’s work. It is far from mainstream!

Really, you should speak with Carlyle from Good For Her–I believe she will be happy to explain and clarify any misconceptions you have. The FPAs help to give a voice to many people in porn who have something important to say, and only make feminist porn stronger.

I see that Good For Her has made a blog post to respond to your post and it states:
“Danejones.com won because we thought it was an excellent example of high production quality, natural bodies, easy to navigate website, female pleasure, and lots of content .

You can see the rest of it here: http://www.goodforher.com/blog/?p=235

Thanks Violet I am a big fan of your work!

WOOF!
Buck Angel®
Pioneering Filmmaker, Speaker, and Advocate

4 Anna Devia May 4, 2012 at 6:50 am

It became clear to me when attending the FPA’s year before last that they were pandering to the mainstream. Thank you for speaking out & sharing this info!

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