Sex & Love
Controlling The Media 101: Lux Alptraum of Fleshbot.com
Lux Alptraum is the Editor of Fleshbot.com, the Gawker-public, sex-centric blog Fleshbot. That has to be a great job. Read More
“Fap,” is a term coined by the users of meme generating image board 4Chan as an onomatopoeia for the sound made during masturbation. For most 4Chan users, dreaming about sex and staring at porn all day long is probably a big part of why they spend their days on 4Chan rather than working a job, but for Lux Alptraum, Editor of the Gawker-public, sex-centric blog Fleshbot, it’s essential.
Fleshbot acts as a listing, or rather a filter, for all things “Fapable.” As the internet grows, the amount of quality content available grows with it, and the amount of bad content grows as well, exponentially so. Websites that sift through, find that which is a worth looking at, and present it, are becoming big business. Fleshbot is the foremost website of this type in the realm of sex, and Lux Alptraum is the gatekeeper.
“It’s pretty much like working for any other pro blog. I wake up check my feed reader, my Google Alerts, edit stuff, schedule stuff, and write. A lot of it’s just looking for stuff that’s hot. Some days I’ll have an interview, or a movie to review. But it’s pretty much like anyone else running a media site, except the topic is a little different.”
Different indeed. One might imagine the offices of Fleshbot as a brightly colored, furry walled, play house filled with computers that have huge HD screens for optimal porn viewing, and chairs equipped with some kind of sexual stimuli measuring clamps which connect to a big meter that lights up and starts blinking if someone gets excited as it’s arrow moves toward the word, “Fapable.” This however, isn’t quite the case.
“You can talk about things being hot, and well done without talking about your own personal, physical reaction. There are ways of discussing the topic without being gross about it, without over-sharing. I wouldn’t usually say, oh this was really hot and I totally jacked off to it.”
The website though is a different story. Your usual look at Fleshbot will include a couple of photosets, video’s or stories, ranging from straight porn, to more erotic art to sexy clips from television shows. However, almost every entry is accompanied by a short blurb by Alptraum or one of the other contributors about the hotness of the content.
When asked about the biggest stars in the business, Lux mentioned, Kagney Lynn Karter, Faye Regen, Tori Black and Stoya as some of the biggest names in porn right now, but she pointed to Sasha Grey as the porn star that people are most intrigued with citing her ability to cross from mainstream film to porn.
“I think she had the drive to do it, the foresight to realize it was possible, and a really, really good management team. I think if someone else wants to take that path it’s certainly possible, but it’s not for everyone, you have to have talents beyond the talents of the adult industry. It’s not easy but it’s possible. “
Many people in the industry have alluded to a blurring of the line between porn and mainstream film, and some think Sasha Grey will be a catalyst to this change, but Lux disagrees.
“There’s a huge stigma against adult film that’s pretty difficult to overcome. As much as you have Shortbus, or 9Songs, those are generally novelties and don’t really catch on. I just watched the Human Sexipede, it was funny and really well shot, but of the two hours, an hour and a half of it was sex. Its focus is inherently different from the focus of a mainstream movie. You could say with an action movie, that it’s all explosions, but even then, there’s more plot, than action scenes. I think that adult film is an art but I think the goal is much different than in a mainstream movie.”
According to Lux, The Human Sexipede reflects porn’s biggest trend, one that’s not going away anytime soon.
“The main thing that’s happening in porn right now is parody porn. It’s a trend because it’s something people will actually buy, and you can get press for it because people are shocked that you’d make a Cosby Show porn. Also people can talk about it in a way that they can’t talk about Shut Up and Blow Me.”
Those who are thinking that Lux Alptraum’s job doesn’t sound any less awesome than it did in the first place, are probably right. Because of her job, Lux has a vast wealth of knowledge of two of the most interesting industry’s one can hope to be a part of: porn and media. However, she acknowledges that the porn for all its ostensible glamor, has its problems. “I think piracy has hit porn worse than it’s hit other industries. I’ve been to The Adult Entertainment Expo twice and the first time I was there everyone was complaining it was the smallest they’d ever seen, the second time it was half that size. Companies are shutting down, people who used to work four times are week are now working four times a month and they’re working for less.”
Blogging on the other hand, is an industry still finding it bearings, one that a lot of people haven’t quite figured out how to make a living of. I asked Lux to explain to me how she landed a gig that so many people give a valuable limb for.
I was doing a blog [Boinkology] about sexuality and culture in my own time and was approached to be a contributor at Fleshbot. I was well-liked there and eventually became editor. It wasn’t really a targeted thing. I fell into it and was really good at it.”
Therein lies the lesson of this particular story. Unlike porn, blogging has yet to find it’s routine. There’s no set trajectory to follow that will guarantee success in the blogging world. Oddly, an aspiring blogger might want to look to Sasha Grey, for inspiration. When Grey was first starting in porn, she used her MySpace page to post a manifesto that she sent to prospective representation, it stated her desire to push the boundaries of sexuality and porn and her willingness to push her own boundaries as a performer, and she quickly became known for her passion for sex and performance. Sasha Grey, the self proclaimed “Fuck Junkie,” gained attention immediately for her passion more than her ambition.
“If you really love writing it’s something that you can always do. And in many situations people who did something in their spare time got noticed and started getting paying work.”
For Lux Alptraum it was also passion that lead to her success, a desire that overshadowed the need to be a success. Answering a question about what she might do next, Lux makes this clear.
“I see myself as more of a sex educator than a writer. That’s what my entire career has been, I’ve been a writer and a sex educator and I just want to continue doing that. I enjoy writing and can certainly write about other things, but sexuality has always been my passion. I’m just looking for any kind of work that allows me to continue doing the work of promoting positive sexuality and positive attitudes to toward sexuality.”
Of course passion has always been important, but ten years ago, before the internet leveled the playing field, it may not have been a cornerstone for success in the media world. But now, in a world where content has the ability to trump connections and everybody has a potential pedestal to stand on, passion is just controlling the media 101.