X-rated: Getting a tech job in the adult industry

Summary:Tech in the adult industry: Everything you wanted to know about XXX companies, but were afraid to ask

The adult industry, from a business perspective, is the Internet's best kept secret. It generates billions of pounds annually and has an aggressively innovative approach to technology, especially around billing, video and mobile content.

However, the amount of information about the workings of the industry in relation to its productivity is negligible. This is largely to do with the fact that very few public companies exist in this area — small, private firms dominate, which have no legal obligation to publicise their activities.

But that doesn't help anyone trying to break into the industry. Thousands of UK techies earn their daily bread from controversial content but the mechanics of getting a job in the industry are a mystery to anyone on the outside.

Key Quotes

"I might be working with naked pictures of women, but after a while
you don't even look at them."

"Adult Web site conventions are where most people would find jobs."

"We hire bog-standard, competent technicians — the top technicians go
somewhere where they're better rewarded."

"If you've done porn and have taken your clothes off that has a dramatic effect on your employability, but [working] at a porn company has no impact."

ZDNet UK went looking for answers to some questions we have all wondered about, but were afraid to ask.

1.What are the perks of working for an adult company?
"I thought the benefit would be that I could hang around with half-naked women all day," says Clinton Alexander, a US-based Web designer who has worked for a number of adult sites, who admits that one of the main reasons why he got involved in the industry was for the women.

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However the truth is that, as with most things, familiarity is the death of novelty. "I might be working with naked pictures of women, but after a while you don't even look at them," says Alexander. "It really is just work. You get used to it — just like you would get used to looking at product shots for an e-commerce Web site."

Also, it seems that techies are usually kept away from the "talent". Alexander claims that in the companies he worked for, the technology and content were "very separate".

"If someone wants to get into the adult industry to watch models they should focus on content, for example become a creative director, so they get to organise the photo shoot and hire the women," he says.

2. How do I even find out about jobs in the adult industry?
The usual sources of tech job ads don't tend to work for the adult industry. Searching on JobServe.co.uk under multiple criteria — "adult content", "adult Web site" and "adult entertainment" probably won't get you far.

UK recruitment companies aren't a great deal of help either. Ann Swain, the chief executive of the Association of...

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Topics: Networking

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