QR Codes. The Next Step in Sex-tech?
With a porn industry beleaguered by decreasing website viewership, declining sales and membership, QR codes may be the next step for the high-tech, for-profit sex biz. Over the past few years pornographers have been stuck on the side-lines watching their formerly high profit margins dip substantially related to waves of bad press – “unsafe sex in the porn industry,” the rise of social media related sexual hook-ups, not to mention free sex (friend finder) GPS locator apps on smart phones.
If that weren’t bad enough for the poor porn folks and their investors, there appears to be a rise in the numbers of plain folks seeking online “fame” and “fortune” by putting it all out there for everyone to see for free … or for a small fee. And much as reality shows have taken over television, increasingly people seem to prefer watching “non-professionals” having sex to the alternative.
In other words, as a the result of newer technologies, endless free porn, increasingly laisse-faire sexual attitudes among the under-30 set and instantaneous GPS located access to sexual partners, the declining porn pay-for porn and sex biz is itching to find something ‘new’ to capture desperately needed consumer dollars.
Enter a pattern we’ve seen time and again. Swiftly following the arrival of some widely accepted new technology the sex industry jumps right in seeking increased attention and profit. The same thing is just beginning to happen with the latest bit of consciousness-permeating technology – QR codes. And with new sites like QRgirls.com already live it’s a pretty good bet there’s a lot more on the way.
By now you have likely encountered a QR code, though you may not have even known its name or function. According to Wikipedia: A QR code (or Quick Response code) is a type of two-dimensional barcode, which has recently become popular due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of dark squiggly modules arranged in a square pattern on a light colored background, often resembling an oversized unreadable postage stamp. Today most smartphones either come with a built-in 2D barcode scanner to read QRs or one can be freely be downloaded to practically all camera-phones now on the market.
QR codes can be seen in magazines, signs, buses, business cards, or on almost any object about which users might wish to gain or marketers give – more detailed information. Users can scan the image to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or even open a web page (designated by the codes designer) in the telephone’s browser.
During the month of June 2011, according to one study , 14 million mobile users scanned a QR code or a barcode. As 53% of these 14 million users were men between the ages of 18 and 34, could there be a faster way to reach your ideal porn consumer? In what seems to have taken nano-second, all porn-related DVDs now routinely feature QR’s alongside the title to provide potential buyers access to “more detailed online information,” while Victoria’s Secret (see below) routinely features ads encouraging the viewer to utilize the QR codes conveniently placed on the anatomy of their scantily clad models to see “more of what’s underneath” … Can using QR codes to find prostitutes, affair partners or to really scan that hot woman’s butt be far behind?
Robert Weiss is Founding Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute and Director of Sexual Disorders Services at The Ranch Treatment Center and Promises Treatment Centers. These centers serve individuals seeking sexual addiction treatment and porn addiction help.
Follow Robert on Twitter @RobWeissMSW
Weiss LCSW, R. (2012). QR Codes. The Next Step in Sex-tech?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 5, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2011/10/qr-codes-the-next-step-in-sex-tech/