Net sex sites wilting

Sex isn't as popular as it was.

According to a report in the Boston Globe, erotic Net sites are losing their grip on the hearts, minds and other parts of users. Based on an NPD survey of 4,000 US home users, the report suggests sexually explicit sites were visited by only 19.4 percent of Internet users in April, compared to 25.5 per cent in January.

NPD said the federal Communications Decency Act is the chief reason - it's now illegal to publish "indecent" material on networks where children might gain access, causing some sites to charge an entry fee. The hugely successful Penthouse magazine Web site dropped from 8.1 percent in January to 3 percent in April after switching to a fee system. Also blamed: more women on the Net and waning novelty.