Live Videoconferencing -- Online
The most advanced technology on the Internet allows the
live transmission of video captured images. The prostitution industry quickly moved to use
this new technology to transmit live strip and sex shows. The communication can be
interactive, so buyers are able to direct the womens actions. Shows can be watched
by groups of men, or for more money, the buyer can have a private session. This technology
has merged pornography and prostitution and enabled men to buy women in prostitution over
the Internet in the privacy of their homes or offices.
One of most popular aspects of using the Internet to send and receive pornography and
now technologizied prostitution, is the privacy the man is able to maintain during the
whole transaction. The only limitation to this new form of prostitution is the need for
high-speed transmission computer equipment. The pimps on the web site provided the
necessary software free of charge. As faster computers and more high-speed transmission
lines are available to men around the world, this type of technologized prostitution will
continue to grow.
The first live videoconferencing site selling strip
shows that I saw on the Web was Virtual Dreams in October 1995, running off the CTSNET
server in San Diego, California.
"Virtual Dreams uses cutting-edge technology to
bring you the most beautiful girls in the world. Using our software and your computer, you
can interact real time and one-on-one with the girl of your dreams. Ask her anything you
wishshe is waiting to please you!"
By November 1995, "live nude video
teleconferencing" was being touted on alt.sex.prostitution. Derek Hamilton
"Heres something that will make your modem
sizzle! I was sitting at home
my Penthouse subscription had run out, when I stumbled
across "Video Fantasy" on the net. This is one of the most interesting
"adults only" services Ive ever seen. With Windows, my 486 and their
software, I called a pretty girls studio with my modem and watched her undress. All
of this was live and in color on my computer monitor. What will they think of next.
Sitting at home being entertained by a beautiful girl. Talk about "safe sex"! I
love it! Check out their website at http://www.videofantasy.com. This is lots of fun."
The pimps on the Internet conduct their own market
research on who is buying the women they offer. According to the Internet Entertainment
Group (IEG), the largest pimp on the Web, the buyers for live strip shows are 90 percent
male, 70 percent living in the United States, and 70 percent are between ages 18 and
40. The viewers are young men in college, and businessmen and professionals who log
on from work. Naughty Linx reports there is a 22 percent decline every Summer, when
college students cannot use university Internet connections to log on to sex industry
Pimps on the Internet
The movement of the sex industry to the Internet has increased the
demand for new and more extreme images of the sexual exploitation of women and children.
Older images identified by color quality of the image or clothing and hairstyle are viewed
with disdain. Buyers demand new images with the scenes of sexual exploitation and abuse
that are in fashion among predators. The result is increased abuse and exploitation of
women and children.
Act One Entertainment, USA, owned by William J.
Heath, 37, of Royal Oak, Michigan, is known to have operated between September 1994 and
November 1997. The operation, known to have pimped more than 300 women, sold strippers and
prostitutes to men. He hired underage girls, filmed them stripping and being sexually
abused by him and others. He then sold the images on the Internet. In November 1997, the
owner, William J. Heath, was charged with criminal racketeering and production of child
pornography. Two other men associated with Act One Entertainment were arrested. Johnnie
Juretick, 31, was charged with producing sexually abusive material of children; and
Jeffrey Scott Maxwell, 22, was charged with performing sex acts on underage girls. The
girls were told they would receive royalties based on the number of people who bought
their photographs. 
Canada A mother was outraged when she saw pornographic
pictures of her daughter on the Internet. Stephen Bauer, 24, was arrested on charges
involving three children, aged 14-16, for making and distributing child pornography, being
a person in authority permitting sexual activity, sexual exploitation, living on the
avails of prostitution, and exercising control and communication with a person under age
18 for prostitution. Most of the girls exploited by Bauer were runaways, or from "broken
homes." The girls were dressed in school uniforms, stripped, and used by men,
while hidden cameras filmed them. Digital images and videos were transmitted live to an
Internet site, which specialized in schoolgirls and skirt fetishes. The site was in
operation for about 1 year and had about 1,000 subscribers, who paid $15 to $80 (Canadian
dollars) for access to the site. Detective Mike Sullivan of the Illinois Naperville
Police Department, USA, discovered the site. Other images on the Web site included images
of girls as young as five being sexually abused. 
Most of the big pimps on the Internet migrated to the
Web from phone-sex operations. They claim the move was natural. Men talking to and
buying women over the Internet was just a step up in the distanced interactivity of audio
prostitution created by phone sex lines. Pimps in the phone sex business say they also had
an advantage in understanding how to create and market long distance prostitution. They
point out that the buyers on the end of the phone or computer supply the most important
component-what they are paying money for-the ejaculation. The phone sex pimps also
had the money and resources to draw on when they moved to the Internet.
A few of the pimps on the Web who started out selling women in audio
Seth Warshavsky, founder of Internet
Entertainment Group, the largest live sex show producer on the web, started a phone sex
business in 1990, when he was 17 years old;
Ian Eisenberg, who runs the Web site Babes4U with Steffani
Martin, and is still in the phone sex business, is the son of Joel Eisenberg, a pioneer of
the phone sex business in the 1980s;
Ted Liebowitz, Web site operator from Manhattan, runs a phone
Steve Becker, who now works for Penthouse, ran a number of phone
sex lines in New York.
The following are profiles of a few of the owners and
operators of sex industry sites on the Web and their businesses.
Seth Warshavsky is the biggest pimp on the
Internet. Founder and President of the Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), 25-year-old
Warshavsky has been making money from the prostitution industry since he was a boy. While
in grade school he ran a computer bulletin board; at age 17 he dropped out of school,
moved out of his parents house and opened up a phone sex business with a friend
using US$7,000 borrowed on credit cards. His first phone sex number was called
1-800-GetSome. In the beginning, if a buyer called the 800 number, an answering
service would get the buyers credit card information, then page Warshavsky. He would
have a woman call the buyer back. Soon after he started he was getting 50 to 60 buyers per
day at US$39.95 per call. His phone sex business continued to grow so by 1995 he had an
annual income of US$60 million.
He was able to draw on this money to go into the pornography and live
videoconferencing business on the Web. In late 1997, IEG employed three programmers and
eight graphic designers. One of the designers described his work as a "dream
job" because any new technology was available for the asking.
His sites include stripping, live sex shows, and pay-per-view hard-core
ClubLove is the Video Theatre for downloadable
QuickTime videos and pay-per-view movies. It was visited more than 7 million times per day
in early 1998. At that time the "club" had approximately 600,000 members
who paid the US$19.95 subscription fee.
The Dressing Room offers buyers background information on the
web site performers and enables them to send the strippers email.
The Gallery offers pornography.
The Yellow Pages lists phone sex numbers for audio prostitution
The Sexual Relief Map is a directory of strip clubs, adult
bookstores and escort services in the United States.
The Arcade is the live-video section, and Warshavskys
premier section. The live peep show costs US$40 for 15 minutes in mid-1997.
Warshavskys IEG brought in US$7 million in
revenues in 1996, which increased to US$20 million in 1997. In 1998, he claimed he would
bring in US$40 million. He will not say how much of that is profit, but says, "We
did turn profitable in the middle of "
Warshavsky is also making huge profits by selling live
videos to hundreds of other sex industry sites on the Web. The strip shows for
heterosexual viewers on sites such as PenthouseLive, Vivid Video, Buttsville and
AlleyKatz, and for gay men viewers on sites such as VividMan and SteelCity, are supplied
by Warshavskys ClubLove. Over 300 sex industry sites pay IEG for live videos. The
sites keep 35 percent of the revenue, while IEG gets 65 percent. Warshavskys IEG
does business with 1,400 sex industry sites on the Web, comprising about 5 percent of the
Webs total number of sex industry sites. IEG has advertising banners on over 1,100
sex industry Web sites. IEG pays the Web site owner two and a half cents each time someone
clicks on the advertisement, which links the viewer to an IEG site. Counting all the
sites, at the end of 1997, Warshavsky had 400,000 subscribers to 29 Web sites.
In early September 1998, Warshavskys IEG launched a free web site
that provides financial stock quotes and charts accompanied by soft and hard core
pornographic images. He hopes to create a popular Web site by combining two hotly sought
after items pornography and financial information. He plans to attract men between
ages 25 and 49.
Lapis Labs, Tucson, Arizona, USA
In early 1998, Lapis Labs operated 25 pornographic Web
sites, such as XXXCellar, NastyLinks and FreeGayPorn. The sites have 150,000 images, 1,000
downloadable QuickTime videos and 700 RealVideo live videos, and receive between 15,000 to
30,000 buyers each day. The co-founder and software developer for Lapis Labs would
not allow his name to be used in interviews. The founders of Lapis Labs claimed they
wanted to make money while avoiding "corporate America." They originally
thought they would make childrens educational CD-ROMS, but couldnt afford the
start-up costs, so switched to pornography. The co-founder likes to focus "on
being a technology company rather than a sex company." The private
corporation was launched with an investment of US$10,000. In early 1998 it had six
The US$10 per month membership fee provides the buyer with access to
80,000 "full-sized, full color JPEG images," and 5 to 25 minute clips
from 1,000 movies. The nameless co-founder will not reveal how many subscribers the
company has, but the demand is such that the company is always upgrading their servers and
equipment. Lapis Labs buys its pornography from "content brokers" and directly
from photographers and videographers. Although the men running the company like to hide
behind anonymity, they are not shy about the material on their Web sites. "If
its legal, we have it. Theres some material that I personally find repulsive,
but not everyone has the same tastes." Also, for a group of men who claim
they were initially interested in childrens education, they take a liberal view on
childrens access to pornography.
"Children will have easy access to adult material so long as
adults have easy access to adult material. For example, somebodys dad or older
brother is always going to have a porn collection to borrow and show to
friends, or dirty novels, or whatever. People like sexual content, theyre going to
have it around, and kids are going to get a hold of it."
Lapis Labs sites have sophisticated search engines that enable the buyer to search film
clips by gender, sexual act, number of people in scene, and a description of the people,
such as race or hair color-two popular attributes on which stereotypes are based. In early
1998, they were preparing to move into full-length pay-per-view video on demand over the
KNB Enterprises, owned by Jeff and Kathy, who declined to give their
last names in interviews, run WebVirgins, a sex industry Web site that was making
US$500,000 per year in 1997. They claimed to get a new buyer every 2 to 3 seconds, 24
hours a day.
Danni's Hard Drive
Danni Ashe, a former stripper, founded Dannis Hard Drive in Los
Angeles in 1995. According to Ashe, her site was initially accessed 70,000 times per day,
and grew to 5 million accesses per day by 1998. Ashe claims her gross revenue has grown by
more than 2,000 percent, and required her to increase her staff from a part-time assistant
to 15 full-time employees. Her Web site has 15,000 images of 250 models, and features
images and videos of Ashe herself. In mid-1998, she had 22,000 subscribers who paid
US$14.95 per month for access to her Web site. In 1997 she brought in US$2.7 million, and
expected to make US$3.5 million in 1998. Her Web site is so popular it has 450 streaming
video channels and six live video feeds. She banks on what she considers male nature,
lets face it: every man in the world masturbates and theyre
just looking for new source material."
Women in the Commercial Internet Sex
The growth and expansion of the pornography and
prostitution industries on the Internet have also increased the demand for new material,
resulting in increased sexual exploitation of women. Fierce competition among pornography
web sites has pushed pimps to advertise and present more and more extreme material, such
as penetration with large objects, bestiality and bondage. Of course, making these images
requires more violence against women.
In the live sex shows of the Internet, the buyers relay requests to the
woman through an 800 number, while watching her on their computer over the Internet. The
women act out pornographic scenarios in 8-by-8 foot cubicles setup in a warehouse in
Pioneer Square in Seattle. Stage sets are a health club, bedroom, shower, and
dungeon. Each set has a microphone and speakers so the strippers and the buyers can
communicate. The buyers can then direct the woman in the set, and make demands for her
performance. The men often ask the women to give special signals to indicate that the
performance is live, and that they are in direct contact with the women. In most set-ups,
multiple men can be logged on and viewing one stripper at once. The men compete with one
another for the womans attention. One woman reported:
"Its really disconcerting. Suddenly, the phone will pop
on and a man will say hello, and when another one pops on its like two kids tugging
on your arm. A lot of them are very clear about what they want to see and what they want
you to say."
The women in the live prostitution shows on the Internet are usually in the same
constrained economic circumstances with limited opportunities as women who strip in clubs.
In April 1998, twenty women were stripping for the Internet Entertainment Group
(IEG). In these virtual peep shows, "star performers" are available on
weekends, but most of the week local women staff the strip-sets for US$20/hour.
"Natalia" While Warshavsky, owner of IEG, lives in a
half million-dollar condo and drives a new Jaguar, "Natalia" is paid US$20/hour
to strip and perform sex shows for buyers over the Internet. While
"Natalia" claims that stripping makes her feel good about herself,
"Natalia" is not her real name and she doesnt want anyone to know she
earns money this way. She says she strips for IEG because her other job does not pay
enough to support her and her family. She conceals the stripping from most of her friends
and family. She describes the depersonalization that other women in the pornography and
prostitution industries undergo. She takes on another personality in order to act out the
scenarios required. "Out there, Im a completely different person than I am
in here. This is my shadow side." 
As in other parts of the pornography and prostitution industries, women
assist in the exploitation of other women. At IEG, the "Director of Talent" is
Mara Mehren. A former operator in the phone sex business, who moved up in the business
with Ian Eisenberg; now, at 35, she video-captures the sex shows in Warshavskys IEG
warehouse. She controls camera angles and monitors who is logged on and for how long. She
is the high-tech version of the brothel madam making sure the men get their moneys worth.
An advantage of stripping on Internet live shows may be that the women
dont have to physically deal with men, as they do in strip bars and clubs. Many
women report the lack of physical contact with men is an advantage to stripping for online
prostitution industry sites. A few former "porn stars" have set up their own Web
Madeleine Altmann, 33, of New York owns, runs and strips on
Babes4U Web site. Her operation represents a US$100,000 investment for computers, video
equipment and high transmission telephone lines that can handle streaming video. She
videos herself dancing and stripping, then transmits it to buyers on the Internet. She
says, "I would never be a stripper or a prostitute. I dont want to be near
the clients or see them." Although Altmann herself doesnt want to have
any contact with the men, she has other women who work for her engage in sexually explicit
computer "chat" with the buyers.
Other Forms of
Violence Against Women on the Internet
Other forms of explicit and extreme violence against women and children
can be found on the Internet.
During an Internet search on rape, an activist found a Web site with a message from a
man asking for someone to rape his wife because she didnt like having sex with him.
Visitors to this Web site left messages with their email addresses indicating that they
were willing to rape the woman. Thanks to investigation and complaints to the Internet
Service Provider, this Web site was taken down. Another woman found a Web site that
promoted the "pre-planned violent rape of lesbians" as a way of "converting"
them to heterosexuality. She lodged a complaint with the webmaster.
In Spring 1998, I found a web site called The Rape Zone.
The home page featured a picture of a woman screaming as a man forced her against a wall
with one hand around her throat and the other restraining her arm. The page title was
underlined with a red bar that dripped blood. The site claimed to have over 1,000 images
of rape and many video feeds. All of the images were of women tied-up, being beaten and
penetrated with large objects. There were a number of images in which the women appeared
to be bleeding. Memberships were being sold and viewers could purchase full-length videos.
Caution: Extreme Images of violence and Rape!!
What this site is: A photographed documentary of a rape encounter.
A visual and mental journey throught [sic] the mindcrime of a
Brutally Raped Sadists Delight
Brutally Raped Tina is having a real hard time! This buy has no mercy!
Brutally Raped Lovely Maria gets gangbanged by 3 black sadists
Brutally Raped This time sweet little Manoa is the victim
The Sex Industry and the Internet