In the world of URLs, www.sex.com was the sure thing.
Whoever owned it was guaranteed riches beyond measure, pleasure beyond pain. And yet, ever since it was originally registered by Gary Kremen, founder of Match.com, the great domain has been a house of hurt.
It has been the subject of one book that describes a brutal battle over its ownership. Then another came along in an attempt to satiate those who cannot believe that it is not the most popular domain in the world. Even being the subject of a civil-liberties case has not helped Sex.com become da bomb, instead of merely a bomb.
Now you, your friends and, who knows, a newly chastened Tiger Woods are free to stake your claim to be the sugar daddy that can make Sex.com a happy place.
According to a post this week on Elliot's Blog, the URL is being put up for auction next month as part of a foreclosure.
The last known owner of Sex.com seems to have been a company called Escom (document), which reportedly gave up 14 million of its dollars for the privilege of having Sex.com between its balance sheets. At the time, the company promised that the URL would become the "market-leading adult entertainment destination."
About 120,000 sad, desperate, excited, naive, or perhaps even hopeful people reportedly go to Sex.com every month. And what they currently find there might best be described as a bordello of indeterminate purpose: everything from shopping tips to a discussion on the deeply important subject of "vibrators: friend or foe?" (That looked to me like a misprint. Shouldn't it be "friend or faux"?)
Should you wish to be the savior of this luscious platform, you will need to have with you a certified bank check for $1 million. However, I suggest that in addition to the check, you should have a strategy.
It's all very well, owning a domain name that would appear to have so much potential. But if you have no idea what to do with it--if you have no idea that, with the advent of free sites such as YouPorn, it's much harder to make money out of online sex these days--then you might be in for a sore disappointment.
Still, I can see Woods buying it and turning it into a place where those who have strayed can repent for their wayward, selfish, entitled, carnal ways, turn to Buddhism, and learn to live happily ever after. Can't you?