Romantic Porn: It’s Here to Stay

Posted on Feb 15 2016 - 12:32pm by Melanie Love

The adult industry experts weighed in on how well (or not) romantic porn is selling. The following article from leading trade publication Adult Video News will give you an up to the minute update on the genre.

Romantic Porn: It’s Here to Stay
by Jared Rutter

The “romance” genre has always been a part of porn. It’s what “couples porn” morphed into when companies started labeling it as such. For at least five years now it has maintained a strong presence in the adult DVD market, with just about every major studio dabbling in it.

But what about today? Has the romance boom gone bust, swamped by gonzo, or is it still capable of generating steady sales? An informal survey of some high-profile sellers indicates that its customer appeal has not diminished.

But there are some new wrinkles.

Romance really took off for New Sensations/Digital Sin with the early work of Eddie Powell and Jacky St. James, but according to company owner Scott Taylor, “We don’t make as many romance movies as we once did because the consumption is a bit more limited. What we have seen is that the edgier content of Hotwife-based themes or light bondage in the Emma Marx series have proven even more successful.

“We still make romance movies but the audience hasn’t grown in numbers to support a constant stream of releases. It very well could be that our audience has just graduated to something a bit wilder or we are picking up new customers that enjoy those types of themes. It is my belief that there will always be an audience for romance and our numbers continue to show that.”

For Wicked Pictures, RomPorn’s selling power has never been in doubt. Domestic sales chief Bonnie Kail says flatly, “I have seen the adult industry go through many genre changes over the past 33 years, but high-quality couples product continues to thrive. Couples appreciate high-quality, story-driven movies, and our sales continue to reflect that.

“Wicked continues to stay true to its mission of making quality movies geared towards women and couples, as that audience is still very relevant in the adult DVD market today. While most studios have scaled back on production we have continued to make the products our customer base expects of us.”

She points toward the 2015 success of the big-budget features Starmaker, Love, Lust & Longing and the Adam & Eve co-production Wanted, as well as past bestsellers like Fallen, Aftermath andUnderworld, and Axel Braun’s ongoing high-end parody line.

Singling out Wicked Passions, an imprint slanted toward the same audience as Fifty Shades of Grey(although created before that craze happened), she calls it “erotica that departs from the traditional adult film format. Releases focus on the chemistry between the characters with a pronounced emphasis on romance, kissing and foreplay. The packaging is soft, the movies have earned excellent reviews, and many stores are marketing these titles outside of their DVD section.”

Veteran industry executive Jeff Dillon, now a consultant for GameLink.com, agrees that RomPorn is not about to disappear. “For us couples porn opens up the market to new customers and creates new experiences for couples. This is a growing market as more and more couples are open to ‘sexploring’ new things with their partner to improve their love life. Gonzo porn tends to cater to the same customers, but their taste for porn evolves over time as does the content.”

On board with that is Megan Wozniak, director of marketing for Adult Empire. “We’ve observed in general just an over-all growing demand for a higher end product with top production. The porn industry has stepped up its game in respect to high-end adult filmmaking. Studios like Erotica X, Blacked and X-Art are shot with an emphasis on sensuality, exotic locations and high-end aesthetics. Capturing intense, hardcore sexual encounters filled with raw passion and emotion will always resonate with audiences.”

Mention couples porn and the company that immediately comes to mind is Adam & Eve, where for years it as been a favorite with their huge mail-order base.

“Couples movies have always been a significant amount of activity for [us],” says vice president Bob Christian. “Adam & Eve, in both the catalog and online, has long carried a connotation of high-quality movies for couples—movies that have stories and high production value. While we sell a wide variety of genres, our brand image carries the couples connection, and this is serving us very well during the current popularity of the romantic adult movie.

“Story-oriented content is definitely holding its own against the shorter clips that are so readily available online. And viewership online is increasing. We think this is simply because of the very fact that there is a story going on which affords the pleasure of getting mentally and emotionally, as well as physically, into the on-screen action.”

Christian says the company is relying on two marketing trends for romance features. The first is to include movies along with pleasure product sales. “This is not a new idea, but it is working well, and there is an increase in doing it.”

The second is “releasing movies episodically online, on our digital streaming sites. This brings the viewer back in. Those movies are doing well.”

At Girlfriends Films owner Moose has his own ideas about how to hold and enlarge the RomPorn audience. “In regards to whether romance porn is holding its own against gonzo, I think it’s important to look at the movies B. Skow is directing and producing for Skow for Girlfriends Films. He doesn’t allow a single genre to define the movies he makes, and consumers are responding well.

“The movies he creates are what some are calling the start of the Progressive Porn movement. They are hybrid films—a romantic feature with hardcore sex; a gonzo with rom-com plot lines or more sensual sex scenes.
“We as an industry so often try to pigeonhole consumers, but this is a disservice to everyone. Women and couples don’t necessarily want a light-hearted parody, and men aren’t always into hardcore gonzo. Skow’s movies are generating amazing sales numbers across the board by reaching many genres, whether they include an elaborate story or are more of an all-sex format. Moving outside of the box and beyond the old formulas creates an immersion that is more reflective of our path into the future.”

About the Author

Hopeless Romantic. Into all things Love. Single. Married never. Pug owner.

Leave A Response