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Pimps and Predators on the Internet - page 48 / 75





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1998, they were preparing to move into full-length pay-per-view video on demand over the Internet. 208

KNB Enterprises

KNB Enterprises, owned by Jeff and Kathy, who declined to give their last names in interviews, run WebVirgins, a sex industry Web site that was making US$500,000 per year in 1997.209 They claimed to get a new buyer every 2 to 3 seconds, 24 hours a day. 210

Danni’s Hard Drive

Danni Ashe, a former stripper, founded Danni’s Hard Drive in Los Angeles in 1995. According to Ashe, her site was initially accessed 70,000 times per day, and grew to 5 million accesses per day by 1998. Ashe claims her gross revenue has grown by more than 2,000 percent, and required her to increase her staff from a part-time assistant to 15 full- time employees.211 Her Web site has 15,000 images of 250 models, and features images and videos of Ashe herself. In mid-1998, she had 22,000 subscribers who paid US$14.95 per month for access to her Web site. In 1997 she brought in US$2.7 million, and expected to make US$3.5 million in 1998. Her Web site is so popular it has 450 streaming video channels and six live video feeds.212 She banks on what she considers male nature, “…let’s face it: every man in the world masturbates and they’re just looking for new source material.”213

Women in the Commercial Internet Sex Industry

The growth and expansion of the pornography and prostitution industries on the Internet have also increased the demand for new material, resulting in increased sexual exploitation of women. Fierce competition among pornography web sites has pushed pimps to advertise and present more and more extreme material, such as penetration with large objects, bestiality and bondage. Of course, making these images requires more violence against women.

In the live sex shows of the Internet, the buyers relay requests to the woman through an 800 number, while watching her on their computer over the Internet. The women act out pornographic scenarios in 8-by-8 foot cubicles setup in a warehouse in Pioneer Square in Seattle.214 Stage sets are a health club, bedroom, shower, and dungeon215 Each set has a microphone and speakers so the strippers and the buyers can communicate. The buyers can then direct the woman in the set, and make demands for her performance. The men often ask the women to give special signals to indicate that the performance is live, and that they are in direct contact with the women. In most set-ups, multiple men can be logged on and viewing one stripper at once. The men compete with one another for the woman’s attention. One woman reported:

“It’s really disconcerting. Suddenly, the phone will pop on and a man will say hello, and when another one pops on it’s like two kids tugging on your arm. A lot of them are very clear about what they want to see and what they want you to say.”216

The women in the live prostitution shows on the Internet are usually in the same constrained economic circumstances with limited opportunities as women who strip in

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