Is anyone actually going to .XXX domains?

An analysis suggests that only 61 .xxx domains are in the top 1 million visited sites in the world. The highest is at number 51,549 in the Alexa rankings.

The home page of Casting.xxx. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I know that many people were excited when .xxx domains first reared their pretty heads a year ago.

Yet there was already some evidence at the end of last year that some institutions, such as, for example, Stanford and the U.S. Department of Justice had not bothered to protect themselves by registering their own .xxx.

Now, some very diligent people at Domain Name News decided to see how many .xxx domains were generating heat.

It transpires that people don't seem to be rushing to the .xxx version of much at all. For Domain Name News discovered that a mere 61 .xxx sites appeared in Alexa's list of the top 1 million visited sites.

Some might have wondered whether the whole .xxx thing was just a ruse to drum up capital for certain enterprising pockets. Others, though, might have considered that surely those in search of certain online entertainment would rush to this home away from home.

Yet the most visited .xxx site according to these numbers is Casting.xxx, which stands proud at number 51,549.

Should you have doubts about this site, its home page makes it clear: "The following material contained in this Web site is non-violent adult material containing sexually explicit situations. Viewing by, possession of, sale or distribution to minors is against the law."

Indeed, it's one of the most legalistic home pages you could ever encounter, as the warning goes on for several more sentences.

The ICANN and ICM statistics do reveal that, as of last month, there were 215,835 .xxx domains. 132,859 are, gosh, adult-related sites, while 82,976 are merely defensive registrations on behalf of upstanding organizations afeared that a stray pornographer might use them for ill-gotten gains.

These are still early days. But are porn sites discovering that .xxx domains help?

Or might it be that real people desperate for just a little light in their days don't feel visiting an even more obviously pornographic domain than usual is either necessary or good for their image?

Perhaps, though, it is merely that those who paid $500,000 for Gay.xxx or $300,000 for Fetish.xxx haven't yet concocted the full artistic nuances of what they intend to offer.

 

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