Will all the extra costs and technical intricacies involved in making 3-D porn pay off? Will porn consumers actually spend their money to watch the finished product? The adult industry has been struggling in recent years—by some accounts, revenues fell by 30 to 50 percent between 2007 and last year. "The last 20 years have popped an overinflated bubble, à la the real-estate market," says Damon Brown, author of the book Porn & Pong. "VHS tapes were running up to $80 when the cost should have been about half, and the overpriced trend continued with DVDs. In fact, new technology became the ultimate excuse for overcharging the horny customer."

In the past decade, of course, the Internet, with its unlimited free porn, has made the horny customer into a greedy one. "I think many consumers are so used to thinking of porn as something that can and should be freely available," says Lux Alptraum, editor at Fleshbot, a popular sex website. "The added value of 3-D may not be enough to get them to open their wallets."

Rob Smith, the director of operations for Hustler Video Group, is more hopeful that the days of paying for porn aren't gone forever. "I think 3-D is going to create new life in physical media," he says. "I'm talking about media that exists in your home and is something that you've purchased." As evidence, he points to the recent boom in sales of high-definition 3-D televisions. Panasonic and Samsung both started selling 3-D HDTVs in March—Panasonic reportedly sold out in the U.S. in the very first week—and Sony followed suit earlier this summer. iSuppli, a market researcher, estimates that shipments of 3-D televisions could reach 4.2 million this year and hit 12.9 million in 2011.

"The people buying these 3-D televisions need content," Smith says. "They want something to watch. And people like porn."

Lance Johnson thinks that in order to be successful, the industry needs to do more than just follow mainstream Hollywood's lead. It must constantly be one step ahead of the technology and the trends of its target demographic. "Our original business model required customers to have a 3-D-ready TV in order to download our content," he says. "However, the 3-D-monitor market is beginning to take off. A very recent study estimated the 3-D-PC market to reach $24 billion in the next four years. That's a lot of guys wearing 3-D glasses and jerking off at their desk."

It's too soon to know whether 3-D will be the future of porn or whether it's just the death knell of an industry making a last-gasp plea for your smut dollars. Johnson admits that the best hope for a big profit in 3-D is probably Europe, where there's a bigger market for hard-core and fetish flicks. "We're very interested in Russia, Spain, Germany, and France," he says. "They have a lot of full-time channels devoted to erotic programming. There's lots of Euro hard-core on pay TV and video-on-demand networks.

"I got an e-mail from a guy in Australia today," Johnson says. "And he wants to see 3-D porn involving lactating and squirting. Our next round of shooting will probably be a bunch of fetish stuff. We're trying to do something that's more diverse, with a more European taste."

He pauses and laughs, pondering the eclectic sexual proclivities of the audience he's trying to satisfy. "It just gets weirder every day," he says.

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