The Pros And Cons Of The .XXX Domain

The .XXX domain is here.

For some, the official grand opening of the domain was the perfect way to kick off the month of December (Christmas came early for the adult entertainment industry – yes?). For others, the debut was a panic-filled race against the clock, hoping to snatch up any domain names in order to secure one’s identity/reputation.

Photo Credits: news.cnet.com

When I first heard of the news, I thought that the creation of the .XXX domain sounded like a wonderful idea. In my eyes, it could serve as a unique touch to a website – differentiating your adult site from the rest of the crowd. The .XXX domain could give your site that bit of flare or edge you’ve been searching for, sort of announcing – HEY! Look at me! Sexy stuff going on over here!

I thought, not only would this help those who don’t like porn filter it out (i.e. parents and schools can set up rules/filters which will block all .XXX sites), it can give those in the porn industry their own space on the web where they’re entitled to promote all they want.

But once I started reading about the pros and cons of the release, I realized a few things: 1) I clearly had no idea what this release actually meant for the Internet (as in, this release was causing some serious headaches for those outside the adult entertain industry), and 2) What if the porn sites (that are already well-established) don’t want this domain for their site? Who says that they want to be sectioned off into this “.XXX only” portion of the web? Especially if they’re already doing well and have a huge viewership (think YouPorn or PornTube), do they really want the change?

In fact, I saw in an article in USA Today that some are opposed to the switch because, in the long run, it could be used against the sites. On the day of the .XXX domain release, they wrote:

some think the idea of putting all the Web’s porn eggs in one basket makes it that much easier for a government or third party to simply push a button and make it all go away. Besides the censorship concerns, some vendors of adult material object to the whole idea of a .xxx domain, arguing that it relegates to an Internet “ghetto” aspects of human sexuality that society shouldn’t be ashamed of in the first place.

And for those outside the adult entertainment industry…

This is where things got messy.

Sure, the .XXX domain may be cool for your everyday webcam performer who wants to throw an .XXX at the end of their name, but what about the individuals (or businesses) that don’t want their name to be succeeded by an .XXX on the web? (For example: think of the NYT, now that .XXX is available, any average Joe could just buy out the domain name nytimes.XXX  and basically “sabotage” their image.)

So what happened on the release day? Well the AP reports that nearly 80,000 XXX domains were sold in presale and numerous “big brand” companies (such as Pepsi and Nike) lined up to purchase adult domains.

And it’s not just businesses, it’s colleges as well.  The University of Kansas reportedly just paid $3,000 for a variety of XXX URLs in hopes of avoiding the possibility of a porn site being affiliated with the university.

So who’s selling these .XXX domains? Well for starters, the oh-so-popular GoDaddy.com is selling the domain. Yet they’re not encouraging the adult entertaining industry, they’re literally warning the rest of the internet to protect their brand.

No joke, the top of the GoDaddy’s XXX domain registration page reads: “Let’s be adult about it. Create an adult Web presence or protect your brand.”

And it doesn’t stop there. Below the field where you can claim your .XXX domain name for just $99.99 a year, there is an explanation for why you’d want to register an XXX domain. The site reads:

Secure your brand. Protect your reputation.

Perhaps you’d like to create an adult entertainment website. Or maybe you’re here to keep your brand from being registered as an .XXX by someone else. Whatever your reasons for wanting an .XXX domain, you’ve come to the right place. To check the availability of your domain, type the name you want into the search box above.

Talk about nerve-wracking, right? Basically if you don’t want a porn site, that’s cool – but you may want to buy the domain name anyways incase someone tries to make one for you. In fact, an article I read via Mashable.com sums up the GoDaddy stance pretty well, they stated:

The message is clear: If you don’t want someone launching a porn XXX domain with your name or brand, you’d better let GoDaddy take your money and register it for you.

So what do you think MSP readers? Has anyone bought one up yet? Clearly as I said earlier, the .XXX could be really beneficial for some, so I’d be curious to see how that’s working out for those that are in favor.

But either way, love it or hate it – I’d love to know your stance on the matter, so feel free to utilize the comment box!

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About Madeline Haller

Madeline Haller

Madeline Haller is an Assistant Editor for MensHealth.com. Haller received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University, with a second concentration in gender studies. When she's not writing for MSP/MH, you can find her running, enjoying a cup of coffee, or searching for the perfect shade of red lipstick.