THE SEX FILES: Interview with Allison Vivas of Pink Visual
Internet adult content producer Pink Visual’s tag line is “We Innovate, You Masturbate.” The company has exploited technology and used their knowledge of where people are looking presently for porn by being one of the first sites to launch adult content optimization to smart phones (iPinkVisualPass.com) as well as experimenting with 3D production for mobile devices and QR-codes.
Allison Vivas is the President of Pink Visual and has been honored by the online global forum BigThink.com as one of the “10 Top Women in Male Dominated Fields,” and received other business and professional awards. She’s also contributed articles about adult entertainment to national magazines including Newsweek, and in June she’s publishing Making Peace with Porn, a frank expose about women’s attitudes about porn, why they might have them, and what they might do about them. To say I was ‘tickled pink’ to talk with this knowledgeable lady would be an understatement…
Were there what we all would assume the ‘typical’ cliché stumbling blocks for you in creating and building Pink Visual into the giant it is or are women executives simply more accepted (and rightly so) in porn as they are now in any business?
While things have changed quite a bit in the adult industry since the old days, I think it helped me that I came into the industry on the ‘Internet side’ of it. When I first started with the company back in 2001, it was very rare to see a woman in an executive position at a porn company. Within what you might call the “traditional” sector of the industry, meaning the adult video companies that existed in the pre-Internet era, I think at that time a lot of people would have been skeptical that a woman could run a porn company effectively, so I probably would have run into more resistance if I’d entered the industry in that sector. On the Web side, however, most of the company owners and executives weren’t people with a background in porn; they were people with backgrounds in technology. And at Pink Visual we have a high percentage of woman execs; in order to survive here you best not be someone who has a hard time taking orders from women!
I seem to ask this question of many pornographers, seeing how much the net has seeped-in good and bad-within the adult business, but Pink Visual seems to be thriving in ever new technologies.
Well, let’s be clear: the decline that has hurt the porn industry has definitely impacted Pink Visual, too. We have fewer employees than we once did, and our revenue has fallen pretty considerably from its peak levels, as well. That said, there’s no doubt we’ve weathered the storm better than a lot of our friends and competitors in the industry, and our embrace of new technologies is a big part of why we’ve been able to do so. I’d say our focus on innovation stems both from the personalities and abilities of our team (myself included) and from necessity. The explosion of free adult content online in the last several years, and pirated content in particular, really forced adult companies to consider new ways to create revenue, and to identify new opportunities.
So what will we see in the future for porn?
I think we’ll see more and more interactivity and immersion in the future. To me, the ultimate porn experience would be something like the “holodeck” from Star Trek, something where the viewer is fully immersed in the fantasy world, and interacting directly with their fantasy partners, through use of haptic technologies and sophisticated virtual reality environments.
Think of it this way; how long ago was it, really, that your hard drive couldn’t store more than a few megabytes of data? How long ago was it that touch-screen tablets seemed like fanciful science fiction? The world is moving quickly, and the adult industry will continue to move right along with it.
Now you have your book Making Peace With Porn coming out in June, can you tell us a little bit about that?
I wrote the book to start a positive discussion about a wildly popular but taboo subject. I’m inviting women to rethink porn, to maybe explore how their attitude might be less about porn itself and more about their own preconceived notions and the things that they have been taught to believe without question.
Do you have the usual spate of in-store readings, lectures, book signings planned or will you forgo that route and instead avail yourself to small well-placed Internet-based press (astute questions from freelancers of new and exciting websites, say?).
Much of this is yet to come. The book will be officially released in June and I plan on engaging in speaking opportunities and book signings. However, you are right that I also am looking for some more creative online ways to both promote the book across the web and interact with readers. As for work, I’m actually more excited about some of the opportunities for my peers in the company. I’ve always had the perspective that two heads are better than one. So especially this past year, I’ve seen a lot of employees step up, take on more, and lead new things. I’m excited about what can happen when we tap into even more minds at the company.
Pre sales for Allison’s book: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Peace-Porn-Adult-Entertainment/dp/0897936574/