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8/28/2009

14:20 PM PST

Seth Rogen: “Way more guys are into transsexual porn than one would like to think"

--on the web

from www.examiner.com - “Whether they want to admit it or not, the numbers on the web show us that there’s definite interest,” says Alex Ladd, co-owner and head of production for DVSX.com. In an interview with adult-industry newssource Xbiz.com, Ladd couched the trend in the language of his trade: “Straight men want trannies.”

Research gathered from more than a dozen major sources – including Alexa, Google and Internet World Stats – reveals that nearly 190 million heterosexual men are attracted to transsexual women and actively seek romantic contact with or sexually explicit images of them annually.

“The Internet really has made the whole thing more popular in the last few years,” says Steven Gallon, owner of Grooby Productions, one of the first transsexual sites launched a decade ago. “You’re now seeing [transsexuals] in mainstream advertising and on TV shows. That and the Internet have made it [socially acceptable for transsexuals] to be out there on display.”

Such displays come as no surprise to Hollywood darling Seth Rogen, star of such films as Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and Observe & Report. “One thing I’ve learned through various mainstream sex sites is that way more guys are into transsexual porn than one would like to think,” Rogan told Maxim last October. “I feel like it’s the elephant in America’s room: the secret love of transsexual porno.”

Secret or not, the phenomenon is not an exclusively American one. Although comprised predominately of single, middle-class residents of the US, UK, Australia and Canada, these transsexual “admirers,” as they’re called, can also be found in major metropolitan cities throughout South America, Europe and Asia.

According to the latest Internet statistics, interest in “transsexual” topics has risen more than 5,000 percent in the past five years, and interest in “transsexual dating” has surged more than 400 percent. In the past 90 days alone, combined traffic from the top 10 adult sites and top 10 dating sites catering exclusively to trans-loving males has risen 350 percent. While some crossover invariably exists, heterosexual male visitors to these 20 websites now top 188 million annually. And this figure doesn’t include traffic counts from the additional 300+ transsexual sites already in existence or from new ones being created by mainstream giants like Hustler.

But it’s the “heterosexual male” descriptor that continues to baffle many observers – or so they claim. Might they, too, be harboring a “ trans-secret?” Gallon thinks they might be: “The majority of customers [who purchase transsexual porn] are straight men.” In fact, Gallon says, “[transsexual content generates] practically no response in the gay market at all. I don’t even bother to promote it to the gay market, because it would be a waste of money.” Not only are most of his customers heterosexual men, Gallon says, “some are movie stars, rock stars and sports figures” – guys most would consider “heterosexual role models."

“Let me tell you, it’s not gay,” agrees Keith Webb, co-owner and vice president of gay powerhouse Titan Media. “Gay men do not want to watch [transsexual women]. It’s straight men who want to watch it.” And to all those adult-videostore managers out there who place transsexual titles alongside gay ones, Webb has some friendly advice: “Get it the hell out!”

According to Ladd, transsexual content has become a “really hip and viable source of income over the last two to three years. … Major production companies have jumped on the [transsexual] bandwagon, including Vivid, Anabolic, Caballero, Metro Interactive and Red Light District, to name a few.”

One of the caravan’s newest members, David K of PimpRoll hitched up his wagon only this month. In a recent interview with reporter Stephen Yagielowicz, K revealed that, while his company considered launching each of its seven new transsexual websites “on a longer time frame, the [transsexual] niche is so hot right now that we have decided to go for maximum impact all at once.”

For some in the biz, transsexual material is now outpacing mainstream material in both overall sales and market growth. Even traditional print-media behemoths Penthouse and Hustler have begun to spotlight transsexual women in full-blown features. Not to be outdone online, Hustler announced as recently as June 2009 the creation of its first transsexual-only adult website, even as more traditional outlets continue to increase their coverage of the, uhm, “less-revealing” side of transsexualism. Google Analytics reveals that, of the nearly 30,000 transsexual-related news stories published in the mainstream media over the past 45 years, more than half (15,100) have surfaced in the past five years alone. As if this weren’t telling enough, many of Nielsen’s top-rated cable and broadcast television shows – including CSI, America’s Next Top Model, America’s Got Talent, Ugly Betty, and Dirty, Sexy Money – now also feature transsexual characters (as of last season).

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