How Much Of Porn Is Gay?

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A little while ago, I promised that I’d further look into the numbers behind gay porn. The situation arose from a the Authors @ Google talk I did back in March, where I was asked why I didn’t use any male imagery during my presentation. For a defense of my straightness, see here.

The exchange got me curious as to what percentage of porn is gay, or geared toward a homosexual audience. As with trying to get a straight-up demographic estimate of the population at large, such a figure is somewhat hard to come by, largely because of definitions. I checked in with a couple of people in the porn business who I know and the best answer, as is often the case, came from Kim Kysar at Pink Visual. Rather than paraphrase, here’s her whole unabridged answer:

Just as there’s a huge glut of straight porn out there – gay porn seems to follow the same trends; gross quantities of gay productions, cheaply made, poor quality, fly by night studios – which are actually starting to dwindle as these weaker companies get weeded out due to the industry/economic downturn and piracy issues that are hitting us all. Even with these ups and downs over the years, gay porn has maintained a steady 5-15 gay scenes for every 100 straight scenes shot.

The gay market is unique in that they will pay for quality, they tend to be much more brand focused than straight porn consumers, and much more tech savvy. Half-assed gay production companies don’t survive. It’s very hard to penetrate the market dominated by the likes of Falcon, Lucas, and Mustang due to their quality, ethics, and the gay consumer’s brand loyalty. The gay consumer is much more likely to vote with their wallet when it comes to issues like 100% condom use, or supporting their favorite talent, director, or brand.

So, as Kim says, the best estimate would be that gay porn amounts to five to fifteen percent of the market, which is roughly equivalent to the best estimates for population.