I live on a tight budget, and the government seem intent on making it tighter. This means that things and information of use and value to me are sometimes only available through charity shops and the like. The internet, too, has made finding cheap or free writing, music and other media much easier to find.
I like music, and specifically, I like having a physical record of it, be that tape, vinyl or CD. I also much prefer traditional hardcopy books. I like there to be films, including porn, to download or watch in other formats.
The bottom line is that if I want there to go on being such things, then at some point I have to pay someone so that they will go on making them. If I want books to end up in charity shops, then someone has to buy them new. Someone has to print them. If I don’t, as often as I am able, spend money on new books, then there will eventually be no more books, only ebooks, and I will be sad. Therefore, I buy new books.
The same with CDs. Music stores such as HMV are going into receivership because the online/digital music industry is taking over the market. If I want there to go on being physical storage systems independent of DRM, which I do, then I have to be willing to buy CDs at a sustainable price for the publishers and retail outlets. Otherwise they will stop making them, the shops go out of business entirely, and there will be no more CDs. I have discovered artists that I would never have dreamed of listening to otherwise by buying a CD in a charity shop. But after that, if their records are still available, I have to be willing to seek them out in record shops instead.
And then there’s porn. So many sources offer pirated, plagiarised, stolen material in amongst the highlights that producers use to advertise their sites, that it seems impossible to police. The business models for all kinds of media are having to change, but porn is going to have to adapt most. People need a reason to be loyal to the producers and performers so that they want those people to go on making porn.
I want people like Pandora Blake to go on making porn, which is why whenever I can spare the money, I buy a membership of her site. This gives me access to download whatever’s new since I last joined. I last did this just after her business’s 2nd Anniversary Celebration was to make all the movies free to download for 24 hours. I felt guilty about the amount I grabbed in that period that I wanted to give something back.
What Blake has done with her Dreams of Spanking site is to position herself both in terms of material and in terms of identity, in such a way as to inspire loyalty. Her performers become familiar and individualised so that there’s a sense of connection; her business model is advertised through its ethical, fairtrade, feminist principles of production so that customers understand that the business shares their values and deserves support. It helps a lot that the products are value for money (especially when a short membership gives you the chance to watch so much).
In the vein of loyalty and giving back, over the next few weeks I’ll be writing reviews of some of the more recent movies from Dreams of Spanking (mostly the 2013 output) and encouraging people to buy memberships.
If I read books I like, I’ll review those, too.
But mostly, I’ll be saving my pennies so that I can buy the stuff I want to go on being made. You should, too.